Episode 30 is up! Reva Dalby returns!

Wow, two episodes in one month? We’re kind of back to our regular posting schedule. Now we just need to start getting those youcasts up and we’ll be good.

We get to discuss Fear Street Super Chiller Silent Night 2. Yes, Reva Dalby from Silent Night is back and not much seems to have changed. Surprisingly enough, it’s not Reva’s Revaness that gets her in trouble but her Dalbyness. If that sentence makes no sense to you, perhaps you should check out the podcast for the indepth plot. If it still doesn’t make sense read it backwards.

Before we get into the Silent Night 2 discussion, both Anna and Surge review a book.  Surge starts it off with a review of Evolutions – Fifteen Myths That Explain Our World by Oren Harman. Surge has a lot to say about it. Anna reviews the final book in the Themis Files trilogy, Only Human by  Sylvain Neuvel. It’s quieter than the first two books but a decent read nontheless.

Without further ado, check out the episode!

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Episode 29 now available

As the blog writer for the blog, I often feel like a jerk. I often forget to update the blog after doing some big thing with the podcast or we’re just so backlogged and delayed doing podcast things that a lot of time just ends up passing naturally. The point is, it seems like every post is an apology for not updating the blog or the delay in an episode. For those that have stuck with us through all of this, a big sorry and thank you. You don’t know how much we appreciate it.

Groveling aside, yes it’s true, our latest episode is FINALLY up. Looking at the finished product, it runs 80 minutes with the intro, outro, interlude, and ad. The thing is, the raw file of the initial recording was almost 2 hours 40 minutes long, that’s a total time of 160 minutes of just two idiots talking. There was a lot to trim. As the podcast editor who also listens to a lot of other podcasts, I often struggle to find the right balance of banter and information. Too little banter and it just sounds like two randos talking, too much banter and it can get a little frustrating because “JUST GET TO THE POINT”.  This episode was really overwhelming to edit. 1st because I was away a lot so a lot of time had passed between recording and editing. 2nd because of the realization that there’s a lot to listen to. And 3rd because I knew that a lot had to be cut but everything still had to flow.  I do hope that this episode works for everyone listening.

The book itself? Fear Street Super Chiller Broken Hearts? Probably overlong and fitting with the episode. Unnecessary characters and scenes that didn’t quite work with the book. It’s a book that either needed to be longer or shorter. But the things that worked for the book really worked for me. We talk about it in the episode, but I’ll reiterate again, I thought this book had a lot of well rounded characters with motivations that were relatable and understandable. To hear more of our thoughts, just take a listen to the podcast.

We also review the first book in the Shades of Magic trilogy, A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab. It’s a cracking good time and we can’t wait to finish the series.

Check out episode 29 here!

Season 2

If you thought we were bad about posting, well here we are again.  Posting months later. We recently started season 2 of the podcast. You may be wondering about the what’s and why’s. It isn’t quite the one year date from when we started nor does it have anything to do with the number of episodes we’ve done. Instead, it’s based on the publication year of the books. Season 1 encompasses the books published from 1989-1992. Season 2 starts with the books published from 1993 on. We haven’t decided on the cutoff year, but RL Stine does seem to get quite prolific with the Fear Street books, so we don’t think that it’ll cover quite as many publication years. It seems like we might make the cutoff for Season 2 1995, but that remains to be seen.

What have we learned doing our first season? To make a checklist and follow it. To write outlines otherwise we’ll ramble and lose the plot. If we wait too long to record, we depend solely on these outlines. Segues are important. If we schedule a recording session but neither of us are feeling it, just don’t record. It just sounds bad. We don’t hate the books. We’re more surprised by that than you’d think.  We also figured out more technical things like how to record with two micorphones and how to set it up. Perhaps it’s not right to say we’ve figured it out, as we’re still making silly technical mistakes even in season 2. But that’s a story for another time.

What do we think of our first season? There’s an entire episode where we ended up recording with the laptop microphone instead of our dedicated podcast mic. It sounds awful, but we thought the episode was good enough that we wouldn’t have to re-record it. Would we make the same decision now? Hard to say. But overall, we’re proud of the content we put out. We created and fleshed out our Fear Street mythos. We got really into the series and tried our hardest to make it fun for both ourselves and listeners.

We hope to bring some of our favorite aspects to season 2. Surge loves making weird graphics for our #youcasts. Anna is still arranging music for the show. We’re reading and reviewing more books outside the series together, whereas that was definitely more an Anna thing in season 1. We hope to promote more diverse authors, independent authors, and up and coming others in our first segment. We definitely hope to do more interviews.  And above all else, we hope to read more Fear Street books and keep building on that mythos.

If you haven’t listened to them yet, we currently have 2 episodes out for season 2. Take a listen, enjoy, and stick around for the rest of our journey!

Episode 26 – Fear Street 18: The Cheater

Episode 27 – Fear Street 19: Sunburn

Episode 23 is now up!

