Show Notes for Ep. 12 "The Unraveling"

Stepping down momentarily from being a co-host, Ben is interviewed by Mary Anne and Jed about his newest book, The Unraveling, a tale of social unrest in a far future society. The trio explore the themes of gender, pronouns, societal structure, parenting, and even surveillance that are brought up in Ben’s story. 

You can find out more about Ben’s book on the Erewhon Books website, where you can find links to purchase the Unraveling as well.

Check out the Portolan Project “Deep Dive” that we created for this episode, a learning module about gender in speculative fiction.

Recorded 25 April 2021 / Published 14 June 2021


  • 0:00: The Unraveling’s elevator pitch
  • 3:25: Jed’s initial reaction to The Unraveling
  • 5:00: Mary Anne’s initial thoughts on The Unraveling, and the importance of sign posting point of view change in fiction
  • 7:10: On having multiple bodies
  • 16:00: On how gender is portrayed in the Unraveling
  • 23:30: On trans issues
  • 31:40: MA on having cancer and the importance of physical characteristics in gender
  • 37:50: Gender conformity in The Unraveling
  • 42:55: On the use of pronouns in The Unraveling
  • 49:28: Intermission and ad for the Vegan Serendib cookbook by Mary Anne
  • 50:43: On the societal structure within The Unraveling
  • 60:00: On parenting in The Unraveling
  • 1:00:05: On social capital in The Unraveling
  • 1:13:25: On privacy in the world of The Unraveling
  • 1:17:55: Relating privacy to parenting
  • 1:24:15: Do advanced beings or civilizations have parental responsibilities? 
  • 1:28:50: On the question of coercion
  • 1:35:40: Ben’s off-topic hair combing story
  • 1:39:50: On The Unraveling’s setting and appendices

Notes and Links