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Five questions with Francesca T Barbini

Gender Identity and Sexuality in Current Fantasy and Science Fiction

In niche genres, independent publishers are more important than ever before. And one of the best speculative fiction presses currently out there is Luna Press. If you’ve never had the opportunity to speak to Francesca, I can’t recommend it highly enough – she knows her stuff and is overflowing with …

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S03, E17: Revisiting The Dark Crystal

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSSA Charlotte and Lucy special! After the success of our Labyrinth episode, we thought we’d have a bit of fun and take another look at one of our favourite films: The Dark Crystal. How does it hold up after 36 years?

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S03, E16: Magic, Wealth and Power with Vic James

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSSSocial inequality and the unequal distribution of wealth is more prevalent than ever and it’s a subject that sits at the heart of Dr Vic James’ fantasy trilogy. We talk to her about power plays and politics, female ambition, naughty aristocrats, …

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S03, E15: Women’s jobs in fantasy

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSSHaving already looked at women’s jobs in science fiction, we decided to turn our critical gaze to fantasy. Fantasy fiction tends to mimic the world that we know, whether historical or contemporary, but alters it in ways that can either be …

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S03, E14: Grimdark with Anna Smith Spark

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSSWe spoke with author Anna Smith Spark, Queen of Grimdark, to try and get to the bottom of what exactly Grimdark is. “In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war.” Full episode notes, including texts mentioned in …

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S03, E13: Women’s jobs in science fiction

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSSWith equality of pay and the drive to get more women in top executive jobs reaching the headlines in our current era, does the world of the future have women in the same roles they occupy now, or do they have …

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S03, E12: Toxic Masculinity

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSSWe started this podcast to highlight the issues around the representation of women in genre fiction. But women aren’t the only ones who suffer at the hands of harmful tropes, poor characterisation, and limiting traditional gender roles. In this episode, we …

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S03, E11: Women’s ghost stories with Melissa Edmundson Makala

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSSGhost literature written by women in the 19th century was more about social commentary than pure entertainment, argues academic Melissa Edmundson Makala. Charlotte positively geeks out with Melissa about her book, Women’s Ghost Literature in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Gothic Literary Studies).  Full episode …

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S03, E10: Idealised characters and Mary Sues

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSSMary Sues are idealised characters with no real flaws. They are dull, irritating, and strangely prevalent. We look at what it means to be a Mary Sue, why they can be problematic, and whether they might actually work… sometimes. Full episode …

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