[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]
C: Welcome back to episode 34 of Not Now, I’m Reading, your one-stop shop for all things genre. My name is Chelsea.
K: And I’m Kay.
C: And with us, again, is our only ever guest.
C: That we’ve ever had. Back again, it’s:
D: Diana, hi! Thanks for having me!
C: Yay, Di! We love Di. Di joined us last year during Star Wars December to talk about Phasma. Right?
C: Suffice to say I think we all pretty much liked this one more?
K: I mean, I definitely did.
C: I definitely did. Okay, good. I probably should’ve cleared that consensus before I led us down that path.
K: I was gonna say.
C: But luckily it all worked out.
D: I think I was the one who liked Phasma most out of the three of us, but I do like Last Shot more.
K: You definitely liked it the most out of the three of us, but that’s delightful that you liked this one, too.
C: Yes, so we are reading Last Shot by Daniel José Older. Which is the Han Lando novel.
K: If you’ve seen pictures of that cool new Star Wars release that has the double sided cover…dual covers?
C: Flip thing or whatever?
K: Dust jacket. So one side is Han and one side is Lando. It’s that one.
D: I definitely bought the physical version.
K: Did you?
D: Just so I could have the Lando cover because the Lando cover is really awesome.
K: It’s so beautiful.
C: The Lando cover’s good. The Audible cover has
K: It’s like a split screen.
C: You can kind of see both of them, which, you know, for an audiobook is a decent way of handling that. But anyway, guys before we actually talk about the book we are talking about the things, we are gonna give you guys some recs. So we’re just gonna rotate. We each have five things to rec. Do you wanna go ahead and start, Kay?
K: I think we should have our lovely guest go first.
C: Okay, perfect!
D: Aw, thank you!
C: You go, Di.
D: So the first thing I’m going to rec is Women’s Soccer. And just kinda women’s sports in general.
D: The NWSL, which is the pro women’s soccer league in the States, kicked off its season about a month ago and so games are pretty much every weekend and they’re a lot of fun. I really enjoy it. My team, the Washington Spirit is, um…doing about as well as I expected, so not super great.
K: [Laughs] I was gonna say.
D: But if you’re in a city with a team, I highly recommend you go. It’s a lot of fun if you don’t mind loud noises go sit with the supporters groups.
K: Tickets are not particularly expensive.
D: No, they’re not. Compared to men’s sports.
K: [Sighs] Much cheaper.
D: And the WNBA.
C: Listen, guys, I have feelings about why tickets to female sporting events —
D: Don’t even get me started.
K: But also it’s great if you wanna go.
D: The WNBA season is also starting soon.
C: Yeah, that’s my jam, women’s basketball.
D: They’re actually broadcasting twenty games on Twitter, so if you don’t have WNBA TV or ESPN there are ways for you to watch, so highly recommend it. It’s great. There’s a lot less traveling and showboating in women’s basketball. So yeah. Women’s sports.
K: Fuck yeah.
D: That’s my first rec.
C: It’s great.
K: Fuck yeah women’s sports. Di always comes prepared with the best recs. [Laughs]
C: Okay, my turn?
C: Okay. I will start with, so both, uh, okay.
C: So here’s a thing that has been happening. Since the last time we recorded I’ve listened to the first four Maiden Lane books by Elizabeth Hoyt.
K: [Disbelieving] Oh my god?
C: Don’t make that face at me.
K: I’ve heard very good things about that series, but I have never read anything by Elizabeth Hoyt.
C: Oh my god, okay, so like. Gah, these books are angst dial eleven.
K: Yeah. That’s why I haven’t read them yet.
C: So I don’t know how much they would be your, actually, you would obviously not dislike them, but they’re a little heavier, I think, on the darkness and the angst than you usually prefer.
C: Even in your HEAs. So this book basically takes place, or this series of books, takes place centered around a foundling home or an orphanage in Maiden Lane in St. Giles and the first book, Wicked Intentions, is about the proprietress. Temperance. And the second book is about a very good friend of hers. The third book, well I’m getting them all mixed up. One’s about her brother. One’s about her sister-in-law?
K: She’s looking at me like I’m going to know.
C: I am looking at the Goodreads and I still am just like looking at the covers and I’ve got nothing, but that’s what happens when you read them all back to back to back like that. But it’s delightful. I really really liked them. They are, like I said, a little bit more angsty and darker? For Regency romance. But there’s, I think, eight or nine of them?
K: There’s a ton of them.
C: I found all of the audiobooks on my various library Overdrives so you should definitely be able to look and see if your library has them, too, but I really recommend them and obviously they have been delightfully cracky enough that I have just been consuming them to no end.
K: That’s delightful.
C: Definitely recommend. Your turn!
K: The first one is actually one that was written for me. I won a giveaway by one of my favorite fic authors, who I talk about on the podcast all the time, Chash.
C: Oh, chash.
K: And she wrote me this delightful frenemies to lovers.
D: Oh my god.
K: The Martian-ish The 100 AU. So all of that just came directly from my id. It’s what I asked for and she gave it to me and it was amazing. I cannot pronounce this title, I’m so sorry. It’s anata no sodateta tomato no nioi. I’m gonna link it, but like I said, I’m the worst. But it’s only about 6,000 words and it is delightful. Go read it.
C: What a delightful present thing.
D: Yeah, I mean. I’m not in The 100 fandom, but that entire premise just sounds so great and.
K: You don’t even need to be in the fandom.
K: Just go read it.
C: Spoiler, Di, I’ve watched some of these how, but I’m not really in the fandom either. So literally for like the last year any time Kay has something to say about Chash I’m just like uhuh I am so happy for you and I’m glad that you are excited and I am not joining you in that space.
K: I am very passively in that fandom, as in I read what Chash writes and that’s it.
D: I get it.
C: yeah, and don’t get me wrong, like, I actually enjoyed what I’ve seen of the show for as much as you can enjoy a sci-fi soap opera teen show so.
K: You know that I am not an angst monster.
K: So it is slightly less my jam and I’m sort of surprised Chelsea doesn’t watch it more than I do.
C: It’s good it’s just eh.
K: I’m probably gonna watch the new season once it’s done airing cause they did another time jump thing.
C: I hear they’ve done that a couple times, a couple hard resets at which point you can kind of like.
K: Hop in.
C: Alright, what’s your next rec, Miss Di?
D: Alright. So I’ve already recced this, it’s a fic rec. I’ve already recced it to Kay cause she was asking about what fics do you think don’t get enough attention so I decided to go with one of my all-time faves.
C: Good question.
D: It is a Nine/Martha fic, cause Nine is my favorite Doctor and Martha is hands down my favorite companion. And she doesn’t get enough love.
K: And Basingstoke is great.
D: So the summary is: After the Time War, the recently regenerated Doctor met another doctor, and they had some adventures together. Then they met the Family of Blood and things went pear-shaped. And so it’s just this really great retelling of the Family of Blood episodes from Series 3, but they completely change it around so Martha’s not a servant, which is great. And they set it post-WWI and there’s a discussion about healthcare and strikes and unions and racism and it’s fantastic. I highly recommend it. I love it so much.
C: Wonderful. Okay, and then my next thing is another romance novel. I’m going back to an oldie but a goodie. This is actually one of the first Regency romance books I’ve ever read. I know I’ve talked a lot about like my first entries into erotica and romance just as a bigger genre, but specifically for Regency and it’s because Amanda and Rebecca over on Book Riot would not stop talking about it way back in the day.
C: Cause these series titles are all really punny so they lend well to being talked about. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean is the first in the Love by Numbers series. They’re super great.
