The Incomparable

346: Go to the Moon

 

  the incomparable number 346 April 2017 [TS]

  welcome back everybody to the [TS]

  incomparable this week we're going to [TS]

  talk about books the book club back in [TS]

  session and I have three fun people here [TS]

  to talk about the works of NK jemisin [TS]

  who I first discovered when her debut [TS]

  novel one hundred thousand kingdoms was [TS]

  nominated for the nebula award and hugo [TS]

  award in 2010 she's written a bunch of [TS]

  books since including some fantastic [TS]

  books like hugo winner the fifth season [TS]

  which we talked about in that in 2016 [TS]

  when it was nominated for Hugo and [TS]

  nebula joining me to talk about NK [TS]

  jemisin specifically the fifth season [TS]

  and the its sequel the opolis gate but [TS]

  also more generally about her other [TS]

  books are these wonderful people Erika [TS]

  ensign is here hello hello happy to be [TS]

  here I this I sense a quivering in the [TS]

  earth that comes from the southeast it [TS]

  must be the colossal lava powers of [TS]

  Helene Sims hello hello how's everybody [TS]

  doing I'm so excited to talk about my [TS]

  favorite author I'm excited to see your [TS]

  love of powers yeah just don't burn us [TS]

  with your lava but the lan i will try [TS]

  we'll see what happens and it's book [TS]

  club it wouldn't be book club without [TS]

  him other than all those episodes we do [TS]

  without him it's got McNulty hi Scott hi [TS]

  I only read the finest books so whatever [TS]

  book if you see a book club that I'm not [TS]

  on you know that book is not very good [TS]

  take that meal Gaiman yeah and Stephen [TS]

  me and Stephen yeah those those people [TS]

  they're not going anywhere mmm their [TS]

  failures wash up I say Scott Scott says [TS]

  anyway no I think he means they're not [TS]

  going anywhere cuz they're staying at [TS]

  the top of the charts yeah it can also [TS]

  be nice one well done well done so so NK [TS]

  jemisin uh she is like I assume all of [TS]

  us first heard about her wet with the [TS]

  hundred thousand kingdoms in 2010 that [TS]

  was the one that said that when your [TS]

  first novel nominated as nebulae where [TS]

  note was it later was it earlier it was [TS]

  what fifth season was the first item yep [TS]

  really mm-hmm Wow all right well Scott [TS]

  and I read the hundred thousand kingdoms [TS]

  in 2010 so there [TS]

  take that we were when we knew her back [TS]

  when she was just a debut novelist just [TS]

  what she was an award with nominated [TS]

  novelist yeah now she she is um if you [TS]

  haven't heard of her stuff yet I mean [TS]

  good lord you need to read this is this [TS]

  is basically what this whole episode is [TS]

  going to be which is you need to read [TS]

  the novels of NK jemisin because every [TS]

  time I read one of her novels aye aye [TS]

  aye sit sit upright and I go oh my god [TS]

  she is really great at writing novels [TS]

  like busy really good and then I like I [TS]

  go a while between novels and I'm like [TS]

  oh yeah and king gemini should get to [TS]

  that and then I finally get to one of [TS]

  her books and I read it and I think why [TS]

  have I not read all of her books because [TS]

  she's so great like every time I am [TS]

  reminded how good a writer she is and [TS]

  then quite honestly the next book or two [TS]

  I read after I read one of her books I'm [TS]

  a little disappointed cuz almost without [TS]

  fail that next writer is never as good a [TS]

  writer as she is she is she is one of I [TS]

  think one of the best in the business [TS]

  right now in writing science fiction [TS]

  fantasy novels you know I feel like I [TS]

  completely agree with you but I feel [TS]

  like her writing is is so good and I [TS]

  don't want to say dense because dense [TS]

  sounds negative but whatever the [TS]

  positive version of dense is is it makes [TS]

  it so that so that reading her books is [TS]

  not it's not like a smooth and easy [TS]

  fluffy sort of a read I'm not saying [TS]

  it's difficult I'm certainly not [TS]

  difficult but it takes a lot more sort [TS]

  of brain power she doesn't read like [TS]

  quick quick read books right she's yeah [TS]

  you have to concentrate to really to [TS]

  catch all of the amazing things that she [TS]

  is doing with language and with [TS]

  character with setting world building [TS]

  and all that kind of stuff so i think i [TS]

  have spread her books out quite a bit in [TS]

  part just because i need more time to [TS]

  chew on all of that stuff and it feels [TS]

  like it's it's like exercise like when [TS]

  i'm doing it it's like yeah this feels [TS]

  really great and afterwards i'm so happy [TS]

  to have done it but beforehand like I [TS]

  never actually you know I'm not terribly [TS]

  looking forward to exercise most of the [TS]

  time so so that's sort of I think about [TS]

  her books as you know an even better [TS]

  version of exercise from [TS]

  let's go side I do not feel that way [TS]

  while I'm exercising although she feel [TS]

  the way after I of it okay i will say [TS]

  that but I do as I'm reading that's why [TS]

  NK jemisin is not like exercise for me [TS]

  because I enjoy it as I'm doing it [TS]

  although much like Jason I don't like [TS]

  devour her books one by one there's [TS]

  actually I think there's one book of [TS]

  hers I have not read yet and it's it's [TS]

  sitting next to me actually but I just [TS]

  haven't read it I was all going to read [TS]

  it but then the new ian MacDonald book [TS]

  came out so I had to read that first but [TS]

  had to you it has 14 priority some moral [TS]

  imperative he is one of my favorite [TS]

  authors NK jemisin also one of my [TS]

  favorite authors but I think he nudges [TS]

  her out but they both share the thing [TS]

  they share in common is that they write [TS]

  complex layered stories and they they [TS]

  get so much worldbuilding I think out of [TS]

  a small amount of writing so you know I [TS]

  just Marvel as I'm reading both of them [TS]

  about how much they get with such [TS]

  economy of language and they do it so [TS]

  well and you know Jason you and I were [TS]

  talking about John Scalzi and about how [TS]

  you know he's he's a good writer nothing [TS]

  against John Scalzi he's an entertaining [TS]

  writer he writes books that are quick to [TS]

  read they always have fun as I'm reading [TS]

  them but after i am done with him I've [TS]

  never had that moment where I think that [TS]

  was a really great book but every time [TS]

  i've read an NK jemisin book I I think [TS]

  that was a really great book I felt that [TS]

  way about scalzi after the first in the [TS]

  old man's war series i was like this was [TS]

  a really great book but with MK jemison [TS]

  i did so I I hadn't heard of her until [TS]

  we did the Hugo nominated novels last [TS]

  year and I read the fifth season and I [TS]

  kept gushing about it got my husband to [TS]

  read it and then as soon as the obelisk [TS]

  gate came out we both blew through it [TS]

  and in the kind of the interim between [TS]

  but when I read the fifth season when [TS]

  the obelisk 8 came out i read the [TS]

  hundred thousand kingdoms like just one [TS]

  after another so I'm like eric has [TS]

  experience of it being kind of like [TS]

  exercise where it's like [TS]

  rewarding kind of as you're doing and [TS]

  after you've done it I was like no I [TS]

  need more from her and so I just kept [TS]

  reading it and at this point I've read [TS]

  the fifth season three times obelisk 8i [TS]

  think twice in in between reading other [TS]

  things too I just I love them she's such [TS]

  a you know we were talking about economy [TS]

  of language but she's also it's just [TS]

  this beautiful poetic writing and I [TS]

  don't have to work to understand what's [TS]

  getting and going on in her novels like [TS]

  I do like I'm reading nine fox gambit [TS]

  right now and I'm like five percent [TS]

  through it and it is so hard I have no [TS]

  idea what's going on this universe is so [TS]

  very different from from what I'm used [TS]

  to in so like that work I have to do of [TS]

  getting into things and I don't have to [TS]

  do with her books as much she's I feel [TS]

  like she's got a gentler ramp up an [TS]

  introduction into these universes than [TS]

  other science fiction and fantasy novels [TS]

  I have but they are dense like there [TS]

  there's a lot to them they're complex [TS]

  but I don't have to work like I do with [TS]

  other science fiction and fantasy books [TS]

  one of the things I reach about NK [TS]

  Jefferson is your you bring up nine fox [TS]

  gambit which I read which I thought was [TS]

  fantastic one thing it does not do is [TS]

  that kind of moment where there's an [TS]

  info dump or as you know Bob that [TS]

  explains the rules of the language are [TS]

  of the world I should say so ropes to [TS]

  the book you have very you have almost [TS]

  no idea what's going on which I like and [TS]

