After our longest hiatus so far, Jonathan is back from Italy and Gary is back from Readercon, and we ramble on about such questions as whether modern SF can be characterized as optimistic or pessimistic, how some stories survive as influences despite their obvious flaws, whether modern SF holds on to some of its cherished myths even when they no longer seem feasible, what we’re reading these days, and our own forthcoming public podcast at MidAmericon next month. As usual, any topic that you might find uninteresting will soon turn into another topic entirely.

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Hiatus

The Coode Street Podcast is on hiatus until July 24. Have a great summer (or winter)!

companytown.jpgWelcome to the sixth episode of The Coode Street Roundtable. The Roundtable is a monthly podcast from Coode Street Productions where panelists James Bradley, Ian Mond, and Jonathan Strahan, joined by occasional special guests, discuss a new or recently released science fiction or fantasy novel.

Madeline Ashby’s Company Town

This month we discuss Company Town, the fourth novel from Madeline Ashby. It’s a gripping near future thriller described by its publisher as follows:

New Arcadia is a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd.

Hwa is of the few people in her community (which constitutes the whole rig) to forgo bio-engineered enhancements. As such, she's the last truly organic person left on the rig--making her doubly an outsider, as well as a neglected daughter and bodyguard extraordinaire. Still, her expertise in the arts of self-defense and her record as a fighter mean that her services are yet in high demand. When the youngest Lynch needs training and protection, the family turns to Hwa. But can even she protect against increasingly intense death threats seemingly coming from another timeline?

Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city's stability and heightens the unease of a rig turning over. All signs point to a nearly invisible serial killer, but all of the murders seem to lead right back to Hwa's front door. Company Town has never been the safest place to be--but now, the danger is personal.

A brilliant, twisted mystery, as one woman must evaluate saving the people of a town that can't be saved, or saving herself.

If you're keen to avoid spoilers, we recommend reading the book before listening to the episode. If you don't already have a copy, Company Town can be ordered from:

We encourage all of our listeners to leave comments here and we will do our best to respond as soon as possible.

Next month

The Coode Street Roundtable will return at the end of July with a discussion of Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station.

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Before Coode Street goes on hiatus for a few weeks when each of us travel to various exotic realms, we address a question which Jonathan raised about new editions of work by Clifford Simak and Tom Reamy—namely, what happens to the work of older writers in a world in which the midlist has all but disappeared? How do writers “read back” in the genre—or do they need to at all? How do writers as diverse as Joe Abercrombie and Neil Gaiman come across the work of Fritz Leiber, for example, or how do writers like Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Kij Johnson encounter Lovecraft? And for readers and writers who came of age in the 1990s or later, does “reading back” mean the same thing it did for earlier generations?

Then we chat a bit about our plans for Coode Street at MidAmericon in August, what we’re reading now, and what we’re looking forward to reading on the break. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode, and hope you don't miss the podcast too much! See you in late July!

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There will be at least one live Coode Street show this coming summer. We’re going to be at MidAmericon 2, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, in Kansas City, Missouri over the weekend of 17-21 August!

We’ve already lined up some special guests and just as soon as we have an official time we will let you all know. We’ll also be recording it as a podcast so that everyone who can’t be there will still be able to catch up with the show.

We are also researching possible locations for a Coode St bar meet up. More on that soon. Let us know if you’re going to be at Worldcon!

This weekend Gary and Jonathan found time amongst their growing commitments to grab an hour or so and sit down over a microphone and discuss the World Fantasy Awards life achievement award, its rules, its recipients, and some people they feel might be considered for the award. 

We also have announced that we will be taking an intermittent hiatus during July and August. There will be an episode this coming weekend, then a break of a month. It's possible there may be an episode during this time, but honestly, recording podcasts while on holidays in Tuscany just doesn't seem likely, does it?

As always, though, we hope you enjoy this episode. More next week!

