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Black Sails pt 1: Another Cursèd Pirate Ship

Our latest pirate kick is halfway down the plank as we discuss the first two seasons of the epic television prequel to Treasure Island: Black Sails. Featuring Jack and Anne's jaeger name, Charles Vane as the Charlie Kelley of piracy, Alexander Hamilton's torrid pirate love affair 40 years before he was born, and the usual cursed takes. #GlintIsReal


Pure. Gay. Drama.

Back in the same physical location for the first time in half a year, your hosts watch the underrated Disney classic Treasure Planet and Sarah has a fun and not-awful take which definitely doesn't ruin the entire movie forever. Also, every single adaptation of Treasure Island is immediately enhanced by assuming Flint's character motivations are the same as in Black Sails.


Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

It’s a boy’s book for adventure boys! This week your hosts theoretically cover Treasure Island by Robert Louis "Bedroom Eyes" Stevenson, but not before they manage to botch the author’s nationality, the socio-political status of Ireland, and the main character’s literal actual name. We’re doing our best, guys. Let that both absolve and damn us. Also featuring fun facts about fo'c's'les, apoplexy, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s mustache. No spoiler zone this time around, except for the shocking...


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Happy Halloween! Because it’s definitely still Halloween! Because we recorded and edited and posted the episode in a timely fashion because we’re diligent and good at things! And also, really, Halloween never has to end if you don’t want it to or are bad at deadlines. So here’s our Halloween special, on Halloween, about one of the scariest stories in English literature: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson, plus the all new TV adaptation. It’s spooky. ‘Cause it’s Halloween.


The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of the Donner Party by Daniel James Brown

This week, Sarah and Amelia finally wrap up this chapter of the “disastrous mountain expeditions” saga we’ve taken you on for the past month. This time we return to the infamous Donner Party from a nonfiction perspective, with The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown. It’s a fantastic read packed with tons of relevant information and sensitively drawn portraits of human suffering, and by this point we’re actually out of cannibalism jokes, so maybe we don’t even ruin it entirely....


Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar

This week on Cracked Spines, Amelia and Sarah fail to finish the actual book they were supposed to read for reasons of varying validity, so Sarah walks Amelia through the other unhappy time in the mountains book she's read lately--the tale of the tragic Dyatlov Pass incident where nine Russian hikers met mysterious ends on a freezing night. Spoiler: it probably wasn't yeti. But spoiler part two: I mean we can't rule it out.


The Hunger by Alma Katsu

It's all bad cannibalism puns from here on out, folks. This week your hosts read The Hunger by Alma Katsu, a supernatural retelling of the ill-fated Donner Party expedition. Amelia speaks of cannibalism with a tremor of excitement in her voice, and Sarah kinkshames her by necessity.


Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon

This week, Sarah and Amelia fantasize about the perks of being (mostly) alone on an entire planet as they read Elizabeth Moon's Remnant Population. Featuring discussions of gender, ageism, and alien oral sex. Amelia says "self-actualization" at one point and it makes her feel very smart and cool.



This week on Cracked Spines, your hosts decided to spice up their Jurassic Park viewing experience by eating some (legal!) marijuana chocolate. Sarah proceeded to be trapped within a dying prison of flesh for the remainder of the two hour movie, and Amelia was a two dimensional shape. Here are our hot takes on that, and also dinosaurs. Also featuring oily mannequin baby birth, Steven Spielberg the orgasm denial wizard, and of course, bad dinosaur name pronunciation.


Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park is a template for a beautiful socialist lesbian love colony, and this week on Cracked Spines, we uncork Amelia’s lifelong dinosaur fetish to explore why the capitalist fools of this novel couldn’t see it. Amelia slanders Ernest Shackleton, Sarah tries and fails to name a single correct dinosaur fact, and together we discover that this novel is a stealth fanfic of Frankenstein that dares to ask the question: what if Dr. Frankenstein was a shitty grad student...