Wow, it’s been awhile. 2017 came and went and now we’re at the 2nd year of our podcast. We had highs and lows last year for our podcast and kind of disappeared at the end of the year due to work and travel. But 2018 brings a new year and new goals and a fresh slate.  And what’s a better way to welcome in a new year for a podcast than posting a new episode?

In this episode, we talk about Fear Street Cheerleaders: The Second Evil. It’s a continuation of the First Evil (obviously), but because it’s serialized, we get to know some of these character a lot more than we do in normal books. This book deals with Corky’s loss. Not only is she battling a demon, but she’s battling internal demons as well.  Returning to normalcy is something I imagine all Fear Street protagonists strive to achieve after their book is done, but it’s not something we get to see. The reader is left to assume that their aftermath is positive off the pages. For Corky, is there for us plain as day. However, normalcy isn’t something that Fear Street is quite ready to give her yet.

We also review two books that we quite enjoyed in 2017. First was C. Robert Cargill’s Sea of Rust. A book about the post-human robot apocalypse apocalypse? A scavenger bot doing her best to live when all signs point otherwise. Yes humans are extinct, but in a way we were able to live on with these robots.  The second book was Nina Berkhout’s The Mosaic. A book about a young woman finding herself in a town that wants her to become one thing.  In a weird way these two book are connected. Both Brittle and Twyla are faced with questions about their independence and their existence. Both Brittle and Twyla fight back in their own ways.

One interesting thing in The Mosaic are the namesakes in the book. Gabriel is making mosaics in his silo made of spent ammunition. If you’re interested in seeing what it may look like, check out the work by artist John Tan has created.

Without further adieu, take a listen at episode 23 up now!

 

Episode 20 Fear Street First Date is up!

Once again, Surge and Anna return to discuss the next installment of the Fear Street series. Here, we talk about Fear Street 16: First Date.

To be honest, it wasn’t our favorite book of all time, but at least it wasn’t our least favorite. The first date wasn’t what really stood out to us. Well, that’s kind of a lie, that first date was hilarious. But what really stood out was Chelsea’s storyline of moving into a new town and being the new kid in school. Both of us moved around as kids, so we felt Chelsea’s pain of trying to make new friends and feeling like we didn’t fit in. It’s a horrible feeling that you don’t need to move to Fear Street to feel. Of course, moving to a street that kids avoid (but are oddly drawn to) doesn’t help matters.

Listen to our review of Fear Street 16: First Date here!

We’re back with episode 19!

Hey guys, sorry for the lack of posting here on the blog. It’s a mix of busy and lazy.  In the mean time, we have been recording and posting episodes and a lot of youtube versions. We have a few more in the can ready to go.

Our latest episode is a discussion on Fear Street Super Chiller 2: Silent Night.

We start with a review of Seanan McGuire’s latest book in the October Daye series, The Brightest Fell. Anna had reviewed the first book in the series, Rosemary and Rue in episode 18. Now that we’re on book 11, Surge joins Anna and jumps into the series. We don’t want to spoil our review, but Surge is going back and reading some other books in the series. We want to thank DAW for sending us the books. Our review was no way influenced by this.

On to the meat of it all, we discuss Fear Street Super Chiller 2: Silent Night. In it, we get introduced to Reva Dalby. Reva is one of the most memorably protagonists in the series so far, and she’s everything you’d hate in a person. If you met Reva in real life, you’d want nothing to do with her. But there’s something oddly compelling to read a character like her in a book. You don’t cheer for her per se, nor are you necessarily cheering for her demise. But it hooks you in a very different way than the rest of the protagonists do.

One interesting thing is how similar this is to the Archie show, Riverdale on CW/Netflix. Reva’s description is, to a T, Cheryl Blossom. Pam is obviously Betty Cooper. Serious Riverdale fans will see ALL the parallels, and we’ll leave it at that.

This book does deal with poverty and the wealth gap in a town like Shadyside. We have rich characters, middle class characters, and poor characters. While the poor characters do seem to get the short end of the stick here, the richer characters are never quite off the hook.

The best part of the book is the contribution to our mythos. Welcome to Fear Street, Hawkins National Lab. Stranger Things – Fear Street tie in. Yeah, it happened.

Without further ado, Episode 19.

 

 

Episode 10 now up!

The last of the episodes we recorded before Anna went off to Europe is finally up!

Fear Street: The Stepsister involves Emily grappling with the fact that her stepsister Jessi is moving in to her room. They got along at the wedding, but things are just falling apart. Going from a single room to a shared room is inherently pretty difficult. But moving in to a room with someone who you believe might be out to get you might just be worse. Add to that a misogynistic stepdad and a quiet and slightly odd stepbrother and it’s an interesting situation you have going on. Good thing Emily has the support of a older sister Nancy who seems to always be there when she needs a shoulder.

Divorced kids were THE topic in MG and YA books in the 90’s. This is the first Fear Street book that deals with two families coming together.  We’re not entirely sure RL Stine did the situation justice, but family dynamics are not his forte.

