Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

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Episode 34: Cory Doctorow, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Would you like to hear us talk about Disney World for thirty minutes? If so, this is the episode for you! Also, we dig into Cory Doctorow’s debut novel, in our continuing quest to broaden our reading horizons and check out some work outside our usual genre comfort zones.


Want to read the book? You can download it for free (legally!) from Doctorow’s website. You can even get an audiobook version. Or, if you’re old-fashioned, you can buy the paperback from Powell’s here: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

Talking points for this episode include: the defeat of death, Facebook likes as currency, problematic premises, the Haunted Mansion, Mike’s childhood propensity for tears, carnival food, the Gravitron, and Battlestar Galactica (which you should really watch, because it is great; do you not like things that are great?)

Want to take a class with one of us? We’re each teaching an online workshop through Barrelhouse Magazine, starting June 1 and running for eight weeks. Get more info., and register, here.

As always, you can stream the episode here on our site, or you can download the mp3 file directly. Or check us out in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free) and never miss another update.

Stream the episode:

Download Episode 34 (right-click, save-as)


Episode 33: Ernest Cline, Ready Player One

We’ve got a very special episode for you this week, Book Fighters. We’re joined by Tom’s college roommate, Kevin Greway, an avowed non-reader who agreed to give Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One a try. Will he like it? Or will he spit it out, like a surly child forced to eat spinach? Will we convince him to become a regular reader, or at least pick up a book more frequently than once every three or four years?


Also this week, Mike talks about the time he helped recreate scenes from popular 80s movies; unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) his Princess Bride acting job is no longer extant on YouTube. Though you can watch a recreation of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off here, starring Mike’s former roommate and several other friends.

We’ve also got some special recommendations from TV Guide, and a “where are they now” piece on two of the stars from The Beverly Hillbillies.

As always, you can stream the episode below, or check us out in the iTunes store, where you can download our whole back catalog for free, and subscribe so that you never miss another update. Please also consider visiting our sponsor, Powell’s Books. If you click through any of the Powell’s links on our site–like the book cover above, or the button over there on the right–any purchase you make will help to support the show.

Thanks for listening!


Download Episode 33: Ernest Cline, Ready Player One

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Writers Ask: Airing of Grievances

What happens when you portray someone in an unflattering light in your memoir? What happens when that person is hopped up on scotch and sitting a few feet away from you in your basement? For those of you who’ve complained that there’s not enough “fight” in the Book Fight podcast, this is your week.

We also manage to answer some listener questions. How do you create memorable characters? How should you describe your writing on a date? Continue reading

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Writers Ask #3: No Lifeguard on Duty

Some podcasts might take the week off for Labor Day, and while we’re not ones to cast aspersions on anyone’s motives or work ethic: fuck those guys. Here at Book Fight, we know your problems don’t take a holiday, so our solutions don’t, either.

On this week’s episode, we tackle questions about cover letters, stilted dialogue, and what to do if you don’t like your friend’s book. Plus: Tom shares a story about getting assaulted in his sleep with a sack full of doorknobs. Continue reading