Posts Tagged ‘books’

The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 67!

October 30, 2017

The Sons of the Dragon

Sean & Stefan review George R.R. Martin’s latest historical novella set in the world of Ice and Fire, “The Sons of the Dragon”! Found in The Book of Swords, the latest (and allegedly, until The Winds of Winter is published, the last) genre anthology co-edited by GRRM and Gardner Dozois, “TSotD” chronicles the lives of Aegon “The Conqueror” Targaryen’s two large adult sons, Aenys and Maegor. Being named “anus” and “meager” wound up being the least of their problems, as we soon learn. Sean & Stefan discuss the most striking aspects of the failsons’ stories, as well as the political and supernatural status quo of the era in which they take place; debate the quality and merit of this and other faux-historical texts in the setting; and end with commentary on Martin’s writerly priorities. Enjoy!

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Additional links:

Stefan’s review of “The Sons of the Dragon” at the Tower of the Hand.

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The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #11!

October 30, 2017

Moment 11 | Chekhov’s Wildfire

Welcome to an explosive edition of our subscriber-only mini-podcast! This time around BLAM is truly living up to its onomatopoeic acronym with a question from Matthew, a subscriber at the $5 level, who writes: “What do you think of the Chekhov’s Wildfire theory; that King’s Landing will be destroyed by Dany, Cersei, or someone else?” It’s a cool question, because it lets Stefan & Sean answer in ways that are fundamentally the same but with very different details. Pledge $2 a month, tune in, and find out what they are! And don’t forget: If you want us to answer your question on-air, pledge $5 a month to go in the queue, or $10 a month to go to the front of the line!

(Click here to purchase this episode’s theme music.)

The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #10!

September 29, 2017

Moment 10 | New POVs

Which characters’ heads are we hoping hardest to get inside of for the first time in The Winds of Winter? That’s the simple question posed by listener/subscriber Pascal, and the answers lead to a short but sweet episode of BLAM, our Patreon-exclusive mini-podcast. Note that we’ve exhausted all of our $10-level questions, so if you wanna move to the front of the line for our next episode, up your ante to ten bucks a month and ask away! And if you’re not a subscriber yet, pledge $2 a month and listen in!

“It”: Everything You Need to Know About Stephen King’s Killer Clown Story

September 11, 2017

Pennywise is one of modern horror’s greatest monsters
He’s the original killer clown from outer space and the most infamous villain in Stephen King’s bibliography, which is saying something. (All apologies, Randall Flagg.)  Pennywise the Dancing Clown is the form most frequently taken by a malevolent entity that’s been haunting the entire town of Derry, Maine for centuries; it’s lurked beneath the land since it hurtled through the cosmos and crash-landed on Earth from another dimension millennia ago. This shape-shifter can transform into its victims’ worst nightmares, feeding on both their fear and their flesh. Its preferred target: little kids, whose vivid imaginations give it an extensive menu of terrors to choose from. This also explains the monster’s default mode: What kid doesn’t love clowns? (At least before It more or less singlehandedly ruined their image, that is.)

But in addition to being one mean, multifaceted predator, Pennywise has exerted a malign influence on the entire town. He himself – or It Itself – only emerges from hibernation once every 27 years or so for a feeding frenzy that lasts roughly a year to 18 months. But Its presence in the sewers beneath Derry radiates an evil that makes the small town the murder capital of New England … and generates a sort of willful amnesia among the population. Such forgetfulness keeps folks from reflecting on their sleepy burg’s history of atrocities, disasters and mass murders. It also prevents people from connecting the dots when the creature resurfaces and kids start going missing en masse.

Overall, Pennywise combines a killer look and set of powers with one of King’s strongest concepts: a fairy-tale troll that hides out not under a bridge, but an entire city – a ghost that haunts not just one house, but all of them. As our foremost chronicler of small-town American evil, King has a royally good time with the idea.

I wrote a primer on It — the book, the miniseries, the movie, Pennywise, Tim Curry, That Scene, you name it — just in time for the release of the new blockbuster film adaptation for Rolling Stone.

