Novel Ideas is back for another month of sibling book-related antics. This time with The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne. We chose this book as part of our ongoing campaign to read more fiction about and/or by non-white, non-male authors. In this episode we discuss women in science fiction, elements of good world building, travel narratives, and feminism. We also talk about partially digested (probably not) snakes, how not to share your Golden Meaning, give advice on whether to murder (hint: no), and strange personal belief systems.
The music bump is “The Road” by Tenacious D.
A different spin on the travel narrative with an ending full of “wat.”
Ben: 7/10. Not knowing what was going on for at least half of the story did not prevent me from enjoying it.
Gabs: 7/10. Points for the concept, but deductions for the confusion.
Welcome back to the zombie apocalypse. Or almost apocalypse. This week on Novel Ideas, we read World War Z by Max Brooks. This book is a little bit different from other books that we’ve read in that it doesn’t really have characters or a plot, but is instead written in the style of an oral history. Because of that, we changed our format slightly for this week’s episode. We talked about the movie, the breakdown of society, the nature of celebrity, and gender balance. We also discussed zombie tropes, the fact that dogs hate zombies, historical zombie fiction, and zombie war psychology. Basically, we discussed everything zombie related we could think of.
The music bump is “The Trooper” by Iron Maiden, used to bait zombies at the Battle of Hope.
An interesting and compelling book about 80-90% of the time. It drags just a little at the end, but not enough to put a damper on the experience of reading it. The book includes some excellent world building in telling a well covered genre story in a different way.
Novel Ideas Harry Poddercast Extravaganza continues with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. (Turns out all of them are by J.K. Rowling, go figure.) In this episode, we discuss the longest (thus far) book in the series, covering some topics we’ve already visited, such as wizard racism, and some topics that you would assume we’ve covered, such as feminism. Not to mention editing errors, elaborate villain schemes, the importance of world building, and whether 700 pages is too long. And that’s before we get into Draco’s secret pain, shaving mishaps, face punching, and whether Voldemort would be even creepier with a weird mustache. We hope you enjoy!
The music bump is Mike Relm’s “Harry Potter Remix of Death,” one of many Harry Potter remixes floating around the internet.
I probably don’t even have to mention that we highly recommend this book, but just in case, we highly recommend this book.
This week’s episode is The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K LeGuin, a novel about a genderless society on a harsh, winter planet. Join us as we discuss the effects of a sexless society, the lack of warfare, and repression, both sexual and governmental. We also talk about ridiculous sci-fi names, gender bending, and pronoun problems.
The music bump is “Journey Home” by Maria Schneider, partly because of the hundred page journey home across the glaciers of Gethen, but mostly because I like it.
For those of you who have read the book already, here’s something interesting that I found:
Welcome to Middle Earth (or possibly New Zealand), as we discuss The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien this week on Novel Ideas. This is an obscure fantasy tale with an even more obscure feature length movie that no one has seen. Also, the Peter Jackson movie that everyone in the world has seen. In this episode, we cover the big issues, such as: world building, the logical way to divide an epic story in three parts, and the lack of female characters. We also cover more philosophical questions, like whether elves bang, if Gandalf is shy, and Tom Bombadil’s ADHD. I also attempted a tweak with my audio processing, so if it sounds weird on your listening device of preference, please leave a comment.
The music bumps are from Howard Shore’s excellent score to the movie version of Fellowship, specifically the theme that probably comes to mind when you think of that soundtrack.