Transcript: Not Now, I’m Reading An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

Chelsea: Welcome back to episode 14 of Not, Now I’m Reading your one stop show for all things genre. My name is Chelsea.

KAY: And I’m Kay.

CHELSEA: And this week we’re here to talk about An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole.

KAY: Oh my god, it’s so good. [laughs] It’s so good!

CHELSEA: It is so good. But before we get too much more into that, we are gonna start the way that we always start, by telling you guys what we are currently reading. Kay, our start this time.

KAY: Okay, so, I think that Chelsea and I are both in a little bit of an original fiction rut.

CHELSEA: Mmhmm.

KAY: I’ve been DNFing so many things. The lovely people of twitter gave me a bunch of great recommendations and so I have them on hold from my library, but I’m still kind of waiting to have them to actually read. So it’s just been a lot, a lot of fanfiction, lately. Which is fine.

CHELSEA: So much.

KAY: Which is fine! We like fanfiction. So I have one book to recommend and then a bunch of fics. So the book I wanna talk about is the final book in Gwenda Bond’s Lois Lane trilogy, Triple Threat. I didn’t love it quite as much as I loved the other ones. It’s very hard to stick the landing on the last book in a series, I think. And she didn’t quite manage it as much as I would’ve liked. But I still loved it. If you’re not familiar with these, they’re basically about teenage reporter Lois Lane and they’re wonderful. And she has a really lovely online friend who is definitely Clark Kent, who she gets to meet in this book and it’s really fucking adorable.

CHELSEA: So good.

KAY: There are parts of this book that I really loved and parts of it where I was like hm. This is very mediocre. I don’t understand what’s happening. The first two books in this series are really great. The first two books are Fallout and Double Down. I believe. I’ll have links to everything in the show notes. And then I have a couple of fics that I’d like to recommend. Okay, the first one is called Gotham’s Favorite Son by Unpretty. If you are unfamiliar with Unpretty or if you’re just not really into DC fandom at all —

CHELSEA: It me.

KAY: — and I’m just, I’m not…I’m not really into DC despite my deep love of various DC characters. I’m not fannish about it like in that way, normally. You know how there’s things you passively watch or read and feel no need to actively engage in the fandom? That’s generally me with DC stuff.

CHELSEA: Yes. Mmhmm.

KAY: But Unpretty is great. And amazing. And has the pitch perfect Bat family headcanons. And this particular fic is a multimedia fic about Gotham’s Favorite Son, who is obviously Bruce Wayne.

CHELSEA: Obviously.

KAY: And it’s basically a mockup of fake Tumblr post that’s gone viral with all these people adding things on about amazing things about Bruce Wayne. And why does everyone in Gotham fucking love Bruce Wayne? He’s a mediocre rich white guy. And they’re all like I will stan Bruce Wayne forever.

[laughter]

KAY: It’s just great and super funny, but also really touching. This is very mobile unfriendly as a reading experience. It is even tagged mobile unfriendly, cause it’s like they probably made it in paint of Photoshop this mockup of a fake Tumblr page. So it’s not easy to read on a small screen. So I do actually recommend pulling it up on your laptop or whatever you have access to, but you can make it work on your phone if you have to. I have definitely read it on my phone before.

[laughter]

KAY: The other fic I want to talk about. I was so excited, because the person who wrote this is susiecarter, who’s one of my favorite DC writers. If you read Superman/Batman fic at all, she’s been writing a lot of great stuff. I say she just assuming because the name is susiecarter, but I do not know, so they write really great stuff. But this fic is called the gift we cannot destroy by susiecarter. It is a Deep Space Nine AU with one of my all-time OTPs, Bashir and Garak. I just love them so much. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about how much I love Garak and Bashir on the podcast. Before. But it’s a lot. I love them a lot. And I’m sorry. If this show was airing now, it would be epic queerbaiting to write these characters —

CHELSEA: So hard.

