Episode 6: Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett Show Notes


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In This Episode

The Book Evangelists discuss Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Morning Chatter

In which we briefly discuss the joys and potential perils of recommending books to friends or potential friends. How do you choose which books to recommend to others? What if they don’t like the recommendation? What if you don’t like someone else’s recommendation? What are Marian’s favorite books to recommend to others? What will Lissa say honestly if she doesn’t like your book recommendation?

“…the right book exactly, at exactly the right time.” Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

When Marian asked Lissa how she gets great book recommendations….

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett at Goodreads

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle. 

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims. 

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them. 

To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

description from the publisher

This blog post is spoiler-free. On the podcast, we discuss Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett in detail and our discussion in the podcast is filled with minor and major spoilers, so please read the book before you listen if you are into that kind of experience. We’ll be here for you when you finish!


Which characters do we like? Who scares us? Who is our favorite character? Who are we shipping together? Who do we worry about? Who do we hope appears in the second book in this trilogy? You think you know what people’s motivations are, but then you find out more or it changes. Who surprised us?

  • Sancia Grado
  • Gregor Dandolo
  • Ofelia Dandolo
  • Orso
  • Berenice
  • Claudia and Giovanni
  • Estelle Candiano
  • Tomas Candiano
  • Clef!

World Building

What do we learn about the magic in this very scientific world? What do we learn about politics from a world without laws?

  • Themes
    • Unfettered capitalism
    • How marginalizing people causes the loss of talent
    • PTSD and the lasting effects of trauma

This is the first book in a trilogy. Will you read book 2? Book 3? Do you think authors owe readers the ending they are hoping for?

“Every innovation—technological, sociological, or otherwise—begins as a crusade, organizes itself into a practical business, and then, over time, degrades into common exploitation. This is simply the life cycle of how human ingenuity manifests in the material world. What goes forgotten, though, is that those who partake in this system undergo a similar transformation: people begin as comrades and fellow citizens, then become labor resources and assets, and then, as their utility shifts or degrades, transmute into liabilities, and thus must be appropriately managed.” 

Robert Jackson Bennett, Foundryside

Writing and Reading Experiments

WHY aren’t more people talking about how great this book is? Where is the hidden corner of the Internet where people are fangirling over Foundryside and should we join those social media platforms so that we can connect with the other readers who loved this book? Would Lissa alter her body or her reality to create an electronic book reading communication tool to connect to others who are enjoying the same book at the same time? Can Lissa invent this? And will you still subscribe to our podcast if this invention becomes wildly successful and we buy an island to read on?

What are we learning from this book? How do I grow up to be that good of a writer? Could you write the middle of a book and then show the build up in flash backs to write a cape/heist novel that way?

Camp NaNoWriMo for July – listen in to hear how creatively we both failed!

Next episode: We are reading and listening to the 5-star SF/FF audiobooks and books that we have recommended to each other recently, possibly including the climate change tidally-locked planet #hopepunk found family snuggling book The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders.

Our Show Notes include mentions and recommendations, all linked for your convenience. What else would you like to see here? 

Music Credit: The music used during transitions in our podcast is adapted from: Jazzy Sax, Guitar, and Organ at the club by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/58382 Ft: geoffpeters

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