Dissecting Dragons: Episode 106: Kali-ma, Inanna & Anath - The Creator-Destroyer in Myth and Speculative Fiction

February 23, 2018

Episode 106: Kali-ma, Inanna & Anath - The Creator-Destroyer in Myth and Speculative Fiction

 

This week the dragons delve back into the mists of time to unearth the archeype of the primorial earth goddess. Don't be decieved because these goddesses are depicted with sheaves of corn that they are all about fertility and free love - they really aren't. From the Semetic Goddess Anath to the Hindu Kali, from Sekhmet, goddess of slaughter and medicine and war to Ceridwyn, Welsh godess of poetry, wisdom and retribution, these are the great destroyers and their myths are often bloodier than that of their male counterparts. Looking at how these drak goddesses are enjoying a resurgence due in part to works such as Naomi Alderman's The Power, SFF authors M.E.Vaughan and J.A.Ironside talk about their favourite creator-destroyers.

 

Title music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 105: The Book Hangover - Fictional Worlds that won’t Let You Go

February 16, 2018

Episode 105: The Book Hangover - Fictional Worlds that won't Let you Go

Anniversary Episode!

Available for download now from Itunes, Googleplay and Podbean

Join the dragons as they celebrate their 2 year anniversary. This week SFF authors Jules and Madeleine take a look at an affliction suffered at some point by all lovers of speculative fiction - the book hangover. What happens when you love a book or film so much that you just can't entirely emerge from that world and deal with reality? Drawing on personal experience of both consumiung and creating speculative fiction, the dragons tackle the problem with their usual wit and incisiveness. On the slab this week Avatar, The Dresden Files, Harry Potter and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials.

 

Title Music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 104: Bones, Boyd and Cottle - The Physician Archetype in Speculative fICTION

February 9, 2018

Episode 104: Bones, Boyd and Cottle - the Physician Atchetype in Speculative Fiction

 

One of the most enduring character tropes in SFF fiction is that of the healer or doctor. From the many physician of the Star Trek fantasy, to the ubiquitous wise woman or herbalist in fantasy, there is someone who can cure your ills in a spec fic setting - or end your troubles for good. So what aside from the obvious (the fact that we all need a doctor at some point in our lives) makes the character so appealing? And just how have popular versions of the character affected the archetype as a whole? In triage this week - Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, The Seven Waters Trilogy, Outlander and many more.

 

Title music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 103: Best Served Cold - Revenge Arcs in Speculative Fiction

February 2, 2018

Episode 103: Best Served Cold - Revenge Arcs in Speculative Fiction

 

This week Madeleine and Jules delve into the shadiest of character motivations - the revenge arc. We've all seen it at the beginning of a fantasy novel. If the quest doesn't get going when a boy is handed a magic sword, then the MC sees someone they love murdered in front of them and swears vengence upon the perpetrator. In the dragons opinion there are revenge arcs that really work...and those that really don't. Join us as we examine why that is. Cooling on the slab this week - Batman (of course), Maria V Snyder's Glass Series, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and many more.

 

Title music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 102: Squibs and Mundanes - Representation of Disability in Speculative Fiction

January 26, 2018

Episode 102: Squibs and Mundanes - Disability Representation in Speculative Fiction

 

This week the dragons explore the growing trend towards exploring physical and mental disability within the context of speculative fiction. An important movement which has gained traction over the last few years, it has certainly had some ups and downs. Drawing on their own personal experiences both with disability and with writing representative characters, Jules and Madeleine match this against popular examples in the genre, examining where the representation has worked and where it hasn't and why. On the slab this week - Carve the Mark - Veronica Roth, Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them (and by extension Harry Potter), Six of Crows- Leigh Bardugo and Ironside's Unveiled Series.

