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Amanda Jean and Austin Chant dive deep into what makes fiction work. Join them as they answer burning questions like: How do you sneak complex gender theory into the structure of a novel? What makes a truly great magic system? How do you humanize a fictional serial killer… and should you?
 
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John Blackham joins Caitlin in talking about constructed languages authors create for their sci-fi and fantasy worlds. Resources and other tidbits John mentions: Caillou clip: https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/17/health/sunscreen-recall-cancer-wellness/index.html Instant conlang generator: https://gwistix.github.io/ling/conlanger Mark Rosenfelder’s Langu…
 
Self-help references on social media seem to be more popular these days, especially as many of us seek to move forward from pandemic life to something new and not quite back to normal. Perhaps it’s that more of us are self-conscious as we venture out into public life, and maybe it’s also that the pandemic gave many of us time to think about our men…
 
Barrett embeds at a TikTok "collab house" ... Pleasant young people who are starstruck at themselves ... Why are so many college students anxious and depressed? ... Joan Didion and despair ... Barrett and his brother's unusual journey to a spiritualist enclave ... Barrett's new book of essays, Lost in Summerland ...…
 
Barrett embeds at a TikTok "collab house" ... Pleasant young people who are starstruck at themselves ... Why are so many college students anxious and depressed? ... Joan Didion and despair ... Barrett and his brother's unusual journey to a spiritualist enclave ... Barrett's new book of essays, Lost in Summerland ...…
 
We love to love these leading ladies! The BFFs discuss romantic comedies, how some are kinda creepy on a rewatch, and which women we're smitten with from our favorite movies. Potential Spoilers Major: 13 Going on 30, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Holiday Minor: You’ve Got Mail, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Friends, Breakfast at Tiffan…
 
The Last Call Killer preyed upon gay men in New York in the ‘80s and ‘90s and had all the hallmarks of the most notorious serial killers. Yet because of the sexuality of his victims, New York City’s high murder rates, and the AIDS epidemic, his murders have been almost entirely forgotten. This is journalist Elon Green’s first book, and unlike some …
 
John's new book, Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter: Then, Now, and Forever ... The original profane words: damn and hell ... The four-letter big ones ... How donkeys and buttocks got the same name ... The nasty word we still euphemize ... How profanity can become pronouns ...By bloggingheads.tv
 
The origins of Doug's "New York Times Pitchbot" project ... The "In this Ohio diner..." trope ... The NYT's de facto national status and the hollowing out of local journalism ... The Opinion page's lack of ideological and geographic diversity ... Aryeh: The NYT's real tribe is the wealthy ... Cillizza and Greenwald, Doug's bêtes noires/muses ... Wi…
 
The origins of Doug's "New York Times Pitchbot" project ... The "In this Ohio diner..." trope ... The NYT's de facto national status and the hollowing out of local journalism ... The Opinion page's lack of ideological and geographic diversity ... Aryeh: The NYT's real tribe is the wealthy ... Cillizza and Greenwald, Doug's bêtes noires/muses ... Wi…
 
Erin A. Craig joins the podcasters to chat about horror as a genre and how she approaches writing it. Erin is the New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows and Small Favors which will be out July 27th. For more about Erin and her books, visit her website. The chapter we critiqued with all our notes can be found here. To learn m…
 
Suzanne Simard is a professor in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences and teaches at the University of British Columbia. She was born in the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia in 1960. Her family were loggers, so it seemed like a natural fit for her to join a commercial logging company as she started her career. Her job was to che…
 
The Anthropocene Reviewed started out as a podcast, where bestselling author John Green tried to make sense of some of the contradictions of human life – how we can be so compassionate, and yet so cruel. So persistent, yet so quick to despair. Green says that above all, he wanted to understand the contradiction of human power; how we are too powerf…
 
The absurd exercise of ranking presidential greatness ... Aryeh: We all agree on Lincoln and Washington, but then it's a fight ... Daniel: George W. Bush was much worse than Trump ... Did America react hysterically to the storming of the Capitol? ... Ghostbusters as a cultural expression of Reagan's America ... Nostalgia and cultural decadence ... …
 
The absurd exercise of ranking presidential greatness ... Aryeh: We all agree on Lincoln and Washington, but then it's a fight ... Daniel: George W. Bush was much worse than Trump ... Did America react hysterically to the storming of the Capitol? ... Ghostbusters as a cultural expression of Reagan's America ... Nostalgia and cultural decadence ... …
 
Axie Oh joins the podcast to talk about how to create a shiny (or not so shiny!) near future world. Axie is the author of Rebel Seoul, Rogue Heart, XOXO (releasing July 13th), and The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea (Releasing February 2022). Find out more about Axie and her books here. To read the chapter we critiqued with all our notes, go here. If…
 
