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Hey remember those short stories in English class that are outstandingly good and extremely messed up? We certainly do! (Or, Sarah does and Amelia has goldfish memory probably as a result of playing World of Warcraft for so many years.) We're talking about those dark lil short stories you read fifteen years ago and have thought about every day sinc…
 
The same way that a pony is APPARENTLY not just a baby horse (????), a novella is far more than a smaller version of a novel. This week your hosts read a whole smattering of the little suckers, from the agonizing exorcisms in Prosper's Demon to the epic worldbuilding of The Empress of Salt and Fortune. What makes a novella great? What makes a novel…
 
Can we talk to you about Ethan Winters? We've been dying to talk to you about Ethan Winters. Look, we're big book people over here, but unfortunately there's no form of storytelling we've recently encountered that demands discussion more than whatever the hell is going on in these games. We got mold. We got #girlboss. We got the weirdest approaches…
 
Can we talk about H.P. Lovecraft's sex life? Because we've been dying to talk about H.P. Lovecraft's sex life. And apparently, so has this person who wrote a literal article about it. Yes, we spend an inordinate amount of time talking about this. In preparation for this episode Sarah and Amelia read H. P. Lovecraft's work for the very first time, a…
 
Sarah strongarms Amelia into reading one of her favorite books from last year, and to both their surprise Amelia liked it. This week we're talking Weird Points of View, from the plural first person of Julie Otsuka's The Buddha in the Attic to The Mountain Goats to second person novels to Sarah's dim memory of Stargate SG-1 fanfic. Also there's like…
 
Competitions aren't about who wins or loses, which is something you only write if you lost the competition. Sarah and Amelia sorted through their horrendously overdue library books and competed to finish their book(s) first. Who won? Well, again, it's just about reading books that you normally wouldn't and also it wasn't really a competition and al…
 
During lockdown, we took advantage of all our free time to better ourselves. Just kidding! We worked our way through Karl Urban's entire filmography with a thirst that would make more sense if either of us were attracted to him. A diversion in our podcast about books to talk about everything but books as we discuss (confess) our real passions of la…
 
Will no one protect the semi-organic killing construct? This week we read The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells in preparation for the release of Fugitive Telemetry. Folks, we love Murderbot! And we're not afraid to say it! Multiple times, in increasingly ear-piercing decibels, thus undercutting the fact that we literally recorded this in a blanket…
 
Yes, we are still a book podcast, no, this has nothing to do with books at all, but y'all? We have got to talk about the CW television show, Supernatural. Sarah and Amelia take a humiliating dive into their history with Supernatural in light of the show's finale (was it always this bad? yes but also no but also absolutely yes) and explore the hotte…
 
Welcome to Cracked Spines, where every book is an orc lesbian regency romance novel, that's our thing now. In terms of the emerging OLRR genre, Charlotte Rogan's The Lifeboat tragically fails the Shagrat test (in that no two orcs never speak to each other about something other than eating flesh); however, seeing as it is a novel about a bunch of wo…
 
Two shipwrecks, one island, God’s little social experiment. In 1864, two separate vessels wrecked on two separate sides of Auckland Island. One group of survivors built a house, started night classes, and served four-course meals of sea lion. The other was down for cannibalism pretty much from the get-go. This week we read Island of the Lost by Joa…
 
This week, we tackle the father of shipwreck narratives, Robinson Crusoe, and boy! Oh boy! Whatever your expectations for this book were, scale them down. Then make them a little lower. Discussion points include: the centrality of the slave trade to the plot of this novel, Robinson Crusoe's one moment of acceptance of other cultures, and why God ke…
 
“We can’t keep talking about Javert,” we say, and then talk about nothing else for 30 minutes. That’s right, it’s another Les Mis episode. We know, we’re sorry. Sarah flew across the country so we could drive across the state and finally, for the first time, see the live production. Featuring the all-new take that Marius is good actually, and the c…
 
What does it mean to be a woman? Well firstly, how big are your flesh-shredding mandibles? This week, your hosts read Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, and dig into questions of gender, violence, oppression, and proboscises.Av Amelia Fisher and Sarah Palmer
 
