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69: Love Conquers All, But So Do Guns

Break out your gaming laptop and pass the ammunition: It’s time to discuss Neal Stephenson’s “REAMDE.” Why does the book’s plot take a hard left turn halfway through? Why does Stephenson struggle to write endings—and does he succeed this time? Is this book about family, the victory of the outsider, or blowing things up? (Can’t it be all three?)

See episode 69

66: Regular People Like Us

Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One” is a sci-fi novel that’s chock full of references to 1980s culture. But is it a good book, or are the references all that it’s got going for it? What will John Hughes movies be like in the future? And what do Cline, P.G. Wodehouse, and Umberto Eco have in common?

Episode 66 (60 minutes, 27.5 MB MP3) is live and direct on 5by5.tv.

The Incomparable participants: Scott McNulty, Serenity Caldwell, John Siracusa, Dan Moren, and Monty Ashley. This episode was edited by Greg Knauss.

Buy the book on Amazon.com.

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The Incomparable Theme Song composed by the incomparable Christopher Breen.

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63: Like a Good Book Exploded

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Is “The Wise Man’s Fear” a rich fantasy novel about storytelling and myth-making, or is it a collection of good story elements scattered across an overlong plot? Could it be both? Ninjas! Off-camera shipwrecks! Board games! Sexism! Off-camera courtroom drama! Discursions within digressions within framing sequences! Join us as we discuss yet another 1000-page fantasy novel, the sequel to “The Name of the Wind.”

Episode 63 (48 minutes, 22 MB MP3) is live and direct on 5by5.tv.

Click here to buy the book on Amazon.

The Incomparable participants: Jason Snell with Serenity Caldwell, Dan Moren, John Siracusa, and Scott McNulty.

To subscribe to this podcast, add http://feeds.feedburner.com/incomparablepodcast to your podcast tool of choice, or click here to subscribe in iTunes.

The Incomparable Theme Song composed by the incomparable Christopher Breen.

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62: The Pig is Chekhov's Gun

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We discuss “A Dance With Dragons,” the latest 1000-page installment in George R.R. Martin’s bestselling “Song of Ice and Fire” fantasy series. Is this series going to end well? Which parts of this book were good, and which just treaded water? Would adding Klingons have helped? Why are trees the Westeros equivalent of security cameras? These are the sorts of questions you ask deep in the middle of a long fantasy series.

Episode 62 (45 minutes, 21 MB MP3) is live and direct on 5by5.tv.

Click here to buy the book on Amazon.

The Incomparable participants: Jason Snell with Serenity Caldwell, Dan Moren, and Scott McNulty.

To subscribe to this podcast, add http://feeds.feedburner.com/incomparablepodcast to your podcast tool of choice, or click here to subscribe in iTunes.

The Incomparable Theme Song composed by the incomparable Christopher Breen.

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52: A Cthuluesque Vomiting of Ideas

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Rip off your hearing limbs and join us for the first anniversary edition of The Incomparable. As with the first podcast, the Book Club discusses a China Miéville novel: in this case, “Embassytown.” Also: What are we reading?

Episode 52 (55 minutes plus four minutes of nonsense, 24 MB MP3)

The Incomparable participants: Jason Snell, Dan Moren, Scott McNulty and Glenn Fleishman.

Works Discussed or Mentioned

We also discuss Zeppelins. And how you still shouldn’t read “Feed.”

To subscribe to this podcast, add http://feeds.feedburner.com/incomparablepodcast to your podcast tool of choice, or click here to subscribe in iTunes.

The Incomparable Theme Song composed by the incomparable Christopher Breen.

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51: Zombie Marmaduke (Hugo Awards 2011)

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Every year five novels are nominated for the Hugo Awards, the top award in science fiction. This year our Book Club read all five nominees! So sit back and enjoy our reviews of “Blackout/All Clear,” “Cryoburn,” “The Dervish House,” “Feed,” and “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.” Plus, we recommend a bunch of the nominated short stories.

Episode 51 (66 minutes, 25 MB Enhanced AAC Podcast)

The Incomparable participants: Jason Snell, Dan Moren, Scott McNulty and Glenn Fleishman. An MP3 version is also available.

Works Discussed

Hugo novels:

Recommended shorts:

You can see a complete list of Hugo 2011 nominees. The awards will be released Saturday, August 20.

Next week’s Book Club selection is “Embassytown” by China Miéville. Dan didn’t like it, but Scott and Jason did. Glenn’s feelings are mixed.

But don’t read “Feed.”

To subscribe to this podcast, add http://feeds.feedburner.com/incomparablepodcast to your podcast tool of choice, or click here to subscribe in iTunes.

The Incomparable Theme Song composed by the incomparable Christopher Breen.

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42

Do you know where your towel is? Are you a hoopy frood? Have you just consumed your fifth Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster? We have. And you’d better catch up. In honor of our 42nd podcast and the recent Towel Day, The Incomparable celebrates the life and work of Douglas Adams. We feature our special guest, Yoz Grahame, who worked for Adams’ The Digital Village, the producers of Web sites such as h2g2.com (a precursor to Wikipedia of sorts).

The incomparable download: Episode 42 (65 minutes, 29 MB MP3 file)

The Incomparable participants: Glenn Fleishman, Yoz Grahame, Greg Knauss, Steve Lutz, and Jason Snell.

We talked about an inordinate number of things in this podcast, which we shall attempt to enumerate for the innumerate:

To subscribe to this podcast, add http://feeds.feedburner.com/incomparablepodcast to your podcast tool of choice, or click here to subscribe in iTunes.

The Incomparable Theme Song composed by the incomparable Christopher Breen.

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Jason bruised his arm.

37: Shadow War of the Night Dragons

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Our Book Club discusses the works of sci-fi writer John Scalzi, including “Old Man’s War.” We also talk about “The Forever War” and many other books. We play the “new author remakes classic novel” game we just invented. Find out why Dan says “Ce Podcast est Fini!” And stay after the end to learn Jason’s secret plan to create a terrible sci-fi trilogy.

The incomparable download: Episode 37 (60 minutes, 24 MB AAC file)

The Incomparable participants: Jason Snell, Dan Moren, and Scott McNulty. An MP3 version is also available.

Links

Read “The Shadow War of the Night Dragons.”

All the John Scalzi books are available from Amazon’s John Scalzi page. Start with “Old Man’s War.”

What are we reading?

To subscribe to this podcast, add http://feeds.feedburner.com/incomparablepodcast to your podcast tool of choice, or click here to subscribe in iTunes.

The Incomparable Theme Song composed by the incomparable Christopher Breen.

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35: The Only Way to Win the Game of Thrones is Not to Play

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Everybody wants to rule the world, er, kingdom of Westeros. As the “Game of Thrones” series continues on HBO, we discuss the source material: George R.R. Martin’s bestselling “Song of Ice and Fire” books. If you haven’t read the books, you will be spoiled! We’ll post the climactic resolution of this podcast in about five years, so invest your time wisely.

The incomparable download: Episode 35 (65 minutes, 25 MB AAC file)

The Incomparable participants: Jason Snell, Dan Moren, Serenity Caldwell, and Scott McNulty. An MP3 version is also available.

Spoiler Horn

If you don’t want to know what happens in these books, DO NOT LISTEN PAST THE SPOILER HORN. Which is, like, three minutes in.

Links

To subscribe to this podcast, add http://feeds.feedburner.com/incomparablepodcast to your podcast tool of choice, or click here to subscribe in iTunes.

The Incomparable Theme Song composed by the incomparable Christopher Breen.

Follow us on Twitter.

Podcast Archive

A list of pre-5by5 episodes is here.