Waterstone Media Podcast #3 - Our Favorite Sci-Fi

After last week's discussion about our top fantasy reads, it was time to dive into sci-fi! Our audio and video worked a lot better this time, so I hope you enjoy!

Also, if you just want to listen, you can find us on most major podcast feeds by going here: Waterstone Media Podcast

We're obviously still in the beginning of this whole experiment, but moving forward, we're going to try to have some transcriptions for anyone interested. You can find our first try at it below (errors abound, but we'll get better!)

Epidsode 3 Transcription

Ryan: [00:00:00] Top of the morning, everyone, and welcome to the third installment of the Waterstone media podcast. As always, I am joined by my good friend. Taylor, Taylor, how are you doing today, sir?

Taylor: I'm wonderful. Thanks. How are you, sir?

Ryan: I am doing well. I know that we were kind of talking a little bit about this online, or offline, before the podcast started, but I have really just have been enjoying these conversations.

They're really fun. They're one of the highlights of my week, actually.

Taylor: Yeah, I agree. And rarely do you get to schedule a chunk of time to just have a chat, which is kind of what this is. So that is neat. I agree.

Ryan: And to do it about really nerdy subjects that we both love.[00:01:00]

Taylor: Yeah, exactly.

Ryan:  Cool. So, before we get into our topic for today, I suppose the first question is: what have you been working on this week?

Taylor:  I’m still banging away with the Infernal Shadows edit. I'm not as productive this week as I have had previously. Up here, in Canada, in Ontario, specifically, we were locked down for about a month again, and I was off and finding just a really good groove with writing. I was able to get a lot of the prep stuff done for the Sentinels book we released and then got a lot of work done on the sequel, and then get a lot of work done on Infernal Shadow. And then I went back to work and it just threw my rhythm right off.

So I've been trying to sort of find that intersection we always talk about where productivity meets creativity, and it's been elusive this past week and a bit, but that's okay. It happens. Things like this allow me to feel like I'm still [00:02:00] productive and working, but it's definitely, you know, the challenge of working a full-time job, alongside trying to get your career going, which is what I'm at the moment, what I'm doing. So, it's been okay. Yeah, like I said, just enjoying what I can out of it and trying to stay positive.

Ryan: I mean, I'm really curious. I know that you haven't gotten a lot of work done this past week, but I think that it's really fascinating that this is the first story that you wrote, and having read it, I know that it was a very ambitious, very epic, very wide ranging story. And now after two books of co-writing experience under your belt, you are going back to the editing process. What are some of the big changes and or lessons that you've learned as you've been doing this new pass?

Taylor: I think a big one is [00:03:00] to trust my reader that they don't need me to explain each time my character says something, how they're feeling about what they're saying or what have you. I, you know, I've got a character that that's fairly deadpan, but still funny. And I had, after everything he said, I would then, “he said deadpan,” or “his tone was this,” or “without a smile,” it's like, yeah, no, we get it.

We get it. That's how this guy is, like, we understand. So that was a big one. So there's a lot of the cleanup there, and honestly that kind of thing is not really all that challenging. I feel like the editing process with Sentinels, I learned a lot about going through and improve and punch stuff up and remove what doesn't need to be there.

As you said, the backspace key is a very good friend of mine. I think the bigger, the bigger thing is, as you said, it's a fairly ambitious story for my first go. So [00:04:00] that combined with my inexperience when I wrote it at the time, again, this is three years ago now, has created some of those plot knots that are untangling slowly.

And I've just hit a point right now where, and I don't know if this happens to you, too, I've hit a point right now where I'm in full on editing mode, but now I need to write just one chapter, and then it will set up what I need to do, to sort of untangle the next couple of chapters and move things around and do what I need to do.

But I just haven't been in chapter writing mode for the last little bit. I've been in straight up editing mode. So, it's just shifting back mentally, I think is part of that. And this is the first time that I've gone back to this book and been like, oh no, I need to just create something for this world.

So just getting back in that mindset of a mind space, I should say, I think it's been a bit of a challenge, too. So, I think those are the biggest things.

