Transcript: Making Queer Hearts Happy (QR008)

March 30, 2021

Listen to this week’s episode!

Tara 0:20
Hey, everyone, welcome to Queerly Recommended, I am Tara Scott and with me as always is Kris Bryant.

Kris 0:26
Woo! Can you believe we’re at episode eight already?

Tara 0:30
I know. Look at us go. So before we do anything else, we just want to give a real quick shout out to LisaM, who sent us a Ko-fi contribution. And first of all, of course, obviously, thank you, Lisa, so much we so appreciate it. You know, it really helps to go to pay for some of the costs for this. And we’re just thrilled.

The message was so sweet and really touched us since we just wanted to share it, which is actually up on the Ko-fi page if anybody wants to see it. And it says, “Just wanted to show my appreciation, not just for the pod, but for your other pursuits too. Tara’s amazing book reviews led me to so many great authors, including the marvelous Ms. Kris Bryant, thank you for making queer hearts happy.” And you know, I just like- Thank you, Lisa, we’re so glad that you’re enjoying the podcast, because that’s really kind of what this is all about. We do want to make queer hearts happy. And we want to connect people with their next great piece of queer media.

Kris 1:24
Definitely. Thank you very, very much. So this week, we have a listener question from another Lisa, or at least we’re pretty sure it’s a different Lisa, than who we just talked about. She says, “Hi there. love your show and your work. You have such great chemistry together. My question relates to authors with books on Kindle Unlimited. Does it benefit the author financially if I read their book on Kindle unlimited first, and then also purchase the book? Or does Amazon not pay them for the Kindle Unlimited read if the book is then purchased by the same account? I want to support authors in any little way I can. But I want to make sure I’m going about it correctly.”

Tara 2:00
So, Kris and actually had no idea what the answer to this particular question. And so I turned to a couple of the indie authors that I know who have experience with Amazon systems. So you know what, Lisa, thank you for the question. We got some great answers from a couple of authors. Milena McKay shared this, she said, “For an indie author who only has their books on Amazon reading their book on Kindle Unlimited first provides royalties per every page read. Then on top of that, if the reader ends up purchasing the book, the author gets their usual 70% cut if the book is above $2.99. So yes, if you do Kindle Unlimited first, then outright purchase it the author will get more royalties. But if you have to choose buying out right will provide more than Kindle Unlimited”.

And Caitlyn Ryan added, “Yep, what Milena said The only caveat is that for particularly long books or really cheap books, authors will get more from Kindle Unlimited. So there you go.

Kris 2:55
Now I know.

Tara 2:55
The one thing that I would add, actually, is that for books on Kindle Unlimited, usually, they are indie authors. But in some cases, publishers are actually putting them on there. And if you purchase a book directly from the publisher, that is the way that will get the most money directly to the author.

Kris 3:13
True, true.

Tara 3:14
So if you have an option roll with that one,

Kris 3:17
We had another listener question came in from Tiff who wants to know, “Why have we not yet talked about the movie The World to Come? It is hands down the best screenplay and epic lesbian love story I’ve ever experienced. My wife and I were super lucky to see it in the theaters on its opening night all alone. I’m super excited to hear what you and Kris have to say about this film.”

So it kind of takes place- I went to read the synopsis of it and see what the movie was all about because I love movies and I will basically watch everything and anything. And this was kind of the similar timeframe as Ammonite, which I talked about several episodes ago. It’s mid 1800s. And so I’m sure at one point, I will watch it, but I kind of wanted to to watch more modern things. And then I’ll go back to to the mid 1800s, where sometimes, you know, things don’t always turn out the way we want them to.

Tara 4:08
Yes. I mean, I feel like the short answer to Tiff’s question is just that, like, we haven’t seen the movie. And in my case, I mean, I think I can’t remember if it was episode or another one. I said, “You know, I actually really rarely watch queer films, because I’m so afraid that one or both of them is going to die or be institutionalized”. Like there’s just some kind of a punishment so frequently-

Kris 4:30

Tara 4:30
-that I just don’t have that trust. And, you know, I want to know, and so here’s kind of a cool thing. I also mentioned at the same time that we need a website that’s like, Does The Dog Die, but for queer top content, and guess what? Kris, guess what?

Kris 4:46
Tell me

Tara 4:46
I gots, I gots good news.

The amazing people at Does The Dog Die, they already have a filter for this on their website. So I think we should go look up The World To Come and see what it says because i’m personally not watching this movie unless i know what it’s about. What do you think?

Kris 5:06
Let’s look. Let’s go look, let’s go look at it.

Tara 5:08
I’m just going to say as a word of warning” no matter what happens this is going to be a spoiler because we’re looking-

Kris 5:14
So plug your ears or-

Tara 5:16
Yeah if you’re upset about spoilers, you might want to skip ahead a little bit and also just you know we’re gonna put the link in the show notes so that you can also get there easily if you’re a big old baby like me and you want to know before committing to watching something where- that has queer people in it. So Does The Dog Die, The World To Come, oh where’d it go, there you go. The funny thing is for people don’t know I had already- I had planned to have the link open and then we went and we looked up Ammonite-

Kris 5:46
Because i wanted to find out what people thought of the ending, because if they thought it was a bad ending or a sad ending. And so we had to go look to see how people interpreted the movie.

