Novel Ideas returns with the first episode of year three, or Season 3, if you prefer. This week we are discussing Philip Pullman’s The Subtle Knife, sequel to The Golden Compass, second book in the “His Dark Materials” trilogy. In this episode we talk about trust, power, corruption, and moral ambiguity. We also touch on trilogy naming conventions, Sir Charles’s creepy vibe, trope subversion, and references to other things we have read and/or podcasted.
This week’s music bump is “Under the Knife” by Kansas because “Mack the Knife” seemed too obvious.
The Subtle Knife – EVIDENTLY
This book contains excellent world building and interesting characters, as well as adding to the universe of the story rather than rehashing what was popular the first time around. Read it. But first read The Golden Compass.
Gabs: 9/10 I love this damn book.
Ben: 9/10 All of those things.
Posted by Ben and Gabs Roman on April 10, 2014
We’re back with what is becoming something of a modern science fiction classic, Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. This is a book where humanity is defended by soldiers over the age of seventy-five and under the age of ten. Listen to the episode to hear us discuss universe building, characterization, imperialism, and bioethics. We also talk about the fuuuuture, quip machines, strange alien religions, and, of course, boobs.
Also, next week will be our year in review episode. If you have any last minute comments or questions about anything we’ve covered in the last year, get them in ASAP! If you’re not sure what we’ve covered since last March, go to the Episodes page and look at the titles in “Season Two.”
The music bump this week is a Carl Reike march called “Old Comrades,” performed by a tuba quartet because who doesn’t love that?
Old Man’s War – Six Year Old Adults
Gabs: 6/10. Easy to read, but probably best recommended to science fiction fans.
Ben: 8/10. Solid writing and an interesting universe, plus it made me laugh a couple of times.
Posted by Ben and Gabs Roman on March 4, 2014
Novel Ideas returns, still a tad off schedule, with Under the Dome by Stephen King. Yes we’re a week late. Yes we’ve switched up our order. But we made it. And we’re hoping to get back on track for a few weeks before our schedule mid-March disruption. But more on that later. Listen to the episode for our discussions on antagonists, black and white characters, feminism, and difficult thematic questions. We also talk about Stephen King-isms, people who don’t swear, functional bullshit detectors, and bursting a rage bubble.
The music bump is “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, chosen for possible thematic relevance.
Under the Dome – Worst Comedy Ever
Gabs: 8/10. A fun and compelling read, where you don’t stop to ask questions until after you’ve finished.
Ben: 8/10. A very entertaining book, assuming you aren’t scared of its sheer mass.
Posted by Ben and Gabs Roman on January 27, 2014
Novel Ideas returns with Codename Verity by Elizabeth Wein. This episode was recorded several months ago to buy us some breathing room if we ever needed it. As it turns out, my time issues effect editing more than reading and recording, so I believe having this episode available has prevented zero missed podcast weeks. Good intentions and all, right? At any rate, listen to the episode to hear us talk about World War 2 tropes, friendship, homosexual undertones, and torture. We also discuss improv skills, Handsy McHandsfuck, shipper distractions, and experience our own brief distraction.
The music bump is “Beautiful Friendship” as performed by the Hanna-Fontana band. It has nothing to do with the thing the name sounds very similar to…
Codename Verity – What Do You Call A Female Bromance
It has been several months since we read this one, so we’re forgoing numerical ratings this week, but I can sum things up thusly:
Gabs: Thought it was good. Actually features several strong female characters in a setting where women usually aren’t featured.
Ben: If it’s about spies, I like it; if it’s about friendship, I don’t like it. Except I might like it anyway.
Posted by Ben and Gabs Roman on January 6, 2014
Novel Ideas returns at a strange interval with The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Our apologies for our odd posting schedule as of late, Ben’s day job leads to a rather turbulent schedule between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so editing and posting episodes tends to get pushed back. We’re hoping to at least be able to post on Mondays through the start of the new year. I guess we’ll see. At any rate, check out this week’s episode where we discuss marriage, feminism, the rejection of societal norms, and the adult readability of classics. We also talk about space penises, Victorian titillation, the romantic death trope, and why children are boring.
The music bump this week is Frederic Chopin’s Nocture opus 15, number 3 in G Minor, also subtitled “Solitude” for its possibly awakening Edna’s…. awakening, I guess.
The Awakening – Who Gives a Hell About Kissing
Ben: 6/10 I liked it more than not and provides some food for thought, though I didn’t find it especially compelling.
Gabs: 8/10 Minus two for the ending.
Posted by Ben and Gabs Roman on December 9, 2013