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After a lengthy, mostly unplanned, holiday hiatus, Novel Ideas returns with Fledgling by Octavia Butler. This is a book about vampires that offers a slightly different spin on what has arguably become its own genre. Not to mention a science fiction/fantasy book not written by a neckbearded white man. In the episode, we discuss various subgenres at play, direct writing styles, what is at the core of a person, and racism. Lots of racism. We also talk about vatigue, podcasting as a visual medium, trope subversion, and Canada.

The music bump is “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, mostly because Ben has an abhorrent sense of humor.

Fledgling – Chemically Bonded Group Marriage


Ben: 8/10 Excellent world building and interesting relationship building. Definitely read it.

Gabs: 6.5/10 An interesting new approach to vampires, but not really my thing.

Fifty Shades of Grey

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The bestseller parade continues this week with Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. We figured it was time to see what all the shouting was about. Our conclusion is that there is plenty to shout about. We talked about the origins of the book, why we think it’s so popular, why we hate the main characters, and why it was so damned painful to read. We also cover the (rare) redeeming qualities of the book and the characters and delve into social issues and classic literature. Also, this week we present our first ever listener challenge, so listen carefully and see if you want to play along.

This week’s music bump is “Tallis Variations” by Philip Sparke, based on a Thomas Tallis chorale. If you don’t know why that’s significant, you’ll find out by the end of the episode.

19 – Fifty Shades of Grey – Hate Reading