Ink & Quill
Ink and Quill is a podcast that discusses works of fiction from various authors. Your hosts Fizz and Dr. Hot-Fizz will delve into various plots, subtexts, and uses of language within the text as well as personal opinion about the author and their work. To join the Ink and Quill fan community, visit http://spookylogistics.com.
InQ Episode 84: “MaddAddam trilogy”

In her latest trilogy, Margaret Atwood describes an eerie post-apocalyptic world in which most of the human race has been destroyed by a “waterless flood” aka an engineer plague.

All that is left are a few Gardeners (a cult-like group who refuse to eat meat and live according to nature), the Crakers (an engineered race created by Crake to be a perfect humanoid civilization) and a few mixed animals (the most important being the pigoons, pigs equipped with human brain tissue)

Will humanity survive? And if yes, how?

The story is told from various perspectives (from Jimmy to Ren, to Toby, to Zeb, and finally to Bluebeard) and move back and forth between the present (year 25, post-apocalypse) and the past (how and why the plague came to be? who were Oryx and Crake? who is Adam one? was there an Eve One? what happened to the world?)

A very good tale of despair and hope, of civilization (re)created, of what it means to live in a deprived world run by the CorpSeCorps, of love and friendship, and of blue abdomens…  :D

Direct download: inq_ep84.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:29pm EST

InQ Episode 83: "The New York Trilogy"

If you think you are embarking in a simple detective story, think again! The New York trilogy will take you deeper and further than any other “noir” novel you have read thus far. Composed of three stand alone novellas, the reader soon realizes they all share common threads, if not common characters.

Touching on broad themes like identity, narrative creation, what constitutes a writer, solitude, obsession, the blurred lined between fiction and reality, and between sanity and insanity, The New York trilogy cannot leave its reader indifferent. Purposefully written to provide a mirror for its reader, the New York trilogy cannot but leave the reader pondering, shaken and forever altered.

Brilliant, it is not however to be put in everyone’s hands. A reader with some knowledge of narratology, meta-fiction, deconstruction and post-modernity may be better equipped to swim in the dark and muddy waters of Paul Auster’s fascinating creation.

Direct download: inq_ep83.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:08pm EST

InQ Episode 82: "Under the Dome"

One day out of the blue, a dome comes down, creating a perfect circle around your town. Where does it come from? No idea! Who put it there? Dunno! And why? Well wouldn’t you like to know?

The people of Chester’s Mill will have to learn to live with each other and the daunting thought that maybe the dome will never lift. As the townspeople spend more and more time together, secrets start to come out… and they are not all pretty, to say the least…

Mixing supernatural, mystery, science and behavioral psychology, Stephen King has done it again, creating another highly enjoyable novel with a tremendous ending. Careful though, this book is quite long!

In this episode we are talking both about the book and the new TV series. :D

Direct download: inq_ep82.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:53pm EST

InQ Episode 81: "Doctor Sleep"

Who has not wondered what happened to Danny, the cute little boy locked in a battle of wits with a haunted hotel in the middle of the winter? Who has not pondered whether the negative energy trapped in the Overlook was still present, despite the boiler’s explosion and the hotel being burned to the ground? Doctor Sleep revisits the character of Danny. Now grown, he is ready to help Abra, a little girl whose psychic powers have attracted a band of “steam vampires” who want nothing more than harvest and inhale her powers in order to survive.

In pure Stephen King fashion, the story creeps up to its final showdown when the three main factions, Dan, Abra and the True, will fight to the death. It’s suspenseful, creepy, funny at times and dark at others but all in all, you just can’t put it down.  What more can I say? The name Stephen King says it all!

Direct download: inq_ep81.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:13pm EST

InQ Episode 80: “Femme Fatale. Love, Lies and the Unknown Life of Mata Hari”

What do we remember of Mata Hari?

A dancer? Yes. A spy? Yes, that too. But what else?

In this fast-pace biography, Pat Shipman provides a fascinating account of how Margaretha Zelle MacLeod, Dutch citizen, became Mata Hari, and how this led her to be executed at the end of World War One.

Was Mata Hari a likable character, a gorgeous woman victim of her circumstances? Or was she a vile manipulator, eager and able to use men to retrieve her only means of sustenance: money? Was she by far the most intelligent women of her time, or an mere opportunist?

For anyone who is not familiar with Mata Hari, this is a very good start and will give the reader a pretty good idea who she was, what she was all about, and why she is still remembered today, for better or for worse.

Direct download: inq_ep80.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30pm EST

InQ Episode 79: "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World"

In this great depiction of the lives and conquests of the Mongols throughout history, Jack Weatherford sheds light on an historical character that has been given a lot of bad press,

Ranging from before Genghis Khan’s birth to the end of the Mongol empire long after his death, the author portrays the culture and ideals of a people united under one ruler, one goal.

The reader will be taken back in time and into a world not that different from our own, and that the Mongols’ actions have helped shape.

Direct download: inq_ep79.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:46pm EST

InQ Episode 78: "Transmetropolitan"

In this futuristic series of 10 volumes set in “The City,” Spider Jerusalem, rogue journalist and truth seeker is out to get the politicians, and to expose them for who they are. In the decadent world they live in, Spider and his “filthy assistants” will stop at nothing, sex, drugs or videos to dig up the truth and expose the lies.

Very cyber punk, graphic in both senses of the word, this series is not for everyone. You like a foul-mouthed character with a habit of beating up his opponents to get the truth out of them, Transmetropolitan is for you! If you have more of a sensitive stomach, you might want to skip a few pages.

All in all an interesting take on the world toward which we are heading. A world of endless stimuli, endless commercials, extremely corrupt and evil politicians, self-indulgence in the form of medical conveniences, and drugs drugs drugs!!

Direct download: inq_ep78.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:31pm EST

InQ Episode 77: "Fables"

Have you been wondering what happened to Snow White and if she is still happily married to her Prince Charming? And what about that Big Bad Wolf that ate poor Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, where did he disappear? Cinderella? The three blind mice? King Cole?

Rest assured, they are all alive and well… in Fabletown, a hidden area of New York City. But that is only for those who can pass for humans (aka Mundy). The others are kept in upstate New York in The Farm run by Snow White’s sister, Rose Red.

What are they doing there you ask? They have been kicked out of their homeland by the “Adversary.” And when you find out who that it, it will knock your socks off! Now is the time to confront said adversary, and to go home.

In this episode we review the whole series. Yup, all 18 books! :D

Direct download: inq_ep77.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:07pm EST

InQ Episode 76: "Paris: The Novel"

This is Paris through the eyes of five families: the aristocrats, the “low-life”, the Jews, the workers and the merchants. Five different perspectives from the Middle-Ages to 1968, five ways to look at Paris, to be in Paris, to make Paris what it is today.  The novel shows the relationship between people and the city; how a city has an effect on its people, and how the people and their beliefs shape a city.

This is a fast read (despite its 800-something pages) and a very interesting look at the main events in French history that have left their mark on Paris.

Direct download: inq_ep76.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:01pm EST

InQ Episode 75: "Manhattan Transfer"

This is not your typical book about New York. This one is all about impressions, about slices of life, about what a city does to you and how you can influence a city.

Manhattan Transfer is a wonder of literary mastery. Its shadowy characters evolve in a New York that evolves with them. A tremendous novel that takes you deep in the heart of a large metropolis. A pure jewel.

Direct download: inq_ep75.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:14pm EST

InQ Episode 74: "Red Mars"

When you are the first 100 people on Mars, there are a few things that need to happen. First, you need to get along. That’s a given (but not as easy as it looks..). You also have to have an infrastructure that allows you to breath, travel, explore, and, maybe just live. Also not that easy.. Especially when you have factions on Earth trying to dictate how THEY want Mars to be, factions on Mars trying to replicate Earth, those who want Mars to remain the same, untouched and those who are simply trying to do their job! Not an easy combination.

Winner of the Hugo and the Nebula Award, Kim Stanley Robinson has created a very believable Martian colonization scenario from all perspective. Written in the third narrative but allowing every major player (and every major field of study) to have its own chapter, the author manages to present to his reader the various discoveries, joys, disappointments and road blocks that such a set of scientist (soon followed by various waves of immigration) deals with when faced with such a fascinating yet daunting endeavor.

Kim Stanley Robinson puts the science back in science fiction.

For all you dreamers out there, lets’ go to Mars!

Direct download: inq_ep74.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:53pm EST

InQ Episode 73: "The Martian Chronicles"

A Classic of science-fiction, The Martian Chronicles are a gathering of little stories told from many perspectives, from the Martians witnessing the coming of large rockets from the sky, to the Earth people (scientists, families, or individuals) settling on a new planet with all the changes and adaptation (or lack thereof) that the move implies.

Each little story is a slice of life, a character study, an individual thrown in a situation to observe his or her behavior. More than a simple work of science-fiction, The Martian Chronicles are an observation on Mankind, their attitude, their behavior, their mentality. Dealing greatly with the themes of the Other (inside as much as outside), this novel is a wonderful peek at what humanity can do when it is at its best and at its worth.

Direct download: inq_ep73.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:22pm EST

InQ Episode 72: "Hunger"

In this first person narration, the main character, whose name the reader never gets to discover, struggles with hunger.

As his stomach remains empty, his head fills with delusions, inner monologues and streams of consciousness that lead the reader to wonder whether or not the narrator is sane. The question remains as to whether the hunger is the cause or the consequence of the narrator’s delusional state.

Focusing mainly on social interactions and personal dilemmas, Hunger is a psychological novel in the same vein as Dostoevsky’s The Double, albeit not as dark..

A must-read for anyone interested in the inner mechanisms of the human mind :)

Direct download: inq_ep72.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:57pm EST

InQ Episode 71: "Blindness"

The whole town is suddenly blind! No reason, no cause, but it is contagious. And it is spreading…fast!