  I really liked that book spoil alert for [TS]

  the nebula nominated podcast that we do [TS]

  but she also in as particularly the [TS]

  fifth season and the obligate I feel [TS]

  like she throws us into this world the [TS]

  story is happening she doesn't take a [TS]

  lot of time to tell us okay there were [TS]

  people who can you know control the [TS]

  earth with their their brains and these [TS]

  by the way these obelisks were from a [TS]

  past civilization and they do stuff and [TS]

  you just kind of have you learned it as [TS]

  it's happening which I like yeah it is I [TS]

  think about this a lot when I'm reading [TS]

  science fiction books because obviously [TS]

  if you're not setting it in a world that [TS]

  we know you have to establish the world [TS]

  and it is hard to do that in a way that [TS]

  doesn't come across as [TS]

  as you know Bob or completely baffling [TS]

  that is a hard line to walk because as a [TS]

  writer these are right you know these [TS]

  writers have to very carefully like [TS]

  structure the stories so that [TS]

  information is given to you so that you [TS]

  can figure it out and if you're too far [TS]

  in one level it says you know Bob and [TS]

  you're too far the other direction and [TS]

  it's like you know nfm or I mean there [TS]

  are a few other examples that I can [TS]

  think of where a lot of people say oh I [TS]

  just didn't even understand what was [TS]

  going on like what a lien said about [TS]

  nine Fox gambit right and and so if you [TS]

  can if you can nail that it is a there's [TS]

  a really great a bit of work and it's [TS]

  not like NK Jameson's work is in the [TS]

  regular world right like she sets up [TS]

  these very specific sequences of events [TS]

  and you're like I don't know where this [TS]

  is and what's the setting and is this [TS]

  even earth the answer is it's not and [TS]

  how we're probably not and yes and you [TS]

  have to or is it who knows but you have [TS]

  to figure figure it out but she does [TS]

  pull you along I know some people get [TS]

  frustrated when you don't give [TS]

  everything to all the information to [TS]

  them up front right there like Idol I [TS]

  don't understand I see that on TV shows [TS]

  to where people are like but we don't [TS]

  even know why that's the way it is it's [TS]

  like yeah that's the point is it's a [TS]

  mystery but you know she does it in a [TS]

  way that isn't frustrating it's just [TS]

  like you're learning it's very artful I [TS]

  i I'm really impressed because these are [TS]

  super weird worlds that she's created [TS]

  the hundred thousand kingdoms at [TS]

  inheritance trilogy a very strange world [TS]

  that she's built but you figure it out [TS]

  as you go and likewise with the the [TS]

  fifth season universe it's it's you [TS]

  figure it out especially since in the [TS]

  fifth season it's a it's sort of [TS]

  happening at three different times at [TS]

  once there are three different points of [TS]

  view that are going on and so you're [TS]

  learning about the world in like in [TS]

  these different places in different [TS]

  times so you're getting kind of a vaster [TS]

  picture of it than you would if you were [TS]

  learning through the eyes of like just a [TS]

  single character living through their [TS]

  life in one in one place alright you [TS]

  know one journey so it's but I [TS]

  appreciate that we are going to spoil [TS]

  some of these books now so if you're [TS]

  completely a completely spoiler averse [TS]

  and yet listening to this episode I [TS]

  would say you might want to go read [TS]

  especially [TS]

  you should read the very least fifth [TS]

  season and then and then come back [TS]

  because I'm about to say something that [TS]

  is kind of a spoiler but to Erica's [TS]

  point about the time frames one of the [TS]

  things I really love about the fifth [TS]

  season is that you're seeing a story [TS]

  told in three different the three [TS]

  different stories and it's unclear I [TS]

  mean it's clear that they must be in [TS]

  different time zones because one of the [TS]

  time zones is sort of the end of the [TS]

  world and the other two don't seem to [TS]

  reflect that but it's unclear exactly [TS]

  what you're seeing and then as it [TS]

  becomes clearer you start to wonder if [TS]

  the same character is if it's the same [TS]

  character in all three time zones and if [TS]

  that what you're really seeing is this [TS]

  woman's life told out of sequence but I [TS]

  feel like you can Intuit that this is [TS]

  one of those artful things you can [TS]

  Intuit that fairly early but you're not [TS]

  giving confirmation of it until quite [TS]

  late and I think that's kind of [TS]

  brilliant that you don't know you know [TS]

  whether you think you know what you [TS]

  think is true is actually true until you [TS]

  get fairly close to the end and when [TS]

  it's revealed that it really is three [TS]

  very different phases of this one [TS]

  woman's life which is it's four [TS]

  different names even which i think is a [TS]

  tricky thing I didn't pick up on that [TS]

  until um so I listened the last time I [TS]

  read um was actually I finished it this [TS]

  morning so uh but I listened to it and I [TS]

  was just kind of puttering around the [TS]

  house and it came to that that first [TS]

  reveal about um cyan and desmaya being [TS]

  the same person and I remember reading [TS]

  that for the first time on and then you [TS]

  know and Justin was kind of standing [TS]

  beside me when that happened and we [TS]

  looked at each other we were like that [TS]

  was really a cool moment for us the [TS]

  second reveal wasn't as much like by [TS]

  that point I was like oh yeah this is [TS]

  you know this is her even later on but [TS]

  she does such a great job of switching [TS]

  between first-person and third-person [TS]

  and telling these stories and then they [TS]

  converge and they make sense and it's [TS]

  just beautiful it's just it's art I just [TS]

  I can't call it anything else I just [TS]

  thought it was so artful and so [TS]

  delightful I have to say it is it is [TS]

  I mentioned this on the nebula episode [TS]

  last year it is gutsy of her to start a [TS]

  book with the death of a child with a [TS]

  murder of a child because that that is [TS]

  what happens at the beginning of the [TS]

  book and that's that's like the author [TS]

  just throwing down like well are you [TS]

  going to come with with me or not on [TS]

  this story because it starts out so [TS]

  brutally but it really does inform sort [TS]

  of like the journey of the character and [TS]

  sort of retro actively why you know you [TS]

  discover things about her later that she [TS]

  did earlier that make you I mean that [TS]

  it's almost like a holographic [TS]

  storytelling right because things that [TS]

  you're seeing because of the way she's [TS]

  chosen the time sequences you are you [TS]

  are judging her based on something that [TS]

  happened here and then later in the book [TS]

  you realize oh that's because of this [TS]

  thing that happened earlier once you [TS]

  realize that all three timelines are are [TS]

  actually her at different phases in her [TS]

  life it so this is a I mean there's a [TS]

  recent one the award right it is is [TS]

  pretty a pretty spectacular bit of work [TS]

  I should explain by the way for those [TS]

  who are still with us but don't know [TS]

  what back we're talking about a little [TS]

  bit about this this is a world that is [TS]

  set sort of a a series of apocalypses [TS]

  the idea here is that every now and then [TS]

  the fifth season comes along which is a [TS]

  season of destruction and there are it's [TS]

  a weird world where they're like gems [TS]

  floating in the sky and there's there's [TS]

  old technology that it still exists from [TS]

  previous apocalypses and there's no moon [TS]

  there's no moon which is hinted at a [TS]

  couple of points and I kept thinking to [TS]

  myself hmm I think this is something [TS]

  about the moon not expecting the last [TS]

  line of the of the first book of the [TS]

  fifth season to be the payoff of like [TS]

  that there's the this is all about the [TS]

  fact that there's no moon what does that [TS]

  mean but but as was mentioned earlier [TS]

  there is this whole earth power thing [TS]

  where its people with lava powers or [TS]

  earthquake powers and they can still [TS]

  earthquakes and they can create [TS]

  earthquakes and the most powerful of [TS]

  these origins or rogas depending on [TS]

  whether you're slandering them or not is [TS]

  they can they can cause the world to end [TS]

  basically because that's what happens in [TS]

  the prologue of the fifth season is that [TS]

  somebody destroys the world who we then [TS]

  meet later and discover quite what led [TS]

  him to that moment of [TS]

  during a large part of the world asunder [TS]

  and it's all III don't mean I've used [TS]

  this with people to explain what this [TS]

  book is like is and I don't mean it to [TS]

  be flippin I'm not trying to joke here [TS]