C: They’re delightful. I love Sarah. Sarah is another romance author who is a little bit heavier on some of the angsty stuff than other.
C: Regency authors or romance authors. But all of her.
K: Which is clearly why she’s your jam.
D: I was about to say.
C: All of her dialogue is always super witty. I love her heroines. I love the way that she does friendships in her books. Her, the second book in her Fallen Angels series has my favorite redheaded romance hero ever and, of course, I can’t actually remember his name, but does it matter?
K: I was like, are there that many anyway?
C: No, but I am a hard sucker for a redhead, ask me about my Rupert Grint obsession later.
D: Oh my god.
C: It’s fine.
K: Some people imprint on things when they are young.
K: It’s a problem.
C: Some young bisexuals imprint real hard on Jessica Rabbit and I don’t wanna talk about it. Leave me alone.
C: Fictional not real life redheads.
K: I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.
D: That’s such a great line, though.
K: It’s such a great line! Guys, she’s actually having heart palpitations sitting here. [Laughs]
C: GO read Sarah MacLean. Find one. Pick one. It doesn’t really matter. I suggest starting.
K: I mean, read them in order, if it’s a series of hers, cause some of her series you don’t wanna be spoiled for stuff later on.
C: Like the Fallen Angels books that’s one you need to read in order, there’s some plot revealy up. But what I meant was go pick a series and start with any series. I tend to be on the slightly more read them in order end of the spectrum, anyway.
C: I know you can, if I have to skip it doesn’t really bother me, but at the same time if I have my druthers I prefer to read things in order.
K: Yeah, it really bothers me to read things out of order.
C: Yeah, just. I read the second or the third and fourth Maiden Lane books out of order cause the library.
D: Oh no!
C: My holds came in backwards and I was like whatever.
C: Your turn, friends. It’s your turn.
K: It’s my turn. Alright, next up. This is random fandoms, again, this week, I don’t know if I mentioned that earlier.
C: We’re doing notes on a theme today, man.
K: This is a really lovely short Yuri!!! on Ice fic. Blast from the past, I know. The author’s notes on this are: shows up to the fandom a year and a half late without Starbucks.
C: I always said lady_ragnell. But I don’t know if it matters.
K: Y’all know who I’m talking about.
C: Love her.
K: She writes in all kinds of fandoms. Love her fic. The summary of this is: Otabek is retiring and Yuri has to confront his emotions about his own inevitable retirement and about his feelings for Otabek. It’s so cute! It’s retirement future fic, friends to lovers, OtaYuri and it’s just under 3,000 words so I’m not gonna say too much about it cause it’s short and you should just go read it. Again, that’s something that you won’t show by lady_ragnell. Isn’t that cute, Di?
K: You’re not in Yuri!!! on Ice fandom, are you? Have you seen it?
D: Look, I’ve been very bad about media.
K: No, it’s fine. I am very bad about, that’s one of the very few things I actually manage to catch as it was coming out, which literally never happens. [Laughs]
D: One of my good friends, I think, was watching it as it came out and…did it come out in 2016?
K: I think it was winter of 2016.
D: I think I was doing something.
K: Or maybe it was winter of 2017? Was it right after the election and people were like this is the one good thing happening? I don’t know.
C: I think it was a confluence of that and the fact that it’s just a…
K: That would’ve been winter of 2016, right?
C: What is time?
K: What is time? [Laughs]
C: Time is a flat circle. Yesterday and a million years ago all at the same time.
K: Literally I have a computer right in front of me.
C: Google can tell us.
D: I haven’t seen it. It’s on my never-ending list of things to watch.
K: I was gonna say, I think you’d actually like it.
C: It’s pretty good. There’s some fat shaming stuff that’s unfortunate.
K: It was fall and winter of 2016.
C: Yeah, I think there was a lot of, it probably got a big boost from people looking for some comfort stuff going on in that particular time period.
K: Queer sports romance anime.
C: Cause like I love figure skating.
D: So, I am still on my Mass Effect bullshit.
C: Always and forever.
D: I may be writing a Mass Effect Big Bang.
K: [Whispers] Yessss.
D: Which I am very behind on.
K: I’m super excited and I’m not even in this fandom.
D: This is probably gonna be dropping after the fic posts, but it’s a Winter Soldier AU and I’m very excited.
C: [Squeaks] I am so excited!
K: Every time you have told me about this fic I get so psyched.
D: It’s great, so anyway! This fic is called a little louder than the living by, I’m gonna mispronounce their poor name, it’s skogr. And they’ve written some of my favorite Mass Effect fics and this one it’s just it’s a character study so the summary is: If it’s about Torfan – and of course it’s about Torfan, everything always comes back to Torfan – then she wants it to be on her terms. She’s had enough of people inventing their own truth. And so, in Mass Effect you can choose three different psychological backgrounds and one of them is the ruthless background where you basically are leading this force against this people who’ve been attacking and enslaving your, Earth’s colonies. It’s complicated. Anyway, you basically wipe out the Batarians and a bunch of your squad dies. It’s Ruthless for a reason. Really this is a really interesting character study because it’s about a Shepard who kind of regrets her actions but also knows that it needed to be done.
K: So it’s fem Shep?
D: There’s only one dude Shep that I’ve ever read and it was by an author whose stuff I pretty consistently read.
C: That’s fair.
D: I go to fem Shep just because I tend to find fem Shep way more interesting.
K: I mean. Fair.
K: Pretty much always.
D: So, a little bit louder than living. It’s great. Go read it.
K: Guys, Di brings us the best recs in fandoms I’m only passingly familiar with and so it’s like I have to consume all of this and then I will get to read the recs Di gave us. [Laughs]
D: I can find you playthroughs of Mass Effect if you aren’t gonna play it.
D: There’s so many things on YouTube. I’m just gonna shove the entire Garrus/Vakarian romance at you.
K: I mean, please do. I even know who those characters are and everything, already.
C: I’ve never been ashamed to Google things I don’t know just to enter a fandom.
K: This is like when I got Chelsea into Teen Wolf fandom. I was like, you literally just need to watch a season and a half and you’re good to go.
C: Which is what I did.
K: It’s pretty much true. [Laughs]
C: It’s more like when you got me into hockey fandom and I had to change the background of my phone to a picture of hockey players.
C: So I would know what their faces looked like. It’s kind of more like that. Guys, I did that. That was a thing I had to do. It worked, though!
K: It did work.
C: It only took me like two weeks.
K: It did work. [Laughs]
C: My next rec is not a romance book.
C: Shocking everyone.
C: Kay’s excited cause she can see what it is on my computer screen. It’s One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire.
D: Oh my god!
K: Oh, I love these so much. I love this series.
D: Oh, I know.
K: How do they get better with each one? How does she do it?
C: They’re finally reaching the point where, and every book is good, but this is the fifth book in the series. They’re finally reaching the point.
D: Oh, yeah.
C: Where it’s like real fucking…
C: To space out and to put down when I pick them up.
K: It’s really easy to binge this entire fucking series. [Laughs]
D: It so is.
C: Especially because it was part of the Hugo packet so I have the whole series up until book nine or whatever.
K: If y’all were at least supporting members of the Hugos last year, you got the entire series thus far.
D: And then this year’s Hugo packet is all the InCryptid books plus some of the short stories published in other anthologies I believe.
C: Inside scoop, Kay and I don’t really care about the Hugos, butttt.
K: We’re thinking about getting supporting memberships, anyway.
C: For the voter packet. Now that they’ve started doing the Best Series noms? It’s a lot of material for what you have to pay, so like.
