Dissecting Dragons

Welcoming lovers of fantasy, scifi, horror, and all the channels inbetween, authors J.A. Ironside and M.E. Vaughan are proud to present Dissecting Dragons, the new podcast dedicated to discussing and dissecting speculative fiction for writers and readers, by writers and readers.

Releasing episodes weakly on Podbean & Itunes, Ironside and Vaughan will be exploring a number of different subjects, with the occasional weekly guest-star, and discussing the latest in both best selling and lesser known books and films.

Their goal: to dissect and examine all aspects of speculative fiction, from the nuts and bolts of writing it, to its (occasionally) obscure origins.

Get links or listen to the episode on the Dissecting Dragons facebook, or podbean account, or download straight from itunes!

Episodes in BOLD feature a guest star. Our ‘Fairy Tales in Focus’ series is highlighted with red text.


  1. Rags to Rebel Leaders – The Re-emergence of the Fairy Tale
  2. Tainted Love – of Triangles, Love Potions and the Happily Ever After
  3. Deus Ex Machina – it was all a Dream: when Writers let you down
  4. Witches, Brooms and Spells: Enchanting and Entrapping Children in Fiction (feat. JAMES NICOL)
  5. Sci-Fi Westerns, Fantasy and Space Opera – Humankind’s conquest of Space
  6. Merlin, Mordred and Morgana – Magic in Arthurian Legend
  7. Tatooine to Tudor England – The trappings of Historical and Speculative World Building (feat. MATTHEW WILLIS)
  8. Bugbears of Battle – Inciting Violence in Speculative Fiction
  9. From West to East – Translating Speculative Fiction into Anime and Manga
  10. Fight like a Girl – ‘Strong’ Female Characters in Speculative Fiction
  11. Teams, Trios and Fellowships – the importance of Friendship in Speculative Fiction (feat. BEN BERMAN GAHN)
  12. The Gender Bend – Does the Gender make the Story?
  13. Man-Eating Monster to Flower-Toting Belle – the transition of Fairies in the Victorian Era
  14. Main Mission – Gaming Narrative, the Future of Storytelling
  15. Moustache Twirling 101 – the Mechanics of writing a Villain
  16. Rattling Bones and Poltergeists – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Ghost stories
  17. Magnus Bane to Jack Harkness – LGBTQA+ Representation and Diversity in Speculative Fiction (feat. HAMISH STEELE)
  18. Oh not another Zombie Movie – the Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Living Dead
  19. Was that REALLY necessary? – the overuse of Sexual Violence in Speculative Media
  20. Clash of the Titans – Superheroes vs Superheroes
  21. Down with the Empire – exploring political themes in YA Speculative Fiction
  22. Once More Around the Sun – Celebrating Terrible Birthdays in Speculative Fiction
  23. Genius Loci – Writing Real World Places in Speculative Fiction
  24. Cognoggins and Clockwork – What makes good Steampunk? (feat. AMELIA MCKENZIE)
  25. Death and All His Friends – Themes of Death, Dying and Grief in Speculative Fiction
  26. A Touch of Faust – Changing Goals on your Protagonist and when this works
  27. Harnessing Demons – How Writers use their own faults and insecurities in Writing 
  28. Gobblefunk and Glyphs – creating words in Children’s Fantasy (feat. JAMES NICOL)
  29. The Frankenstein Complex – why is ‘Fan Fiction’ such a dirty word?
  30. Bucky Barnes to the Winter Soldier – the Evolution of the Side-kick
  31. The Devil in the Details – Lucifer in Modern Speculative Fiction
  32. Escape to the Country – of Editing and Writing Weekends
  33. Not so Charming – Male Stereotypes in Speculative Fiction
  34. The Unveiled Series Reborn – Books, Judgement, Heaven & Hell, and PTSD
  35. Three Goblins Walk into a Bar – Writing Humour in Speculative Fiction and How to Avoid the Accidental Funny
  36. Horcruxs and Heartbreak – of Books, Souls and Killing your Darlings
  37. Breaking Out the F-jars – Our Favourite Swears in Speculative Fiction
  38. Monsters and Men – Gothic Classics and the Origin of Horror – A Hallowe’en Special (feat. S.C. PARRIS)
  39. Saints, Souls and Samhain – the Celtic Day of the Dead (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  40. Strange, Horrible and Who – the Egotism of Genius
  41. Balancing the Real and the Fantastical – Writing Relatable Epic Fantasy
  42. Let us make Men – From Golems to Androids
  43. Standalones to Series – the pros and cons of One-offs and the Neverending Series