KAY: — the way that they do. If they didn’t actually end up dating. They literally have, they trade books and have deep literature discussions slash adorable arguments. They have weekly lunch together. They have a standing lunch date. That’s really married, okay? I just. [laughs] I will link to the YouTube clip of their first meeting. It’s just not a straight thing. It’s just not. Anyway! The fic is called the gift we cannot destroy and it’s a soulbond/soulmark/soulmate-whatever AU which are not normally my bag, but it is amazing. It’s so good. It’s a little under 6k, so it’s also not very long. Especially for a rec coming from me. Both of these will take you less than half an hour to read. Which almost never happens to read. There you go guys. you’re gonna get some various because Chelsea’s about to rec you the things she’s been reading and I know most of them are long because I recommended most of them to her.

[laughter]

CHELSEA: Buckle in friends, we’re about to go on a pretty wild ride together. My original fiction reading has just shut down.

KAY: Fallen off a cliff. Just meh. I think we’re both really stressed and we’re bad at reading new original fiction when we’re stressed out. I tend to reread things, but not read new stuff much.

CHELSEA: And it’s not the stuff I’m picking up is particularly bad. I know some of the stuff you’ve been picking up hasn’t stuck the way you wanted it to.

KAY: Yeah, I’ve DNFed so much stuff lately. Sad.

CHELSEA: I don’t really do that, but my energy has just been like nope.

KAY: Nope! [laughs]

CHELSEA: I’ve been clicking that Google Books and opening my fic saved epubs ten times over my kindle stuff. But I do have a couple. The first one, or the only original fic I’m gonna rec in this episode, is Court of Fives by Kate Elliott. Which is the first in the Court of Fives series. It’s the first Kate Elliott I’ve ever read. I really, really enjoyed it. It is set in a futuristic society in which there is a very strict separation of classes and kind of a caste system in place. There are wars going on and political machinations behind the scenes and kind of a large central focus of life and recreation is this thing called The Fives or The Running of the Fives which are five different obstacle courses you can participate in. if you win you get money and notoriety and you can get patronage. It can be a way to advance very similar to you know the way that actual IRL sports can bring fame and advancement and notoriety and all those things. But our main character, Jessamy is obsessed with running the Fives. That’s what she wants to do with her whole life. She wants to be a star. She wants to use her ability to run the Fives to overcome the way people look down on her because of her class she was born into. And so very early on in the books some stuff goes on with her family. Her dad and kind of her situation and her standing in society shifts very quickly and she has to learn to adapt. It’s so good. It’s the first book in a series of three and it starts to set up this really great —

KAY: I was gonna say, it’s completed now, right? The last book came out relatively recently.

CHELSEA: The last book came out, I think, in June? June or July, something like that. In the last couple months.

KAY: Our friend group is super into Kate Elliott, just kind of as a whole.

CHELSEA: Yes. [laughs]

KAY: And so I’ve been hearing about her stuff forever. I also have never read any Kate Elliott. Mostly because her books are a) so long.

CHELSEA: They are so long, dude.

KAY: They’re so long. And that’s not just me being a dick. Her books are really long.

CHELSEA: They’re long.

KAY: Even her YA is generally over 400 pages. Her books are long. And b) she mostly tends to write epic fantasy? Or spacey stuff that feels like epic fantasy. I don’t know a better way to describe it than that. Not actually space opera, I don’t think.

CHELSEA: But space fantasy, I think you could say.

KAY: I mean. [sighs] Epic fantasy’s just not my bag. She seems like a lovely human, I just don’t know.

CHELSEA: I think if you’re gonna pick one, this one might actually be slightly more your still. It’s still epic fantasy, but it’s just much more contained. Not any big questing. It takes place within a relatively small geographical area. I think that kinda helps it feel less.

KAY: I’m gonna read one of her books at some point I think I actually own the Jaran trilogy. It was a daily deal for the box set, or something.

CHELSEA: Yep, because I bought the same one. All four books for like $4 or something.

KAY: I will eventually read me some Kate Elliott, because somewhere in the distance Renay is screaming and doesn’t know why.

[laughter]

CHELSEA: I know.

KAY: I just need to, eventually. I should probably read Black Wolves. [whispered close to the mic] Black Wolves. [laughs]

CHELSEA: If you say it three times you summon the spirit of Renay to the internet. Black Wolves.

