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.

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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.

 

Our Dresden crew (Megan, Kenn, and Todd) tackle the second part of Changes, the 12th book in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. WHAT HAPPENED WITH HARRY? That’s … pretty much the major question to address in this one. Enjoy.

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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!

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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.

Visit Veronica’s website and check out Chosen Ones

Two weeks in a row?? What have our fans done to deserve this? Regardless, Kenn, Megan, and Todd are back for another round of talk about Turn Coat, the eleventh installment in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series.

 

Megan and Kenn join Todd to tackle the eleventh installment of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, Turn Coat. Supply your own witty filler here, I’m tired.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

Check out Maram’s website and Instagram

Megan and Kenn are joined by Todd (AND TODD’S F****** BIRDS) on this episode to further discuss Small Favor, the tenth book in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, as well as the associated novelette The Warrior.

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Craig, Ryan, and Megan reunite remotely for the next installment of their Lord of the Rings series of podcasts. Up today, Book 4, or the latter half of The Two Towers. In these ten chapters, we follow Frodo, Sam, and Gollum through the Emyn Muil, the Dead Marshes, Ithilien, and Shelob’s Lair. The panelists will discuss the split nature of the narrative, Sam’s place in the reader’s experience, and why Gollum’s final betrayal is possibly Tolkien’s best writing in all of The Lord of the Rings.

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The original Blue Team is back! Todd, Kenn, and Megan worked around their social distancing requirements and came together over the interwebs to discuss Small Favor, book 10 in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. If there’s a pool out there on when Todd would cry (we’re way past if), then get out your stopwatches.

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What quarantine? Oh, THAT quarantine. Todd, Stephanie, and Kenn wanted–no, needed to talk about the third installment in The Expanse, but had to rely on some remote software to do it. And it will take more than crappy sound quality and missing 10-minute chunk of audio to stop our intrepid trio. (In other words: forgive us, we tried.)

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The Ladies of the Legendarium are back! This time they take on a listener suggestion: Uprooted, by Naomi Novik. Stephanie, Megan, and Kate all read the book for the first time in preparation for this episode, so they’ve got some fresh takes for you. They also address some listener questions and comments to round things out.

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On this return to the “weekender” episodes, Craig is joined by Travis from The Fantasy Inn for a two-parter. In this episode, we  reminisce about our own entry points into fantasy, both as young readers and again as adults. What is it about certain books that sucks us into a genre and won’t let us go? And does that thing change as we age? Can lightning still strike as an adult, or does our entry point need to happen earlier? Let us know what you think by commenting on Ricochet.

And stick around for part 2, which will be published on 3/24 on the Fantasy Inn podcast. In that episode we extend the discussion into what we think are the best books, and the best ways, to introduce someone to the fantasy genre. Go subscribe to hear more.