How much can we — or should we — separate art from the artist? Which stories would end the fastest if the protagonist weren’t an idiot? What kind of music is best for reading? Craig, Kyle, and Todd take on these questions and more as they spin the Wheel of Tangents this week.

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Where do we draw the line between cynicism and credulity? Is the brand of psychopathy on display by Zymun recognizable in our lives? Are we letting our internal “Kip #2” win out over our internal “Kip#1”? Ryan, Craig, and Stephanie sit down to hash out the second half of The Blinding Knife, book 2 in the Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks.

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Craig and Kyle spin the wheel! Today’s topics include the best way to consume books (audio vs e-reader vs dead trees); why Death of the Author is generally a stupid theory; and what they like to read outside of the sci-fi/fantasy genres.

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It’s a divisive entry in the Dresden Files: Blood Rites, Jim Butcher’s sixth installment in the series, apparently isn’t for everyone. So did our Blue Team enjoy it? Todd, Kenn, and Megan will get down and dirty in their discussion of the book whose plot revolves around problems on a porn set. Oh yeah, speaking of which: the plot of this book revolves around a porn set, thus the discussion during this episode revolves around a plot that revolves around a porn set. Driving in the car with your kids? Heads up. But if you’re ready to listen, it’ll be a fun discussion.

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Craig and Megan spin the Fantasy Wheel! We took several listener suggestions for topics and chose a few of them to speak about for a few minutes. Topics include: whether we can judge books objectively; fantasy speed dating; overused tropes; and our favorite antagonists.

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Which is the higher good, freedom or power? Is there any nuance to be had in a discussion of the evil of slavery? Are rich people just the worst? Today we’re talking through the first half of The Blinding Knife, the second book in Brent Weeks’s Lightbringer series. This episode is chock full of heavy stuff — and fun stuff! — to talk about, and we’ll get to … well, at least some of it.

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This episode will be best heard if you can see those works of Miranda’s that we reference, over at MirandaMeeks.com. Miranda is an artist whose work frequently graces the covers — and sometimes pages — of Brandon Sanderson’s books, as well as other novels. (Several prints adorn the walls of our studio, in fact.) Her style is at once dark, accessible, and unique, and on top of that she is a wonderful conversational partner. Listen in, I think you’ll enjoy this interview.

Get updates about Miranda’s forthcoming art book at http://nocturnebook.com

Craig, Ryan, and Stephanie discuss the second half of Brent Weeks’s The Black Prism, book 1 in the Lightbringer series. After a long setup in the first half, we get a lot of interesting questions and moments to chew on. Why is this book titled The Black Prism? Is it actually awful that the Chromeria expects a high price from their ranks of drafters? What exactly is a turtle-bear? And Craig makes at least one bold prediction for the rest of the series.

 

This episode is truly a first: the first time we’ve ever read a historical action comedy horror parody of a 19th century classic. Oh, and it’s also our first-ever ladies-only show! Stephanie and Megan welcome newcomer Kate to the Legendarium and together the three of them dissect (eww) this fun, hilarious, sometimes gory, sometimes touching book.

 

Craig, Ryan, and Kyle continue through The Hobbit, discussing (we’re using that term as broadly as possible here) chapters eight through eleven. Without Stephanie to keep the guys on track, things get … well let’s just say it’s not as polished a conversation as she might have helped provide. Together they discuss Mirkwood, giant spiders, elves, barrels, Lake Town, and opening Erebor’s back door.

 

TBR = “to be read.” Most of us have a TBR pile, but some of us can get a bit overwhelmed by it. For this topic, Craig, Ryan, and Kyle are joined by a special guest: YouTube sensation Daniel Greene. (And now we expect him to put “‘YouTube sensation’ -The Legendarium” in all of his promotional materials.) Together they discuss not only their TBR piles and how they manage them, but also what it means to read deeply and whether that can be done if one is multitasking while working through that giant stack of books to be read.

 

The Blue Team is taking a deep breath before a giant Dresden plunge! In preparation for another spate of Dresden Files episodes coming up, Megan, Kenn, and Todd take stock of where they’re at in the series, how they’re enjoying, what they’re enjoying most, and what they’re looking forward to in coming books.

Look forward to at least another 4-5 Dresden episodes in the coming weeks!