Tara 5:57
And the funny thing is they also agreed it was ambiguous.

Kris 6:00

Tara 6:00
Two people said it had an unhappy ending and one person said it had a happy ending.

Kris 6:05
Right, so it really was… that’s what i’m saying it’s one of those movies where if you want it to be happy it can be happy and if you don’t want it to be happy which who the hell doesn’t want that to be happy, you know, then they’re just- they just you know i’m sure a lot of people just want the you know the true fairytale ending and we know that wasn’t really the case back in the 1800s So okay go ahead whatcha find out, let’s see.

Tara 6:28
So for The World To Come, it starts off by telling us that there is a dead animal but a dog does not died. It’s not a dog, this is great news. Does an animal die? That’s oh I suppose there is a difference between is there a dead animal and does an animal die?

Kris 6:43
Oh yeah.

Tara 6:45
A hawk a pig and some chickens. Well, I’m guessing most of them

Sounds like-

They gotta eat, right?

Kris 6:52
Right that’s what I was thinking.

Tara 6:55
No dogfighting, no horses dying-

Kris 6:57
No spiders!

Tara 6:58
No spiders no bugs, a dragon does not die. There’s a filter for whether dragons die? Does someone abuse alcohol, yes apparently.

Kris 7:12
Is there cannibalism?

Tara 7:14
There’s no cannibalism. Good news. No torture, amazing. Okay this is taking too long, does a kid, oh- Oh a kid does die.

Kris 7:23
And somebody cheats.

Tara 7:24
And somebody cheats. Okay, oh does someone fart or spit.

Kris 7:31
Is it over the top? We don’t know all of it but-

Tara 7:35
I feel like, I know that these were not put there specifically about queer people but I really bet that these show up a lot of them: is there a mental institu- is there a mental institution.

Kris 7:43
Right, you’re right. Especially during this time.

Tara 7:45
Right, Is electrotherapy used? No, but also was definitely used very heavily with queer people in the mid 20th century- this is taking a long time i’m going to search on the page lgbtq does an lgbt person die? Yes.


But is there sexual content? Yes

Kris 8:05
Yes, so you know.

Tara 8:07
So Kris I think this means that you need to watch it and report back-

Kris 8:12
I will, I will do that. I will watch it and I will report back in a future episode

Tara 8:18
You know what I kind of love about this, is it says here “Are there incestuous relationships?” First of all the answer is no, but second of all they include a national sexual assault hotline there.

Kris 8:27
A phone number, that’s perfect

Tara 8:30
All right, so there you have it everybody.

Kris 8:32

Tara 8:33
You too can know if you are a big baby like me.

Kris 8:39
So we can check it out. It’s actually kind of cool i’ll use it in the future because there have been some movies that i’m just like, “Are you kidding me?” Because when I watched it, you know, I spent two hours of my night just to watch something and it turns out to be bad horrible ending. So, this is good to know. I’m gonna save this, I’m gonna dog eye this website.

Oh my God, that’s terrible! Your joke is bad and you should feel bad.

I know. I don’t feel bad because I never use puns because I hate them that much. This is true about me. Okay so, listen up. So since the last episode it’s been a really big week for queer fiction because the Lammy Nominees were released as well as the Foreword Indies Finalists were announced.

Tara 9:21
That is so true and I was so excited. There was some really exciting things on both and I just think that maybe I don’t I don’t want to say that I’m like clairvoyant but clearly my taste is very very good

Kris 9:37
100% you deserve the credit.

Tara 9:40
Thank you

Kris 9:40
Because why? Let’s tell everybody why.

Tara 9:43
Some of my favorite books, books that I in fact have talked about on this very show are nominated. The first of which, the best book i read in the last decade, The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya nominated for a Lammy for trans fiction.

Kris 9:57
Fantastic, I’m gonna applaud because i think it’s gonna win.

Tara 10:00
Yes, let’s give her a round of applause for sure. Vivek Shraya you are winning- I hope you win this.

Kris 10:05
Yes, I do, too. It was a great book.

Tara 10:07
No offense to the to the others. Right?

Kris 10:08
Right, exactly.

Tara 10:10
The next one, another round of applause for You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson, which is nominated for a Lammy for young adult fiction. It was so good. I know I said this in a previous episode, but it was just such a wonderful book. I’m so happy for her. This is a debut novel, like just incredible.

Kris 10:27

Tara 10:28
And there was a really really strong slate of books for lesbian romance.

Kris 10:33

Tara 10:33
Some books that I really loved in the last year, specifically the ones that were my favorites were Wrong Number, Right Woman by Jae which again, we talked about in our first full episode. Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur, which is just a lovely, wonderful rom- opposites attract romance between a an astronomer- No! Astrology, astrologer? Astrology? What’s an astrology person?

Kris 10:55
Astrologer, astrologist? See, stop! What have you done to my brain?

Tara 11:06
We usually record these on like a Sunday morning and this time we’re doing it on a Monday night on a work day and I got nothing left.

Kris 11:14

Tara 11:16
Astrologer and an actuary. And-

Kris 11:19
Oh wow.

Tara 11:21
Totally opposite attract. There’s a fake relationship element. Really, really lovely. And then the third one that I loved was Nottingham by Anna Burke.

Kris 11:29
Yes. Nottingham. Right. Yes. excited. I’m excited too because my sister Ali Vali is up for Lammy which is fantastic. Because we all know Ali Vali. And this is for romance. It’s not even for the King Casey series. So I mean, which which has really like, made Ali Vali this incredible, uou know, kind of like a mobster type writer of a-


– series, you know, and so, and then all of a sudden, like a romance comes out. It’s really good at romance. And so I’m excited about that. And Clare Ashton’s book, so I’m the- heavy hitters great books.

Tara 12:07
Yeah Clare is a wonderful writer.

Kris 12:10
I’m super excited to find, you know, to see who wins. I mean, we should have a five way tie.

Tara 12:15
I have to admit, there have been years in the past where I’ve looked at the Lammy nominees for lesbian romances, and I’ve kind of been like, what? Because they’re just some books that I’ve like, literally, I’ve never heard of and they eend up on the list. I’m like, “Okay, fair enough”. I mean, I don’t know what the process is like. But this year, I saw that whole slate and I was like,

Kris 12:32

Tara 12:33
That’s pretty good.

Kris 12:34
Yeah, that’s true.

Tara 12:35
That makes sense. And so in Foreword Indies, Nottingham also got nominated again, in the LGBTQ category, alongside, who is it? Drumroll please.

Kris 12:46
Oh. Drumroll.

Tara 12:47
Lucky by you. Kris Bryant! Congratulations. How does it feel?

Kris 12:53
It feels really good. It was funny, I was joking. Somebody had sent me a text and said, “Hey, congratulations”. And I’m like, “What far?” Because I didn’t know that things were being announced. And so my friend told me “Yeah, you know, you’re a finalist”. I’m like, woohoo. And I’m like, “What book?” “Lucky, the book that like two people read.”

Tara 13:14
Those two people loved it a lot.

Kris 13:15
They loved it. They said good things. And that’s the important thing. So-

Tara 13:21
Are there any others that have you excited about the Foreword Indies?

Kris 13:22
Yes. So here’s the deal. So the amazing thing is that BSB has a couple of other writers but that have our finalists. But here’s what’s so exciting is that both Elle Spencer and Julie Tizard are in romance, the category romance, not even LGBTQ romance, just romance.

Tara 13:24
So good.

Kris 13:38
It’s like It’s like, it’s just crazy. It’s so good. I’m so happy for them. And Julie’s also an LGBTQ as well. So but I mean, kudos to them for like, getting out of LGBT and going straight to romance.

Tara 14:00
It just feels like such tremendous progress.

Kris 14:03
No, we’re like knocking down ceilings, and you know, we’re taking over, we’re not really taking over, but

Tara 14:09
It’s, well, not yet.

Kris 14:11
Not yet. But still, it’s it’s amazing. I am so excited. So I’m excited to see how that plays out. You know, because it’s- I mean, I remember when LGBTQ books had their own section and like Barnes and Noble had that tiny little, you know, however like three shelf series, and they had LGBTQ section. Yeah, it was like on the third storey of Barnes and Nobles hitting the back next to like, art history or like mechanics

Tara 14:37
And cooking.

Kris 14:39
Cooking for over 80 years old. Yeah, super easy. And then, like, or quilting it was like super far away from like, normal stuff, you know, so and it was so funny because I was I always go to Barnes and Noble and I’d like to, oh, look, here’s cooking, you know, for grandma. And then I like to sneak over to the LGBT section and look, and then I come back over and so I remember that time. And then so then it all like, I don’t know, like five years ago, maybe everything got integrated. So that was great. That was such a momentous moment for LGBTQ books. I thought. I was excited. Yes. So enough about that. Sorry.

Tara 15:15

Kris 15:16
Take it away.

Tara 15:16
I think this is a good thing to celebrate. Like, yeah, we’ve been hoping for years that you know, FF or WLW, or lesbian romance or however you want to call it, but like romances that celebrate, and center relationships between two women, like we just been hoping that it would start to get invited to the table with the rest of romance. And it’s happening. It’s been happening, we’ve been seeing, you know, large publishers start to put out like large romance publishers start to put out FF romances, and now like actually having it validated in this kind of a way is amazing.

Kris 15:54
Right? And for two, two books to be finalists? Yeah. Awesome. I’m so proud. I’m so happy for them.