  44. Writing Sex Scenes – it’s not as Hard as You Think
  45. Time and Tide and the Rose-tinted Glasses – Our Fascination with the Past
  46. Winter Festivals – Traditions and Stories in the Dark (CHRISTMAS SPECIAL)
  47. 2016 – The Best Bits (NEW YEAR SPECIAL)
  48. Mermaids, Selkies and Sirens – Legends of the Sea
  49. Barghests, Bogey Beasts and Black Shuck – Black Dogs of the British Isles
  50. Dreamscapes and Nightmares – Writing the Unconscious
  51. Happily Ever After – The Evolution of the Disney Princess
  52. Dragons, Wyverns and Wyrms – Happy Anniversary
  53. The Wizard of Oz to Wicked – Adaptations and Reimaginings in Speculative Fiction (feat. HAMISH STEELE)
  54. Forest Giants to Snow Queens – the Frozen Heart of Speculative Fiction
  55. Break ’em to Make ’em – the Heroes who Rise from the Ashes
  56. Symbiosis – Why we need Writing Buddies
  57. Defying Gravity – the Incredible Unlikeliness of Musical Theatre
  58. One Ring to Rule them All – Magical Artifacts that made the Hero
  59. Room 101 – the Concept of Dystopian Hell
  60. Comic Can’t – Conventions, Talks and Launches
  61. Lords of Misrule – Tricksters, Con-artists and Grifters in Speculative Fiction
  62. Occult Detectives – Urban Fantasy and Mystery
  63. Mentors, Wizards and Wise Women – Portrayals of the Elderly in Speculative Fiction
  64. Rogues, Renegades and Robin Hood – Our Favourite Outlaws in Speculative Fiction
  65. The Strange Case of Professor Lupin – the Subversive Power of Speculative Fiction
  66. Strange Familiarity – the Uncanny in Speculative Fiction
  67. The Ship has Sailed – Happy Endings, Fan Service & the Appropriate Finale
  68. Cautionary Tunes – The Fantasy & History behind Folksongs & Nursery Rhymes 
  69. When you say Nothing at all – Sparkling Dialogue in Speculative Fiction
  70. They Shall take up Serpents – Religious Cults in Speculative Fiction (feat. AMELIA MCKENZIE)
  71. The Lazarus Effect – Black from the Dead (Again!)
  72. Maenads, Black Magic & Demon Drink – Addictions in Speculative Fiction
  73. Sand and Sky – Desert Archetypes in Speculative Fiction
  74. The Sorting Hat and Other Trails – Finding your Tribe in Speculative Fiction
  75. Labyrinth – Looking at the Mystery of Mazes
  76. From Aslan to Ananda – Religious Allegory in Speculative Fiction
  77. Man out of Time – Displaces Protagonists in Speculative Fiction
  78. Portents, Symbols & Future Knowledge – Precognition & Foreshadowing in Speculative Fiction
  79. Ouija Boards, Possessed Boards & Bloody Mary – the Fascination with Supernatural Games
  80. Pivot Points – Historical Moments that Changed Everything (feat. MATTHEW WILLIS)
  81. War! What is it good for…in Storytelling?
  82. Incubi, Vampires and Fallen Angels – the Demon Lover in Speculative Fiction
  83. Spellbinding Songs, Enchanting Tunes & the Magic of Music in Fiction
  84. More Tainted Love – the Romantic Subplot in Speculative Fiction
  85. Witches, Bitches and Shrews – The Wise Woman Archetype in Speculative Fiction
  86. Leches, Perverts and Peepin’ Toms – Attitudes to Sexual Depravity in Speculative Fiction
  87. Losing the Plot – Revamping, Recycling and Reusing your Writing
  88. Heavenly Hosts and Fallen Fiends – the Angelic Being in Speculative Fiction
  89. A Night at the Overlook Hotel – Haunted Houses in Speculative Fiction (and their real life counterparts)
  90. Yay or Neigh – Horses, Pegasus and Kelpies in Speculative Fiction
  91. Evil Twins and Partners in Crime – Siblings in Speculative Fiction and Real Life
  92. Blood Drinkers and Psychic Thieves – the Vampire in Speculative Fiction
  93. Damnation, Retribution and Reception – Hell Planes and Purgatory in Speculative Fiction
  94. Inner Space – Altered Realities in Speculative Fiction
  95. The Horse’s Point of View – Gender of Politics in Speculative Fiction
  96. Fanfiction Revisited – Cassie Clare, 50 Shades and the Next Big Seller
  97. Cheese and Crackers – Our Favourite Bad Christmas Films (CHRISTMAS SPECIAL)
  98. In Review 2017 – the Good, the Bad and the Weird (NEW YEAR SPECIAL)
  99. Long Live the Resistance – The Problems of Magical Revolution in Speculative Fiction
  100. So You Want to be a Writer? Celebrating 100 Episodes of Dissecting Dragons
  101. Back on the Broom – More Enchanting Children’s Fiction (feat. JAMES NICOL)
  102. Squibs and Mundanes – Disability Representation in Speculative Fiction
