social commentary

2017 Hugo Noms

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We interrupt this irregularly scheduled podcast with a special, albeit belated, episode. We decided to sit down and discuss the 2017 Hugo Award Nominees for Best Novel. Extra heavy spoiler alert on this episode, as every book we talk about was published in 2016 at the earliest. In addition to touching on every nominated book, we also discuss diversity, writing styles, identity, and the proliferation of series in the SF/Fantasy world. We also talk about scenes that make you feel, writers who have never met a woman before, the future corporate age of exploration, and the cool factor of space wizards wielding laser swords.

The music bump is “Robots” by Flight of the Conchords because, as discussed in this episode of the podcast, all science fiction is about robots.

113 – 2017 Hugo Noms – Diversity of Ideas

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

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It’s been a while since we’ve read a classic, so this week, Novel Ideas brings you The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. This is a book known for featuring a portrait that ages while the man in the portrait remains young. Well, about that… it’s not exactly the most significant part of the story. Join us as we talk about that and other things, such as Victorian censorship, homoeroticism, class issues, and social satire. We also discuss the history of nuts, indirect murder, our take on State Farm ads, and professional trolls. On a side note, there are a couple minutes of this episode where the sound is a little washed out because I had to use the noise removal tool. It’s definitely noticeable, but far less distracting than the alternative.

The music bump this week is from Richard Wagner’s “Tannhauser Overture,” one of the several Wagner operas referenced in the book.

The Picture of Dorian Gray – That is Wilde!

Recommendations:

Gabs: 6/10. Read The Importance of Being Earnest if you really want the Oscar Wilde experience.

Ben: 5/10. I want to like it, but there’s a little too much boredom between bouts of wit.

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