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Episodes

Violence as climactic conflict

Starship Troopers

All stories require conflict of some kind… but does it always need to be violent conflict? There is certainly a trend in fantasy, science fiction, and horror to find narratives driving towards a massive violent conclusion. These have become set-pieces, the very things that sell Blockbuster films to audiences. We …

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The Bechdel-Wallace test

Bechdel: Dykes to watch out for

Back in 1985, Alison Bechdel had the characters of her cartoon strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, jokingly make a gender equality ‘test’ for films. 33 years later, the Bechdel (or Bechdel-Wallace, to give credit to her friend Liz Wallace for the idea) test is still used to determine whether a …

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Christian mythology in fantasy with Jeannette Ng

The spark was just an old book and a bored undergrad. - Jeannette Ng

Charlotte takes the lead in this episode, where we chat to Jeannette Ng about her use of Christian mythology in her debut novel, Under the Pendulum Sun. From using relatively unknown elements of Christianity to developing alternate patriarchies to highlight the impermanence of our own, Jeannette is as interesting as she is …

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2017 in review and anticipation for 2018

Are you ready for your to-read and to-watch lists to explode? Charlotte, Lucy, and I discuss our favourite genre pieces of 2017 and what we’re most looking forward to in 2018. We lament terrible accents and characters that have no agency, celebrate all the books, films, and TV we loved, …

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Interview with RJ Barker

Age of Assassins

Regular listeners will already be familiar with the fabulous RJ Barker who joined us live at Nine Worlds to discuss realistic characters. This week, Charlotte interviews RJ about writing female characters, his favourite genres, and writing characters with disabilities. RJ’s stellar debut, Age of Assassins, combines elements of traditional fantasy with …

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Subverting social norms with Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Most science fiction and fantasy focus on humans – or at least societal structures that are recognisable from within cultures on Earth. Given that genre fiction is meant to be one of unlimited imagination, why do we find it so difficult to imagine societies where hierarchies aren’t defined by gender, …

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Diversity in video games with Emily Marlow

How important are video games in showcasing diversity? Can they do it better than other forms of media? Whether ‘diversity’ means eschewing the traditional cis white male protagonist or encountering a broad spectrum of race, gender and relationships, can gaming offer us a safe space to explore topics we might …

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Witchcraft, ritual, and power

This week, we are taking a slight detour from our usual subject matter and taking a look at witchcraft and ritual in the real world from writers who identify as witches and explore these ideas in their non-fiction writing. After coming across Katie West’s latest project, Becoming Dangerous, I wanted to …

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Mythical females

The Fates from Disney's Hercules

Mermaids, Harpies, Valkyries, Succubae, Sirens, Banshees, Nymphs – We’ve been encountering the mythical female in literature and folklore for thousands of years. She appears in numerous religions, sometimes as saviour, sometimes as a harbinger of doom. She lures men to their death, transports them to the afterlife, enchants them, tricks …

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