  103. Best Served Cold – Revenge Arcs in Speculative Fiction
  104. Bones, Boyd and Cottle – The Physician Archetype in Speculative Fiction
  105. The Book Hangover – Fictional Worlds that won’t Let you Go – Anniversary Episode!
  106. Kali-ma, Inanna & Anath – The Creator-Destroyer in Myth and Speculative Fiction
  107. The Balance of Power – Sexism and Sexual Harassment in the Publishing Industry
  108. It Must be the Weather – How Nature Reflects Art in Speculative Fiction
  109. Into the East – Fantasy Settings Tolkien Never Used
  110. Saying What You Really Mean – The Importance of Theme is Speculative Fiction
  111. Larger than Life – The Fictional World of Giants
  112.  Spies, Traitors & Turncoats – Informants in Speculative Fiction
  113. Decoy Ducks & Red Herrings – Sayings, Urban Legends and Aphorisms
  114. Queer Eye for the Straight Story – Reading Speculative Fiction through a Queer Filter
  115. Clothes Make the Man – Cross-dressing in Speculative Fiction
  116. Cliches are Cliche for a Reason – Why Tropes aren’t bad, but Some Tropes need to Die
  117. Dinosaurs and Mega Cryptids – Man-made Monsters in Speculative Fiction
  118. You Fancy Me Mad – Renfield, Lear & Ophelia: Madness in Speculative Fiction
  119. Love Conquers All – Power Couples who destroyed the Story
  120. Bards, Troubadours and Skalds – The Musician Archetype in Speculative Fiction
  121. If We Were Villains – What Shakespeare has to say to a Modern Audience
  122. Baby Doom – The Stork Visits in Speculative Fiction
  123. From the Deep – Mystery, Suspense and Sea Monsters in Historical Fantasy
  124. Visitations and Forebodings – How Nightmares are used in Speculative Fiction
  125. From a Certain Point of View – Multiple POVs, Dual Timelines and Reader Sympathies in Speculative Fiction.
  126. The Slow Death of Literature – What Readers Really Want
  127. Crime & Culpability – Should Characters get what they Really Deserve
  128. Neat Little Monsters – The Animal Companion in Speculative Fiction
  129. Marrying in Haste – Young Love in YA Speculative Fiction
  130. Masked Marauders – Double Lives and Secret Identities in Speculative Fiction
  131. Hobbit Holes, Burrows and Secret Lairs – the Concept of Home in Speculative Fiction
  132. Stranger than Fiction – the Weird and Wonderful World of Writing
  133. Every Hero Needs a Sam – The Unlikely Best Friend in Speculative Fiction
  134. Love Ladies Lost! Revisiting Arthurian Legend
  135. Grimalkin, Mogget and Mr Kindly – Cats in Speculative Fiction
  136. Remus Werewolf McWerewolf Lupin – The Importance of Character Names in Speculative Fiction
  137. This Year’s God – The Human Need for Archetypes
  138. Streetwalkers, Courtesans and Companions – The World’s Oldest Profession in Speculative Fiction
  139. That is Illogical – Murderous, Wacky and Wise-cracking AI in Speculative Fiction
  140. Parody, Farce and Exaggeration – Satire in Speculative Fiction
  141. Spirits of the Deep and Dark – A Dissecting Dragons Hallowe’en Special
  142. Battlefield Earth – Intergalactic Invasions in Speculative Fiction
  143. Making Sh!t Happen – Avoiding the Number One Writing Fail
  144. Private Eyes and Underworlds – Crime Meets Urban Fantasy (feat. KAYLA ANCRUM)
  145. Away with the Faeries – Girls versus Supernatural Queens
  146. The Hollywood Treatment – What the Movies Changed
  147. Trading Capes – When Villains become Heroes
  148. The Holly and the Ivy – The Root of the Carol
  149. 2018 – The Good, the Bad and the Utterly Bizarre
  150. The Twilight Zone – When Fandoms are Attacked in Speculative Fiction
  151. Reading Like a Writer – How Critical Reading Informs the Writing Process
  152. The Universe in Motion – Expanding Series & Reader Opinion in Speculative Fiction
  153. A Pirate’s Life for Me – Myths, Stories and Crime on the High Seas
  154. Death and Sex Appeal – Assassins in Speculative Fiction
  155. All in Your Head – Portrayals of Mental Illness in Modern YA Fiction (feat. KAYLA ANCRUM)
  156. Childcatchers and Trunchbulls – Portrayals of Abuse in Children’s Fiction
  157. Chosen Ones and Fated Champions – the Phenomenon of the Special Snowflake in Speculative Fiction
  158. Dominion, Mastery and Emancipation – Portrayals of Slavery in Speculative Fiction
  159. I See Dead People – Psychics, Mediums and Communing with the Dead
