Archives: podcast

Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age

Confabulation Engine is a podcast of Speculative Fiction conversations, with digressions. Book talk out of alignment with consensus reality. Featuring William Cunningham and Catherine Weiss.

We did a trial run on this concept about a year ago with this hour and a half meander through all of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books.

For our first official episode we enthuse our way through the baroque future described in Neal Stephenson’s girl power epic, “The Diamond Age”.

Noteable digressions include:

A Video of DNA splicing.


Solving three mysteries at the same time.

Turing Machines.

Genesis P-Orridge

We’ll be releasing these monthly for a while, we hope you enjoy them!

A Conversation of Ice and Fire

My friend Catherine and I are going to try starting a podcast. It’ll be about speculative fiction books, mostly. With digressions. This was our first trial run on it. We figured we’d share a bottle of wine so we had something to do with our hands, and you can kind of tell we drank it by the end of this, but surprisingly it stayed coherent throughout.

This is a pretty unstructured conversation and it goes all over the place, and is just covered in spoilers. We wanted to be able to talk freely about all of the books, and we do. If you haven’t read them and don’t want plot twists in the HBO show spoiled for you over the years to come, you’d probably better not listen to this one.

But there will be more, about other books. Science Fiction, Fantasy, and anything else we determine fits fiction that doesn’t feel obliged to adhere to closely to the consensus reality. We may build in more structure in future episodes, and try to keep the final thing around an hour. This one sprawled a bit over an hour and a half.

We indulge in a really long conversation about A Song of Ice and Fire and it’s HBO incarnation A Game of Thrones. Tangents related to the nature of Science Fiction, things without endings, childhood encounters with fantasy, Neal Stephenson, television writers as air show stunt pilots, the feminisim of flawed female characters, sympathy for many devils and some speculation about the end.

Featuring William Cunningham and Catherine Weiss

1 hour and 38 minutes