Tara 16:03
So Kris?


What have you been watching?

Kris 16:07
Well, I’ve been watching everything that I have been watching in the past, but I also started a new show on Netflix called The One.

Tara 16:15
What is it?

Kris 16:16
Okay, so here’s the synopsis. And then we’ll get into this. It’s kind of cool. Love and lies spiral when a DNA researcher helps discover a way to find the perfect partner, and creates a bold new matchmaking service. Like, what an amazing concept,

Tara 16:33
Is it, so it’s like a fiction show?

Kris 16:35
Yeah, it’s a fiction show. So? So it’s kind of like, what if there really was a DNA matchmaking service? And would you try to find your perfect match? Or would you not tempt fate and just stay in the relationship that you’re in? So you can think that you’re in the perfect relationship and everywhere you go, there’s advertisements for the service? Are you the one? Who’s your perfect match? And if of course, you’re going to be curious. I mean, who wouldn’t be curious. Yeah. And so, so the creator promises that, you know, “Why settle for like twos and threes, when you can be settling for a six?” You know, on a scale of one to 10, or whatever. But and that’s what the service does.

So you never know, if your search, if your your perfect match is going to be a man or a woman. You don’t know if they’re gonna live in the same town as you, they could live in a whole different country across the world. And so it’s really, it’s, it’s, I love the way that they do it. Like they anticipate anticipation of wondering if you are really with the right person or not.

Tara 17:37

Kris 17:37
Yeah, so I’m kind of like halfway through the series. And it’s interesting, because the people who do who are matched, you see their fireworks right away. And it could be like a subliminal message, like, “Okay, this person is your person”. And so maybe they’re feeling the love and the chemistry because of somebody telling them this, or is it really happening?

Tara 17:59
Mm hmm.

Kris 18:00
So they use DNA to match it. I think it’s kind of cool. I think the concept is great. And so like, there’s this couple on there that are they’re married. And they’re like, “Oh, no, we’re happy. We don’t need this. We don’t want the service”. I don’t want the husband’s like, “I don’t want the service. So we’re fine. I’m happy. I love you,” and have a great relationship. And they’re so loving. And secretly, she sends in his DNA, because she wants to know, like, who is his match?

So, yeah, so that whole thing plays out And I’m just like, “Oh my god!” So it’s just, yeah, it’s it was a, it’s a it’s I’m halfway through the season, maybe I think I’m halfway, I don’t know, maybe five episodes in, and there’s a darkness to it. And and it’s kind of weird, because this woman is. She’s like, the government kind of tries to shut her down. And she’s like, “Look, you don’t understand”, you know, because right now, the divorce rates are skyrocketing. People are finding their matches. So they’re divorcing, and they’re leaving their wives or husbands or whatever. And they’re getting into different relationships. And so she’s the owner of this, this the one service, she’s like, “Look, you know, there’s not going to be divorce. As soon as like, this whole thing gets a spike right now. But it’s all going to be you’re going to be matched up, people aren’t going to be getting divorces. You know, what people aren’t going to be coming from children aren’t going to be coming from broken homes”. And so the concept is interesting, because it’s like, do you use science for something like this? Or do you just use your heart?

Tara 19:24
That’s super interesting. See, with a title like that. I was like, this could be a Netflix reality show.

Kris 19:30
That’s true. It can I’m sure that there probably was something called The One or Are You the One? or some sort of matchmaking service? I almost feel like there is something like that, but, but I’m actually watching a fictitious series so-

Tara 19:43
Well, it sounds a lot better than Love is Blind was.

Kris 19:46
You know what? I watched that. I tell you, I watch everything. I’m not even

Tara 19:49
Oh, yeah.

Kris 19:50
I watch everything on TV.

Tara 19:52
I mean, we watched that too. That was like good pandemic viewing. We watched it right after we watched the Tiger King and-

Kris 20:00
Yes and the queer rep in this, there is queer rep.

Tara 20:03
Oh okay!

Kris 20:04
So a woman who like is- she’s a cop and she’s surprised because her match is a woman and she did not think it was going to be a woman and it’s interesting-

Tara 20:15
Is she open to it?

Kris 20:17
Yeah and she kind of sort of falls in love on through like video chatting and things like that because she lives in a different country so-

Tara 20:25
Oh okay.

Kris 20:27
So I dunno, i think it’s kind of cool I hope it doesn’t I mean it’s dark and this lady does some really bad things but you’re still kind of rooting for her you know maybe that’s just a bad maybe I have like blackness in my heart because in a way I kind of hope she doesn’t get caught doing what she did but at the same time i know that it’s wrong but I think that this is- I need for this to continue I need to see like what happens with everything and the people who do try this match service it’s kind of interesting

Tara 20:52
Yeah sounds super interesting yeah

Kris 20:53
Yeah, that’s what i’ve been doing all week, so Tara what about you? What have you been watching and reading?