Ryan: I totally sympathize. [00:05:00] When you're drafting and you have to add a whole chapter, it's an annoyance. It's “Oh, okay. Well, I need to do that. That'll make the story a lot better.” But when you're editing and you need to make a change that big it feels like you're being hit by a boulder or something.

Taylor: Oh yeah. And then I'm like, I'm questioning the tone. Like, is this, is this how he would say that? Is this how she would respond? Whereas when you're drafting, it's just, yeah, everything's flowing because you've been writing those characters.

So, yeah. I need to get this chapter done and set up the next thing that happens. And I think that after that it'll start to flow, but I do know that like, I'm basically I had this big behemoth of a chapter, you know, 4,000 words or something where I basically used exposition to create a [00:06:00] bunch of emotional connections.

And here's another thing I've learned: show don't tell is important for a reason. So I need to sort of take this little, this one area where I'm just like dumping all of this and just stretch it out, send some people to some places together so that they can build a sort of an organic relationship and do that.

But this is one first chapter that needs to set that up properly. Like the reason why they need to do this and why it needs to change. So, as frustrating as it has been to not be as productive as I want to be, I know that I've been slowly, even just in my mind, I've been slowly chipping away at the issues and deciding what I need to do.

And eventually it's going to come out on the page. You know, that's, that's part of being an author is that sometimes it doesn't come out on a page for a little bit and you just got to trust. You're still being productive, even if there's not a word count to show you that you're being productive.

Ryan: Very true.

So, do you want to dive into our subject for today? [00:07:00]

Taylor: Yeah, let's do it. I've been excited about this one.

Ryan: Okay. So for long time listeners who've been here since the beginning, the OGs, you know that last week we discussed our top five fantasy stories in no particular order. And so this week we are actually going to tackle our top five sci-fi stories.

I know that I actually had more trouble with this list than I did last week, but I also know, Taylor, that you had this list done about 20 seconds after we hung up last week, if not earlier.

Taylor: Yeah, for whatever reason it was much easier.

Ryan:  So we talked just briefly last week about what kind of criteria we were using? What makes these our “favorite books?” So what criteria are you using for these [00:08:00]top five, Taylor?

Taylor: So again, I stuck with what's the emotional connection to this book? I'm not looking what's the best book in terms of how it’s written, but in terms of how it made me feel, how much I enjoyed it. And, you know, definitely going back and being able to reread something. Re-readability is big for me. I know that's not something that you enjoy as much, but, at any rate, that's sort of my criteria. Just what I like. What's fun for me.

Ryan: Okay. And in a lot of ways I'm fairly similar, the emotional aspect, how it struck me in the heart was still kind of the number one criteria. But I will say that another influencing factor for me, particularly in the sci-fi list, which didn't play as big of a role in the fantasy [00:09:00] list is the role of, for lack of a better term, big ideas. New, big ideas that at least at the time that I was reading it, I hadn't encountered it before. I have noticed that for a lot of the books that are on my list, it's because they had big ideas that at the time that I read them just completely blew me away.

And so that was also a factor in this list, but also. I could have easily done the top 15. It probably would have been easier than top five because there were so many books and series that didn't make the cut that I wanted to include.

Taylor: Yeah. I also found that my science fiction list was a little bit longer than my fantasy list, which if you had asked me just off the cuff, I would've said, oh, no, I think I prefer fantasy.

I don't know, based on these lists, like it's, it's [00:10:00] definitely a lot of sci-fi out there that I really love.

Ryan: So even though I am primarily a fantasy writer, I actually began my life as a reader, more of a sci-fi reader. I didn't really start reading fantasy. Until late high school, early college. So 19-20 ish.

Whereas sci-fi I think I've been reading since I was eight, nine, and so I think there's just a lot of books, particularly from my childhood, that get mentioned here, simply because I encountered them earlier.

Taylor: I'm in the same way, for sure.

Ryan:  [00:11:00] Let's go, let's do this. Taylor, number five.

Taylor: So number five for me, is Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Ryan:   Ha! That was one of those series that definitely would have been on my list had it been a longer list.

Taylor: Yeah, it's so fun. I mean, just right away, like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a trilogy in five parts. Like how, like, just, it's such a little joke, but it's so good. Like it says everything about it. And so I read it fairly young, so I would imagine the first time I read it through, I didn't really understand everything that was funny about it, but then I read it at various stages of my life.