  160. The Kids are Alright – Why do we need a NA Genre as well as YA?
  161. That’s not Historically Accurate – the Fallacy of Fantasy Fiction
  162. Bring Out Your Dead – Sickness and Pandemics in Speculative Fiction
  163. Into the Woods – Mythical, Magical and Malicious Forests in Speculative Fiction
  164. The Language of Flowers – Botanical Folklore in Myth and Speculative Fiction
  165. What We Really Want – The Tropes We Love in Speculative Fiction
  166. The Problem of Susan – Wayward Children in Fantasy Fiction
  167. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn – Anthropomorphic Animals in Speculative Fiction
  168. Woke is My Brand – The Trouble with Toxic Twitter
  169. Sly, Cunning and Cuddly – Fantastic Foxes in Speculative Fiction
  170. Maps, Footnotes and Dedications – When Authors go the Extra Mile
  171. Inner Landscapes – The Transformative Character Arc in Speculative Fiction
  172. Crowning Glory – The Significance of Hair in Myth and Speculative Fiction
  173. Endgame – The Legacy of the MCU
  174. We All Deserve to Die – Killing Off Characters the Right Way in Speculative Fiction
  175. Winter is Here – End of Thrones
  176. Fact vs Fiction – Blending the Real with the Fantastical in Historical Fiction
  177. Of Good and Evil – Depictions of Morality in Speculative Fiction
  178. Of Course, This Means War – Narrative Conflict in Speculative Fiction
  179. Truth, Lies & the Big Misunderstanding – Honesty and Deception Tropes in Speculative Fiction
  180. 10,000 – A Celebration of Dissecting Dragons (10,000 DOWNLOAD EPISODE SPECIAL)
  181. Of Their Time – the Changing Faces of Diversity and Prejudice in Speculative Fiction
  182. Full Immersion Fantasy – the Appeal of RPG
  183. The Future We Deserve? – Learning Hope From Science Fiction
  184. Auguries and Omens – Bird Symbolism in Myth and Speculative Fiction
  185. This is Not Forgiveness – Redemption Arcs in Speculative Fiction
  186. Going Through Changes – Shapeshifters in Myth and Speculative Fiction
  187. Designer Flu & Superhumans – The Conspiracy Theory Trope in Speculative Fiction
  188. I’m Not Gay, I’m Just Evil – The Queer Coded Villain Trope in Speculative Fiction
  189. Last One Alive – Final Girl Tropes in Speculative Fiction
  190. Art and Artifice – What Jane Austen has to say to a Modern Readership
  191. It’s Harder that You Think – Writing Sex Scenes in Speculative Fiction
  192. Fitted Breastplates & Feminine Mystique – Sexist Absurdities in Speculative Fiction
  193. Tragic Heroes and Unexpected Children – More Tropes We Love in Speculative Fiction
  194. Creaky Floorboards & Locked Doors – Learning Tension and Suspense from Gothic Fiction
  195. Key & Codex – Secret Societies in Speculative Fiction
  196. Tale as Old as Time – Why Fairytales Endure
  197. The Trouble with the Victorians – How a Single Era Influenced Our Opinions
  198. Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey – Time Travel in Speculative Fiction
  199. Troubled, Dead or MIA – Parent-child Relationships in Speculative Fiction
  200. The F-word Revisited – Faeries in Urban Fantasy
  201. It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas – Our Favourite Festive Scenes (CHRISTMAS SPECIAL)
  202. 2019 – Marvels and Oddities (NEW YEAR SPECIAL)
  203. For the Dead Travel Fast – Monster Hunters in Speculative Fiction
  204. Good Hearted Rogues to Xenomorphs – the Dragons’ Formative Films
  205. Guardians of Knowledge – Magical Libraries in Speculative Fiction
  206. Devilish Dogs and Last Unicorns – Traumatic Moments in Children’s Animated Feature Films
  207. Nervous Timid Goth Boys vs Manic Pixie Dream Girls – How a Single Trope can Shift Narrative Preference
  208. Welcome to the Multiverse – Alternate Realities, Evil Twins and Unmade Choices in Speculative Fiction 
  209. Bring On the Heartbreak – When Romantic Subplots go Wrong in Speculative Fiction
  210. Toss a Coin to Your Fantasy Author – When Epic Fantasy Hits the Screen
  211. Write What You Know & Other Pearls of Wisdom – the Worst Publishing and Writing Advice
  212. I’m the Bad Guy (or am I?) – Morally Grey Characters in Speculative Fiction
  213. That’s Just Not Literature – the Myths of Fantasy Writing
  214. Something Sweet & Deadly – Easter Eggs and the Problems with Fan Service
  215. The Book was Better than the Film, or When it Wasn’t – Adaptations, Revamps and Sequels