The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #9

August 24, 2017

Moment 09 | Escaping the Cycle of Violence

This month’s BLAM question comes to us from $10/month patreon subscriber Tim Westmyer, and it’s a great one. Using Brienne, Jaime, Tyrion, Sansa, and Arya as test cases and the Hound as (for now) a successful example, Tim asks which characters will escape the story’s cycle of violence and vengeance and find some peace after all is said and done. We go broad, we go specific, and we do it all in eight minutes and change — an ideal Boiled Leather Audio Moment. Click here and pledge at the $2/month level to listen! And remember, if you have a question for Sean & Stefan to answer in a future BLAM, subscribe at $5/month, or bump it up to $10 for the priority treatment!

The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 65!

August 1, 2017

Azor Ahai a Hound? (A Patreon Production)

The Pooch Who Was Promised! In this episode of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour, Sean & Stefan respond to the request of one of our $50-a-month Patreon subscribers, Ryan, to evaluate the odds that Azor Ahai Reborn is none other than Sandor “The Hound” Clegane. Working with material from both the books and the show, the illustrious co-hosts branch out from there to discuss the nature of this pivotal prophecy itself, their own preferred candidates for the messianic role, and what qualities we should look for in a savior. Hmm, is that salt and smoke in the air?

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A Wiki of Ice and Fire’s Azor Ahai rundown.

Our Patreon page at patreon.com/boiledleatheraudiohour.

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The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #7

June 16, 2017

Moment 07: Bran and the Time Travel Effect

On this month’s subscriber-only Boiled Leather Audio Moment, we’re going back…to the future! Okay, not really—that’s sort of the point of the discussion. In our first-ever BLAM available at our new $2 reward level, Sean & Stefan answer a question from listener Max B. about whether recent events on the Game of Thrones adaptation indicate that Bran Stark, everyone’s favorite paraplegic telepath, will have an increasingly dramatic effect on past events in the world of the story. Paradoxes abound, and to borrow Ser Barristan’s unfortunate phrasing we slice through them like a knife through cheese. Hit that $2 subscription button, then press play!

(Buy this Moment’s theme song here.)

The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 63!

May 31, 2017

BLAH 63 | Our Favorite Fantasies

“What other fantasy books do you like?” It’s one of our most frequently asked questions, and in this month’s episode of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour, we’re answering it? Sean and Stefan tackle the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, R.A. Salvatore, Lloyd Alexander, Ursula K. Le Guin, Susan Cooper, David Gemmell, and Robert E. Howard (with detours into Dungeons & Dragons and H.P. Lovecraft) in a wide-ranging discussion about the fantasy authors and series that they enjoyed as kids, as grown-ups, or both, and what (if anything) separates one from the other. This is a fun one, if we may be so bold. Enjoy!

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Additional links:

Sean’s guest appearance on the Delete Your Account podcast with Kumars Salehi.

Our Patreon page at patreon.com/boiledleatheraudiohour.

Our PayPal donation page (also accessible via boiledleather.com).

Our iTunes page.

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The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #6!

May 31, 2017

Moment 06: Renly Baratheon: Threat or Menace?

On this all-new installment of our subscriber-only mini-podcast, we’re examining the character of one Renly Baratheon, courtesy of listener John Spinella. Was his move to cut ahead of his older brother Stannis in the line to the Iron Throne the ethical and political disaster many observers have said, or has dying before we could learn how he would really rule earned him a bad rap? Subscribe, listen, and find out!

Delete Your Account, Episode 49.5: The Culture Industry

May 26, 2017

I’m quite pleased to say I was the guest on this week’s subscriber-only edition of the leftist podcast Delete Your Account! Basically, host Kumars Salehi and I are both unhappy with how various factions of the Left talk about art these days, so we tried to come up with a left-wing discussion of politics and pop culture that won’t make you want to kill yourself. We cover Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings, The Walking Dead, prestige TV, horror, the Four Worst Types of TV Critics, and more. It’s for Patreon subscriber’s only, so smash that motherfuckin subscribe button and give it a listen!

‘Dreaming the Beatles’ Author Rob Sheffield on the Fab Four’s Unstoppable Pop

May 17, 2017

I wonder if that longevity has something to do with another key element of the book — that The Beatles were “a pop group” and “a rock band,” and you talk about them as both.

