Books That Burn

A book review podcast where we discuss how authors treat and traumatize their characters.

Highlight 5: Ender’s Game/Shadow - Orson Scott Card

January 25th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Ender's Game" and "Ender's Shadow” by Orson Scott Card. These books cover approximately the same span of time and most of the same characters as each other. We focused our discussion on three events/traumas which are shown in both books from the perspective of their respective main characters. We're discussing these as books we used to love (and might still) but do not recommend to new readers.

Book TW for antisemitism, racism, homophobia, ableism, ableist slurs, assault, murder, eugenics, genocide

Topic 1: Abuse and PTSD. Begins at (1:30), CW for abuse, bullying, ptsd,

Topic 2: Murder and PTSD. Begins at (21:30), CW for murder, bullying, abandonment, emotional isolation, gaslighting

Topic 3: Genocide and Consent. Begins at (34:52), CW for violation of consent, ptsd, genocide, mental health crisis, emotional breakdown, coma mention

Promo for Book Reports Pod; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (53:05).

Recommended books to read instead:

Animorphs by K. A. Applegate

War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon. Patrons at any level will receive the bonus Epilogue episode for this book.

You can check out Robin's written review of Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow at Reviews That Burn.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Stand-Alone 7: The Raven Tower - Ann Leckie

January 11th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “The Raven Tower” by Ann Leckie, with special guest Andrew of Bea Nostalgic

Book TW for brief transphobia, discussion of infanticide, discussion of suicide, anti-twin prejudice in a fictional culture, massacre, parental death, major character death. 

Topic 1: Oskel and Okim - Microaggressions. Begins at (1:30), CW for suicide, infanticide, child sacrifice, microaggression descriptions. 

Topic 2: Eolo - Dissociation and Dysphoria. Begins at (18:00), CW for dysphoria, misgendering. 

Topic 3: The Raven’s Lease - Advocated Suicide as Honorable Volunteer Sacrifice. Begins at (41:10), CW for suicide, society-advocated suicide, self-sacrifice, self-harm, murder. 

Promo for Pretty Nice Podcast; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (1:03:35). 

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn

Find all our links on our Carrd

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission. 

Interview 4: Aurora Lee Thornton, Part 1 of 2

January 1st, 2021

Please enjoy the spoiler-free portion of our interview with author Aurora Lee Thornton, discussing xyr book, "All or None". Timestamps are marked for the interview questions.

  • Intro (0:00)
  • Tell us a little about “All or None” as a book and “Star Stories” as a series. (1:20)
  • Can you talk a little about the way trauma works in your writing? (2:05)
  • Do you put more thought into the trauma itself or the aftermath when thinking about the effects on your characters? (2:58)
  • Have you ever started writing a trauma in (one of) your book(s), and had it take over or have more of a story impact than originally intended? (3:55)
  • How do you decide what a character's reaction to traumatic events is going to be while writing them? (6:05)
  • Do you tend to write characters with a specific orientation? Do you generally stick to depictions of queerness which match parts of your identity? (7:00)
  • When depicting types of queerness that you do not share, what do you use to guide those depictions? (8:35)
  • Have you ever had a character surprise you with their identity after you started writing? (9:05)
  • What is your approach to incorporating characters of color in your work? (10:10)
  • Have you ever had a character surprise you with their appearance/identity after you started writing? (14:00)
  • What is your approach to incorporating characters with disabilities in your work? (15:00)
  • Do you tend to write disabilities based on a specific set of references, or do you tend to write cultures that hide disabilities? (16:10)
  • Have you ever had a character surprise you with a disability after you started writing? (16:40)
  • Do you consider your characters’ body image when depicting them and their traumas? (17:10)
  • Do you consider your character’s physical description when writing how other characters treat them? (19:10)
  • What parts of your identities do you notice making appearances in your writing more than you intended? What parts of your identities do you notice seeping into your work unintentionally? (21:50)
  • Do you write in trauma for background characters without planning for it to have an impact on the story, and if so does it ever leak into the story? (27:18)
  • Have you ever had to stop writing a book or character because of the trauma they were going through? (29:00)

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Check out xyr Twitter, find xem on Facebook and Instagram, and visit xyr website. You can find All or None at xyr Universal Buy Link and xyr Amazon Buy Link.

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon. Patrons at any level will receive part two of this two-part interview.

You can find Robin's written review of All or None at Reviews that Burn.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

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