Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Michael Chabon’s “Gentlemen of the Road”, miniature wargaming, doing “a Jeff” by listening to the audiobook, Robert E. Howard’s Middle Eastern adventures, melancholy guys dressed in black, the role of the animals in the story, surviving in a ruined temple, dual power structures, chloroform mini-games, five-page backstories, being rewarded in-game for bringing in aspects of your character, hitting Wikipedia hard, and much more!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Arkady & Boris Strugatsky’s “Hard to Be a God”, impecunious dons, Brave New World, the Soviet Union in the 1960s, de-Stalinization, going straight to feudalism to fascism, the stench of the 18th century, saving artists to advance society, the great expansion of man, the collaboration between criminals and reactionary religious clashes to create facism, the 2007 video game adaptation, The Worm Ouroboros, and much more!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Conqueror”, art pull-outs in paperbacks, the de Camp vs the Karl Edward Wagner introductions, sword and sorcery tropes, Conan’s Greatest Hits, Shakespearean battles, Conan in disguise as a headsman, wanting to spend more time in Stygia, the dangers on the left path, mummy tour guides, smaller villains, August Derleth’s landscapes, Savage Worlds RPG, The Tower of the Elephant, and much more!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Conqueror”, the terrible glue on Lancer paperbacks, Howard’s attempts to reach the English audience, the reach of Weird Tales Magazine, Conan’s anti-colonialist stance, Howard’s horror writing, de Camp’s editing, vampires, evil priests, killer illusions, the Hyborian Age as a living and breathing world, Call of Cthulhu RPG for sword and sorcery, and much more!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss N.K. Jemisin’s “The Fifth Season”, AD&D’s obsession with gem names, the tonal resonances between this book and Octavia E. Butler’s “Fledgling”, the missing moon, savior narratives, sci-fi slang traditions, a melonated future, meta vs in-text author motivations, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, using Numenera for the Broken Earth setting, being surrounded by superheroes, systemic abuse in youth institutions, and much more!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Ellen Kushner’s “Swordspoint”, typing up D&D character sheets on a typewriter, normalized gay content, the 80s crack epidemic, double- and triple-crosses, characters who think they’re smarter than they are, playing a D&D game in the Riverside, gamifying Honor, staying true to social mechanism in the game, DCC Lankhmar, A Princess Bride, A Princess of Mars, and much more!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Manly Wade Wellman’s “Sherlock Holmes’s War of the Worlds”, classic Sherlock, the Professor Challenger stories, sycophantic women, the differing moral compasses of the characters, the lens of the Vietnam War, tearing down H.G. Wells, undefeatable villains, adding mechanical wings to random encounters, proto-Lovecrafian beasties, high versus low-level gaming, and much more!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror and Others”, setting construction, Lovecraftian punchlines, Robert Bloch, character development, ancient castles, inescapable monsters, the Whateleys, sudden developments of secret knowledge, characters built on people we know, and much more!
Members of our Patron Book Club join us to discuss Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Warrior”, the Conan paperback publication history, Conan’s rapey inner-dialogue, the “barbarism is the natural state of mankind” quote, the roles of priests in sword and sorcery, Red Sonya and Dark Agnes, the strengths and weaknesses of Valeria, the fragile state of Whiteness, Lovecraftian racism, the immensity of the Hyborian world, giving L. Sprague de Camp the credit he’s due, Conan casting spells, and more!
We’re offering a sneak peak into our Patron Book Clubs that happen with our supporters on Patreon before we record each episode. Thanks to Noah Green and Adam Styers for joining this week to discuss Andre Norton’s “Web of the Witch World”!