Breaking the glass slipper

Women in Speculative Fiction

Women have been creating and starring in science fiction, fantasy, and horror since the genre began. We are here to celebrate the wonderful contribution of women to speculative fiction. We are an intersectional feminist podcast and embrace all voices.

Breaking the Glass Slipper won Best Audio in the 2019 British Fantasy Awards  and was 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.

Matriarchies – with Aliette de Bodard

The world as we know it has historically been ruled by men. But when it comes to fiction, writers can choose what power structures they create and how they are depicted. Despite the free rein this allows authors, most simply replicate the patriarchy. When...

Loneliness in science fiction with Aliya Whiteley

Space. The final frontier. An empty, endless expanse of nothing? Or teeming with life?But do we really need to look beyond the confines of our world to find loneliness? We are currently fighting a pandemic, and in its wake, a loneliness epidemic. Despite our constant...

Hollywood Monsters – with Mallory O’Meara

History is written by the winners. By men. Early editors of science fiction anthologies chose to exclude works by women, and in doing so, made many believe that women did not write science fiction in the genre's earliest years. This is just a single example and by no...

Magical inequality with Nicole Glover

In last year’s episode on magical realism, we talked about this genre’s ability to take a recognisable setting and tilt it a few degrees, creating something familiar and yet not quite what we’re used to. Alternate history can do this too – by revisiting a moment in...

Scrooge reimagined

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is one of the staples of Christmas. As well as the original book, it’s possible to watch adaptations involving among others Bill Murray, Jim Carey, Patrick Stewart, and (mine and Megan’s favourite) Michael Caine. It has even been...

Language & Power – with Genevieve Cogman

We constantly discuss themes, stereotypes and assumptions in popular culture, but we don’t often stop to look more closely at the way those issues are expressed. I’m talking about language, and its ability to explore ideas in a highly nuanced way. Phrases like "bad...

Childhood Heroines

Or 'Extraneous Fangirling' as I subtitled this episode while editing it. And in truth there is a fair bit of fangirling, but there's also a lot of critical reflection to go with it. Because when we looked back at the books and shows we enjoyed as kids, we found some...

Reclaiming the vampire – with Vivian Shaw

Just in time for Halloween, we spoke to author Vivian Shaw about everyone's favourite "monster" - the vampire! Immortal vampires have occupied the human imagination for centuries. Whether you prefer the Twilight, Buffy or Bram Stoker type, don't expect them to turn to...

The invisibility of women with V.E. Schwab

Women have always played important roles throughout history, yet too often they are written out of official histories. We have touched on this before on our podcast, referencing essays like Kameron Hurley’s 'We Have Always Fought'.  This cultural pattern has...

A magical education with Naomi Novik

There are some genre tropes that are ubiquitous in fantasy, from the ensemble quest to overthrowing a dark lord. Magical schools are yet another trope we have come to know and love. Whether you are a fan of early narratives like Le Guin’s Wizard of Earthsea or...

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!