Monthly Archives: November 2021

Ep078 – 2021 Hugo Awards for Best Short Story

2021 Hugo Awards for Best Short Story

The nominations for the 2021 Hugo Awards for Best Short Story

  • “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse”, by Rae Carson (read on Uncanny Magazine)
  • “A Guide for Working Breeds”, by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (read here)
  • Little Free Library, by Naomi Kritzer (read on
  • “The Mermaid Astronaut”, by Yoon Ha Lee (read on Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • “Metal Like Blood in the Dark”, by T. Kingfisher (read on Uncanny Magazine)
  • “Open House on Haunted Hill”, by John Wiswell (read on Diabolical Plots)

Discussed this Episode

  • What makes a short story award worthy?
  • Ho each of the above stories stand out.

Ep077 – Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey

Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey

Magic’s Pawn is the first book in The Last Herald-Mage Series written in 1989.

Discussed this episode

  • One of the first openly gay characters in science fiction/fantasy. Vanyel, the protagonist of the book is openly gay; but do to the marketing and era, you have to read the book in order to find out that Vanyel is in fact gay. Lackey pushes the genre forward and incorporates representation of a gay characters all under the radar enough to not — in the real world — obtain negative marketing.
  • Plot Overview: A wandering plot through three novellas.
    • A coming of age story as Vanyel finds himself. His dream of becoming a bard, and then failing. And his finding of Tylendel and falling in love.
    • Vanyel finding happiness at court with his secret lover, Tylendel.
    • The aftermath of a the horrible death of Tylendel. Vanyel’s world is turned upside down, and horribly ruined as Tylendel dies and Vanyel must find his own way through the world. The last act follows Vanyel as he slowly heals and discovers his newly unlocked powers.
  • Plot discussion: the wondering plot, which is characteristics of this era of science fiction/fantasy. The death of Tylendel occurs at the middle of the book, but it wonders afterward and doesn’t peak as dramatically.

Upcoming Episodes

  • 11/22 – 2021 Hugo Award for Short Story Nominees
  • 12/6 – The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
  • 12/20 – And then there were n-1 by Sarah Pinsker – read to the novella here






Ep076 – House of the Spirits Part 2

House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende Part 2

Isaac and Reid continue their discussion of House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. The second half of the book follows Esteban and his children, and grand child. The book follows the family conflicts and the military coup that occurs in the government.

Discussed this Episode

  • Foreshadowing and pacing. When the coup story plot occurs, it happens fast. These events were foreshadowed earlier in the story by alluding to events yet to take place; however, the physical actions were not foreshadowed.
  • A Look into Revolution. The coup that occurs in the story is roughly based on the 1973 Chilean Coup. Allende displays the precursors and aftermath of the coup, and not just what happened from a political standpoint, but also what happened to the under-privileged.

Upcoming Episodes

  • 11/8 – Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey
  • 11/22 – The 2021 Hugo Nominations for Best Short Story
  • 12/6 – The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker