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June 19, 2019 @ 5:00 am

Episode 37: Emotions Are Hard, Let’s Do Murder!

On this week's episode, we're discussing ASSASSINS! Tentpoles this week are The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore, the television show Killing Eve, and the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith.


What We’re Into Lately

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

The Fisherman by John Langan

Ship of Smoke and Steel by Django Wexler

Killing Eve

Proper English by K.J. Charles

Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

“Episode 10: Spies & Disguise” from Technique Critique

HIStory 3: Trapped


Other Stuff We Mentioned

Think of England by K.J. Charles

“meditations ex post facto” by singlecrow

A Choir of Lies by Alexandra Rowland

A Conspiracy of Truths by Alexandra Rowland

Freya’s amazing new jacket

Ozimandais by Percy Bysshe Shelley



Mr. Right

Pitch Perfect

The Bourne series


John le Carré

Grosse Pointe Blank

Person of Interest

Farseer by Robin Hobbe

BtS patreon


Dreaming of Sunshine


Anne McCaffrey

For Next Time

The entire slate of Best Novels from this year's Hugo Award ballot!



The transcript for this episode is available here. The scribes are amazing! They're so good!! Yay for scribes!!!

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June 5, 2019 @ 5:00 am

Episode 36: There’s No Place Like Home

On today’s episode we’re discussing magical houses! Are some of them sentient? How do they communicate? Is a haunted house a magical house? The tentpoles this week are:  “House Proud” by astolat, House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones, and The Veldt by Ray Bradbury.


What We’re Into Lately

Proper English by KJ Charles

A Prince on Paper Alyssa Cole

Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History by John Julius Norwich

Everything astolat

Fall Out Boy’s discography

The Poetry of Pablo Neruda

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky


Other Stuff We Mentioned

Wightwick Manor

Bletchley Park

Episode 40 Extravaganza!


Frances Hardinge

Harry Potter

TARDIS (from Doctor Who)

Victoria Schwab’s series (A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab)

Howl’s Moving Castle and Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Downton Abbey

Hieros gamos

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

African veld

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Ender’s Game


The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard

Beneath Ceaseless Skies

The Popinjay’s Daughter by Anne Cross

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Jane Eyre by  Charlotte Brontë

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng

Foresight by Freya Marske

Goblin Emperor

Spinning Silver 


For Next Time: 

The Perfect Assassin by KA Doore



The transcript of this episode is available here! Thanks as always to our amazing team of scribes.

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May 22, 2019 @ 5:00 am

Episode 35: Well, Canaveral, I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas Anymore

On this week's episode, we're talking about space operas.... IN SPAAAAACE. The tentpoles this week are The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard, the fanfic A Deeper Season by lightgetsin and sahiya, and the pilot episodes of Farscape and Killjoys.


What We’re Into Lately

The London Celebrities series by Lucy Parker
Monty Don’s Italian Gardens
Detective L
"Quid Pro Quo" by Dira Sudis

Other Stuff We Mentioned

Ancillary Justice series by Ann Leckie
Noel Streatfield
The Space Opera Renaissance by David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer
Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes
Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
Planetary romance
Jupiter Ascending
Vorkosigan Saga
Stargate: Atlantis
The Adventure Zone
Babylon 5
The Goblin Emperor
Ancillary Justice
Stargate: Atlantis
Splendor & Misery by clipping
Shards of Honor
Right Answer” [second Deeper Season]
Ender’s Game
A Civil Campaign
The Expanse
Cowboy Bebop
Star Trek
Star Wars
Acorna books by Anne McCaffrey
Nimisha’s Ship by Anne McCaffrey
Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series
Space Opera by Cat Valente
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing


For Next Time

House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones



The transcript for this episode is available here. Thanks as always to our brilliant scribal team!

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May 8, 2019 @ 5:00 am

Episode 34: Misethere

On this episode, we're doing a deep-dive on a single tentpole, and we are extremely back on our bullshit. It's time to talk about astolat's Witcher fanfic, "Misethere"

What We’re Into Lately

Amnesty by Lara Elena Donnelly
le Carré
Miranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett
Not for Use in Navigation by Iona Datt Sharma
Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton
A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson
Dreaming of Sunshine
The Magicians
The Natural History of Dragons
A Civil Campaign
The Tropic of Serpents
Lymond Chronicles


Other Stuff We Mentioned

Drastically Redefining Protocol
Miserere” (song)
Dragon Age
Gundam Wing
Person of Interest
Sweet Valley High
Fantastic Four
Fast and Furious
Vetinari/Vimes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series
J.Y. Yang
And I Alone Have Escaped To Tell You by astolat
"A Year In Toussaint" by astolat
The War of Silver and Ash” by astolat
The Blooded Crown” by astolat [aka ‘the second one’]
BtS Episode “Cross Your Stars and Hope to Bi” [aka ‘Disaster Bisexuals’]
Xanatos Speed Chess
Vorkosigan Saga
The Warrior’s Apprentice
Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian
“Duende” by astolat
“Entanglements” by astolat


For Next Time

The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard



The transcript for this episode can be found here. As always, thank you to our brilliant scribal team! 

