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Ryan joins Craig and spins the Wheel of Tangents for the first time ever! They answer over a dozen questions submitted by patrons, including tough-to-visualize elements of books, their favorite love stories, and what they’d be reading if they weren’t making a podcast.
Spoilers through chapter 26! Todd, Kenn, and Stephanie are back for another installment of James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse. Up today, book five: Nemesis Games. They were told that getting through book 5 was a must, so here we are! Obviously this is an important book and an important discussion, so they spend the first two minutes talking about baseball. We’re here for you, people.
Hot on the heels of their Lord of the Rings series, Ryan and Craig bring along Todd to talk about Ursula K. Le Guin’s classic high fantasy story, A Wizard of Earthsea. While it’s lighter in page count than most of what they read, the story packs a real punch, and there’s plenty for the trio to unpack. Of course, that won’t stop them from being their usual tangential selves, but hey, there’s at least some unpacking…
Todd, Stephanie, and Kenn spend an hour laughing, crying, and arguing about whether or not SpaceX is the harbinger of an Expanse-like future. Kenn recaps, Todd blasts off to Level Three, and Stephanie shares her ONE WEIRD TRICK to make everyone’s life a little better.
Writing nearly 400,000 words wasn’t quite enough, so Tolkien included SIX appendices after The Lord of the Rings, covering so much extra stuff, from the story of Aragorn and Arwen and the histories of the Dwarves, the Rohirrim, and the Dunedain to the Shire calendar and an Elvish pronunciation guide. Much like the prologue, it’s easy to skim this section (or skip it entirely). But giving the appendices a little attention will unlock layers and colors to the story that make it even more fun and rewarding. In this episode, Craig and Megan briefly cover some of the highlights from the Lord of the Rings appendices.
Shed a tear for poor Kenn who has to try to recap this one. Todd, Kenn, and Megan are back together in the studio, ready to discuss Changes, book 12 of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. It’s the book that fans have been promising would blow their minds, and … that may just have happened. Listen in and hear how it went!
Kenn recaps, Stephanie endures, and Todd promises not to cry (ha ha) in this episode on Cibola Burn, the fourth book in The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey. The panel seems a little confused at the start about whether or how much they enjoy this book, but ultimately the consensus seems positive. Is it positive enough to continue with the series? We might have to wait until part 2 to find out!
Ryan hosts today’s episode, bringing in Kenn and Megan and newcomer Jim Christian to talk about Disney: the movies, the parks, the stories. What is it that gives Disney its peculiar magic? Why do other parks and other studios often fall short of what Disney is able to create? If you’re not a mega Disney fan, then buckle up, because this is a group of unapologetic mousketeers.
Craig, Ryan, and Megan reunite for the final part of the Lord of the Rings. Well, except for the appendices, and there will be an episode on that as well, it turns out. Anyway, for this one, they unlock the real meaning behind the Field of Cormallen scene, discuss why Frodo couldn’t be the one who destroyed the Ring, and get one more verse recap from Craig.
Veronica Roth, bestselling author of the Divergent series and the brand-new, adult-oriented fantasy Chosen Ones, joins Craig and Ryan to discuss her pick for the Author’s Shelf podcast series. Veronica had the guys read Dark Lord of Derkholm, a 1998 fantasy parody by Diana Wynne Jones. The trio has a good time picking apart a few of the key characters and themes of the book, and Veronica enlightens the group on the personal connection between Jones and Tolkien.
Ryan, Megan, and Professor Craig (whose elbow patches are back from the shop and in better shape than ever) tackle book 5 of The Lord of the Rings. There are battles and ghosts and pirates and dramatic suicides, among many other exciting things, so Craig kicks off the discussion with … 5 minutes about word order in the hobbits’ speech. Riveting stuff, rest assured.
Todd, Kenn, and Stephanie are back, once again recording remotely for their second conversation about Abaddon’s Gate, book 3 in The Expanse, by James S.A. Corey. Great times are had by all, which is made apparent by the fact that a simple laptop microphone clearly cannot handle Todd’s laugh.
Craig is joined by author Maram Taibah to discuss the assertion, “Great art has an age floor but no age ceiling.” They get into contextual issues, content issues, and what place YA fiction has to play in this discussion. They also talk about Maram’s book, Weathernose, and Craig gets an education on “children’s steampunk.”