GSN PODCAST: Scrolls Book Group: American Gods

GSN PODCAST: Scrolls Book Group: American Gods

22 May, 2013

Welcome back to our cosy nook.  Pull up an armchair, pour yourself a soothing drink and join us for a good chat.  These episodes are always special to me because we get to delve into the books under discussion in a much fuller way than our usual episodes allow.  Needless to say this means spoilers, so we recommend that listeners read the book in advance.  This episode we explore Neil Gaiman’s mythical masterpiece, American Gods.  This is a toughie to describe.  In some ways it’s a road-trip around the hidden highways of the USA, in others it’s a meditation on belief.  The book is wildly unpredictable, utterly charming and chilling in equal measures. Direct Download:   GSN PODCAST: Scrolls Book Group: American Gods Listen Online: Scrolls Book Group: American Gods  As ever, two of the Scrolls team have stepped aside to make space for two of You.  Joining Dion and Clover in the discussion are avid readers Jenny Williams and Bernice Watson.  Congratulations to Jenny, who has just been signed by Headline.  Her first book with them is called The Copper Promise and it is due to be published in the Spring of 2014.  An e-book of the first part of this story is available on Kindle and, having read it, I’m eagerly awaiting the the rest of the tale.  You may recognise Bernice from theChildren of the Atom podcast, here on the Geek Syndicate Network.  She also makes audio and video appearances at Liberation Frequency, a site dedicated to bringing exposure to ‘new bands, artists and comedians.’  Check them out.  One last plug – Clover appears on the latest episode of Stacey’s Pop Culture Parlour for a chilled out chat about… bazongas?! So, line that up after the Book Group for a change of pace. If you want to carry on the conversation you can post your comments down below.  We’d love to hear from you.  Our August episode will be on Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith.  The final Book Group this year will (rather appropriately) be Terminus by Adam Baker: a zombie thriller with a difference.  We have room for one more guest on both of these episodes so get in touch if you want to be involved.  E-mail us at [email protected] or tweet straight...

GSN PODCAST: Scrolls Book Group: The Heroes

GSN PODCAST: Scrolls Book Group: The Heroes

4 Dec, 2012

Time is ticking away, the latest ‘normal’ episode in in editorial limbo and we haven’t yet recorded our usual Christmas mayhem, so here’s another Book Group episode to keep you all going. Direct Download:  Scrolls Book Group: The Heroes Listen Online:  The Heroes could perhaps be described as Sharpe’s Waterloo done fantasy-style.  Joe Abercrombie uses it to explore the subject of heroism with all its wrinkles and contradictions.  Set in the same world as the acclaimed First Law Trilogy, Abercrombie introduces a whole new batch characters in such a way that enables new readers to get straight into it, whilst rewarding long-time fans with a few familiar faces.  If you haven’t read his stuff before, we’re talking a gritty fantasy adventure, full of dark humour and harsh justice.  The focus is always on the characters (a particular strength of this author), with vigorous prose and a suitably cynical tone. We recommend you read the book before listening to this episode as Spoilers were pretty much unavoidable.  The programme is hosted by Scrolls regulars Dion and Clover, who are joined by Geek Syndicate’s very own co-founder Barry Nugent and long-time listener Louise Maskill.  Louise is an avid reader of Fantasy fiction, works as a free-lance editor and has just published her own book about Sussex Dialect (with a similar Norfolk one on the way.)  She is currently working on her first novel.  Publishers, take note. If you want to carry on the conversation, you can post your comments, thoughts and alternative viewpoints under this article.  We welcome your feedback.  Taking a leaf from the Comic Book Outsiders, we’re actually going to start letting you all know in advance what books are coming up.  (Yes, we have been THAT stupid)  With that in mind, you may wish to pick up or re-read American Gods by Neil Gaiman in time for our February episode.  We always like to involve YOU in the book group, so let us know if you want to take part in that episode.  Don’t fancy that one?  Then put on your thinking cap and send us the name of the book you would like to discuss.  You can e-mail us directly at [email protected] or tweet @Dion_Scrolls if you prefer.  Who knows, it could be you...

