With apologies to the guests Emmet invited to join him - here is a belated pilot episode for a dedicated podcast on every issue of Jeff Smith's Bone.
For a conversation about issues #1 and #2 of the comic, Emmet speaks to author, journalist and comic creator Anthony Castle https://anthonyncastle.com/.
Emmet interviews Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick on their book On A Barbarous Coast. A reimagining of the HMB Endeavour's arrival - it sinks - Cormick and Ludwick discuss how this fork in the accounting of Australia's history allowed them to reflect on how indigenous Australians have been excluded from the colonial record.
The authors also discuss:
While Pennywise the clown is back in the cinemas, with IT: Chapter 2, Stevie and Emmet did not particularly like the first one. So they have not gone to see it.
This inspired a conversation all about Stephen King's four decades of immense commercial success and just why is it people are attracted to his stories about flawed characters facing off against cosmic horrors.
In this episode: IT, The Shining, Salem's Lot, The Mist and Mike Flanagan's upcoming adaptation of Doctor Sleep.
Also discussed –
Japanese and American Horror by Katarzyna Marak
"You have always been the caretaker: the spectral spaces of the Overlook Hotel, Mark Fisher's discussion of trauma and abuse in The Shining, collected in K-Punk from Repeater books.
Mud and Starlight: The Alan Moore Interviews 2008—2016 by Pádraig Ó Méalóid
Peadar talks his sources of inspiration for the series, the changing face of genre writing - and a tease of what's in store with his upcoming stories for George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards series.
(Also we get into a quick study of what the séimhiú is and how to pronounce Saoirse Ronan - so Irish students, take note).
A series of mortals travel to a land of Faerie - and things go bad.
This is the substance of Jason Franks's novel, a wickedly inventive take on fantasy fiction, or "C.S. Lewis with curse words" as Emmet puts it.
And if you are in Melbourne on Thursday 15 February at 6.30, come along to the launch at Readings Hawthorn, 701 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122 to meet the author (and you can check out the book itself here).
Books! Love 'em - don't have a lot of time to read 'em anymore.
Blame modern life, or whatever, but a good book takes time and deserves an attentive reader, so no smartphone distractions, or Netflix binge-athons please.
In the end we packed our bags, stuffed in a few paperbacks, and over a week of sunshine read:
This week Emmet interviews writer Christian Read on his new book Nil-Pray, available from Gestalt Publishing.
Nil-Pray is the titular city of the dead, where tensions between restless spirits and different species of undead are mounting. Into the middle of this politically fraught situation comes Edmund Carver, a disgraced Waughvian necromancer with a shameful past.
Read discusses how the story fits within the weird fiction canon, the traps of fantasy novel 'worldbuilding', and gives a guided tour to this strange city inhabited by cowboy vampires, zombie slaves, and werewolf berserkers.
As our resident morbidly obsessed hypochrondriac, Emmet interviews scientist, educator and author Paul Doherty on the many interesting ways the human body can, er, snuff it.
Emmet asks Paul Doherty to explain how the project first came about, the book's use of gallows humour and what steps can be taken to resist the anti-science movement in the world today.
Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology sets about retelling the stories of Thor, Loki and Odin in the author's voice. The book is an accessible and enjoyable read.
But in the telling of these stories, has Gaiman produced a piece of fiction, or is the retelling similar to a fanfic about your favourite superhero or starship captain? And if he has, should there be a stigma attach to that?
Stevie and Emmet discuss the book in relation to Gaiman's successful career as a storyteller who brings his dedicated following to his reinventions of DC/Marvel Comics properties or Doctor Who. The conversation then segues into Meg Downey's The Age of Transformative Works Has Changed The Rules of Compelling Narratives. What does it mean to tell stories today when there is competition between published authors and licensed creators with fans willing to produce novel-sized manuscripts on their favourite characters? For free, to boot!
Why is diversity being blamed for dips in publishing sales by Marvel Comics, when fan fiction readily caters to diverse audience? And has given rise to successful mainstream creators who first found a following writing about Potter, Buffy, or Twilight? What exactly lies behind the stigma against fan fiction?