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April 24, 2019 @ 5:00 am

Episode 33: Turn In Your Badge and Gun!

On this episode, we're discussing police procedurals! Who breaks the rules? Who goes by the book? Tentpoles this week are A Private Reason for This by femmequixoitc, Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch, and the first episode of the TV show Luther.


What We’re Into Lately

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan
Romance is a Bonus Book (2019)
The Unspoken Name by AK Larkwood (forthcoming, 2020)
Spectred Isle by KJ Charles
“Signals That Sound in the Dark” by Dira Sudis
The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold  
The Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan


Other Stuff We Mentioned

Brooklyn Nine-Nine!
Criminal Minds
The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal
Vorkosigan saga
Wire in the Blood
Val McDermid novels   
Sherlock Holmes
Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike novels
Poirot novels by Agatha Christie
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
Guards! Guards!  by Terry Pratchett
the shapeshifter character trope (mentioned on Story Grid podcast)
Miss Marples
The Killing
Pushing Daisies
Killing Eve
Witcher (though really this is for next time! ;) )

For Next Time:

by astolat


The transcript of the episode can be found here. Thank you once again to the scribes!!

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April 10, 2019 @ 5:00 am

Episode 32: Save the McGuffin, Save the World

On this week's episode, we're talking about time travel fix-it fics! How sexy can a paradox get? Are there multiple timestreams or just one? Can anyone keep all of this straight?! The tentpoles are the fanfic World Without End by Sorted, the book To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, and the TV show The Umbrella Academy.

What We’re Into Lately

The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard
Docile by K.M. Szpara
Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube by Blair Braverman
Brianna Teintze’s Lord of Secrets
Escape to River Cottage
A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir


Other Stuff We Mentioned

Aliette de Bodard’s Dominion of the Fallen series
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Gossip Girl
Captive Prince series by C.S. Pacat
Pretty Woman
A Conspiracy of Truths by Alexandra Rowland
The Hugo Awards
Episode 30: Extravaganza
Episode 22: Out of Cheese, Error, Redo from Start
Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
"Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" by They Might Be Giants
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Final Fantasy VII
Grey’s Anatomy
Doctor Who
Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
And I Alone Have Escaped to Tell You by astolat
Back to the Future
Sheppard’s Law by Speranza
Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffennegger
Groundhog Day
Time Flies Like an Arrow by Katlou303
Turn” by Saras_Girl
Freya’s Captive Prince time travel ficlet
Outsider Perspective” by Neery (Person of Interest husbands amnesia fic)
Person of Interest
Amy Santiago from Brooklyn Nine-Nine


For Next Time

Midnight Riot (aka Rivers of London) by Ben Aaronovitch


The transcript for this episode can be found here.
Thanks to our amazing supporters on Patreon, the scribes are now officially getting paid!! Hooray for the scribes!

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March 27, 2019 @ 5:00 am

Episode 31: A Podcast of Three Cities

On this episode, we're talking about cities so vibrant they might as well be characters in their own right! Our tentpoles are “The City Born Great” by N.K. Jemisin, the Mortal Engines movie, and City of Lies by Sam Hawke.

What We’ve Been Reading/Watching

The Magicians
The Wicked King by Holly Black
My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Feris
Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson


Other Stuff We Mentioned

Leningrad Symphony
The Hunger Games
Mortal Engines [book]
Discworld series
City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
Watching the English by Kate Fox
City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Twilight Robbery by Frances Hardinge
The City & the City by China Miéville
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
Howl’s Moving Castle
Georgette Heyer
Zen Cho
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Nightvale from the Welcome to Nightvale podcast
He Says He Is An Experimental Theologian by ErinPtah
Episode 2 of Be The Serpent: Personality Taxonomies & Shouting About Hogwarts Houses
Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy
City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett
Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities
The Great Cities in History by John Julius Norwich
The Expanse
Battlestar Galactica
Stargate Atlantis


For Next Time

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis


The transcript of this episode is available here. Three cheers for the scribes: Millie, Sara, Kelly, Neharika!!!

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March 13, 2019 @ 5:00 am

Episode 30: Extravaganza

It's time for another Extravaganza! This week, we're getting tipsy, answering listener questions, and revealing our brand new Patreon! Please consider supporting us there so that we can pay the scribes for their amazing work!

