Episode #7 – Creepy, Creepy Jeff Goldblum Planet

In this episode of Radio Free Fandom, my guest Charlotte & I talk about fanfic writing, Yuletide & Nanowrimo, gush about the latest installment in the MCU, Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, and recommend some comic books everyone should check out!

Mentioned in today’s episode:
All about rare fandom holiday gift exchange Yuletide
Yuletide collection on Archive Of Our Own
National Novel Writing Month

Comic Books Recommendations:
Hawkeye by Matt Fraction (Writer), David Aja (Illustrator), Annie Wu (Illustrator), Matt Hollingsworth (Colourist)
Descender by Jeff Lemire (Writer), Dustin Nguyen (Illustrator), Steve Wands (Letterer)
Weirdworld by Sam Humphries (Writer), Mike del Mundo (Illustrator)
Giant Days by John Allison (Writer), Lissa Treiman (Illustrator), Whitney Cogar (Colourist)
Hulk by Mariko Tamaki (Writer), Nico Leon (Illustrator), Matt Milla (Colourist), Cory Petit (Letterer)
X-Force by Peter Milligan (Writer), Mike Allred (Illustrator), Laura Allred (Illustrator)
Clean Room by Gail Simone (Writer), Jon Davis-Hunt (Illustrator), Quinton Winter (Colourist)
Godshaper by Simon Spurrier (Writer), Jonas Goonface (Illustrator)

Time Stamps:
00:13 – 01:01   Intro
01:08 – 13:58   Yuletide & Nanowrimo
14:04 – 34:51   Thor: Ragnarok
34:58 – 46:52   Comic Book Recs
46:57 – 47:52   Outro

Find Claire online:
Twitter: @ClaireRousseau
Website: http://www.clairerousseau.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClaireRousseau

Find Charlotte online:
Twitter: @tambourine
Tumblr: alwaysalreadyangry
Ao3: tigrrmilk

If you have comments or questions, you can email the podcast at radiofreefandom@gmail.com or tweet us @RadioFreeFandom.

Thanks for tuning in to Radio Free Fandom! 

Episode #6 – Freeze, We Are Police Colleagues

In this episode of Radio Free Fandom, my guest Penny and I recommend some crossover & fusion fanfic, discuss all the things we love about police sitcom Brooklyn Nine Nine and look back to the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender!

Crossover/Fusion Fanfic Recs:
Gene Therapy by LadyRa
King and Dragonheart by manic_intent
Carrying Dangerous Goods [podfic] by novembersmith (author), dodificus (narrator)
this one goes out to by novembersmith (author), knight_tracer (narrator)
More Important Things by captainskellington
Scenes from a Cultural Exchange, or The Muppets Take New Burbage by LovelyPoet
Elegance and Taste by Fyre
Reconcilable Differences by astolat
ROGERS: An American Musical by HopeNight

Also mentioned in today’s episode:
Brooklyn Nine Nine Hogwarts AUs on Ao3

Time Stamps:
00:13 – 00:54  Intro
01:02 – 15:20  Crossover Recs
15:28 – 40:39  Brooklyn Nine-Nine
40:47 – 53:51  Avatar: the Last Airbender
53:59 – 55:10  Outro

Brooklyn Nine Nine Spoiler Warnings:
From 29:20 we discuss the end of Season 2 and the show’s main romance plot.
From 36:29 we discuss the end of Season 4 and what may be coming next.

Find Claire online:
Twitter: @ClaireRousseau
Website: http://www.clairerousseau.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClaireRousseau

Find Penny online:
Twitter: @pennyplainknits
Ao3: Pennyplainknits
DW: Pennyplainknits

If you have comments or questions, you can email the podcast at radiofreefandom@gmail.com or tweet us @RadioFreeFandom.

Thanks for tuning in to Radio Free Fandom!

Episode #5 – Which Is A Brilliant Troll By Victor Hugo

In this episode of Radio Free Fandom, my guest Niamh and I talk about the media we’ve been consuming recently, revel in our mutual Les Mis feels & recommend some good old Remus/Sirius fanfic!

Wolfstar Fanfic Recs:
The Great Christmas Biscuit Misunderstanding of 1977 by xylodemon
Logical Deduction by kaydeefalls
Finest in Fairford by bluepeony
That Old Black Magic by fallovermelikestars
Text Talk by merlywhirls
Common Woodbrown by imochan
Stealing Harry by copperbadge
The Shortest Distance Between Two People by riko
Let Nothing You Dismay by montparnasse
No Mum, He Really Is My Boyfriend by showmeyourtardis

Also mentioned in today’s episode:
Mackenzi Lee’s #BygoneBadassBroads
Theatre Monkey lists seats to buy or avoid in various London venues
Elizabeth & Gav’s fandom newsletter The Rec Center
The Rec Center #7, in which they rec Remus/Sirius fic

Check out the Heart, Body, Soul: Erotica with Character anthology in which Niamh has a story published! AmazonSmashwords

Time Stamps:
00:13 – 01:33 Intro
01:40 – 10:45 Media Consumed
10:53 – 37:00 Les Miserables
37:07 – 51:19 Wolfstar Recs
51:26 – 52:31 Outro

Find Claire online:
Twitter: @ClaireRousseau
Website: http://www.clairerousseau.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClaireRousseau

Find Niamh online:
Twitter: @buckbeakbabie

If you have comments or questions, you can email the podcast at radiofreefandom@gmail.com or tweet us @RadioFreeFandom.

Thanks for tuning in to Radio Free Fandom!

RFF Special the First: Conventions! Just Like Twitter, Except You Can Have Coffee

In this first ever Special Episode of Radio Free Fandom, my guests Maija, Elizabeth, Rachel, Alasdair and Kate talk about conventions in general and Worldcon in particular.

Mentioned in the episode:
WorldCon75 Programme Schedule
Helsinki Restaurant Guide
Helsinki Transport

Time Stamps:
00:14 – 01:24  Intro
01:31 – 16:52  Helsinki 101 with Maija
17:00 – 30:28  Congoing Tips with Elizabeth
30:26 – 57:35  Hugo Awards Speculation with Rachel
57:43 – 01:13:34  Attending Cons as a Pro with Alasdair
01:13:42 – 01:23:55  Business Meeting 101 with Kate
01:24:03 – 01:24:42  Outro

Find Claire online:
Twitter: @ClaireRousseau
Website: http://www.clairerousseau.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClaireRousseau

Find Maija online:
Booktube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MaijaReads
Twitter: @maijareads

Find Elizabeth online:
Website: http://earlgreyediting.com.au/
Twitter: @elizabeth_fitz

Find Rachel online:
Booktube: https://www.youtube.com/user/kalanadi
Twitter: @koenix

Find Alasdair online:
Website: https://alasdairstuart.com/
Podcasts: http://escapeartists.net/
Twitter: @AlasdairStuart

Find Kate online:
Kate doesn’t have a project or social media she wanted to plug, but you can always find her snarking in the back row of the Business Meeting if you’re attending.

