Our Episodes

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,...

Addressing our biases

Entrenched racism is all around us. This is not a new phenomenon nor the first time racism has been headline news – and yet we have a seemingly incredible ability to forget the atrocities committed daily as long as they aren't at the top of the news cycle. We can’t...

Horror and isolation with Melinda Salisbury

You know the drill, you are alone in the middle of a foggy field and there’s no one within miles… except the person following you. There’s no one coming to help you. Isolation is an ever-present theme in horror fiction, one that has become part of reality for many of...

Back to the 80s: Willow

Well, it's that time again: 80s family film funtime! Today we are looking at 1988's Willow, starring Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer, directed by Ron Howard with a story by George Lucas. But first, let's set the scene. It is a time of dread. Seers have foretold the birth...

Gendering monsters

Monster. Freak. Beast. These words are often thrown around, but what do we really mean when we use them? What is a monster? Why are they so central to our narratives? Like many of the issues we discuss on this podcast, the idea of monstrosity features built-in sexism....

Narration and ambiguity with Camilla Bruce

When we pick up a book, we know we’re going to be told a story. We trust the author or, in the case of first-person POV the narrator, to tell us the truth. We might be reading about vengeful ghosts or glorious dragons that take our imagination to the very limits of...

Finding the magic in magical realism – with Natasha Pulley

Speculative fiction has always been a genre that challenges traditional views and established ways of seeing. We regularly discuss how the worlds that genre authors create are arenas in which it’s possible to tackle social narratives away from conventional models. But...