K: We’re really burnt out on caring about SFF stuff this year, so we were thinking about not even getting supporting memberships. Especially cause San Jose WorldCon has been doing…some things.
D: Yeah! The whole releasing the noms on Passover? Was um, pretty great.
K: Like, what the fuck?
C: Yeah, that was not great. And they did not handle the response to that particular criticism…
C: In a way that gives me hope for future fuckups that will inevitably happen cause it’s a Con.
D: And the way that they were announcing it, cause they were announcing it at a bar instead of…cause remember last year with Helsinki the way they handled it, the way they announced it made it so accessible.
K: I loved it.
D: This year was not.
K: It was like three different bars being announced live around the world and I’m like fuck you. Just put up a YouTube video. [Laughs]
C: Or just get our person on Twitter to get that shit tweeted out ASAP. Anyway!
K: [Snorts] We’re not bitter.
C: It’s fine. It’s fine! This book is great, you guys. These books are great.
K: They’re so good.
C: If you don’t know them, if you were late to the party like I was, October Daye is a changeling fairy.
K: Private detective.
C: Who solves crime.
K: The private detective stuff is less and less important as the series goes on.
C: And the political politics of fae is more important. This book specifically is a selkie book so it’s about the war between the land fae and sea fae.
K: Which, guys, you know —
C: Kay is rolling her eyes, but I love selkies so much.
K: — how much I don’t like selkie shit, and I still love this book, so.
C: I love the ocean so much.
D: Have you —
C: Octopi fairies and whale and —
K: As someone who grew up in a landlocked state [Chelsea grew up in a landlocked state, Kay grew up on both coasts], I don’t get your obsession.
D: Did you read, so there’s a novella, In Sea Salt Tears?
C: The love shack story? Yeah, definitely read it and loved it a whole lot. It was super great. It was super also sad and tragic as selkie-ish stories are always destined to be, but it’s super great.
K: That’s why I’m not into selkie stuff, cause they’re always so tragic!
C: But listen, sometimes they’re not, and even when I know you and tell you you should read them anyway. Listen. Listen!
C: Go read the hockey fic and read the Geno is a selkie hockey fic. That’s all this is about and you’re never gonna read it and it makes me so sad.
K: You’ve recced it to me like three times and I’ve read literally everything else by this author and I’m never gonna read this selkie fic.
C: It makes me so sad. Guys. Anyways. So these books are great. They do that really wonderful thing that I love about one series that’s ongoing where they do a bottle episode-y arc in each book and another…
K: Overarching stuff. No one in urban fantasy does over-arching series plots combined with the book plot individual book plot, quite as well as Seanan does. At least that I know of. Recommend it to us, guys.
D: There’s some stuff in the latest books that has me going back to the first few books and trying to pick stuff out because she.
K: Mind blown.
C: That makes me so excited.
D: She lays stuff out so early and you don’t realize she’s laying it out until it comes up and whacks you in the face.
C: She’s just such a master. Anyway, that’s One Salt Sea, the fifth October Daye book, by Seanan McGuire.
K: We just generally rec that whole series. It’s so good.
C: And Seanan in general.
D: Her Twitter account with her cats is just fantastic.
K: I mean, who doesn’t love giant Maine Coons. Frankly, they’re delightful.
C: I mean, I don’t like any cats.
K: I’m very allergic, but I like to enjoy them from afar.
C: And her cats do look particularly fat and fluffy.
C: And perpetually grumpy, but like I’m here for it.
K: I am always here for perpetually grumpy pet sidekicks.
K: Alright, more fic, cause duh. This one is so precious, I just. It’s so fluffy and adorable. It’s literally called [Insert Donut Pun Here]. It’s by Emma Grant (emmagrant01). It is a Check Please! fic.
D: Oh my god.
K: Which, I’m pretty much out of that fandom, but every once in a while someone I love will post —
C: There’s some cute stuff, though!
K: — in that fandom and it’s a Jack/Bitty fic.
K: I’m gonna just read you these tags real quick. AU – not hockey players. Fluff. Meet-cute. Awkward boys being awkward. Awkward sex. Bakery AU. And I just! It’s basically Eric Bittle makes the best donuts in the city and one day he gets a special order for Zimmerman associates.
[Di and Chelsea make happy excited noises]
K: It’s so precious. It’s just over 10,000 words and it’s just really cute and fluffy and good for the soul.
D: Oh my god.
K: And made me wanna go buy donuts.
C: You’re adorable. I love Check Please!
K: I mean, yes. I have mixed feelings about the creator and how she’s handled various things, but the comic itself I do find cute. SO again, that’s [Insert Donut Pun Here] by Emma Grant (emmagrant01).
K: I love jedibuttercup! Ohmygod.
D: It’s a Leverage Pacific Rim AU and I’ve been doing some fic comfort reading and this is one of my favorites by jedibuttercup but I love all of her stuff. Pretty much all I know about Stargate comes from reading her Buffy/Stargate crossovers.
K: Yeah, that’s fair.
D: Anyway! So this one, the summary is pretty simple: “Let’s go steal a Jaeger,” Parker said, smiling a wolf’s smile. It has some kind of proto-OT3 stuff, which is my favorite, but yeah. It’s team shenanigans stealing a jaeger.
K: Team feels! Oh my god.
D: I just also highly recommend jedibuttercup’s stuff in general.
K: Hard same.
D: Yeah, she’s great, her stuff is great. She’s really good at reinterpreting different crossovers. So she has a ton of Buffy/Stargate stuff, various Buffy/Avengers stuff. She writes a lot of Leverage as well. I love her.
C: Alright, well we are gonna go. Oh man, friends, okay. So one of my favorite things in the entire world is nothing brings friendly strangers out from Twitter faster than mentioning an old Stargate: Atlantis thing.
K: I mean, yes.
C: I do carefully curate my spaces to generally avoid the large majority of people on Twitter, but even then. I’ll get the most delightful people popping up and telling me they share my love for this thing whenever I mention it. This thing especially no more so. I, the fic I’m gonna talk about is Written by the Victors by speranza.
C: Let’s just all take a moment and bask for a split sec. It’s so good. It was just as good this fourth time that I read it as its been every other time.
K: So there are many very long SGA fics I recced to Chelsea that I knew she would like more than I liked them.
K: And this is one of the ones where I was hoping she would like it as much as I like it. And it turned out well.
C: It’s so good cause here’s the thing about this fic, guys. It is Stargate: Atlantis. It is a future fic that basically posits that instead of returning to Earth with the Atlantian kind of spaceship that is Atlantis they don’t and instead they rebel and stay in the Pegasus galaxy and eventually have to kind of wage an actual little mini-revolution and also fight of the Wraith and do all of those things that people on the Stargate often have to do. But the way that it’s written is fucking…it blows my mind. It’s so fucking brilliant. I’m almost mad at speranza for having come up with it cause it’s so good.
K: It’s so good.
C: At one point I came downstairs into the basement and I flung open the door and I just yelled at Kay like, “It’s not fucking fair that some people just get to be so good at things! It’s not fair!”
K: And I was like, “Are you rereading Written by the Victors, Chelsea?”
C: And I just literally shut the door, again.
C: It’s just so good. It’s told in a way that is meta-commentary from fictionally created academics, historians, biographers, anthropologists.
K: Commenting on the revolution.
