Ender’s Game

Novel Ideas returns from a work related pseudo vacation hiatus with Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. If you use any form of media that is connected to the outside world, you’ve probably seen some trailers for the recently released movie. This book has actually been our list for a long time, but we’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to discuss it. Join us this week as we discuss, with the help of Special Guest Star Kevin Smith, this old favorite. In the the episode we talk about the Orson Scott Card controversy, spoilerific plot twists, master manipulators, and whether the ends justify the means. We also touch on how six year olds act most of the time, Yakety Sax, Independence Day, and creative ways of using the word “fart.”

The music bump is “Head Games” by Foreigner. I almost went with “Yakety Sax,” but decided that “Head Games” is actually hilarious if you imagine that Ender is singing it to either Colonel Graff or the Hive Queen, depending on the verse.

Ender’s Game – A Gold Plated Fart

Recommendations:

One of the best science fiction novels ever written with special sentimental value to all three of us. Definitely read it before you see the movie, which will undoubtedly not live up to this book.

Gabs: 9/10 Not quite as pants-peeingly good as reading it as a kid, but still very, very good.

Ben/Kevin: 11/10 OMFG

Brave New World

This week’s episode features Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the science fiction classic about a scientific utopia. Or possibly dystopia. This book is weaker on characters than many of the books we’ve read, but it is full of issues, many of them more relevant than ever in today’s world. We touch on feminism, racism, sexuality, eugenics, consumerism, and religion. And, of course, zippers. Zippers are amazing. Because they are THE FUTURE. There are also some bad puns, the usual level of silliness, and a small amount of modest self-promotion. We think you will find it quite pneumatic.

The music bump is “Brave New World” by Styx, chosen not just for the obvious title tie-in, but at least a small amount of lyrical relevance. Hang out for an extra twenty seconds at the end of the podcast and see if you agree.

28 – Brave New World – Quite Pneumatic

It may not be obvious because of the size of the picture, but the header this week is from an edition of the book that had an egg with a zipper on the cover. The reason we chose this image should be quite obvious by the time you’re about twenty minutes into this episode.

Divergent

Welcome to bestseller month! Or maybe it’s bestseller six weeks with one interruption. Something like that. We’re kicking off the festivities with Divergent by Veronica Roth, a very popular YA novel. The sequel, Insurgent has been at the top of NY Times bestseller list in the YA/children’s category for several weeks. Starting with a sequel seemed a little odd to us, so we decided to back up and try the original. This episode is named partly in honor of the landscapers, who have been oddly absent for several episodes now, and partly because this book is such an excellent example of what’s hot in the YA genre these days. Strong female lead? Check. Suffering teenagers? Check. Violence? Check and check again. We also cover dystopia, authenticity of the love plot, what makes a good villain, and the quality of the aptitude test.

The music bump is “This is War” by 30 Seconds to Mars because, apparently, I am a very literal person. Also, if you knew how many horrible jokes I avoided while perusing my music library, you would thank me. (#Ben)

18 – Divergent – YA Landscapers

A Handmaid’s Tale

Welcome back, book lovers! This week’s episode features A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, a dystopian future where women are second class citizens. The conversation is a little longer and darker than average as we take turns atop the feminist soapbox. We also attempt to offend the whole world by discussing religion and motherhood. Our high standards of broadcast quality are maintained as a landscaper starts his leafblower and leaves it sitting outside the window. Prepare to be slightly depressed and more than slightly outraged as we explore yet another dystopian future.

The music this week is Rockapella’s arrangement of “Amazing Grace,” because: 1) Rockapella is awesome, 2) Amazing Grace appears in the book, and 3) we find it difficult to take even twenty seconds of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel.”

A quick administrative note: If you are reading along at home, there is now a schedule link at the top of the page so you can follow us more easily.

07 – A Handmaid’s Tale – Feminism Gets Boned

The Hunger Games!

Here it is, the long anticipated debut of the Novel Ideas Podcast, featuringThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. In this episode, we cover Katniss and why she is a badass, Peeta’s lack of hunting skills, reality TV, feminism, and Thresh’s weird lack of verbal skills. Try not to be terrified by our bizarre and inaccurate renditions of regional accents as we break down this dystopian YA thriller. This book is not for the faint of heart, and neither is our recording; there may be some “explicit content.”

This week’s music bump is “Fanfares for the Jubilee of Rimsky-Korsakov” by Anatol Liadov. We thought a fanfare was appropriate to open the games, as it were.

Hunger Games – Practical Matters

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