If you have comments or questions, you can email the podcast at radiofreefandom@gmail.com or tweet us @RadioFreeFandom.

Thanks for tuning in to Radio Free Fandom! 

Episode #4 – You Can’t Take the Sea From Me

In this episode, my guest Kat Kourbeti and I recommend many swashbuckling pirates stories, gush about the ice skating anime of our heart, Yuri!!! On Ice, and look back to the Chronicles of Narnia!

Pirate Recommendations:
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Silver: Return to Treasure Island by Andrew Motion – audiobook read by David Tennant
Firefly
Hook & Jill and Other Oceans by Andrea Jones
The Devil’s Fire, The Devil’s Tide and The Devil’s Horizon by Matt Tomerlin
The Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb: Ship of Magic, The Mad Ship and Ship of Destiny
The Girl From Everywhere and The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig
Heroines and Harlots by David Cordingly

Also mentioned in today’s episode:
Wicked Girls by Seanan McGuire (live recording)
Lovely Wicked Girls fanvid by diseasedwits

Kat’s Narnia fanfic recs:
Many Are Thy Wonderful Works by neverfaraway
We Are Blinding by darthjuno
Men of Honour series by ineptshieldmaid

Londoners, check out Kat’s fanworks celebration screening at Deptford Cinema!

Time Stamps:
00:13 – 01:04 Intro
01:10 – 13:58 Pirate Recommendations
14:05 – 38:34  Yuri!!! On Ice
38:42 – 51:10 Narnia Squee
51:18 – 52:29  Outro

Find Claire online:
Twitter: @ClaireRousseau
Website: http://www.clairerousseau.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClaireRousseau

Find Kat online:
Twitter: @KourKat
Website: Cinescapist
Youtube: CinescapistTwo G(r)eeks & a Youtube Channel

If you have comments or questions, you can email the podcast at radiofreefandom@gmail.com or tweet us @RadioFreeFandom.

Thanks for tuning in to Radio Free Fandom! 

Episode #3 – This Show Fosters my Brutal Slytherin Tendencies for Revenge

In this episode, my guest Alastair JR Ball and I talk about the media we’ve been consuming recently, engage in wild and gleeful speculation about Game of Thrones’ upcoming seventh season, and recommend political movies!

Mentioned in today’s episode:
This Alien Shore by CS Friedman
The Handmaid’s Tale TV adaptation of the novel by Margaret Atwood
The Snow Queen by Joan D Vinge
Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff

Videos relevant to this podcast’s interests:
Game of Fuckin’ Thrones
Malcolm Tucker as the Doctor

Political Film Recommendations:
Pride
Citizen Four
Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle
Made in Dagenham
Wag The Dog
The Act Of Killing
In The Loop (and of course The Thick of It)

Time Stamps:
00:13 – 01:29 Intro
01:37 – 12:07 Media consumed
12:13 – 33:29 Game of Thrones Wild Speculations
33:35 – 45:25 Political Movie Recommendations
45:33 – 46:42 Outro

Find Claire online:
Twitter: @ClaireRousseau
Website: http://www.clairerousseau.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClaireRousseau

Find Alastair online:
Twitter: @AlastairJRBall
Website: Red Train Blog
Podcast: Moderate Fantasy Violence

If you have comments or questions, you can email the podcast at radiofreefandom@gmail.com or tweet us @RadioFreeFandom.

Thanks for tuning in to Radio Free Fandom! 

Episode #2 – You’re My Nemesis And You Shoot… My Nemesis!

In this episode, my guest Nick Bryan and I look back at R.E.M., discuss the graphic novel finalists for this year’s Hugo Awards and play a few rounds of Superfight!

Mentioned in today’s episode:
Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang & Matthew Wilson
Black Panther Vol. 1: A Nation Under Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates & Brian Stelfreeze
Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda
The Vision, Vol. 1: Little Worse Than A Man by Tom King & Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson & Takeshi Miyazawa
Saga Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Time Stamps:
0:00 – 01:05 Intro
01:12 – 08:57 Vintage Squee: R.E.M.
09:05 – 28:46 Hugo Nominated Graphic Novels
28:55 – 38:07 Who Would Win In A (Silly) Fight?
38:14 – 40:07 Outro

Find Claire online:
Twitter: @ClaireRousseau
Website: http://www.clairerousseau.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClaireRousseau

Find Nick online:
Twitter: @NickMB
Website: http://www.nickbryan.com/
Podcast: Moderate Fantasy Violence
If you’d like to check out Nick’s darkly comedic crime series Hobson & Choi, the first book, The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf, is currently free as an ebook!

If you have comments or questions, you can email the podcast at radiofreefandom@gmail.com or tweet us @RadioFreeFandom.

Thanks for tuning in to Radio Free Fandom! 

Episode #1 – The Vulcans Are Like Uber-Ravenclaw, Right?

In this inaugural episode of Radio Free Fandom, my guest Kay Taylor Rea and I ask each other silly fandom questions, look forward to Star Trek Discovery and recommend fanfic for one of our favourite tropes!

Mentioned in today’s episode:
Copperbadge’s fanfiction on Ao3
Beam me up: a Beginner’s Guide to the Star Trek franchise by Caroline Siede at the AV Club
Kay’s Trek Rec a Day Project Part I, Part II & Part III

Fake Relationship & Marriage of Convenience Fanfic Recommendations:
Christmas in Connecticut by waldorph
King and Lionheart by thehoyden
Bring You Down (to Just One Knee) by notevenyou
Say You Will, Say You Won’t by traincat
Love Among the Hydrothermal Vents by DevilDoll
Peace Shall Thatch the Roof and Love Shall Latch the Door by imaginary_golux
A Modest Proposal by Ignaz Wisdom
A Hale for the Holidays by rlnerdgirl

Time Stamps:
0.00 – 01:07   Intro
1:14 – 11:25   Silly Fandom Questions
11:35 – 39:05   Star Trek 101
39:16 – 52:04   Fanfic Recommendations
52:15 – 53:39   Outro

Find Claire online:
Twitter: @ClaireRousseau
Website: http://www.clairerousseau.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClaireRousseau

Find Kay online:
Twitter: @KayTaylorRea
Website: http://kaytaylorrea.dreamwidth.org/

If you have comments or questions, you can email the podcast at radiofreefandom@gmail.com or tweet us @RadioFreeFandom.

Thanks for tuning in to Radio Free Fandom! 

