technical difficulties

Binti

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Novel Ideas returns with Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, the winner of the Nebula award in the novella category this year. In this episode, we discuss empathy, outsider perspectives, colonialism, and forgiveness. We also talk about the lack of snark, kindergarten level thinking, adult hair touching, and not being a hater.

The music bump is “All is Forgiven” by the Jellyfish, which is thematically appropriate in at least two ways.

106 – Binti – Angry Young Jellyfish at Space Harvard

Our review: Good to very good, a very simply told story. Gabs would like for the story to be more fleshed out, but nothing that is necessary is omitted. No ratings this time because I forgot to get one from Gabs before she disappeared into the wilderness for the month.

Since this is a recent publication, be mindful of our spoiler policy. Short version: we spoil everything.

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Sherlock Holmes

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This week’s episode of Novel Ideas is about three short stories from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes canon, discussing “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” “Scandal in Bohemia,” and “The Final Solution.” We discuss the light characterization, feminism, various adaptations, and Victorian writing style. We also talk about Sherlock Holmes as a prank show, Holmes’s dickery, whether its secretly a monster of the week show, and badass Irene Adler spin offs.

A couple of administrative notes: This episode was recorded in the spring, so some of the information is out of date. I think most of the inaccuracies are self evident. For example, it is no longer May and we already posted our episode on Andy Weir’s The Martian. There are some minor technical issues, but hopefully nothing too distracting. I erased a long stretch of Gabs’s voice skipping like a scratched CD, but left in some our comments afterward because they amused me. Also, the Novel Ideas e-mail is no longer in service. Oh yeah, and we didn’t plug Minerva! We’re part of the Minerva Mag Podcast Network! Check it out!

The music bump is “Discombobulate” by Hans Zimmer, the theme from the 2009 Guy Ritchie film adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes – Victorian Gentleman Bro

Our ratings:

It’s been quite a while, so no numerical ratings. We’d have to split them across three different stories anyway. We both thought “The Final Problem” was pretty uninteresting, but the other two stories were pretty good. If you haven’t ever read any Holmes, check out “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” which is probably the most representative of the overall Holmes canon.

Twelfth Night

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Shakespeare is back on Novel Ideas! Well, one of Shakespeare’s plays is a topic for Novel Ideas, Shakespeare himself is a bit bigger get than we are currently capable of. But we were able to get the very capable Dr. Anthony Funari back as a guest to discuss William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, a comedy full of cross dressing, something the English still find absolutely hilarious in the twenty-first century. In this episode we discuss queer spaces, Shakespearean comedic heroines, puritanism, and inversion. We also talk about crossing the (drama) streams, Elizabethan drama franchises, unlikely sibling casting, and humorless dicks.

Also check out this link to Tony’s website, The Mad Literature Professor.

The music bump is one of Feste’s song from the 1996 movie production.

Twelfth Night – Star Cross Gartered Lovers

Recommendations:

One of Shakespeare’s later comedies, is both hilarious and full of academic interest, if you’re into those things. Read it. Or better yet, find a good stage production of it.

Gabs: 10/10 It’s so good. Queer spaces –  good. Female agency – good. Puritan baiting – good!

Ben: 12/12 Definitely the best of the “Nights” franchise. But seriously, probably my favorite Shakespeare play. So far.

Tony: 10/10 Very interesting in that it is the transition play from comedy to romance, plus Feste is probably Shakespeare’s best fool.

2012-13 Year in Review

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It’s time for our first year(ish) anniversary episode. We apologize for being a week late, but our recording from last week was corrupted somehow and we had to meet again and record the whole thing a second time. In this week’s episode, we cover our top and bottom five from the previous year, recount several old jokes, and even manage to make a couple of new ones. We plug a few of our favorite episodes and books, revisit old hatred, and are generally the same vainglorious, self-indulgent goofballs that by now you expect us to be.

The music bump is “It Was A Very Good Year” as arranged by Gordon Goodwin and performed by Take Six and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.

42 – 2012-13 Year in Review

A quick correction: North Dakota did not pass a “personhood” law, they merely okayed putting a “personhood” law up for referendum.