  216. Sugar & Spice – Nuance and the Nice-washing of Female Characters in Speculative Fiction
  217. You Are Cordially Invited – Costume Dramas, 19th Century Literature & Dragons
  218. Plotting, Pantsing, Middling and Snowflaking – Creating Outlines for Books and Series…or Not!
  219. Children of the Prophecy – Subverting the Chosen One Trope in Speculative Fiction (Feat. VERONICA ROTH)
  220. The Greatest Liars – What Actors can Teach Writers about Creating Characters
  221. A Knight to Remember – Courtly Love, Chivalry and Noble Warriors in Speculative Fiction
  222. Getting the Band Back Together – Subverting Tropes in Fantasy Teams
  223. Jump on the Train, or get off the Tracks – Pacing, Prologues & Bridging Distance in Speculative Fiction
  224. The Magic of the Craft – Artists Engineers and Creatives in Speculative Fiction
  225. Innocence and Experience – Inadequate Narrators in Speculative Fiction
  226. Continuity Error – Retconning and Misremembering in Speculative Fiction.
  227. Fighting Fire with Fire – When Good Guys Dabble with Dark Arts
  228. Identity Crisis – The Quest for Self Knowledge in Speculative Fiction
  229. A Tale for Bards – Why Historical Fantasy Works
  230. Growing Pains – the Coming of Age Narrative in Speculative Fiction
  231. Writing for Relaxation – the Therapy of Putting Pen to Paper
  232. Murder Most Foul – Killing with Purpose in Speculative Fiction
  233. Hidden Cities & Forgotten Kingdoms – Lost Worlds in Speculative Fiction
  234. The Power Behind the Throne – the Hidden Voices of Political Change in Speculative Fiction (feat. SOMAIYA DAUD)
  235. The Alchemy of Forever – Immortality in Speculative Fiction
  236. News from the Word Mines – What No-one tells Newbies about Writing and Publishing
  237. Sowing Prejudice – Accuracy and Research in Writing
  238. Unpopular Opinion Time (part 1) – The Dragons’ Hot Takes on Speculative Issues
  239. Unpopular Opinion Time (part 2) – The Dragon’s Hot Takes on Speculative Issues
  240. Paging Dr Love – What the Romance Genre can Teach Us about Writing
  241. Vampires, Incubae and Goblin Kings – The Daemon Lover in Myth and Speculative Fiction
  242. Chairs, Dolls & Diamonds – Cursed Objects in Fact and Fiction (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  243. The Mother of Science Fiction – The Life of Mary Shelley (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  244. Of Fates and Phantoms – The Anatomy of the Ghost Story (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  245. Old Gods & Ancient Stones – What Folk Horror has to say to a Modern Audience (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  246. Casting Long Shadows – How Horror Influences Other Genres (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL) (Feat. PHIL BREACH)
  247. Sweet, Awkward and Tongue-tied – The Unromantic Hero in Speculative Fiction
  248. All the Feels – Emotion and Characterisation in Speculative Fiction
  249. The Goddess’ Chariot – Myths and Folktales of the Moon
  250. The Usual Suspects – Cast Calling for your Novel
  251. To Queer or not to Queer – Including LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction
  252. Why is There Never a Happy Ending? – and Other Questions Writers Get Asked
  253. The Good Neighbours – Festive Faeries and Winter Elves (CHRISTMAS SPECIAL)
  254. Blood on the Snow – The Darker Christmas Stories (CHRISTMAS SPECIAL)
  255. The Trials and Triumphs of 2020 (NEW YEAR SPECIAL)
  256. Assembling the Skeleton – Showing, Telling and Cutting Out Scenes in Speculative Fiction
  257. Peacekeepers to Punishers – The Police Force in Speculative Fiction
  258. Frills and Flirtations – What Clothing brings to Speculative Fiction
  259. Taking a Toxicity Reading – Criticism and Compromise in Speculative Fiction
  260. Links and Linguistics – Why Word Choice Matters in Writing
  261. Reading the Classics – Hidden Meaning and Censorship in Stoker, Bronte and Shelley
  262. Of Liking and Loathing – How to Hook Readers on your Characters
  263. The Blade Itself – the Genesis of the Sword in History, Mythology and Speculative Fiction
  264. Challenging the System – How Magic Helps Us Deconstruct History, Politics and Social Issues (feat. NICOLE GLOVER)
  265. That’s Not Equality – When Sexism Dresses Up as Feminism in Speculative Fiction: Part 1
  266. That’s Not Equality – When Sexism Dresses as Feminism in Speculative Fiction Part 2
