Our Episodes

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...

Into the Wood – with Emily Tesh

Humanity is intrinsically bound up with nature and the natural world. We are its creatures, we depend on it for survival, we fear it, love it, deify it...and we've become quite good at killing it. Ours is a complex relationship as old as the species. And people have...

The Cabin in the Woods: horror, comedy & choice

Variously listed as a horror, comedy and fantasy film by different websites, one thing is certain: Cabin in the Woods, by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, defies easy labelling. Is this a send-up of the horror genre in the style of Scary Movie? Is it a rumination on...

Aberrant and broken magic with Melissa Caruso

Many of our favourite narratives feature outsiders. They might be alone by virtue of the burden of prophecy, come from the wrong side of the tracks, or simply don’t adhere to behaviour and interests their society expects of them, we see these tropes pop up all over...

Gender in Chivalric Romance

The Story of Silence is based on a 13th century French chivalric romance, distinguished by its prominent discussion of gender. Reimagined by Alex Myers, we found it to be a compelling exploration of transgender identity in an oppressively binary medieval society - and...

Mermaids with Beth Cartwright

Traditional stories of mermaids describe the creatures as beautiful maidens who sing sweetly as they lounge on rocks and comb their long, flowing hair… but like sirens, mermaids lure sailors to their death with their beauty and song. The less popular of the merfolk,...

Deconstructing the Chosen One – with Veronica Roth

We have long been obsessed with the chosen one. This ubiquitous archetype has spawned thousands of heroic narratives involving a prophecy and a great evil to be overcome. But in recent years, we’re seeing less and less of the standard trope, and more subversions,...