Episode #00 – Transcript

Kay: Hello, and welcome to Sisterhood of the Traveling Paperbacks, a cheerful and irreverent book club podcast all about genre fiction, fandom, and the things that make us happy.

[‘Malt Shop Bop’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]

Kay: I’m Kay.

Chelsea: I’m Chelsea.

Claire: And I’m Claire.

Kay: And this is our inaugural episode. Yay!

Claire: Whoo!

Chelsea: Yay! Episode 00, yeah!

Kay: So, I am Kay. I am @kaytaylorrea basically everywhere on the internet. I am a just kind of general nerd. I love romance, comics, science fiction, fantasy, YA, musicals. I’m also a sports nerd, baseball and hockey, so if you follow me on Twitter occasionally you will see me fangirling about those things as well. Um, as far as things that I do, I am a submissions editor for Uncanny Magazine, which means if you send us stories I’m reading slush. And I am also a regular contributor over at Book Riot, where I mostly write about romance and science fiction with occasional forays into fantasy and audiobooks. And that’s it.

Chelsea: You’re so cool, Kay!

Kay: Obviously.

Chelsea: Obviously. Obviously. Um —

[Kay laughs]

Chelsea: Well, I’m Chelsea. Uh, I am a booktuber by hobby and a young adult librarian by profession. I can be found over @anoutlawlife on Twitter or The Reading Outlaw on Youtube where I make vids all about feminism and sex positivity and fandom and pop culture and science fiction and fantasy. In terms of where you can catch me kind of around the web, I’m also a judge for the Booktube SFF Awards. And I also have another podcast with two lovely ladies from the UK, Elizabeth and Kaitlin, where we talk specifically about kinda retro female science fiction and fantasy. Other than that, in general, I am a proud member of the Harry Potter fandom. I really like Jayhawk basketball. I really like dick jokes and I’m really good at puns. And I drink a lot of coffee. But that’s probably about it. I think that about covers it.

Claire: And I’m Claire. I am also a lifelong scifi and fantasy fan/nerd. I particularly like, uh, dragons that are buddies with people —

[Chelsea laughs]

Claire: — because I started in fantasy with —

[Kay laughs]

Claire: — uh, Anne McCaffrey and that stays with you.

[Chelsea laughs]

Claire: I also like coffee a lot and chocolate a lot. I like gruesome Victorian medicine and weird language things. Which, um, is mostly due to the fact that I am French. I grew up in France and learned English in school and then I did a degree in English and moved to the UK. I’m now, uh, in London. And I am also a booktuber. My channel is at Claire Rousseau and I’ll be either @ClaireRousseau or Claire S Rousseau everywhere on the internet because, as it turns out, my weird name that a lot of people can’t spell in the UK and the US is, in fact, very, very common in France, so —

[Chelsea laughs]

Claire: — I couldn’t get it everywhere.

Chelsea: Aw.

Claire: I’m still salty about that. So, I have a booktube channel. I talk about scifi and fantasy and fandom and also conventions. Uh, because I like going to them and volunteering for them. I’m currently a volunteer for WorldCon 75, which is going to be in Helsinki, Finland in 2017.

Chelsea: So awesome.

Kay: Yeah, yeah!

Claire: I’m really excited because a lot of booktube people I know are going. I’m also a fairly sporadic writer of original fiction and fanfiction. That’s about it, really.

Chelsea: Alright, that covers it.

Kay: Guys, I did not know that you were both such big coffee people.

[Chelsea sighs]

Kay: I don’t know if we can be friends.

Claire: No!

Chelsea: Why? Kay, you knew this about me! We, you —

Kay: I hate coffee.

Chelsea: — and I have talked about my unhealthy addiction to coffee.

Kay: I hate coffee.

Chelsea: And how it probably contributes to my insomnia.

Kay: I know, but I did not realize —


Kay: I did not realize it was both of you! I don’t. You might not want to be my friend anymore. I don’t even do caffeine.

Chelsea: That’s okay!

Claire: Kay, you know how much I don’t sleep. You know this.

[Kay laughs]

Claire: Not, like —

Kay: You guys should both quit the caffeine.


