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The Short Story Workshop
40 minutes | Oct 24, 2022
Going Back to Our Roots - The Flowering of the Strange Orchid by H.G. Wells
You never know what kind of flower a podcast will become until it reaches full bloom. We descend gracefully into the night with a return to the author from our first episode.One more episode of reminiscing is to come, and then we will be embarking on a new project with better everything. I'm so excited!
87 minutes | Sep 11, 2022
The Bottle Imp - Robert Louis Stevenson
Keawe buys a bottle with an imp inside who grants as many wishes as you like. You can only sell the bottle for less than you bought it. If you possess it on your death, you will go to hell.We discuss story stakes, consider if the imp checks the exchange rate and explain the Bottle Imp Paradox, named after this story.
40 minutes | Aug 6, 2022
Love or Generosity? - The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde
It's The Happy Prince. Look how happy he is. Aren't you glad that he's happy?
53 minutes | Jul 17, 2022
Rivals to Enemies - The Shadow & The Flash by Jack London
A tale of two scientists racing to find the key to invisibility. We discuss made-up science, rivalries and sandwich metaphors.
40 minutes | Jul 1, 2022
Monsters - The Fog Horn by Ray Bradbury
This week we talk about monsters, especially the big kind. Ray Bradbury's story is a little sad and often poignant - what makes it so effective?
59 minutes | Jun 8, 2022
The Haunted Dolls House by M.R James
We discuss breaking the fourth wall in fiction, horror vs ghost stories and more in our discussion of this ghostly tale by M.R James.
45 minutes | May 11, 2022
Dr Heidegger's Experiment by Nathaniel Hawthorne
A dubious scientist experiments on his friends with water from The Fountain of Youth in one of Nathaniel Hawthorne's most popular short stories. We discuss why you shouldn't be friends with dubious scientists.
45 minutes | Apr 28, 2022
Lovecraft's Best Craftmanship - The Music of Erich Zann by H.P. Lovecraft
Turns out Lovecraft can write a good story that also feels a tad more mainstream than his usual. Who knew? We talk about why many people (including Lovecraft himself) consider this one of his best stories.
45 minutes | Apr 13, 2022
Villain Protagonists - Moonface by Jack London
We discuss why we felt guilty for laughing at Moonface, whether optimists are annoying and writing villain protagonists.
49 minutes | Mar 31, 2022
Stand Under My UmbLuella - Luella Miller by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
The title is funny because it's also a story about depending on others. In this episode, we attempt to explain this story as neatly as I just explained my own joke. We talk about character agency, feminine "ideals" and whether calling people bro influences your sexuality.
39 minutes | Mar 17, 2022
Alien Big Cats - The Boarded Window by Ambrose Bierce
We discuss raising the stakes, describing characters and ABCs aka Alien Big Cats in this short horror story
70 minutes | Mar 3, 2022
The Time Travel Episode - Repeat Performance by Rog Phillips
A winding time travel tale from the 50s that will keep you guessing. At times more of a puzzle than a story, we discuss internal consistency, our favourite time travel systems, and building character motivations.
47 minutes | Feb 17, 2022
Master of Disguise - The Arrest of Arsene Lupin by Maurice Leblanc
Arsene Lupin is a gentleman thief and only steals the finest of things. We discuss the first story written about this character, who was said to be a master of disguise.
43 minutes | Feb 11, 2022
Zero Hour by Ray Bradbury
The return of Ray Bradbury with a light sci-fi story that's both funny and a little creepy. We discuss use and abuse of the 'creepy children' trope, the use of non-diegetic information in short stories and Bradbury's distinctive style.
52 minutes | Feb 1, 2022
The Greatest Element of Terror - What Was It? by Fitz James O'Brien
This story contains one of the first examples of invisibility in fiction. We discuss the elements of terror and why everyone wants to be invisible.
41 minutes | Jan 25, 2022
A Finnish Folk Tale - The Forest Bride by Parker Fillmore
This charming fairy tale about a talented mouse is a fun little story. We discuss happy vs ambiguous endings, the Finnish language, translation and more.
52 minutes | Jan 18, 2022
The Celestial Omnibus - EM Forster
Take a journey to heaven in EM Forster's The Celestial Omnibus. We discuss snobbery in literature, transitions between worlds and try to work out some of the story's many literary references.For more on EM Forster - https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/feb/17/e-m-forster-my-policeman
27 minutes | Jan 11, 2022
Our First Competition Winner! - Kill the King by Josephine Lenski
This week's story is the winner of our competition we ran at the end of last year. We talk about keeping a story moving and how to come up with a strong concept.
38 minutes | Dec 21, 2021
A Dystopian Utopia - 2BRO2B by Kurt Vonnegut
An unusually-titled story from Kurt Vonnegut that shows how everything can go horribly wrong, even with good intentions. We discuss the idea of collective vs individualistic ideals, dark humour, and contrasting themes.
41 minutes | Dec 14, 2021
Romanticism vs Naturalism - The False Gems by Guy de Maupassant
Guy de Maupassant's naturalist writing style influenced O Henry and Kate Chopin. This story about marriage has plenty of twists and turns. How to say Guy de Maupassant's name actually and properlyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOkQLmlokAE&ab_channel=JulienMiquel(With thanks to Holly and Andy for the reading material!)
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