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 depature 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.

In a genre known more for its blunt edge trauma than emotional subtlety the Fool’s Assassin offers a rare break from battles and babes and instead seeks to show off something of fantasies sensitive side.

Hobb does a masterful job of exploring her cast and crew as contained individual characters, but it’s the way she traces the lines between them that sets her books apart. The relationships between character in this novel are expertly drawn and a genuine pleasure to read. Even when they end in tears and tragedy.


In this episode we take this as our general theme and invite you to join us for a closer look at the nature of these relationships and the scenes and devices Hobb employs to exhibit them.


For those unfamiliar with Hobb’s work or just looking for more (the wiki link also includes some of her work under her other alias Megan Lindholm):


We struggled to talk about the book in isolation. Despite our best efforts, we found ourselves referring to the previous books with Fitz in them. Also, there are way too many people with Fitz in their name.


So, if you want to know more about the other books we talked about, start with the Farseer Trilogy. Be prepared, these books are long, and the journey fraught with emotional turmoil.


Similarly, in case other authors mentioned caught your eye, here are some equally handy links:


Ursula Le Guin -

We discussed Le Guin in comparison to Hobb, specifically the nature of loneliness and the isolation of characters in both Hobb’s work and Le Guin’s Earthsea novels.


Robert Jordan -

Jordan came up when we talked about the nature of destiny and prophecy in The Fool’s Assassin. Specifically how the characters in The Wheel of Time may bitch about being The Chosen One(s) yet they still all pile in when it comes to the crunch. A nice counterpoint to Fitz’s great reluctance to do anything.


Brandon Sanderson -

Joe Abercrombie -


There are spoilers abound in this podcast, so be warned. Another spoiler - gin was a bad idea.


Our outro song ‘Why Me?’ was composed on an Oberheim DX, a Roland TR505, and a Yamaha TX7. Sung by a Bryan Ferry impersonator.

One week to go!

October 24, 2016

Just a quick update - we should have our first episode out in a week, so stay tuned!

Coming soon!

October 10, 2016

We would like to announce that our podcast on the fantasy genre is brewing and should be ready for bottling in a couple of weeks.

We're starting with Robin Hobb's The Fool's Assassin. Bring the tissues, as it is a Hobb novel, and don't forget the cocktail onions also. 

Bottoms up!

Mark and Dan