Siding with bugs is praxis

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. Austin Loomis
    February 3, 2017 @ 2:52 am

    I can’t say for certain that I would’ve discovered Eruditorum Press if not for Ben. It was 2012 and I was much more active at Milliways Bar than I am now (I think it had just recently moved from Livejournal to Dreamwidth), and he posted a link to TARDIS Eruditorum (as it then was) in the chat (where I’m active to this good day). I think it was specifically to Pop Between Realities 30: Doctor in Distress; certainly, that was at or near the top of the front page, so it’s as good a landmark as any for tracing the intersecting psychochronographies of my life and Phil’s (and Josh’s, since I’m pretty sure I discovered Vaka Rangi through a pre-merger boost from TE).


    • Austin Loomis
      February 3, 2017 @ 2:45 pm

      Also, he piqued my interest in TES (to the point where I participated in the ESO beta and subscribed for several months after launch) by posting links to the 36 Lessons of Vivec. I remain inordinately fond of the phrase “Nothing is of any use. We must go and misinterpret this.” (It probably helped that I had been prepared for Kilbride and all his angels by Hitherby Dragons and the other writings of the Jenna Katerin Moran formerly known as Rebecca Sean Borgstrom.)


  2. Sean Dillon
    February 3, 2017 @ 3:56 am

    Wonderful podcast, as always. The last quote, as well as some comments in the middle, have pretty much summed up my thoughts on how fiction works. There will always be a reader watching/playing/experiencing a piece of fiction and they will come at it from their own perspectives. Any attempt at imposing a canon is essentially claiming that only one perspective on a work of fiction matters (guess whose?) I’ve never liked this concept, even when it was pitched to me as “The Auteur Theory”, which really just feels like a bunch of anxious people trying to make their fledgling film medium appeal to the high art crowd who views books as the apex of narrative art (much like how video games try to appeal to the high art crowd who views film as the apex of narrative art). It always feels counterintuitive to reading. I suppose that’s another reason why I’ve been gravitating towards comics: you have to participate in connecting one image to the next.


    • Ben Knaak
      February 3, 2017 @ 1:34 pm

      The fact that the concept of canon (a term that was invented LITERALLY as a joke at the expense of Sherlock Holmes fans) has come to be taken seriously by so many people is the worst thing to happen to fiction in the last hundred years.


  3. Daru
    February 5, 2017 @ 8:11 pm

    Thanks so much to you both Josh for the great podcast. I will be honest tho I have never played any of the Elder Scrolls games (and may not), but I found especially this podcast really inspiring as far as exploring ideas around canon and narrative structure are concerned.

    I have never really been into the idea of canon, which is why on one level I was for example drawn to Doctor Who, despite attempts by elements of its fandom to insist it has a canon – I love it’s contradictions and non-linear nature at times.

    Anyways I am in the midst of cooking up a creative project that has been requiring a bit of background work and I have really found your current episode really useful. I do admit to being surprised at how much I got into what you both shared as I knew nothing about the games – so thanks again!

    (On a side note I know I have been a bit quiet on the comments side in your recent posts Josh but I have had some pretty major family stuff going on that has needed my presence. Anyways, I am still here and appreciating what you do!)



  4. bombasticus
    February 7, 2017 @ 8:45 pm

    I bet Ken Rolston would love to share his reminiscences on the origins + influences behind the setting.


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