TRANSCRIPT: Episode 201 – Undead Heist Crew with Jenny Hamilton

Claire:
Hello, and welcome back to Radio Free Fandom, the podcast where my guests and I get down and nerdy about the media and stories that we love. Welcome to Season 2! Because we have seasons now, because podcasts are hard to make. You can’t make them every two weeks. It’s hard! So we have seasons, this is season 2, it’s going to come out every week for fifteen weeks. And I am so, so excited about the line-up of episodes that I’ve got for you folks, it’s going to be awesome. So as you’ve probably guessed this is Season 2 episode 1, I am still Claire, and my guest today is Jenny. For those of you who don’t know Jenny, or who didn’t hear Jenny’s previous episodes, she is a blogger and podcaster at Reading the End, and a diehard fan of Black Sails, her toddler godson, and the New Orleans Saints. Did I say that right?

Jenny:
Yeah, that was perfect, that was amazing!

Claire:
OK good, I was worried! Today we are going to celebrate the podcast’s glorious return to the land of the living by talking about our fav undead creatures and monsters, and then we’ll squee about stuff that we loved in the last… six months or so since we spoke to you, dear listeners!

[Music break]

Claire:
Welcome back to the show Jenny, I’m so glad to have you back for the start of this new season!

Jenny:
I’m so excited to be here, and I’m so excited to hear the other episodes you’ve got lined up, because like, what I’ve heard you talk about so far sounds amazing.

Claire:
Well, we’ll have a bit more of a teaser in the recommendations segment later in the episode. But, let’s start with talking about the undead! Why do we love them?! And then, we’re going to play a game, which was Jenny’s idea, and was the best of the best ideas.

Jenny:
I’m so excited!

Claire:
So the undead – we kind of had to figure out what we meant by ‘the undead’, like, just zombies, just vampires, immortal people, people who’ve died? What’s the criteria here, for something to qualify as the undead?

Jenny:
So yeah, the only criterion that I applied, is that they had to have died and come back to life in some way. So whether that was zombies or vampires, obviously those count, but also, for instance Harry Potter counts, because he’s died and then come back to life. I mean, in my line-up I decided not to just include immortals, they had to have died, so no Wolverine, but, you know, who cares, so. (Laughs)

Claire:
That is also the rule that I went by, and before we get too much further into that, let’s talk about the line-ups that we’re going to do. I’m going to let you introduce it, because it’s such a brilliant idea.

Jenny:
OK, so my idea was – I’ve been watching a lot of Leverage, as we are going to discuss – but, so I wanted to have us each invent a caper crew, with seven positions, and then we would each have to draft a fictional undead character to fill each of those positions, and comprise our full caper crew.

Claire:
And this is great to me, because I also love Leverage, but I feel like I wasn’t really into heists before Leverage, I haven’t really been into heists as a specific type of story, but it’s wonderfully tropey, is a heist, isn’t it?

Jenny:
Yes, very, yes!

Claire:
So do we want to start by talking about the roles that we’re going to recruit for our caper crew, and we basically took them from TV Tropes.

Jenny:
Yeah, and we picked the most interesting positions, and I feel good about where we landed.

Claire:
Yes, although I did change one of them a tiny bit so it was more like Leverage, but we’ll get into that.

Jenny:
(Laughs) I have no complaints to make about that.

Claire:
OK, Good. So the first job that we’re going to be looking at is the Mastermind. The Mastermind is the leader, the person that gathers the crew, finds the targets, calls the shots, thinks of the plan, and basically, in Leverage, which is going to be the ur-text for this, right?

Jenny:
Yes, yes

Claire:
The Mastermind is like, supposedly the main character, although I personally think that Nate is very boring and shouldn’t be the main character, but whatever.

Jenny:
Yeah.

Claire:
The idea of the Mastermind is a person that’s able to change the plan on the fly if something goes wrong, which is kind of what I went for more specifically when I chose my Mastermind, so, do you want to reveal yours first or shall I go?

Jenny:
I can go! Because I’m really excited about my Mastermind. OK, so, you had said in your notes for this podcast that it was someone who could keep a bunch of immoral people in line, but I’ve gone a different direction.

Claire:
Nice!

Jenny:
I tried to escape from this outcome, but everyone I cast as the Mastermind was less good than my first thought, which was Katherine Pierce from the Vampire Diaries. She’s the only undead character I could think of who has the right combination of intelligence, initiative, and passion for contingency plans. I think she’d be great at planning for every eventuality. I do think she would mostly want to do evil plans, but I think I’ve got a team that mostly has a strong moral compass and ultimately could keep her on the straight and narrow. Basically, Katherine is just incredibly smart. On The Vampire Diaries sometimes she is outsmarted, but that is by like, the collective intelligence of two Salvatores and Elena, and those are all pretty smart people, so I think she’d be great as the Mastermind. Who did you pick?

Claire:
My first pick was literally just a bad joke, I was literally going to say it should be Jon Snow, because he died and came back to life and he’s as boring as Nate, right.

Jenny:
(Laughs) That’s pretty good, that’s funny.

Claire:
My actual pick is Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas, because the man has grand ideas. Like, sometimes they don’t work great, but he is going to go out there and organise stuff. He’s going to go to this random new place he doesn’t know and have an idea and be like, alright, we’re doing it, and get it all done. And then, when stuff doesn’t work, he will come up with a way to fix it, which I thought was important for the Mastermind as well.

Jenny:
Yeah, oh absolutely I agree, that’s a very good pick, I like it.

Claire:
Thank you, thank you thank you. Yeah I’m sorry, I haven’t actually seen the Vampire Diaries, so I can’t —

Jenny:
Oh, it’s really great, it’s so great, you should watch it one time.

Claire:
MM-kay, one time – isn’t that show really long?

Jenny:
Yeah, but I think if you just wanted to get a sense of it, you could just watch the first two seasons, because that’s when it’s like, peak itself. Or if you just wanted to watch the first three, that would also be fine.

Claire:
Fair enough, fair enough.

Jenny:
OK, so the next position on our caper crew is the one that I found the hardest to cast.

Claire:
Oh my God, same.

Jenny:
It’s yeah, which is Tech Support. This is the hacker, and provider of gadgets, who builds what you need to get into vault security, hacks into computers, and does all that kind of stuff. Turns out there’s not a lot of undead techy types, so I’m really interested to hear what you came up with, Claire.

Claire:
Right, there’s a lot of fantasy undead things, but not a lot of sci-fi undead things. I struggled a lot, I had a lot of like, this is a real stretch but I might have to go for this. In the end, I kind of talked it through with friend of the podcast Susan, who was extremely helpful, and what we in the end landed on is Breq, who was the Justice of Toren from Ancillary Justice. Now I want to say straight away, this is my biggest stretch for someone who died and came back to life. But, the Justice of Toren was a massive spaceship, with a bunch of ancillary bodies, who themselves had basically been braindead, and then like, been brought back as corpses to serve, blah blah blah. And then the Justice of Toren gets blown up, and Breq is like, the conscience of the Justice of Toren in just one body. So I think I’m going to give it to myself. Breq used to be an artificial intelligence in a spaceship, so like, she can do the thing. Breq is the only person that I thought of that wasn’t like an absolute stretch for this in terms of being able to actually do tech support.

