July 3, 2017
EPISODE 12: eSports in Fiction
Ready Player One is about to unleash a burgeoning new setting for books, TV, and movies. eSports and competitive gaming. In this episode I look into the rise of eSports, both as a groundbreaking sport and a new setting for fiction.
June 12, 2017
EPISODE 11: The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
Some authors live to write, and some write to live. Others fall somewhere in between, and a few just seem to fall into it. Mark Twain, author of multiple Great American Novels such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, encapsulates all of those traits, yet somehow also exists outside of them, or, perhaps, above them.
In this episode we will learn how Mark Twain’s legendary career as an author began from the man himself.
May 01, 2017
INTERLUDE: MY OWN UNIVERSE
In celebration of the upcoming release of Deceit of Humanity, the second book in my Shadow Assassin series, I am giving you a quick look into my own imaginary universe and creative process. As a special treat, you also get to listen to the audiobook of Vengeance of Humanity, my first Shadow Assassin book, for free!
April 17, 2017
EPISODE 8: FATHER OF THE ALIEN XENOMORPH
H.R. Giger is the father of the Xenomorph. We call it an alien, we call it a monster, but to Giger his creation was beautiful, no matter how many people it raped and killed. Known for its interspecies sexual domination and wanton destruction, the xenomorph is not unlike ourselves. Perhaps we are the real monsters.
March 20, 2017
EPISODE 6: GHOST IN THE SHELL IS AN AMERICAN HORROR STORY
Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell franchise can be summed up in two words: fear and philosophy. The story became a success because it mirrored real American fears during a time when Cold War tensions were rising and the Internet was still a mystery to most.
March 6, 2017
EPISODE 5: THE LAYERS OF DISCWORLD
Discworld is perhaps the quintessential example of worldbuilding. Decades of imagination by the late author Terry Pratchett went into creating a land so rich with depth that it has become a lens into our own world.
February 20, 2017
EPISODE 4: THE LEGEND OF ZELDA IS A MODERN FAIRYTALE
The Legend of Zelda has used the fairytale formula to create memorable settings and characters that will stick in our memories for ages to come, but it has also added a new layer of complexity to the method in the form of interactivity, the game mechanics.
February 2, 2017
EPISODE 3: THE WALKING DEAD WANTS TO BE STAR TREK
AMC says that the Walking Dead franchise has the potential to last as long as Star Trek has. I have an issue with that. In comparing the Walking Dead’s decade of success to the fifty years that Star Trek has been around, I don’t have much faith in the franchise’s longevity.
But there is a chance. The Walking Dead’s narrative exploration of human nature is not worlds apart from what made Star Trek a success, though the underlying structure of the walker world’s narrative limits how far the series can go. Can a dying world realistically compare itself to a galaxy brimming with life?
January 23, 2017
EPISODE 2: MARVEL’S CINEMATIC UNIVERSE– WHERE THE VILLAINS DON’T MATTER
The Marvel Cinematic Universe highlights its heroes and neglects its villains. Why is this? Marvel has a history of creating complex comic book villains with rich character depth, but the MCU movies display the bad guys as hollow shells of their true selves, nothing more than stepping-stones for the heroes to show their own growth.
But there is one Marvel villain who was given proper attention and nuance. Loki, the God of Mischief. What makes Loki different? Why was he the one villain given any respect in the MCU? There is narrative reasoning behind these creative decisions, and it is something Marvel must explore as the company seeks continued fan support for its growing cinematic universe.
January 10, 2017
EPISODE 1: MIDDLE-EARTH WAS NOT MADE FOR YOU
J.R.R. Tolkien did not write his books for you or for me. Middle-earth was a personal project, firstly created for himself and his family. Tolkien originally wrote The Hobbit as a story for his own children, but after his breakout book became a great success he was convinced by his publisher and fans to create a sequel to Bilbo Baggins’ adventure. Fans of The Hobbit wished for more of the same, wanting more dragons and whimsy.
But the author turned inward as he wrote The Lord of the Rings. Middle-earth darkened as the texts grew more dense over the years. Tolkien sought to please an academic audience that held no respect for fantasy literature, and instead he found that his works were being appreciated by a type of person he knew little about.