The End : Read - Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

It’s the beginning of The End. In this episode, we discuss Frank Miller’s 1986 Batman run, The Dark Knight Returns. We talk about our mixed feelings about the run, its distinct visual and narrative styles, and the ways that it inspired the stories that followed it.

Topic: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley. Published in 1986 by DC Comics.

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Meddling Kids : Read - Meddling Kids

We open our topic with Edgar Cantero's Meddling Kids: a book with such a good name, we decided to name the whole topic after it. We dig into the novel itself, as well as its influences and the ways they enrich and burden the story it tries to tell.

Topic: Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero. Published in 2017 by Doubleday

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Fairy Tales 2.0 : Read - The Bloody Chamber

With Clio back, we wrap around to our Read for this series: Angela Carter’s collection of short stories, The Bloody Chamber. We work our way through the entire collection, which contains everything from from unconvincingly disguised tigers to the triumphant return of Puss in Boots.

Topic: The Bloody Chamber, by Angela Carter. Published in 1973 by Gollancz

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Witches : Read - Howl's Moving Castle

Our first witch takes us to the wastes and beyond in Diana Wynne Jones’s novel Howl’s Moving Castle. We briefly discuss some of the ways the book differs from the 2004 Miyazaki film, then dig into the book itself. Topics include found families, magic, vanity, and Wales.

Topic: Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones. Published in 1986 by Greenwillow Books

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Women of the Apocalypse : Read - Tank Girl

Our first trip to the apocalypse takes us down to the Australian outback, and then swiftly off the rails as we visit with none other than Tank Girl. Come along for the ride as we work through our fairly wide-ranging responses to Hewlett and Martin’s stylish and anarchistic comic.

Topic: Tank Girl, by Jamie Hewlett (a) and Alan Martin (w). Originally published between 1988 and 1995 in Deadline. Republished in 2009 by Titan Books.

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Digital Romance : Read - Crosstalk

Our first digital romance is Connie Willis’s Crosstalk, a novel about a young woman who undergoes a surgery that is supposed to bring her closer to her partner, but who ends up able to hear the thoughts of everyone around her.

Topic: Crosstalk, by Connie Willis. Published in 2016 by Del Rey

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Syncopated Worlds : Read - Folding Beijing

In a future Beijing that bends and folds to split its time between three distinct populations, a man undertakes an errand that reveals a city on the edge of an even bigger change. We dig into the gorgeous imagery and implications of the folding city, and discuss the pros and cons of seeing it in other media.

Topic: Folding Beijing, by Hao Jingfang. Originally published in 2012 on newsmth.net. English translation by Ken Liu originally published in 2015 on Uncanny Magazine.

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Summary Music: "Bathed in the Light" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Girls With Gifts : Read - Firestarter

We return to Stephen King for the episode to meet Firestarter’s girl with gifts: Charlie McGee. Charlie and her father make their way across New York, trying to stay one step ahead of the Shop, a shady government organization that’s going to be pretty tough to top.

Topic: Firestarter, by Stephen King. Published in 1980 by Viking Press

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Summary Music: “Constancy Part 1” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Sci-Fi Noir : Read - Altered Carbon

We slide into our Sci-Fi Noire topic like a Meth into a fresh sleeve by reading Richard K. Moragn’s Altered Carbon. Topics include the book’s successes and failures in storytelling and world building, its noire tendencies, and its depictions of women and religion.

Topic: Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan. Published in 2002 by Victor Gollancz Ltd.

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Summary Music: “Night on the Docks” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Psychological Horror : Read - The Shining

Stephen King’s The Shining opens our Psychological Horror topic with a bang. We examine King’s portrayal of violence, particularly in the audiobook, the heroes of the story, and the areas where the novel has aged better or more poorly than others. Quick note: we focus on King’s original novel in this episode, with very little discussion of Kubrick’s film adaptation. If you’re looking for a comparison, you’ll have to come back for the Topic episode! 

Topic: The Shining, by Stephen King. Published in 1977 by Doubleday

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Summary Music: “The Voices" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ 

Solitude : Read - The Windup Bird Chronicle

Our Solitude topic opens with one of Haruki Murakami's most popular works, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. In addition to considering the book itself, we discuss Murakami's style and the best books to read as an introduction to his body of work.

Topic: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami. Published in three volumes between 1994 and 1995 by Shinchosha in the original Japanese. Translated into English by Jay Rubin and published by Vintage in 1997.

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Summary Music: "Deadly Roulette" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ 

Escape : Read - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

We open our new series by taking a look at escape and escapism in the early 20th century with Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. In this episode, we  discuss our reactions to the book, and representations of comics in other media.

Topic: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon. Published in 2000 by Random House

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

(Life)time Travel : Read - Replay

We kick off our new (Life)time Travel series with Ken Grimwood's World Fantasy Award winning novel, Replay, in which Jeff Winston relives the last 25 years of his life over and over again. Special guest Corinne joins us as we dig into what makes the story feel so significant, and some of the ways in which it doesn't quite hold up.

Topic: Replay, by Ken Grimwood. Published in 1986 by Arbor House

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Raygun Gothic : Read - Radiance / The Gernsback Continuum

Following a brief discussion of the story from which the term Raygun Gothic originates, William Gibson's The Gernsback Continuum, we launch into our first work of the series: Catherynne M. Valente's Radiance.

Topics: Radiance, by Catherynne M. Valente. Published in 2015 by Tor Books. / The Gernsback Continuum, by William Gibson. Originally published in 1981 by Universe 11. Collected in the anthology Burning Chrome,  published in 1986.

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 13 : Read - The Hunger Games Trilogy

We start our investigation into media about kids killing kids by jumping into arguably the most popular example today: Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy.

We had to use a single microphone for this recording, so the audio quality is a bit rougher than usual. We should be back to our usual suite of audio issues next episode!

Topic: The Hunger Games Trilogy, by Suzanne Collins. Published as three volumes, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay, between 2008 and 2010 by Scholastic.

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 10 : Read - At the Mountains of Madness

To kick off our horror month, we look back at H. P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, one of the seminal pieces of weird fiction.

Topic: At the Mountains of Madness, by H. P. Lovecraft. Originally published in 3 parts, across the February, March and April issues of Astounding Stories in 1936. 

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 7 : Read - Armada

After a month away, Read/Watch/Play is back to discuss Armada, the new book from Ernest Cline.

Topic: Armada, by Ernest Cline. Published 2015 by Crown Publishing Group.

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 4 : Read - The Martian

In our second Read episode, we discuss The Martian, a sci-fi survival novel set on Mars.

Topic : The Martian, by Andy Weir. Published 2011 by Crown Publishing Group.

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Read : Episode 1 - All Involved

Join James, Caroline, Clio, and Justin for our first ever episode of Read / Watch / Play! In this episode, we discuss All Involved by Ryan Gattis, a novel set during the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.

Topic : All Involved, by Ryan Gattis, published 2015 by Harper Collins.

Intro / Outro Music: "Go Cart" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/