  I'm not trying to run down the book it [TS]

  is a very serious carefully constructed [TS]

  book that on another level strikes me as [TS]

  being like one of the best x-men stories [TS]

  ever told because these horrid jeans are [TS]

  like kind of their kind of mutants and [TS]

  there and they're treated badly but they [TS]

  have powers and the question is like [TS]

  this there's a social structure that's [TS]

  meant to give give them you know the the [TS]

  society is supposed to control them [TS]

  completely but do they rise up against [TS]

  it but you know there but they're [TS]

  dangerous and they can hurt people and [TS]

  it is that kind of a story but you would [TS]

  never think that just you know on first [TS]

  glance because of the way that the story [TS]

  is told but I did appreciate that that [TS]

  you know like every now and then I read [TS]

  a book and I'm like oh this is kind of [TS]

  like the x-men in a you know it maybe I [TS]

  read a lot of comics but like the rook [TS]

  actually me um the rook feels like the [TS]

  x-men 2 it's the same thing where it's [TS]

  like these wack the group of people with [TS]

  wacky powers but here it's the [TS]

  oppression that gets to me the fact that [TS]

  these these incredibly powerful people [TS]

  are treated very badly even though [TS]

  they're so powerful by people who fear [TS]

  them and that that definitely gave me [TS]

  that vibe and it's one of the things I [TS]

  love about these books is that the the [TS]

  origins are really really badly treated [TS]

  and it's like everybody's afraid of them [TS]

  for good reason but everybody's afraid [TS]

  of them yeah they're brought to like [TS]

  basically voluntary slavery there the [TS]

  guardians are sort of their jailers but [TS]

  it's not a typical jail because you know [TS]

  they live in dormitories and they go to [TS]

  classes and stuff like that they're just [TS]

  sort of brainwashed into into thinking [TS]

  that they are cursed and terrible people [TS]

  because of these powers that they have [TS]

  and anything bad that happens in the [TS]

  world is probably going to be their [TS]

  fault so they need to be watched at all [TS]

  times unless they have lots and lots of [TS]

  rings and are very powerful apparently [TS]

  except not really as I learn later or [TS]

  you could you could say imagine sorry [TS]

  for this Scott but imagine if if in [TS]

  harry potter instead of yay I get to go [TS]

  to school and then do a magic job it's [TS]

  like you will go to this school and then [TS]

  you will do this job but the muggles [TS]

  we'll be in charge of you all the time [TS]

  it's that same idea you find out that [TS]

  you're a very special person but the bad [TS]

  news is you are going to be treated [TS]

  horribly and have no choice in your life [TS]

  because you because you are special and [TS]

  that that's the ugly that's not what [TS]

  happens in Harry Potter but it is what [TS]

  happens in the x-men so that's why I'm [TS]

  sticking with my x-men Theory here yeah [TS]

  so the the fifth season tells the story [TS]

  of this one character in the three time [TS]

  frames and we meet a lot of interesting [TS]

  characters along the way especially [TS]

  alabaster who is named satirically by [TS]

  people as alabaster because he is the [TS]

  darkest skin that anybody's seen one of [TS]

  the things that I think is the case in [TS]

  the in these books is that it's very [TS]

  clear there there are that a lot of the [TS]

  people there are a lot of different skin [TS]

  tones in the books and she does make a [TS]

  point it's not it doesn't come across as [TS]

  anything other than matter of fact but [TS]

  you do kind of notice and she does a lot [TS]

  of inversions to where I believe in both [TS]

  of her novel series she talks about [TS]

  people with light skin as being like [TS]

  from I think of a hundred thousand [TS]

  kingdoms the light skinned people are [TS]

  from like the equator and and and the [TS]

  darker skinned people are at the poles [TS]

  and she just is a lot of playing around [TS]

  with issues of race and things like that [TS]

  but alabaster is is the darkest skin [TS]

  that anybody's ever seen and so that of [TS]

  course the column alabaster and he's a [TS]

  fascinating character who you think is [TS]

  you've never you're never gonna see him [TS]

  again after what happens in the first [TS]

  book but no he's a character in the [TS]

  whole second book too mm-hmm quite an [TS]

  important character too I mean he's sort [TS]

  of the part of the found family that [TS]

  that she sort of create creates around [TS]

  her or maybe draws to herself right the [TS]

  main character whose name at that time [TS]

  is Essen right yes okay I get mixed up [TS]

  because she had three different names in [TS]

  the first book so it's that's the one [TS]

  that sort of carries over into the [TS]

  second book the obolus gate is funny [TS]

  because it's um it's a it's what happens [TS]

  after the world ends because alabaster [TS]

  has basically destroyed the main city [TS]

  and and and created this it's going to [TS]

  be sort of unlivable conditions in this [TS]

  world for so long that perhaps nobody [TS]

  will survive it and so where do you go [TS]

  from there and the answer is that there [TS]

  there are other other forces at play [TS]

  here there are these you know basically [TS]

  like rock people [TS]

  who who live in donators they have the [TS]

  stone eaters who live in the ground and [TS]

  and you get the sense that there is this [TS]

  this this battle happening on a much [TS]

  higher level what happened to the moon [TS]

  why are these gems floating in the air [TS]

  and turns out that they are machines [TS]

  that can be kind of like tuned by the [TS]

  powers of the origins and we spend a lot [TS]

  of time in obelisk aid inside a like a [TS]

  geode where they're in this like [TS]

  underground city where where alabaster [TS]

  is there but he's dying and and [TS]

  literally turning to stone right and [TS]

  being eaten by a stone eater yeah yeah [TS]

  you not at all creepy or is it creepy or [TS]

  is it sort of beautiful I don't know [TS]

  creepy I'm firmly auntie creepy all [TS]

  right why not both are Mary our main [TS]

  character with her many names um essen [TS]

  in in obligate her her status as a [TS]

  mother as really comes to the fore in [TS]

  the second book which is that we saw her [TS]

  her son killed at the beginning of the [TS]

  first book and and and what happens is [TS]

  her husband takes her their daughter and [TS]

  leaves and so she's she she discovers [TS]

  her son is dead and her daughter is gone [TS]

  and her husband killed the son but kept [TS]

  the daughter and in obligate we finally [TS]

  get to see what happens with her husband [TS]

  and daughter and that's told so instead [TS]

  of having the parallel stories of the [TS]

  her three timelines we get the parallel [TS]

  stories of mother and daughter and the [TS]

  fact that that like mother like daughter [TS]

  she has a she has a some power that that [TS]

  is perhaps potentially quite important [TS]

  to what happens to this to the world and [TS]

  whether the whether the world can can [TS]

  survive or not but I like that I like [TS]

  that we finally got I kind of wrote that [TS]

  off as something we wouldn't see very [TS]

  much of and instead an obolus gate it's [TS]

  like she just put it aside and said [TS]

  we'll get back to the father and the [TS]

  daughter I'm gonna get there but but [TS]

  you're gonna have to wait until book too [TS]

  it's kind of like in in the first book [TS]

  you have as you are saying the idea of [TS]

  the oppressed origenes and that whole [TS]

  idea sort of on a societal level its [TS]

  writ large and [TS]

  then we focus in on that very same thing [TS]

  in a second book because we watch the [TS]

  journey with with her daughter NASA and [TS]

  the father Geeta I believe is his name [TS]

  and you know he is so very very filled [TS]

  with these prejudices that he's been [TS]

  brought up with that he killed his own [TS]

  son at the beginning of the at the [TS]

  beginning of the first book and he you [TS]

  know rescues his daughter who was the [TS]

  good child because he at first doesn't [TS]

  know that she has powers and then you [TS]

  get to watch the evolution of that [TS]

  father-daughter relationship which is I [TS]

  mean she's such a daddy's girl at the [TS]

  beginning of the book and she's hiding [TS]

  her power from him because she loves him [TS]

  so much and then you get to see the [TS]

  evolution of that that relationship as [TS]

  she can't hide it anymore and and how he [TS]

  really has some some you know sort of [TS]

  friesian going on in his head when he's [TS]

  trying to keep these two thoughts in his [TS]

  head that this is the girl he loves so [TS]

  much and yet she's got these terrible [TS]

  powers so she must be evil and and that [TS]

  ends up driving a big part of the plot [TS]

  towards the end the book clean after [TS]

  reading the first book how did Avila [TS]

  skate hit you right because obviously [TS]

  fifth season really you loved it and it [TS]

  jumped out it I did so what was your [TS]

  reaction to the sequel it's that's a [TS]

  hard act to follow right it's a really [TS]

  hard act to follow I liked it quite a [TS]

  bit i wish that I'd had more time so [TS]

  that i could have reread it again and [TS]

  because what i found is that i remember [TS]

  a lot more I felt like the first book [TS]

  had a lot more memorable moments in it [TS]

  then the second book does in the second [TS]

  book it's been oh gosh since it came out [TS]

  so that's what close to six months ago [TS]

  since I've read that and so I I'm [TS]

  finding that like I've got little [TS]

  flashes of things that happen like more [TS]

  with the obelisks more of the [TS]

  father-daughter story and I remember the [TS]

  end kind of well but other than that [TS]

  it's kind of it's kind of a blur so I [TS]

  wouldn't say that it falls into I've [TS]

  heard a lot of people you know that the [TS]

  stereotypical track trap of a second [TS]

  novel like it so it's just bridging the [TS]

  story and I felt like it did that some [TS]

  but I do feel like it's got a lot of [TS]

  good solid ground on its own and because [TS]

  there are some second books that I just [TS]

  don't remember at all [TS]

  and so I enjoyed it quite a bit but and [TS]

  a lot of that I think is just [TS]

  appreciation for jemison as a writer and [TS]

  going back and having those moments [TS]

  where I read a sentence as a writer and [TS]

  editor and I'm like wow that was pretty [TS]

  i'm going to read that again and so [TS]

  maybe if she weren't such a lyrical [TS]

  writer i wouldn't it also wouldn't have [TS]

  stuck with me as much as it has but i [TS]

  think i think it's really solid [TS]

  especially you know for for a second [TS]

  book yeah the third book is coming out [TS]

  this summer so people can look for it I [TS]

  the one of the one of the things that I [TS]

  really like about this these books when [TS]

