Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

The Writer and the Critic, Above/Below

The latest episode of the Writer and the Critic is out and features a review and, largely spoiler free, discussion of Above/Below:

The Writer and the Critic elects to stay at home and rest its feet this month as your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, give you a rundown on the recently announced ballots for the Ditmar and Chronos Awards. Ian grabs a shovel ad promptly digs himself a Ditmar-shaped hole. Kirstyn highlights the emergence of the podcast as a dominant form of "fan publication" on both ballots.They then discuss gender bias in The Periodic Table of Storytelling (which is based on the TV Tropes wiki) -- not to mention gender bias on Ian's hoodie! -- as well as a related blog post by Ann Leckie. Ian laments the likely closure of Salon Futura but hopes Wizard's Tower Press (and its fine online book store) will continue. Kirstyn still refuses to buy an iPad.

Above/Below by Stephanie Campisi and Ben Peek is a listener-recommended title which is comprised of two linked novellas published as a single "flip-style" book.There are very few spoilers in this review but if you haven't read the book and wish to skip ahead, the discussion begins at 39:30 and ends around 54:15.

The official podcast books are The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (chosen by Ian) and Liar by Justine Larbalestier (recommended by Kirstyn). Be warned: both these discussions contains MASSIVE SPOILERS!! They begin at 54:15 for Oscar Wao and 1:20:20 for Liar. If you haven't already read the books, you may want to come back later when you have. Especially when it coms to Liar. Kirstyn and Ian are very serious about that. Look how sternly their fingers are wagging!

To hear a final wrap-up, brief mention of feedback, and some very exciting podcasty news, listen in from 1:39:00.

For the next episode, Ian has chosen The Resurrectionst by Jack O'Connell while Kirstyn has picked Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. In addition, they will be discussing the new split-novel/duology, Black Out and All Clear by Connie Willis, which was recommended by a listener. Whew, that's a whole bunch of words to get through!

*** The Writer and the Critic adopts a book club approach to its discussion and will assume its listeners have either read the books in question or don't care if they find out that it was all but a dream in the end. There will almost certainly be spoilers, so you are encouraged to read the chosen titles ahead of time. It'll be much more fun that way and Ian and Kirstyn won't get near as many death threats! ***


The discussion of Above/Below is pretty positive. Which side to read first is discussed, Thomas Disch is name checked and so is Bruce Willis. Steph is called beautiful and I am called political, and it was all very quite positive, as I said. You should check it out if you have read the book, and even if you haven't.

Above/Below can be purchased here for 15 bucks. Obviously you want to buy it.
Tags: above/below

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