What We’ve Been Reading

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
A Choir of Lies by Alexandra Rowland
Russian Doll (2019)
The Umbrella Academy (2019- )
Erkenci Kus (the Turkish soap opera)


Other Stuff We Mentioned

Doctor Who
Pacific Rim (never explicitly stated, but this is where the term “drift compatible” comes from)
Steven Universe
A Conspiracy of Truths
Barns Courtney’s “Glitter and Gold”
Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto  
Coldplay’s Ghost Stories
The National
Tabletop Audio
The Hazards of Love by the Decemberists.
A Beautiful Mind
The Blue Planet
Wicked Girls by Seanan McGuire
"Wicked Girls" by Seanan McGuire
My Chemical Romance’s Danger Days
The Queen and the Soldier” by Suzanne Vega
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Cat Valente’s Space Opera
Moulin Rouge!
Atomic Blonde
Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh
Discworld  by Terry Pratchett
Circle of Magic by Tamora Pierce
The Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
A Sword on Two Fingers by Freya Marske (unpublished)
Untitled Manuscript by Alexandra Rowland (unpublished)
Catalyst by Jennifer Mace (unpublished)
Hagstone by Jennifer Mace (unpublished)
Antonia Fraser’s Robin Hood
The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green
Raymond E. Feist’s Riftwar Cycle, specifically Silverthorn  and A Darkness of Sethanon (and also Magician)
Gareth Gates

For Next Time

"The City Born Great" by NK Jemisin


The transcript for this episode can be found here. Thank you so much, scribes!!

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February 27, 2019 @ 6:00 am

Episode 29: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Bi

On this episode of Be the Serpent, we're talking about spies and secret agents, and we speculate about whether they screen for bisexuality in the hiring process (this episode was almost called "No, Mr Bond, I Expect You to Bi"). The tentpoles this week are the fanfic Ulysses by girlbookwrm, the movie Atomic Blonde, and the book City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett.

What We’ve Been Reading

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
The Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker
Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch
The Divine Cities trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett
Any Old Diamonds by KJ Charles
Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
Unmasked by the Marquess by Cat Sebastian
Erkenci Kus


Other Stuff We Mentioned

Ulysses by girlbookwrm
The James Bond movies (in particular, 2006-2015)
John le Carré
Ian Fleming
Spooks (aka MI-5)
Spy (2015)
Kingsman (2014)
The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)
“99 Luftballons” (cover by Kaleida)
Interview with Atomic Blonde choreographer
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.(TV series 1964-68)
The Americans (Macey calls it The Russians)
Nirvana in Fire
Totally Spies! (2001-2014)
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
The “Genghis Khan” music video (Miike Snow, 2016)
Skyfall (2012)
Person of Interest (2011-2016)
Amberlough series by Lara Elena Donnelly
Spectre (2015)
The Divine Cities trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Casino Royale (2006)
Killing Eve (2018)
Codename: Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein
Duplicity (2009)
Hybrid Author Podcast

For Next Time

Nothing! It's the Episode 30 Extravaganza! Be sure to send in your questions by March 1st!


The transcription of this episode is available here. A round of applause for the scribes

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February 13, 2019 @ 6:00 am

Episode 28: Genderpalooza

On this episode of Be the Serpent, we're talking about gender, relationships, and the worldbuilding thereof! The tentpoles this week are a selection of Steven Universe episodes, The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang, and “An Ever Fixed Mark” by imperfectcircle.

What We’ve Been Reading

Heroine Complex series by Sarah Kuhn
A Perfect Spy by John le Carre
Empresses in the Palace
Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World
Nirvana in Fire
Le Guin short stories
The Royal Tailor
The Grand Heist
Thugs of Hindostan

Other Stuff We Mentioned

Mad Max: Fury Road
“The Answer” (the episode of Steven Universe with Garnet’s origin story)
“Now We’re Only Falling Apart” (the episode where Garnet unfuses)
“Jail Break” (the episode with Lapis Lazuli/Jasper fusion)
The Tensorate series by J.Y. Yang
“An Ever Fixed Mark” by imperfectcircle
“A Fisherman of the Inland Sea” by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold
City of Lies by Sam Hawke
Homestuck by Andrew Hussie
Magic Mike XXL
The Harwood Spellbook  series by Stephanie Burgis
The Underwater Ballroom Society edited by Stephanie Burgis
Hark! A Vagrant comics by Kate Beaton
Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey
Temeraire series by Naomi Novik
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie


For Next Time

Ulysses by girlbookwrm



The transcript for this episode can be found here! Thank you to our darling scribes, Sara, Neharika, Kelly, and Millie!!

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