The military takes matters into its own hands and in order to confine the epidemic, sends the affected into a secluded ward. Lost, only able to rely on themselves and each other, this is the story of a struggle.

Will they be able to retain their dignity when faced with adversity? When push comes to shove, will they allow themselves to do the unthinkable to help themselves and each other?

The story follows seven principal protagonists of both sexes, of various ages and from different social backgrounds. Helped in their misery by the only person who has miraculously retained her eyesight, will those seven people survive the horrors that mankind is capable of causing?

A heart-wrenching tale that will entice the reader and allow him/her to experience many and at times contradictory emotions. A fantastic work of literature by Jose Saramago, Nobel Prize winner for Literature.

Direct download: inq_ep71.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:51pm EST

InQ Episode 70: "A Discovery of Witches"

All her life, Diana has stuck her fingers way deep into her ears, refusing to accept that she is a witch, and a powerful one of those. But the situation has changed. The discovery of a thought to be lost book is raising interest. On the one hand, there is Peter Knox, a powerful wizard that belongs to one of the oldest group of “peace-keepers” across species, who would love nothing more than to put his hands on the book. And on the other hand, Matthew de Clairmont, the vampire, whose charms Diana can’t resist… But what is it exactly that Matthew wants?

As the plot thickens and mystery unveils more mysteries, Diana may be forced to start using her powers if she wishes not only to find out what happened to her parents and what secrets Ashmore 782 holds, but also and simply, to stay alive.

Visit the show website!

Direct download: inq_ep70.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:59pm EST

InQ Episode 69: "The Night Circus"

In her first novel, Erin Morgenstern takes her reader to a magical place; a circus only opened at night. There the spectator encounters tents after tents of unimaginable goodies, spectacles of light, mirror effects, illusionists, kitten shows and everything that makes a circus what a circus is.

However, the circus is there for a darker purpose; Celia and Marco are to battle each other to the last person standing. Who will win? That is the question. But they are nothing but puppets in the hand of sinister beings who challenge each other using young unaware pupils. Why? This is what we venture to find out, along with the outcome of the challenge.

This is a fun first novel, different and interesting. Set in 19th century, the “reveurs” among us will appreciate being thrown in a world where imagination stands at the center.

Visit the show website!

Direct download: inq_ep69.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:40pm EST

InQ Episode 68: "The Sandman"

In this episode we discuss Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series. The WHOLE series. That’s right, the 10 episodes!

Set against the background of Dream’s abduction from the Dream World of which he is the King, the story of the Sandman mixes folklore with fantasy, reverie with reality, dilemmas with decisions.  A very ambitious work that touches on a lot of various themes, the Sandman series will entice anyone interested in reading a graphic novel with a message. Change or not change, that is the question that Dream (aka Morpheus) will be forced to ponder over the course of 10 volumes once he finally escapes his prison and his world has been shattered by his very absence. After 70 years of imprison0ment, both the Dream World and the Waking World are in dire need of his presence.

Be ready to meet the Endless (Dream’s brothers and sisters), the Fates, the vortex, personified nightmares like the Corinthian,  Rose Walker, Loki, Abel and Cain, Matthew the raven, Lucien the librarian, Mervyn of the pumpkin head,  and many others.

Visit the show website!

Direct download: inq_ep68.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:35pm EST

InQ Episode 67: "Walt Disney"

This is the story of how the man became the legend. The author follows the various circumstances, good and bad, that have allowed Walt Disney to become the icon we all know him to have become. From his early years in Kansas to the triumph of Snow White to the war all the way to the creation of the first entertainment park of that magnitude, the author leaves no stone unturned.

Discover the real Walt Disney, find out the trials and tribulations he had to go through, both professionally and personally, to reach that level of greatness.

A long yet very interesting book dedicated to a brilliant man.

Visit the show website!

Direct download: inq_ep67.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:26pm EST

InQ Episode 66: "Joseph Anton: A Memoir"

You are an author, minding your own business. One fine day you decide to write a book about the birth of a religion and you pick the one you know the most: Islam. From one day to the next the whole Muslim world is after you, willing and ready to kill you.

This is what happened to Salman Rushdie after the publication of his famous Satanic Verses in 1989.

Joseph Anton, a memoir is his recollection, under the pseudonym Joseph Anton, of nine years of nightmare, nine years of fear, nine years of wondering when this will all end. It’s the story of a man dealing with forces much bigger than him. It’s the story of a man dealing with every day life knowing a death threat is on him. It’s the story of a man dealing with other people, trying to live life as a normal human being. Most importantly, it’s a tale about freedom of speech.

It does help to have read The Satanic Verses beforehand but even without, Joseph Anton, a memoir is an amazing recollection of an important piece of history from the point of view of the main protagonist. And it’s written with the extraordinarily elegant prose of Salman Rushdie, a very big plus :)

Visit the show website!

Direct download: inq_ep66.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:08pm EST