Discussion episodes

Sex! Pregnancy! Birth! Representations of reproduction

In this episode, we discuss all things reproduction. That's right: sex, pregnancy, birth – the whole shebang around creating new life and what it means to a woman's position, as represented in genre fiction. We (supposedly) have a biological drive to propagate our...

Choose your own Bandersnatch

While we were all winding down from Christmas, Charlie Brooker and the Black Mirror gang were getting ready to mess with our minds yet again. December 28th saw the release of the one-off interactive Netflix special 'Bandersnatch' to mixed reviews. But no one can deny...

Seasonal scares

The holiday season comes with all kinds of traditions. From special desserts to the annual family bust-up. Whether you like a feel-good story at this time of year or something a little more spine-tingling, there's magic enough for everyone. In this episode, Charlotte...

Unravelling mysteries (Live from FantasyCon 2018)

Alternate episode title: Magic goat sword (it will make sense if you listen!) If you're planning a murder, always have a koala with you! Works of fiction are rarely confined to a single genre, especially when it comes to speculative fiction. There are sci-fi westerns,...

Writing (female) characters

Writing better female characters is covered in a lot of writing advice. Many of these pieces will preface their comments with sarcastic comments like ‘Women are people too, duh’. This sort of statement, I think, should make the topic a moot point – not how to write...

Disposable characters

Redshirts. No sooner are they introduced than they are killed. The tension rises, there are beads of sweat on Kirk’s brow… now the audience knows the peril is real. These stock, disposable characters exist in a story solely for the purpose of being disposed of –...

Revisiting The Dark Crystal

A Lucy and Charlotte 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. If you haven’t seen this cult Henson classic, The Dark Crystal tells the story of Jen,...

Women’s jobs in fantasy

While Charlotte and Megan geeked out about Star Trek (sparing poor Lucy who puts up with enough of that) when discussing women's jobs in science fiction, in this episode, all three of us shine a light on female careers in fantasy. We have found that few women in...

Grimdark with Anna Smith Spark

Sometimes the sheer number of sub-genres and niche areas within the SFF world can feel completely overwhelming. What do they all mean? Where does one thing become another? One of the most confusing – and most commonly talked about – sub-genres is Grimdark. Other than...