  267. The Beast Within – Exploring Characters with Darker Sides
  268. He Growled, She Ejaculated – Reader Peeves and How to Avoid Them
  269. Making Friends and Influencing People – The Heroine’s Journey in Speculative Fiction
  270. Its Complicated – the Highs and Lows of Relationships in Speculative Fiction
  271. Maintaining the Mood – How to Avoid Misusing Tone in Speculative Fiction
  272. This is Not 1984 – Stopping Dystopia and False Utopia Spilling into Reality
  273. The Dark Descent into Hell – Tracing the Origins of Persephone and Other Underworld Goddesses
  274. Mean Girls and Internet Trolls – Positive Body Representation in Speculative Fiction part 1
  275. Mean Girls and Internet Trolls -Positive Body Representation in Speculative Fiction Part 2
  276. All Around My Hat – More Folksong Writing Inspiration Part 1
  277. All Around My Hat – More Folksong Writing Inspiration Part 2
  278. Sins of the Father – Inherited Curses, Crimes and Responsibilities in Speculative Fiction
  279. We’re All in This Together – The Art of Collaborating in the Arts (feat. LIAM BOWLES)
  280. Gentle Giants and Brick Outhouses – the Tank Character in Speculative Fiction
  281. Mean Girls & Toxic Friends – Why Friendship Conflicts are Important in Speculative Fiction
  282. Mysterious Parcels and Mystical Cups – McGuffins, Plot Devices and Choosey Magical Objects in Speculative fiction
  283. Vanishing Acts and Secret Scandals – A Compilation of Author Mysteries
  284. From Tea Houses to Taverns – Tea, Coffee and Intoxicating Substances in History and Speculative Fiction
  285. Challenging Expectations vs Wokewashing – Blindcasting, Diversity USPs and Nuance in Speculative Fiction
  286. The Road to Hell – Moral Quandaries and Impossible Choices in Speculative Fiction
  287. Its All About Me – the Strange Appeal of Narcissism in Speculative Fiction
  288. Battle of the Animated Feature Films – Disney vs Don Bluth vs Studio Ghibli
  289. Women, Swords and Trauma – the Backstory of the Female Warrior in Speculative Fiction
  290. Absent Saints and Cruel Caretakers – How Parents Shape Characters in Speculative Fiction part1
  291. Absent Saints and Cruel Caretakers – How Parents Shape Characters in Speculative Fiction part 2
  292. With Friends Like These – Reunions Reprises and Encores in Speculative Fiction
  293. Goblin Fruit and Faery Cobblers – The Horror of Getting What You Truly Want in Speculative Fiction
  294. Crying Boys and Unhappy Mummies – More Cursed Objects in Fact and Fiction (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  295. White Ladies and Ghostly Cavaliers – A Selection of Britain‘s Most Haunted Buildings (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  296. A Young Priest and An Old Priest – Exorcism in Fact and Fiction (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  297. Of Human Evil – Serial Killers in Fact and Fiction (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  298. Long Pig & a Nice Chianti – Cannibalism in Fact and Fiction (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  299. Who Watches the Watchmen – Gatekeeping in Speculative Fiction
  300. How Not to be a Bad Art Friend – Professionalism and Empathy in Writing
  301. Everyone was Kung Fu Fighting – Martial Arts as a Storytelling Tool in Speculative Fiction
  302. My Only Love Sprung from My Only Hate – the Enemies to Lovers Trope in Speculative Fiction
  303. Wicked Queens and Nefarious Princes – The Evolution of the Disney Villain
  304. What If – Examining Storytelling by Changing the Pivot Points in Speculative Fiction
  305. Skulls and Sheets and Winter Puzzles – The Origins of the Riddle (CHRISTMAS SPECIAL)
  306. Japes and Tricks and Festive Diversions – Traditional Games Played at Yule and Christmas (CHRISTMAS SPECIAL)
  307. Good News Everyone! – 2021 the Best Bits (NEW YEAR SPECIAL)
  308. False Prophets and Unwanted Messiahs – Examining the White Saviour Trope in Speculative Fiction Part 1
  309. False Prophets and Unwanted Messiahs – Examining the White Saviour Trope in Speculative Fiction part 2
  310. Villainesses and Dense Heroines – the Reverse Harem Trope in Speculative Fiction
  311. Run Away! Run Away! – the enduring Charm of Cowardly Characters
  312. All the Feels – Widening the Appeal of Your Writing with Feel Good Moments
  313. The Economy of Boots – Wealth and Poverty in Speculative Fiction