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There won't be a new episode of the Coode Street Podcast this week. Gary is awak on ICFA business, so with one thing or another, we can't seem to work out timing. We both figure you'll all be fine till next week. You will, won't you? Let us know what you're going to do instead of listen to the podcast this week on Twitter at @coodestreet

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Welcome to the fifth episode of The Coode Street Roundtable. The Roundtable is a monthly podcast from Coode Street Productions where panelists James Bradley, Ian Mond, and Jonathan Strahan, joined by occasional special guests, discuss a new or recently released science fiction or fantasy novel.

Guy Gavriel Kay’s Children of Earth and Sky

This month we discuss Children of Earth and Sky, the latest novel from Guy Gavriel Kay. It’s a rich, powerful historical fantasy described by its publisher as follows:

From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates, a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, from the wealthy city-state of Seressa, famous for its canals and lagoon, come two very different people: a young artist travelling to the dangerous east to paint the grand khalif at his request--and possibly to do more--and a fiercely intelligent, angry woman, posing as a doctor's wife, but sent by Seressa as a spy.

The trading ship that carries them is commanded by the accomplished younger son of a merchant family, ambivalent about the life he's been born to live. And further east, a boy trains to become a soldier in the elite infantry of the khalif--to win glory in the war everyone knows is coming.

As these lives entwine, their fates--and those of many others -- will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world...

If you're keen to avoid spoilers, we recommend reading the book before listening to the episode. If you don't already have a copy, Children of Earth and Sky can be ordered from:

We encourage all of our listeners to leave comments here and we will do our best to respond as soon as possible.

Next monthThe Coode Street Roundtable will return at the end of June with a discussion of Madeline Ashby's Company Town.

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We nearly did it. We nearly stayed on topic…

This week, we reminisce briefly about six years of the Coode Street Podcast (an anniversary we overlooked a few weeks ago), and then segue, after a few brief diversionary rambles, into a discussion of the books we are both looking forward to in the next six months or so, touching upon new books by Angela Slatter, John Crowley, Peter Beagle, Jeffrey Ford, Kameron Hurley, Alastair Reynolds, Ursula K. Le Guin, Christopher Priest, Yoon Ha Lee, Connie Willis, Ken MacLeod, Nisi Shawl, China Mieville, Michael Swanwick and others, along the way touching upon colonialism and culture, the role of the stand-alone novella, how contemporary writers are dealing with Lovecraft, and what anthologies to look out for.
As always, we hope you enjoy the episode. Next week, a new episode of the Coode Street Roundtable and a new episode of the main show.
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We don't often do this, but in recognition of Harlan Ellison's 82nd birthday we thought we'd republish the episode from 2015 where Gary and Bill Shafer talked to Harlan about The Top of the Volcano: The Award-Winning Stories of Harlan Ellison.

Although Jonathan wasn’t able to join us on this one,they got into some fascinating stories about Thomas Pynchon, Octavia Butler, Harlan’s famous house (including the “grotto”), the role of small-press publishers in the history of the field, and what it all looks like from the perspective of a legendary writer in his 81st year.

Note: There's a break at the 42min mark when Gary's cat stepped on his laptop and paused the recording. A few minutes were missed, but conversation continued!!

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Winter is coming. Well, in Perth. An early storm huffed and puffed and knocked the power out part way through a ramble on awards and longevity (or something). We persevered. The power came back up and we rambled on.  This is an old-style episode about nothing much. If that's your thing, then have at it!

As always, we do hope you enjoy it. And we're planning for MidAmericon!
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There won't be a new episode of the Coode Street Podcast this week. Gary attending the Nebula weekend, so with one thing or another, we can't seem to work out timing. We both figure you'll all be fine till next week. You will, won't you? Let us know what you're going to do instead of listen to the podcast this week on Twitter at @coodestreet

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This week writer, editor and now publisher Jack Dann, a long-time friend of the podcast, joins Jonathan and Gary to discuss his role in launching new small press publishing imprint PS Australia and his forthcoming anthology, Dreaming in the Dark.

