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In the first episode of I Talk Shit & Read, I had the pleasure of speaking with Tasha Suri about her debut novel Empire of Sand. What started out as a convo about the inspiration behind her story turned into a chat about everything from the Mughal Empire (think Taj Mahal), recognizing her own history in her writing, owning her voice, colonialism, a short geography lesson, my thoughts on the themes and relatability of her world and characters, the difficulty of fan-casting a movie when colorism is truly a thing, and why we definitely need to build a compound for supervillains.

Guest: Tasha Suri

Tasha Suri is a London-based librarian and author. Suri is witty, well-informed and hooked on good things like Bollywood films, history, and mythology. Her South Asian influenced fantasy is a blend of knowledge, heritage, and a damn good idea.

Book Synopsis: Empire of Sand is set in a world inspired by medieval India. It's the tale of a girl named Mehr, the illegitimate daughter of a powerful nobleman and a woman from the exiled and despised nomadic people known as the Amrithi. Mehr inadvertently reveals that she's inherited - from her mother's bloodline - the ability to manipulate the dreams of sleeping gods. She swiftly draws the attention of the Empire's semi-immortal and extremely powerful religious leader known as the Maha. And that's when things go left...

Shortly after we finished talking on January 17th, Variety broke the news that production companies Kronicle Media, Amyale, and Rebel Maverick partnered together to develop Empire of Sand into a television series. It's pretty safe to assume I'll be watching.



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Direct download: 01_Tasha_Suri_Author_of_Empire_of_Sand_-_Talk_Sh_t__Read_1_1.m4a
Category:Books -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

We're back and we all kind of wish we'd stayed away. The conclusion of The Book of Rebellion is full of the inconsistencies and trite plot machinations that have been plaguing the sophomore season of Black Lightning. 

Jennifer and Khalil return home and despite the fact that Jefferson has been searching for a witness against Tobias, he and Henderson spend about two hours debating if they should help Khalil by putting him in witness protection. Once Khalil is handed off to federal agents, Black Lightning and Henderson wash their hands of the whole thing like two dumb post-9/11 George Bushes and Khalil is taken by Tobias.

Everything is coming up roses for Tobias. He gets Khalil and breaks his spine again. He also has Todd fully on his side and Todd is able to crack the briefcase MacGuffin from last season. It's an anti-climatic reveal as the briefcase seems to have information on specific Greenlight kids who may have powers. At this point, who knows if they're still alive or not. And there seems to be an implication that they were being held in the clinic that Rev. Clifton Powell refuses to sell to Tobias but if they are, who is monitoring them?

Despite some decent acting from China McClain (Jennifer) and Christine Adams (Lynn), the writing was so full of plotholes and issues, that this episode was wholly unsatisfying. We'll (hopefully?) be back at the end of the next arc, The Book of Secrets. But if Black Lightning doesn't make some improvements, this may go the way of Gotham.

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Direct download: Black_Lightning_2x10_Review_Were_Tired_-_Super_Tuesday_Recap_1.m4a
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 8:53pm EDT

MTR's science team, PFunk & Coqui, are back combining science talk and pop culture nerdom and more. This week PFunk and Coqui are joined by special guest Dr. Layton!



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Direct download: 32_To_PhD_or_Not_To_PhD_-_Molecules__Shit_32_1.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:34pm EDT