Tag Archives: Science Fiction Book

Ep082 – Epilogue

Leave it to the Prose – the Epilogue

Leave it to the Prose is your podcast for science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction. Over the past three years Isaac and Reid have enjoyed sharing their reading journeys with everyone and thank you listeners for turning in. We cannot put into words how amazing the response has been to Leave it to the Prose. Originally hatched as a plan to read more and discuss critically the words on the page, Leave it to the Prose grew to be something more.

Thank you so much to our listeners as we say goodbye for now; and until we meet again.

Keep reading!

Ep019 The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin

Cosmic unity. The Left Hand of Darkness follows the interstellar traveler Genly Ai as he tries to persuade the inhabitants of Winter, an unusually cold planet, to join an interstellar confederation of planets. From Genly’s perspective the inhabitants of Winter are examined and their culture and sexuality are placed under a microscope. In this episode of Leave It To The Prose, Isaac and Reid discuss the society of Winter, a modern perspective on the gender norms presented, and the drama played out by the two main characters of the story.

Works Mentioned

  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin (major spoilers)
  • Foundation by Isaac Asimov

World Building

Ursula K Le Guin is a master of science fiction, and The Left Hand of Darkness is considered one of her masterpieces. This book takes the structure of alternating every other chapter with a report from Genly Ai, and from his perspective we explore the lore, biology, and social structures of Winter. As we, the readers, explore Le Guin’s plot we also explore more of her world. Aspects of the story become more clear as we understand the lore and world building aspects of Winter.




Ep018 Semiosis

Semiosis by Sue Burke

What will alien life look like? Sue Burke answers this question in an innovative fashion: plant life. In a collection of seven stories told across one hundred years Burke tells a first contact story of humans meeting and existing with sentient plants. Our book discussion delves into Burke’s old planet of Pax, as the Pacifists grow their society, communicate with the locals, and eventually have to deal with previous inhabitants of their new environment. 

Reid and Isaac break down the book into the seven short stories presented to the reader. We discuss how the characters grow, the conflict develops, and how this story of first contact is more than just an alien interaction story. Life on another planet is difficult, and Burke develops the many factors that contribute to the survival of a colony on a far away planet.

Works Mentioned

  • Semiosis by Sue Burke (spoilers)
  • Arrival / Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang
  • Foundation  by Isaac Asimov
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Bridesmaids 2011 movie

First Contact on an Alien World

Semiosis is more than a contact story. Semiosis is equal parts communication and connecting with aliens as much as it is communicating and connecting with a growing society. The Pacifists of Pax have to work with each other and plants. Getting along and the social structures that develop in a far away planet can become just as complicated at the world the Pacifists left. 



Ep015 The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin

NK Jemisin has taken the science fiction and fantasy world by storm by winning the Hugo Award for Best Novel three years in a row, one for each book in her Broken Earth Trilogy, of which The Fifth Season is the first. In this episode we discuss the story and the narrative craft. Time skips and the use of second person at times pulls us from the story but also makes us wonder how stories are told. As our conversation unfolds we dig deeper into the horrible and fantastical elements of the Stillness, and we discuss how this is what makes science fiction prose some of our favorite works to read.


  • The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
  • Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey (mild)

Other Works Mentioned

  • Westworld (HBO Series)
  • X-Men
  • Shinsekai Yori (Anime)
  • Short Story by NK Jemisin we forgot the name of: The Storyteller’s Replacement

Storytelling Methods

NK Jemisin chooses several bold storytelling methodologies. The use of second person, stories separated by time instead of by character, these narrative methods push science fiction / fantasy into an experimental realm. NK Jemisin ultimately pushes the genre into a new perspective. But speaking of genre, The Fifth Season (and The Broken Earth Trilogy) blends the genre of science fiction and fantasy. At points elements of magic are simply science, and similarly science might in fact be magic.

The Fifth Season exemplifies the type of story we like to discuss on our Science Fiction and Fantasy Podcast. A solid story mixed with pushing the boundary on narrative craft. Join us in this episode and others as we have book discussions on science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction.

Ep004: Foundation

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Science fiction cannot be discussed without discussing Foundation. In this episode of Leave It To The Prose, we discuss the items of Foundation that have stood the test of time as well as what aspects of the story have not aged well.


  • Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Other Media Mentioned

  • The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • JRR Tolkien works such as The Lord of the Rings
  • Piers Anthony works such as A Spell for Chameleon
  • Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
  • The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin (‘seasons’ book referred to)


Based loosely on the fall of the Roman Empire, Foundation takes us into the future to look at a society spanning hundreds of planets. Across this hard science fiction lens Asimov tells a story of social determinism and if humans can be the masters of their own destinies.