In a wide-ranging discussion, we touch on the plans for the new imprint, the state of the market for short fiction, the state of the Australian genre marketplace, and the historical role of the 'Dreaming' series of anthologies.

As always, we'd like to thank Jack for being a guest on the podcast, and hope you all enjoy the episode!

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Welcome to the fourth episode of The Coode Street Roundtable. The Roundtable is a monthly podcast from Coode Street Productions where panelists James BradleyIan Mond, and Jonathan Strahan, joined by occasional special guests, discuss a new or recently released science fiction or fantasy novel.

Paul McAuley's Into Everywhere

This month Coode Street co-host Gary Wolfe joins us to discuss Into Everwhere, the latest novel from Paul McAuley. It’s smart, engaging hard SF adventure described by its publisher as follows:

The Jackaroo, those enigmatic aliens who claim to have come to help, gave humanity access to worlds littered with ruins and scraps of technology left by long-dead client races. But although people have found new uses for alien technology, that technology may have found its own uses for people. 

The dissolute scion of a powerful merchant family, and a woman living in seclusion with only her dog and her demons for company, have become infected by a copies of a powerful chunk of alien code. Driven to discover what it wants from them, they become caught up in a conflict between a policeman allied to the Jackaroo and the laminated brain of a scientific wizard, and a mystery that spans light years and centuries. Humanity is about to discover why the Jackaroo came to help us, and how that help is shaping the end of human history.

If you're keen to avoid spoilers, we recommend reading the book before listening to the episode. If you don't already have a copy, Into Everywhere can be ordered from:

We encourage all of our listeners to leave comments here and we will do our best to respond as soon as possible.

Correction

During the podcast Jonathan incorrectly says Paul McAuley's next novel, Austral, is due in late 2016. It's actually due in late 2017. Our apologies for any confusion this may have caused.

Next month

The Coode Street Roundtable will return at the end of May with a discussion of Guy Gavriel Kay's Children of Earth and Sky.

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As we head into our third straight week without a guest on the podcast, we confront our lack of organisation with a smile and a nod. We actually sat down and planned what we'd discuss on this episode, then Gary brought up something else entirely immediately after the intro and off we went. 

Following the sad news that Prince had died, we spent some time discussing science fiction and popular music, then revisited my (Jonathan's) comments on people reading SF criticism, had a few comments on The Big Book of SF (which Jonathan's reading right now), noted the Hugo nominations are due in a few days, and wound up talking about what we are reading at the moment.

All in all, a pretty typical episode.  As always, we hope you enjoy it. We'll be back next week with more.
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This week’s ramble touches upon a bunch of issues, from Hugo nominations and awards (of course) to what it takes to be called a major science fiction writer, the need for more translations of non-English language science fiction, the advantages and disadvantages of “fix-ups,” “story suites,” and collections of linked stories, and whether SF has developed a kind of informal hierarchy favoring American and British SF, followed by Australian and Canadian writers, and leaving most other world science fiction as a kind of niche interest (which we dearly hope is beginning to change).

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.
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Following last week's announcement of DragonCon's new Dragon Awards, we once again return to the topic of awards proliferation; begin our discussion of Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's massive new Big Book of Science Fiction (we hope to talk to them about the book closer to its release); look at how anthologies might have changed over the past fifty years; touch on the recent trend toward revisiting and revisioning Lovecraft that can be seen in the work of Matt Ruff, Victor LaValle, and Kij Johnson; and debate whether academic criticism of SF is widely enough read to have an impact on science fiction as a whole.

As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast. More next week!

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central-station.jpgThis week we are delighted to be joined by Lavie Tidhar, whose Jerwood Fiction Underwood Prize Award winning novel A Man Lies Dreaming has just appeared in the U.S., and whose fix-up science fiction novel Central Station is set to appear in May, with the reissue of the Bookman novels and nonfiction book Art and War scheduled as well this year.

