Podmentum: The one where we spoil everything

WARNING: There is a spoiler for Game of Thrones book 5 at 12-13m, so if you don’t want to know what happens at the end of this book just fast forward that bit.

First Podmentum of December! Who knew we’d make it this far. This episode includes discussion of endings in pop culture, spoilers and then we have a special guest who came in to give us all a dose of Bond culture, from Ian Fleming to Skyfall.

Topic 1 – Books and endings

There has been a bit of discussion recently about the endings of books, ignited by a column in The Guardian in which the writer expresses annoyance at ambiguous endings.

Coming to bad ends: stories that refuse closure

Endless fascination: in praise of novels without neat conclusions

Happy endings – modern readers apparently aren’t big fans of sad endings, according to Salon. I disagree but having recently learned about the phenomenon of romance readers and their unbending penchant for a happy ending perhaps there is something in it.


Topic 2 – Spoilers

In the office we talk a lot about the pop culture we’re currently consuming, and the one thing Mark and I always clash on is spoilers. I’m quite happy to know what happens in a book, movie or tv episode before I see it, whereas Mark is vehemently against hearing about the outcome before he gets to experience it himself.

Turns out my way is better, according to NPR and Time magazine.

It was all a dream (or, Turns out spoilers are good for you)

Dead Tree Alert: Don’t fear the spoiler

Spoilers might actually make reading stories more enjoyable, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California San Diego. They gave their subjects short stories they hadn’t read before, spoiling one group of readers but not others. So for example, when the assignment was Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” some readers were informed about its joltingly morbid ending. Others weren’t.

It turns out that most of the people for whom the story was “spoiled” reported enjoying it more than those who read it unprepared. 

“It’s much more terrifying to know that something horrible is about to happen than not to know it’s about to happen,” – James Poniewozik, Time

Dan Kois: Spoilers: the official Vulture statute of limitations (2008)

Chuck Wendig: A plea to all you spoilery bastards out there in Spoiler Land

Here’s why I’d first politely ask that you consider holding your tongue in terms of spoiling… well, anything within reason (and a reasonable amount of time, as set by John Q. Scalzi, Esquire): because it suggests that you’re the most important person on social media. I get it. You want to talk about what you just saw. But we all want lots of things. I want a pony. I want to punch people sometimes. I want to eat a gallon of ice cream and guzzle liquor every night. But I don’t. I don’t do a lot of things because it’d either be bad for me or bad for someone else. We don’t just follow our every id-driven impulse because: uhh, hello, selfish.

I’m just asking that you cool it on the spoilers.

John Scalzi’s suggested Statute of Limitations on Spoilers (2009)

Topic 3 – Chris Allen and James Bond

Intrepid author Chris Allen shares with us with exhaustive knowledge of Ian Fleming and James Bond. This is merely an excerpt of our whole Bondcast episode, so watch out for that next week.



Chris Allen – Homeland

Mark – Infinitas Bookshop

Joel – Old Man’s War

Anne – Ablutions


This week’s Podmentum is brought to you by Erica HayesDragonfly and Ben Pobjie‘s Book of Bloke. Click through to view these books (no spoilers).

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