Tuesday, 4 October 2022

The Question in Bodies #49: When the Aliens Won

I guess recent news in the UK reminded me of this.

In John Christopher’s Tripods trilogy, beginning in 1967 with The White Mountains and serialised incompletely by the BBC in 1984 and 1985, the earth has been enslaved by an alien race who pilot three-legged war machines; it’s similar if not exactly the same as “what if War of the Worlds, only the Martians won?”

Monday, 5 September 2022

The Question in Bodies Podcast, Episode 9: Health and Horror, Dignity and Disgust, with Dr. Catherine Belling

It's always somehow nastier when the gore isn't red.

Bioethicist, expert in medical humanities, horror fan and Jeopardy runner-up Dr. Catherine Belling joins me in this week's episode to talk about why horror and health are inextricably linked. Starting with the throughline between Dr. Pimple Popper and the early work of Ridley Scott, we examine a whole casebook of media – including hereditary possessions, anti-Hippocratic oaths, verminous transformations and infested Mayan ruins – and touch on dissection, infestation, plastination, cancerification and death. 

There's some pretty grim stuff mentioned in this one, so content warnings for discussion of suicide, eugenics, ablism, and that white goopy stuff that comes out of pimples and cysts. 

By the way, the anthropological text neither of us could think of the name of was Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger.

You can hear me interrogate The Question in Bodies on the fancy widget below, subscribe via your favourite podcast outlet (like Apple, Spotify, Amazon Podcasts, Google Podcasts and others) or find the archive at The Question in Bodies Podbean site

Want to hear episodes early? Back my Patreon. It's just one of those American dollars a month for all the stuff.

Monday, 29 August 2022

The Question in Bodies Podcast, Episode 8: The Death of the Mid-Budget Movie, with Raquel S. Benedict

The exception that proves the rule: John Wick

In episode 8, Raquel S. Benedict, most dangerous woman in speculative fiction, joins me to talk about what a mid-budget movie is, what's great about them and why they're an endangered species. Expect a discussion of the magic of The First Wive's Club, the deadly influence of the Thinkpiece-Industrial Complex, and how James Gunn became a victim of his own blob. 

Go check out Raquel's own podcast, Rite Gud (Patreon here) and here's Raquel's most recent contribution to BloodKnife.

You can hear me interrogate The Question in Bodies on the fancy widget below, subscribe via your favourite podcast outlet (like Apple, Spotify, Amazon Podcasts, Google Podcasts and others) or find the archive at The Question in Bodies Podbean site

Want to hear episodes early? Back my Patreon. It's just one of those American dollars a month for all the stuff.

Monday, 15 August 2022

The Question in Bodies Podcast, Episode 7: Horror on Screen vs Horror on the Page, with Montilee Stormer

Contentious adaptations of books you say?

In episode 7, horror writer, movie critic and troublemaker Montilee Stormer is here to talk about the difference between horror on the page and horror on the screen. Join us for an invigorating chat about final girls, the ascendance of the TikTok Moment, how green bubble wrap is better than crap CGI, whether the current crop of horror novels could even be novelised (and how many words of text Midsommar might actually amount to), why we all need Bad Decisions, and what makes an unfilmable book unfilmable. 

Check out this interview with Montilee at the GLAHW here and then make sure to subscribe to Movie Reelist for Montilee's regular movie reviews. 

You can listen on the fancy widget below, subscribe via your favourite podcast outlet ( like Apple, Spotify, Amazon Podcasts, Google Podcasts and others) or find the archive at The Question in Bodies Podbean site. Want to hear episodes early? Back my Patreon. It's just one of those American dollars.  


Monday, 8 August 2022

The Question in Bodies Podcast, Episode 6: We Appreciate Power, with Tamsin Davis-Langley

(Grimes and Poppy, not me and Tamsin as you might have thought)

This episode, I'm joined by queersoteric hero Tamsin Davis-Langley to talk about one of the Great Questions of our era: Grimes or Poppy? 

That's where we start, anyway. But it gives us an inroad to talking about billionaire Singularity enthusiasts, whether consciousness is an emergent phenomenon, the shocking history of sideburns and sandwiches, and how you get a banging pop tune inspired by the sort of people who want us dead. 

Stick around for the discourse, and then go and find Tamsin's book (writing as Misha Magdalene) Outside the Charmed Circle

You can listen on the fancy widget below, subscribe via your favourite podcast outlet ( like Apple, Spotify, Amazon Podcasts, Google Podcasts and others) or find the archive at The Question in Bodies Podbean site. Want to hear episodes early? Back my Patreon. It's just one of those American dollars.

Oh, we might as well have some of the music, I suppose. Here's a playlist.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

The Question in Bodies #48: Rainbow Flags, Painted on the Sides of Missiles


[I wrote this piece, which juxtaposes little-seen British sitcom Hyperdrive and Isabel Fall's short story "I sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter" back in February this year, and you can see the original version of it on my Patreon. It's just my luck that the very week I choose to make it public is the week that the Helicopter Controversy gets a rather revealing and depressing coda. I've had to do a little rejigging because of that. But nothing's been toned down. If there's a content warning, it's for unvarnished rage.]

Commencify

Few people commented, even at the time, on Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley’s BBC sitcom Hyperdrive (2006-2007), but weirdly, it reads better now than it did back when it was broadcast. The basic concept was straightforward. Britain, a couple of centuries in the future, a nation which has not, contrary to more optimistic space operas we could name, sorted out its issues with the rest of the world, protects its interests in the stars. The show follows the HMS Camden Lock as they engage in interplanetary diplomacy in a changing galaxy. The comedy comes from the simple idea that a British space navy would still behave under the delusion that it mattered on the international stage and that it was competent and compassionate. 

Monday, 1 August 2022

The Question in Bodies Podcast, Episode 5: Neurodiversity and Horror, with Joanna Swan

Annalynne McCord in Excision; Angela Bettis in May.

It's Monday, and it's another instalment in Season 1 of the Question in Bodies Podcast. In episode 5, I'm joined by actor Joanna Swan to talk about the horror of being neurodiverse in a neurotypical world, why the best depictions of neurodiversity in cinema are in horror, and to do some deep dives into the movies Excision (2012) and May (2002).

Check it out on your favourite podcast outlet (and maybe you know, subscribe), or just listen on the handy widget below. Or if you want to get episodes early, back me on my Patreon.