  I think about it is I think about the [TS]

  the I keep mentioning them these gems in [TS]

  the sky these things that are floating [TS]

  in the sky which in the first book [TS]

  initially seems just like colorful world [TS]

  building of like imagery like oh this is [TS]

  a magical place where people can create [TS]

  earthquakes and there were gyms floating [TS]

  in the sky and it turns out that it's [TS]

  way more complicated than that and [TS]

  there's a gem that's down in the mud and [TS]

  they try to lift it up and it ends up [TS]

  you know causing a disaster and all of [TS]

  these things that happen and then the [TS]

  moon is that great thread right where [TS]

  where I feel like there should be [TS]

  something in the sky but it's not there [TS]

  and and in the end that's the question [TS]

  in the second book you realize that [TS]

  where the series is going with its fun [TS]

  with its its climax is it's all about [TS]

  the moon it's about how the moon is [TS]

  apparently correct me if I'm wrong [TS]

  because it has been a little while since [TS]

  I wrote it to the moon it suggested is a [TS]

  stabilizing feature of this whether it's [TS]

  earth or not it's a stabilizing feature [TS]

  of this planet and since since some [TS]

  magical something happen to knock it out [TS]

  of orbit that's why there have been all [TS]

  these disasters and so now the big plan [TS]

  is that they need to catch the moon they [TS]

  need to beating to the moon's coming [TS]

  back around it's apparently in an orbit [TS]

  that brings it back around every so [TS]

  often and that all of this has been [TS]

  leading to that moment and it's such an [TS]

  just a ridiculous thing that it's just [TS]

  out like I cannot believe she just did [TS]

  that which is we're gonna you know we're [TS]

  going to use all our powers this [TS]

  what we're gonna do we're gonna get that [TS]

  we're gonna get that moon back what it's [TS]

  and that's how the second book ends so [TS]

  um yeah the moon the moon is coming back [TS]

  I think is what they say at the very end [TS]

  of the Ovilus gate so we have to get it [TS]

  that's that's the thing that I love [TS]

  about this book too is that it really [TS]

  did cast so many different shades of [TS]

  light on the first book and the things [TS]

  that I already thought that I knew about [TS]

  the first book it widened the world and [TS]

  changed change the way I saw things in a [TS]

  number of ways it the moon was certainly [TS]

  one of them and the obelisks being such [TS]

  an important important piece of the [TS]

  puzzle and also even just some of the [TS]

  characters and stuff like you said Jason [TS]

  I wasn't I didn't really think that we [TS]

  were going to find out anything about [TS]

  her daughter and then suddenly we not [TS]

  only find out the the journey of her [TS]

  daughter but that that she may or may [TS]

  not in the third book have a really big [TS]

  role to play in this catching the moon [TS]

  sort of thing and then also we find out [TS]

  in I think it's in the second book we [TS]

  find out that when when cyan i believe [TS]

  is her name at the time when she lifts [TS]

  that first broken obelisk out of the mud [TS]

  she for a brief moment she sees somebody [TS]

  inside of it and we don't find out until [TS]

  the second book that that's somebody [TS]

  that she saw inside of it ends up being [TS]

  this same little boy rock stone shooters [TS]

  don't younger Noah who follows her [TS]

  around all the way through the first [TS]

  book and then into the second book and [TS]

  right essen like we didn't even know [TS]

  that that was the same same creature [TS]

  until the second book and I'm like oh my [TS]

  oh my god that's just it's another [TS]

  mind-blowing moment character-wise to [TS]

  this is all very carefully plotted right [TS]

  I mean she obviously hadn't written all [TS]

  three books before the first book was [TS]

  released but clearly the story and the [TS]

  details were there be a just it is it is [TS]

  completely consistent it doesn't feel [TS]

  like it's one book and the fifth season [TS]

  can be enjoyed on its own without [TS]

  reading the second book it doesn't feel [TS]

  like you were sent you know you bought [TS]

  half a book and a coupon for the rest of [TS]

  it but yet it is I really appreciate the [TS]

  feeling of planning like she knows what [TS]

  story she's telling and and in obelisk 8 [TS]

  you can see oh okay like a lot of the [TS]

  stephanopoulos gate was totally set up [TS]

  in [TS]

  fifth season abs it absolutely was was [TS]

  set there which is which is great I like [TS]

  to see that I gives me confidence to [TS]

  know that that the writer of the book [TS]

  I'm reading has the confidence to and [TS]

  the planning ability to do all of that [TS]

  so that i can I can just read it and not [TS]

  be afraid that they're gonna let me down [TS]

  yeah I'd love to know how she like what [TS]

  her specific process is for this so I [TS]

  know you know I've heard like Patrick [TS]

  Rothfuss talk about outlining books and [TS]

  that kind of thing so is that something [TS]

  that she did I haven't read a lot about [TS]

  her her process but there are those [TS]

  threads that she's carrying through and [TS]

  a lot of them are like small little [TS]

  things that I didn't notice until the [TS]

  second read through and I was like oh [TS]

  yeah that you know that happens well I [TS]

  guess the third read through that [TS]

  happens to connect this thing in the [TS]

  second book but it's not profound and I [TS]

  can't think of an example off the top of [TS]

  my head but it's just it's a beautiful [TS]

  beautifully woven and I wonder how how [TS]

  she's planning that is she carrying it [TS]

  in her head did she write an outline or [TS]

  is it just all coming together and she's [TS]

  like oh yeah you know she just knows you [TS]

  know she dreamed it all and knows all of [TS]

  these details i don't know i love the [TS]

  idea of her just dreaming at all because [TS]

  and then waking up and Giada get down [TS]

  yeah totally what else should we say [TS]

  about a fifth season and obelisk eight [TS]

  um you know it's not completed but it's [TS]

  coming out soon with the next part the [TS]

  summer i wasn't i felt that obelisk [TS]

  eight was was a very good follow up to [TS]

  fifth season i I didn't you know [TS]

  structurally it could do what the first [TS]

  book did with the three different [TS]

  timelines but it still found a way to [TS]

  tell threaded stories in this world and [TS]

  also further that mystery that comes [TS]

  from the first book and I I didn't you [TS]

  know I was quite happy about it I [TS]

  thought good job good job inkay Jamison [TS]

  good job good job well and I mean you [TS]

  know this is I think a leading brought [TS]

  this up the second book in a series [TS]

  there's always that's a problem that the [TS]

  first book out you know is your first [TS]

  entree into this world and all this [TS]

  stuff is exciting and new when you're [TS]

  surprised by everything a second book [TS]

  has a big job too it's almost impossible [TS]

  for it to surprise you as much as the [TS]

  first book does [TS]

  but that being said I think this is a [TS]

  really good second part of a trilogy [TS]

  hopefully the third one will wrap it up [TS]

  in be in a satisfying way and and I [TS]

  enjoyed I would suggest that no one read [TS]

  the second book without reading the [TS]

  first book I don't know why you would do [TS]

  that but people do lots of weird stuff [TS]

  like listen to podcasts about books they [TS]

  haven't read just one it just one [TS]

  example one of the mysteries we didn't [TS]

  talk about which was another part that I [TS]

  really liked about the obelisk eight is [TS]

  the character of her guardian from the [TS]

  first book who at the end of the first [TS]

  book I just assumed that he was [TS]

  destroyed and nope he wasn't well part [TS]

  of him sort of was because he's not even [TS]

  quite the same character and through his [TS]

  sort of like struggled to regain his own [TS]

  self we learn more about another mystery [TS]

  that is sort of related to the mystery [TS]

  of the moon and the obelisks and there's [TS]

  a thing in his head and it yeah there's [TS]

  a thing that we don't completely [TS]

  understand yet so I don't really know [TS]

  how to articulate it but it's it [TS]

  deepened the mystery and made that [TS]

  character who I thought was already sort [TS]

  of multi-layered and multifaceted in the [TS]

  first book even deeper and even more [TS]

  interesting and infuriating at the same [TS]

  time because like you know he was doing [TS]

  some bad stuff but then then he does [TS]

  some good stuff and it's just it's it's [TS]

  very good I like him Emily way the way [TS]

  that that his story is revived in the [TS]

  second book is really interesting [TS]

  because you know yes he is apparently [TS]

  dead in the water literally dead in the [TS]

  water in the first book and the second [TS]

  book the second book basically says okay [TS]

  remember that guy who was dead in the [TS]

  water well he was dead and in the water [TS]

  and sinking and then something really [TS]

  strange happened and he was dead so he's [TS]

  still dead but he's now sort of not [TS]

  because of this thing that happened to [TS]

  him and there's this question like who [TS]

  you know what force is motivating him [TS]

  now and why is he different and that's [TS]

  unclear because you do get the sense [TS]

  that you have you have competing [TS]

  factions here [TS]

  about like do they want the moon to come [TS]

  back or not do they want the the the the [TS]

  people who live on the surface of the [TS]

  planet to survive and be stable or is it [TS]

  better if they all die so that the stone [TS]

  people can just live and be happy and [TS]

  that's all like not entirely clear at [TS]

  this point but I do like that that that [TS]

  the book doesn't say you know oh it [TS]

  turned out he didn't die they're like [TS]

  know what you saw he did pay a price and [TS]

  and this guy is is kind of him but kind [TS]

  of not and and that was really good I [TS]

  felt like I felt like that was her [TS]

  playing fair and not just reviving a [TS]

  character and saying you know fooled you [TS]

  but instead saying no there was a price [TS]

  to pay you saw what you saw and then [TS]

  this thing happened after that yeah and [TS]