[laughter]

CHELSEA: But I really love Court of Fives. It scratched that itch for Strong Female Narrator without it playing into the bad aspects of that trope. The book does a good job discussing different kinds of strength and the way women have to use different aspects of themselves to succeed in their situations and how that is a strength in and of itself. On top of all these other great things that are happening. That was really wonderful. Highly recommend. I am going to talk to you guys now about some Stargate: Atlantis fanfiction.

[laughter]

CHELSEA: If you do not have any interest in this, I suggest you move forward to the time stamp where we start our book discussion.

KAY: Just skip.

CHELSEA: Friends, ohmygod. Okay. So. Insider baseball, guys, a little peek behind the curtain. We don’t record these episodes in order. I’m sorry to ruin that for you guys.

KAY: We mostly record in order, but depending on when we’ve had time to read certain things by the time, we usually record two or three episodes at once just cause scheduling reasons.

CHELSEA: Exactly. The last one we recorded is actually the Miles episode, which was episode 10. Which you will, if you listen to that episode, you’ll hear us mention that Kay had showed me this lovely little sci-fi show called Stargate: Atlantis.

KAY: [laughs] It’s a terrible show.

CHELSEA: It’s wonderful.

KAY: It’s a terrible show that we love.

CHELSEA: It’s a terrible wonderful show. And at the time I was like yeah, it’s great. This is super fun. And then I blacked out.

[Kay laughs]

CHELSEA: and I read a million words of fanfiction in six weeks and I don’t know who I am anymore. So. [laughs]

KAY: In fairness, I did link you to like sixty or something fics. Almost none of them were under 30k.

CHELSEA: None of them. So there are going to be several popping up in the next couple of episodes. So. You know. If that’s not your bag, apologies but I don’t even care. 2017 has been –

[Kay laughs]

CHELSEA: — tough for people in general on the earth and this is where my happy place is living now. The first fic I’m gonna recommend is Crimes Against Humanity by seperis.

KAY: So good. [laughs]

CHELSEA: The summary is: Atlantis was a neutral colony before it became a prison camp. Even Alcatraz is escapable. Holy fucking shit, you guys. Oh my god. This is the fic I, this wasn’t the first Stargate: Atlantis fic that I read, but it is probably the one I go back and think about the most.

KAY: I knew it would be perfect for you.

CHELSEA: This fic, basically, is an AU in which Atlantis is being used, essentially, as a high security prison for people who commit larges acts of war and genocide.

KAY: They’re just the really dangerous motherfuckers.

CHELSEA: They’re bad, dude.

KAY: Which is basically everyone we love from Stargate: Atlantis. Cause put them in this step to the left world and they are all some really scary dangerous motherfuckers.

CHELSEA: Rodney, of course, invented a nuclear bomb that can take out half a galaxy and then John used it to blow up half the. Shit went down.

KAY: It’s a lot. [laughs]

CHELSEA: It’s a lot. So here you are rooting for this ragtag group of seriously fucking horrible murderous villainous criminals.

KAY: Mostly sociopaths, yeah.

CHELSEA: And you’re rooting for them so hard to be in love and take over Atlantis.

KAY: I mean, I don’t know that you are. You definitely are.

CHELSEA: I am.

KAY: It’s a very dark AU. It is not gonna be for everyone. It’s actually not my favorite. I think it’s beautiful, but it’s not my particular jam. But I knew Chelsea would love it.

CHELSEA: I loved it. It was wonderful. And then kind of on a completely different end of the spectrum to that is Bell Curve, or, Ladies Night at the Boom Boom Room by rageprufrock.

[laughter]

CHELSEA: Our beloved Pru. If you know Pru at all, Pru does like, if you like Pru’s headcanons you will love all of Pru’s headcanons. I think Pru just does —

KAY: Also Pru is just one of the most talented writers that’s been putting out fairly lengthy fic for the last decade.

CHELSEA: Yeah.

KAY: She has a huge body of fanfic work and all of it is written amazingly well. Just kind of blanket recommend all of her stuff.

