Hate Web: A Valentine’s Day Special

Star-Crossed-Lovers abound! Last year’s Valentine’s Day episode (featuring our favorite couples in SFF) continues to be our most downloaded episode of all time. This year Em and EJ list their favorite star-crossed-lovers. From comics, books, and movies—from well-known to more obscure—this episode centers romances that the universe attempted to tear apart. Who is their number one? Listen and find out.

Welcome to the Star Crossed Lovers episode. EJ researched to find out what *really* qualifies as star-crossed-lovers and Em just winged it (which is pretty obvious because at least one of her picks barely counts). The phrase comes directly from Shakespeare and the ladies discuss the classic trope—which brings EJ to her first pick for the podcast: SAGA. 

Saga is a loose interpretation of Romeo and Juliet set in the realm of a futuristic space opera. This comic is one of EJ’s favorites.

Em’s first contribution is dark and sad (perfect for a Valentine’s Day special, no?). Her pick is the movie NEVER LET ME GO. The movie is based on Kazuo Ishiguro's bestselling, Booker Prize short listed novel with the same name. Em hasn’t watched in a while and thinks it warrants a rewatch. She had no idea what she was getting into the first time. Listener, you won’t either!

EJ and Em muse how this year’s picks are so much darker, even though Em’s pick last year *was* a BLACK MIRROR episode (San Junipero).

EJ’s next pick is the THREE DARK CROWNS series by Kendra Blake. This YA fantasy novel focuses on triplet Princess’s who are to be the next generation of Queens. HOWEVER they don’t all become Queen. In fact, they don’t all get to live. They spend their lives studying magic to prepare for a deathly duel. There is a lusty, dark relationship that can go nowhere good. Except, listener, it is so so so good. Check it out! 

Em chats about how, while researching, several movies from childhood came up. A few titles that kept popping up were Enemy Mine (who doesn’t love a good self-reproducing, bipedal, reptilian-humanoid?) and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS.

Em’s next real pick is SONG OF ACHILLES (bc of course it is). Em is obsessed with Madeline Miller’s take on this myth, which is evidenced by the long, long explanation she gives.

EJ mentions THE NIGHT CIRCUS. Marco and Celia *are* the definition of star-crossed-lovers. Em has a hot take that may not be super popular about Marco, but the hosts agree that the book is beautiful and one of the best written pieces of literature they’ve read.

A title that EJ kept coming across was WUTHERING HEIGHTS. EJ vehemently disagrees that Heathcliff and Kathy are star-crossed. They are simply terrible people. This is the twisted book of Em’s heart. Em would love to do a modern retelling but there is no way—these characters are so toxic. If a better writer does it—she’d love to read it (hint hint). Around the 23 minute mark, Em gives a very long, rough retelling of the story and pretty much ruins it—but she can’t help it. She loves it. (Correction: Em says that Heathcliff marries and that isn’t true. He impregnates a woman and refuses to marry her thus ruining her in society in the book.)

Em’s next pick is (surprise surprise) DOCTOR WHO: River Song and The Doctor. Everyone’s favorite Time Lord and River Song are in love—but they have different timeline’s as they travel through time and space. What are lovers coming from different timey-wimey directions to do? Keep a journal and don’t give spoilers, of course! This is Em’s favorite story arc. The story begins in Silence at the Library (which is an episode with Doctor 10).

EJ is reminded of THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE. (Correction: Em says that this is her friend Rhonda's absolute favorite book, but that may not be true). The women discuss how involuntary and compulsory time travel creates star-crossed-lovers.

EJ’s next pic is LEGEND by Marie Lu. This book is YA Sci-fi at its best. The book features the haves and the have-nots. June is a prodigy whose entire life goal is to catch this most-wanted criminal who is seen as uncatchable. Day…is that criminal. They fall in love without realizing who it is they are falling for. 

Em’s final pick is THE REINCARNATION BLUES by Michael Poore. In this book, Milo, is trying to live a life worth reincarnating to the next level of existence. Every time he dies, he meets death (literally meets them). Spoiler: They fall in love. What can you do when the person you love is death?

EJ’s number one pick is none other than THE HUNGER GAMES. Does it even get more star-crossed than Katniss and Peta? You tell us!

Shop the list of recommendations from this miniseries at BookShop.org

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