  I like they when they're in the the calm [TS]

  the geode thing right they discover this [TS]

  control room and you know it gives you [TS]

  because a lot of this is a fantasy I [TS]

  would characterize yes but it's it's [TS]

  theirs then there are these dashes of [TS]

  science fiction where you find a control [TS]

  room and there are pictographs and they [TS]

  have to try and decipher it and their [TS]

  buttons and they control all the stuff [TS]

  and there's what these like metal things [TS]

  that try to kill you or insert [TS]

  themselves into you it's unclear what [TS]

  they do but they're probably not good I [TS]

  love the whole idea of this lived in [TS]

  world that the the we didn't have this [TS]

  debate on a previous episode didn't we [TS]

  um i love i love the debate about is it [TS]

  science fiction owners of fantasy the [TS]

  lived in world thing though the fact [TS]

  that there have been many many dead sibs [TS]

  right these previous civilizations that [TS]

  died and their tech is still around and [TS]

  that's a really fun bit it throughout [TS]

  and in the obelisk eight you get them [TS]

  yeah they're living in this underground [TS]

  city but it's got like a trapdoor and [TS]

  tunnels and stuff that lead to the [TS]

  surface so you think it's just this old [TS]

  town like from a western or something [TS]

  it's just a little desert of town but [TS]

  you go down through go through this in [TS]

  this building and then down and suddenly [TS]

  there's this whole city underneath it in [TS]

  this geode and then there's a control [TS]

  room so it's like where's this from what [TS]

  is this old tech people don't really [TS]

  know how it works they just try to keep [TS]

  the air circulating that's all that's [TS]

  all pretty great that's why i maintain [TS]

  that this is earth and this is a science [TS]

  fiction book and that it is just so far [TS]

  in the future that the technology that [TS]

  they have [TS]

  you know it's Clark's law that that you [TS]

  know but its technology so advanced it [TS]

  might as well be magic and I mean [TS]

  they're taught that they actually have [TS]

  some hazy records that the I can't [TS]

  remember exactly when the first season [TS]

  was but I know they're talking like time [TS]

  frames of 20,000 30,000 yes and I mean [TS]

  when you think about the entire [TS]

  existence of human history at this point [TS]

  I can't even fathom what 20,000 years in [TS]

  the future might look like so that's why [TS]

  my my headcanon until it has proved [TS]

  otherwise perhaps in another book is [TS]

  that this is earth and it's just far in [TS]

  the future which is what I thought in [TS]

  the first book and now I think it even [TS]

  more after we mu to escape we'll see [TS]

  what the moon looks like when it comes [TS]

  back how about that that'll tell us [TS]

  everything yeah well just say is that [TS]

  Armand it is called the broken earth [TS]

  series and it does talk about the [TS]

  continents breaking apart and coming [TS]

  together and you know like like these [TS]

  series of continents continental drifts [TS]

  and then coming together again in a way [TS]

  that kind of makes me think it's it's [TS]

  earth maybe I mean earth earth the [TS]

  planet and earth like the idea of land [TS]

  and ground is not necessarily not [TS]

  necessarily the same Erika the reason [TS]

  that I think that though I think of it [TS]

  as fantasy and not science fiction is [TS]

  mostly because I don't see a lot of [TS]

  scientific backing for people who can [TS]

  cause earthquakes with their minds and [TS]

  you know that that that seems to be [TS]

  magic you're right i mean maybe they [TS]

  were genetically engineered and maybe [TS]

  but i'm not sure you can genetically [TS]

  engineer somebody to be telekinetic like [TS]

  that that seems like still seems like [TS]

  fantasy to me with science rapping maybe [TS]

  they did it in the x-men I'm sure at [TS]

  some point people thought that it was [TS]

  impossible for another human being to [TS]

  make fire so all right okay technology [TS]

  yeah well they're its mutants Scott it's [TS]

  the x-men their meals right the mutants [TS]

  right you can't argue with atomic [TS]

  science atomic energy creates mutants [TS]

  and mutants have powers and I think I've [TS]

  just proven Oh Erica's point that they [TS]

  made their dispensers well in denying in [TS]

  the obelisk gate there isn't it's [TS]

  revealed that she has you'd like these [TS]

  organ origins [TS]

  there you go they can do even more than [TS]

  control the the earth right they can [TS]

  there's like energy between cells or [TS]

  something so they could do other crazy [TS]

  things and the stone and the stone [TS]

  eaters but you know were actually [TS]

  adapted genetically altered altered [TS]

  molecular Lee somehow from people they [TS]

  were originally humans that went too far [TS]

  but but I will sort of concede the the [TS]

  fantasy point on on one level Jason and [TS]

  that is the whole sort of father earth [TS]

  thing and the idea of the planet itself [TS]

  having I don't know a personality in [TS]

  mind a life something which again not [TS]

  quite clear yet that does sort of strike [TS]

  me as as fantasy and I'm not sure I can [TS]

  see any science fictiony way to redeem [TS]

  that part of it so yeah I guess I'm [TS]

  still reserving a little judgment I'm [TS]

  pretty sure there's just a computer at [TS]

  the core of the earth Erica blown this [TS]

  is a Star Trek episode but we we have [TS]

  that now right like now we talk about [TS]

  mother earth and what his mother earth [TS]

  want and and all of that so it it could [TS]

  just be an inversion of we're not people [TS]

  are not mother earth is not answering [TS]

  right that's that's generally we're not [TS]

  gonna use God well nothing that's true i [TS]

  will not be sensitive in that way fair [TS]

  and haul me mother earth or send me a [TS]

  text actually if you do this please [TS]

  don't call me yeah don't call just in [TS]

  the text it's an email if you really [TS]

  need to but oh no Johnny email either [TS]

  yeah if you really need to but just [TS]

  don't I don't I don't want to talk to [TS]

  mother earth um anything I want to talk [TS]

  about her 100,000 think kingdom series a [TS]

  little bit a little bit is that okay or [TS]

  are there more things to say about fifth [TS]

  season a novel escape before we do that [TS]

  I just want to say how much i love [TS]

  syenite just stop I love cyan I I love [TS]

  she's she is a tough woman who's been [TS]

  put in a tough situation and she is [TS]

  determined to make it work as best for [TS]

  her as she can and um I don't know I [TS]

  think part of that is how I was raised [TS]

  as kind of a working-class person and [TS]

  you know you you ascend to the best you [TS]

  can while maintaining social [TS]

  harmony and not rocking the boat too [TS]

  much and I think the reason I like [TS]

  syenite so much is because I see so much [TS]

  of myself in her she's maybe a little [TS]

  bit more abrupt and blunt than I tends [TS]

  to be but I just um that that period in [TS]

  her life I don't know there was [TS]

  something about it that I just thought [TS]

  was amazing and I felt like in some ways [TS]

  it was her being as true to herself as [TS]

  she could be because when she was young [TS]

  she was doing what she needed to do to [TS]

  survive and when she was older she was [TS]

  doing what she needed to do to blend in [TS]

  but a lot of what we get with syenite is [TS]

  her just just doing what she needs to do [TS]

  and I so greatly appreciated that and [TS]

  appreciated how it was I don't know [TS]

  uncomplicated I guess in some ways while [TS]

  all this complication was happening [TS]

  around her yeah it's it's the first book [TS]

  really makes you wonder I mean talk [TS]

  about putting a spotlight on a on a [TS]

  person and their character is if you [TS]

  show them in those three phases of their [TS]

  lives and you know by viewing what [TS]

  happened to them in these three key [TS]

  phases you really do gain great and [TS]

  great ER understanding about that [TS]

  character and that this is a fully [TS]

  realized character we we learned what [TS]

  happened when she was a child we learned [TS]

  what happened when she was a [TS]

  professional and then we learned what [TS]

  happened when she tried to build a life [TS]

  after being a professional and having [TS]

  that kind of fall apart and it turns out [TS]

  have her whole family kind of died and [TS]

  and be and having her history wiped out [TS]

  and and so it's yeah it's a it's it's a [TS]

  character you don't get to know [TS]

  characters that well in books very often [TS]

  and see that many aspects of them as you [TS]

  do with her the hundred thousand [TS]

  kingdoms which i guess is called the [TS]

  inheritance trilogy is where she first [TS]

  kind of made her name which i still [TS]

  haven't read yet so I I really loved the [TS]

  hundred thousand kingdoms and the funny [TS]

  thing is I never read the other two [TS]

  books in the series a shout out to Glen [TS]