Did rice crops create the most prolific maneater in recorded human history? Your hosts delve in to the story of the Champawat tiger, a creature which terrorized Indian and Nepalese villages for a period of ten years, evading large-scale efforts to hunt it down and ultimately killing an estimate of 436 people. Featuring the factors which make a mane…
 
This week, Sarah and Amelia discuss Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and spent A Lot of of time agonizing over the high highs and the very low lows of revisiting old favorites. Amelia reveals herself as the ultimate mold queen. Sarah grapples with her love for this book in the face of YIKES YIKES YIKES moments and then accidentally ta…
 
And on the Seventh Day, a new episode appeared. This week your hosts watch the new Good Omens TV series and kick around their favorite Crowley and Aziraphale fancasts: namely, Philip Quast as both. Also featuring the struggle of going back to media you loved as a kid, the extremely cursed abandoned Good Omens script, and the notebook in which Sarah…
 
This week, Amelia and Sarah decide to defy God and Church alike to read The Golden Compass. Amelia struggles to find herself in the animal kingdom. Sarah raises questions about daemon sexuality that should have gone unasked. We also talk about things besides the daemons, but frankly we all understand what the most important part of this series is.…
 
This episode is all chianti, love darts, and apophallation as your hosts tuck into the latest installment in their obsession with cannibalism. From the all-you-can-eat buffet of insanity that is the animal kingdom to a deep dive into the culture of human cannibalism, there's a lot to sink your teeth into. Featuring spider sex diagrams, gender bias …
 
This week, Sarah and Amelia discuss a work one of them has very passionate feelings about: the British television show Life on Mars. No, wait, they're talking about Les Mis again. No, wait, they're talking about Night Watch, part of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and they're spinning theories that TPrat was waiting his whole career for some br…
 
This week, Amelia and Sarah read the tale of the least satisfying trip north since the time we tried to drive to Newfoundland. (Please don't ask us how late in the planning it was that we figured out it was an island.) Lament the loss of what seems to be thousands of dogs in this group project from hell. Like expedition leader Donald MacMillan, we …
 
Happy birthday, Victor Hugo! In celebration, your hosts spend this episode dragging the man's masterpiece Les Miserables through the mud of their mutual thirst. This is technically an episode about the musical, though Amelia may or may not have poured over all the parts of the book exclusively relevant to Javert. We just can't know. Featuring Les M…
 
This week, things get heavy — heavy metal. Your hosts read Grady Hendrix's epic horror-ballad We Sold Our Souls, and honestly, it rocked. Featuring discussions of female anger, the power of music as an active influence, and the fact that Amelia had a crush on Durza from Eragon as a kid. You know, the evil ghost guy? Yeah, it was pretty niche.…
 
Amelia and Sarah are back and more physically infirm than ever. This week, we discuss Scott Smith's travelogue gone wrong and offer good, constructive criticism on the name of both the book and the author. Amelia insists on going straight edge in emergency situations. Sarah's mostly just concerned about the time impact of all this plant murder on t…
 
The best gift is the one you yank off your own bookshelf in a panic because you weren't expecting this cousin to turn up for Christmas morning. Amelia and Sarah talk about their go-to gift books, the unbearable burden of Christmas cookies, and the big dick move of gifting people classic literature. We're sorry we talk about video games for the firs…
 
Our latest pirate kick is halfway down the plank as we discuss the first two seasons of the epic television prequel to Treasure Island: Black Sails. Featuring Jack and Anne's jaeger name, Charles Vane as the Charlie Kelley of piracy, Alexander Hamilton's torrid pirate love affair 40 years before he was born, and the usual cursed takes. #GlintIsReal…
 
It’s a boy’s book for adventure boys! This week your hosts theoretically cover Treasure Island by Robert Louis "Bedroom Eyes" Stevenson, but not before they manage to botch the author’s nationality, the socio-political status of Ireland, and the main character’s literal actual name. We’re doing our best, guys. Let that both absolve and damn us. Als…
 
Happy Halloween! Because it’s definitely still Halloween! Because we recorded and edited and posted the episode in a timely fashion because we’re diligent and good at things! And also, really, Halloween never has to end if you don’t want it to or are bad at deadlines. So here’s our Halloween special, on Halloween, about one of the scariest stories …
 