CHELSEA: This fic basically starts when Rodney McKay needs a date to his sister’s wedding and he goes looking for, he goes into this strip club looking for a girl he’s been dating. And instead he runs into John Sheppard who is bartending slash then gets up and is a stripper. Fast forward to the next day and who shows up to be Rodney’s new TA but striping John Sheppard from the night before and it’s just so good. It’s like a romcom. Pru does a really great job of kind of exploring the power dynamics  between John being a TA and Rodney being his professor and how that can make things kind of weird but also not and it’s just super, super delightful. This whole, um, this is the first installment in a series called the Bell Curve series. It’s really probably one of my favorite series that looks at John and Rodney together as a couple. And if you don’t like kid fic or marriage fic skip some of the later ones in this series. But I just love the way Pru has done this progression of the two of them throughout their lives. And this is where it starts. This one’s only 44,000 words.

KAY: Only. Only.

CHELSEA: [laughs] Only. So that’s all l that I’ve been currently reading so we are gonna go ahead and talk about the book of the week, which is An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole.

KAY: It’s so good.

CHELSEA: It’s so fantastic, you guys. It’s so good. I just have a big dorky smile.

[Kay happy sighs]

CHELSEA: This is the story of Elle Burns who is a former slave who has an eidetic memory and is using her eidetic memory to help the Union. She is a member of the Loyal League. She, basically, is behind enemy lines using her memory to take notes and capture information and smuggle it back north while she is on mission, I guess, on a plantation working as a slave. She runs into Malcolm McCall. Malcolm McCall works for the Pinkerton’s Secret Service, also as a spy for the Union. However, of course, Elle doesn’t know that at first. And she sees him as a Confederate soldier which he’s in disguise as, and the two have to meet and they learn about each other’s secret identities and then they have tension and then they fall in love and they’re saving the Union and just being heroes and it’s so good. I loved it so much.

KAY: I also really loved this. I think we both gave this four stars, right? I had a little bit of issue with some of the pacing just kind of in the middle, but other than that this book is basically perfect. I loved the relationship development. I love how thoughtful she was in the obvious power dynamics that are going on. And how many conversations and internal monologues there are about that. And how she processed all of that.

CHELSEA: From both characters, too. Because Malcolm has a lot of realizing and waking up to do. I thought Malcolm’s character motivations were really, really interest.

KAY: I don’t really want to give that away.

CHELSEA: No, I don’t either.

KAY: There’s so much I want to talk about in this book, but I legitimately think that the way that everything unfolds and the way that you learn about everyone is done so well. I don’t really want to give anything that could even be moderately described as as spoilers. Which makes it harder to talk about.

CHELSEA: I don’t think this is a spoiler: I loved how adventurey it was. I don’t think I was expecting how adventurey it was the first time I read it. They get into scrapes and have spy capers and do adventurey things.

KAY: I dunno. I. I want to talk about their intro scene, though I’d probably just end up reading the whole thing, but the way that they’re introduced to each other is so wonderful. And the immediate follow-up when they both realize who the other person is? Is equally amazing. And I just. You. It’s immediate how, how their interactions are going to be and take shape and you can tell he has tremendous respect from her already when he does not know she is the other spy he’s meant to be meeting up with. And I just. It’s so good. It’s just so good. I have a lot of feelings about them. Elle and Malcolm I love you so much. . [laughs]

CHELSEA: And I think one of the things that was really interesting to me and the book talked about a lot, is the way that Elle always felt this pressure. And the way that her ability to have this eidetic memory shapes the way that she was treated growing up. While she’s incredibly grateful for the gift because it’s super valuable, it also is something she gets really frustrated with always having to be known for. She’s treated as basically a show pony a lot growing up.

KAY: Even by her parents.

CHELSEA: Being required to recite these passages and perform poetry and do all of these different things on command and it leaves her almost feeling resentful of her ability to do that.