Tara 20:59
So everybody I’m sure you’re dying to hear what’s going on with Hades but I haven’t been playing it lately. I’m not done. I’m not done ,but I picked up another friend…. another friend?

Kris 21:11
Good for you, sister. Good for you!

Tara 21:17
I picked up another game that one of my best friends from work told me about. He texted me, he was like “This is on sale. Get it for your Switch right now.” and I was like “Okay”. It’s called Children of Morta and it actually, the way you play is a little bit like Hades because you’re gonna die over and over and over again but it’s kind of that through dying you get to make your character stronger because as you’re out fighting in the dungeons you’re collecting this currency that you can use to upgrade your health, how hard you hit, all that kind of stuff. But what’s really interesting to me is the world in the characters because it’s set up so that there’s corruption down in the caves or something like that – it’s a fantasy game – but it’s a family that has to go and sort this out and so when you start you have two characters that you can choose to play as you go in. The one is the dad named John and he has a gigantic sword and a gigantic shield and then there’s the daughter Lydia who has a bow and arrow. And then you get the little brother Kevin and he has two knives and then you get another brother Mark, he kind of- he’s out doing something at some monastery or something but he comes back and he’s basically a monk that punches things really hard. And they have this interesting mechanic where like if you play one of them for too long they get basically too tired and so it’s intentionally set up to make you play all the different characters and as you level the different characters up they get bonuses not just for themselves to make themselves stronger but they’re like family wide bonuses.

Kris 22:55

Tara 22:56
Which i think is a really really cool game mechanic and I’ve never seen anything like that before, so if you have a Ninetendo Switch or whatever other console you can play Children of Morta on go and get it because it is so good and it’s so much fun. Actually it’s on Game Pass for the Xbox so if that’s a thing that any of you use. I tried it out there i was like, “But i don’t like playing the Xbox and bought it for my Switch.” Cuz i’m a baby. That’s gonna be the theme of this it’s out- you know what the episode title was probably gonna end up being called I’m a Baby because i’ve said it too many times.

Kris 23:28
I’m a baby.

Tara 23:29
I’m a baby, you know. And then in terms of what i’ve been reading i have been reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers and I have been hearing about this book for a long time. So i think it came out in 2014?

Kris 23:47
Oh wow.

Tara 23:48
Or something like that? And the thing that i always heard about it is it’s lovely it’s gentle it’s like Firefly but if you take away all of the grossness that Firefly had because of Joss Whedon you know like it’s weird fetishization of sex workers and Asian people and that kind of thing. Somewhere somebody is real mad at me because I just said that out loud, but here we are and you know it kind of is like that and so I am going to read the blurb for people and the thing that O kind of love is that at the top of the blurb it says the beloved debut novel that will restore your faith in humanity and you know what, that actually is true. It really does.

So: what it’s about. When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer she isn’t expecting much. The ship which has seen better days offers her everything she could possibly want, a small quiet spot to call home for a while adventure in far off corners of the galaxy in distance from a troubled past. But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with a Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities from Sissex the friendly reptilian pilot to Kizzy and Jenks the constantly sparring engineer to keep the ship running life on board is chaotic but more or less peaceful exactly what Rosemary wants until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years if they survive the long trip through war torn interstellar space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful. But Rosemary isn’t the only a person on board with secrets to hide and the crew will soon discover this space maybe fast, but spaceships are very small indeed. That last line of the blurb is so good! Oh i love that,

Kris 25:31
it reads like a movie like I would watch that movie.

Tara 25:34
I’m surprised actually that this is not a movie yet. The only thing I can figure is maybe because sci fi is expensive to make. I don’t know but- so the funny thing with this book is that my next door neighbor who is one of my very best friends she has been telling me for a while she’s like, “You need to read this book it’s so good. It’s one of my comfort reads. I’ve read it eight times.” and “I’m like okay, yes, I will.” And then what did I read over the holidays when I had time to read and was not reading for review. I read the Murderbot series. And so she was like, “God dammit. Why won’t you read this book? Read it already!” And so I was pleased to tell her, Like Stacey I started reading this book. It’s so good.” and she’s like,”I know…..finally, you dick” She didn’t call me a dick. At all. She’s too nice for that And so first of all, “Thank you Stacey, you were correct.” It is so gentle. There is so much love in this book and there was so much heart to it. The crew members are all just like really kind to each other and it was funny because i went on Goodreads and i was reading some of the negative reviews because I’d seen nothing but love but i was like okay what are the shitty things people have to say about this and they’re basically like, “Too many feelings! Not enough shootings!” I’m like oh okay then.

Kris 26:53
That’s what i was thinking because reading- when you read the blurb I was like, “Hmm, it sounds like there’s probably some like war and space type thing.”