  314. Old Souls and Mischievous Urchins – Writing Child Characters in Speculative Fiction
  315. Vampire Detectives & Snarky Female Cops – Urban Fantasy Tropes that need a Change Part 1
  316. Vampire Detectives and Snarky Female Cops – Urban Fantasy Tropes that need a Change Part 2
  317. I Want Candy! – Giving Your Characters a Balanced Diet in Speculative Fiction
  318. Mjolnir, Carnwenhau & Sting – Signature Weapons and Combat Mistakes in Speculative Fiction
  319. Love Never Dies – Romance and Obsession in Speculative Fiction
  320. Within these Hallowed Halls – Dark Academia in Speculative Fiction
  321. Lesbians against Drink Driving – The Problem of the Activist Character in Speculative Fiction
  322. Girls Who Stray From the Path – Tracing the Journey of Little Red Riding Hood (FAIRY TALES IN FOCUS)
  323. Judge Me Not By My Works – The Problem of Labelling Authors
  324. Dodging the Pulpit – Preachiness in Speculative Fiction and How to Avoid It
  325. The Buttery Goodness – What Makes a Story Grab its Audience (Part One)
  326. The Buttery Goodness – What Makes a Story Grab it’s Audience (Part Two)
  327. White as Snow, Red as Blood – Tracing the origins of Snow White (FAIRY TALES IN FOCUS)
  328. Getting Your House in Order – 15 things writers shouldn’t do and 5 things they should
  329. The Heart of the Carnival – Circuses Amusement Parks & Fair Grounds in Fiction (Feat. HAMISH STEELE)
  330. Soaring Brooms & Leaping Sharks – Sport in Speculative Fiction
  331. Every Act of Creation is an Act of Parody – Filk Music & Fandom in Speculative Fiction
  332. Girls With Glass Slippers – Tracing the Origins of Cinderella (FAIRY TALES IN FOCUS)
  333. Manners Morals & Monsters – the Growing Trend of Regency Fantasy
  334. Devotion, Betrayal & Misadventure – Queer Romance in Speculative Fiction
  335. Cottage Core & Interdimensional Cafes – Cosy Speculative Fiction
  336. The Lesser of Two Evils – Creating Moral Dilemmas in Speculative Fiction
  337. Relatable or Debateable – Avoiding Mediocre Main Characters in Speculative Fiction.
  338. There are Wolves in the Woods – What Folklore Can Teach Us About Storytelling (Feat. LORRAINE WILSON)
  339. You Can’t Take the Sky From Me – Weird Westerns and Why We love Them
  340. There is none so capable as Anne – Why we should celebrate gentle characters
  341. True Beauty is Found Within – Tracing the Origins of Beauty & the Beast (FAIRY TALES IN FOCUS)
  342. Distant Fathers, 2D Beefcakes and Tortured Villains – Sexist Tropes Against Men in Speculative Fiction
  343. Exiles, OutCasts and Outsiders – Solitary Villains and Isolated Heroes
  344. Enough to Make a Cat Laugh – Tracing the Origins of Puss in Boots (FAIRY TALES IN FOCUS)
  345. Once More with Feeling – The Successes and Failures of Musical Episodes in Genre TV Shows (Feat. HAMISH STEELE)
  346. Wodewose, Owlman & Morag – Lesser Known Cryptids of Britain & Ireland (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  347. Bat Beasts Kellas Cats and Wolf-men – Lesser Known Cryptids of Britain and Ireland Part 2 (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  348. Written in Blood – Vampires of the UK and Ireland (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  349. The Stones Remember – Cursed Places of the UK (HALLOWEEN SPECIAL)
  350. When Pain Says No – Chronic Illness Representation in Speculative Fiction (Feat. LAURA LAAKSO)
  351. Picture This – Enhancing Scenes with the Right Frame in Speculative Fiction
  352. 2022 A Space Oddity – Sci-fi (& Fantasy) Tropes which Don’t Work
  353. High Fidelity and Historical Accuracy – Do Adaptations have a Duty to be Accurate
  354. He’s a Maneater – the Global Invasion of Ogres in Myth & Fiction
  355. He’s a Maneater – the Global Invasion of Ogres in Myth & Fiction, part two
  356. Nutcrackers Little Wooden Boys and Bears of Very Little Bear – The Sentient Toy Trope in Speculative Fiction (CHRISTMAS SPECIAL)
  357. Gunpowder Crackers and Cancelling Christmas – the Myths Surrounding Common Christmas Practices (CHRISTMAS SPECIAL)
  358. Wonders and Irritations – 2022 in Review (NEW YEAR SPECIAL)
  359. A Great and Mighty Destiny – Legacies and Magical Bloodlines in Speculative Fiction
  360. Fated Brides & Fatal Spies – the Romantasy Phenomenon
  361. The Butler Did it – or Did He – How Who-dunnits Have Shaped Speculative Fiction





