Novel Ideas is back! At least for this week. The plan had been to get this episode up around the time the movie was released, so expect a lot of hedging on estimates of when new episodes will be released. Adding context makes comments about having more content up by the end of the year more understandable, more amusing, and a bit more shameful. At any rate, here is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, perhaps you’ve heard of it? If you listen, you will hear discussions about PTSD, the morality of war, weaknesses of characterization, and-dare I say it?-feminism. Not to mention messing with the shippers, different varieties of tridents, the curative power of babies in fiction, and why Gale is the worst.
If the audio quality seems off, we recorded and mixed this on a new rig. So Gabs is present via the power of the internet rather than the power of sitting at a table and may sound like she is present via the power of two tin cans linked by a string. Our apologies. Expect more of it. Eventually.
The music bump is “Back on the Streets Again” by the always timely Tower of Power.
Ben: 8/10. A more mature story than the first two with less action, but more interesting discussion points.
Gabs: 7.5/10 Peetas. (And zero Gales because he is terrible.) The book has some issues, but damn it, it’s trying.
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?
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.
Bestseller Month concludes with… No, wait, I mean Banned Book Month begins with… Oh, right. BOTH of things happen this week on the Novel Ideas podcast with The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. This is a YA book that has been frequently banned or challenged due mostly to the content of the whole book. Holy smokes, there are some issues in this one. In this episode we cover: child molestation, autism, bad cycles, and teen sex. We also talk about Charlie’s similarity to Martians, pothead humor, essay writing, and the lack of sexual tension between step-siblings.
The music bump is “Asleep” by The Smiths. Read the book if you want to know why.
Gabs – 7.5/10. An interesting read with a few minor flaws.
Ben – 9/10. Possibly my favorite podcast book of year 2.