Tara 27:00
I think I mean there’s there’s there is some action there for sure, like there was a scene where some raiders board their ship and I was like, “whoa what’s going to happen?” Everything turned out fine but like there is some threat but at the same time it’s just like, there’s so much warmth and I think in sci fi they’re- like there was actually some warmth in Murderbot that I loved as well but this is like on a whole other level whereas I’ve also read some other sci fi books that are very very cold and very kind of almost more in that like analytical space. So i don’t know like if you’re a sci fi with feelings and apparently it is super queer although i haven’t seen enough around the relationships to understand what that means I can report back. The only thing i can figure is maybe the dude that is- has feelings for the spaceships AI maybe because the AI would be genderless? I don’t know.

Kris 27:54
Okay .

Tara 27:55
It’s wonderful. People should read this book

Kris 27:58

Tara 27:59
Yeah, so Kris.

Kris 28:02

Tara 28:02
I think it’s time for official recommendations. So what is yours this week?

Kris 28:08
I was right, I was right. I knew I was gonna love Dickinson. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. So my recommendation is Dickinson which is on Apple TV and I decided to go ahead and sign up specifically for the show for the- for Dickinson and it’s $4.99 a month and I- and it’s so worth it just to watch the series there’s two two seasons of Dickinson and I loved it. So I’m going to read the synopsis of it-

Tara 28:39

Kris 28:40
-and and then we’ll go from there so: Dickinson is a half hour comedy series that audaciously explores the constraints of society, gender and family from the perspective of rebellious young poet Emily Dickinson.

Tara 28:54

Kris 28:55
Yay. So, and I mentioned this before when we studied Emily Dickinson in high school in college it wasn’t so much about her, it was basically just learning, you know dissecting all the poems. You know we were- we were told that she was never married, she was a recluse but you know that wasn’t really important the important thing was you know the message in her poetry.

Tara 29:15

Kris 29:16
Like we studied in school we studied like her famous poems and we never mentioned like she wrote a ton for this woman named Sue and we never studied them, you know. We never studied them at school we studied all the famous ones and so so- side note: I graduated last century from college so i- you know things have progressed and grown since then so i’m hoping that now they talk more about Dickinson’s personal life too.

You know the series kind of introduces us to Emily and she’s young adult. She’s from a prominent family in Amherst Massachusetts but they aren’t richy rich they’re just like well off.

Tara 29:52

Kris 29:52
You know Hailee Steinfeld plays Emily, she’s quirky, she’s super smart and she’s sexy. And the townspeople they don’t really understand her because she’s just so on a whole different level, like intellectually, and she’s like a whole- They don’t understand her poems, they pretend that they do, but they really don’t. So, so she’s so the queerness is she’s in this relationship with her best friend, Sue. And Sue’s entire family has died, like there’s nobody left in Sue’s life. She ends up getting engaged to Emily’s older brother Austin. And so instead of being like, devastated by this, you know, it’s kind of like, I don’t think that they knew that or even had the option of an option. So it was kind of like, she’s going to marry my brother, that’s okay. Because we’ll still be family, I’ll be gaining a sister, but it won’t be a blood sister. But, you know, maybe we can still have this thing going on.

It’s really interesting, their whole relationship- and the whole, how Sue how Sue is in this whole series. You know, and, and, you know, it focuses on Emily, and if she really wants to be a writer, and it goes back and forth, and you know, sometimes, you know, she does want to be a writer, she doesn’t want to be a writer. And it’s so- every episode, she’s kind of like, I really want to be successful, or I don’t want to be successful because people warn her against being successful, and being successful woman during this time. So she struggles with the possibility of fame and like she just has, she’s so emotional. They play it, they’re portray her as very emotional. All of her relationships are just very tumultuous. I think the closest relationship besides Sue, who is her lover, it’s probably with her sister, her younger sister, Lavinia and Lavinia you think she’s kind of like, ditzy, I’m just gonna go with it. I’m supposed to clean, this is my role, I need to find a husband, but you see her grow.

And it’s, it’s a very sexual positive story. For I mean, it’s, it’s really interesting how they do this, they, they really, they take so much of the 21st century and put it into the series. So it’s, it’s enjoyable, because, you know, this, like kids, I mean, so like, parents go out of town for one night for whatever, like a conference or something. So what are the kids do? They throw a party.

Tara 32:13

Kris 32:13
You know, so there’s alcohol, there’s opium, there’s dancing. And it’s just like, you know, you’d ever think about what kids did back then, you know, how did kids entertain themselves? What did they do? So the whole thing was just, I really enjoyed it. And it was funny because there’s a scene and I’m, you know, I’m sitting there doing my thing. I’m like, writing and I’m watching it at the same time. And I hear this speech. And I’m like, “What? This is the same speech from Pretty Woman.”

There’s a scene in the opera, like when when Vivian and Edward go to the opera, there’s this whole thing where he explains opera to her, and in this scene, Lavinia is with her fiance, and she tells him the exact same word for word I pulled it up. I pulled up Pretty Woman just for that scene and sure enough, it is just word for word. And I just laughed so hard, and I tweeted it, I was like, “Did anybody catch us?” and zero people caught this. And that may, that means that I watched Pretty Woman entirely too many, too many times in my life, to be able to recognize that.

