Paracosms: Know Your Fiction
By Arthur McMahon
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Explore your favorite fictional worlds from unique perspectives and find new stories to enjoy with author Arthur McMahon. In each episode we explore a fantasy universe together and pull apart its building blocks. Every creation from Harry Potter to Star Wars will be put under the microscope. Creative influences, author intentions, and social impacts will be referenced. We will look at why these worlds were constructed and how they evolved over time. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support
||CleaneSports in Fiction||eSports is an untapped well of creativity and storytelling. The competitive gaming scene is growing at an exponential rate, so where are the stories? In this episode I look into the rise of eSports, both as a competitive sport and a new setting for fiction. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||7/3/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Jumping Frog of Calaveras County||Some authors live to write, and some write to live. Others fall somewhere in between, and a few just seem to fall into it. Mark Twain, author of multiple Great American Novels such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, encapsulates all of those traits, yet somehow also exists outside of them, or, perhaps, above them. In this episode we will learn how Mark Twain’s legendary career as an author began from the man himself. I am Arthur McMahon and this is Paracosms. Now known as one of America’s greatest novelists, Mark Twain came from humble beginnings, and he lived quite an adventurous life before finding his success. Born as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Twain was raised in Missouri where he learned to pilot steamboats on the Mississippi River. At a young age, Twain lost his father to pneumonia. Several of his siblings passed away before they had reached Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||6/12/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Hero’s Journey in the Writer’s Toolbox||The monomyth, now more popularly known as the Hero’s Journey, is a common structural pattern that serves as the foundation for countless stories. It has been a basic form of storytelling for as far back as humanity can remember, laying down the plot structure for ancient epics like Gilgamesh and in many of today’s New York Times best sellers and Hollywood blockbusters. Author’s haven’t always followed the Hero’s Journey structure, knowing that they were doing so. It wasn’t until the 1800s that hero myth narratives were studied and given this identity by mythologist Joseph Campbell in The Hero Wit hA Thousand Faces. Since then, The Hero’s Journey has become an essential tool in the writer’s toolbox. In this episode I will be breaking down the stages of The Hero’s Journey and linking them to some memorable moments of a few of our favorite heroes: Luke Skywalker, Bilbo Baggins, and Harry Potter. I am Arthur McMahon, and this is Paracosms. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||5/30/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGame of Thrones- When is the Next Book Out?||Ever since Game of Thrones was published in 1996, fans of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series have ceaselessly asked “Hey Georgie boy, Georgie from the block. Mr. R.R. Martin, when’s the next book coming out?” His responses, summed up, have been usually something like “Heh. Well, soon. Not yet, sorry about that.” Years of effort are put into crafting each volume of the series. The last release, A Dance With Dragons, came out in 2011 after six years of writing, editing, and rewriting by Martin. Now, six years later, fans are eagerly awaiting The Winds of Winter, book number six in the series, to appear on bookshelves across the globe. Recently Martin responded to the masses of adoring, impatient fans, saying that “The book is not done yet, but I’ve made progress. But not as much as I hoped a year ago, when I thought to be done by now. I think it will be out this year Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||5/15/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMy Own Universe||In celebration of the upcoming release of Deceit of Humanity, the second book in my Shadow Assassin series, I am giving you a quick look into my own imaginary universe and creative process. As a special treat, you also get to listen to the audiobook of Vengeance of Humanity, my first Shadow Assassin book, for free! Thank you to the wonderfully talented Zehra Jane Naqvi for narrating and producing my Shadow Assassin audiobooks. She is super talented and great to work with. I couldn't be happier with the quality of the work she has done for me. Listen to the first chapter of Vengeance of Humanity in this podcast episode. Get the rest of the audiobook for free by visiting www.audiebletrial.com/paracosms. Start your free trial of Audible and search for my name, Arthur McMahon, to find and download one of my audiobooks for free. Deceit of Humanity is now available for pre-purchase and will be released on June 1st! Read Vengeance of Humanity now before it Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||5/1/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFather of the Alien Xenomorph||H.R. Giger is the father of the Xenomorph. We call it an alien, we call it a monster, but to Giger his creation was beautiful, no matter how many people it raped and killed. Known for its interspecies sexual domination and wanton destruction, the xenomorph is not unlike ourselves. Perhaps we are the real monsters. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||4/17/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanOn Being a Muggle||I was never invited to Hogwarts. In this episode I offer you the Wizarding World as seen from an outsider’s perspective. This is a muggle’s story. Yes, it’s true. I’m one of the few people out there who doesn’t know all there is to know about Harry Potter. I haven’t read all of the books, nor have I seen all of the movies. I don’t know the wizarding world, not well enough to put it through the wringer like I have with other worlds in past episodes. I missed that train to Hogwarts, the one that it seemed like the rest of the world had a ticket to ride. I don’t want to go off about why I don’t like Harry Potter or list you the things I think are wrong with the series. There’s enough criticism out there and I know the millions or billions of die-hard fans out there don’t want to hear it. And I do like the story and the characters, as far as I know them at least. I just haven’t had the drive to finish the story. So instead I just Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||4/3/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGhost in the Shell is an American Horror Story||Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell franchise can be summed up in two words: fear and philosophy. The story became a success because it mirrored real American fears during a time when Cold War tensions were rising and the Internet was still a mystery to most. Full Transcript In 1989 I was three years old. My experience with technology was limited to those old, boxy CRT televisions with knob dials and spiral-corded land-line phones. The most futuristic possession my family had was the original 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, but that was all I needed back then. It was hi-def enough for my imagination. I recall physically jumping in my room every time I made Super Mario leap over a goomba. I eventually stopped doing that after a friend’s mom laughed at me for it. And boy, for the rest of my life I will remember the time when I was too frightened to play a https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||3/20/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Layers of Discworld||Discworld is perhaps the quintessential example of worldbuilding. Decades of imagination by the late author Terry Pratchett went into creating a land so rich with depth that it has become a lens into our own world Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||3/6/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Legend of Zelda is a Modern Fairytale||The Legend of Zelda has used the fairytale formula to create memorable settings and characters that will stick in our memories for ages to come, but it has also added a new layer of complexity to the method in the form of interactivity, the game mechanics. Full Transcript The Legend of Zelda is one of the most well known video game franchises across the globe. It truly is a legend in many respects, having sold millions of copies over the last several decades. Generations of gamers have explored the world of Hyrule, tediously turning over every stone and rudely smashing handmade pottery from the depths Lake Hylia to the heights of Death Mountain. Link, The Hero of Time, has been our window into this world of master swords and fairy magic. Befitting of one called the Hero of Time, we have experienced the many lives of Link, reliving the franchise’s cyclical storytelling with each new addition to the series. Though hugely successful, the Legend Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||2/20/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Walking Dead Wants to be Star Trek||AMC says that the Walking Dead franchise has the potential to last as long as Star Trek has. I have an issue with that. In comparing the Walking Dead's decade of success to the fifty years that Star Trek has been around, I don't have much faith in the franchise's longevity. But there is a chance. The Walking Dead's narrative exploration of human nature is not worlds apart from what made Star Trek a success, though the underlying structure of the walker world's narrative limits how far the series can go. Can a dying world realistically compare itself to a galaxy brimming with life? Full Transcript Zombies… The final frontier. These are the stories of the outbreak survivors. Their continuing mission: To endure this strange new world. To create new life; new civilizations. To suffer like no one has suffered before. During a Goldman Sachs conference, AMC Network President Jo Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||2/2/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMarvel’s Cinematic Universe – Where the Villains Don’t Matter||The Marvel Cinematic Universe highlights its heroes and neglects its villains. Why is this? Marvel has a history of creating complex comic book villains with rich character depth, but the MCU movies display the bad guys as hollow shells of their true selves, nothing more than stepping-stones for the heroes to show their own growth. But there is one Marvel villain who was given proper attention and nuance. Loki, the God of Mischief. What makes Loki different? Why was he the one villain given any respect in the MCU? There is narrative reasoning behind these creative decisions, and it is something Marvel must explore as the company seeks continued fan support for its growing cinematic universe. Full Transcript The Marvel Universe may be home to more memorable characters than any other imaginary world in existence. Thousands of heroes and villains have battled across countless comic book pages for most of the last century, their iconic per Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||1/23/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMiddle-earth Was Not Made For You||J.R.R. Tolkien did not write his books for you or for me. Middle-earth was a personal project, firstly created for himself and his family. Tolkien originally wrote The Hobbit as a story for his own children, but after his breakout book became a great success he was convinced by his publisher and fans to create a sequel to Bilbo Baggins' adventure. Fans of The Hobbit wished for more of the same, wanting more dragons and whimsy. But the author turned inward as he wrote The Lord of the Rings. Middle-earth darkened as the texts grew more dense over the years. Tolkien sought to please an academic audience that held no respect for fantasy literature, and instead he found that his works were being appreciated by a type of person he knew little about. Full Transcript When working on a creative project, authors tend to have an audience in mind. Writers of fiction are often told to fight against such thoughts. A story should be pure, constructed Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/paracosms/support||1/10/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
I love listening to this while doing work!
Soothing and well thought out!
Great podcast with fun insights about fictional worlds. You can definitely feel the excitement in the narrator's voice
Awesome unique content- definitely worth listening to.