bestseller?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Novel Ideas, in a completionist turn, brings you Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (but really by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany). In this episode we discuss insane bestselling sales, the nature of long delayed sequels, time travel plots, and how plays differ from novels. We also talk about the influence of cocaine (probably none), that Voldemort is likely a virgin, alternate Ron, and the inadequacy of riddle based security measures. And much, much more.

The music bump is “Sybilla Delphica” by Orlando di Lassus in honor of <spoiler of gobsmackingly stupid plot twist redacted>, Delphi.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – A Thing That Doesn’t Need To Exist

Our recommendation: This sequel was a smashing (financial) success. Otherwise, it doesn’t really feel that much like Harry Potter.

Ben: 4/10. I’ve never been a fan of unnecessary sequels. This falls into that category for me.

Gabs: 4/10 faulty Time Turners. Because it failed to turn back the clock and recapture the magic.

Also, if you have suggestions for future episodes, please share them with us! We’re trying to be a bit more responsive to our six or so listeners this year.

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Me Before You

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Novel Ideas makes its return after too long away. This episode is about Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, a story about a quirky quirkster and a sad sack in a wheelchair. In this one we discuss ableism, depression, class, and assisted suicide, subjects which may cause you to feel icky. We also talk about our obscure theories (this book is secretly an eff you to rich people, this book is an anti-athlete author tract), what constitutes “a thing” (the internet, disabled people, therapy), why career counselors probably shouldn’t push you towards stripping, and that brief moment where Ben gets super judge-y.

The music bump is “The Queen Bee” by Sammy Nestico as performed by the Count Basie band.

107 – Me Before You – Feels Kinda Icky

Our recommendation: Reads easily enough, but you’ll feel icky if you think too hard about it.

Ben: 5/10 on the initial read, 3/10 by the time Gabs and I were done talking about it.

Gabs: 3/10 after we talked about it.

Holy crap, one of us did some research for this episode! Here are a couple of links that Gabs referenced:

Video:

http://youtu.be/Z9bkWJtm-mU

Articles:

http://cdrnys.org/blog/advocacy/hollywood-lies-i-prefer-my-disabled-girlfriend-alive/

http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.ca/2016/05/boycott-me-before-you-disability-death.html?m=1

The Martian

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For those of you who were expecting Sherlock Holmes… it has mysteriously disappeared. In its place is The Martian by Andy Weir, a hard science fiction account of a lone man  surviving on the surface of Mars. We recorded this one with special guest, Adam Milton. In this episode we discuss the resourcefulness of astronauts, the geniuses at NASA, the realities of running an organization, and the power of the human spirit. We also comment on the lack of rain on Mars, the likely effects of months of loneliness on our respective psyches, wacky parody sequels, and potatoes. Because potatoes, that’s why.

The music bump is “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees because it is Mark Watney’s theme song, even if only through an utter lack of alternatives.

94 – The Martian – Snark Tank

Our ratings:

Gabs: 7/10 potatoes. It’s a good book if you’re stuck on a bus.

Ben: 8/10. Big points for science and snark!

Adam: 8/10. For managing to make science interesting.