Dissecting Dragons

Episode 284: From Tea Houses to Taverns - Tea, Coffee and Intoxicating Substances in History and Speculative Fiction

July 23, 2021

It's finally happened: Jules has finally persuaded Madeleine to talk about tea. Have no fear, however, because tea, coffee, tobacco, opium and many other substances have had a profound and tangled effect on history, human development and even literature. This week the dragons unravel how a seemingly innocuous substance such as a coffee bean or a tea leaf can in fact completely change the trajectory of a culture, which is reflected in poetry, prose and science. From there the dragons discuss how you can use this in your own work in terms of worldbuilding - the addition or subtraction of a single substance can change everything. Under the microscope this week - His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman, The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, Jodi Taylor's Time Police Series and many more.


Title music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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