And this list made me think I'm going to give it a read again soon because it is just, just, there's just so much good stuff. There's just so much good stuff in it.   ,

Ryan: I mean, there are several parts of the story that will always stick with me, but the [00:12:00] one line in that book that just cracks me up to this day that I still use a lot in daily conversation is:

Flying is easy. All you have to do is throw yourself at the ground and miss.

Taylor: Yeah. Yeah. That definitely sticks in there as well. The way when you start out meeting Arthur, whatever his name is, and his house is being destroyed for, you know, for the highway or whatever.

And it's paralleled with earth. It's going to be destroyed. How do you even come up with that, man? How is your brain wired in such a way? So much of it is so good. And Douglas Adams is such a brilliant man.

I mean, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, is another good one. I haven't read it in a while, but I did watch the Netflix series and just, it's just [00:13:00] man, Douglas Adams. Anyway, so that's firmly number five in my heart.

Ryan: An excellent choice. I highly approve. And I'm actually glad that we are actually talking about books that we've each read.

That is an improvement over last week. Number five for me, I'm going to go with the Expanse series. Have you had any encounters, have you watched either the show or read any of the books?

Taylor: Spoilers: the Expanse is my number four on my list.

Ryan: Fantastic. Let's talk about the expanse a little bit.

When I first read it, the combination of almost like down to earth. You know, the kind of word, I always think about when I think of the [00:14:00] Expanse? It’s a dirty science fiction, you know, it's not clean and shiny the way Star Trek is. The ships are dirty. The ships are old, they're hauling ice.

And to have that combined with just some of the really big, really cool ideas that are within that story. I just immediately fell in love with the series.

Taylor: Yeah. For sure. I enjoy it. It's like they throw you right in, and you know, you meet your characters and then they get taken over by this, or they get rescued by this giant ship, and you’re like, okay, this is a warship.

This is like an impressive piece of work, and then it gets taken apart by this other technology. And you’re like, what is happening in this universe? And then you sort of get thrown back to, [00:15:00] I'm blanking on the detective's name.  The detective is looking for Julia Mao.

Anyway, you get thrown into his storyline and it's like, it feels a little slower. And you're like, okay, you're on the asteroid. And you're like, it's yeah, it's a little dark. And then they find her body and it's got this weird, like sentient goo in it. And you're just like, now what's happening?

Like, it's just, it's, there's so much good stuff that it, yeah, I agree. Dirty is such a good word for it. Like it's, it's like a working class world.

Ryan: Yeah, I think there's another aspect of it that I love that has grown on me over the years. And, I don't know what you would want to call this trope, a gang of thieves, or a band of brothers, perhaps, but I just love the crew dynamics on the ship.

I [00:16:00] like everything from, I mean, Amos is still one of my most hilarious and entertaining characters. I just love how they all come together, how they all clash, how they'll cooperate, and to have such entertaining characters in such a fascinating world. It's candy.

Taylor: Agreed. Great. And a nice, another collaborative effort.

Ryan: That's true. And that is a very good point. Yeah, so I guess you're number four is taken care of. So I guess I should go to number four.

Taylor: You jumped a number four. Yep.

Ryan:  In that case I have the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons.

Taylor: I'm not even heard of that one.

Ryan: Yes, it's a little bit of an older series now, and I [00:17:00]don't, well, that's not true. It has been really well known. It has made some best of lists. It's a duology, but the best analogy that I can have for it is it is the Canterbury Tales in space. And so you have all these travelers who are coming together and they're on this journey.

And as they each tell their stories, I think there's seven? It's been a long time since I've read this series. But as they tell their stories, you realize that they're connected in more ways than you initially thought. And they're all going to this very mysterious planet. They all have their own kind of missions and objectives.

And it's just such a cool story. And it has one of the most [00:18:00] terrifying and frightening villains that I've ever come across in sci-fi. And so it is a story that I have really, really loved. Like the first book is basically the seven of them all telling their tails on this spaceship as they're traveling.

And then the second book is them all coming together on the planet trying to complete their journeys. And I loved it. I loved it a lot.