  Glen fleischmann read all of women loves [TS]

  them but he yet would still not be on [TS]

  this pot [TS]

  no shout out to clan take that back I i [TS]

  personally retract Jason's shout out to [TS]

  Glenn Glenn who I say to you Glenn who [TS]

  hundred thousand kingdoms so that's her [TS]

  debut a fan I'm fantasy in a much [TS]

  clearer way this is this is a world [TS]

  where they're the gut there are gods and [TS]

  there are there are God llings which are [TS]

  basically like demigods and there are [TS]

  people and there is this very [TS]

  complicated scenario where there's an [TS]

  incredibly rich family called the era [TS]

  Mary I think whoo-hoo basically have one [TS]

  of the gods of the planet chained up and [TS]

  they're like the gods or their slave is [TS]

  kind of and they're essentially there is [TS]

  a revolt and things change over the [TS]

  course of the book kind of dramatically [TS]

  for the epistemological foundations of [TS]

  this society is one way to put it when [TS]

  when you get God's kind of coming and [TS]

  going it's kind of a big deal but I love [TS]

  this book when I first read it and one [TS]

  of the things I loved about it if you [TS]

  can Rack your brains those of you who [TS]

  have read this back to back to the last [TS]

  time you read it one of the things I [TS]

  loved about it is just the I'm a sucker [TS]

  for the idea that there's an incredible [TS]

  power that is controlled but could be on [TS]

  the verge of breaking free and killing [TS]

  you at any time the magician's books [TS]

  have some of this to where they talk [TS]

  about God's there's something I love [TS]

  that about fantasy gods this idea that [TS]

  like we have magic and we have people [TS]

  and people are cool but their gods and [TS]

  if they smite you you you are smoked [TS]

  that's the end for you and that's the [TS]

  world of a hundred thousand kingdoms is [TS]

  that they've chained up a god who's [TS]

  incredibly powerful and if you make one [TS]

  wrong step he will destroy you and I [TS]

  love that about about that new this [TS]

  Prince of Darkness this this did the [TS]

  nighttime God who's who's kind of the [TS]

  devil you could you could and then you [TS]

  feel kind of sorry for him because he's [TS]

  been he's been enslaved by these awful [TS]

  humans for a long time it's a it's a lot [TS]

  of world building in these books too yes [TS]

  yeah I'm a I'm a sucker for mythology [TS]

  growing up I loved Greek mythology in [TS]

  Roman mythology and [TS]

  I checked to the same books out of the [TS]

  library over and over and over again [TS]

  same Greek myths and this kind of filled [TS]

  that for me and this and this idea too [TS]

  that that this family really has taken [TS]

  the gods and enslaved them all of them [TS]

  except for maybe one I think if I'm [TS]

  remembering correctly like that was [TS]

  fascinating to me it was very very [TS]

  interesting and I thought it was really [TS]

  well executed it's a it's a fascinating [TS]

  book it turns out having so I didn't [TS]

  read the other two books in the series [TS]

  until last month and I read them both so [TS]

  in preparation for this podcast and it's [TS]

  funny looking back on it now that what [TS]

  seemed like this kind of mind-blowing [TS]

  story about like the rise and fall of [TS]

  God's is in the context of the other two [TS]

  books merely the prelude for what is to [TS]

  come which is pretty amazing that you [TS]

  think that because it turns out that of [TS]

  course the rise and fall of gods and the [TS]

  creation of new gods that happens in a [TS]

  hundred thousand kingdoms leads to a [TS]

  room attic power shift and so you know [TS]

  several years after I read the first [TS]

  book I picked up the second book and [TS]

  couldn't remember a whole lot about the [TS]

  first book as I started reading it and [TS]

  it's at ten years after the hundred [TS]

  thousand kingdoms and you get to see a [TS]

  little hint of what's been going on with [TS]

  these with these gods since there's been [TS]

  they've achieved their freedom and and [TS]

  the light God has has had to be [TS]

  sentenced to some punishment for being [TS]

  complicit in the sleigh enslavement of [TS]

  the other gods and it's a very different [TS]

  book the the broken kingdoms very [TS]

  different book but a really good book in [TS]

  fact I think my favorite of the three is [TS]

  that second book and they does stand [TS]

  alone I feel like more than the the [TS]

  fifth season series does in the sense [TS]

  that the second book the third book [TS]

  doesn't stand alone but the second book [TS]

  it's got a completely different [TS]

  protagonist and although the characters [TS]

  from the first book do appear in it it [TS]

  really is about the journey of the of [TS]

  the protagonist of the of the second [TS]

  book who is a blind artist who can only [TS]

  see in a very clever [TS]

  set up she can only see Magic so she's [TS]

  blind but if somebody's magical she can [TS]

  see them and she can see the magic they [TS]

  do and at some point she's taken up into [TS]

  the the city in the inside the World [TS]

  Tree that the the rich family lives in [TS]

  which is this enormous tree that it's [TS]

  like it sounds and suddenly she can see [TS]

  everything because everything is Magic [TS]

  up there and that's pretty cool too so [TS]

  it's a it's it's a I really love the [TS]

  second book a lot I don't know alene [TS]

  what you thought about the about the [TS]

  other books in the series I did not like [TS]

  the third one as much and i agree with [TS]

  you i thought the second book was was [TS]

  considerably better than the first one [TS]

  and considering how quickly i blew [TS]

  through the first one I feel like that's [TS]

  quite a testament and because I really [TS]

  really did love the hundred thousand [TS]

  kingdoms I loved the promise of it I [TS]

  love to the execution and the ending [TS]

  surprised me I mean you don't see many [TS]

  people ascend to godhood in Boca so so [TS]

  it was I just I just thought it was it [TS]

  was delightful in the second book like [TS]

  you said I think because it had that [TS]

  humanizing element and to it in the [TS]

  humanist humanization of the gods right [TS]

  because in the first book we have we [TS]

  have the gods of slaves but they're [TS]

  still God's right there still um feared [TS]

  and revered kind of in a way right and [TS]

  their tent their tens of thousands of [TS]

  years old and they're still powerful and [TS]

  they're still capricious and they still [TS]

  look down on humans right there their [TS]

  gods but they're just kind of in Chains [TS]

  yeah yeah and in book 2 and the gods the [TS]

  full God's didn't take part as much and [TS]

  it was more humanity in the demigods and [TS]

  i liked it i thought i thought it was I [TS]

  thought it was great I thought again the [TS]

  world building is so rich and wonderful [TS]

  and I I agree yeah I love the second [TS]

  book I love the first book i liked the [TS]

  third book but i didn't love it to the [TS]

  level that i do the other to the second [TS]

  books even kind of like a murder mystery [TS]

  it's basically like a demigod is dead [TS]

  and how could [TS]

  have been happened and who killed them [TS]

  and why and I I was tickled by that too [TS]

  it's like well this is a very different [TS]

  approach to a second book in a trilogy [TS]

  and it ends up yes it ends up linking to [TS]

  everything that happened in the first [TS]

  book it's not just happening in the [TS]

  background there are things connected to [TS]

  it but you know and you should probably [TS]

  read the first book before you read the [TS]

  second book but the second book just [TS]

  stand it stands on its own as well it is [TS]

  yeah it is a in a new character lead [TS]

  character and her friend shiny who is a [TS]

  character of mystery whose identity is [TS]

  revealed later on in the book and that [TS]

  that's really a fun thing to this this [TS]

  the secret of her magical power to see [TS]

  magic and to draw these draw these [TS]

  pictures that sort of come to life which [TS]

  is a pretty cool stuff there's a lot of [TS]

  good stuff there's Scott you have any [TS]

  recollection of these books at all I've [TS]

  been recognized I to read all three I [TS]

  remember that mostly because I just [TS]

  checked good reads to me ever that in [TS]

  fact i had read them all because i [TS]

  remember the first two i have absolutely [TS]

  no memory of what happens in the third [TS]

  one the third book is about about CA who [TS]

  is the trickster god and he basically be [TS]

  friends these two children and they make [TS]

  a blood oath and the blood oath turns [TS]

  him into a mortal and he starts to age [TS]

  and he's this he's this Cupid like [TS]

  figure i always thought like he's a he's [TS]

  a he's a trickster god like low-key but [TS]

  he's also always seen as a child and [TS]

  he's the god of children and suddenly [TS]

  he's like going into adolescence and [TS]

  he's an adult and he gets older and he's [TS]

  because he's going to die and the gods [TS]

