Episode 125: Our Flag Means Death

Our Flag Means Death: alt-history fanfic rom-com for pirates! 

Andi and Lise really, really enjoyed the immensely popular first season of the HBO Max series Our Flag Means Death, which is a delightful take on the story of “Gentleman Pirate” Stede Bonnet and the legendary Blackbeard. Includes a slow-burn M/M romance, a nonbinary character (and romance!), wonderful dialogue, excellent storytelling, diverse characters. Includes great seafaring scenes, laughs, and interesting underlying messages about identity and the choices we make. Unfortunately, HBO Max has not announced plans for a second season. Andi and Lise find that…troublesome. Regardless, watch this season while you can! 

Trailer HERE

More info HERE

Smithsonian article about Stede Bonnet HERE

Shout-outs: Lise started watching another HBO Max series, Minx, set in 1970s Los Angeles in which a young white feminist teams up with a publisher to create the first erotic magazine for women. Lise finds the main character’s evolution as a feminist a key part of the series, as the character has certain views that are challenged by reality. Meanwhile, Andi has started some seedlings for her vegetable planters and she’s excited about that. Yay, gardening! 

Find us on Twitter @LGOPodcast; @andimarquette; @LiseMactague. Please like and subscribe! It helps! 

Episode 124: A Conversation with Karin Kallmaker

Andi and Lise are super-stoked to have the Queen of Lesbian Romance, Karin Kallmaker, on the show to talk about the evolution and history of F/F fiction, how it’s crossing over into “mainstream” publishing and what that means for representation, for publishing, and the F/F publishing industry that’s been here all along. Karin is a multiple award-winning author who published her first novel in 1989 and has been going strong ever since. She has also worked as an editor in the lesfic publishing industry, so she’s been on both sides of the publishing fence. 

Find Karin on Twitter: @kallmaker 

And at her website: kallmaker.com 

Shout-outs: Lise started watching Our Flag Means Death on HBO Max and says it’s a fab rom-com in pirate days with all kinds of rep and go watch it right away. Karin just got Sara Paretsky’s latest release in the detective V.I. Warchawski novels, Dead Land, and she’s looking forward to reading that. She also recommends the movie The Lost City, lots of belly laughs. Andi has started the gardening thing and has some tomato seedlings. Plus, she’s making candles. 

Episode 123: Black Widow

Andi and Lise discuss the 2021 Marvel blockbuster film Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff and Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Natasha’s sister. One of the overarching themes that Andi and Lise really enjoyed is the exploration of family – what it is, what makes it, and how it can create an infrastructure in your life whether you want it to or not. We love superhero movies fronted by women (passes the Bechdel test!) and we love them more when they explore the complicated nature of family dynamics. Great pacing and special effects, great interactions between characters. 

Black Widow trailer 

Shout-outs: Lise is watching Lost in Space on Netflix and enjoying the family situations going on there. Andi has started watching Star Trek: Discovery and realizes that yes it is a great show. 

Find us on Twitter: @LGOpodcast; @andimarquette; @LiseMactague 

And our website: lezgeekoutcast.com 

Please like and subscribe! It helps spread the word and share the love. Thanks! 

Episode 122: All Systems Red, Book 1 of The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Andi and Lise are finally talking about the first novella, All Systems Red, in The Murderbot Diaries series by multi-award winning author Martha Wells. Told from the point-of-view of Murderbot, an autonomous security droid who has liberated themself from the control of the overarching corporate company that manufactured them, Murderbot now goes on their assignments trying to fly under the radar and keep from being discovered as autonomous. Their latest assignment is a research team on a planet on which other research teams are being wiped out. Superb world-building, excellent characterization, and wrestling with big themes about autonomy and AI, this is a must-read. 

Martha Wells’ website HERE

Info about “All Systems Red” HERE

Shout-outs: Lise watched the movie Turning Red, a Pixar offering available on Disney Plus. Set in Toronto’s Chinatown in 2002, the movie follows main character Mei Lee, a geeky 13-year-old Chinese Canadian girl who is dealing with all the issues that come with that age in addition to a family blessing/curse in which Mei Lee turns into a large red panda when she experiences intense emotions. Andi is working to broaden her mystery-reading to include more diverse authors and also shout-outs the NBC series (also streaming on Hulu) The Endgame, in which a Black female FBI agent faces off against an Eastern European female international arms dealer. 

Find LGO on Twitter (@LGOPodcast) and their website. You can find the hosts on Twitter, too! @LiseMactague and @andimarquette. Please like and subscribe and review! Help other geeks find us

Episode 121: Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Does it Hold up?

Andi and Lise unpack the 2005 spy/assassin romance movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and determine that it holds up in some ways but not in others, particularly with regard to gender roles. But on sheer character chemistry, Jolie and Pitt are an excellent action duo. 

Original movie trailer HERE

IMDB info HERE

Shout-outs: Lise has been playing a lot of Mario Kart, and finds it’s an excellent mindless escape from…well, everything. Andi has been watching The Gilded Age on HBO Max, and notes that things really haven’t changed all the much in terms of the American racialized caste system, but following the individual characters navigating social and economic change is interesting. 

Episode 120: Romance and Lesfic

Romance, Representation, and Publishing 

Andi and Lise discuss what’s known as the lesbian fiction publishing industry (as distinguished from “mainstream” publishers that publish LGBTQ+ fiction) and the role of books that feature romance as a main plot in the industry. They unpack the scarcity of genre fiction in lesbian fiction that isn’t romance-driven (but may include romance as a subplot) and discuss the pros and cons of being defined by a particular genre. They’re excited to see more books that include asexual, trans, and non-binary characters in romance, but they’d like to see more characters like that in genre fiction that may or may not have a romantic sub-plot. 

