86 episodes

A podcast by three red-headed fantasy authors talking about everything from academic mythology to dick jokes (and sometimes, both at once), as well as the role of fanfiction as an integral yet oft-overlooked part of the literary conversation and in the broader cultural context. It is, obviously, a podcast of extremely deep literary merit.

Be The Serpent Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske, Jennifer Mace

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 85 Ratings

A podcast by three red-headed fantasy authors talking about everything from academic mythology to dick jokes (and sometimes, both at once), as well as the role of fanfiction as an integral yet oft-overlooked part of the literary conversation and in the broader cultural context. It is, obviously, a podcast of extremely deep literary merit.

    Episode 85: Girl Meets House

    Episode 85: Girl Meets House

    On today's episode, we're getting unseasonably spooky as we talk about Gothic novels! The tentpoles for this episode are Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, the film Crimson Peak, and the Untamed fanfic Imago by astrophyllite.
     
    What We’re Into Lately
    Word of Honor
    The View Was Exhausting by Mikaella Clements and Onjuli Datta
    Die, Volume 1 by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans
    Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
    Don’t Look Back series by acuteneurosis
    ShuoshuoChinese
    Trading for a Living: Psychology, Trading Tactics, Money Management by Alexander Elder
    Untamed fanfic, as always
     
    Other Stuff We Mentioned
    The Wicked + the Divine by Kieron Gillen
    Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen
    American Psycho
    Tim Burton’s Alice movies
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
    The Untamed
    Under The Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng
    A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
    A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske
    Bluebeard folktale
    Beauty and the Beast folktale
    East of Sun and West of the Moon folktale
    Eros and Psyche folktale
    The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
    Jane Eyre miniseries (with Ruth Wilson)
    ‘Restraint and Revelation: or, The Necromancer of Yiling’ (Erotic Gothic Novelist!Lan Wangji)
    Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
    Northanger Abbey TV movie
    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones
    Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
    House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones
    Be the Serpent Episode 36: There's No Place Like Home
    Addams Family Values
     
    For Next Time
    Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots
     
    Content Warnings
    Violence, gore, and incest in all three tentpoles and the episode discussion.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Episode 84: Not With a Bang...

    Episode 84: Not With a Bang...

    On this week's episode, we're talking about postapocalyptic fiction, specifically stories set in the wake of a climate apocalypse. The tentpoles are Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, the fanfic "Moebius" by AuroraNova and Mad Max: Fury Road.
     
    What We’re Into Lately
    The House of Niccolò series by Dorothy Dunnett
    Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
    Parks and Recreation
    The World Figure Skating Championship
    A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
    love, in fire and blood by cicer
    Practical Creativity by Raph Koster 
     
    Other Stuff We Mentioned
    Be the Serpent, Episode 3: Apocalypse Sometime, Maybe Next Tuesday
    Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge 
    The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge 
    Be the Serpent, Episode 38: A Hugo Award Special — The Novels of 2018
    “Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time” by K.M. Szpara
    The Old Guard
    Atomic Blonde
    Studio Ghibli movies
    James Bond movies
    “Peer Gynt” by Grieg
    The first Mad Max movie
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
     Mass Effect games
    The ending of Mass Effect 3
    Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha
    Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison
    The Day After Tomorrow
    Who Should Live In Flooded Old New York? by Brooke Bolander
    Embers by Vathara
    The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
    The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
    Lotus Blue by Cat Sparks
    Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
    The Sea and Summer (aka Drowning Towers) by George Turner 
    ‘The Fall of Civilizations’ podcast
    How We Get to Carbon Zero by Bianca Nogrady
    The Expanse 
    Space Sweepers
    Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
    Macey’s Fun Facts Bronze Age Mediterranean Corner
    1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline
    The most famous and meme-able trader to ever live, Ea-nasir
     
    For Next Time
    Crimson Peak film
     
    Content Warnings
    Gore and implied sexual assault in Mad Max: Fury RoadGore and (urban fantasy standard) violence in Trail of LightningTranscription
    The transcript for this episode is available here. Thank you as always to our brilliant team of scribes!!

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Episode 83: Space Sweepers!

    Episode 83: Space Sweepers!

    On today's episode we're buckling on our space shoes, picking up our space harpoons, and charging up our space laser guns, because we're doing a deep dive on the new South Korean scifi film, Space Sweepers.
     
    What We’re Into Lately
    An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
    The House of Always by Jenn Lyon
    Disarmed by Sarah Rees Brennan
    Word of Honor
    The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk
    Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno Garcia
    Boku no Hero Academia fanfic of the Star Wars crossover variety
    Mòxiāng Tóngxiù fanfic 
    Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne
     
    Other Stuff We Mentioned
    Jupiter Ascending
    Untamed
    Hikaru No Go
    Hannibal 
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
    Firefly
    The Expanse
    Star Trek
    Star Wars
    Babylon 5
    Killjoys
    The Mandalorian
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
    Be the Serpent episode 1
    Acorna series by Anne McCaffrey
    Born Sexy Yesterday 
    Logan
    Interstellar
    The Expanse
    Futurama
    Bond movies
     
    For Next Time
    Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
     
    Content Warnings
    Death of a child (dealt with in-text) in Space Sweepers
     
    Transcription
    The transcript for this episode can be found here. Huge thanks to our team of scribes!!