C: First they’re commenting on the revolution. Then they are commenting on each other’s comments on the revolution and they’re doing that thing that happens in academic articles where they say well Professor X or Person Y clearly was misleading when they said x, y, z things so they stack but like as the narrative goes on, obviously, the story is called Written by the Victors and it’s a story about revolution and who’s gonna be the victors so as the story goes on it, we stop hearing from a lot of these Earth-based academics and start to hear more and more from people on Atlantis and the people involved in the Atlantian expeditions and the narrative itself starts to come out more and guys I could do an entire episode just on this fic.
K: Someone on Twitter was talking the other day about what’s the most self-indulgent fic you’ve ever written that you won’t post, and I, if I’m remembering correctly, Speranza said that they wrote a fic about the academics.
K: And they’re just never gonna finish it cause it was too self-indulgent.
C: of course.
K: and I was like, fuck you, post it, I want it.
C: Give it all to me, it’s fantastic. I was actually preempted to reread this because of a podcast I was recently turned onto, but our good friend Charlotte, on Twitter, when Kay and I confessed to having a really big podcast problem which, whatever, it is what it is. This, yes, it’s called be the serpent and they did a whole episode on narrative storytelling. They talked about Hamilton, they talked about NK Jemisin and the Fifth Season, and then they talked about this one. And literally the minute I saw it in the show notes?
[Kay and Di laugh]
C: I stopped. Clutched my chest in the kitchen and was like I have to listen to this episode right now and it was great and I immediately started the fic and everything has been wonderful since then. So that’s my rec, friends, Written by the Victors by speranza. A little bit of classic SGA fic.
K: That’s delightful. I told you it was random fandoms again, today, and I meant it. Cause this is a Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne —
K: — movie verse fic and what the fuck?
C: Jesus Christ.
K: It’s a post-Man of Steel AU so you just ignore Man vs Man: Dawn of Manpain.
D: [Laughs] That is a great title.
K: [Laughs] That is literally the only thing I ever refer to Dawn of Justice as. Man vs Man: Dawn of Manpain, because that is what it is. And we’ve actually seen it now.
K: Did we tell you about that, Di? When our friend Megan came to visit? We watched it.
D: Oh god.
K: And recorded like a watch along drunk track. So we’ll post that at some point. [Laughs]
C: Maybe. We mighta gotten too drunk to even ever post that.
K: I mean, I wasn’t drinking and they were drinking. I don’t think you were too drunk, but afterwards.
C: Poor Megan.
K: Was like falling down drunk. [Laughs] She’s like, “I have to numb the pain,” and took a shot at one point.
C: It was bad. It was not good.
K: So that movie was bad, but this fic is not. It’s called Left Side Advantage by susiecarter. Who’s really the only fic writer in movie verse DC fandom that I follow. I am pretty sure. The summary is: Post-MoS AU: A year after Black Zero, which, like, guys. If you’re not in this fandom you would have no fucking clue that that thing from Man of Steel where they basically destroy the city is called Black Zero? I did not know that was called Black Zero. What? Anyway. A year after Black Zero the Metropolis city government decides to hold a commemorative gala, with Superman as a guest of honor. And after a year of trying to gather intelligence on Superman without all that much success to speak of, Bruce Wayne is definitely going to attend. Except it turns out he may not be the only one with plans for Superman, and there might be a few other pieces of the puzzle that he’s been missing.
Or: Bruce Wayne’s illustrated, step-by-step guide to how not to shake hands.
K: And so left side advantage is a term [Laughs] it’s a perceived benefit in bodily positioning when shaking hands for a photo opportunity.
D: Oh, Jesus.
K: And the titles for the chapters in this are from the how to shake hands instruction on WikiHow.
K: The chapter titles are, hold on, I’ll pull up the index. 1. Before you begin—know when to use a handshake. 2. Be the first to extend your hand. 3. Grasp your partner’s hand firmly. 4. Don’t hold on too long. 5. Let go. 6. Remember—your handshake says a lot about you! And susiecarter uses each of those to kind of tie into what’s happening in each chapter. It is so fucking delightful. This was written for SuperBat Reverse Bang this year. It’s the only fic I liked out of all of them and there weren’t that many. It was a small bang. [More have been posted since this episode was recorded!] And this is over 60,000 words so it’s a novel. She wrote a novel.
K: And everyone else wrote less than 10k. [Laughs] So.
K: So whoops. But it’s really good. Even if you’re not in DC fandom, if you’re vaguely familiar with Bruce and Clark I think you will enjoy this. And this version of Lois is really fucking delightful and also this version of Alfred. So again, that’s Left Side Advantage by susiecarter. Di’s like, I’m never going to read that. [Laughs]
C: You and me both, Di, it’s fine.
D: But like no.
K: It’s a very long fic in a fandom you’re not in. I would not expect you to read it. I think you might like it though. Susiecarter’s prose is —
C: Stop trying to get people into DC with you. Be there alone and stand alone in your aloneness in your DC fandomness.
K: I don’t ever go looking for DC shit, but I follow a couple of people in DC fandom.
C: Hmm, and yet!
D: I do love DC. Like, Birds of Prey is near and dear to my heart.
K: Yes, I love Birds of Prey.
D: here’s the thing, I like Marvel characters, but I don’t love them the way I love, like, the Teen Titans. Or the Birds of Prey. Or Wonder Woman.
K: I really wish that the DC movie verse and TV verse stuff was stuff that I enjoyed, cause I just don’t like any of them.
D: I’ve heard that Legends of Tomorrow, once you get past the first season,
K: That is apparently the good one, but I’m like, do I have to know what’s happening in all the other DC Tv shows? Cause there’s like four of them, right.
D: My friend describes it as the bi time travel show of her heart.
C: Too bad it’s got that DC logo on it.
C: Too bad, son.
D: Not related, if you’ve never read Birds of Prey, it’s fantastic. But my rec is Critical Role. It’s a Geek and Sundry web series. So I started watching because KJ was like Critical Role Campaign 2 is starting you don’t need to know anything about it.
C: Oh my god, you saw that tweet, too?
K: KJ is the only reason I know what that fandom is.
C: KJ props to your evangelizing.
D: Even though she has very wrong opinions about Meryl.
K: It’s fine. She took me to Hamilton and went to a baseball game with me. She is my favorite forever.
D: [Laughs] Anyway, so Critical Role is a bunch of nerdy ass voice actors who play DND. This current campaign is 16, 17 episodes in. They release each episode, so they record on Thursday and if you have a Twitch subscription or subscription to Geek and Sundry’s streaming thing you can watch at any time. And then they drop the episodes on YouTube the following Monday. And so the current campaign is, like I said, it’s only 16 or 17 episodes, yeah they’re really long.
C: They’re long.
K: I had distinct memories of KJ being like ‘I stayed up three hours later than I was supposed to cause I was watching the new Critical Role’
C: Which is good, cause that’s how DND tends to unfold.
D: Yeah, so I tend to watch them in chunks and so they do have breaks roughly around the midpoint of episodes, but even then occasionally I’ll break it up even further. The current campaign is a bunch of people who come together and they form a company called The Mighty Nine which is actually the Big Nope because one of the characters has a vaguely Germanic accent so they’d be having fun and whenever someone would roll a nine they’re go ‘nein’ so when they had to come up with a group name the character Caleb was like ‘we are the Mighty Nine’ even though there’s only like seven of them.
K: That’s delightful. So delightful.
C: They’re such big dorks.
D: They are such big dorks. The current campaign is pretty great. They’re very much discovering who their new party members are and slowly uncovering backstory and learning how to work as a group. They’re a bunch of disaster children. It’s great.
K: That’s delightful. Do you recommend just starting at the beginning?
