Episode #85: Storytime Reading of the Serpent Slayer


In honor of International Women’s Day (3/8/17), this is our second fairy tale reading from the book, The Serpent Slayer And Other Stories of Strong Women by Katrin Tchana and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.  This week, we’re reading an Chinese tale about a teenage girl named Li Chi who slays a serpent that has been terrorizing a small community for years.  It’s a very traditional story in structure, getting at themes of greed, ignorance, blind obedience in the face of power and corruption, and the boldness (sometimes foolhardiness) of adolescence that has driven the beating heart of many a rebel, despite being outweighed and under-armed.  The main difference, however, is the protagonist is female – although the story is a human one, not just applicable to one gender.

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As patriarchal a society as China was, ancient Chinese mythology does have its share of heroines, and this is a representative tale.  You can find it told and depicted elsewhere on the web, even on youtube in this video game (just the first few minutes of the video is the story).

In other news, next week, we’re going to have an audio transcript of a talk a number of other authors and I did on:

“World Building in Science Fiction and Fantasy: The Essentials

With the Association of Rhode Island Authors

The Science Fiction/Fantasy genre transports readers to new worlds, from the wondrous to the weird. Fans of the genre know that solid world building is essential to the story. When it’s done well, we become immersed in the tale.  When it’s done poorly, we notice. Join us for a discussion with local speculative fiction writer’s to learn their secrets. How do they construct believable worlds in unbelievable settings? What are some of the problems and pitfalls they’ve encountered? Where do they find inspiration? When imagination and writing craft successfully intersect, the results can be out of this world! If you are an aspiring speculative fiction writer or fan, this presentation is for you.” (from the Big Apple Con website)

As always, thanks for listening!


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