Ernest Shackleton Please Love Me

In what may be the final episode in our polar exploration kick, Sarah watches the Broadway musical "Ernest Shackleton Loves Me," featuring Ernest Shackleton skype-calling a single mom in the 21st century, crawling out of her refridgerator, and talking about his dick size. So basically, Sarah's ideal musical. Also featuring bad passwords, Critical Role, and yes, as always, The Terror.


Ernest Shackleton Did Okay, Considering

Ernest Shackleton has big dick energy, and Sarah is here to prove it. With his 69 dogs and his salty seamen, our boy Ernest proved that it is in fact possible to get famous for how badly you almost fucked up. Amelia reads Shackleton's memoir, while Sarah reads a selection of other Shackleton-related books, including children's stories and a manual on how to run your business like you got shipwrecked in Antarctica. Note: we ran into some technical issues with Sarah's mic near the end of the...


John Carpenter's The Thing

In keeping with our ongoing theme of polar horror, Sarah and Amelia watch John Carpenter's gooey vore masterpiece "The Thing." Featuring the raw erotic energy of MacReady's perpetual cowboy hat, discussions of practical effects vs CGI, and a brief digression on what opiods do to your poop. It's mostly relevant.


Who Goes There by John W. Campbell, Jr

Bet ya'll thought we were done with the Arctic, huh. This week we read Who Goes There by John W. Campbell, the novella which inspired three different movie spinoffs including John Carpenter's The Thing. We talk about the pros and cons of classic sci-fi, which Jane Austen character would die first in the Arctic, and the expansive isolation of polar horror as a genre. Most importantly, we pitch our own movie adaptation of this novella: a tentacle jetpack erotica romp as written by Isaac Asimov.


The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

​This week, Sarah and Amelia read The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi; and shocker of shockers, actually manage to have a semi-intelligent discussion on subverting versus embracing tropes, the nature of YA lit, and the importance of representation. Also, a serious question masquerading as a bit about whether or not you're allowed to keep a person's necrotic toe if it falls off in your presence. Like if they don't want it or whatever. Or if they don't call dibs. Seems like you...


The Terror 2: Yet More Terror

Listen, we say “don’t go to the Arctic” a fair amount on this podcast, but we just can’t help ourselves. This week we revisit our first book to discuss the AMC series The Terror which Sarah has not seen and has no interest to, and Amelia has watched twice, sobbing the entire time. Featuring things they changed from the book (including a welcome tweak to the backstory of our favorite little cannibal god king), sweet and sick facts about lead poisoning (like the fact that everyone in 19th...


The Martian by Andy Weir

This week, Mark Watney gets off—of Mars. And Amelia makes that stupid joke twice. We read Andy Weir’s novel The Martian and cover some super relevant topics, like Dragonball Z and Yu-Gi-Oh (but also like, the Curiosity rover and how to grow potatoes in a desolate wasteland). Also, this is Amelia’s first week back on the road living that glamorous #vanlife, and boy does she have a story to tell about backwoods campsite shower hygiene. Specifically, a horror story.


When You Wish Upon a Car

This week, Sarah and Amelia write the book on wilderness survival--literally. In a special episode in honor of Amelia leaving on her latest expedition, we're re-reading our old trip diaries from our very first road trip together, back when we were hapless fools who had yet to learn of the glory that is a two-burner propane stove. Aside from figuring out how to properly pee in the woods, Sarah worked through the aftermath of a tragedy that transpired during her senior year of college, and...


Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Revenge against an imperialist empire is a dish best served with a side of swashbuckling. It's everyone's favorite space-opera, Ancillary Justice! Sarah and Amelia talk about sentient space ships, cool gender stuff (guest starring another discussion of The Left Hand of Darkness because we just can't help ourselves), and... Pontius Pilate. Naturally, there is some singing involved.


Minisode - Alien Vs Predator

AVP is not only a cinematic masterpiece, it is also the lesbian magnum opus of 2004. Watch this movie with your third eye open and you too will see the truth: the Predator is a beautiful lesbian who falls in love at first sight with badass ice-explorer Lex Woods. Also featuring: Weylin should know better, sticking your hand into an alien sarcophagus is Bad Archeology, and as we keep saying, guys, don't go to the Arctic. Ant- or otherwise.