D: Yes, especially since as I said it hasn’t gotten too far in and a lot of it is character building. So there’s a little bit of dungeon crawling but a lot of it is establishing who these characters are, how they interact with each other, what their personalities are, so you can see each actor slowly start developing their characters throughout the course of the show so far. For the first campaign, KJ said that you should probably watch the first episode to get a sense of who they are. Episode 14 and then start with like episode 17. So most of the first part of that campaign you don’t actually need to see, apparently.
K: So you can skip it. Even if I don’t understand tabletop gaming? Like at all?
C: You’d be surprised how passingly familiar you are with the basics of DND just being on the fringes of general nerd culture. A lot of it is pretty standard. If you’re at all, which, not speaking to you cause I know you’re not, but in general if you’re a fan of The Adventure Zone or Drunks and Dragons or any of the other live time audio only roleplays this one’s kinda cool cause it has the extra element of they’re voice actors but they do some physicality stuff and they have interpersonal interactions with each other that’s super hyper adorable so.
D: And it’s interesting how, where they sit kind of influences character interactions. With this current campaign, one of the characters, Ford, and this other character, Beau. So their actors sit together and they’ve just kind of become these jock bros.
K: That is delightful.
D: Beau is delightful, just kind of terrible at human emotions except being a snarky asshole.
K: Already my favorite.
D: And Ford, the popular interpretation is she is very queer. So anyway, their interactions together are great. Anyway, Critical Role is fantastic. I highly recommend it.
K: Is there a transformative works fandom for Critical Role, or are most people passively watching?
D: Not really.
K: I know they have a huge viewership, so I’m assuming most people are passively watching.
C: I’m surprised a few people you’re subscribed to aren’t writing it.
K: No one I follow writes Crit Role.
D: I haven’t found any fic yet, but there’s a ton of really amazing artwork. And in the stream they do a really good job of highlighting the fanart, so they’ll show images of the fanart and they’ll also attribute it.
K: Oh, that’s cool. I always love good fanart.
C: Okay, so this next one is called, so, I found this one because after I finished Written by the Victors, Speranza has a Speranza sampler.
K: From various fandoms.
C: Most liked fics from various fandoms together.
K: I love when authors do that. If you write, please do that.
C: Yes, please.
K: I wanna see what you like the most of the things you’ve written.
C: Or what you think your best things are. And, you know, I don’t mind a couple of good crowdsourced here are my most liked things, but. So I went trolling through her little sampler for other fandoms that I was familiar with that they write in and then I did some tag browsing and at the end of the day I came up with All The Angels and The Saints. It’s a Stucky fic. Guys, the tags for this are: socialism, science fiction, atheism, Roman Catholicism, blasphemy, WWII, end of the line, Steve Rogers’s whole life, St Michael’s muscled arms, and Greenwich Village is full of freaks.
K: It’s just A+.
C: It’s just so good. The summary is: In which Steve Rogers loses God and finds God and loses God, and also: Bucky.
K: it’s so.
C: It’s so good, guys.
K: All the feelings.
C: I know we’ve talked about it before, so you guys know about me that I have a personal deep interest in the intersection between romance and sex and religion, specifically Catholicism as a religion.
K: And also queerness in all of those spaces.
C: Added with the, like, you know, sunshine and grim dark opposition that are Steve and Bucky just as entities and people. So this was just really working for me in all of the ways, plus Speranza is amazing. Like the tags say, this literally starts in 1923 when Steve is super little and goes all the way through everything that happens to Steve and Bucky and along the way there are socialism clubs and long conversations about Steve losing and regaining his faith and uh learning that he’s in love with Bucky and it’s really great, you guys. So if Infinity War, you know, I have no idea how Infinity War made you feel because I didn’t see it and I didn’t care, but I’m always here for more Stucky stuff. So. If you are also in the mood for that after Infinity War, I highly recommend you checking it out. So again, that’s All The Angels and The Saints by Speranza.
K: It’s so fucking good, guys. Okay, my last rec here? Last rec here? Yes.
D and C: Yay!
K: So one more rec and then we’ll actually talk about the book for a hot minute.
C: It’s only forty-five minutes.
K: here’s the thing. This is my favorite part of the podcast. I’m always excited to talk about whatever our subject of the week is, but I love talking about what everyone is reading and into cause I think it’s so much fun.
K: If you think it’s boring, please let us know. We can cut this out.
D: Or you could not, because no.
C: You can always let us know, but I don’t make any promises that substantive changes will happen because of it. Don’t pen me in. I’m a free spirit. I have no cage.
K: Chelsea is the one who edits, so in fairness, if she doesn’t want it to be shorter it won’t be shorter.
C: I will literally just insert gaps of silence until we have reached the same former length as our old episode.
K: Why are you like this? [Laughs]
C: This’ll probably get cut, can you just talk about your thing, now?
C: Sounds good to me.
K: It is delightful. It is so good. It is a Kirk/Spock Alternate Original Series movie verse, so the new movies, not the original series, but those characters, obviously. It’s 5+1 things.
K: It’s fake dating/fake relationship because. I’m gonna read this summary to you and you’re gonna die, because it’s exactly what my dreams look like, I guess: In which Jim finds himself fake-married to his first officer every other month. It’s not his fault. Mostly. Dowries and Klingons are involved. Starfleet is decidedly not amused.
K: It’s so good.
D: Ohmygod, I need that. I need that link.
K: Di, it’s so good.
D: It sounds delightful.
K: I think you’d like most of the stuff by this author if you haven’t read anything by kianspo, before. But it’s precious and you guys know that I’m such a fucking sucker for fake dating/relationship fics and this is just over 21,000 words so it’s a nice little novelette/novella length thing for you. And there’s real good pining stuff, guys. It’s not tagged pining, but there is pining.
D: I need to find a good fake dating Shakarian fic because fake dating is my favorite.
K: I wish I was in that fandom for you just so I could find you a fake dating fic, cause I just always wanna supply everyone with fake dating.
D: Fake dating is the best stuff.
C: Stop trying to convert people like you converted me.
K: Shut up, I am going to evangelize fake dating/relationship until the end of time. It’s just a thing.
C: Okay, well here’s a thing. Are you done with your rec?
K: Heck yeah, I am.
C: Okay, cool, then here’s my transition, because I wanna immortalize kid fic to everybody because I love it and that’s what I feel like the beginning of this book was! You can look at me all that you want to.
D: Aw, Ben.
C: Although, can I just say that the narrator for the audiobook did the thing that I hate where they do fake baby voice? And it’s just not.
K: Hate fake baby voice. Don’t do that. The rest of the narration for this was fan-fucking-tastic.
C: Hold on, pause.
[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin McLeod plays]
C: So friends, we are officially talking about the book now. In case you missed it at the top of the episode, we are talking about Last Shot by Daniel José Older.
K: It is a Star Wars book in case you didn’t pick up on that.
C: It is about Han and Lando and it’s kind of several points in their relationship all tying around one.
K: There are kind of three rotating plot lines, right?
C: Central person or plot point kind of.
D: There’s a fourth timeline involved as well.
K: Mmhmm. That one has fewer appearances, right? Or no.
K: Cause you actually read the physical book and we both listened to the audio, so it’s a little harder to keep track how much is each.
D: Yeah, it’s, I think that the fourth timeline thing shows up a lot less.
K: Focuses on the villain guy, that’s the one we’re talking about, right? Which, guys, I remember no one’s name ever.
D: Uh, I wish that the Star Wars books would do what they used to, which was having a Dramatis Personae at the beginning.
K: That would be so nice.
D: They used to do that in the books and it was fantastic and I miss it.
