Dissecting Dragons: Episode 86: Leches, Perverts and Peeping Toms - Attitudes to Sexual Depravity in Speculative Fiction

September 29, 2017

Episode 86: Leches, Perverts and Peepin Toms - Attitudes to Sexual Depravity in Speculative Fiction

 

Tropes - narrative devices that characterise particular genres of fiction - are usually good things, afterall what's wrong with giving your readers more of what they want? However the dragons would argue that certain tropes are outdated and potentilly harmful for normlising ot playing for laughs attitudes that really need to be addressed. One such trope is that of the lecherous but otherwise inoffensive (in actions at least) mentor character and all of his ilk. This character is the sly voyuer, the author of unwanted but 'harmless' groping. A particularly prevalent character in anime and comic books. This week sff authors M.E.Vaughan and J.A.Ironside take a look at various examples in speculative fiction, examining what this says about out attitudes to sex and sexual harrassment. On the slab this week; Full Metal Alchemist, Dragon Ball Z, Kushiel's Avatar - Jacqueline Carey and The Thief with no Shadow - Emily Gee, as well as Marvel, DC and other comic book universes as a whole. 

 

Title Music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 85: Witches, Bitches & Shrews - The Wise Woman Archetype in Speculative Fiction

September 22, 2017

Episode 85: Witches, Bitches and Shrews - The Wise Woman Archetype in Speculative Fiction

 

The wise woman or witch archetype is one of the oldest in collective human memory, dating back far further than we can track it. Once it hovered on the edge of being a respectable, if occasionally feared, profession. Just how did the word 'witch' come to be loaded with so many varied and often negative connotations? Why is it such an enduring archetype? From the Witch of Endor to the Alewives of York, from the 'keening women' of Ireland to modern day practitioners of wicca, the dragons examine exactly what makes a witch and how the archetype is used in speculative fiction. In the petri dish this week - The Whitby Witches by Robin Jarvis, The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden and many more.

 

Title music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 84: More Tainted Love - the Romantic Subplot in Speculative Fiction

September 21, 2017

Episode 84: More Tainted Love - the Romantic Subplot in Speculative Fiction

 

This week the Dragons return to the question of romantic subplots and romantic tropes in speculative fiction. When is a love triangle not a love triangle? What exactly are the implications of 'not like the other girls' and 'girl on girl hate'? What is the attraction with 'alpha male behaviour' and why does it form an unholy trinity with Love triangles and the 'jealousy' trope. Looking at observations made in previous podcasts the dragons expand on and re-examine those tropes. On the slab this week: The Twilight Sage - Stephanie Meyer, The Vampire Diaries - L.J. Smith, The Remnant Chronicles - Mary E, Pearson and many more.

 

Title Music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragon: Episode 83: Spellbinding Songs, Enchanting Tunes & the Magic of Music in Fiction

September 8, 2017

Episode 83: Spellbinding Songs, Enchanting Tunes & the Magic of Music in Fiction.

 

From theme tunes to film scores, folksongs to the tune that isn't ever heard merely described in words on the page, music has a particular power to create and support narrative. This week SFF authors M.E.Vaughan and J.A.Ironside explore how music is used in speculative fiction and just why music creates chains of association far more readily than tropes utilizing our other senses. On the slab this week; the multi film Marvel universe, Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkin's series, Robin Hoood (various incarnations) and many more.

 

Title Music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 82: Incubi, Vampires and Fallen Angels - the Demon Lover in Speculative Fiction

September 1, 2017

Episode 82: Incubi, Vampires and Fallen Angels - the Demon Lover in Speculative Fiction

 

A popular SFF trope, especially in paranormal and urban fantasy, is that of the baddest of bad boys - the demon lover. But where exactly does this archetype originate? And what is the basis of the appeal? SFF authors M.E.Vaughan and J.A.Ironside delve into the origins of the demon lover. From early myth to fairy tales to modern portrayals, the dragons examine the link between mindset and sexuality in this speculative phenomenon. On the slab this week - Twilight - Stephanie Meyer, Incubus - Carol Goodman, Grimoire - Kim Wilkins and The Witching Hour - Anne Rice together with many more.