Taylor: Yeah. That's cool. I might check that out then. That sounds cool. I like that format.

Ryan: Yeah, it’s really cool. Okay. So, two down a piece. Taylor number three.

Taylor:   Number three is Dune.

Ryan: This was another one that I was debating putting on my list. [00:19:00]

Taylor: Yeah. Yeah. So it’s another one that I read fairly young and loved. I'm speaking for the first book. I am one of those that could not get into the subsequent books. I did end up reading his son’s stuff like House Atreides, House Harkonnen, and House Corrino.

So I did end up reading those. I actually did a pretty good essay on them in high school for my English class. Yeah. And I quite enjoyed that, because I got to read those three books and then write. For the list, it's definitely Dune. It feels very classic to me in terms of sci-fi.

I think we talked about this when I was most recently rereading it, in preparation for the movie, which was unfreaking believable. I was nervous when I heard that they were going to be just cause, I mean, we all [00:20:00] know the history of Dune’s attempts at movies and series and whatnot. But I was blown away by that.

He just switches [POV] as needed. Like, as you know, he wants you to know how Paul feels about this person's conversation, then he'll just switch to Paul's point of view. And it's, it's one of those, it's a trust, the reader thing where it's like, just, I'm just going to trust that everyone's going to know who's talking and who's had I'm inside right now as we go forward.

So, and then, and also on that line of trust your reader, he just throws you into this extremely detailed and nuanced universe with all of these, royal houses spread across the galaxy and you just, yeah, you know, figure it out, figure it out.

These are your good guys. They're going here. They're hosting the bad guys and, you know, figure out everything, figure out the rest of the nuance. So, but it's, it's just [00:21:00] such a great, there's just so many cool things. You could name 10 cool things. Just, you know, oh, Gom Jabbar. Yeah. That's a good, that's a cool thing to have, you know.

That's a cool prophecy to have, you know, it's just, there's so many, there's so much awesome stuff. You know that one of like, one of the characters they introduced in the first chapter is the Duke's master of assassins. Like, yeah. Just “what's your job.”

“I just run the assassins, man.” That is so awesome. So as a kid, there's just all this cool stuff. And then as an adult, you obviously you read it again and they see this nuance and there's all of this it's it's and then, I mean, forget it, the freemen, are you kidding? Like what, that's just, these are desert people that are, they're just so hardened by their environment that they'll beat anybody.

I think that that's such a great concept and obviously one that's been repeated a million times in a million places. Awesome. So that's my [00:22:00] firm, my firm number three.

Ryan: Excellent choice. I'm going to go with a very modern series. I wasn't sure about putting this one on here, but I just really loved the series.

It's actually still in progress. As far as I'm aware, it's called the Frontline series by, I believe his name is Marco Kloos, a friend of George R.R. Martin, everybody's favorite writer. It’s just a classic military sci-fi: humans against a very interesting and very intriguing alien species.

And it has all of your standard military sci-fi tropes. I [00:23:00] forget if there's maybe seven or eight books out right now. I think I read all of them in about two weeks, which is really fast, even for me. And I just couldn't stop. They were entertaining. You kind have that trope of the band of brothers, all the military personnel sticking together. You see the relationships grow and develop over years and years of fighting. And it's just, it was just fun. Like I just had so much fun reading the series and I believe that it's still coming out. So I really, really enjoyed it.

Taylor: That's cool. Yeah, I checked that out.

It feels like Starship Troopers without the heavy handed opinions of the author permeating it.

Ryan:  I would call it a Starship Troopers if Starship Troopers was fun.

Taylor: Yeah, exactly. Like they'll get a ride. Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land, both were hovering in my honorable mentions kind of section of this.

Ryan: I love both stories, but it's just that they're not fun, but this is, it's a very entertaining, it's a very fun story. And so, yes, I definitely enjoyed it.

Taylor: Heinlein feels like he might be a rough hang. I'm not sure that hanging out with Robert Heinlein would be like something that you really look forward to.

Ryan: Okay. This is going to be a subject for a future podcast, but writers alive or dead that we want to hang out with.

