Monthly Archives: December 2020

Ep054 We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

We, a Russian dystopian novel, and sometimes described as the grandfather of dystopian novels. We is seen as an influential and important work of science fiction and for the genre of dystopia. We follows a scientist who is working on a very important space rocket, but due to a happenstantial introduction, our main character begins to question himself and the world he is living around.

In this episode we discuss

  • The totalitarian world of One State and the Table, the means by which everyone is scheduled to know what they are to be doing.
  • The parallels and freedom of the real world and science fiction. How dystopian novels can challenge us and warn us about what we see in our own world.



Ep053 Warming Season

Warming Season by SR Algernon

We return to the works of SR Algernon, Hugo Award Finalist for his short story Asymmetrical Warfare. In Warming Season we follow Officer Dee as he deals with bubbling conflict on the planet 16 Cygni Bb. The planet follows a highly elliptical orbit and the title of the book references the planet moving from an extreme winter to an equally extreme warmth: and as the temperature rises so does the conflict. The book begins with a murder and as we explore the world through Dee and many other points of view we uncover a rebellion brewing.

Discussed this Episode:

  • Points of view and multiple perspective third person limited. How Dee is the main character of the story, but many other characters are explored in a way to set up a scene and expand upon conflict. Pros of this point of view include the ability to explore the mindset of antagonistic and peripheral characters, as well as obtain additional world-building that Dee the main character would not be able to see. The con of this point of view is that in the beginning of the story we struggled with identifying the main character.
  • Scene and mid-level conflict structure. Algernon uses the multiple perspective point of view as a way to set up scenes, build conflict, and then deliver a diverse set of character motives. Algernon uses a fantastic technique where a perspective from each of the characters of interest are shown and then the action plays out and the reader can understand the motives and have a connection to multiple sides of the conflict.
  • Comparison and contrast of Points of Views between Warming Season, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Children of Blood and Bone and the discussion of closeness to the character’s minds and the use of a narrative layer.
  • Point of View and the ability to get into a character’s head. To quickly get a reader to be sympathetic towards a character, first person is the fastest way to build character sympathy. Longer works tend to have more tolerance from a reading perspective to build more character sympathy and a third person perspective can match a first person level of character sympathy.
  • Character and World Building Setup. Warming Season takes place in a world in conflict. Dee is set up to have conflict with the world and characters within the world. As readers we discover the conflict Dee already has. Similarly the environment of the planet is in conflict. The level of setup in the world allows for the characters to have an additional level of conflict for the story to build off of.