K: There are very few things I mourn about the loss of Legends, but that is one of them.
C: Very few other things, but yes.
D: I will always and forever be mourning the loss of Wraith squadron, the squadron of my heart.
C: But anyways, so what are the, what is the kind of central plot line of this book? Basically we follow various points in time in the relationship between Han and Lando as we learn about their interaction with a doc, he’s a doctor? He’s a med student who then becomes…
K: A supervillain. [Laughs]
C: Who wants to…
K: There’s some body horror shit in this book.
K: That I was not expecting and that no one warned me about. In fairness, this did come out fairly recently, but I thought someone might’ve mentioned that.
C: Consider this your heads up if that’s something that’s gonna squick you out.
K: Heads up, there’s removal of limbs fairly graphically.
C: And it’s not like field surgery.
K: But he literally taking limbs from, unwilling taking of limbs to attach to droids.
D: Yeah. It’s not. Yeah. I was not expecting the body horror part as well.
K: No! Which was really my only big quibble with this book, I was like ehhhh. Okay.
C: Which, again, it flagged to me just cause I knew there were gonna be some people where this is a thing.
K: Here’s my thing, if this is a thing that actually happens in a Star Wars thing I was watching, I would not clock it as horrible. But my brain is much more vivid. [Laughs]
C: Well, yes.
K: It’s much more horrifying for me to read or listen to.
C: As someone who reads a lot of body horror this didn’t, for me, necessarily bug me. As I was listening to it, I was like Kay’s not gonna like that. There’s gonna be some body horror people out there that this is gonna rub them wrong.
K: There’s no eye stuff, though, right? So if that’s your thing, no eye stuff no teeth stuff, just removal of limbs. Stuff. Yeah.
C: So that’s a caveat.
K: Everything else about this book was fucking delightful.
D: Can we just talk about Peekpa for a second? Because I adore her so much.
[Assorted excited squee sounds]
D: And I just need a novella or something about her and how she came to the New Republic or just her slicing adventures. She’s so great.
C: I love it so much.
K: DO you wanna tell our listeners who Peekpa is cause oh my god.
D: In addition to Han and Lando and Chewie, there’s an eclectic crew of characters and Peekpa is an Ewok slicer aka hacker and she is just delightful.
K: And the audio on that was great.
C: So good.
K: Really angry sounding Ewok noises.
D: Mostly grumpy except around Chewie but she’s also just brilliant and I love her.
K: So good. So good for us, guys. [Laughs]
C: That’s the thing. As we always say whenever we talk about Star Wars books, the audio for these books is always good.
K: They do music transitions and sound effects and obviously yeah.
C: They’re Disney so obviously they’re bringing their A game. But this time particularly they had several different narrators. One of whom was DJO, himself. Daniel José Older actually did one of the voices.
C: I love January LaVoy. I’ve never listened to Marc Thompson before, but their Lando sounded so.
K: Sounded so much like Billy Dee Williams.
C: Like almost scary sometimes.
K: What?! I honestly went and double checked, like, they didn’t actually get Billy Dee on this, right? [Laughs]
C: For a split second I was like I hope Billy Dee has something else going on, but also it sounded so spot on for him and y’all saw the first one, Billy Dee doesn’t have an unpleasant voice to be listening to in your ears and stuff. I will always be frustrated that clearly bisexual Han Solo and Lando aren’t the space boyfriends of my heart.
K: That was my other quibble with this book is they talk about how Lando’s such a lady’s man and I’m like I mean sure, but this is really no homo. And I get that this is a Disney property and it just was probably not a thing that was gonna happen, but also they clearly were boyfriends at various points, you know?
D: Oh yeah.
K: You know? We’ll not. We’ll just not.
C: It’s fine.
K: Or fuck buddies or something. We know. They clearly had something that’s not just bros being bros. [Laughs]
C: I did like the frequent mocking of the capes?
D: So, so —
C: The making of the capes.
K: Did you see that video, Di?
D: Yes, I was just about to mention it. As part of the lead up for SOLO, they had Donald Glover do a tour of the new/old Millennium Falcon.
D: And Lando has a cape closet.
K: And he was giving us a tour of the capes themselves.
C: Here’s your funeral cape. Here’s your everyday cape.
K: Here’s your it’s just kinda cold cape.
D: And then the book backs it up, where he’s changing capes.
K: I love the lush descriptions of clothing in this.
K: I was like DJO, thank you, sir.
C: DJO knows what’s up.
K: he knows what we’re here for.
D: When he was talking about, when he was describing Lando’s outfit in that first Lando flashback I’m just like you got it.
C: Knows what the fans are here for.
D: Someone that I follow on Twitter, Bria or Nancy from Tosche Station, were talking about how they hope that lie would become as iconic as the Anakin’s ass passage in the Revenge of the Sith novelization.
C: That’s such a good passage.
K: I have still never read that, guys. And I know that I need to.
C: I’ve not read the whole thing, but I’ve read that particular outtake before. I feel like that’s all I need.
D: So I haven’t read the Episode 8 novelization, yet, but out of the prior novelizations he Revenge of the Sith one is really, really good.
K: The other novelizations I’ve read have not been great. I just started the Jason Fry The Last Jedi on audio.
C: Let’s also make sure we’re keeping our usage of terms like ‘great’ in check. For like what it is the thing we’re actually reading. Cause a thing could be not-great and the best thing ever also at the same time.
K: No, but like no. Most of the novelizations are not very good.
C: I haven’t, you guys know my vicarious fandom reputation is minimal.
D: I’ve heard the Rogue One novelization is really good.
K: So there’s two that are both supposed to be good and one of them is very clearly queer-coded between Galen and uh, my brain just died, guys.
K: Or Krennic’s obsessed with Galen in a queer way.
C: 100% yes would read, does scan. See no flags there.
K: But there’s two different, well, most of them have multiple novelizations where there’s a YA and an adult one for Rogue One that are both supposed to be pretty good. And then there’s also the prequel one for that? Is it called Catalyst, maybe?
D: Yeah, Catalyst, I liked Catalyst. It wasn’t…I’m hit or miss with James Luceno as an author so that one was a hit, but I was not a huge fan of his Tarkin book.
K: I failed out of the Tarkin book, I was like this is just not working.
D: The Tarkin one isn’t one of my favorites, but Catalyst was good. I’m trying to think. Bloodline is hands down one of my favorites.
C & K: YES.
D: I need to finish the Aftermath trilogy, still.
C: Yeah, I don’t mind the Aftermath books.
K: I do like those, but I don’t read stuff by Chuck, anymore. So.
C: I was gonna say, Chuck is a little hit or miss in general as an author, but I did like the Aftermath books.
K: I’m not saying that Chuck is a dick who inadvertently or advertently sets his followers on various people when he’s irritated about stuff.
C: Oh, no, he definitely does that.
K: But he definitely does that and he has a fairly contentious relationship with Romancelandia and I don’t appreciate it.
C: But as Star Wars books.
D: That’s legit.
C: They’re not bad. No endorsements of him as a human.
K: Why do white men have to ruin things?
C: Why are white men the worst?
K: I like your shit, please stop being a dick. You know? [Laughs]
D: Oh, so other good Star Wars book that I really enjoyed is middle grade. It’s Join the Resistance.
D: It’s by Ben Acker. Annie Wu does the illustrations.
D: And it’s, so it’s by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker? Anyway.
K: That sounds right. I know that I read all of those.
D: So basically, for anyone here listening read Legends, if you loved the Wraith squadron books like I did you’ll like these. It’s like Wraith juniors where it’s a bunch of kids who are kind of screw-ups at times who don’t always fit in but come together to blow shit up.