In today’s extended episode, I chat with Elena Iacono. Elena is a professional colleague of mine who helps empower people to support their well-being and mental health, including flexible resources and compassionate workplace practices. Elena has inspired me with her passion for exploring food and gardening. When her grandmother died in April 2020 …
 
The sand! The younglings! The uncomfortable depictions of aliens! This is the second of three of our Star Wars/Skywalker Saga episodes. Join the BFF squad debate which main character from the prequel trilogy (Padme, Anakin and Obi Wan) would be the best friend. Potential Spoilers Major: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star…
 
Do you struggle with saying no, or simply telling people what you need? Or, are you someone who secretly or not so secretly embraces JOMO, (the joy of missing out)? Nedra Glover Tawwab shares plainly and clearly what many people feel, but many can’t or won’t bring themselves to say. She shares specific, practical advice for any type of relationship…
 
Lori M. Lee joins us to chat about what it's like to work with a smaller publisher (compared with some of her other publishing experiences). What kind of publisher are you interested in working with? Lori is the author of The Gates of Thread and Stone series (Skyscape/Amazon), Forest of Souls and it's sequel Broken Web (Page Street), and Pahua and …
 
As many of us adjust to life after a pandemic, Lori Gottlieb’s memoir is a powerful reminder of how we relate to ourselves and others based on the stories we tell ourselves, versus our real-life interactions. Whether you’re interested or experienced in therapy or not, this audiobook contains so many relatable life stories that remind us of what it …
 
Christian on gothic, sentimental, and ironic strains in recent US history ... Biden the pre-Boomer sentimentalist ... Trump as a postmodern gothic figure ... Why the gothic and the sentimental are two sides of the same coin ... Aryeh: It turns out that irony is never actually dead ... Who is the Great American Boomer novelist? ... Christian's revie…
 
Christian on gothic, sentimental, and ironic strains in recent US history ... Biden the pre-Boomer sentimentalist ... Trump as a postmodern gothic figure ... Why the gothic and the sentimental are two sides of the same coin ... Aryeh: It turns out that irony is never actually dead ... Who is the Great American Boomer novelist? ... Christian's revie…
 
In today’s extended episode, I’m sitting down with Lucas Cantor, a podcaster, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and speaker. He has worked in NBC's music department for eight Olympic Games for which he won two Emmys in 2008 and 2012. He co-produced Lorde's cover of Everybody Wants To Rule The World, found on the Hunger Games, Catching Fire…
 
Rabbi Ari introduces himself ... How do Millennial American Jews understand their Judaism? ... The unique Jewish community in Skokie, Illinois ... Identity, tribalism, and communal thickness ... The failures of Hebrew School education ... Rising anti-Semitism on both right and left in America ... Why Millennials must develop a mature relationship w…
 
Rabbi Ari introduces himself ... How do Millennial American Jews understand their Judaism? ... The unique Jewish community in Skokie, Illinois ... Identity, tribalism, and communal thickness ... The failures of Hebrew School education ... Rising anti-Semitism on both right and left in America ... Why Millennials must develop a mature relationship w…
 
Liselle Sambury joins the Lit Service crew to chat about how to use subplots to flesh out our stories (and where to find them!). Liselle is a Toronto-based Trinidadian Canadian author. Her brand of writing can be described as “messy Black girls in fantasy situations.” She works in social media and spends her free time embroiled in reality tv becaus…
 
In his 15-hour audiobook published in April 2021, Keefe captures a family saga that spans the twentieth century and leads up to 2020. Members of the Sackler family founded Purdue Pharma, the infamous maker of OxyContin, a prescription drug that has fuelled an opioid epidemic across North America for the last twenty years. Patrick Radden Keefe’s inv…
 
We’ve made it to 20 whole episodes, and to celebrate we’re going on a long trip to a galaxy far, far away. This is the first of our Star Wars & Skywalker Saga episodes, focusing on who among the OG Star Wars squad would make the best friend. Potential Spoilers Major: Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of th…
 
In The Quick Fix, author and podcaster Jesse Singal argues that the trendy, TED-Talk-friendly psychological interventions so in vogue right now will never be enough to truly address social injustice and inequality. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53317475-the-quick-fix?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=7XFqZDGRlj&rank=2 Connect with…
 
Nicholas's essay, "The Language of Privilege" ... Bottom-up vs. top-down language change (e.g. "cheugy") ... Nicholas: This is a mean way of talking ... The lefties who mock woke language ... Coca-Cola and the CIA got woke. Hooray? ... Trump's trolling and lack of virtue ... Why did the anti-Trumpers call themselves "the Resistance"? ...…
 
Nicholas's essay, "The Language of Privilege" ... Bottom-up vs. top-down language change (e.g. "cheugy") ... Nicholas: This is a mean way of talking ... The lefties who mock woke language ... Coca-Cola and the CIA got woke. Hooray? ... Trump's trolling and lack of virtue ... Why did the anti-Trumpers call themselves "the Resistance"? ...…
 