Anna also gives a brief rundown of Pilot X and Spaceman of Bohemia.

Without further ado, here’s Episode 10 – Fear Street 9: The Stepsister. Give it a listen!

Episode 8 is now up!

Going into the recording session, Surge hadn’t quite figured out how he felt about Fear Street: Haunted. In fact, immediately after finishing the book, he ran downstairs and said something along the lines of “let’s record, I need to figure this out”. Anna was in the middle of the season 3 finale of Black Mirror but hey, you record when you have to.

What can be said about the book without spoiling too much? Well, we can say that our predictions were off. We can also say that numerology still seems to play a large role in the Fear Street books, if you know Mandarin and German. RL Stine, we’re on to you.

What can we say with tons of spoilers?  HOLY SHIT THERE’S A REAL GHOST ON FEAR STREET! This is what we’ve been waiting for!! Yeah.

What the main point of Haunted was though? Income and class disparity in Shadyside. We saw that a bit in Fear Street: The Sleepalker, with Mayra having to earn money to help the family out. But it’s clear as day here. Melissa comes from a very well to do family: both her parents are lawyers, she lives in a Victorian mansion, she gets a car for her birthday, and her family has a live in maid. Part of this book also takes place in the “poor” part of town, or the Old Village. RL Stine goes out of his way to describe the shabbiness of this part of town. The yards are more overgrown and smaller. The houses are falling apart. We enter Paul’s house and the contrast could not be more stark. Whereas Melissa has everything she could ever want in her room, Paul has a utilitarian room. A bed, a light, a counter built in to the wall, and a trashcan. Paul has grown up in an environment where he doesn’t always get what he wants, and he can see that there are people on the other side of town who don’t struggle the same way. And this rage boils within him and causes him to do some pretty awful things. But the thing is, the “rich” in the book doesn’t necessarily come off much better. Melissa’s friend makes fun of a less well to do girl in the mall who “dares” to be poor. However, because her dad grew up in poverty, he instilled values in Melissa to make sure it never went to her head. So Melissa stands up to her friend and lectures her about what she is saying. The thing is, the friend  didn’t really care despite Melissa’s best efforts.

RL Stine could be writing horror shlock to sell more books, but he chose to write about something more. This isn’t a book about being haunted by something. It’s a book about how much the environment we grow up in shapes and affects us. And even more importantly, how much we let it shape us.  Income inequality is an important topic, and for it to be a issue in a Fear Street book was a big deal.

Before our discussion on Fear Street:Haunted, Anna reviews We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. A new YA book that was recommended by booktuber ProblemsOfABookNerd.

Without further ado, check out Episode 08 – Fear Street 7: Haunted on Spreaker.

Episode 7 now out!

In the latest installment of the Fear Street series, The Sleepwalker, we see Mayra sleepwalking down to Fear Lake. It’s actually kind of terrifying if you think about it. Even the most relaxed person likes to have a semblance of control over their life. To have a sleepwalking problem is basically having no conscious control over what you are doing. Mayra almost drowns in Fear Lake in her sleep. Terrifying.

Surge and Anna do make light of it at times, but seriously, if you have this problem, go get a sleep study done. We also come off pretty judgey about how her mom handles it. Which, hey, we’re not parents. Maybe it’s not fair for us to do that. Props to her mom for trying her best.

On a lighter note, we did struggle in figuring out how to pronounce Mayra. We couldn’t decide if it was like “Myra” or maybe “May-ra”, so we just went all out and found a different perhaps unique way. It actually sounds pretty cool, but you need to listen to find out how.

Anna also reviewed The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker at the start. It’s a stellar book about friendship and unbreakable bonds that people should definitely check out. For a longer review you have to listen to the episode!

On that note, listen to Episode 07 – Fear Street 6: The Sleepwalker on Spreaker.

Sixth Episode out!

We released episode 6 of our podcast!

We talk about Fear Street The Wrong Number, which ostensibly is a story about how prank calling people is not only rude but can end in disaster. Also surprised it was never a plot on any of the crime procedural shows. Then again, it might have been and we just never watched enough of them.

Did any of you guys ever prank call people? Neither one of us really did anything like that in the 90’s. The worst was probably Anna calling her parents from a friends house and pretending to be someone else for a few seconds. But since she had to ask permission to be at the person’s house, it never made sense to make it a thing. Neither one of us really saw the point of it, or we just had other things to do with our lives.

Deena uses prank calls as a sort of crutch because she’s so shy and can’t muster up the courage to talk to her crush. By the time we were teenagers, we had AIM so we never had to really speak to our crushes. We just IMed, which gave us a chance to sit back and think about what we wanted to say.

Come to think of it, maybe the advent of the internet age killed prank calls. Instead of prank calling people, now people just troll each other. It’s sort of similar in many ways, no? Any thoughts?

Anyways, on top of discussing The Wrong Number, we also get into a brief discussion on graphic novels vs manga.

Listen to “Episode 06 – Fear Street 5: The Wrong Number” on Spreaker.