Jenny:
Actually, as you were speaking I changed my choice.

Claire:
Oh dear!

Jenny:
I just changed my choice just now. Well because, OK, I’ll tell you my thought process. The first person I thought of, the only undead character I could think of who was remotely in the STEM discipline was Liv from iZombie, but she really doesn’t do tech support, that’s not her thing, she’s a medical person.

Claire:
No, I know.

Jenny:
And then my second thought was, OK, one of the X-Men, like, all the X-Men die and come back to life, so I was like Beast, surely.

Claire:
Yeah, comic, anyone in a comic book, I’m not going to go and check, they’ve probably died and come back to life.

Jenny:
Right, well, but I’m committed to the integrity of the system, so I did go and check.

Claire:
I know, I know you are.

Jenny:
And I swear to god, every X-Man except for Beast has died and come back to life.

Claire:
Oh, I’m so sorry.

Jenny:
I looked and looked, I couldn’t find anything. So I was going to land on Jean Grey, but I have just this moment changed my mind. And I’m instead going to choose Jedao from Yoon Ha Lee’s Ninefox Gambit.

Claire:
Yes! This was Susan’s first idea, but I haven’t read it, and I felt very uncomfortable citing something I hadn’t read. And I care about the integrity of the system so we looked for something else.

Jenny:
Yeah, so I feel really good about this! Jedao used to live inside his body and that body has died so I think it counts. They kept his consciousness alive on ice, but I still think it counts as having been dead.

Claire:
No, I think it counts. I mean, I mostly think it counts because I had it as a backup myself.

(Both Laugh)

Jenny:
Well, and I did think about him as a Mastermind, but the reason I didn’t want him as the Mastermind is that he doesn’t really trust himself as a Mastermind. So, I think that in the Tech Support role he could use his brilliance, but he wouldn’t be in charge of people’s lives, and I think that would be a relief to him.

Claire:
Well, I feel like Hardison would be insulted by this, not being in charge of people’s lives.

Jenny:
I just mean not being a leader of men, he did some bad stuff when he was a leader of men, so I think, you know.

Claire:
No that’s fair, that’s fair. That’s the only thing I know about this series, is that Jedao did a lot of bad stuff before.

Jenny:
He did, he did, yes. But he’s very brilliant, he’s techy, I think he would do great at both hacking and building gadgets. Wow, I’m so excited I thought of this just now!

Claire:
Yeah, I think that really works.

Jenny:
Oh man, so good.

Claire:
Great, amazing! The next role we have down is the con-person, slash the grifter. So in Leverage, that’s a woman called Sophie, or maybe not Sophie, we don’t really know. But the TV Tropes thing says, they do most of the conning, acting, and people-manipulating, which is quite important, and they use confidence tricks. And obviously they might also have to go and be a mole, or be bait, or be distractions if they need to do that.

Jenny:
Okay. I love my pick for this, I think that the con-person, it’s helpful if they have a background in the theatre, and they also need to be hot and charming, so I chose the vampire Lestat from the Interview With a Vampire books by Anne Rice.

Claire:
That’s fair! (Laughs)

Jenny:
Isn’t that good?

Claire:
Yeah, that’s quite good.

Jenny:
He’s like, he’s flashy and vain and charming, he has been an actor and a musician, which means that he’s like, at ease as a performer, he can also, he’s bisexual, so he can romance people of any gender, and I think that he would just be a real asset to the crew.

Claire:
Yeah, that’s fair. I went with Liv as iZombie, specifically because, it’s a plotpoint in iZombie that when Liv eats the brain of a person with specific knowledge or specific urges or personality or whatever, she gets that. So, my idea of that would be like, if Liv wasn’t confident in herself to be the grifter who could do a particular job, then she could like, tap back to the time that she ate that one brain that would be really great for that. Or, they could just have a library of brains on ice, that had like, the right, you know. I mean I’m going way more evil with this. Just like, we’re just going to keep a bunch of brains, just in case.

Jenny:
That is pretty evil, but I like it.

Claire:
Or, she could just have the brain of the vampire Lestat, on ice.

Jenny:
I didn’t really imagine our teams going up against each other, but watch it missy.

Claire:
OK, fair enough, fair enough.

Jenny:
OK, so our next position is the pickpocket slash cat burglar. So, this is the one with the steadiest hands, who can perform any kind of job requiring sleight-of-hand, like stealing security cards. Claire wrote in our notes, “the one most likely to descend from the ceiling via a series of cables, or manoeuvre around a laser grid”. Fantastic.

Claire:
I mean, that’s also from TV Tropes, but I wanted that in there because that’s my favourite thing about the cat burglar as like, you know, a type, a trope of character, like. Just the competency with which they can do that particular thing. Obviously competency porn is a really important aspect of any type of heist story, but the cat burglar really gets me. I’m, I’m so excited about this pick!!!

Jenny:
(Laughs) Oh my

Claire:
I picked Death from the Discworld. Because canonically, people do not notice Death, people make sure to avoid to notice Death, because it’s very uncomfortable to look at Death. Now, only children and cats and witches and wizards will notice Death, right. So you just need to make sure you’re not trying to pickpocket some witches or wizards, and just try to make sure that you get the children out of the way, so that no one says like, “who’s this person descending a wire?” or whatever. And then, also, death is so old and all-encompassing, that basically like, walls or things that are less than five million centuries old or whatever, that has no bearing on him and his person. He can just like, walk through walls. Which, on the one hand, I feel like, I’m a little sad because, you know, Parker didn’t go through the process of undoing this entire safe, and unlocking all the things and whatever, just for Death to just walk through walls and do the thing, but, it would be efficient.

Jenny:
It would be extremely efficient, an asset to any caper crew. I chose John Constantine, from DC Comics. He died and came back to life, that’s kind of his origin story. And he really wants to do good, and I think that’s important because I have a couple of not-so moral people on my team, so I think it’s helpful to have a couple of people with a strong moral compass. Also, canonically he has experience in stage magic, so I think that he would be good at – yeah, so he can do sleight-of-hand, and he’s fun, I think he would be a fun, enjoyable addition to the team.

Claire:
That’s really cool.

Jenny:
Yeah.

Claire:
Now, the next one is the Muscle, and I’m not going to read the TV Tropes description of the Muscle, because it’s all like, “the burly man who’s big”!

Jenny:
Boo!