 

Title music - Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragon: Episode 81: War! What is it good for… in Storytelling?

August 25, 2017

Episode 81: War! What is it good for...in Storytelling?

 

War is often used as a backdrop for narrative. In everything from modern and historical romance to science fiction, war successfully depicts times of change and upheaval, adding an extra dimension to a developing character arc. This week the dragons delve into how this is used in speculative fiction. What exactly is the attraction using of huge scope idea like war? And how do you show that scope whilst still making it about the characters, keeping the reader firmly in the moment? On the slab this week recent DC hit film Wonder Woman, A Court of Wings and Ruin by S.J.Maas and many more.

 

Title music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 80: Pivot Points - Historical Moments that changed Everything

August 18, 2017

Episode 80: Pivot Points - Historical Moments that changed Everything

 

This week the dragons are delighted to welcome back historical fiction and non-fiction author. Matthew Willis. Recently the first book in Matt and Jules (J.A.Ironside)'s co-written duology - Oath and Crown - was released. An Argument of Blood looks at the first half of the political events that would culminate in the battle of Hastings in 1066. Since this was easily one of the pivot points of history that changed the face of England, Europe and probably the world, this weeks podacast focuses on Historical Fiction and on historical pivot points, where if events had fallen out just a little differently, the world as we know it now would be unrecognisable. Join us for an in depth episode of historical speculation.

 

Title Music: Ecstasy  by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragon: Episode 79: Ouija Boards, Possessed Dolls & Bloody Mary - the Fascination with Supernatural Games

August 11, 2017

Episode 79: Ouija Boards, Possessed Boards & Bloody Mary - the Fascination with Supernatural Games

 

In a slight departure from noramal, this week the dragons examine the strange phenomenon of 'supernatural games'. From ouija boards to haunted houses, from one man hide and seek to the midnight game, what is it about games that flirt with the supernatural that appeals or attracts people? Where did this phenomenon originate and what exactly is it about them that inspires speculative fiction? Find out in this weeks episode.

 

(A list of games can be found here.)

 

Title Music: Ecstacy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragons: Episode 78: Portents, Symbols and Future Knowledge - Precognition and Foreshadowing in Speculative Fiction

August 4, 2017

Episode 78: Portents, Symbols & Future Knowledge - Precognition & Foreshadowing in Specuative Fiction

 

Done correctly, foreshadowing in a novel should be almost invisible yet nevertheless prepare the reader for what is going to happen in the story. The week the dragons delve into foreshadowing specifically in speculative fiction where literal 'foreshadowing' or precognition can also be used as a device to shape the narrative to great effect. Why is it that we need to know on some level where a story is going without actually knowing how it ends in advance? SFF authos M.E.Vaughan and J.A.Ironside tackle this and other questions in this week's episode. In the petri dish this week - On the Edge of Tomorrow, Dune by Frank Herbert and many more.

 

Title Music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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Dissecting Dragon: Episode 77: Man out of Time - Displaced Protagonists in Speculative Fiction

July 28, 2017

Episode 77: Man out of Time - Displaced Protagonists in Speculative Fiction

 

One way of really exploring a character's journey is to 'light fires', that is set up a situation in which a character has to confront who they think they are and whether that is true in order to overcome an obstacle or even just to survive. This is especially apparent when authors take a character and remove them from their own time/ society/ culture/ place. It is also apparent in reverse where a character has never felt like they belonged to their time or their culture's social constructs, always being something of an outsider in their own life. As a recurring theme in speculative fiction what does that say about our own dears of not belonging? Or our own sense of being alienated from our own lives? This week the dragons delve into the phenomenon of 'displaced protagonists'. Simmering over the bunsen burner on a low flame we have The Walking Dead, 28 days Later, The Chronicles of St Mary's by Jody Tailor, Rip Van Winkle and many more. Join us for a discussion in finding the story you belong in.

 

Title Music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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