EP. 77 Mars is for Badass Marines, Venus is for Creepy Alien Cities | Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey

Polish cover of Caliban’s War featuring badass Martian Marine Bobbie Draper (2018)

There is a lot to love about James S. A. Corey’s fully realized Expanse universe. It just might help you forget about how bad Star Wars has been derailed and make you fall in love again with sweeping space sagas that can deliver on what the sci-fi genre is capable of.

We’re slowly making our way through the solar system with this series, which concludes with book 9 in 2020 or 2021. We’re in for the long haul though. This second entry brings us to Mars, and introduces a character that I love as much as the Rocinante crew. Bobbie Draper is one tough Marine and takes everything the Martians, Earthers, and Belters throw at her. Listen to our break down of the book.


We Come at Last to the End (EP. 76) | THE DARK TOWER (DARK TOWER #7) BY STEPHEN KING

How we imagine Roland at the end.

We are finally here. We have crossed the lands of Mordor, braved the winter wastelands of Westeros, and survived Arrakis’s unforgiving and unending desert in a struggle to master fate itself and steer the course of the universe. WE NOW STAND BEFORE THE DARK TOWER.

These other fictional worlds lie parallel in their own universes to Stephen King’s Dark Tower, in a metaphorical sense. They all in their own fashion represent the journey to the tower: to reach for the meaning of life, to attain one’s highest achievement, or to finally atone for one’s sins. The trek to the tower defied literally every expectation we had of this journey, and delved into some truly profound territory.

Roland Deschain ended his journey as it began, alone, and using his own wit and will to defy superior powers and reach the nexus of all worlds. Wow, if that sounded spoilery, don’t worry, it’s only a vague description to keep this epic monologue going. It won’t help you fully understand or comprehend what King ultimately has our protagonist find.

We’re still scratching our heads, not because of the complexity of the end, but of the implications it has for humanity. It’s not a conventional ending by a long shot, nor would we expect one from this tale. Our man Roland and his quest to save himself and all of creation will stick with us for a long time and demands attention for it’s literary elegance and execution in the questions it asks of us individually, including who do we want to be in this lifetime.

If you want to hear our full discussion on the end of this amazing journey, check out the podcast. Spoilers ahead. Enjoy.

Drawing Battle Lines | Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King BOOK TALK


Illustration by Vincent Chong


In the quest for the Dark Tower, the gunslingers are drawn into a conflict where a town is being terrorized by wolves from the land of Thunderclap. Our heroes are reminded of the humanity they are fighting for and the terror that lies at the end of their journey. Spoilers ahead.

Justice at the End of the World (Ep. 74) | Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King


Album art from Come-come-commala


This is a mesmerizing entry into the Dark Tower series. Roland Deschain is asked to save a town from a horrible fate, and he can no more deny these people than forget the face of his father. There is an impending sense of doom and betrayal and more loss as the gunslingers must keep their own ka-tet from breaking as they face insurmountable odds against the emissaries of the Crimson King. Spoilers ahead.

This amazing song about the people of Calla Bryn Sturgis transported me to the night Roland danced the Commala. It speaks of hope and fear and the fate of many resting in the hands of the few.

REIGNFALL – Journey to the Dark Tower Movie


Stephen King may be known for his horror novels, but over the span of his career he also shaped a very different type of story, one as ambitious and sprawling as the great fantasy epics of the 20th century.

The Dark Tower series, now being adapted for film in 2017, follows the gunslinger, the last of a line of men who stood to defend a world that has moved on. He now wanders the lands of Mid World in search of the Dark Tower.

We tackle this eight book series before the movie and TV series debut.

Love, Loss and Exile (Ep. 73) | Wizard and Glass (Dark Tower #4) by Stephen King


The original ka-tet: Cuthbert, Roland and Alain 

This entry into the Dark Tower odyssey offers some of the most tense and fascinating exploits in Roland Deschain’s journey to the Dark Tower. It is in fact near the beginning of a journey that will span Roland’s lifetime  and it shows a boy in a trial to become a man. The game of Castles he plays with a band of desperadoes, a town hiding a mystery, his first love, and an unbreakable bond with his ka-tet — Cuthbert and Alain — make this one of my favorites of the 7-book series. Spoilers ahead.

REIGNfall – Star Wars Aftermath – Readers Hate It, Listeners Love it


The Star Wars movie franchise is back and strong with the Force. So are the new “official” novels any good? Fans are divided, and it’s clear that the format of the book matters. Before Rogue One arrives in theaters, check out another band of rebels in “Star Wars: Aftermath” by Chuck Wendig laying the hurt on the Empire so that they can’t get back up.