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!

Characters 

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

Episode 5: Dodger by Terry Pratchett Show Notes

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In This Episode

The Book Evangelists discuss Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Morning Chatter

In which we briefly discuss the disruptions of tornado warnings and completely fail to warn the listener that Lissa has banana bread baking in her oven.

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Dodger by Terry Pratchett at Goodreads.

A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he’s…Dodger.

Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London’s sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He’s not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl–not even if her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England.

From Dodger’s encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd to his meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy intertwine in a breathtaking account of adventure and mystery.

Beloved and bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett combines high comedy with deep wisdom in this tale of an unexpected coming-of-age and one remarkable boy’s rise in a complex and fascinating world.

description from the publisher

This blog post is spoiler-free. On the podcast, we discuss Dodger by Terry Pratchett and our discussion is filled with minor 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!

  • How do you decide to write about real historical people? Or to reuse other writer’s fictional characters?
  • Why was Marian so excited to see Joseph Bazalgette show up as a character in this story?
  • As a reader, how do you decide whether to still read or like a book if you disagree with the author’s twitter or media reports about their life?
  • How much does an editor affect the author’s work?
  • What kind of legacy of notes and unfinished manuscripts will you leave behind at the end of your long and prosperous writer’s life? How do those additional materials affect reader experience?
  • What now-long-dead authors would you follow on twitter if you could, to see their day to day thoughts?
  • How do book recommendations from authors work and why?
  • And for all of these things – how do we do these things better as writers for our own potential readers?

Writing and Reading Experiments

Marian recommends: MasterClass, starting with Neil Gaiman Teaches The Art of Storytelling and has branched out to the Dan Brown and Billy Collins writing classes

Lissa panics about the question “What are you Reading?” and will be reading Out Stealing Horses for a book club she leads. She admits she keeps going back to re-read The City in the Middle of the Night instead of reading new books because it is a book “about snuggling” and “about how you figure yourself out.”

Marian recommends All Systems Red by Martha Wells which has a self-aware murder robot.

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 City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders and Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett.

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

Episode 4: Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey Show Notes

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In This Episode

The Book Evangelists discuss Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

“It might take a little while to get there, but I’ll tell you everything and I’ll tell you the truth.” Ivy Gamble, in Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

Morning Chatter

In which we briefly discuss helping our children 3D print their homework.

“I have persistence, which is like skills, by the time you finish.” -Lissa

And we explain how we failed to write our Camp NaNoWriMo projects.

  • “April is the cruelest month.” – Marian
  • “Reading is awesome, you should just read.” – Lissa
  • “Well, there’s always November, you can just recycle your idea then.” – Marian

Writing and Reading Experiments

We both like to use writers challenges and hashtags on Instagram to reflect on and plan our writing projects.

Lissa recommends: If you get really obsessed with a book you can go to twitter and find other people who are obsessed with the book. And then the author sees and joins in. Being a reader on twitter is the coolest. From @lissastaley she follows @charliejane and @scalzi and sometimes experiments with other writer’s twitter feeds.

Marian’s brave experiment was joining #revpit on Twitter and actively interacting with other writers. She reports back on her survey of writer use of social media. @marianrakestraw

Lissa recommends: The Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Sometimes we leave the comfort of our reading and writing homes to interact with other writers. Marian attended a literature festival for teenagers, run by teenagers, called LitUp Festival and met multiple amazing authors including Gayle Forman and Jacqueline Woodson.

Marian recommends: MasterClass, starting with Neil Gaiman Teaches The Art of Storytelling

We reflect on signed copies of books, which books we keep, and sending books out into the world

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41555947-magic-for-liars
We both really enjoyed this book: Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey at Goodreads.

Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It’s a great life and she doesn’t wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.

But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach

description from the publisher

This blog post is spoiler-free. On the podcast, we discuss Magic for Liars beginning at the 37 minute mark. Our discussion doesn’t give away the ending but is filled with minor 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!

How Lissa chooses books: Unreliable narrator! It’s mainstream fantasy! This will be interesting to read with Marian!

“On the whole I was impressed, and we know I am not often impressed.” Marian

We really like this book. As readers. And as writers. We were both delightfully surprised. We talk about the parts we like. We have fun discussing how really original books might reach readers in traditional publishing.