Chelsea: Turns out, Claire, Kay has this crazy idea that because we drink so much caffeine we may not sleep well, but —

Claire: No, that’s because of AO3 I don’t sleep well.

Chelsea: — dubious science.

[‘Malt Shop Bop’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]

Chelsea: Do we want to talk about kinda what this podcast is?

Claire: Yeah.

Chelsea: Kinda what we’re doing here? What we’re talking about?

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: Well, this was Kay’s little brainchild and she brought us all together to —

Kay: This is 100% my fault. I’m really sorry.

Claire: I’m not.


Chelsea: I’m not. I’m really excited.

Kay: Functionally —

Chelsea: Mmhmm.

Kay: — this is our book club. If we all lived in the same place, we would probably just be shooting the shit, like, at Starbucks or something. ‘Cause these guys are caffeine fiends and why not? But instead we live, you know, hundreds to thousands of miles away from each other. So this is what we’re doing instead.

Chelsea: And I’m so glad that we’re doing it.

Claire: Yeah, so, we’re online friends. We mostly talk on Twitter in DMs —

[Kay laughs]

Claire: — very, very, very often about tons of different things. And it’s been a difficult year and we wanted something that would cheer us up, that we could, uh, that we could do that would be, that would be happy-making. And so —

Chelsea: Mmhmm.

Claire: Kay suggested a happy-making book club. And we jumped on board.

Chelsea: Oh, yeah. And Claire and I were there so fast. And then we started talking, we were trying to figure, ‘cause finding something we could all kind of read and enjoy, but still be critical of, then became kind of the next —

Kay: Mmhmm.

Chelsea: — thing. And we realized that while we don’t all necessarily read the same genres, we all read pretty heavily in genre, genres.

Kay: Genre. Mmhmm.

Chelsea: So that covers everything from romance to scifi, young adult, fantasy, all those, basically anything that’s not —

Kay: And comics.

Chelsea: — literary fiction. [laughs]

Claire: And also, I would say for me, the genres that I don’t read as much tend to be because I don’t know what the good stuff is. So, we were looking forward to being able to recommend stuff to each other that’s really good —

Kay: Yes.

Claire: — in genres we don’t necessarily know.

Chelsea: Mmhmm. Yeah.

Claire: Um, which is the fancy explanation for Kay’s trying to get me and Chelsea into romance.

Chelsea: Basically. Which is fine.

Kay: I mean, there is that.

Chelsea: I accept that.

Kay: [laughs] If you follow me on Twitter you probably know me as ‘that person you ask for recommendations about anything.’

Chelsea: Mmhmm.

Claire: True, so true.

Kay: And I will have something to you within, like, twenty-four hours.

Chelsea: Oh, and so good.

Kay: And so that seemed like a valuable skill for a book podcast.

Chelsea: Yes. Very much so. And like Claire said, because we all read different stuff, um, we’re all gonna, uh, take turns recommending. That’s kind of the thing I’m really excited about.

Kay: Yes.

Chelsea: ‘Cause I know there’s gonna be some really good stuff that comes up that I haven’t heard of before. But we’re all gonna rotate choices. We’ve all decided that we get three vetoes. And it has to be, basically for, ya know, a pretty solid reason.

Kay: Not just ‘I’m not in the mood to read that thing.’

Chelsea: Yeah. Because that’s kinda the whole point.

Kay: That’s not a good reason.

Chelsea: While we want to enjoy it, but we also want to broaden some horizons.

Kay: Absolutely.

Chelsea: It is possible to be both critical and in love with something at the same time.

Kay: That’s basically my recommendation philosophy. Is, I want you to enjoy it, but you don’t have to love anything uncritically.

Chelsea: Mmhmm.

Claire: I don’t know how to do that, though.


Claire: You know that. I feel that if I had to love things uncritically I would have to read the thing, enjoy the thing while I’m reading it, and then, like, stop thinking about it. That’s just not how I work. Ever.

