Fictoplasm Season 3 Episode Plans

This is Ralph’s master list of episodes planned for Fictoplasm S3. It includes 3 kinds of episodes:

  1. Classic Episodes are standard format (per S1/2), one book per episode
  2. Further Reading examine a previous episode and then look further into the same genre
  3. Interviews are interviews with interesting people, focused on their book interests.

I. Classic Episodes

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
– Ralph, Liz and Becky

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
– Ralph, Liz and Becky

High Rise by J G Ballard
– Ralph, Mo, possible guest?

The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers
– (no participants yet)

The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas
– Ralph, Josh

Was by Geoff Ryman
– Ralph, Liz, Mo

The City and The City by China Mieville
– Ralph, Liz, Josh, Corinne (guest)

The Changeover by Margaret Mahy
– Ralph and Liz

II. Further Reading

The one rule for Further Reading is each episode must link back to a show we’ve done previously. This is a slight change from the previous idea which was just to cover the genre.

In addition to the main contributors we may introduce other segments with Mathew Downward (SFE) and Baz and Gaz (Smart Party)

Military SF

Contributors: Liz, Ralph, Josh and/or Becky; Mathew Downward; Baz and Gaz
Already covered: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Other works: Starship Troopers (book and film); The Forever War; Battlestar Galactica; Aliens; Ender’s Game; series by Tanya Huff; Attack on Titan; Knights of Sidonia
Key questions:
– How does Military SF differ from Space Opera?

YA, Mythic and Arthurian Fantasy

Contributors: Ralph, Tim H
Already covered: Earthsea; Sabriel; Lyonesse
Other works: Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain; the Maboginion (various kinds); The Wizard-Knight; Mythago Wood; Elidor and The Weirdstone of Brisingamen; Arthuriana (e.g. by Jo Walton)
Key questions:
– How does this kind of fantasy differ from Sword and Sorcery and Epic Fantasy?


Contributors: Ralph, Becky, Liz
Already covered: Women of the Otherworld
Other works: Darker Than You Think; Hemlock Grove; Teen Wolf; American Werewolf in London
Key questions:
– what makes good werewolf fiction without descending into reductive Urban Fantasy?

Alien Spaces and Space Mysteries

Contributors: Ralph, Liz…
Already covered: Annihilation; Eclipse of the Century (maybe)
Other books: Roadside Picnic; Only Forward; Solaris

This isn’t so much of a genre as a theme or common element. Building on the previous empty space of Annihilation, cover other books where we have weird creepy places with incomplete information about them that inevitably result in experimentation.

Space Opera

Contributors: Ralph, Paul M (guest)
Already covered: arguably Babel 17; The Dispossessed; Grass; The Margarets
Other books: Iain M. Banks (obv) plus other Space Opera
Key questions:
– what makes Space Opera given that it’s such a broad church?

Post Apocalypse

Contributors: Ralph, Liz…
Already covered: Station Eleven; Snowpiercer (crossover with Dystopia); Kiteworld; Mortal Engines (crossover with Dystopia)
Other options: Wool; Children of Morrow; Children of the Dust; Z for Zachariah

Future Fantasy and Dying Earth

Contributors: ?
Already covered: Book of the New Sun
Other books: Hawkmoon; Viriconium; Zothique; other Sword and Planet genre
(note for RPGs: Chronicles of Future Earth; Numenera)


Contributors: Ralph, Liz (I assume…)
Already covered: Mortal Engines; Snowpiercer
Other books: 1984; V for Vendetta; Brave New World; Wool (crossover with Post Apocalypse); Divergent series; Hunger Games series

Alternate History

May want to get an alt WWII under our belts before this one

Already covered: Pavane
Other books: Man in the High Castle; SSGB; Fatherland

III. Interviews

Roz Morris: Worldbuilding and Ponies

Roz doesn’t roleplay but she has experience with worldbuilding for 2 novels. She’s also mentioned Pony books and since that topic’s too good to pass up…

Newt Newport: Zothique and other influences for Crypts and Things

Note that C&T is specifically influenced by Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith. Focus on these authors, and maybe the fact that they were contemporaries. Note that CAS wikipedia page notes him as one of the Big Three of Weird Tales.

Dave Morris

(content to be discussed)