  don't know what to do about it and it [TS]

  turns out that there's a whole plot of [TS]

  like somebody else wants to become a [TS]

  full god instead of a demigod and the [TS]

  universe is put at risk it's sort of [TS]

  like the end of a doctor who season [TS]

  where suddenly all reality is at risk is [TS]

  how can we how can we increase the the [TS]

  stakes to the highest possible point [TS]

  which is the entire universe will be [TS]

  destroyed if they can't solve this [TS]

  problem and it was you know it was fine [TS]

  but um CA is not one of my favorite [TS]

  characters anyway and i think it was [TS]

  trying it was a high degree of [TS]

  difficulty to get you to care about him [TS]

  and there's some good characters in that [TS]

  book it's not bad but it's not as good [TS]

  as the first do I think yeah yeah I'm [TS]

  pretty remember enjoying the second I [TS]

  mean I enjoyed the first and the second [TS]

  for the second one sticks out in my mind [TS]

  well reminded me a little bit of like [TS]

  maybe some of those max Gladstone books [TS]

  where it's like it's magic but it's also [TS]

  kind of genre like a different kind of [TS]

  genre like it really is like a murder [TS]

  mystery there's no detective well there [TS]

  is kind of police people but it's like [TS]

  who killed the demigod is a fun [TS]

  storyline to follow even though it does [TS]

  become way bigger than that because in [TS]

  the case of all good detective stories [TS]

  it turns out it's not just about the one [TS]

  person who died there's a whole [TS]

  conspiracy around it and that's good too [TS]

  so yeah yes that's a good book I liked [TS]

  the lawn broken kingdoms so yeah those [TS]

  are worth reading too she has other [TS]

  books though I have not read ah as I [TS]

  have read the killing moon but I have [TS]

  not read the second book in that series [TS]

  okay and there are only two at least at [TS]

  this right I think I saw somewhere on [TS]

  maybe in the kindle store it referred to [TS]

  it as the dream blood duology which [TS]

  means there was only two books people [TS]

  just buy the two books but I haven't I [TS]

  haven't read it and I think they just [TS]

  came out with a one-volume with both [TS]

  books in it right you can buy that I [TS]

  enjoyed the first one it's about these [TS]

  people who harvest dream energy and do [TS]

  all kinds of things with it I was [TS]

  enjoyable it's cool and allene have you [TS]

  read those I don't I've tried reading uh [TS]

  I've tried reading it but it's got that [TS]

  higher barrier to entry um like nine fox [TS]

  gambit and so I actually picked it up on [TS]

  audible so I'm gonna try listening to it [TS]

  and seeing how I do with it I will get [TS]

  those i think i have the killing moon [TS]

  and haven't read it so i will probably [TS]

  do that at some point but i just read to [TS]

  four books in short succession so i'm [TS]

  going to take a little break which goes [TS]

  back to one of our initial points we [TS]

  just I feel like her books are so rich [TS]

  and and thought-provoking and they're [TS]

  well written and and they aren't quick [TS]

  reads which doesn't mean that they're [TS]

  they're slogs they're not but but I do [TS]

  feel like after I read one of them it is [TS]

  like a really good rich meal and I kind [TS]

  of want to let it settle and [TS]

  and and also she only writes you know [TS]

  maybe if we're lucky a book a year right [TS]

  so I also don't want to just I kind of [TS]

  want to save them know that they're [TS]

  there i got a couple NK jemisin books [TS]

  out there that i haven't read yet [TS]

  because they are i love them when i read [TS]

  them and so there's that weird thing [TS]

  it's a little bit like dan talking about [TS]

  how he doesn't want to read the last [TS]

  Terry Pratchett novel because then there [TS]

  won't be any any left right it's a [TS]

  little bit like that yeah where is NK [TS]

  jemisin still read in books it's fine [TS]

  she's fine but again it's like why you [TS]

  know I don't want to use up the queue [TS]

  there and then have to just wait [TS]

  painfully like I have to do when there's [TS]

  a new game of thrones novel right which [TS]

  is like no cheese it was great while I [TS]

  was getting caught up and then I got [TS]

  caught up and now I'm just like [TS]

  everybody else going George where's the [TS]

  book so you know that's no good yeah I [TS]

  think you're I think you're an analogy [TS]

  about the very rich meal is probably [TS]

  kinder sounding than meisa but mine it [TS]

  was about exercise huh but but I tell [TS]

  you I feel better after exercising than [TS]

  I do after having eaten a good meal so i [TS]

  think i need you know somewhere in the [TS]

  happy medium in between those things we [TS]

  have to start eating our rich meals [TS]

  while we're exercising Oh think just [TS]

  knowing about it that is that would be [TS]

  it that would be a great diet I'm sure [TS]

  somebody has already come up with that [TS]

  fad diet be fad diet where you can eat [TS]

  anything you like but only while you're [TS]

  running hey if not we could make a [TS]

  million this is this is the you know [TS]

  next moneymaker for the incomparable [TS]

  right yeah or biking you know whatever [TS]

  you can run or bike but you basically it [TS]

  you have to be you have to be pedaling [TS]

  or running furiously and then and then [TS]

  you can eat like a hamburger but only [TS]

  when you're running and and we'll call [TS]

  it the vomit while running diet it'll be [TS]

  great you the pounds just come off yes [TS]

  there they melt away that's right or are [TS]

  vomited away one of us they get washed [TS]

  away this district attorney here let's [TS]

  save him right yeah I don't know how we [TS]

  got here it was probably it's something [TS]

  involving a floating gym or a moon but [TS]

  we're gonna move on a moon and very [TS]

  quickly do a round of what are we [TS]

  reading which were we talk about books [TS]

  that we've read recently that we would [TS]

  like to mention does have to be [TS]

  something you're reading right this [TS]

  moment but books that you've read [TS]

  recently that you would like to mention [TS]

  scott j said what have you been reading [TS]

  as I've been doing yes I've been reading [TS]

  a bunch of stuff as of late currently I [TS]

  am reading as mentioned in the beginning [TS]

  the latest ian macdonald book which is [TS]

  the second part in his new moon trilogy [TS]

  I thought I originally thought it was [TS]

  only just be two books but I here now [TS]

  the ending of this book is not actually [TS]

  an ending so I don't know how many books [TS]

  it's going to be which is kind of [TS]

  disappointing because I do get a little [TS]

  sick of long-running series but I enjoy [TS]

  ian MacDonald so I trust him and I will [TS]

  just continue to read whatever he writes [TS]

  I like new moon so you're reading wolf [TS]

  moon I am reading wolf moon all right I [TS]

  didn't know that was out I'll read that [TS]

  I like I like new moon it was fun it's [TS]

  out you should read it just came out [TS]

  didn't it like uh yesterday or so yeah I [TS]

  think uh yeah it's really good i'm [TS]

  enjoying it so far not done twenty-five [TS]

  percent in ok and it's good you will [TS]

  this is not a spoiler but a 1980s [TS]

  fashion is back in style on the moon [TS]

  swing so if you if you've got your your [TS]

  leg warmers and your rip sweatshirt and [TS]

  your big hoop earrings here's what you [TS]

  do go to the moon cocos moon and [TS]

  everyone will welcome you welcome you oh [TS]

  that's great exactly oh all the people [TS]

  of the room the other book that i read [TS]

  right before that was a book that it was [TS]

  on my kindle for a long time my wife had [TS]

  read it she told me to read it i know'd [TS]

  her advice but then i read it about a [TS]

  year after she told me to go stalkers by [TS]

  mary robinette kowal oh yeah so she's [TS]

  cool but it's good said world war one [TS]

  the idea is that the mediums are real [TS]

  and they are a secret that the British [TS]

  Army is using they train their soldiers [TS]

  to look around as they're dying and [TS]

  remember what's happening and then their [TS]

  souls are taken and interrogated by [TS]

  mediums and they get information about [TS]

  the battlefield and such and there's a [TS]

  mystery it's it's very good and very red [TS]

  it in like four hours very good all [TS]

  right I like our books I've read a [TS]

  couple of her their books [TS]

  and I know some people are turned off by [TS]

  the idea of Jane Austen with magic so [TS]

  this is a world war one with [TS]

  spirituality so tell me I guess it's [TS]

  better I don't know all right aleem [TS]

  anything that you've been reading lately [TS]

  you'd like to mention um I well we just [TS]

  recorded our Neil Gaiman episode margin [TS]

  ago so we're didn't we yeah so I've been [TS]

  reading so i read american gods and in [TS]

  NC boys I've been rereading the expanse [TS]

  series i'm working on i'm reading a lot [TS]

  this is a nice thing i'm working on [TS]

  going through the expanse series again I [TS]

  haven't read the most recent book yet [TS]

  because I'm I'm working my way through [TS]

  him again but one thing I wanted to [TS]

  mention was i recently read the giver so [TS]

  when I was young The Giver by Lois Lois [TS]

