Breaking the glass slipper

Women in Speculative Fiction

Women have been creating and starring in science fiction, fantasy, and horror since genre fiction began. We are here to celebrate the wonderful contribution of women to speculative fiction. 

The podcast has been shortlisted for the British Fantasy Awards and nominated for a Hugo Award.


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About the podcast

Our episodes discuss trends and issues in speculative fiction across books, films, TV, and games, including interviews with industry experts.

Science fiction

Science and technology are the order of the day. Let’s explore the final frontier together.


The home of magic and dragons. The only limit is your imagination.


Be prepared for thrills and chills. This is no place for the faint hearted.

Epic episodes

Sometimes you will find us arguing amongst ourselves and for other episodes, we will bring on one or two special guests to throw the discussion open with diverse voices.

Who We are

The podcast was the brainchild of pop culture commentator Megan Leigh, who enlisted the help of fantasy author Lucy Hounsom and horror writer and romance editor Charlotte Bond to create the perfect podcasting dream team.

Charlotte Bond

Ghostwriter, author, commissioning editor and reviewer. In 2015, she became the commissioning editor for Gemstone Romance. She is also a reviewer on the Ginger Nuts of Horror website and a guest reviewer at Jane and Bex’s Book Blog. You can find her on her FaceBook page or follow her on Twitter @offred85.

Lucy Hounsom

Author of The Worldmaker Trilogy, the first book of which, Starborn, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Morningstar Award for best fantasy debut in 2016. She’s also a Waterstones bookseller and lives in Devon, UK with two cats and many dragons. You can follow her @silvanhistorian.

Megan Leigh

Writer of fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared on Pop Verse, SFWA, SFF World, Pornokitsch, and Writers’ Workshop. She reviews books for the British Fantasy Society. Follow her @m_leigh_g.

Latest Episodes

You can listen to Breaking the Glass Slipper on most platforms, for instance: Spotify, iTunesSoundcloudStitcherTuneIn, and via RSS Feed.

The moment of the novella with JY Yang

I have been thoroughly enjoying JY Yang’s Tensorate series of novellas so wanted to chat to them about blending science fiction and fantasy, non-binary representation in SFF, and using different structures and forms across a series!  Fair warning – there is a lot...

Disney Princes

Previously on Breaking the Glass Slipper we have covered Disney princesses. This time we thought we would turn our attention to the men. But we’re a podcast about women! So why spend an entire episode focusing on princes and other male protagonists in Disney films? ...

Alternate histories with Mary Robinette Kowal

Alternate history narratives – regardless of whether they have overt fantasy or sci-fi elements – are ultimately ‘what if’ narratives. This is the same basic principle underlying all speculative fiction, so it is no wonder they made such good bedfellows. Have you ever...

Islands in speculative fiction: Live from WorldCon

Much of W. B. Yeats’ poetry is inspired by the rich mythological fabric of Ireland. This is the land of the Sidhe, the banshee, the merrow. But the island itself has a character, an identity, in the geographical, historical and metaphysical sense. So, in homage to our...

Trinities with Jen Williams

From ancient mythology and religious texts to Star Trek and Harry Potter, trinities – or trios – have always been a common motif. Why is the power of three so potent and what tropes do we tend to see?  To help us delve into this subject, we have enlisted the help of...

Alien at 40: The making of a feminist icon

In 1979, one of the most seminal sci-fi films ever made was shown for the first time on the big screen. Ridley Scott’s Alien is a dark, disturbing and downright terrifying addition to the Hollywood Hall of Fame. 2019 marks 40 years since Alien was born (or possibly...

The importance of diversity in children’s books

Today's episode was inspired by an article that appeared on The Guardian with the headline 'Picture book bias worsens as female characters stay silent.' The piece was based on research into books published in the last year, showing that most picture books 'present a...

Women write Science Fiction – with Lisa Yaszek

I don't want the future to be female. I want it to be for everyone.Lisa Yaszek In a fascinating episode that covers everything from telepathic matriarchies to lesbian vampire fiction, academic Lisa Yaszek chats to us about the history of women writers in science...

The problem with the chosen one

In our last episode, we had author Aliette de Bodard on to discuss the absence of mothers in speculative fiction. One explanation put forward was the focus of chosen one narratives – these stories rely on the protagonist achieving something great, against all odds,...

Representations of motherhood with Aliette de Bodard

We were inspired to speak to Aliette about representations of motherhood in speculative fiction after reading her excellent essay 'On Motherhood and Erasure'. There's no denying that mothers are demonstrably absent from most speculative fiction. Whether they died...

Our blog

Is audio content not your bag? No worries! Every two weeks we interview some of your favourite authors, editors, and content creators on our blog!