Tara 33:14
Is that even possible though?

Kris 33:15
Yeah. So. So anyway, there are some dark moments in the series. She doesn’t really have the best relationships with men in the series, she has friends that are good, but like her dad has really, he, he, he does the abuse thing where he like, does something and then does something nice for her and like, gives her all these mixed signals. And then her brother steps in because he thinks it’s his job to tell her what to do and boss her around, even though he doesn’t want to do it. And you can see that he doesn’t want to do it, but he feels like this is what he’s supposed to do as the man of the house while his dad’s you know, away playing congress.

Tara 33:52

Kris 33:53
So, yeah.

Tara 33:54
Is there any sexual assault?

Kris 33:55
Um, let me think about this. No, not that I can recall.

Tara 34:00
Oh, good.

Kris 34:01
I think like, like everybody who has had sex wanted to have sex. It was consensual sex. Yeah, now watch me like totally forget this completely rape scene that I forgot about or something but I really don’t think so. I think everything was

Tara 34:15
There’s a website for this.

Kris 34:17
Yes. Does the Dog Die. Is there? Yeah. It’s I in

Tara 34:24
It’s not there yet.

Kris 34:25
No? D-I-C-K-I-N. I can’t believe I just spelled dick.

Tara 34:31
Spelling matters!

Kris 34:31
Thanks for making me spell that word.

Tara 34:36
There is there is a dead animal. An animal does-

Kris 34:39
It’s a chicken

Tara 34:39
Oh, It’s a chicken. Whatever. Yeah,

Kris 34:41
Yeah there is a chicken. So we’re looking for assault, sexual assault. Someone sexually assaulted? No.

Tara 34:49

Kris 34:50

Tara 34:51
Very good. Also no to incestuous relationships for everybody. Guess what that National Sexual Assault hotline is there again.

Kris 35:00
That’s great. I love that.

Tara 35:01
That’s a fantastic feature.

Kris 35:03
You know, I love that website, I’m gonna use it now, I’m going to use it a lot.

Tara 35:06
We’re gonna- this might turn into a feature.

Kris 35:09
We’re gonna just like, “Send us movies and stuff, and we’ll look at them, and we’ll talk about them with everything that pulls up.” Okay, so, so overall, I totally recommend this for people who know Emily’s poetry and who want to see her as a person, not just a poet, you know, not kind of like a stick figure behind all the poetry that we’ve had to read and like dissect throughout our whole entire lives. Plus, it’s fun, and there’s queer people in it. And, you know, they’re young. And I think the cast is really brilliant. I think what they do, and it’s just, it’s, it’s, you know, they say, when you start the second series, they say everything in the first series was correct and true. But the second series takes more of a license to guess on a lot of things. So that was interesting. So there are a lot of truths, but ultimately, you know, it’s kind of meant to be entertaining. And, you know, was, was Emily Dickinson really like this? And maybe she was, you know, we just don’t know.

Tara 36:04
Kris, this sounds so good.

Kris 36:07
It is sogood. I can’t recommend it enough. I had so much fun watching this.

Tara 36:10
So we just started watching Ted Lasso, which is also on Apple TV.

Kris 36:15

Tara 36:16
And I think once we finished that, we might have to turn to this. It just sounds, I don’t know it just sounds amazing.

Kris 36:21
You really should, at least give it the first couple episodes. And the way they like each each episode is a line from her poem, like one of her poems, because she most of her poetry was untitled, like 99% of it.

Tara 36:32

Kris 36:33
So it’s so cool, how they how and then you see her, like, go into this writing frenzy where she writes this poem, and it makes sense when she’s doing it. Like when you’re 16, and you’re trying to dissect something. You’re like, “I don’t know what that means”. And then she’s like, and you’re like, “Oh, my God, I totally get it”. No, it could be like I’m older. But yeah, so I recommend it to you and to everybody else.

Tara 36:52
Love it.

Kris 36:54
Okay, So enough about this. What about you? What is your big recommendation for us this week?

Tara 36:59
Well, I felt like given that it was nominated for both of the awards that we talked about, I need to talk about Nottingham by by Anna Burke. That needs to be my recommendation. So as we always do start with a blurb. It says: After a fateful hunting accident center on the run from the law, Robin finds herself deep in the heart of Sherwood Forest. All she really wants to do is provide for her family and stay out of trouble. But when the damnable Sheriff of Nottingham levies the largest tax in the history of England, she’s forced to take matters into her own hands, relying on the help of her merry band of misfits and the sheriff’s intriguing and off limits daughter Marian, Robin must find a way to pull off the biggest heist Sherwood has ever seen. With both heart and freedom at stake just how much is she willing to risk to ensure the safety of the one she loves? Nottingham is a delightful romp rife with bois spelled with an i bearing bows, trans men wielding quarterstaff noble ladies loving ladies, bawdy bisexual musicians, naughty non binary outlaws and saucy sapphic nuns. In other words, Robin Hood, like you’ve never seen her before.