This week, Sarah and Amelia finally wrap up this chapter of the “disastrous mountain expeditions” saga we’ve taken you on for the past month. This time we return to the infamous Donner Party from a nonfiction perspective, with The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown. It’s a fantastic read packed with tons of relevant information and sensi…
 
This week on Cracked Spines, Amelia and Sarah fail to finish the actual book they were supposed to read for reasons of varying validity, so Sarah walks Amelia through the other unhappy time in the mountains book she's read lately--the tale of the tragic Dyatlov Pass incident where nine Russian hikers met mysterious ends on a freezing night. Spoiler…
 
Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park is a template for a beautiful socialist lesbian love colony, and this week on Cracked Spines, we uncork Amelia’s lifelong dinosaur fetish to explore why the capitalist fools of this novel couldn’t see it. Amelia slanders Ernest Shackleton, Sarah tries and fails to name a single correct dinosaur fact, and together we…
 
In what may be the final episode in our polar exploration kick, Sarah watches the Broadway musical "Ernest Shackleton Loves Me," featuring Ernest Shackleton skype-calling a single mom in the 21st century, crawling out of her refrigerator, and talking about his dick size. So basically, Sarah's ideal musical. Also featuring bad passwords, Critical Ro…
 
Ernest Shackleton has big dick energy, and Sarah is here to prove it. With his 69 dogs and his salty seamen, our boy Ernest proved that it is in fact possible to get famous for how badly you almost fucked up. Amelia reads Shackleton's memoir, while Sarah reads a selection of other Shackleton-related books, including children's stories and a manual …
 
In keeping with our ongoing theme of polar horror, Sarah and Amelia watch John Carpenter's gooey vore masterpiece "The Thing." Yes, that is its official description. Featuring the raw erotic energy of MacReady's perpetual cowboy hat, discussions of practical effects vs CGI, and a brief digression on what opiods do to your poop. It's mostly relevant…
 
Bet ya'll thought we were done with the Arctic, huh. This week we read Who Goes There by John W. Campbell, the novella which inspired three different movie spinoffs including John Carpenter's The Thing. We talk about the pros and cons of classic sci-fi, which Jane Austen character would die first in the Arctic, and the expansive isolation of polar …
 
This week, Sarah and Amelia read The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi; and shocker of shockers, actually manage to have a semi-intelligent discussion on subverting versus embracing tropes, the nature of YA lit, and the importance of representation. Also, a serious question masquerading as a bit about whether or not you're allowed to keep …
 
Listen, we say “don’t go to the Arctic” a fair amount on this podcast, but we just can’t help ourselves. This week we revisit our first book to discuss the AMC series The Terror which Sarah has not seen and has no interest to, and Amelia has watched twice, sobbing the entire time. Featuring things they changed from the book (including a welcome twe…
 
This week, Mark Watney gets off—of Mars. And Amelia makes that stupid joke twice. We read Andy Weir’s novel The Martian and cover some super relevant topics, like Dragonball Z and Yu-Gi-Oh (but also like, the Curiosity rover and how to grow potatoes in a desolate wasteland). Also, this is Amelia’s first week back on the road living that glamorous #…
 
This week, Sarah and Amelia write the book on wilderness survival--literally. In a special episode in honor of Amelia leaving on her latest expedition, we're re-reading our old trip diaries from our very first road trip together, back when we were hapless fools who had yet to learn of the glory that is a two-burner propane stove. Aside from figurin…
 
Revenge against an imperialist empire is a dish best served with a side of swashbuckling. It's everyone's favorite space-opera, Ancillary Justice! Sarah and Amelia talk about sentient space ships, cool gender stuff (guest starring another discussion of The Left Hand of Darkness because we just can't help ourselves), and... Pontius Pilate. Naturally…
 
Sarah and Amelia aren’t 100% clear about the difference between particle physics and witchcraft, but they give hard sci-fi their very best shot as they read The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin this week. Including a crash course on the Chinese Cultural Revolution, how to survive the world’s worst video game, and speculation on the effectiveness of …
 
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