Taylor: Yeah. We'll have to talk about, for sure. Like, yeah. Let's not even get into it right now, but yeah. There's and there's, and I think we have to do both. We have to do ones we want to hang out with, and once we don't want to hang out.

Ryan: Okay, Taylor, number two.

Taylor: I'm not sure how well known this is. This one is, I think [00:25:00]this is one of those ones that, you know, my dad stumbled across at the library and then once he was done reading them and he just handed them down to me.

There's some pretty rough scenes, you know. like there's like some rape scenes and there's some pretty rough violence in it. But my dad also trusted me to ask any questions about anything or to sort of come to him. But I know I was younger when I was reading this, but the Gap Cycle by Stephen R. Donaldson.

I mean, again, a little rough in places, and if you're talking about a gritty dirty sci-fi this is gritty dirty sci-fi. But it’s one of those series that I read that captured my imagination. You’ve got space pirates and then you've got really [00:26:00] evil seeming pirates.

And then the, like the sort of like the shiny hero seeming pirates. And then that guy's maybe not as good as you think he is, but then the evil guy kind of redeems himself. Like it's just, you know, there's a story like crazy. You know, we talked a little bit with Sentinels, particularly in the second book, which I will not spoil too much, but we, we talked about the, sort of the division of the UN fast paced action and then with a subsequent storyline of political machinations.

And I think that the Expanse does really well as well with, oh, what's her name? The lady that kind of runs earth right now, but yeah, she's, she's great.

For the listeners. I'm terrible with names of things that like, please don't assume anything. Remember what happened when we quizzed me on my own book? So, at any rate it's all of those things, [00:27:00]but you know, one guy becomes a cyborg. They've got this crazy cannon that fires up a projectile at the speed of light.

And then when it hits, you know, when it hits something, it's got a force of the speed of light behind it. It's just, there's so many, like you say, these greater concepts. That's what these are. So, I wholeheartedly recommend it. I think it's a five book series and it's a fairly quick read.

Like it's not, it's not, it doesn't really get bogged down, but there's just some really cool stuff and, you know, very good. I got a cool alien, you know, group that comes through. It's a, it's a, I can't say enough. Good stuff. Just be prepared for a little bit of rough, rough treatment in the beginning of some of our heroes.

Ryan: I'm going to continue to preface my order by saying like this isn't actually a rank for me. These are just five of my favorite books that made the top list. They're in no particular order. But number two, for me, I'm going to go with Snow Crash by [00:28:00] Neil Stephenson

Taylor: Oh, I've heard of it. I've got this list in my phone, and it's on there.

Ryan:  Back in the heyday of the cyberpunk movement, if you will.

It’s just one of my favorite stories. It's got everything from a crazy dystopian future that somehow actually seems closer than ever, as well as a sword wielding hero, named, literally, Hiro Protagonist. You've got these virtual reality sword duels.

You've got floating islands that are city states. You've got a pizza company that is actually like, a serious political power. I mean, it's just got so many ideas. [00:29:00]Neuro-linguistic programming is in there. There's mythology. There's all these crazy, huge ideas, all stuffed together in package that I find that incredibly entertaining.

And so Snow Crash gets my number two spot.

Taylor: Nice. I feel like my books are very much in order. Number one for me is Ender's game.

Ryan: I knew that it was going to be on our list.

Taylor: We were talking about it yesterday. Oh, that was the one that I can say, but I understand. Yeah. We [00:30:00] have our WhatsApp chat and yesterday we were talking about what we thought might be the shared on the list and yeah, definitely. It's Ender's game.

I mean, what do you say? Like, there's something about an author that can write from the perspective of children really well, that is, you know, that is, it's really impressive. Stephen King is such a great example of that. You know, you, you read something like The Stand or It, and he's just, he's writing these kids, sorry, not The Stand, Stand by Me.

He's writing these kids and you're like, yeah, when I was a kid, that's how I felt, you're writing how I felt. So, you know, I was, I think I was probably a little older than ender was supposed to be in the books when I first read it, but I was still like nine or 10 when I, when I read it.

Immediately, I am invested in this protagonist who is my age and, you know, right from the first scene, he sees these bullies are bugging him and he defends himself. They kind of ask him about it afterwards and he's like, well, I [00:31:00] wanted to make sure I hurt them enough that they would never think about doing that to me again.

