Interview 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,...

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...

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...

Power through a gendered lens with Menna Van Praag

It has long been obvious that our world's power structures are set up to benefit men, so how does women's power play out in our narratives? What happens when women are suddenly given a power they are usually deprived of? Menna Van Praag joins us to discuss power in...

Cosmic horror with Premee Mohamed

Cosmic horror is an unhelpful term by itself. HP Lovecraft himself is quoted as saying that: The fundamental premise [of cosmic horror is] that common human laws and interest and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large.' But Wikipedia...

Onscreen representation of women with Kate Madison

Here on BtGS, we regularly discuss how female characters in SFF are depicted on-screen. From the infamous bikini armour to simply being absent from male-centric narratives – women have had their fair share of problematic portrayals. But is the tide turning? Joining us...