Katherine Cowley joins the Lit Service Crew to chat about why adaptations, both of fairy tales and other stories people love, are so common, and how to approach writing one so it becomes your own story. To learn more about Katherine and her new book The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet, check out her website. The first chapter we critique with all o…
 
What Happened To You is the latest popular psychology book examining the relationship between trauma and behavioural patterns that many of us struggle to understand in ourselves and others. The title suggests we can better understand ourselves and others if we shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Note: An ACE score …
 
Amazon launches "AmaZen" to keep its warehouse workers mindful ... Amazon's total war against unions ... Jeff Bezos blasts off ... Will the feds break up Amazon? ... NYC sues Chipotle, alleging 600,000 labor violations (some involving rats) ... Why many restaurant workers are not returning ... Alex argues for passing the PRO Act ...…
 
Amazon launches "AmaZen" to keep its warehouse workers mindful ... Amazon's total war against unions ... Jeff Bezos blasts off ... Will the feds break up Amazon? ... NYC sues Chipotle, alleging 600,000 labor violations (some involving rats) ... Why many restaurant workers are not returning ... Alex argues for passing the PRO Act ...…
 
So quirky and fun, your three BFFs Sarah, Casey and Brittany dive into the trope and characters that exemplify the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Potential Spoilers Major: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 500 Days of Summer, Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, Stargirl Minor: Roman Holiday, Parks and Recreation, Breakfa…
 
The Bomber Mafia is a fascinating exploration of how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war. The production was initially conceived of, from the beginning, as an audiobook. Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers—The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is also the …
 
Default Friend's new podcast, After the Orgy ... 2008 as a hinge point in sexual culture ... Is sex positivity over? ... DF: Young people want to get married and have kids sooner ... Ancient wisdom and cosplaying as a way of life ... Get ready for hot vaxx summer! ... Why today's teens are confessing less online ... Has moral conservatism returned …
 
Default Friend's new podcast, After the Orgy ... 2008 as a hinge point in sexual culture ... Is sex positivity over? ... DF: Young people want to get married and have kids sooner ... Ancient wisdom and cosplaying as a way of life ... Get ready for hot vaxx summer! ... Why today's teens are confessing less online ... Has moral conservatism returned …
 
We chatted with Erin Beaty about the closing of Imprint/Macmillan and Simon Pulse and what happens to books that are orphaned because the imprint that acquires your book closed or your editor moves, leaves the business. To find out more about Erin and her books, check out her website. Here's the first chapter we critiqued! To find out how to suppor…
 
Author Julia Galef is the co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality and host of Rationally Speaking, the official podcast of New York City Skeptics. She defines “scout mindset” as the motivation to see things as they are, not as you wish they were – and to be intellectually honest and curious about what's actually true. Goodreads: https://ww…
 
Ben's new book, Canceling Comedians While the World Burns ... Joe Rogan, Louis CK, and the online left's moralistic overreactions ... A material analysis of how Twitter distorts political movements ... Stalin nostalgia, guillotine gifs, and other performative radicalness ... Critiquing left rhetoric on criminal justice ... Aryeh: Cancel culture is …
 
Ben's new book, Canceling Comedians While the World Burns ... Joe Rogan, Louis CK, and the online left's moralistic overreactions ... A material analysis of how Twitter distorts political movements ... Stalin nostalgia, guillotine gifs, and other performative radicalness ... Critiquing left rhetoric on criminal justice ... Aryeh: Cancel culture is …
 
A super fun, super thirsty episode where we talk about which superhero we’d most want to be friends with, what superheroes we ship and who fucks in the MCU. Potential Spoilers Major: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wonder Woman, Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse Minor: iZombie, Batman and Robin, Teen Titans, Watchmen, Black Panther, NightWing, Shazam!, A…
 
“This is one of the most important books that will be published in 2021. The Covid vaccine will soon free humanity from a biological pandemic, and this book, if widely read, could free humanity from an equally deadly scourge—high conflict.” — Jonathan Haidt, Social psychologist, Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University Stern School of…
 
Accusations of sexual assault against Philip Roth's biographer, Blake Bailey ... Laura's early negative review of the biography ... How Bailey justified Roth's mistreatment of women ... Aryeh worries about an alleged rapist framing the historical record ... Laura argues against the "this changes everything" reaction ... Criticizing the actions of N…
 
Accusations of sexual assault against Philip Roth's biographer, Blake Bailey ... Laura's early negative review of the biography ... How Bailey justified Roth's mistreatment of women ... Aryeh worries about an alleged rapist framing the historical record ... Laura argues against the "this changes everything" reaction ... Criticizing the actions of N…
 
Erin Beaty joins the Lit Service crew to teach them a new word (it's pronounced AnagNORisis, if you were wondering.) which is the moment when a character realizes the truth of the situation they're in or who they are or that another character is not who they thought they were. Erin Beaty is the author of The Traitor's Circle Trilogy (and provides m…
 
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