And you're like, oh shit. So you're like this kid's a sociopath, but it's also, you know, if I'm the smaller guy and I let people pick on me forever, what's going to happen? So, so anyway, so that's, that's our protagonist. And then he gets selected into this program for gifted children.

And then that's a whole other thing! Who doesn't love a story about the super smart person, like a gifted person, the person like our world is, is rife with those, right? There's just, there's something really appealing about you're following this guy that beats everybody with smarts.

And then there's the game, the game. Cause it's, you know, it's unbelievable. It's essentially a sort of mixture of real world and VR or holodeck, you know, military strategy system. And it's just like you do all this stuff. And I mean, I don't know if I'm spoiling stuff for anybody. [00:32:00]

Ryan: I guess, if you haven't read Ender's game by now. You're fine.

Taylor: Yeah. So then you get to the end of the book and this, you know, this game that he's been playing the whole time. No, that was us. That was you commanding like his final exam is more of a video game set up. He's controlling these ships and it's, you know, Because it's faster than light speed and the projections are coming back as orders are going out and then they're happening later.

So anyway, so it's, it's, you know, these, these fleets were deployed years ago and then he, he's a, he's not, it's not an exam. He's actually, you know, flying. These are giving orders to these ships to, for the, the, what you think is the fate of humanity. And then meanwhile, the last twist is that the people that you were attacking and they're like, yo, we fucked up.

We didn't even mean to do, like when we first came and attacked you, the bugs, they call them when we first handled it, we didn't know what was going on, but then you send your shifts. We haven't been able to talk to you, like, sorry, it's just, there's all these feelings [00:33:00]across this, this spectrum of this book.

And it's just, it's crazy. Like it's, again, it's all on the shoulders of this. Well, however, 8, 9, 10 year old kid. So it's pretty crazy.

Ryan: Okay. I've got so many questions. First of all, Ender's game is a book that I, like you, I read first when I was young, I think about the same age, about nine, 10, somewhere in there and absolutely loved it for a lot of the same reasons that you're talking about.

Oh yeah. That smart kid going to a place with other smart kids who wins with these smart, so much fun. Did you realize how dark and how sociopathic Ender was when you were a kid? Cause I had no idea.

Taylor: No, no, certainly not. The first time I was just like, yeah, he's doing what he's got to do. And he wins and [00:34:00] it's, you know, like. He was a hero. He was the hero of the story. And therefore in my mind he was the hero, but yeah, he really is, really is a sociopath.

Ryan: That's pretty crazy. I mean, my understanding, and again, it's been a few years since I've re-read it, but he kills the kid in the bathroom, right?

He doesn't just defend himself. And you know, like, you know how dark the book actually is when it's that, killing a bully in the bathroom, that gets you promoted to space military school. Like, that's how

Taylor: Murdered somebody? Yeah. Yeah. To be fair. Like if, if, well, but if, and if that's what you're looking for, do you know what I mean?

Cause they're trying to re I can't even remember the name of the guy that they're trying to. Find the next coming up. There was this brilliant strategist, the Fraser

Ryan: Mecca, Malcolm [00:35:00] razor, razor Macker.

Taylor: good job. Right.

Ryan: Thank you. I’ve read that book a few times.

Taylor: Same.

Yeah. It's one of those ones that gets into rotation for me, but yeah, the. You know, they're trying to they're they've they assume that they're over outmatched by this alien force. So they're like, okay, well, if we went on this crazy strategy, the go first time, then w you know, we got to try and sort of do that again, which is, I mean, how are you not looking for a sociopath then?

Right? Like if you are so, so specifically looking for a set of skills, that's going to allow somebody to strategize at that, like, not high level, but they're also a kid like. That's probably what you're gonna find. So did, did you read the subsequent books?

Ryan: I have. And I want to ask you about those, but I first want to ask you how hard did the twist hit you the first time you were [00:36:00]reading the story at the end, when he found out he was actually fighting?

Taylor: Do you mean the fighting, or at the very end, when he goes back into that other game and talks to the hive queen?

Ryan: No, not when he could find them when they're, when they were like, oh no, you didn't pass your final exam. You just won the war.

