gender politics


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This week’s episode is Redshirts by John Scalzi, a science fiction/comedy novel with more than a touch of meta to it. It’s also a fairly short novel, and you’ll notice that our episode is a few minutes shorter than usual to match, only minus the three codas. In our conversation we touch on science fiction tropes, author commentary, some of the qualities of bad writing, and violating the fourth wall. We also touch on the meta-ness of meta-ful meta-tude, hilarious misspoken phrases, and, of course, ice sharks. The mystery of what exactly an ice shark is may not get solved, but I think you’ll agree that Ben should not be allowed to title books.

The music for this week’s episode is “Redshirt” by Jonathan Coulton, which was commissioned by John Scalzi for the release of the novel.

The header is Troy Zimmerman’s (winning) entry in the fan art contest for Redshirts held on John Scalzi’s blog.

23 – Redshirts – Yo Dawg I Heard You Like Star Trek

A Handmaid’s Tale

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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