  Laurie came out and there was no sequel [TS]

  to it and I loved that book i read it i [TS]

  don't know like four or five times and [TS]

  then in my adulthood she actually came [TS]

  out with three sequels to it and so I if [TS]

  you're like me maybe in your mid 30s or [TS]

  younger and you didn't know that there [TS]

  were sequels to the giver and you read [TS]

  that book when you were little you might [TS]

  want to go check those out because they [TS]

  were pretty good I didn't love the [TS]

  fourth one but but they were all really [TS]

  interesting I thought it was kind of a [TS]

  fascinating world that she put together [TS]

  and yeah working my way through the [TS]

  nebula bus novel books very slowly but [TS]

  working my way through them to Erica I [TS]

  was just sort of looking back at the [TS]

  stuff that I've been reading lately and [TS]

  I realized it is pretty much all stuff [TS]

  that is written by my friends so I feel [TS]

  like I'm being super nepotistic here but [TS]

  but this is legitimately what I have [TS]

  been reading I read the lost child of [TS]

  which ferd by paul cornell which is the [TS]

  sequel to The Witches of lich ferd [TS]

  they're both novellas published on tour [TS]

  com and quite enjoyed that just [TS]

  delightful little world it's it's very [TS]

  fantastical one takes place in a little [TS]

  English country village that's sort of [TS]

  on the border of fairyland ish sort of [TS]

  stuff so and has three really amazing [TS]

  women at the heart of the story all who [TS]

  have very [TS]

  very different personalities and [TS]

  interact I think in a very realistic way [TS]

  so love those i also i am working my way [TS]

  through the nebula books which are not [TS]

  written by friends of mine but the other [TS]

  book that i am in the middle of right [TS]

  now is also by paul cornell and it is [TS]

  called [TS]

  called [TS]

  chalk and it is a we were talking about [TS]

  books sometimes taking a long time to [TS]

  read because they're difficult and this [TS]

  is is one like that and it's not [TS]

  difficult in a bad way it is just it is [TS]

  a book that has sort of dark fantasy [TS]

  elements but it is a lot about bullying [TS]

  and follows the the life of this young [TS]

  boy who is growing up in England and the [TS]

  struggles that he goes through and if [TS]

  you had any kind of a rough childhood in [TS]

  school it can like it hits really close [TS]

  to home um in a lot of ways so it's it's [TS]

  very good and I'm only about halfway [TS]

  through and haven't haven't gotten to [TS]

  you know to see everything that happens [TS]

  so far but it is one that I have to take [TS]

  in sort of small bites in order to get [TS]

  through it because otherwise it's just [TS]

  going to be a little bit too heavy for [TS]

  me and also as usual I am trying to keep [TS]

  up on uncanny magazine because I do [TS]

  their podcast over there and for their [TS]

  last for the last episode of the podcast [TS]

  or one of the recent ones I got to read [TS]

  a story by Maya Verity co-host tansy [TS]

  rayner Roberts and it is called some [TS]

  Cupid's kill with arrows and it is a [TS]

  very light-hearted short little story [TS]

  about what if Greek gods were actually [TS]

  real and you ended up speed dating a [TS]

  bunch of them and then it kind of goes [TS]

  on from there and it's it's just kind of [TS]

  hilarious and fun and in addition to [TS]

  that there's a whole bunch of nonfiction [TS]

  in uncanny magazine these days there [TS]

  they have been sort of soliciting essays [TS]

  about resistance and how people who [TS]

  create art can survive in a world that [TS]

  is changing from what we sort of have [TS]

  have dealt with before and how to how to [TS]

  keep yourself sane and and keep creating [TS]

  and that sort of stuff so that's all [TS]

  good things to read at the uncanny which [TS]

  I've had been enjoying quite a bit nice [TS]

  um i just read john scalzi as the [TS]

  collapsing Empire which I enjoyed it's a [TS]

  fun book I don't think it's calls his [TS]

  best book I thought it doesn't have as [TS]

  Scott mentioned earlier like it's it [TS]

  doesn't have the the art I think of the [TS]

  writing doesn't carry the weight of [TS]

  something like NK jemisin with [TS]

  but it's fun space opera if you want [TS]

  galaxy-spanning galactic empires and [TS]

  imaginations and things like that and [TS]

  various lords and all of that on planets [TS]

  it's got all of that in fact I would say [TS]

  it reads to me and he hasn't cited this [TS]

  I think as an influence but it reads to [TS]

  me as very much in the style of the [TS]

  Miles Vorkosigan novels by lois mcmaster [TS]

  bujold it feels very much like that [TS]

  there are some very bujold characters [TS]

  and that there's more swearing there's [TS]

  more swearing but the setting seems very [TS]

  similar to that I could almost imagine [TS]

  the planet called end in this being very [TS]

  much like like boot like a bar ER on in [TS]

  bhuj olds world not quite as futile but [TS]

  still kind of like at the back end of [TS]

  nowhere and and then the Galactic Empire [TS]

  is somewhere else there's even an [TS]

  imperial auditor in it which is a job [TS]

  from that Myles has in some of the [TS]

  Vorkosigan novels but it's fun it is the [TS]

  it is a setup for a series you will get [TS]

  to the end of the first book and be much [TS]

  less disappointed if it's very clear [TS]

  from the beginning this is a prologue [TS]

  this is set up for the the overarching [TS]

  plot of the series but it's spaceships [TS]

  and wormholes and an world building and [TS]

  daring do and things like that and [TS]

  there's nothing wrong with that so it's [TS]

  a fun read Scott you ready to write I [TS]

  have not read oh okay well if you read [TS]

  it have it um you will find it fun well [TS]

  good I I look fortunate I got it first [TS]

  well I have it on hold in the library [TS]

  now it hasn't come in library also you [TS]

  should go to the library and read books [TS]

  I'm reading all the birds in the sky [TS]

  right now which is charlie jane anders [TS]

  and that was one of the one of the [TS]

  nebula nominees and i'm reading that [TS]

  from the library because the library is [TS]

  your friend and sometimes you can even [TS]

  check out ebooks from my library books [TS]

  there they do give them to you well [TS]

  they'll loan them to you yeah that's [TS]

  right bring them back people all right [TS]

  well I think we've reached the end of [TS]

  our book club yay Oh go read NK jemisin [TS]

  last book club no for now only for now [TS]

  okay sorry sorry hold on to be continued [TS]

  I've sold you this is all set up because [TS]

  this is just the latest in a continuing [TS]

  series that never ends stop of melty [TS]

  thank you for being on the book club [TS]

  again it's good to have you back I felt [TS]

  really weird talking about a book when [TS]

  you weren't around uh well thank you I [TS]

  felt weird having you people talk about [TS]

  a book without me or be ground but if [TS]

  I'm not interested in the books I don't [TS]

  show up I think that's a good way to go [TS]

  also now from now on if I'm talking just [TS]

  in life to somebody about a book I'm [TS]

  gonna give you a call just completion [TS]

  he's gonna come on chime in I should [TS]

  talk to Scott let's put him on speaker [TS]

  see what he says you read this book and [TS]

  Scott will say yes but I don't remember [TS]

  it I don't remove on a little hung up [TS]

  but it'll be fine you just put that on a [TS]

  loop and I can just play it from my [TS]

  phone bike hello Jason I did read that [TS]

  book but I do not remember it why is [TS]

  there be at the end I don't know that's [TS]

  how I end all this beauty air can't sign [TS]

  thank you for being here you know it was [TS]

  really nice to be on a book club episode [TS]

  where I really genuinely enjoyed the [TS]

  books oh my nice it's not good this is [TS]

  great it happens sometimes from time to [TS]

  time it happens and allene Sims thank [TS]

  you I'm so happy that you could be here [TS]

  to talk about these books that you love [TS]

  me too I got to talk about my two [TS]

  favorite authors in like less than two [TS]

  weeks so it's pretty great that's pretty [TS]

  good that's pretty good yeah yeah I have [TS]

  to say reading a lot of neil gaiman and [TS]

  NK jemisin lately and then when i did [TS]

  switch some other books like a bit of an [TS]

  adjustment yeah like bow it is and again [TS]

  nothing wrong with they have very [TS]

  specific styles but when you're when [TS]

  you're when you've dealt with people [TS]

  with that kind of style it's a it's it's [TS]

  hard because not everybody writes books [TS]

  like that not everybody has all of those [TS]

  skills they have different skills that's [TS]

  fine but these two it was a lot of fun [TS]

  it's fine everybody's okay I like your [TS]

  books too I don't know Madeline we're [TS]

  still not working just doesn't minute [TS]

  yeah yeah yeah alright and thanks to [TS]

  everybody out there for listening we [TS]

  appreciate you listening to our podcast [TS]

  about books and other things move back [TS]

  next week with who knows what something [TS]

  ridiculous probably because that's us [TS]

  but until then I've been Jason Snell [TS]

  your host goodbye everybody [TS]

  [Music] [TS]