 

Title Music - Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic 

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 101: Back on the Broom - More Enchanting Children’s Fiction

January 19, 2018

Episode 101: Back on the Broom - More Enchanting Children's Fiction

 

This week, the dragons are delighted to welcome back children's author, James Nichol. The Apprentice Witch , James' first book, was released 7th July 2016 and was a huge hit. In the year and a bit since he's been very busy working on the next book in the series and has come back on the show to tell Jules and Madeleine what he's been up too. This episode looks at mid-grade children's fantasy (aka older junior fiction) and just why it is such an important contribution to library, classroom and bedroom bookshelves. What should good children's fantasy be able to do and what is probably best avoided? In the cauldron this week - The Apprentice Witch & A Witch Alone (of course), Dianna Wynne Jones, Who Let the Gods Out? - Mazz Evans, A Girl of Ink and Stars - Kiran Millwood Hargrave and many more.

(Read the first chapter of A Witch Alone)

 

Title music: Ecstasy - Smiling Cynic 

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 100: So You Want to Be a Writer? - Celebrating 100 Episodes of Dissecting Dragons

January 12, 2018

Episode 100: So You Want to be a Writer? - Celebrating 100 Episodes of Dissecting Dragons

 

In this anniversary episode, the dragons take a short stroll back through the previous 100 episodes and look at just how far they've come on their own writing journeys. SFF writers Jules and Madeleine ahve learned a lot since starting this podcast in February 2015 and there are plenty of tips, tricks and pearls of wisdom on all aspects of writing and publishing, but especially on those writing within speculative fiction. 

 

A huge thank you for all those who have supported us over the last (almost) two years. This episode is for you.

 

Title Music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 99: Long Live the Resistance - The Problem of Magical Revolution in Speculative Fiction

January 5, 2018

Episode 99: Long Live the Resistance - The Problem of Magical Revolution in Speculative Fiction

 

Speculative fiction has long been the perfect place to debate - via written word or screen - the dynamics of power and the appropriation of the same. One of the most commonly used metaphors is magic. And one of the most commonly used situations, especially in YA pec fic, is a radical overhaul of the status quo in which a group of 'others' are oppressed and then rise to challenge the system. The dragons love a good revolution as much as the next fantasy fans but there are times when you have to ask yourself what exactly is the story saying? Because magic equals power, and if the oppressed group have power then why are they oppressed? Could it be that unconsciously the love of a good resistance style plot occasionally means that authors punch down instead of up? SFF authors Jules and Madeleine take a look at where this works and where it clearly doesn't. Under the microscope this week  - The Black Magician Series - Trudi Canavan, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Red Queen Series - Victoria Aveyard, Gilded Cage - Vic James and many more.

 

Title Music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 98: In Review: 2017 - the Good, the Bad and the Weird

December 29, 2017

Episode 98: In Review: 2017 - the Good, the Bad and the Weird

 

Happy New Year to all of our Listeners!

 

In their end of year episode, the dragons reflect on their favourite and not so favourite parts of 2017, both personal and in the realms of speculative fiction. Looking at growing trends in terms of diversity representation and how a lot of main stream sff now includes non-preachy, subtle but tangible messages on questioning yourself and decency, Madeleine  and Jules settle in to chat about their top picks for books and films over the last year. On the slab this week - Thor Ragnarok, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Nevernight - Jay Kristoff, Red Sister - Mark Lawrence and Crooked Kingdom - Leigh Bardugo, as well as many more.

 

Title music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 97: Cheese and Crackers - Our Favourite Bad Christmas Films

December 22, 2017

Episode 97: Cheese and Crackers - Our Favourite Bad Christmas Films

 

This year the dragons decided to take a step away from looking at the origin or yuletide myths and winter tales and traditions to look at the phenomenon of the 'Chritmas film'. A light hearted, tongue in cheek romp  through the received favourite Christmas films - both their own and those most popular with others. On the carving board this week - Gremlins, Home Alone, Die Hard, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and of course A Muppets Christmas Carol.

 

Title music - Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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