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In this episode of The Writer and the Critic, Ian Mond and Kirstyn McDermott speak briefly about listener feedback, in particular Cheryl Morgan's musings about spoilers and the lack thereof in this podcast. They summarily decide to lift the ban on spoilers to allow more open discussion of all aspects of the books they are reviewing, including ... gasp ... endings and plot twists! Ian promises not to put his hands over his hands and make annoying humming noises while doing so.

*** SPOILER ALERT *** THIS PODCAST CONTAINS SPOILERS ***

Ahem. Don't say you were never warned.

They also talk about the forthcoming Twelve Planets from Twelfth Planet Press and why a series of collections featuring Australian female spec fic writers is far from being a silly gesture. (And it's not just because Kirstyn is writing one of those collections!)

Still on the topic of gender, the soon-to-be controversial guidelines of a new horror anthology from Ticonderoga Press are thrown on the autopsy table, with much made of the request for stories with a "masculine tone".

This month books up for discussion are The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (recommended by Ian) and The City and The City by China Mieville (Kirstyn's choice), both joint winners of last year's Hugo Award for Best Novel. A review by Jonathan McCalmont by The Windup Girl is possibly badly paraphrased by Ian. For those wishing to avoid spoilers and skip ahead, discussion of The City and the City begins at 28:30, while The Windup Girl chat starts around 50:00. Check back in at the 1:19:45 mark for some brief final remarks and a preview of next month's podcast.

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We hope you enjoy the podcast!

Next month, The Writer and the Critic travels into the world beyond Kirstyn's dining room to feature a special guest: Melbourne writer of all things dark and deliciously nasty, Felicity Dowker. Yes, that's right, a travelling podcast. Hey, it's a niche and we're claiming it. Felicity has chosen Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson for Ian and Kirstyn to read.

Ian's recommended book for March is Last Days by Brian Evenson, while Kirstyn has picked White Cat by Holly Black.

And don't forget, The Writer and the Critic has now adopted more of a book club approach to its discussion and will assume its listeners have either read the books in question or don't care if they find out that the protagonist dies in a horrible rice threshing machine accident on the second to last page. There will almost certainly be spoilers, so you are encouraged to read the chosen titles ahead of time. It'll be much more fun that way and Ian and Kirstyn won't get near as many death threats!

The Writer and The Critic

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