A very special episode! As part of self-promotion and a demonstration of why she and Engineer Mike are doing this podcast in the first place, Nina discusses her latest book, This is What You Wanted. Does she accomplish this, or is this just pretentious nonsense?
Nina and Engineer Mike put on their raincoats and invade a city somewhere in the former Soviet Block (they think) to solve a murder mystery. Can they get through the first chapter, or is this notorious author’s prose too purple?
Digressions: The Idol (again), the steampunk lifestyle, comparisons to shitty Luc Besson movies, fantastic satirical Amazon Prime shows, trying to decide on a genre for this book, and how to properly close a podcast episode properly.
Engineer Mike is reading: Translation State by Anne Leckie https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/62873999
Nina is reading (and finished!): Hood Feminism Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36687229-hood-feminism
Engineer Mike told Nina to read the wrong book! Can they roll with it, or will it blow up in their faces like a volcano?
Digressions: Engineer Mike’s hatred of democracy, making (podcast) relationships work when one party likes trash, the problem with trilogies, including TL;DRs in your books, characters losing limbs and or digits, and how to make sure your podcast stays fresh.
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/31817749
Engineer Mike is reading “How Samuel R. Delany Reimagined Sci-Fi, Sex, and the City” https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2023/07/10/samuel-r-delany-profile
Nina is reading the Female Fashion Advice Circle Jerk subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/ffacj/
Engineer Mike complained enough and Nina finally picked up one of the most decorated books in SF history. TW: SA as a metaphor.
Digressions: turgidity, pronouncing titles correctly, being an asshole in high school, Tenet feelings, Florida pronouns, Ursula K. Leguin guilt, Octavia Butler love, and an epic Engineer Mike rant.
GoodReads link: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/17333324
Engineer Mike is reading: Oil! by Upton Sinclair https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54847.Oil
Nina is reading: Luckiest Girl Alive https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22609317-luckiest-girl-alive
Nina struggles through the prologue of a dense but beloved recommendation from Engineer Mike. Will she walk through the Gate or turn around and head north?
Digressions: Theoretical George R.R. Martin essays, a rant about The Idol, the problematic Arthurian book we don’t talk about, the usefulness of Homeric Greek according to Nina, science fiction versus fantasy according to Engineer Mike, the benefits (and disadvantages) of third person extremely limited point of view, world building versus character building, another problematic fantasy series that we also don’t talk about, and a possible book follow up!
GoodReads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57084.Gate_of_Ivrel
Engineer Mike is reading: a meaty tome (TBD) and Provenance by Anne Leckie https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36361644-provenance
Nina is reading: “The Idol has a serious The Weeknd problem” https://www.avclub.com/the-idol-has-a-serious-the-weeknd-problem-1850578251
Engineer Mike and Nina are caught in a teenage love triangle on a remote planet. Will they survive the darkness?
Digressions: Eternal Youth, book awards vis-a-vis movie awards, more bad creative writing experiments, unrequited queer love, Sophie’s sapphic choice, and how to talk about long, annoying books with romance when you’re not the target audience.
Engineer Mike shoves Nina face-first into some delicious toxic masculinity with a Warhammer novel. Does it deserve the honor of a Chaplain or should it fall in battle?
Digressions: BookTok drama (https://gizmodo.com/tiktok-sarah-stusek-three-rivers-goodreads-backlash-1850498236), Engineer Mike’s knowledge of book awards, Warhammer liturgy, a shoutout to Granga, getting young boys to read in the least gay way possible, masculine rituals of acceptance, accidental religious propaganda, and the imperial industrial complex.
GoodReads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6949471-helsreach
In their inaugural episode, Engineer Mike challenges Nina to read the Samuel R. Delany SF epic. Will Nina agree with William Gibson or Harlan Ellison?
Digressions: abundant breast descriptions, leather daddies, dandruff in your crotch, Joanna Russ, Herman Melville, pretentious pronunciations of fantasy novels, and how to impress your college professors.
GoodReads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40963358-dhalgren