Marian: Where would I shelve this in the store? Fantasy? Hard boiled detective? It’s very original. It’s not like a book that I have read before.

Intriguing us for possible future reads: River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey (Also collected as American Hippo)

Next episode: We are listening to the audiobook of Dodger by Terry Pratchett

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

Episode 3: Pride and Prejudice and Shoeless Joe Show Notes

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In This Episode

The Book Evangelists discuss Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“Go ahead and judge me world. I love me, and that’s enough.” – Marian, defending her choice to finally read a Jane Austen novel

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice at Goodreads. Pride and Prejudice came out in 1813 so are spoilers still a thing? (They are.)

Lissa recommends this Jane Austen website.

Marian recommends: Serial Reader app to read classic books in 20 minutes a day.

Headstrong Obstinate Girl – can we reclaim the insult from Lady Catherine?

Marian recommends Georgette Heyer and thinks Lissa should start with Frederica.

Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella

“As a writer, I’m wondering how I get people to kidnap me and take me to baseball games.” – Lissa, explaining the appeal of Shoeless Joe

Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella at Goodreads. The 1989 movie Field of Dreams was nominated for three Academy Awards and the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Marian recommends Save the Cat Writes a Novel

Reading a book about the recent past that includes fantasy elements complicates our own memories of the past.

Is this book mostly about baseball? Mostly about fathers and sons? Mostly about cornfields? Mostly about chasing dreams?

“Everything puts me in the mood for baseball.” – Marian

“These books are tricky. They leave us feeling enamored and tricked at the same time. Maybe that’s why we are still discussing them.” – Lissa

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

Episode 2: The Gilded Wolves Show Notes

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In This Episode

gildedThe Book Evangelists discuss The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. A YA adventure with an ensemble cast set in a magical 1889 Paris. 

 

Why this book? Subscription Boxes!

Marian and Lissa are so different from each other, but look at how we ended up with the same book in our mailboxes!

“I got Uppercase because I was instructed by like..the whole world…that I should do more self-care and so I bought myself Uppercase.” – Lissa

Uppercase Box – Uppercase is a monthly YA book subscription box that includes a signed first edition of the best YA book of the month along with high-quality and practical items.

“Because I’m me, before I chose a subscription box, I made a spreadsheet.” – Marian

OwlCrate – OwlCrate is a monthly subscription box for bookworms that sends you newly released YA books and other goodies straight to your door.

Are you suddenly tempted to try a subscription box? Lissa signed her kids up for OwlCrate Jr. while editing the podcast. Here’s a referral link if you are interested!


Magic Not Science

We read for what we know and for what we are interested in most.

So when we struggled to understand the way magic worked in this book, we approached that challenge differently.

Lissa tries to turn all the magic into chemistry. Or explain it away like John Scalzi’s Redshirts science lab.

Marian tries to understand how the magic system works within the book from the perspective of the writer creating the world.

What do you do with magic systems that don’t work for you as a reader?


Why Paris?

Why are so many new books coming out set in Paris in the Gilded Age?

What are your favorites so far? What are you looking forward to reading?

Do you have a story about visiting Paris that is more coincidental that Lissa’s or more crime-ridden than Marian’s?

Camp NaNoWriMo – Choose a writing project for this April. (Do it!) (Did you do it?)

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

Episode 1: Pretty in Punxatawny Show Notes

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Links

The Book Evangelists discuss Pretty in Punxatawny by Laurie Boyle Crompton. A quirky contemporary YA romance that is a Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup.

Camp NaNoWriMo – Choose a writing project for this April. (Do it!)

Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton, as reviewed by Lissa on Goodreads

The Clever Thrill Ride of “Russian Doll” from New Yorker

Nichole Millard screenwriting advice and Save the Cat Writes a Novel

Robin Sloan and Sourdough and sourdough

The Good News (about books)

    • Fawkes by Nadine Brandes –“Marian: does not deliver on premise”
    • Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst  – “Marian and Lissa: We need more killing, more stealing, less romance”
    • The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders – “Lissa: It’s so intense I can only read 10-15 pages a day and my library book is overdue. It’s a snuggling book. I love it.”
    • Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella – “Lissa: Spring training reading, for writers waiting for opening day”
      • Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell – “Marian: I enjoyed the heck out of it, an immersive and terrific audiobook.”

     

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