Scrolls Book Group: The Lifecycle Of Software Objects

Scrolls Book Group: The Lifecycle Of Software Objects

4 Sep, 2012

The Life-cycle of Software Objects is a story by Ted Chiang about our relationship with artificial intelligence and what it means to be alive.  It’s kind of a peculiar read but well worth it, as we quickly discovered.  Joining Dion and Phil to discuss the tale is our guest host, the delightful Dee – otherwise known as ‘Faint Dreams.’ Direct Donwload:   Scrolls Book Group: The Life-cycle Of Software Objects Listen Online: Scrolls Book Group: The Life-cycle Of Software Objects  Now, don’t go skipping straight past.  I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking ‘I’ve never heard of it, never read it, so why listen to the podcast?’  Well, Firstly we’re bloody brilliant.  Honest, guv’nor.  Secondly, it’s actually a pretty quick read – a novella rather than a book (Around 60 pages.)  Thirdly, The Life-cycle Of Software Objects is available right here for free, and Fourthly it’s an absolute corker.  We’ve all had ideas and questions exploding in our brains long after we finished reading it. So you’re not going anywhere, right? Right 😀 You snuggle down and start reading, I’ll just sit here and… I dunno, tweet or something. Dum de dum…  de dum…  de dum… Ready?  Brilliant. For those of you interested in reading more of Ted Chiang’s work, there is a round-up of his stories at Metafilter, all free and perfectly legal.  Some are in text, some are audiobooks.  Here also is a separate link for the story that Dee mentions right at the end of the podcast, called ‘Liking What You See: A Documentary.‘ ‘ Want to know a little more about Artificial Intelligence?  You could listen to Dissecting Worlds (cheap shot) or have a look at this wikipedia entry.  Most edifying. As ever, feedback is appreciated. You can tweet @Dion_Scrolls, @Phlambler or @FaintDreams, e-mail us at [email protected] or share your views with everyone in the Comments section below. We hope you enjoy listening to this as much as we enjoyed making...

Scrolls Book Group: The Woman In Black

Scrolls Book Group: The Woman In Black

10 May, 2012

In which Susan Hill’s chilling classical ghost story is shared, enthused over and examined by the Scrolls team. Direct Download:  Scrolls Book Group: The Woman In Black Listen Online:  Clover hosts this special episode, ably assisted by Mattie & Phil and joined by the multi-talented Sarah Taylor, who has been a fan of the story (in all its forms) for many years.  Whilst absent from the discussion, Dion provides a little atmosphere with selected readings from the text in the first half of the episode. With deference to the new film and the ever popular stage production, the second half of the episode examines alternative interpretations of the tale and the ways in which they both succeed and fail to capture the essence of Hill’s creation.  Along with a certain amount of squeeing.  I’m naming no names. As ever with the Scrolls Book Group, spoilers abound, so we recommend that you read the book before you listen in. Preferably by candlelight. Alone… Feedback is always welcome.  You can comment on this post, e-mail us at [email protected] or follow our Twitter feed @Scrollscast (for author retweets and news.) You can even follow our personal accounts @Dion_Scrolls and @Phlambler if you like. Our next Book Group episode will be in November.  If you want to take part in the episode after that then please drop us a line to say what book you would choose, and why you love it so much.  We look forward to hearing from you.  Keep...

Scrolls Book Group: A Song Of Ice And Fire

Scrolls Book Group: A Song Of Ice And Fire

7 Nov, 2011

In which we try to harness George RR Martin’s vast, fiery beast as it spawls triumphantly across the gems of modern Fantasy. From the very first book, A Game Of Thrones, this series has proven to be one of those compulsive reads that ignite the passions of a whole generation of readers, reaching far beyond the traditional boundaries of genre preference. Direct Download: Scrolls Book Group: A Song Of Ice And Fire Listen Online: Joining us for the podcast are returning special guests Matt – The Grampus from Dissecting Worlds, and Carey – she of the Two-Monkeys from Geektress. We tackle the books one by one and focus on a particular theme for each. There are Major plot spoilers throughout and we do skip back and forth between books on occasion, so we strongly recommend that you only listen to this episode once you have finished reading Book 5: A Dance With Dragons. Warning: contains gratuitous boobies. [more….] Amongst the many items up for discussion are: Whose fault is it anyway, Why should you never bring your mum to work, Feuds and the Feudal system, Alternative weapons of war, Cers Ei Coyote, What’s eating Red R’hllor, and The ignominous fate of bastards. In order to do the series justice we’ve recorded a far longer episode than usual – but never fear! For those of you who prefer your podcasts in bite-sized chunks we have divided the episode up into approximately half-hour segments with a musical cue from the stunning HBO television series to seperate them. The start times and themes for each section are as follows:- 2m 41s – A Game Of Thrones: Secrets 32m 57s – A Clash Of Kings: War 59m 14s – A Storm Of Swords: Betrayal 1h 28m 30s – A Feast For Crows: Religion and Magic 1h 53m 10s – A Dance With Dragons: Use of Power If you feel inspired to carry on the conversation, come and join in on the Geek Syndicate Discussion Boards on Facebook. Other ways you can interact with us include e-mail: [email protected] and twitter: @scrollscast or the comments section below. Links mentioned in the show include the foody site for Westerosi dishes, innatthecrossroads.com...

Scrolls Book Group: Jennifer Government

Scrolls Book Group: Jennifer Government

28 Jun, 2011

Direct Download: Scrolls Book Group: Jennifer Government Listen Online: Scrolls Book Group: Jennifer Government Dion and Phil are joined by Carey ‘Two-Monkeys’ from Geektress and Matt ‘The Grampus’ from Dissecting Worlds to discuss near-future anti-capitalist satirical romp Jennifer Government, by Max Barry. Spoilers abound, so as ever for these Book Group Specials you will get the most enjoyment if you read the book first.  Don’t feel you have to strain the bank though – why not help Save The Libraries and order in your copy as soon as possible.  The book is a quick read and a lot of fun. The next ‘normal’ episode of Scrolls will be recording soon on the theme of ‘Gods and Sods’ and the next Book Group Special is planned for September, featuring the brand new volume in the Game of Thrones saga A Dance With Dragons. We’d value your feedback via e-mail at [email protected] or via twitter @Scrollscast and you can follow our general banter @Dion_Scrolls and @Phlambler if you...