Claire:
We all know what the Muscle does, we all know what the Muscle does, the Muscle intimidates, and body-guards, and all that kind of good stuff. Now I’m very curious to hear your pick for the Muscle, because I feel like my pick for the Muscle is my most legit pick of the entire list.

Jenny:
Ooh, I’m worried we might, I’m a little worried about this one that we would overlap, and we’d have to fight it out.

Claire:
OK, go go go.

Jenny:
OK, I chose Buffy the Vampire Slayer —

Claire:
Obviously!!! Obviously Buffy Summers, like. OK, fair.

Jenny:
Wait, did we, because I have a back-up, I can choose my back-up.

Claire:
No no, I don’t think we have to, do we have to, have —

Jenny:
No, we can have the same one. They’re imaginary, so it doesn’t matter. Yeah! She’s scrappy, she has experience coping with a lot of bad guys at one time, and I think people would underestimate her because she is petite.

Claire:
Yeah, and also, you know, she does have superpowers, basically. She is very strong.

Jenny:
She’s very strong, I also, again, I wanted some people on my team who were good people, to keep the bad people in line, and I think that’s Buffy, I think Buffy would not agree to anything that was morally wrong, because she’s a good person, and she really cares about being a good person.

Claire:
Yeah. I love how you had a thought about your whole team – like all of my thoughts about this was how to make it fit the actual competence that they can do, and how to make jokes that relate it to Leverage. I feel like your team is going to work a lot more cohesively over all as a lovely found family.

Jenny:
Well, I haven’t gotten to my Driver yet, so we’ll see what you think when I get there.

Claire:
OK, so, the Getaway Driver, that’s another one that I found a little bit tricky, because again, there’s a lot of fantasy about undead people and not a lot of sci-fi? And so, like.

Jenny:
I’m so excited about my choice! Sorry, continue.

Claire:
So my thought process behind this was to try and find somebody who could drive a whole bunch of different things? So obviously I went for King Boo from MarioKart, because it’s a driving game, he can drive lots of different things. And he’s a ghost!

Jenny:
That is so good!

Claire:
Thank you! (Both laugh) I want to hear yours!

Jenny:
OK, so mine is the Lord of the Nazgûl, the Witch-king of Angmar —

Claire:
Oh, so good!

Jenny:
Isn’t that good, I’m so happy about it! He has a baller horse, and an even baller-er flying monster —

Claire:
I did consider the Night King from Game of Thrones, because he’s got an undead snow dragon or whatever, but yours is better.

Jenny:
Yeah, yeah. He is taciturn, but you don’t want a driver who’s a chatterbox you know? And, moreover, since no man can kill him, you now have a driver who can’t be killed by one entire gender, that’s like, a huge advantage.

Claire:
Right, and also, if the thing that you’re stealing is the one ring of power, he does have a satnav built in.

Jenny:
So true, so true!

Claire:
But just if it’s that.

Jenny:
Oh man, that’s amazing.

Claire:
And the final place in this crew is something that you suggested.

Jenny:
Yeah, so I suggested we have an audience stand-in, so someone who’s new to the biz, and excited to learn how everything works, and they help us, the audience, understand who every member of the crew is and what each of their jobs are and so forth. I kind of made this as like a swing position so that we could just add someone to the team that we like, so Claire, what did you choose for this?

Claire:
So I didn’t actually go with like, oh here’s a person that I like that’s missing from this list, what I went with in the end was, who’s a person who would be a good stand-in for the audience? And so what I went with is newly-vampired Bella Swan, because, you know, canonically in the books she doesn’t really have that much of a personality, and it’s not to rag on those books, it’s just she’s a character who exists kind of as a stand-in for the audience anyway. Like, that’s kind of the point of that particular character I think in YA a lot of the time, and she’s made a vampire during the series, so there you go. But I would like to not have Edward or any of the Cullens or Jacob, or her creepy baby in the crew or anywhere near them, they can be her tragic past.

Jenny:
Sounds perfect!

Claire:
And also my crew now gets to have Kristen Stewart, so it’s now hotter and gayer.

Jenny:
Yes, I would like to note I have two canonically bisexual characters on my team – actually no, three, because Jedao is also, as I recall, pansexual. OK, so my audience stand-in, I originally was going to have an X-man character, and then I was like well I can’t have two X-men on the team so I nixed it, and I was going to do Death of the Endless, but since I got rid of my X-men character I’m going back again, and now I will again choose Jubilee from the X-men, because she is young, she is enthusiastic to learn about things. People say she’s a pain in the ass, I think she just has a case of being a young woman in fiction.

Claire:
Oh yeah, fair fair.

Jenny:
And also, she has her own superpowers, so as she is with the team for longer she could start to take more of a role, and find which department she wants to specialise in, and I think that would be fun to witness also.

Claire:
That’s really, really fun!

Jenny:
Yeah!

Claire:
I was also trying not to have too many people from the same properties, but I was also trying to have a good break down of what creatures people were. I tried to make sure I had a good coverage. So I’ve got a skeleton, I’ve got a spaceship that died and is an AI back to – maybe, I don’t know how to classify Justice of Toren. But, I’ve got a skeleton, I’ve got an AI come back to life, I’ve got a zombie, I’ve got Death, I’ve got someone who died and came back to life, a ghost, and a vampire.

Jenny:
That’s very good.

Claire:
And the thing I’m proudest of out of all of this is just the spread of undeadiness that I’ve got in there.

Jenny:
Yes, you’ve done absolutely brilliantly. I didn’t even think about that, so I’ve got two vampires, two people who came back from the dead… yeah, so mine is a little more mixed.

Claire:
But I think yours actually works better in terms of a narrative you could build with it. The other thing that I tried really really hard to do is I tried to pick people for the positions of hacker, thief and muscle, that could be in love. Because obviously I very very strongly care about the Leverage OT3, of the hacker, the thief and the muscle, Parker, Eliot and Hardison. And so I tried that really hard… and I ended up with Breq, Death and Buffy. Which Susan pointed out, that’s at least two people that are like, “what are those feeling things you speak of?!” which works really well with Leverage. I rest my case.

Jenny:
That does go really well with Leverage. Mine is, mine doesn’t really work so well, I have, who do I have… I have Jedao, Constantine and Buffy. I just don’t think they would fall in love in the end, I don’t think they would.

Claire:
So that was our undead heist caper crew, let us know on Twitter at @Readingtheend and @Radiofreefandom if you agree or disagree with our picks, and if you would pick other people for undead heistiness, and please watch Leverage.

Jenny:
So good!

[Music break]

Claire:
So for our recommendation segment today, we’re going to talk about stuff that we’ve loved in the break, and that is since about March or April, something like that, so we have a lot of things to cover. Do you want to start us off, Jenny?