Sheffield: The fact that they play in both of those leagues is one of the really weird things about them. There’s something utopian about the way they float over that distinction. Their original concept of “rock and roll,” which is what they called it when they were just starting out — it’s amazing how expansive it was. They were really into playing blues, R&B, country, American rockabilly, corny cheesy show tunes, upscale New York professional-songcraft stuff like Goffin and King, girl-group stuff.

It was controversial, even at the time when they were playing in Liverpool. Paul has this funny story in his book about how the other Liverpool bands thought The Beatles were good at playing blues covers, and that it was lame that they wanted to play pop stuff. Mick Jagger was saying, “We were blues purists. We like pop stuff, but we would never do it onstage.” But [Motörhead singer and bassist] Lemmy talked about seeing The Beatles at the Cavern Club, and he was like, “That’s the most ferocious live band I’ve ever seen.” The idea of a 16-year-old Lemmy going to the Cavern for the lunchtime show, and all these office girls who are there with their hair in rollers, dancing around their handbags.

It’s funny that the definitions of rock and pop became more exclusive and narrow-minded since then. The Beatles were beyond that from the beginning. Their conception of rock and roll was so wide-ranging and so imaginative that there was something revolutionary about it. They would try playing anything new: Motown, Carl Perkins, The Music Man, all on the same record or in the same set. They were very self-consciously provocative about that. Even [girl groups like] the Marvelettes or the Shirelles or the Chiffons. [The Beatles] liked singing in that girl-group style of vocals together. Like, no, The Rolling Stones did not do that.

It’s my great pleasure to make my MTV News debut by interviewing Rob Sheffield about his tremendous new book Dreaming the Beatles, the best thing about the band I’ve ever read. It sidesteps the canonicity argument completely and talks about how the Beatles’ presence in pop culture didn’t just end with their amazing eight-year run, but continued to grow and change and get even bigger among different groups of kids and musicians every decade since. Absolutely stellar work, and I’m so glad I got to pick Rob’s brain about it.

The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 62!

May 1, 2017

A Game of Thrones Revisited
The Boiled Leather Audio Hour goes back to the beginning! Sean & Stefan kick off their great A Song of Ice and Fire reread project with an episode dedicated entirely to A Game of Thrones, the novel that started it all. What did George R.R. Martin do as a writer to distinguish his work from the epic fantasy hordes? How has he changed as a writer since? Which elements turned out to matter, which didn’t, and which are we still scratching our heads about? The answers to all these questions, plus our takes on all the major characters (teaser: Sean compares Ned Stark to the Dude from The Big Lebowski), await you in this episode!

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Additional links:

Our Patreon page at patreon.com/boiledleatheraudiohour.

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The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 61!

March 31, 2017

The Boiled Leather Children’s Hour

BLAH is for the children! In this episode, Sean and Stefan take a look at two issues uniquely relevant to the younger characters of A Song of Ice and Fire: bullying and education. Inspired by our recent re-reads of A Game of Thrones, our conversation touches on the pervasiveness of verbal and physical bullying, the degree to which it is or isn’t encouraged by adults, and how the ideas passed on to children by their parents and teachers through the official education system (for nobles, anyway) impact those receiving them. It’s a topic close to our hearts, and to our understanding of what the whole series is really about. Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD EPISODE 61

And remember, if you like what you hear, subscribe to our Patreon to hear more of it via our subscriber-exclusive Boiled Leather Audio Moment mini-podcast!

Additional links:

BLAH 09: Our episode on violence against children.

BLAH 11: Our episode on sexualized violence and violence against women (with Alyssa Rosenberg).

The latest BLAM mini-episode (click to subscribe).

Our Patreon page at patreon.com/boiledleatheraudiohour.

Our PayPal donation page (also accessible via boiledleather.com).

The Kickstarter for Sean’s new book, MIRROR MIRROR II.

Our iTunes page.

Mirror.

Previous episodes.

Podcast RSS feed.

Sean’s blog.

Stefan’s blog.

The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #4!

March 10, 2017

Moment 04 | Cersei’s Breaking Point

This month’s Patreon subscriber-exclusive BLAM hits close to home, as Sean & Stefan answer a listener question about the madness of Queen Cersei. We first gain access to her point of view after the deaths of her son Joffrey and father Tywin; does this push her past a breaking point, or would her POV have been materially similar had it started earlier? The BLAM Boys apply lessons from life and literature to arrive at the answer. Click here to subscribe to our Patreon so you can hear the episode, and thank you so much for your patronage!