Geek Syndicate – Episode 183

Geek Syndicate – Episode 183

19 May, 2011

Listen Online: Direct Download: Episode 183 Welcome to Episode 183 of Geek Syndicate, your podcast guide to the murtky underbelly of Geekdom. News The Diease Control website crashes under weight of it’s zombie defence plan, The Napoleon of Crime gets his own comic, Runemaster studio opens up new pulp division, Disney finds it’s Lone Ranger ,Torchwood web series spin off and Warehouse 13 spin off Week that Was Brightest Day – Vol – 1, Flashpoint #1, The Blue Spear, Community,Smallville and Dr Who Main  We take a look at some of the pilots and projects for this year which never got picked up and decide whether the networks were right or...

Scrolls Book Group: The Prestige

Scrolls Book Group: The Prestige

2 Feb, 2011

With a flash of light and a cloud of smoke the Scrolls Book Group reappears on stage to entertain and amaze you.  (Or at the very least distract you from the smelly tramp in the corner, the squalling kid in the back and that really creepy looking guy on the seat opposite – No, don’t look!) Ably assisted by Kehaar from Dissecting Worlds and guest contributer Gazbox in their skin-tight golden bikinis, we take a focussed look at Chistopher Priest’s most celebrated work,The Prestige.  You may have watched Christopher Nolan’s film adaptation and think you’ve seen this trick before but trust us, there’s a whole lot more going on in the wings. There are spoilers throughout – we couldn’t really avoid them – but have we really revealed the authors secrets… or has he left us bamboozled and looking in the wrong direction? Read the book, listen in to our thoughts, then let us know what you think.  E-mail [email protected] or tweet @scrollscast Direct Download: Scrolls Book Group: The Prestige Listen Online: Iphone app Extra: The first two chapters of The Sentinel Mage, the beginning of Emily Gee’s new fantasy book trilogy, released in shops on the 25th of January in the US and Canada, and on the 3rd of February in the UK. For more information on this novel head...

Scrolls Book Group – Episode 1

Sometimes a book comes along that you really want to explore and talk to other people about.  It’s not enough to just read it and recommend it, you want to rave about it or throw your ideas around because its blown your mind – but you don’t always have people around you can do this with. Well now you do, because we’re inviting you to join us in a fully interactive podcast. Crazy talk?  Oh no, my friend.  We’re looking to put you centre-stage with the Scrolls team to discuss a book of your choosing via the magic of Skype. This pilot episode has been put together to give you a flavour of how the episodes might go and the level of detail we can get into.  In it we discuss Shirley Jackson’s masterful tale of claustrophobia and lunacy in the confines of a happy family home – We Have Always Lived In The Castle.  Neither horror, fantasy or sci-fi it still feels like our kind of book and is an absolutely fascinating read. There are spoilers throughout, so be warned. The missing element is you. If you have a nomination for a genre book that you want to discuss with the Scrolls team, please contact us via e-mail at [email protected] or send me a tweet @Dion_Scrolls. We will pick one out of the hat and make arrangements to record the episode with you at the next available opportunity.  Get enough applicants and positive feedback and we may well make this a full time podcast.  Until then we’ll have it as an occasional Scrolls Special.  It’s in your hands people. Direct Download: Scrolls Book Group – Episode...

Welcome to the Scrolls Book Club!

It’s a joy to see how vast the empire of Geek has grown over the years, storming across the bastions of popular culture, sweeping aside the unimaginative hordes or converting them to our ways. So great have our victories been, so widely have we spread our creed that sometimes it seems that there just isn’t time enough in the world to experience it all. If you are of a certain turn of mind however you will always find spare moments and odd corners to pick up a book. I have one for all occasions: lunch break; bog-time; bed-time; books for ploughing through on a day off; books for taking on holiday (it’s a habit, but one I have no intention of trying to break.) It’s just brilliant to find a novel that really draws you in, takes you away from the mundane world, pushes all your imaginative buttons – but what’s really great is finding someone to talk to about it. It doesn’t matter if you’re introducing them to a new author, indulging in a shared love of gore, bitching about pseudo-science or arguing the morality of orc/halfling love in a multi-species society. With this in mind Scrolls Book Group will be set up to give you the opportunity to create and be a part of a virtual book community. It offers both the chance to chew the fat about old favourites and the motivation to pick up an author, genre or title that you otherwise may not have tried. Look out for our 2010 book list, evenly spread between fantasy, sci-fi and horror. Each month we invite you to read the nominated book then join us in our discussions on the Geek Syndicate forums. Like the sound of it? See you there....