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Epsode 82: On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink

    Epsode 82: On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink

    On this week's episode, we're getting the gang back together to talk about girl gangs, teen squads, and spooky witchy girls! The tentpoles this week are The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke, Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark, and the fanfic “21st Century Girls” by springgreen.
     
    What We’re Into Lately
    Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin
    The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.
    Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston
    The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting by K.J. Charles
    Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi
    Dawn by Octavia Butler
    A Bouquet of Czech Folktales by Karel Jaromír Erben, trans. Marcela Sulak
    Boku No Hero Academia fanfic
    as day follows night by The_Eclectic_Bookworm
    The Untamed fanfic
    Word of Honor
     
    Other Stuff We Mentioned
    Men in Black 
    Society of Gentlemen series by K.J. Charles
    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Guardian
    Nirvana in Fire
    20th Century Boys manga series
    Sailor Moon manga series
    My Little Pony 
    St. Trinians 
    Ralph Breaks the Internet
    Stranger Things
    Jennifer’s Body
    Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
    Mean Girls
    Sex and the City
    Golden Girls
    Ocean’s 8
    Charlie’s Angels
    Totally Spies
    D.E.B.S
    Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    Dark Angel
    The Old Guard
    Wonder Woman
    Mad Max: Fury Road
    Dollhouse
    River Tam from Firefly
    Steven Universe
     
    For Next Time
    Space Sweepers
     
    Content Warnings
    Very brief mention of sexual assault (and description of its fallout) in Foul Is Fair, one of the "What We're Into Lately" books.
    Explicit depictions of racism (including the KKK) in Ring Shout.
    Kidnapping, attempted assault in The Scapegracers.
    Transcription
    The transcript for this episode can be found here. Huge thanks to our scribe team for their excellent work, as usual!

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Episode 81: An Apology, and a Collection of Recs

    Episode 81: An Apology, and a Collection of Recs

    On this week's episode, we're discussing a few changes we're making in our approach to the podcast, and we're gushing about some of our favorite recent and upcoming works, including Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko, The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan, and She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan.
     
    What We’re Into Lately
    Seven of Infinities by Aliette de Bodard
    Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard 
    The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
    The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian
    A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow
    The Name of All Things by Jenn Lyons
    thepartyresponsible’s Batman-Avengers crossover fic
    Do Every Stupid Thing by thepartyresponsible
    Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar
    Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
    Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
    Bridgerton
    Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?!
    The Sleuth of the Ming Dynasty
    Invitation to Wine (将进酒) by Tang Jiu Qing 唐酒卿 (Mandarin)
     
    Other Stuff We Mentioned
    Be the Serpent Episode 71: Back To School (feat. Naomi Novik)
    Be the Serpent Episode 72: Fangs for the Memories
    A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
    Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
    The Saddle Club
    Gossip Girl
    The Belles  by Dhonielle Clayton
    Wild Beauty Anna-Marie McLemore
    She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
    The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
    The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan
    The infamous Only One Bed trope
    Reluctant Royals series by Alyssa Cole
    Runaway Royals series by Alyssa Cole
    Books by Alisha Rai  
     
    For Next Time
    Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark
     
    Content Warnings:
    The Duke Who Didn't concerns protagonists encountering racism (both ambient and direct).
    She Who Became The Sun interrogates gender essentialist prejudice accurate to its historical setting.
    Raybearer deals with themes of child abuse/neglect.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Episode 80: Extravaganza

    Episode 80: Extravaganza

    On this week's episode, we're bringing you an extra-long, extra special surprise: We're playing a one-shot of an RPG, using a game system designed by Alex, which uses a tarot deck rather than dice! Enjoy!
     
    As per the outro of this episode, the links to our statements in response to feedback we received on Episode 71:
    Macey’s statement RE BTS ep 71
    Freya’s statement RE BTS ep 71
    Alex’s statement RE BTS ep 71
     
    For Next Time
    We're taking a week off our regular release schedule. Never fear, we will return to your ears four weeks hence, rather than two.
     
    Transcription
    The transcript for this episode can be found  here. Extra thanks to our scribe team this week, they really knocked it out of the park with this chonky episiode!
     

    • 1 hr 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
85 Ratings

85 Ratings

atseinio ,

The Trope-tastic Podcast of My Heart

I know that Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopia, and that the parlor is meant to be quietly horrifying, but if it existed I would happily spend my days sipping tea and pretending to be involved in the madcap and amazing conversations of these three wonderful people. Finding this podcast was one of my (very) few sources of true joy in 2020, and made a measurable difference in my ability to survive it.

As a fan and—extremely amateur hobbyist—writer of fantasy their discussions are constantly illuminating and inspiring, but the real magic is in their dynamic together as they dissect, digress, and occasionally make pterodactyl noises at one another. But also a word of warning: budget some money for new books, and plenty of time to read, because you will NEED it.

Lyanna S ,

fave

even when i have negative interest in the tentpoles they're discussing it's a good time just to listen to three friends bounce ideas and chat and hang out. which is not to say my TBR is not groaning from the weight of all the stuff the serpents mention. absolute top tier favorite podcast, keep it up guys!

Stockallison ,

too smug

i find the hosts too gleefully smug and obnoxious for me to enjoy, which is a shame since so few podcasts discuss transformative work and literature on the same level. sigh...

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