The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #2!

January 31, 2017

Moment 02 | Our Origin Stories

The second installment of our subscriber-only mini-podcast series is here! In this episode we’re answering a popular reader question about our personal histories with A Song of Ice and Fire—when we started reading the books, how we got involved in the fandom, and so on. We also attempt to predict what will become of all this once the book series is finished. Click here to listen, or to subscribe for the low low introductory rate of just $1 a month!

The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #1!

January 10, 2017

Moment 01 | The Fate of the Direwolves

I’m pleased to announce that the first installment of the Boiled Leather Audio Moment, our subscriber-exclusive new podcast, is now up! Each BLAM will be a mini-episode in which Stefan and I focus (for now anyway) on your questions about A Song of Ice and Fire. Our inaugural installment answers a question posed by subscriber and longtime friend of the podcast Leslie Jividen: What will be the fate of the surviving Stark/Snow direwolves, from Ghost on down? If you’re already a patron, click here to hear us give it the ol’ greenseer try, and please accept our very sincere thanks for your patronage! If not, go to patreon.com/boiledleatheraudiohour and subscribe at the low low limited-time level of $1/month for access to all our ASoIaF wisdom!

The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 55!

October 29, 2016

Forecasting The Winds of Winter, Part 3: The South

We’ve tackled the North and the lands of Essos. Now our popular series of podcasts predicting the events of The Winds of Winter returns with a look at what Northern partisans such as ourselves would call “the South” — aka the rest(eros) of Westeros! With our usual emphasis on thematic and narrative resonance — and our usual caveat that this is all just fun speculation — we’re offering our theories on the fates of every major player and region. What does Book Six hold in store for our POV characters Sansa Stark, Cersei Lannister, Jon Connington, Arianne Martell, Brienne of Tarth, Jaime Lannister, Areo Hotah (hey, blame George), Samwell Tarly, and Aeron “the Damphair” Greyjoy? What about key supporting cast members like Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, the Tyrells, the Faith Militant, Doran Martell, the Sand Snakes, (f)Aegon Targaryen, Varys, Catelyn “Lady Stoneheart” Stark, Brynden “the Blackfish” Tully, Tommen and Myrcella Lannister, Walder Frey, and so on? What fates will befall King’s Landing, Oldtown, Highgarden, Storm’s End, Sunspear, and Casterly Rock? And of course, where and when will the Others and the dragons strike first? We’re taking our best guesses. See what you think!

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Additional links:

Forecasting The Winds of Winter, Part 1: The North

Forecasting The Winds of Winter, Part 2: Essos

Our Patreon page at patreon.com/boiledleatheraudiohour.

Our PayPal donation page (also accessible via boiledleather.com).

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The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 53!

August 14, 2016

The Theory of Everything: Analyzing Popular Theories from a Narrative & Thematic Perspective, Part II (A Patreon Production)

One of our most requested episode formats is back, thanks to our loyal patrons! Subscribers to our Patreon have selected the topic of this episode, a sequel to a much-loved previous installment in which we took a look at prominent fan theories not just in terms of whether they’re possible or even plausible, but whether they make sense in the framework of the kind of story George R.R. Martin is trying to tell and his overall vibe as a writer. This time around, the individual topics have been pitched in by our patrons as well, and there’s a wide range, from what we think happened at Summerhall to whether we believe Bran is essentially a godlike figure to which fool we like best. Give it a listen, and if you like what you here, become a Patreon contributor so you can select future podcast topics yourself!

Download Episode 53

Additional links:

The Theory of Everything, Part I

Our Vulture article on the biggest fan theories

Our Patreon page at patreon.com/boiledleatheraudiohour

Our PayPal donation page (also accessible via boiledleather.com).

Our iTunes page.

Mirror.

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Sean’s blog.

Stefan’s blog.

Buy my books!

August 9, 2016

I reopened my old Amazon marketplace store with great deals on great books & comics from me & Julia Gfrörer’s merged collections. Check it out! More will be added in the days and weeks to come, so keep your eyes peeled!