Kris 38:05

Tara 38:08
This book is really, really good. It was probably a little too dark for me.

Kris 38:15

Tara 38:16
I know again, what did I say? I’m a baby. Cuz it’s actually like the world is super gritty. People die a lot. Like it starts with a hanging. Like the Sheriff of Nottingham is a really fucking bad dude. Like just a really, really bad dude doing really, really bad stuff to the people there. And yet, despite it being grittier than what I might typically like to read, it’s so good. Like, it’s so- Anna Burke is just a fabulous writer. And her writing is always so crisp and clear. And I found this with Thorn as well. Thorn was probably my favorite book that I read the year that it was published. And it’s one of those books where like, she just gets atmosphere so well. Characters very, very well but like, to where no word feels spare, which I think is what we said about Vivek Shreya as well.

Kris 39:15

Tara 39:16
There’s something about that command of language that’s really good. And then on top of it. This book is so joyfully queer. Like it’s just lovely. I did a review for it where I was talking about that we’ll just like how super queer it was. And so you like what I mean by that is like we have a gender flipped Robin Hood, Will Scarlet and Friar Tuck, Robin, Willa is the gender flipped Will Scarlet they’re both lesbians, Willa is in love with a bard who is a bisexual woman. There are lesbian nuns. Little J ohn is actually a trans man which I thought was really interesting and clever. And the other thing that was really lovely about it, like, at the same time, like yes, it’s joyfully queer. And also, the found family representation in this is just so beautiful. And I think many people love found family stories for many good reasons. But I think it really resonates for queer people, especially. Because even when we can still have pretty good or even very good relationships with our biological family, you still end up building ties that are almost like family. With your like, that’s why we call them family are we you know, like, that’s, that’s just the thing. And so it just, it’s so perfect in this book, like, they are each other’s people, for sure. They love them. They comfort them when they’re ready to give up, they will go and they will kick ass together, they take down. I mean, isn’t really a spoiler to say that they take down the Sheriff of Nottingham when like it’s a retelling of the Robin Hood story, which is centuries old. Right?

Kris 41:11
I think it’s good. I think it’s not really spoiler.

Tara 41:13
Yeah. Yeah. That was like- Side note: I remember somebody being super mad at having the movie Titanic spoil because somebody said the ship sank. Which is one of those, “I’m sorry. But if you don’t know that, that’s what happened to that ship. One of the most like infamous ship accidents is a case of history. I don’t know what to tell you”. And I feel similarly about the case of the story. Robin Hood, because there have been many movie interpretations of it. There have been cartoons.

Kris 41:44

Tara 41:46
Kevin Costner? Which also-

Kris 41:48
Weren’t there weren’t there wasn’t the cartoon with the foxes?

Tara 41:50
Oh, yes.

Yeah, yeah. foxes. Also, it’s one like, here’s the funny thing with me. So of course, at the time, I had no idea I was queer when I was a kid. Because again, compartmentalization is a wonderful thing, I guess. But looking back, it’s like, oh, yeah, there was a reason I watched that movie a lot of times, and her name was Maid Marian. She was beautiful. But this book, and the other thing that was really kind of wonderful about it, to me was seeing Marian actually go through a similar thing, because she doesn’t understand about queerness, she doesn’t know that it exists. Like the world is so heteronormative and like, seeing all these queer people thrive in this heteronormative world is wonderful. But like for Marian, it really starts with walking in on like two of her female friends when they’re banging and she’s like, “What is happening right now?” Like, it’s very confusing, and it causes a lot of like, very tumultuous feelings for her. And then especially as she like, meets Robin and interacts with her and it’s like, “I shouldn’t be feeling this way about a woman” and I loved that- Like, I loved that journey. It just felt really authentic because it’s not easy when you go from thinking you’re a certain way all your life and then finding out that you’re not.

I’m trying to think if there’s anything else especially that I want to call it about this because it’s just… I don’t know, man. Like-

Kris 43:27
I mean Anna Burke’s a great writer. I love her books.

Tara 43:30

Kris 43:30
I 100% love her books. Yes.

Tara 43:33
Like if you want a book with again, like found family, queer people and the right people winning like where justice truly prevails. This is absolutely that book. I am so happy that it was nominated for these two awards. Because it definitely like it’s just fabulous. So yes, I say go and get it and also if you haven’t yet just read Anna Burkes other books because-

Kris 44:01
I second that, I second that for sure.

Tara 44:04
So that’s all for this episode. Thank you everyone for joining us. If you’ve enjoyed the show, as always, please subscribe wherever you’re listening to podcasts. If you consider leaving a review on Apple podcasts we would love you forever and send you the highest of fives from our homes to your homes because it really helps other people find the show

Kris 44:24
Or if you want to connect with us on you know any social media sites, just search for queerly recommended on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, or you can email go to the website. I think that’s it. Thank you for listening. Good night, everyone.

Tara 44:42
Bye, everybody.


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