Monthly Archives: August 2020

Ep046 Fred the Vampire Accountant

Fred the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes

In this episode Isaac and Reid discuss “The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant” by Drew Hayes, a collection of short stories where we meet Fred, a vampire who maintained all of his normal, boring, human characteristics. Fred meets a vast cast of characters and these characters explore an Urban Fantasy world.

In this episode

  • How stereotypes of supernatural creatures are intentionally challenged, such as Fred’s “boring” life despite being a vampire.
  • How Urban Fantasy can exemplify the human actions that are commonplace, such as high school reunions and role playing games. Adding fantastical elements allow these common interactions to be viewed in a different way, and exaggerating the humanity through an absurdist way.
  • How comedy and satire requires an understood world, and, as a work of Urban Fantasy, Fred the Vampire Accountant is able to play off of the real world as a means to play into the absurdist nature of the real world.
  • How Fred grows as a character through the short stories, from Fred being someone very reactive, to eventually Fred is an active influencer of his own life.

Works Mentioned

  • Major Spoilers. “The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant” by Drew Hayes
  • Mentioned. “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer.
  • Mentioned. “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. Listen to our discussion.




Ep 045 Jennifer Marie Brissett

Kamanti’s Child and Through the Veil by Jenniffer Marie Brissett

Jenniffer Marie Brissett is a Manhattan author and winner of the 2014 Philip K. Dick Special Citation Award and finalist for the Locus Award. Brissett’s work has been published in many magazines since 2009, and has an upcoming book, Destroyer of Light, set to be released in the Fall of 2021.

In this Episode

  • Kamanti’s Child is the story of an alien mother who gives birth, discovers a human child, and finds a connection that transcends the conflict that surrounds them.
  • The magic system within Kamanti’s Child is originally portrayed as an old, mythic type of system, however, the final image is one of science fiction. Kamanti’s Child blurs the lines of science fiction and fantasy and how magic is just science we do not understand.
  • The single effect of Kamanti’s Child is finding a peacefulness in a world of chaos and conflict.
  • Diving into the interpretation of the line “I can see that we were like them once. Long ago.”
  • Through the Veil is the story of a scientist who goes rogue, takes her defunded project into a rural farmhouse, and seeks to travel into a place that is somewhere else.
  • Through the Veil‘s themes of obsession, identity, and transition. How contrasts are drawn between the real world and a dream world are brought together via the topics of purpose, color, and movement.
  • The role of the unreliable narrator in Through the Veil, and how there is an interpretation of a death. But, how we are quite content with taking the more reliable narration point of view.
  • How the dream world of Through the Veil is the narrator’s best interpretation of what could be beyond, and how it is so much better than any Lovecraftian description.
  • How space, physical location could play into the theme of starting at the same location within the dream. One interpretation through projections and the rules that we currently know, vs an interpretation similar to that of The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin.


Works Discussed and Mentioned

  • Kamanti’s Child (major spoilers), link to the short story on Uncanny.
  • Through the Veil (major spoilers), link to the short story on Uncanny.
  • Tideline by Elizabeth Bear (mentioned), link to our discussion.
  • Lovecraft (mentioned), link to our discussion.
  • The Three Body Problem (mentioned) by Liu Cixin, link to our discussion.

Ep044 The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

In The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern the battle of two types of magic play out against the backdrop of a mysterious circus. We meet the main characters, their motivations, and the plethora of circus acts who will be caught in the middle of the battle for superior magic systems. Join us as we dive into the discussion of Le Cirque des Rêves.


  • The two types of magic systems. How Marco uses an enchantment type of magic, and Celia uses a more emotional connection type of magic.
  • Conveying of tone. Morgenstern portrays magic, whimsy and how magic can be within your grasp. How wandering, enumeration, and giving a feeling of “missing something” leads a feeling of large scope and side.
  • Characterization of secondary characters, and how the secondary characters grow in importance to eventually create an ensemble cast for the second half of the book.
  • A unique plot structure. The Night Circus follows generally the large beats of a novel, but by making the story an ensemble cast in the second half the structure adapts to add mystery and of course the characteristic whimsy.
  • Deep dives into the characters of Herr Thiessen, Bailey, and Isobel. How each provide their own desires and wants and propels the plot forward. From Herr Thiessen showing the joy of magic, Bailey’s desire to run away, and Isobel’s well-reasoned actions.

Other Works Mentioned