Monthly Archives: April 2019

Ep011 – Assassin’s Apprentice

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

A peasant boy with royal blood gets thrown into the politics of royal court in this high fantasy adventure of magic, mystery, and intrigue by Robin Hobb. Political mystery conflicts with narrative style as we discuss what makes a good story.


  • Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Other Media Mentioned:

  • Game of Thrones (Season 1)
  • Children of Blood and Bone

High Fantasy

Magic. Royalty. Possession. Politics. Assassin’s Apprentice is an amalgam of what we love about fantasy. Robin Hobb has created a world we can get lost in – and return to in the many sequels to the story.

Ep010 – Tideline

Tideline by Elizabeth Bear

A machine near the end of its life and a curious boy come together and create a relationship that will honor the past and lead into the future. Tideline is a science fiction, award winning, short story by Elizabeth Bear. In this episode of Leave It To The Prose, Reid and Isaac discuss the ethics of robotics and the characteristics of great characters. The story leaves us with many questions off the page, including what machine cognition is like, and if it is possible for a machine to act against its self interest.


  • Tideline by Elizabeth Bear
  • Bicentennial Man (movie)
  • Born in China (movie)

Science Fiction Robots

Machines are portrayed in many different ways across science fiction, from “WALL-E” to “I, Robot” there is no one vision of the future of our mechanical contraptions. As artificial intelligence continually advances, there is no knowing what the future of robots would look like. Despite all of these different types of robots that could be, the ones that stay close to our hearts are the ones that remain like us: emotional, contradictory, empathetic. The robot of Tideline is one that will steal your heart and make you question what robots could be in the future.

Ep009: The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursela K. Le Guin

A short story with huge ideas. The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas is a short sketch of a town with a thought-provoking secret. Ursela K LeGuin asks us to think for ourselves as she describes a town where happiness for everyone is at the expense of one. In this episode we discuss the ethics of sacrifice and the utilitarian principles of maximizing happiness for all. This science fiction / speculative fiction short story is meant to make you think, and think you will.


  • Descender (Graphic Novel Series) by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (mild spoilers)

Other Works Mentioned

  • Very Far Away From Anywhere Else by Ursela K LeGuin
  • A Wizard of Earthsee by Ursela K LeGuin
  • Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal ElMohtar

Philosophy and Science Fiction

Science fiction allows for thought experiments to become realized. What if everyone could be happy at the expense of one soul? Would it be so bad? Would you stay in Omelas and experience the joy, or would the guilt become too much?