KAY: I have a great quote. At one point she asks him if he takes notes and he says, “I do. Not all of us are blessed with a memory like yours.” She rolls her eyes at him, because Elle is amazing and I love her so much. [laughs] And she says, “You get to walk the streets unaccosted. Flirt as you please with whoever you please. And generally carry yourself with an air of omnipotence even if what you know can fit in a thimble. I on the other hand can remember every chamber pot I’ve scrubbed at the Caffrey household. What a blessing.” And I just. She has a way of just cutting right to the quick of the situation and not taking any shit from anyone. Unless she has to. And she is forced to do that a lot. And when you get to really see her personality when she is not being forced to pretend to be this mute, simple house slave she is amazing and a firecracker and I just. I love her. I love her. I love her. I’ve always really enjoyed Alyssa Cole’s heroines, but I think this is probably my favorite couple of any of her books that I’ve read. I just really love the relationships that she writes, even in the books where I don’t care that much about like. I know this sounds ridiculous, because Kit Rocha. But I don’t actually love post-apocalyptic stuff that much. I tend to read those in spite of that. I can be really impressed by the worldbuilding without it being my favorite thing to read and also being impressed by everything else about those books, because obviously. We love them. And Alyssa Cole’s stuff is the same way. I’m not crazy about the post-apocalyptic thing, but I thought the worldbuilding was really interesting and the relationships were great. I loved this book so much and also I just want to shoutout she’s got two more upcoming big New York release books. The next book in this series is coming out November 28th of this year. It’s called A Hope Divided. And it is about the brother of the hero in this book. And she has a contemporary coming out next February and it’s about. It’s a modern princess. I just. I’m so excited! I’m so excited!

CHELSEA: The cover for that book is amazing.

KAY: Amazing. It’s called A Princess in Theory. It’s the first in her Reluctant Royals series. And I’ve been hearing people talk about how much they love this because they got to read it in drafts and I’m just so hyped to finally get to read that next year. It’s gonna be so good.

CHELSEA: So good. Do we have favorite parts? Well, nothing but favorite parts.

KAY: Nothing but favorite parts of this book. I do want to talk about, just really quick, I have a minor quibble about the pacing of this book in the middle, but the plotting of this is really tight. And really compelling. And I think that it feels like a thriller.

CHELSEA: Yes, I think so.

KAY: It sorta feels like a historical romantic suspense. I’m sure it’d never be catalogued like that. That’s how it read to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?

CHELSEA: It’s spies!

KAY: Yeah.

CHELSEA: It’s very much a spy thriller. They have a mission. They’re down there to help the north more in general, but then you learn, probably a third of the way through the book, this much more specific plot that’s unfolding. Which obviously, again, we’re not gonna spoil anything, but then the rest of the book kind of revolves around that and it’s all…I thought, my issues with the pacing were more at the beginning. In the first third, getting to that unveiling of what kind of the adventure was gonna be. But not. It wasn’t so much of a thing that, obviously, I didn’t keep reading. And keep going. I just thought it maybe coulda been tightened up in some of those earlier discussions and earlier scenes.

KAY: I still love how she really took her time introing both of them, though. I love how that unfolded. I kind of just want to read this entire book aloud to you guys. That’s a problem with a book when you basically love everything about it. I don’t know how to talk about it without spoiling it or reading massive passages of it. The prose is gorgeous.

CHELSEA: The prose is so perfect.

KAY: We haven’t even talked about the sex scenes. Which are A+. They’re real good.

CHELSEA: They’re so good. And it can be hard to have sex scenes that are that good when you’re dealing both with this kind of power dynamic and also with this kind of behind the scenes. They’re having action adventures and it’s hard to find time to stop and fuck when you’re also doing other things.

KAY: Also it’s a historical, so there are some inherently unsexy things about like when was the last time these people bathed?

[laughter]

KAY: When did you brush your teeth? Probably never except with willow bark. I really love the scene where she basically starts freaking out, having an internal freak-out kind of in the middle. And he immediately stops and asks if he hurt her, is there anything he can do. They end up having a discussion about all of their favorite things as they continue. [laughs] It’s adorable, but also really hot.

CHELSEA: Cause like, her whole thing is he’s a spy. So I think I know him. But his whole job is literally making people think they know him when they don’t.