Taylor: Yeah, yes. That one hit me pretty hard. That one, that was like a, like a, almost like a fist pump moment. I was like super into about it as a child. She did it like you. Yeah.

Cause in my mind I knew, I think my dad had said that there were other books, so I was like, oh, okay. I guess he finishes the school and then we go off and yeah. I was as a kid, for sure. I was blindsided by that. I think as the second time, it's so hard to say when you read through a second time, because, you know, and you can look for the little clues.

, but you know, all of the people gathered around like all of the, you know, all of the stuff that there's clues there. Right. But yeah, no, I was, I was definitely hit pretty hard. It was very nice.

Ryan: I have read the subsequent [00:37:00] books. The only one that I've re-read is Speaker for the Dead .

Taylor: That's pretty good.

Ryan: I'm not gonna lie. I love Speaker for the Dead. Have you read it as an adult?

Taylor: It's yeah, I agree.

Ryan: for me, I think the thing that really stuck out for me about Speaker for the Dead is so often we, in our science fiction, we talk about what first contact with aliens is going to be like. And, you know, usually there's some hand-waving about language differences and stuff like that.

But one of the things that I think Speaker for the Dead accomplishes that I have not encountered in other stories, at least to this degree, is just how alien aliens are going to be. If, and when, we come across them and like the species that they're [00:38:00]cohabiting with in Speakers for the Dead is a truly alien species that just looks at life from a completely different lens.

And I don't think I realized that I don't recall liking the book very much when I was younger, but coming back and reading it as an adult, I think. Reading for Speaker for the Dead and actually seeing that first evolution of Ender and what he becomes after the child genius general. It's, it's a story that gets me.

I love it. I remember not liking them as much, but

Taylor: I remember not liking them as much, but I can't remember the names of the other ones and how many there are, there's two more after that, right? Is it four in the series? There's four. Yeah. And then he did the whole, a little, the whole Bean thing, too. Ender’s Shadow.

Ryan: I didn't like Ender’s Shadow very much either. [00:39:00] I mean, yes, it's Bean’s story and yes, it is in theory, different and original, but like, it’s just Ender's Game from Bean’s perspective.,

Taylor: yeah. I guess that's fair. I just, it's one of those things where it's like, oh, you want to give me more Ender's Game? Sure. I'll take more Ender’s Game, which is not what Speaker for the Dead is. Speaker for the Dead is its own story and continuation. Yeah. So, so I'll take a little more Ender's Game. That's fine with me.

Ryan: That’s a good point. Speaker for the Dead feels like an entirely different story set in the same universe. And I mean, I, I think it's really cool, so,

Taylor: oh, I agree. Yeah. I agree for sure. I wouldn't, I probably like speaker for the Dead a little bit better than Ender’s Shadow.

Ryan: Did you read the rest of the Ender Shadow series? [00:40:00]

Taylor:   No, I just read Ender’s Shadow.

Ryan: Okay. I believe it continues on, with several other books too.

Taylor: I'm not even sure if I knew that. I was just gonna say, I did not see the movie.

As soon as I heard it being announced, I was like, oh no, like I just, I am too, it could be as good an adaptation as the Dune adaptation is, and I would still be hesitant to watch it because it's, and there's Ender’s Game is so much like a thing in my heart. Right? Like it's, it's got such a place and I see the characters in a certain way and so I'm glad I've never seen it. And then for it to have flopped as badly as it did, I'm exceptionally glad I didn't see it. I didn't have to subject myself to that.

Ryan:  Yeah, you made the right right call there. In [00:41:00] any case, we are running super long today. It has been a very fun conversation, but we should probably hang up and get onto the rest of our lives. So, perfect, Taylor. It has been a true, true pleasure. And we don't know yet what we're talking about next week yet, right?

Taylor:  No, we had sort of been bandying an idea about, but I think we should probably let it take on a more solid form before we say anything about it.

So, yeah, it'll be a surprise for next week. It'll be fun though.

Ryan: Sounds good. Well, to everybody listening, thank you for joining us for this a wide ranging science fiction discussion, and we will see you next week. Taylor, have yourself a good one, sir. Se you guys.