Jennifer Finney Boylan Loves Monsters in Episode 28 of The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy

Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror, joins us this week on io9's Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast to talk about literal and metaphorical monsters, and growing up transgender.

Falcon Quinn book cover illustration by Brandon Dorman.

The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy is hosted by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley.


You can download the MP3 for this episode here, subscribe to The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast feed here, and browse other episodes here.

Read on for this episode's fabulous SHOW NOTES!

0:00 Introduction

Interview: Jennifer Finney Boylan

1:24 Interview begins

1:30 Playing Girl Planet as a child

2:38 Space Travel and Space Exploration as a National Obsession and a venue to allowing Boylan to explore herself as a child

3:28 A character in The Planets who secretly dresses up as a wizard

6:28 Was Boylan ever afraid of giving away her secrets when writing and publishing as a man?


9:27 Richard Russo's character: Professor Phineas "Finny" Coomb

11:15 Being a character on Saturday Night Live

13:20 Having a powerful emotional reaction to The Fellowship of the Ring movie

16:18 Boylan's contribution to It Gets Better

18:47 Boylan's I'm Looking Through You, a memoir about growing up in a haunted house


21:40 Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror, Boylan's most recent novel

25:32 What's wrong with a Wereturtle?

27:29 The Halloween readings at Colby College with Professor Bassett

29:58 The strange anti-gravity stone on Colby College campus

31:46 The sequel to Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror and Boylan's other future projects


33:31 End of interview

Dave and John talk about monsters

34:24 Wicked by Gregory McGuire and the difference between monsters and villains

35:54 Dave meets Gregory McGuire and the cast of the stage adaptation of Wicked

37:07 Incorporating music in novels and reading

38:08 The Lord of the Rings, sympathetic monsters and Senator Bilbo (Podcastle Episode 32, featuring Senator Bilbo by Andy Duncan)


40:05 Was The Lord of the Rings unfair to the Orcs?

41:01 Phantasie for the PC

42:22 Throne of Bones by Brian McNaughton

42:57 Orcs by Stan Nicholls

44:15 Dungeon Keeper

45:17 Mail Order Monsters

45:51 Inspired by a quote, Dave creates a monster creation simulator and the limits of human creativity and imagination


48:55 Dave has a pop-quiz for John! This time: the Monsters of Dungeons & Dragons

58:49 Hoard

59:23 Want some sympathetic monsters? Monsters Inc. delivers.

59:58 John Milton's Paradise Lost and the allure of a villainous character

1:03:00 We are the orcs

1:03:38 Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1:07:25 Author-preferred editions of novels

1:08:49 My Demon Lover

1:09:55 John's review of Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror

1:10:22 The Tiptree Award

1:14:21 Show wrap-up

Thanks for listening!


John Joseph Adams is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the bestselling editor of the anthologies By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), Seeds of Change, andWastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. His most recent books are The Living Dead 2 and The Way of the Wizard, and he is currently assembling several other anthologies, including Brave New Worlds and The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination. Barnes & named him "the reigning king of the anthology world," and his books have been named to numerous best of the year lists. In addition to his anthology work, he worked for more than eight years as an editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction,and is currently the editor of Lightspeed Magazine and Fantasy Magazine.


David Barr Kirtley has published fiction in magazines such as Realms of Fantasy, Weird Tales, Lightspeed,Intergalactic Medicine Show, On Spec, and Cicada, and in anthologies such as New Voices in Science Fiction,Fantasy: The Best of the Year, and The Dragon Done It. Recently he's contributed stories to several of John's anthologies, including The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, and The Way of the Wizard. He's attended numerous writing workshops, including Clarion, Odyssey, Viable Paradise, James Gunn's Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and Orson Scott Card's Writers Bootcamp, and he holds an MFA in screenwriting and fiction from the University of Southern California. He also teaches regularly at Alpha, a Pittsburgh-area science fiction workshop for young writers. He lives in New York.

Snownotes compiled by podtern Aidan Moher

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