KAY: Yep.

CHELSEA: So they’re in the middle of boning and she’ like here’s my favorite color and my favorite food and things about me that are actually true. You should tell me some true stuff, also. And they do and it’s super sweet. And also he does that super cute thing because he’s Scottish so every now and then he calls her lass or says bairns and he just drops these little Scottish thing and I’m just like oh god, stop.

KAY: [laughs] If you guys didn’t know, Chelsea’s actually really weak to the Scots romance stuff. Which I have no recommendations for her.

CHELSEA: I don’t know why!

KAY: I need somebody else to rec her those. If you have any Scot romance to her. I don’t have any.

CHELSEA: It’s not Kay’s bag. But I am completely here for it. I’m trying to find a favorite quote to read out loud, but there’s so many.

KAY: I legitimately cannot pick.

CHELSEA: I have two. My first one, I think is, an example not only of the really great way that Alyssa Cole writes dialogue, but also is a really great way that power is explored in this book. “Robert says change is coming for us, Mary said, but I know one thing that’ll stay the same. These men think they’re entitled to not only the sweat off our back, but every other part of our bodies to boot. Be careful. No matter how that one sweet-talks you. Just because he don’t hold you down don’t mean he’s not forcing you.” Which I think is really interesting, because it’s all about those nonphysical and subtle forms of power. Which is literally all the gender and race, well not only, which is a big part of what gender and race can be, which is the subtle and emotional and mental manipulative ways in which those power dynamics are played out. And it’s. It makes it really difficult. Because that is part of the struggles through the book. We know as readers, have access to the internal motivations of the characters laid out for us, that Malcolm is a good guy and means well and all of these things are true. But it is also incredibly difficult to tell this character to completely ignore everything she knows about society. Rightly knows about society. In order to kind of overcome that. So it makes some really great tension in the book I think gets played out really well.

KAY: One of my favorites is from the first chapter. I’m trying to pick ones from earlier in the book, just in case. I don’t want to accidentally spoiler you for anything. Fairly early on there’s an incident in which Elle accidentally bumps into the young mistress of the house where she’s working and the girl gets real mad. And it’s bad. It’s…it’s a big thing. And um, this girl, who is just vile. Great villain. Way to go Alyssa. She is vile. She says, “We treat our darkies like family here, but something about this girl just ain’t right.” And her mom says, “You know she’s simple, dear. A regular darky isn’t very smart. What do you expect from a simple one? Remember what Reverend Mills said in last week’s sermon. We must treat our slaves as we treat our children, for they know no more than a babe. Do you get mad when Brutus knocks you over?” Brutus was the neighbors’ dog. He was an ill-behaved slobbering mess, yet Mistress Caffrey thought Elle was of the same class as he. And Elle’s internally thinking, “I can recite the entire works of Shakespeare, you damned ignorant girl. What can you do besides simper and cry?” And just the everyday disgusting vileness of these people immediately contrasted with Elle, who is worth like five million of these horrible people. And her staying quiet so she can continue to collect information for the Union is just. I’m dying. I’m dead. I’m dying. She’s so amazing I love her so much.

CHELSEA: So the next quote I am gonna read I am gonna read because it’s particularly apropos for 2017. Further indicating the fact that historical fiction can continue to ring true 250 years after its set. “He shook his head, disgusted with himself, with everything. When he spoke again, his voice was a raw whisper in the silence. “You deserve to be outraged. All of your people do? Why didn’t you set this country ablaze a hundred years ago is beyond me.” When she spoke, her fury was constrained in a voice that fairly dripped at annoyance with having to explain something very obvious to him. “Because unlike you, we don’t have the luxury for being outraged. If we rebelled and set half the country on fire, where would that leave us? You think that would make folks see us as more human?” “Given the way they treat their slaves, maybe it would. Maybe the only way for this country to be cleansed of its’ sins is to burn it away.” “The blood of my people permeates the very foundation of this country. Even if everything from the eastern seaboard to the furthest territory out west, it couldn’t make up for the injustice. And if you think that’s what I’m fighting for, what every negro that puts their life on the line to stop the Confederacy is fighting for, then you’ve misunderstood everything. You’ve misunderstood me.” She looks at Malcolm like he’s the densest bastard to ever walk the earth. “We don’t want revenge. We want life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Just like any damned fool in these United States.”