Links of interest: 

About Naiad Press 

Obituary/bio of Barbara Grier, one of the founders of Naiad 

Lise MacTague’s list of publications 

Andi Marquette’s list of publications 

A small list of lesbian fiction publishing houses: Bold Strokes Books, Bella Books, Bedazzled Ink Publishing, Bywater Books, Dirt Road Books, Flashpoint Publications, Launch Point Press, Sapphire Books Publishing, Ylva Publishing 

Shout-outs: Lise got an electric bike for her birthday, and she’s super-stoked about how it makes riding uphill so much easier! Highly recommend! Andi just finished the first in Tasha Suri’s Burning Kingdoms series, The Jasmine Throne, which features two female protagonists thrown together in extremely difficult circumstances. Gorgeously written, political intrigue, excellent world-building, and F/F rep.

Episode 119: Only Murders in the Building

Andi and Lise talk about Season 1 of the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building, about three different people living in one Manhattan apartment building who get drawn together as a result of a murder in the building. The three begin looking into the murder and launch a podcast. OMITB is a comedy-drama that pokes fun at true crime podcasts and podcasters, but also explores human connection. Lise and Andi HIGHLY recommend! 

Season 1 trailer 

Find out more at Hulu 

Shout-outs: Lise’s birthday is coming up and she’s preparing for that! Andi is watching The Book of Boba Fett on Disney Plus, part of the Star Wars ’verse, and is having a good time with it.  

Episode 118: Looking forward to 2022

Andi and Lise were joined by book reviewer and fellow podcaster Tara Scott (she/they) to chat about things they’re all looking forward to in 2022 despite the continuing pooshow that is the world. 

Find Tara at The Lesbian ReviewSmart Bitches, Trashy Books, and Queerly Recommended. Also on Twitter, @taramdscott 

On the TV: 

Lise: animated series Legend of Vox Machina, Amazon Prime, based on “Critical Role,” a group of voice actors who have been playing D&D together for years. 

Tara: RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK Vs. the World (BBCThree) – a global spinoff. She’s also looking forward to RuPaul’s Drag Race in general (various platforms) and the show We’re Here (HBO), which follows 3 drag queens bringing luv to small-town America. 

Andi: Mandalorian season 3 (Disney Plus) and Only Murders in the Building (Hulu), season 2. 

Books: 

Tara: Count Your Lucky Stars (steamy F/F rom-com) by Alexandria Bellefleur and I Kissed Shara Wheeler (F/F) by Casey McQuiston. 

Lise: Rebecca Roanhorse, Fevered Sun (Book 2 in the Between Earth and Sky series); Naomi Novik’s third in the Scholomance series, The Golden Enclaves 

Andi: John Scalzi, Kaiju Preservation Society and Tochi Onyebuchi, Goliath; also Janelle Monáe’s The Memory Librarian, short speculative fiction featuring Black women writers and Black nonbinary writers and creators 

Games: 

Tara: Rune Factory 5 (Nintendo Switch) and Sea of Stars (Switch; other platforms) 

Lise: Starfield (Xbox) 

Andi: still learning Switch, plays puzzle/mystery games but looking for a FPS for noobs on the Switch 

Movies/TV: 

Tara: not feeling movies, but recommends Mythic Quest on AppleTV, a comedy show about a fictional video game studio working on the fictional game Mythic Quest 

Andi: Everything Everywhere All at Once, starring Michelle Yeoh as a woman who just wants to get her taxes paid but keeps getting sucked into the multiverse to save it. 

Episode 117: The Matrix: Does it Hold up?

Andi and Lise enthusiastically re-watched the sci fi dystopic action movie The Matrix (1999) to determine how well it holds up 21 years after its release. The movie became a sensation (still is) and they’ll tell you why it still holds up in most ways and things they noticed with their 2022 perceptions (as opposed to their 1999 perceptions) that they thought were problematic. 

Matrix trailer 

Lilly Wachowski on BBC, 2020 

Vox piece on how The Matrix universalized a trans experience 

Shout-outs: Lise got a Nintendo Switch for Christmas and has been enjoying it immensely. Andi has been getting back into DIY stuff and discovered HGTV’s Home Town, where there’s a lot of community revitalization and restoration of historic homes going on in Laurel, Mississippi. 

Link to the planner Lise and Andi talked about. 

Episode 116: Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Book 1 in the Ghost  Roads trilogy 

Andi and Lise rave about this tale of paranormal urban legend with backstory and personality, in which author Seanan McGuire world-builds a context for the folklore around the hitch-hiking prom ghost/girl in the diner ghost. Here, the ghost tells her own story in a non-linear narrative: how she died, the type of ghost she is, and “living” on the ghost roads, the world of the dead, haunted by a variety of spirits. One of which is the man who killed her. Tapping into the myth and legend of U.S. road culture, McGuire provides a beautifully written gripping story about Rose Marshall, the subject of urban and road paranormal legend. Even the dead have things to fear. 

Seanan McGuire’s website 

Sparrow Hill Road 

Shout-outs: Lise really enjoyed the first season of Only Murders in the Building, available on Hulu. Here, New York Upper West Side neighbors bond over a shared love of true crime, and set out to solve the mystery of a resident’s death in the same building. Andi watched the Lifetime premiere of the F/F holiday film Under the Christmas Tree, and really enjoyed its fluffy goodness (a queer holiday film where there’s no angst over being queer!). 

Find LGO on Twitter: @LGOPodcast 

And at our website

Happy (and safe) holidays! 

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