Episode 116 – Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Tombs of Atuan” with special guest Noora Rose

Noora Rose joins us to discuss Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Tombs of Atuan”, game masters as game designers, non-white people writing fantasy and sci-fi, the trauma of forced identities, sex and intimacy, Le Guin’s masterful character development, reclaiming identities, creating barriers with purple prose, cast-and-forget spellcasting, fantasy whodunits, the rising costs of paper, and much more!

Tombs of Atuan

Episode 115 – Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” with special guest Karlo Yeager Rodríguez

Karlo Yeager Rodríguez joins us to discuss Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, Vampire LARPing, the 1818 vs 1831 texts, Victor Frankenstein as a narrator, Mary Shelley’s commentary on the fate of Native Americans, Frankenstein’s monster as a metaphor for queer angst, Victor Frankenstein as Lucifer falling from grace, the Bride of Frankenstein, Wraith: The Oblivion, the claim of Frankenstein as the first work of science fiction, and much more!

Frankenstein

Episode 114 – Tim Powers’s “Declare” with special guest Pete Johannsen

Pete Johannsen joins us to discuss Tim Powers’s “Declare”, using amber beads as tokens, books found on your doorstep, the language and pace of spy novels, the djinn as fallen angels, power as a human motivator, Rube Goldberg occultism, the U.S. vs the Soviet Union, Torg RPG, djinn as ancient vampires, exploring Christian mythology in fiction and gaming, and much more!

Declare

Episode 113 – Michael Moorcock’s “The Jewel in the Skull” with special guest Menion (AKA Rob)

Menion (AKA Rob) joins us to discuss Michael Moorcock’s “The Jewel in the Skull”, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the influence of Burroughs on Moorcock, the initial emptiness and passivity of Hawkmoon, character motivation, mixing scifi and fantasy, characters being swept up in the current of world events, old-school versus new-school ways of thinking about gaming, what we lose when gaming online, runes as cosmic forces in RuneQuest, the gaming scene in Japan, and much more!

The Jewel in the Skull

Episode 112 – William Hope Hodgson’s “The House on the Borderland” with special guest Lucas Zellars

Lucas Zellars joins us to discuss William Hope Hodgson’s “The House on the Borderland”, natural history as a science, out of body experiences, b-movie monsters, horse pistols, geological time, unreliability injected into the fiction, cosmic pigs, Super Mario Bros., and D&D as Capitalism: The Game or Colonialism: The Game, and much more!

Episode 111 – Glen Cook’s “The Black Company” with special guest Jason Lutes

Jason Lutes joins us to discuss Glen Cook’s “The Black Company”, Dungeon World, Ursula K. Le Guin, conquistador helmets, swords-for-hire, what makes a villain, grim dark’s celebration of the darkest sides of the human experience, wizards as marketing and PR agents, eating tacos, fantasy metropolises, random words as proper nouns, and much more!

The Black Company

Episode 110 – Fred Saberhagen’s “Changeling Earth” with special guest Rev. Dak Ultimak

Rev. Dak Ultimak joins us to discuss Fred Saberhagen’s “Changeling Earth”, the DCC RPG zine scene, reclaiming H.P. Lovecraft, tanks and UFOs in fantasy fiction, the paperback culture of the 1970s, transcending humanity, cosmic horror, evil characters getting their comeuppance, the Luke Skywalker-type protagonist, genre crossing, throwing out the Firearms issue of Crawl, and much more!

Changeling Earth

Episode 109 – Ursula K. Le Guin’s “A Wizard of Earthsea” with special guest Ellen Kushner

Ellen Kushner joins us to discuss Ursula K. Le Guin’s “A Wizard of Earthsea”, Choose Your Own Adventure books, the explosion of Tolkien’s popularity, the feminist revision of Earthsea, wizarding schools, designing magic system limitations, Larry Niven’s science brain, the teenage search for identity, wizards of color, normalizing protagonists belonging to marginalized populations, the Jewish inspirations on Riverside, and much more!

A Wizard of Earthsea

Episode 108 – Gene Wolfe’s “The Shadow of the Torturer” with special guest Moss Bosch

Moss Bosch joins us to discuss Gene Wolfe’s “The Shadow of the Torturer”, socially intimate games, tasty and tender world building, reading a book without realizing it is the first in a series, ridiculous ways to introduce new PCs, reading a book written for multiple audiences, cities the size of a nation, Blades in the Dark, stolen sex dolls, flowers as awkward and incredibly dangerous weapons, obvious foreshadowing, TikTok, and much more!

The Shadow of the Torturer