Episode V001: Mercurio D. Rivera

To kick off the new incarnation of Spirited Discourse, Devin and Rajan welcomed science fiction writer, Mercurio D. Rivera, to talk about his new book, Wergen: The Alien Love War. David selected single malt scotch as his beverage of choice, though Rajan snuck some cider in as well. David explains who the Wergen are (an alien race with a chemical fixation on humanity) and how the stories explore themes of love. He also touches on his anti-puppet bias.

If you give it a watch, let us know what you think.

A New Phase for the Podcast!

If you’ve been following the podcast, you know that we haven’t released a new one for quite some time. The truth is (and this is Rajan speaking), the editing work became too laborious for me. We would often record hours of content and I would spend further hours, listening and editing and as time went on, it got harder and harder. I have ADHD, and it seemed like a task I wasn’t suited for, and in all honesty, it began to kill my enthusiasm for doing the podcast. I love the discussion part, but the behind the scenes work, the uploading and listing and publishing in addition to the editing, became my nemesis for a time.

At the same time, I missed the idea of talking to writers and other creative types, of having a drink together, especially in the COVID era, when many of us were stuck at home and when in-person gatherings were few and far between. I considered possibilities over the gap, but nothing really changed until I was the guest co-host for the KGB Fantastic Fiction reading series, normally based out of the KGB Bar in New York City, but which had been streaming during the height of the pandemic. I won’t go into the details, but they recorded the readings and easily posted them to the web where they could be viewed, and I realized that we could do that. We could meet with other people, and share a drink, while seeing one another. And with video conferencing being more commonplace these days, we could also reach people we might not have before. Plus, we could record more regularly without the need to find a space to do it in (something we struggled with before).

So, the podcast is back, but as a video stream. We will be recording with guests for roughly about an hour and putting the videos online with little to no editing involved. As we get things established, we may even start livestreaming the actual discussions and taking questions from the public. But for now, the recordings will be available on Youtube.

And I’m excited to say that our first guest of the new era is none other than Mercurio D. Rivera, one of my favorite science fiction writers, and a friend. But he deserves his own post, so let me take care of that…

Bonus Episode — Avengers: Endgame with Trevor Quachri Part 2

If you listened to episode 2 of the podcast, you know that we recorded over four hours of audio with Trevor when we sat down together. A lot of that wasn’t about Endgame, but we had enough material to put up another whole episode, so we did.

In part 2 of the discussion we talk about Black Widow’s fate and get into some of the things we didn’t like about the film.

If you liked the first part of the discussion, you should like this episode, and if you didn’t like the first part, then this part might be the stuff you were hoping for.

Stitcher Link


iTunes Link


Episode 2002 — Avengers Endgame w/ Trevor Quachri

In the 2nd episode of the season, Rajan and Devin sit down with Trevor Quachri, Editor of Analog Science Fiction & Fact, to discuss Avengers: Endgame and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


Before taking the reigns of ANALOG SCIENCE FICTION AND FACT as editor in 2012, Trevor Quachri started off as an editorial assistant in 1999 and worked his way up the ladder at ANALOG and ASIMOV’S SCIENCE FICTION, under Stanley Schmidt, Sheila Williams, and Gardner Dozois, respectively. On top of that, he’s also been a Broadway stagehand, collected data for museums, and executive produced a science fiction pilot for a basic cable channel. He lives in New Jersey with his fiancee, daughter, and way, way too many comic books.


Paradox Beer Company Zangria Bianca — Wild Sour Ale brewed with White Grapes, Tangerines, and Pineapples aged in Oak Barrels.

Other Half Do You Want More ?!!? — Imperial sour IPA brewed with lemon, blackberries, marcona almonds, vanilla and milk sugars

Other Half Enhance Your Mind — Triple IPA packed with Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe, Motueka, Citra Cryo and Simcoe Cryo.





We have a Patreon

As mentioned on Episode 2 of the podcast (coming later today), we have started a Patreon for the podcast. While we enjoy doing the podcast, there are several costs that come with it, including hosting and distribution and costs associated with buying the drinks and occasionally reserving space. We will continue to offer the podcast for free, but if you’d like to support us, please become one of our patrons.

Doing so is not without its rewards. For the low price of $1 a month, you can join the Inner Circle and get updates on guests and behind the scenes stories and posts. Or join the VIP tier for $3 a month and get access to outtakes from the podcasts going back to Season 1. We always end up with more material than we can use and you will get monthly outtakes as well as potentially bonus mini-episodes and other content (including everything the Inner Circle tier gets).

There’s no pressure to sign up and anyone who does so is free to leave or change their tier at any time with no questions asked. But if you’d like to support the podcast and get some additional content, it’s there for you to do so.

Hope you’ll check it out.

Spirited Discourse Patreon


Episode 2001 — Theresa Delucci

Season 2 of Spirited Discourse is here! In the first episode of the season, Rajan and Devin sit down with writer Theresa Delucci to talk Game of Thrones, Red Dead Redemption 2, and The Haunting of Hill House while drinking Game of Thrones beer and scotch.


Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor for Tor.com, and has also gotten excited about pop culture for BoingBoing, Den of Geek, and Wired’s Geeks Guide to the Galaxy. A Clarion West alum, her most recent short story “Cavity” is forthcoming from Strange Horizons. Send her a raven via Twitter @tdelucci


Ommegang Queen of the Seven Kingdoms Sour Blonde Ale

Ommegang Mother of Dragons smoked Porter and kriek ale blend

Lagavulin House Lannister 9 year old single malt



Episode 007 – Matthew Kressel

Artwork to “The Last Novelist” by Scott Bakal

At last! The 7th episode of the podcast is upon us and this time Devin and Rajan sit down with Nebula-award finalist, Matthew Kressel to talk writing, Blade Runner (a constant with Matt), television, beer, and more.


Matthew Kressel is a speculative fiction writer whose short story “The Last Novelist” is a 2017 Nebula Award finalist. His short story “The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye” was a 2014 Nebula Award finalist, and his short story “The Sounds of Old Earth” was a 2013 Nebula Award finalist.

His many short stories have appeared in such publications as Lightspeed, Nightmare, Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Analog, io9.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interzone, Electric Velocipede, Apex Magazine, and the anthologies Mad Hatters and March HaresCyber World, After,The People of the Book, and lots of other places.

His novel, King of Shards, was hailed as “Majestic, resonant, reality-twisting madness,” from NPR Books.

Every third Wednesday, he co-hosts the Fantastic Fiction reading series at the famous KGB Bar alongside veteran speculative-fiction editor Ellen Datlow.


Barking Irons Applejack

Westbrook 7th Anniversary Chocolate and Sea Salt Imperial Stout

Pipeworks Mint Truffle Abduction (Imperial Stout)

iTUNES LINK – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-007-matthew-kressel/id1316587908?i=1000411706365&mt=2

Episode 006 – David Mack

It’s Groundhog Day and what better way to celebrate than listening to Episode 006 of the Spirited Discourse podcast again and again and again…

On this episode, Devin and Rajan sit down with David Mack, author of The Midnight Front, to talk about the book and Black Magick and writing and Star Trek.


David Mack is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels of science fiction, fantasy, and adventure, including the Star Trek Destiny and Cold Equations trilogies. His writing credits span several media, including television (for episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), film, short fiction, and comic books. He resides in New York City. His website is http://www.davidmack.pro


James E. Pepper 1776 Rye Finished in Sherry Casks

Episode 005 – Ellen Datlow

What’s this? An unscheduled podcast a week before the next one? Yes! That’s exactly what it is!

Devin and I had the pleasure of sitting down with esteemed editor Ellen Datlow to talk about editing and anthologies and scotch and horror and doll heads.

Please keep in mind that New York at the time resembled the ice planet of Hoth, which is the cause of any sniffles or coughs you might hear. We also recorded this at Ellen’s apartment in Manhattan and so there is some street noise (and bonus cat noise) present.


Ellen Datlow has been editing science fiction, fantasy, and horror short fiction for over thirty-five years as fiction editor of OMNI Magazine and editor of Event Horizon and SCIFICTION. She currently acquires short fiction for Tor.com. In addition, she has edited more than a hundred science fiction, fantasy, and horror anthologies, including the annual The Best Horror of the Year, Lovecraft’s Monsters, Fearful Symmetries, The Doll Collection,, The Monstrous, Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern HorrorBlack Feathers,  Haunted Nights (with Lisa Morton), and Mad Hatters and March Hares (stories inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There). Forthcoming are The Devil and the Deep: Horror Stories of the Sea, Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, and The Best of the Best (covering the first Ten volumes of the Best Horror of the Year series).

She’s won multiple World Fantasy Awards, Locus Awards, Hugo Awards, Stoker Awards, International Horror Guild Awards, Shirley Jackson Awards, and the 2012 Il Posto Nero Black Spot Award for Excellence as Best Foreign Editor. Datlow was named recipient of the 2007 Karl Edward Wagner Award, given at the British Fantasy Convention for “outstanding contribution to the genre,” was honored with the Life Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association, in acknowledgment of superior achievement over an entire career, and honored with the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award at the 2014 World Fantasy Convention.

She lives in New York and co-hosts the monthly Fantastic Fiction Reading Series at KGB Bar. More information can be found at http://www.datlow.com, on Facebook, and on twitter as @EllenDatlow.


Single Malt Scotch: Lagavulin Distillers Edition & Ardbeg Kelpie

Episode 004 – The Last Jedi Pt. 2

I’m a little late in getting the word out, but our discussion of The Last Jedi was so spirited (no pun intended) and went so long that we split it into two parts. The 2nd and final part is now online and available for your listening pleasure. iTunes has it, or you can listen via Soundcloud (also embedded below).

Episode 004, like our last episode, features Rachel Parker and Joey Ammons.


Rachel Parker is a co-founder of GeekGirlBrunch (@geekgirlbrunch) an international meet-up group for geeky women. She is a member of the NYC-based ASOIAF fan group @FireandLunch and you can hear her talk about Thrones on the @FireandLunch #Piecast. Her current passion-project is Read This F*cking Book (@rtfbpodcast) –  trading genre book recs with co-host and guests in the never-ending quest for her next favorite book. You can find her mostly talking about Star Wars @DarthRachel.

Joey Ammons is a concept artist at Macy’s Parade Studio. His Instagram is @powerkid.exe.


Light (side) and Dark (side) beers:

Light — Other Half Space Diamonds IPA

Dark — Other Half We’ve Been Out There in Orbit Imperial Stout (Bourbon Barrel Aged w/ Coffee & Coconut)