Dissecting Dragons was the brain child of speculative authors J.A. Ironside and M.E. Vaughan, who decided one day to combine their love of fiction, and their experience as both writers and readers into a podcast, specifically looking at Fantasy, Scifi and all the odd bits and bobs that go between.

M.E. Vaughan:

Author of the best-selling fantasy The Sons of Thestian, Madeleine is a MA graduate from the University of Winchester. The previous Director of Folk & World Music Choir, Madeleine is a keen composer and musician, and lectures in Creative Writing. Her interest in faeries was incited by her mother who, one day, unwittingly implored Madeleine to ‘write a nice story for a change, with faeries or something’.  This request birthed the first draft of The Sons of Thestian, and the subsequent start of Madeleine’s writing career. In the dedication of her book, Madeleine apologises to her mother for only being able to fulfil half of her request. Faeries, as it turns out, are pretty damn horrible.

Follow Madeleine at:
Author Websitewww.madeleinevaughan.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/M_E_Vaughan

J.A. Ironside:

Jules Anne Ironside grew up in a house full of books in rural Dorset. She loves speculative fiction of all stripes, especially fantasy and science fiction, although when it comes to the written word, she’s not choosey and will read almost anything. Actually it would be fair to say that she starts to go a bit peculiar if she doesn’t get through around three books a week. Jules writes across various genres and it’s a rare story if there isn’t a fantastical or speculative element in there somewhere.

As a keen martial artist, Jules has studied several disciplines but is most accomplished in Goju Ryu karate which she has studied and taught for almost twenty years. Her favourite things include books (obviously), slippers, cheese and surreal conversations.

She now lives in Gloucestershire, on the edge of the Cotswold way with her boyfriend creature and a small black and white cat, both of whom share a god-complex.

Follow Jules at:
Author Websitewww.jaironside.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DystopianIronside
Twitter: www.twitter.com/J_AnneIronside