Breaking the Glass Slipper: Women in science fiction, fantasy, and horror-logo

Breaking the Glass Slipper: Women in science fiction, fantasy, and horror

Books & Literature

Podcast discussing women in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Hosted by Megan Leigh, Charlotte Bond, and Lucy Hounsom. New episodes every other Thursday.

Podcast discussing women in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Hosted by Megan Leigh, Charlotte Bond, and Lucy Hounsom. New episodes every other Thursday.


United Kingdom


Podcast discussing women in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Hosted by Megan Leigh, Charlotte Bond, and Lucy Hounsom. New episodes every other Thursday.






Into the Wood – with Emily Tesh

Humanity is intrinsically bound up with nature and the natural world. We are its creatures, we depend on it for survival, we fear it, love it, deify it…and we’ve become quite good at killing it. Ours is a complex relationship as old as the species. And people have been documenting this relationship – first in […]


The Cabin in the Woods: horror, comedy & choice

Variously listed as a horror, comedy and fantasy film by different websites, one thing is certain: Cabin in the Woods, by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, defies easy labelling. Is this a send-up of the horror genre in the style of Scary Movie? Is it a rumination on choice and self determination? Or does it […]


Aberrant and broken magic with Melissa Caruso

Many of our favourite narratives feature outsiders. They might be alone by virtue of the burden of prophecy, come from the wrong side of the tracks, or simply don’t adhere to behaviour and interests their society expects of them, we see these tropes pop up all over the place. After all, following an outsider protagonist […]


Gender in Chivalric Romance

The Story of Silence is based on a 13th century French chivalric romance, distinguished by its prominent discussion of gender. Reimagined by Alex Myers, we found it to be a compelling exploration of transgender identity in an oppressively binary medieval society – and we just had to talk to Alex about it! At its heart, […]


Mermaids with Beth Cartwright

Traditional stories of mermaids describe the creatures as beautiful maidens who sing sweetly as they lounge on rocks and comb their long, flowing hair… but like sirens, mermaids lure sailors to their death with their beauty and song. The less popular of the merfolk, mermen, were not blessed with the beauty of their feminine counterparts, […]


Deconstructing the Chosen One – with Veronica Roth

We have long been obsessed with the chosen one. This ubiquitous archetype has spawned thousands of heroic narratives involving a prophecy and a great evil to be overcome. But in recent years, we’re seeing less and less of the standard trope, and more subversions, which have contributed to the rise of the antihero, and the […]


Addressing our biases

Entrenched racism is all around us. This is not a new phenomenon nor the first time racism has been headline news – and yet we have a seemingly incredible ability to forget the atrocities committed daily as long as they aren’t at the top of the news cycle. We can’t continue being intermittently outraged before […]


Horror and isolation with Melinda Salisbury

You know the drill, you are alone in the middle of a foggy field and there’s no one within miles… except the person following you. There’s no one coming to help you. Isolation is an ever-present theme in horror fiction, one that has become part of reality for many of us recently. But isolation doesn’t […]


Back to the 80s: Willow

Well, it’s that time again: 80s family film funtime! Today we are looking at 1988’s Willow, starring Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer, directed by Ron Howard with a story by George Lucas. But first, let’s set the scene. It is a time of dread. Seers have foretold the birth of a child who will bring […]


Gendering monsters

Monster. Freak. Beast. These words are often thrown around, but what do we really mean when we use them? What is a monster? Why are they so central to our narratives? Like many of the issues we discuss on this podcast, the idea of monstrosity features built-in sexism. Male and female-coded monsters are often given […]


Narration and ambiguity with Camilla Bruce

When we pick up a book, we know we’re going to be told a story. We trust the author or, in the case of first-person POV the narrator, to tell us the truth. We might be reading about vengeful ghosts or glorious dragons that take our imagination to the very limits of creativity, but we […]


Finding the magic in magical realism – with Natasha Pulley

Speculative fiction has always been a genre that challenges traditional views and established ways of seeing. We regularly discuss how the worlds that genre authors create are arenas in which it’s possible to tackle social narratives away from conventional models. But no genre can really be said to straddle fantasy and reality like magical realism. […]


Power through a gendered lens with Menna Van Praag

It has long been obvious that our world’s power structures are set up to benefit men, so how does women’s power play out in our narratives? What happens when women are suddenly given a power they are usually deprived of? Menna Van Praag joins us to discuss power in its gendered form. Is there enough […]


Cosmic horror with Premee Mohamed

Cosmic horror is an unhelpful term by itself. HP Lovecraft himself is quoted as saying that: The fundamental premise [of cosmic horror is] that common human laws and interest and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large.’ But Wikipedia seems to bring this down to a more personal level when it states: […]


Back to the 80s: Ladyhawke

The three of us are children of the 80s and like many of our generation, we love to revel in nostalgia. For us, this has meant revisiting some of our favourite fantasy films of that decade: Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, The Princess Bride… and now Ladyhawke. Ladyhawke was released in 1985 to fairly average reviews. The […]


Onscreen representation of women with Kate Madison

Here on BtGS, we regularly discuss how female characters in SFF are depicted on-screen. From the infamous bikini armour to simply being absent from male-centric narratives – women have had their fair share of problematic portrayals. But is the tide turning? Joining us to help answer this question is award-winning director Kate Madison. Texts mentioned […]


Rethinking the Badass with Alex Acks

There needs to be a serious fucking cultural conversation about the storytelling desire to turn everyone into an edgy badass that thinks all problems are best solved with violence and what the overwhelming prevalence of that narrative is doing to our brains. Alex Acks We want to start that cultural conversation right here on Breaking […]


Reinventing the Fairytale with Brigid Kemmerer

Beauty and the Beast is amongst our best-known fairytales, enduring and enchanting in equal measure. But beneath its romantic exterior lurks a darker story, one that various writers have explored over the years. For the first episode of 2020, we are joined by bestselling author, Brigid Kemmerer, whose newest book, A Heart So Fierce and […]


Bonus: RJ Barker and Micah Yongo (live)

A bonus Christmas episode for you all! Back in December 2018, Charlotte was asked to interview RJ Barker and Micah Yongo at perhaps one of the most beautiful bookshops in Britain – the Bradford Wool Exchange branch of Waterstones. In the interview, Micah talks about Lost Gods and Pale Kings, and RJ revisits our old favourite, The Wounded Kingdom trilogy. […]


Re-imaginings with Christina Henry

If you love a story, you love reading it over and over again. But you can also get joy out of reading someone’s reinterpretation of it. When authors decide to take old stories that we know and love and turn them into something else, it can breathe new life into characters we thought had had […]