KAY: I have that highlighted, too. [laughs]

CHELSEA: Boom. Just fuckin drop the mic. Alyssa Cole is just amazing.

KAY: And also the romance is also really great and swoony. Cause the plot is amazing.

CHELSEA: When I say this book has everything?

KAY: It has everything. We’re basically Stefan right now. This book has everything! There’s this really lovely moment towards the end where Elle has to pick a lock and Malcolm’s thinking “God, she was magnificent when she was all business. “I love you,” he blurted out. “Hush! I’m trying to hear the pin fall,” she snapped, pressing her ear closer to the lock.” And just I love that he loves how great she is at all the things she has to do. I am such a sucker for competence porn and they both appreciate how good the other one of them is at their job and all that they have to do. And it’s just excellent. It’s excellent. I love it.

CHELSEA: I love that they tease each other so much about Scottish poetry. She teases him cause she thinks Scottish poetry is really bad and he comes to the defense of the poetry of his homeland.

KAY: My favorite was when he was clearly trying to impress her before he knew about her eidetic memory and had memorized some Scottish poems. And not only is she not impressed by the Scottish poems, but also she definitely has more Scottish poetry than he does memorized.

[laughter]

CHELSEA: She finished the poetry he started and she’s like yeah dude, I got this.

KAY: It’s wonderful. And actually, we didn’t really mention any of the supporting characters, but all of the supporting characters in this are amazing and feel fully-formed even though they don’t get a ton of, I mean ‘screen time.’ I don’t know how you refer to that. What do you refer to the amount of time someone gets on the page?

CHELSEA: I always just say screen time. I know it’s not the best.

KAY: There has to be something better than screen time, but also it’s just screen time.

CHELSEA: That’s just what it is. Page time? I don’t know.

[laughter]

KAY: I love them all. And a lot of the supporting characters who I loved end up being important in the big actiony part at the end and I enjoyed we got to see some more of them there. I feel like this episode was super rambly and we didn’t actually talk about anything, but also it’s just cause.

CHELSEA: We’re not gonna give away what the plot is about.

KAY: yeah.

CHELSEA: Hard to talk about it more cohesively than it’s super great and these are some good aspects. You should check it out. I think that about wraps up our slightly incoherent and rambly thoughts on An Extraordinary Union. But we super loved it and definitely think you guys should check it out. Pick it up quickly and then you guys can get to the sequel around Thanksgiving time. I’m excited, that’s gonna be my birthday present to myself.

KAY: So excited.

CHELSEA: But then as always, we’ll be back in a week. Join us next time for something really exciting. We’re gonna do our 2018 preview episode. We’re gonna get together and talk about some of the things coming out in the earlier parts of 2018 and then the week after that we’re gonna talk about An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard.

KAY: So excited.

CHELSEA: We loved it so much, guys.

KAY: It was my first five star read of the year, if that gives you any indication of how much I loved that book.

CHELSEA: Which it should.

KAY: Yeah.

CHELSEA: Kay is one of those not a lot of five star giving people. It was great. So that’ll give you time to pick that up and give it a read as well as joining us for some really exciting 2018 stuff coming up. Until next time, you can come find us all over our internet homes. Come chat with us. If you have Stargate: Atlantis feelings? Please come talk to us.

[Kay laughs]

CHELSEA: Seriously, guys. I missed the bandwagon on the fandom the first time. I’m an island unto myself. Come talk to me. Otherwise, you guys know where to find us. Take care of yourself till next time. Bye!

KAY: Bye!

Outtakes

CHELSEA: Yeah, there’s something that speaks to me. Something that speaks to me about the unrelenting stanning of straight white dudes. As much as you try and resist that urge.

KAY: It’s really lovely. Sorry. It’s bath time right now. My adorable nephew is through the wall cackling with glee.

 

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