We discussed his sometimes controversial approach to alternate history, the question of borrowing tropes from pulp fiction in portraying serious events such as the Holocaust and terrorism, the importance of American SF writers like Cordwainer Smith, his own experiences growing up in a kibbutz and what he read there, and the never-ending question of genre literature vs “literary” fiction.

As always, our thanks to Lavie for making the time to join us on the podcast. We hope you enjoy the episode.
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The book selection for the April episode of the Coode St Roundtable has been made! Next month our intrepid readers will come together to discuss the new novel from Paul McAuley, Into Everywhere.   

The publisher describes the novel like this:

The Jackaroo, those enigmatic aliens who claim to have come to help, gave humanity access to worlds littered with ruins and scraps of technology left by long-dead client races. But although people have found new uses for alien technology, that technology may have found its own uses for people. The dissolute scion of a powerful merchant family, and a woman living in seclusion with only her dog and her demons for company, have become infected by a copies of a powerful chunk of alien code. Driven to discover what it wants from them, they become caught up in a conflict between a policeman allied to the Jackaroo and the laminated brain of a scientific wizard, and a mystery that spans light years and centuries. Humanity is about to discover why the Jackaroo came to help us, and how that help is shaping the end of human history.

The Roundtable always features spoilers, so if you're planning on reading along with this, grab a copy of Paul's new novel and get ready for the last weekend in April!

Welcome to the third episode of The Coode Street Roundtable. The Roundtable is a monthly podcast from Coode Street Productions where panelists James BradleyIan Mond, and Jonathan Strahan, joined by occasional special guests, discuss a new or recently released science fiction or fantasy novel.

Patricia A. McKillip’s Kingfisher

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This month Tiptree Award winning writer Nike Sulway and Coode Street co-host Gary K. Wolfe join Jonathan and Ian to discuss Kingfisher, the latest novel from World Fantasy Award and Mythopoeic Award winner Patricia A. McKillip. It’s a lyrical, funny, and sometimes challenging novel about family and destiny described by its publisher as follows:

In the new fantasy from the award-winning author of the Riddle-Master Trilogy, a young man comes of age amid family secrets and revelations, and transformative magic.

Hidden away from the world by his mother, the powerful sorceress Heloise Oliver, Pierce has grown up working in her restaurant in Desolation Point. One day, unexpectedly, strangers pass through town on the way to the legendary capital city. “Look for us,” they tell Pierce, “if you come to Severluna. You might find a place for yourself in King Arden’s court.”

Lured by a future far away from the bleak northern coast, Pierce makes his choice. Heloise, bereft and furious, tells her son the truth: about his father, a knight in King Arden’s court; about an older brother he never knew existed; about his father’s destructive love for King Arden’s queen, and Heloise’s decision to raise her younger son alone.

As Pierce journeys to Severluna, his path twists and turns through other lives and mysteries: an inn where ancient rites are celebrated, though no one will speak of them; a legendary local chef whose delicacies leave diners slowly withering from hunger; his mysterious wife, who steals Pierce’s heart; a young woman whose need to escape is even greater than Pierce’s; and finally, in Severluna, King Arden's youngest son, who is urged by strange and lovely forces to sacrifice his father’s kingdom.

Things are changing in that kingdom. Oldmagic is on the rise. The immensely powerful artifact of an ancient god has come to light, and the king is gathering his knights to quest for this profound mystery, which may restore the kingdom to its former glory—or destroy it...

If you're keen to avoid spoilers, we recommend reading the book before listening to the episode. If you don't already have a copy, Kingfisher can be ordered from:

We encourage all of our listeners to leave comments here and we will do our best to respond as soon as possible.

Next month

The Coode Street Roundtable will return at the end of April with a discussion of Paul McAuley's Into Everywhere (his second Jackaroo novel).

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