Alcomancer 09 - Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea

June 18, 2017

Tired of the whiz-banging razzamatazz of Fantasy in the modern world we decided to cast our eyes back a ways to the unassuming adventures of Ged, a man alone amongst the deep waters of Earthsea, lost in contemplation and touched by a strange darkness.

In this episode we take to talking Magic, Taoism and the world of Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea.

Be forewarned, we leave no rock unnamed and no spoiler unspoiled.

And if you’re reading along or just hate surprises, next episode we’ll be reading from Ken Liu’s highly praised and debut novel The Grace of Kings.


This episode we are sipping on two lovely bottles of wine generously given to us by Rathbones. Check them out here

Alcomancer 08 - Mark Lawrence’s The Prince Of Thorns

May 21, 2017

This week we take a tipple from the cup of Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Thorns, the first book in his Broken Empire series. Come and bare silent witness to our camaraderie.

We go over and over Lawrence’s treatment of evil protagonists and find it lacking. We love the idea of an unmitigated badass to follow around, stuffing our mouths with anachronistic food stuffs as we watch the carnage unfold. We just don’t want to be stuck with a 14-year-old who keeps telling us about everything they did.


Warning - the road ahead is dark and dirty and full of spoilers. 


Next episode's novel will be Ursula Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea.

Alcomancer 07 - R.A. Salvatore’s The Crystal Shard

April 30, 2017

An episode jam-packed with changes and adventure - we welcome fan-fiction erotica historian Russ to the show to talk about the swashbuckling, genre-defining Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore. Dan talks about the collective nouns for goodly folk, and Mark offers gravelly insight into the evilest figure of the whole book - King Bruenor Battlehammer.

We talk about the challenges in translating DnD character sheets into stories, the difficulties in brewing tundra mead, and why Cattie-Brie shouldn't talk like a dwarf. 

This episode contains spoilers. 

Next episode's book is Mark Lawrence's debut novel Prince of Thorns. 


Alcomancer 06 - Jim Butcher’s Storm Front

March 19, 2017

Harry is a wizard, a lover, a fighter, a private eye and a dick.

This week we wet our beaks with ‘Storm Front’, the first in Jim Butcher’s long-running urban fantasy series: The Dresden Files. In this episode we get talking about pulp, crime, magic and take a good, hard look at the inner workings of Jim's mind.

Next episode - prepare for the pure, uncut and unadulterated fantasy of R. A. Salvatore's The Crystal Shard, a classic of the Forgotten Realms stable. 

This episode contains spoilers. 

Alcomancer 05 - N. K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season

February 18, 2017

This episode is N. K. Jeminin's The Fifth Season, which is a departure from our regular fare. Modern and challenging, blending genres and influences and turning traditional fantasy on its head. 

This episode contains spoilers. 

Alcomancer 04 - Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora

December 11, 2016

We couldn't say enough good things about this novel so we got friend of the show and talented designer Matt in to help us out, who in exchange for making our show design look as wonderful as it did, was in no way contractually obliged to come on and talk about a book that he wanted to. 

There aren't many books that out-perform Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora in any way you care to name, or at least that's the view we're putting forward. We do try our very best to offer a counter-argument in what we imagined are the book's softer elements, but could find little wanting. 

We discuss modern language in the Fantasy genre, the Heist in all its glory, why you never see comedy in the genre, and a whole bunch on turtles. 

Alcomancer 03 - Patrick Rothfuss’s The Wise Man’s Fear

November 29, 2016

Mark and Daniel discuss Fantasy author's shining light Patrick Rothfus and his second novel in the Kingkiller's Chronicle, The Wise Man's Fear. 

They talk about why Fantasy authors can't write cool, why Denna gets the short straw, and cover the Best Spring Break Ever. 

We would like to take this opportunity to say we won't be talking about what we're going to be doing in upcoming podcasts or on outro tracks - we promised The Princess Bride, we delivered Rothfuss. We planned for Sting, but we went back to synthpop as usual.

Oh, so many spoilers, so be warned.


Our Apologies

November 14, 2016

We know we said at the end of our Robin Hobb podcast we'd be covering The Princess Bride, yet we were just so excited to bring the Abercrombie itself! 

Alcomancer 02 - Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself

November 14, 2016

Daniel and Mark are back to follow up their stunning debut, which brought pleasure to very nearly dozens, to tackle Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself

Despite this book being very popular for its modern take on the genre, we found it problematic, both in the story itself and what it represents moving forward for the fantasy genre. Nonetheless, we did our best to understand the appeal of Abercrombie's work. 

Also Daniel starts to say 'the something itself' quite early and doesn't let up.  

This episode contains spoilers. 

This episode's outro 'Northern Boy, Northern Girl' produced with a TR-505, Roland SH-32 and a Daniel. 


Alcomancer 01 - Robin Hobb’s The Fool’s Assassin

October 31, 2016

In this episode Mark and Dan tear open old wounds and wallow piteously through the pages of Robin Hobb’s grand return to the trials and tribulations of FitzChivalry Farseer - bastard assassin come bumbling father.


The Fool’s Assassin (2014) -book one of the ‘Fitz and the Fool’ series- follows Fitz as his hard won happy ending is gradually dismantled before his very eyes. Luckily we brought a big ol’ bottle gin to the party to help things along.


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