Discussion episodes

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...

Women’s jobs in science fiction

With 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 them in traditionally male-dominated jobs? #SorryNotSorry...

Toxic masculinity

We 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 discuss the...

Idealised characters and Mary Sues

We've all encountered them – characters who can do anything. They have physical and mental abilities beyond every other character in that world, perhaps even abilities that no one else in the world has in any capacity. They are so good-looking there are no words to...

Describing women with Gwen C. Katz

YA author Gwen C. Katz came across a forum thread about men's ability to write female characters. There was the usual toxicity there – brushing off any criticism as more 'SJW bullshit'. She wanted to speak out, but she had no idea her comments would strike such a...