Jenny:
Yeah, so, there’s no way that you could have predicted I was going to say this, because I have given no indication at all that this is what I’m currently obsessed with, but, I am currently obsessed with Leverage. I started watching it a couple of years ago and I think what went wrong – two things I think went wrong. One, I got distracted because I was not a finisher at that time, and I am a finisher now. Two, I was much less aware of fandom back then, so I don’t think I fully appreciated how super super shippy it is. Which is, very, especially in seasons 4 and 5, which I am now in. And in case you’re not familiar, it’s a heist show, there is a found family of five people, who all have jobs on the heist team, and they love each other and they do crimes to stop the rich from being terrible. And it is so great, it’s the best comfort food, I love it.

Claire:
Yeah, I mean I have been watching Leverage and I think I was watching Leverage before the break and already started talking about it. I need to finish Leverage, I need to watch seasons 4 and 5, because I am ready for even more shippiness than earlier in the show. Like literally came to this show from fandom, and didn’t realise that Parker, Hardison, Eliot aren’t the main characters. I literally thought it was a show about Parker, like Parker was the main person —

Jenny:
I wish!

Claire:
I wish too! But since we’re talking about Leverage now, I need to tell you all that you will hear more about Leverage this season on Radio Free Fandom, because we’re going to have a full Leverage episode later in the series, we’re also going to have episodes about other things that I was talking about before the break and that I am still obsessed with, things like She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, whatever is going on these days in the MCU, also the Hugo Awards. And we’ll be talking about some newer stuff that’s been happening since then, like the juggernaut that’s taken over fandom, Good Omens. As well as the Veronica Mars revival, for good or bad or whatever value of that, we’ll be talking about it.

Jenny:
Sounds great, I’m very excited. I’m especially excited obviously about the Leverage episode, and I hope it includes fic recs.

Claire:
It definitely definitely will, because, not to spoil too much ahead of time, but Chelsea will be on it.

Jenny:
Great, great.

Claire:
OK, now that I’ve teased what’s coming up on the podcast a little bit, do you want to tell me your next thing you’ve loved in the break?

Jenny:
Yes, I would love to. So, this is actually going to be one of my favourite books of the entire year. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. I’m just so high on this book, it’s a YA comic about a girl named Freddy, who’s dating this very flighty, charming unreliable girl called Laura Dean, and Freddy is trying to figure out who she is as a person, and also who she is when she’s in a relationship with Laura Dean. It’s really great for a number of reasons. The art is gorgeous, and I think does a really tremendous job of conveying the characters’ interiority. I also think, and I’ve thought this about Mariko Tamaki’s books in the past, I think it just really clearly remembers what it’s like to be a teenager. And it just felt, I was not the teenager who went out and did parties, which these kids are, but even so, it felt so familiar, it felt so much like what I remembered of being a teenager, and how you just never felt like the ground was solid under you. So that was really great, I also love that it’s about a queer character and she has queer friends, I think that often, if there’s a queer character in YA friends they’ll be the only one among their friend group, which I don’t think is realistic, and also just creates this false sense of isolation around queerness, so I loved seeing her be in a supportive group of friends. And God, it was just great, it was so great, I felt so good when I finished it, I recently reread it, again, and I, again, felt amazing when I finished it. It’s just the best, everyone should read it.

Claire:
I’m definitely going to look that up!

Jenny:
Oh, it’s so sweet, I think you’ll really love it. It’s so sweet!

Claire:
Now, my first pick for this is something that, if anyone’s been following me on social media you’re probably not too surprised, but, it’s the TV show Schitt’s Creek, which. Jenny, if you haven’t seen it, I think you would also like it. The high level pitch is basically that it’s this family of incredibly, incredibly, incredibly wealthy people, who in the first three-minute cold open of the show basically lose their entire fortune because their crooked business manager basically went away to the Bahamas with all their money. And so, they have found themselves with nothing to their name but like a suitcase of belongings, and a town that the dad bought his son as a gift, as a joke, because the town’s name is Schitt’s Creek. So they go to Schitt’s Creek with a suitcase of fabulous clothing each, and they get a room at the local motel, and they have to learn how to have actual life skills, and be a family. The first season is a little bit more shaky, because it’s trying to introduce the thing, and it’s a bit – I think it just takes them a while to figure out exactly what they’re doing. But, it kind of turns into the most gentle, loving ribbing of these people, and the joke is always that they have no life skills, and it’s never at the expense of the people in the town, who are just normal people trying to live their lives. The relationships that it starts to build, the way the characters kind of grow into a loving family is just amazing. And it’s just so kind, and it’s about people trying their hardest, which really really just hits me in the feels.

Jenny:
Yeah man, I. So I haven’t watched it yet, all of the internet, like everyone I know is obsessed with this show. The only reason I haven’t is that I’m a finisher now so I’m trying to finish shows I’ve already started. Because, the reason I never finish any goddamn shows is that something like this always comes along, and I’m like ooh, this sounds good!

Claire:
Yeah, fair! That’s really fair.

Jenny:
And then I’ll watch one season or a season and a half, and then some other thing will be the thing that everyone’s obsessed with, so I like jump ship immediately. So I’m goddamn finishing Leverage, and then I’m going to finish Jane the Virgin, and then I’m going to finish Killjoys, and I think once I’ve done that, then at that point, I can take on something new.

Claire:
It would be really sad if you started watching Schitt’s Creek, you got through like season 1 and season 2, and then you stopped when it’s getting like, amazing. It’s good in the early seasons, it just gets really, really, really amazing later in the run of the show. Season 5 is now out, there’s one more coming out, and then it will all be done and then you can watch it when it’s all finished and finish it, because it is so so good, and I love it so much.

Jenny:
It’s a half-hour comedy, right?

Claire:
Yeah, I think it’s a twenty minute show. Because, I actually had a sleepover at my best friend’s house that was like a craft weekend with her and a couple of other friends of ours, and I showed up and they were watching Schitt’s Creek, and they had started like in the middle of season 3, for people who have seen it they started at the episode where Patrick showed up, and then they had it on the entire time, and so I showed up, and I had said I would cook some food, so I’m cooking some food and not really paying attention to the show, and they’re kind of explaining to me what’s going on with it and what’s happening and who the people are, and by the time I sat down to actually watch it, was the episode where the main couple that I’m now obsessed with get together in the actual show, it has canonical queer representation in the show – this is not a Schitt’s Creek episode! A Schitt’s Creek episode will happen in this season of this very podcast, so I’m going to stop talking about it now and we’re going to talk about your next thing.

Jenny:
OK, but I do look forward to watching Schitt’s Creek, and I do think half-hour comedies are easier to binge, so I’m about it.

