We couldn't be more delighted to travel to Earthsea and explore human nature & super goth spirits with Arha/Tenar/The Eaten One, a teenage girl forced into a cult who spends all her free time exploring a haunted labyrinth. And getting into scrapes along the way! Join us in marveling over Ursula K. Le Guin's gorgeous writing and the glorious weirdness of this book's plot structure. Plus, a discussion of whether Le Guin's works are more appropriate for children or adults - or every single living human under the sun. You can probably guess where we land, but why not check it out?
Creating this episode was an unexpected nightmare. Grace is 100% positive that the ghost of Asmodeus is now haunting her and Madeleine thinks that Cluny might be just a lil bit aggravated by her dismissal of him as a selfish grump. No matter what, the truth about the mysterious history of human life in the Redwall universe is now out there for all Dragon Babies to discover. If you're a fan of Pretend Food, know that this book is basically a founding father (aka a founding Badass Lady) in our obsession with fantasy victuals. And if you've been waiting for some pseudoscience related to badgers, this is definitely going to be your jam. We love you all.
Hey buddies! This is a MINI EPISODE, so exciting! We decided that we were too intrigued by the 1985 Disney adaptation of The Book of Three & The Black Cauldron (titled The Black Cauldron) to not rewatch it. We saw this as kids but didn't remember... anything. It is a weird film! Here are our thoughts!
Note - we were plagued by sound issues while recording and there is some volume variability in this episode, for which we are very sorry. It was a quick little fun mini thing so we did not re-record - we're currently getting our next real episode re-recorded and fixed up so that you're not diving for the volume and feeling crazy throughout. Thanks for your patience!!
This one's a doozy! Together, an overheated Madeleine and Grace explore the destructive glorification of war, powerful coming-of-age tales for teens, an endlessly relatable cast of characters, and whether Gurgi is more of a dog-man or a bear-man. Ya know, everything you've ever wondered when reading The Black Cauldron. Plus, an extended discussion of the myriad ways Disney messed up the 1985 film adaptation. Don't be a Gwystyl - join us!
Recorded at the tail end of a Seattle heat wave, enjoy the gentle background noises of a bowl of ice and multiple running fans. We're professionals!
The wonderful Lloyd Alexander documentary that we mentioned -
Favorite fanart found while researching - Gwystyl by RM-WINCH -
June has become official Witch Month here on Dragon Babies as we follow up Wee Free Men with the stunningly postmodern, cruelly hilarious Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones!
In a world where children are so awful that they put your school's bullies to shame, there's entirely too much magic floating around for witchcraft to be punishable by death. But witch orphans abound, and they're putting their newfound powers to good use by pranking the stuffing out of each other. Join us as we discuss the appeal of alternate fantasy realities and how (not) to talk to new people. Grace's Education Corner has entirely too much information about Guy Fawkes, and Madeleine's Law Corner is never happening again.
If you're interested in academic takes on Diana Wynne Jones' works, these are fascinating:
- Time Control in Diana Wynne Jones' Fiction: The Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Tesi di Laurea
- The Other in the School Stories: A Phenomenon in British Children’s Literature by Ulrike Pesold (not available to read in full online or seemingly anywhere but the available sections discussing Witch Week are on point)
Pluckiest Boy in School excerpt:
"What ripping fun!" exclaimed Watts Minor. "I'm down for scrum half this afternoon!"....Swelling with pride, Watts Minor gazed into the eyes of his one true friend. Here was a boy above all, straight alike in body and mind.
P.S. My (Grace's) favorite Lord of the Rings characters is Boromir. Comment yours below!!