Chelsea: I will say, it take me time to read critically. Like, when I get into a thing or into a fandom, or especially into a ship, it will take me a very long time to step back from that to the point where I can start to acknowledge that it’s problematic. Like, I can read it and realize it, but I’m so in that place of love —


Chelsea: — that taking that step back to be like ‘yes, I love it, but also it’s a little, like, heteronormative, it’s a little enabling, it’s a little, like, all of these other things’ so it just, you know —

Kay: Are we talking about Harry Potter? I feel like we’re maybe [laughs]

Chelsea: I’m talking about so many things, Kay. I’m just talking about all the things, but yes. Also, yes. It’s because —

Kay: Which, like, that was not us talking shit about Harry Potter. We love Harry Potter, but again we don’t love things uncritically.

Chelsea: Oh, I love Harry Potter so hard, but it’s one of those things where, because we’ve. And, well, especially with long term fandoms, if you’ve been in it for a while —

Kay: Mmhmm.

Chelsea: — sometimes you’re so in it you kinda need somebody else to kind of pull you out of it. [laughs] A little bit. To see and look around.

Kay: Amen. [laughs]

Chelsea: That’s why you guys are here.

All: Yay!

[‘Malt Shop Bop’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]

Chelsea: I guess this is. Should we give our, like, heads ups? I don’t wanna call them warnings, ‘cause they’re not, like, bad things.

Claire: Dire warnings.

Chelsea: But they’re just like things to know if you’re gonna listen to this podcast.

Kay: So as far as the sort of things we are going to be covering on this podcast and what you can expect from us. Uh, there will be salty language.

Chelsea: Mmhmm.

Kay: In, like, all of the meanings of salty that there are. So this is not a particularly kid friendly podcast.

Chelsea: Yeah.

Kay: And if you like to consume media uncritically, this is not the podcast for you. If you are uninterested in intersection feminism, this is not the podcast for you. Uh, if you only like to read hella fancy literary fiction —

Chelsea: No.

[Claire shudders]

Kay: — this is not the podcast for you. We are going to be reading all genres, any genre is fair game?

Chelsea: Mmhmm. Any genre, yep.

Kay: And, basically, as long as it is not literary fiction it is fair game. And we are not gonna be reading anything by white cishet men. This is a decision we have made. You can take that or leave that.

Chelsea: If that is an area of coverage you are missing, there are plenty of podcasts and forms of media out there —

Kay: So many other podcasts for you.

Chelsea: — that will tell you all about the cis white male literary fiction that you are craving. This is not [laughs] —

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: — the podcast for you.

[‘Malt Shop Bop’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]

Claire: So, to give everybody a little time to, um, get your hands on the books that we’re gonna read and read them, if you want to read along with us, we’re just going to tell you now about the books that we’re going to be reading for our first three shows. First, in two weeks time, we’re going to open with a book that we all absolutely adore and that is The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin. And then the podcast after that will be all about Nimona, a graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson. And for our third episode we will be reading When A Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare. So we’re super excited to be covering science fiction, comics, romance —

Kay: All of the things.

Claire: — like, all over the place in our first few shows.

Chelsea: Oh yeah. Very on brand.

Claire: For the first two, uh, picks that we have, The Dispossessed and Nimona, they are books that all three of us have already read and are rereading for this show. But that is not going to be what happens all the way through. It’s not going to be a rereads podcast. It just so happens we wanted to start with things —

Kay: Yeah.

Claire: — that we knew we were super excited about rereading.

Chelsea: That about wraps up this introduction to —

Kay: Yay!

Chelsea: — the Sisterhood of the Traveling Paperbacks.

Claire: Yay!

Chelsea: Thank you guys so much for joining us. Please, please come back and check us out. We will have links to all of our internet homes down in the show notes. We will see you guys in a couple of weeks.

[‘Malt Shop Bop’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]

Chelsea: You’ve been listening to Sisterhood of the Traveling Paperbacks, a podcast made by three online besties and all-around lady nerds. Channel art provided by Claire Rousseau. Music credits to ‘Malt Shop Bop’ by Kevin MacLeod. You can get in touch with the sisterhood at, @PaperbacksPod on Twitter, or at our website You can reach Kay @kaytaylorrea on Twitter, Claire @ClaireRousseau, and Chelsea @anoutlawlife. Additional credits, show notes, and transcripts will be available on our website. Thank you so much for listening. [Double speed] No paperbacks were harmed in the making of this program.

Kay: Can that be our tagline? Fuck them white dudes?


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