(Quick break)

Jenny:
OK, my next thing is, I signed up for a poem-a-day email, and I’ve really been loving it. I don’t tend to think of myself as a poetry person, partly because a lot of the poetry that I read I don’t like, but what I think is true, and if you’re a poetry person feel free to tell me I’m wrong, but I think it’s the case that you in general will not like most poetry that you read, because poetry is aiming directly for your heart, and so since people have very different hearts, inevitably a lot of poems’ll miss the mark. So doing a poem-a-day subscription has been fantastic, because I get exposed to a really wide range of poets. I originally signed up for the poets.org poem-a-day and it didn’t suit my needs, so now I’m using the Poetry Foundation poem-a-day newsletter, and it’s been great, they have a really nice variety, diversity of voices, a diversity of ages of poems. One that I got that I really liked recently was called ‘Vines’ by Kaveh Akbar, and it has this line in it, he’s talking about his family, and saying some compliment that they’ve given him, and he says, ‘I thank them for that and / for their chromosomes most of which // have been lovely’.

Claire:
That’s cute.

Jenny:
Yeah, so it’s been really nice, and it’s also just a nice thing to look forward to in the morning, because a poem is short and you can read it real quick. And I feel like I got culture first thing in the morning.

Claire:
That’s really lovely, I think I’ve only got a couple of newsletters that I actually read. I very assiduously read the Rec Center when that comes out, I’m sure listeners to this podcast will already know about it because I’ve mentioned it a bunch of times on this show, but the Rec Center is a newsletter for fandom about fandom with fandom recommendations. And, also I really enjoy the Full Lid which is Alasdair Stuart’s newsletter, Alasdair is a friend of mine, and a genuine really good egg, like a very kind person who’s super enthusiastic about things, and it comes out on a Friday when I’m feeling tired and grumpy, and I still have one more day in my week, because I work Tuesdays to Saturdays, so it’s my Thursday which is the worst, and it just always cheers me up.

Jenny:
That sounds great! Yeah I love the Rec Center, they had, not to be predictable, but they had a very, very excellent piece of – Claire’s making quite a face – they had a very excellent piece of fanart in the most recent Rec Center newsletter that was of Toby Stephens in Black Sails and my word, it was certainly something.

Claire:
I mean, to be fair, I haven’t seen Black Sails yet, but I’m onboard with Toby Stephens is hot because I’m a person that enjoys gentlemen, so.

Jenny:
Yeah, I mean, and let me just say, if you already think Toby Stephens is hot, watching Black Sails will be like a whole, it’s like a new dimension in your brain opens up for finding Toby Stephens attractive.

Claire:
I know, I know Jenny, but the thing is, it’s such a long show, and it’s going to ruin my feelings, and I can tell it’s going to be the deepest fandom hole that I’ve been in since Les Mis, and I just.

Jenny:
What I’m hearing you say is, “Try really hard to convince me Jenny, you will find it rewarding once you do.”

Claire:
I mean the thing is I know, it’s not a question of an if, it’s a question of when I have time, but we know that I don’t really do having time.

Jenny:
I hear you, oh my gosh, it’s so good. Well, listen listen, here’s the upside. The fandom… I don’t want to say the fandom is trash, but it ships the wrong thing, it’s very wrong, it’s unfortunately extremely wrong, so although I would like to be in the fandom, it’s too wrong for me to be in it. So, I just have the show mainly, and there’s a couple of fics that are really really good, but overall it’s not for me.

Claire:
Oh, that’s really sad, I’m so sorry!

Jenny:
It is really sad, thank you for understanding!

Claire:
My next pick is the novel Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. This is a royalty AU fanfic of a book, basically. This is a story about a British prince, and the first son of the United States, he’s the son of the first female president of the US, and he’s a queer latino kid, and he’s in a kind of weird, they don’t talk to each other but they both know they hate each other relationship with the prince of England. And then they go to this reception together and basically get in an argument and inadvertently break some shit, and they have to do a PR stunt that they are best friends, and it was an accident, because they are best friends! And so they are kind of thrown together. And then they start having this really weird friendship that works because of their different positions, basically jobs that they have as public figures, and of course that goes into a romantic relationship. And there are a lot of tropes in this that are, you know if you’re familiar with royalty AUs in fanfic, you will see the same tropes, so I need to give a content warning for characters being outed. If you have read royalty AUs and you’re like, ooh I can imagine how that would happen in a royalty AU, it happens like that. It’s like, the press being shitty basically. So I don’t feel like that’s a massive spoiler because it’s just like, how this very precise subgenre of fanfic that I adore functions. Now, there’s been some controversy around this book about like, the way that it’s being marketed in very much a “this has never been done before!” “this is like YA but better because!” “this is romance but better because!” “It’s never been done before!” … It’s obviously been done before. I saw the title and the blurb and I was like, yep, I know exactly what kind of book it’s going to be and I’m going to love it. I do think it’s a really good book, and obviously the author didn’t come up with the concept of a royalty AU, but it’s a really good example of that genre, and it also has a lot of really lovely stuff about the presidency and politics and campaigning and stuff like that. I wonder if maybe that might be a little bit difficult to read or fraught to read for US readers, because it has stuff about having a female president and how campaigning works and all of that, that I thought, ooh that’s a bit soon, and it’s not even something that I personally have to live with every day, so, you know, eh. I feel like I’m giving too many warnings for this thing that I adore and I think people should read, but, there you go.

Jenny:
No, I don’t think you are, that’s just useful, then people know, so they can approach it in the best spirit, I think that’s solid. Yeah, I’m excited to read that book, I keep checking at my library and it’s always checked out, so I just this minute while you were talking put a hold on it, because it does sound really cute and sweet.

Claire:
Yay!

Jenny:
OK, my next one is Six the Musical, which is a musical about Henry the eighth’s six wives, kind of as if they were the Spice Girls, basically. I did not discover this musical for the first time during podcast hiatus, but I did go see it for the first time during podcast hiatus, so I think it counts. I saw it in Chicago at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and it was so much fun. If you’ve listened to it you probably already really like the soundtrack, but seeing the show is really great because the energy is really high, the performers are really engaged with the audience, and it was just a really really really really really fun musical to see. I think it’s in London and Boston right now, and it will also be opening on Broadway in New York next year, so if you’re in any of those places I really recommend it. If you can’t go see it because tickets to musicals are expensive, I do still recommend listening to the London cast recording, it bangs. And it’s just so much fun, I love it so much. I love it!

Claire:
Yeah, it is a really really fun show, I haven’t actually heard the album, but I went to see it, so I’ve seen the London production, and it’s almost more like a concert than a musical? Obviously there’s loads of cool costume changes and there’s a lot of cool scenery onstage, but there’s also a band, isn’t there a band onstage? I thought there was like, drums if I’m remembering correctly.

Jenny:
Yes, there’s a little band. In the Chicago production they introduce each of the band members, it was really sweet, it was really nice.

