Interview episodes

Oppression & survival – with Sunyi Dean

While World War 2 saw greater opportunities for women on the home front while so many working-age men were away at war, there are many more examples of hard times bringing curbs on women's rights. We only have to read the daily news to see it in action. But why is...

No trope is an island – with Foz Meadows

As you've hopefully worked out by now, we are big proponents of the need for diverse representation in speculative fiction. And while we are certainly seeing more LGBTQ+ relationships portrayed in the genres we love, there's still a long way to go. But what about...

Cyberpunk with Kimberly Unger

These days, 'punk' is added to a whole host of different genres, sub-genres, and words never before used to indicate book genres before. But there was once only one kind of literary punk: cyberpunk. Pioneered in the 1980s by authors like Pat Cadigan, William Gibson,...

Metaphor and social commentary with Saara El-Arifi

Please be aware that we discuss some fairly heavy topics in this episode, including addiction, violence against children, and racially motivated violence. Also, less serious in nature but full disclosure: I reference Star Trek really early in this episode. I was proud...

The haunt – with Michelle Paver

It’s easy to see why haunted houses are frightening – most of us live in a house and share a terror of what might happen if some unpleasant force took up residence there alongside us. Similarly, folk horror that is rooted in a particular place can challenge our sense...

Families in horror with Priya Sharma

The best horror takes place when we are at our most vulnerable. In our house. Under our bed. The best monsters are those that we trust because they have the greatest capacity for betrayal. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that families feature so strongly in horror...

Curses and consent – with Heather Walter

Fairy tales are both timeless and personal. We see their themes and motifs repeated in stories spanning centuries.But while the characters and scenarios might be familiar, the morals change over time. The story’s message may differ depending on who is telling that...

Rights, retellings and the Ramayana – with Vaishnavi Patel

When Madeline Miller published Circe, it heralded the start of a new wave of feminist retellings, in which writers revisited well-known classics in order to tell the stories of those excluded from the dominant narrative. Now the popularity of mythological retellings...

“Do not take me for granite” – with Amal El-Mohtar

Ursula K Le Guin is the very definition of a legend. So many of us found our way to speculative fiction through her works, while others only realised later that the tropes we so loved – considered cliched now – were fresh and new when Le Guin brought them to life....