K: That sounds precious. I also liked, um, did you read the Cobalt Squadron book?
D: I haven’t yet.
K: Kelly Marie Tran reads the audio. I know you’re not an audio person, Di, but it’s really precious.
C: It’s very, very cute, if you like the rest of us wanted more of the Tico sisters it’s all of that and more.
K: I, here’s the thing. I Like Elizabeth Wein and I like that book, but why the fuck did you not have any Asian women writing shit?
D: Yeah, that was.
K: Particularly a book about the Tico sisters.
D: And in the comics there was also a Tico sisters one-shot, apparently, and they had Delilah Dawson write it.
K: And like stop. Just stop having white ladies write all these things.
C: Stop having white people write people of colors’ narratives.
D: Part of the reason I loved Last Shot is that Daniel José Older just brought a different perspective than a white author.
D: The whole bit with the Gungans.
C: Oooh, I was just getting ready to talk about that, it’s my favorite scene.
D: With Peekpa and just like challenging how we just kind of take these assumptions about these aliens for granted and they’re like yeah, no.
K: I love that it was a specific callout of how fucking racist the depiction of the Gungans was. [Laughs]
C: How racist all the depictions of aliens.
K: If you don’t know who the fuck the Gungans are, which you might not. [Laughs]
C: You’ve been gone a long time and if you don’t know what that sounds super racist.
K: George Lucas, why are you the way that you are?
C: I made the mistake of going through Goodreads reviews and every single person who gave this book a one or two star review was like uh I love Han and Lando but too much social justice warrior nonsense, what was with that scene with the Gungan?
C: I was like, okay, that was my favorite part of the book.
K: And fuck off.
C: Clearly this is where I need to be. When it comes to the Star Wars books I’m reading.
K: My favorite one star reviews are the one where you can tell this person is an asshole and they hated this so I’m gonna basically love everything they didn’t like in this book. Thank you, that was a helpful review.
D: I also just love the casual insertion of space latinxs.
D: Cause like, it’s kinda fanon that Alderaan is space latinx.
K: Yes, which I’m so here for.
C: Yes, please.
D: At one point in the book, Han finds a recording that their pilot, Taka, and at one point it’s Taka’s parents. And it’s, their parents died on Alderaan and so this recording is the only, the last thing Taka has of them. And Taka’s dad says ‘estay safe,’ and I read that and was just like aw, thank you, thank you DJO. You put this casual space latinx reference and it’s something that unless you know how people pronounce it you might not pick up, but if you do it’s right there.
C: A similar thing happened with the fighter pilot with the nonbinary pronoun use.
C: Cause if you’re not paying attention it doesn’t necessarily scan as a thing you’ll notice until later.
D: It’s never, there’s never any attention called to it, just I was going back to when they first meet them and from the very beginning it’s always they/them and there’s never any attempts to gender them.
C: No questions why or what’s going on or how to navigate that or any story as to why that is, why they are using those particular pronouns it’s just.
D: Just there. I really appreciate it.
C: And I don’t think it’s any coincidence we’re getting those things in a book written by DJO. That we haven’t gotten in books written by non-authors of color.
K: I like that the second book we’re reading for the podcast was by DJO and the first book we read by a dude for the podcast was by Jason Reynolds.
C: Oh, yeah! I forgot about that. I always forget who our dude authors are. Which I shouldn’t, there are so few of them it should be really easy.
C: So cool. In the whole history of our podcast that makes two dudes.
C: Both dudes of color.
C: That sounds like a good ratio. No cishet white dudes. We’re here for this ratio. We would really love some more enbies and trans authors, so send us your recs, please?
D: Women of color authors, please?
C: Always, please. Obviously we like the book, did we have any particular favorite parts? I feel like we hit on our quibbles as few as they may have been.
C: Any standout favorite parts?
D: Um, I really loved the bits with L-3. It makes me really excited about her character in SOLO.
K: Cause I was not excited about SOLO, but then I was like oh. Okay. Sure.
C: I was 0% excited and now I’m maybe 15% excited.
K: I was going to go, but I wasn’t happy about it. [Laughs]
D: And I think for me part of it is I’m just so done with The Last Jedi discourse.
D: And it’s everywhere.
C: It’s exhausting. I don’t blame you.
D: So I’m just kind of looking forward to, just like, a fun adventure romp with a heist.
K: They basically completely refilmed the whole thing, so if it’s not good now it was never gonna be good. [Laughs]
C: Because it’s not a Lando movie there’s never gonna be enough Lando.
K: It should’ve been a Lando movie. Bitter forever that it wasn’t just a Lando movie. I’m assuming Glover’s gonna steal every scene he’s in and I’m fine with that.
D: I will say that I wish we had, like, I’m excited about Val, Thandie Newton’s character, but I wish we were also getting Sana Starros.
K: Yesss. She’s great in the comics, too, of what I’ve read of her.
D: Yes, so I wish we were getting Sana. I also wish we were getting a Dr. Aphra movie, because Aphra is fantastic and.
K: I want a Sloane movie.
D: Sloane, yes. I always want a Sloane movie.
K: Or at least Sloane appearing in a movie. It would not be hard.
D: Thandie Newton was first announced I thought for a little bit it was possible she could be Sloane cause it’s the right time frame.
K: I was hoping! Nope.
D: I was actually a little disappointed that Sloane didn’t show up in the Battlefront game, so Battlefront II, so I haven’t played it, but one of my friends, Bria’s super into it and they mention Sloane, but she doesn’t actually show up, which like. If she was gonna show up at all in the movies then that makes sense because they’d wanna make sure her appearance matched whoever they cast, but it’s also a matched opportunity.
K: I just want more awesome badass ladies of color in everything.
C: I mean, yes.
C: People of color, period. Ladies of color especially. Queer ladies of color?
D: Dr. Aphra is a queer lady of color.
C: Yes, please.
K: I also need to start watching all the Star Wars TV show shit, cause I’ve not watched hardly any of it.
D: So I have mixed feelings about Rebels. I never got around to watching this last season, mostly because I very much don’t like Ezra all that much and part of my problem with Rebels was it unnecessarily centered Ezra on things he didn’t need to be in.
K: Of course it did.
C: That sounds right.
K: That scans.
D: And also just, as a side quibble, I loved Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I wish we could’ve gotten the conclusion we were supposed to, but it did end and I understand wanting to get closure on characters, but it felt like at times that Rebels turned into Clone Wars 2.0 and moved away from what the show was originally pitched as, which, I love Ahsoka, I love Captain Rex, I didn’t need the narrative to be focused on them.
K: That’s one of the main quibbles I’ve heard from people, yeah.
C: That’s fair.
K: Which makes me hesitant to even start watching. [Laughs]
D: The first season of Rebels and it benefits from being only thirteen episodes so they have to make sure everything is really tight and compact.
K: You definitely recommend Clone Wars, though, right?
D: Yeah, so Clone Wars is one of those things where you don’t have to watch every episode, especially in the early seasons, because it’s done more anthology style.
K: Okay. That I didn’t know.
D: And there are different ways to watch. You can either watch in airing order, which, especially in the first few seasons it’s very out of order. Or you can watch it in chronological order, which means jumping around between seasons.
C: Why would you do that?
K: Why are you like this Star Wars? [Laughs]
C: Why would you ever do that?
D: Because this was the last thing George Lucas was involved in.
K: Ah. Well. Yeah. That sounds right.
D: I will say though that my views on Dave Feloni have evolved where I hold him to a similar point with George Lucas, where he has good ideas. He needs someone to filter those ideas through.