Claire:
I mean, you kind of have to do that if they’re onstage I think. But that’s like a trope, if you want to use that word, of concerts, right, and they do do that, so that’s kind of what I mean by it’s very concert-y. I really enjoyed it, I thought it was really fun, I’m not somebody who knows a lot about this particular period of British history, I’ve done a lot more contemporary British history, so it was kind of fun to go and see because I didn’t know a lot of the details, and a lot of the timeframe of the thing.

Jenny:
Well, apply to me if you ever want to know details, I know a lot of things. I was in a very major Tudors phase when I was a young teenager, so.

Claire:
Oh yes, I do recall that you have a lot of opinions about Mary Queen of Scots.

Jenny:
Yes I do, yes I do! What an idiot! We don’t have to get into it, but what an idiot, oh my god.

Claire:
(Laughs) No no, I mean, I recall you specifically having a lot of opinions about movies and media depictions of Mary Queen of Scots, and various other things that I thought, “Sure, that’s a thing I don’t know anything about, but I will trust Jenny’s opinion on these things.”

Jenny:
Thank you, I appreciate that.

Claire:
So my next favourite thing is more of a genre of a thing, it’s TV shows that are very specific competitions. And not really mean competitions like Project Runway or something like that where people snipe at each other, I mean Great British Bakeoff-style competitions where it’s just a particular trade, or a particular type of thing, like, we’ve got a Great British Sewing Bee in the UK as well, which is amazing and I really like needlecrafts as well, so it works great for me. But there are more shows just like that that have this kind of, how kind, that have people helping each other. I have loved Faceoff for a really long time, it’s just not available to watch anywhere in the UK, so it makes me really sad. But, there are two that are available to watch in the UK, and that makes me so happy. The first I know you watch also, and that is Blown Away, which is the Netflix glass-blowing competition, which was amazing! Which showcased this really uncommon, obscure skill that people don’t really know about, and is fascinating, and also, every episode they talk about glory-holes a bunch of times, which is really funny, because that’s just a funny word!

Jenny:
(Giggles) Yes they do, it’s hilarious!

Claire:
It’s one of the like, ovens, I guess? That they use? And they all talk about it with an extremely straight face, which I love.

Jenny:
Yes, yes, they do, there’s no winking at the camera, although if it were me that would be all that I was doing.

Claire:
Yeah, for sure, for sure. And the other thing I’m not sure if that’s going to be available for people to watch outside of the UK, but it is a show called The Great Model Railway Challenge, which is a show… where they make model railways. Like!

Jenny:
I could never have guessed.

Claire:
But it’s so, so fun! I would say the one drawback to it is that it tends to be teams of older white dudes, there’s not that many women or people of colour, I mean they are there, obviously they’re there, because every kind of thing, like model railway building or science fiction and fantasy where people tell you “oh it’s a thing of white dudes!” it’s not, it’s not, we’ve always been around, we’re there, but… I would say, it is kind of still predominant, but it’s such a fun show. They basically have three teams come in that are local model railway building clubs from around the country, and they give them this big table, and they have to build a model railway on a theme in three days. So they start by putting out the tracks, and making sure all the trains run, and then they have to build this massive bit of scenery around it. They are allowed to bring some stuff from home, but they have to only bring a certain amount of buildings that they have premade from home, and so sometimes you get into a situation where someone is like “yes, this row of houses is one of our pre-built!” and the judges are like, “noooo.” That’s the level of drama that we get. You also get lovely shots of people drinking tea and eating biscuits, because that’s very important.

Jenny:
Yes. That sounds wonderful. I too am a big fan of kind reality shows, and I actually read a thing on NPR recently talking about how Netflix is really cornering the market on kind reality shows in America, so you know, someone’s on it, it’s not going to stop with Blown Away, I hope.

Claire:
Yeah, there’s also a Lego one in the UK actually. I didn’t mention it because it’s not on at the minute, but there’s like a Lego-building show, and they have a lot of teams that are like, a kid and their uncle or something.

Jenny:
Aww!

Claire:
There’s adult teams, and then kids, and there’s teams that are like two kids sometimes that do really really well because they are so imaginative. Then they have teams that are like, “Yes, I’m eight, and my dad is an engineer, and we have built the Eiffel Tower in Lego!” Something like that, it’s just really good.

Jenny:
It sounds wonderful!

(Quick break)

Jenny:
OK, my last pick is the Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas. Oh my god, I loved this book so much, I don’t understand why everyone’s not reading it and talking about it. This is another one that’s definitely going to be in my top five books of the year. And, like Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, it is mostly about women. This is about an alternate universe where time travel gets invented in England after World War II, and this whole time travel agency gets created. It’s told in multiple timelines, as you would expect from a time travel book, and there’s just so many moving parts, so what’s amazing is that it works really well together, all the different moving parts just click together so beautifully, I never knew what was coming next, I would get finished with a chapter and just be like, I have no idea what’s going to happen. It’s nominally a murder mystery, but you start out not even knowing actually who got murdered. It’s just great, it’s inventive, it’s queer, it’s unexpected, and I have not read a time travel book in a really long time that I thought did such an amazing job of characters, and plot, and I just loved it. And there are almost no men in it, which is great.

Claire:
Have you read the time travel novellas by Kate Heartfield, Alice Payne Arrives and Alice Payne Rides? Because I thought they did that thing that you describe really really well, the time travel timey-wimeyness.

Jenny:
Yes, so I read the first one, I haven’t read the second one yet. I enjoyed it a lot yeah, for sure.

Claire:
Would recommend the second one.

Jenny:
I’m all-in for time travel. I’m excited to read it, my library doesn’t have it yet unfortunately.

Claire:
Hopefully soon!

Jenny:
I know!

[Music break]

Claire:
Well that’s all we have time for today, but before we go, Jenny, can you tell people a little bit more about where they can find you online?

Jenny:
Yes! So I am at readingtheend.com where I blog and podcast, and I’m also on Twitter @readingtheend, and I think that’s it, those are my main two places.

Claire:
Awesome, awesome, thank you so much for joining me Jenny, I was so happy to do this game with you today.

Jenny:
Thank you so much for having me on, I’m so delighted that you humoured me and agreed to do my fantasy draft!

Claire:
It was a lot of fun! So, thanks again for joining me, and thank you to all of you for tuning in to Radio Free Fandom. You can find us on Twitter at @radiofreefandom, email us at radiofreefandom@gmail.com, or head over to our website radiofreefandom.com to see the show notes and find out more about our awesome guests. If you enjoy the show, please consider leaving us a rating or a review on iTunes as that might do something, we’re not sure, but it might help. We are also on Patreon at patreon.com/ClaireRousseau if you would like to support us with money. Or you can just tell people about the show on the Twitters. Our show music is Super Friendly by Kevin MacLeod, find out more at incompetech.com.