K: Some people just…should not be in charge of things. [Laughs] That’s all I have to say about that.
D: He’s apparently not in charge of the new Star Wars animated show. He’s, there’s other people involved in the day to day stuff, which I’m hopeful for. I’m also just waiting to see who they cast as who. Bing Lee from the Lizzie Bennet Diaries is gonna be in it, though. Christopher Sean is gonna be in it. They’re getting Gwendoline Christie and Oscar Isaac back to voice Phasma and Poe. And I’m really hoping that we get more Jess Pava.
K: Yes. I love Jessica Pava.
C: I will never watch this cartoon with you.
K: That’s fine.
K: That’s fine.
C: That’s my level of participation of Star Wars fandom.
K: We still have to finish Kings.
K: Have you ever watched that, Di?
D: I haven’t. I think I watched the end of an episode when it was airing.
K: It’s so good.
C: It’s not my fault, I just can’t get away from Stargate. I just can’t.
K: it’s only thirteen episodes, Di.
D: If I can find it streaming somewhere up here, then yes.
K: Here’s my thing, I don’t know if you can access the NBC stream in Canada, but if you can, just nbc.com/kings and it’s just streaming free.
C: Did we have anything else?
K: Miss Di, did you have anything else?
D: I don’t think so. I will say there was, at Toschestation.net, a really good column that one of their staff writers, Amanda, wrote about Han’s struggles with fatherhood, so that’s one of the themes in this book.
D: And so Amanda wrote about Han’s struggles really resonated with her. And it’s, I’ll send you the link, Kay. It’s a really good read. Unfortunately they had to close comments on it.
K: Cause people are dicks.
C: People are the worst.
D: Surprise, surprise, there was really bad fandom discussion about Kylo Ren.
K: Shocked about the discourse. [Laughs]
D: Instead of their being a discussion about how even well-meaning parents, kids can turn out wrong or make mistakes and keep becoming more extreme.
K: Destroying planets. You know. [Laughs]
D: Killing their father.
C: Little teen rebellion for ya. Just mass genocide. It’s fine.
D: It just straight to Han and Leia are terrible parents because they were both working and used a nanny droid and that’s why Ben became Kylo.
C: I mean, listen, this is just my two cents and I speak for me and me alone, but having a three year old, I feel like if you have a child and listen to this book and never once sympathized with what Han is feeling? You’re lying to yourself. And you’re probably lying to a good chunk of the people around you and that’s not to say in any way that you’re a bad and unloving parent, but people are people and parenting is frustrating and toddlers are little demons who don’t give a shit about your feelings.
D: I think you’ll like this article.
C: I’m really looking forward to it. Cause I thought that was a very interesting, and I think that especially, I wasn’t gonna get into it cause like you Di I’m just exhausted with the discourse.
K: Oh, the fucking discourse, man.
C: But the intersection between what we hear from Han in this book and what we kind of already know more of Kylo’s story and his experience with Luke and all of that, it definitely adds some layers to it but people are the worst and I’m always shocked, never surprised they would have to close comments down on something like that.
K: Star Wars fandom: be better.
D: I do recommend, if you’re gonna get involved the folks at Tosche Station are pretty great. The folks at the website 1138 are also pretty good, but that’s kind of where I stay with the Star Wars fandom.
D: I have certain people I follow and stay the fuck away from everywhere else.
K: There’s just so many bizarre and disparate aspects of Star Wars fandom. You have the people who are just like canon, canon, canon. And I want to dissect canon in 15,000 ways. And I’m just like…I don’t… I don’t?
C: And now there are all these levels of canon. If you wanna talk movie canon you and I can talk. But if you wanna talk canon that also includes the extended universe novels.
K: And the shows. The comics.
C: I can’t hang with you in that conversation cause I haven’t consumed that media so we can’t even have a discussion, a calm discussion.
K: I was busy reading other shit.
C: I was a little busy not getting my rocks off making people feel bad about their fandom on the internet, but you know what, that’s whatever guys. Can you tell that I’m a little tired with Star Wars as a whole? But I really loved this book.
D: This book is great. Even if you’re not a big novel or comics person I would still recommend it. It’s a fun romp. It does some good stuff with the characters, and, plus, you have the Ewok slicer.
K: Yes. And it’s paced really well, cause this is actually fairly long, but it didn’t feel like it.
C: And it handles the multiple timelines overlapping.
K: Very well.
D: Yeah. And I will say as the person who got the physical book they do a really interesting thing kind of showing on the beginning of each chapter, section thing of showing when it is. So they have three dots. So Lando’s section is the one for the left, Han’s section is the middle, and present day is at the far right.
K: Oh, I like that.
C: That’s cool.
D: And then they have different logos to show whose POV it is. So Han’s is a blaster. Lando’s is sabacc cards and the present day is sabacc cards and the blaster.
K: That’s delightful. They always do really cool book design stuff for the Star Wars books.
D: Del Rey did a good job with the design on this.
[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]
C: Alright, friends, well I think that is everything about this book and Star Wars fandom discourse.
C: And fic and media that we have to say today. Thank you so much, Di, for coming and talking with us.
D: No problem, thanks again for having me.
K: Do you wanna tell the folks where they can find you on the internet?
K and C: Yesss.
K: This is your bang, right?
D: Yes, it is. It’s the, yeah, I really just wanna make Susan yell at me.
C: From what I’ve heard it should be mission accomplished. It’s gonna be great.
K: I mean, it doesn’t take much. To get Susan going.
C: You guys can come back in a couple of weeks to join us when Kay and I will be doing ten favorite fics under 5k. They are not our top ten. Kay takes umbrage of my use of top anything. She does not like being locked in.
K: Like last time, when we talked about favorite long fics, I could do eighty of these at least. So, you know.
C: They’re not top anything, they’re some of our favorite short fics. So we went to the opposite end of the spectrum.
K: In very random fandoms.
C: Random fandom favorite fics under 5k. So in two weeks you guys can come back and join us for that. In the meantime, you guys can find the podcast in our internet homes. nnirpodcast.wordpress.com and patreon.com/nnirpodcast. All content will be cross posted with the exception of our patron-only podcasts and if that’s something that interests you, you can take a look at Patreon and see some goodies you can get if you have a couple spare dollars to throw our way. Otherwise, you can find me on twitter @anoutlawlife.
K: And you can find me @kaytaylorrea basically everywhere on the internet.
C: Fair enough. You got lucky to lock that one down early.
K: I mean, you know. Name.
C: Name. Works out.
C: Until next time, friends. Di, we will of course have you back on in the future. Please, everybody else out there listening, come find us if you have question/comments/all those fun things and until a couple of weeks from now, take care of yourselves, take care of each other, have happy reading. Bye guys.
[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]
K: Alright, so I actually read a bunch of books since the last time we recorded the podcast, but I’m not gonna talk about any of them, I’m just gonna talk about fics today, cause on-brand. [Laughter]
K: You added an extra ‘all’ to that title.
C: Dammit. I’ve done that every single time I’ve said it, then. Words are hard, guys.
K: It’s fine.
K: Di, we’re so professional. [Laughs]
C: Whatever, like Di was expecting something else.
K: Di was definitely expecting us to be professional at all.
K: Di, thanks so much for joining us.
C: I’m so sorry this whole thing was such a fucking trash fire.
K: We were such a hot mess.
C: Wow, my brain just straight up, like.
K: I could literally see your brain going offline. Behind her eyes.
C: Oh man, alright, well that’s just about where we are with this episode, friends.