Jonathan on Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown

Following on from yesterday's podcast discussion with Zen Cho about her new novel, Jonathan delivers a short audio review of Sorcerer to the Crown.  If you've read the book, or have anything you'd like to add, please leave a comment. 

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Episode 249: Zen Cho and Sorcerer to the Crown

sorcerer.jpgThis week Coode Street welcomes Zen Cho, who received the Crawford Award earlier this year for her story collection Spirits Abroad and whose delightful first novel, Sorcerer to the Crown, is published this week. 


We discuss what it’s like to be a Malaysian writer living in London, the influences and background of her new Regency-romance fantasy, the heritage of colonialism, the expectations sometimes faced by writers from non-Western cultures, and her recent anthology of stories by Malaysian writers Cyberpunk: Malaysia

As always, we'd like to thank Zen for making the time to appear on the podcast and hope you enjoy the episode.
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Jonathan on Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora

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In keeping with yesterday's quick squib about Limekiller, here's another short piece of review/commentary, this time about Kim Stanley Robinson's AuroraWith all of the conversation about Hugo Awards at the moment, I (Jonathan) am tempted to make some brief comments about books, stories and other works that I feel are nomination-worthy and that may make my own ballot next year.
It is possible that I won't follow through on this, or that the latter half of the year will be such that I won't get to do more. It's also possible that these will get folded into the main podcast (I certainly don't intend to keep bombarding you with new content like this every day), but for the moment here's a sample of a possible 'Jonathan's Personal Thoughts on Possible Hugo Nominees' series.
Please, if you have a moment, drop me a note in comments or on Twitter to let me know what you think of the idea for the series and if you'd like to see more. 
 
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Limekiller by Avram Davidson

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Between 1997 and 2003 I was a reviewer for Locus. Growing demands on my time from my work as reviews editor for the magazine and as an anthologist eventually led to me giving that up. But during my tenure I reviewed a number of books I look back on very fondly. 

As a bit of an experiment, I've recorded the review I wrote in 2003 and am publishing it here. It stands as a snapshot of my writing at the time, a glance at a good book, and as a test for Coode St audio. Although the book is now twelve years old, you can still order it from Old Earth Books.  I definitely recommend it.  I hope you enjoy the review.
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Episode 248: Spokane, Hugo Awards and the Future

With Gary only just returned from Spokane and the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, we sit down to discuss the success of Sasquan, the successful site selection for Helsinki in 2017, congratulate our friends at Galactic Suburbia for their big win, and touch on some of the many and varied issues surrounding the 2015 Hugo Awards.

During the podcast we:
  1. encourage you to join both MidAmerican II (Kansas City) and WorldCon 75 (Helsinki);
  2. mention io9s list of alternate Hugo Awards nominees; and
  3. discuss Jay Maynard’s article at Black Gate about conservatives in the SF field .
This episode was recorded the day after Sasquan and is being sent out early. We expect to return to our usual schedule this coming weekend. Till then, we hope you enjoy the episode!




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Episode 247: Talking about inclusion and fandom

Two weeks ago we were fortunate enough to have Nina Allan and Renay as guests on the Coode Street Podcast (Episode 244: Renay, Nina Allan & the Weight of Fannish History). We discussed barriers to entry to fandom, inclusiveness and other issues  This week Gary and Jonathan continue that discussion in a fairly typical Coode Street ramble where we talk about inclusiveness, attending conventions, and much more.

This episode was recorded prior to WorldCon and the Hugo Awards, which we may get to in coming weeks. Until then we hope you enjoy the episode!
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Episode 246: Aliette de Bodard and The House of Shattered Wings

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This week saw the release of Nebula Award winning author Aliette de Bodard’s  powerful and engaging fourth novel, The House of Shattered Wings.  Aliette was in Spokane, Washington for Sasquan: the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention when she made to time to sit down and discuss the novel; using the real world in world buildin; urban fantasy; combining work, family and writing; and much more with Gary and Jonathan.

“Paris has survived the Great Houses War – just. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens continue to live, love, fight and survive in their war-torn city, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over the once grand capital.

House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation. They may be the architects of its last, irreversible fall…”

As always, we would like to thank Aliette for making time to appear on the podcast. We hope you enjoy the episode!
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Episode 245: Ian McDonald and Luna

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In a recent interview with Locus, Hugo and Campbell Award-winning author Ian McDonald discussed his new hard SF novel, Luna: First Moon:

‘My next books are Luna parts one and two, a duology set on a moon base – Game of Domes. In the Luna books, I’m still writing about developing economies, it’s just that this one happens to be on the moon, about 2089. It was basically Gary K. Wolfe who was responsible for it. On an ancient Coode Street podcast about invigorating stale subgenres in science fiction, he said he’d love to see a new take on the moonbase story. I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved moon stories. John Varley did one, Steel Beach. I thought about it, and Enid, my partner, was watching TV, the new version of Dallas. It wasn’t very good, but the old version was great. My book is Dallas on the moon, so it’s got five big industrial family corps on the moon, called the five dragons, and it’s about their intrigues and battles.”

Given Coode Street’s part in the history of Luna (see episode 72), we decided to invite Ian, a long-time friend of the podcast, back to discuss the new novel, his writing, and much more. As always, we’d like to thank Ian for making the time to be part of the podcast, and hope you enjoy the episode.

More next week!

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Episode 244: Renay, Nina Allan & the Weight of Fannish History

This week we are joined by reviewer, critic, podcaster and one half of the Ladybusiness team, Renay, and British Science Fiction Award winning author of The Race, Nina Allan, to discuss the implications of Renay’s recent essay on Strange Horizons, ‘Communities: Weight of History’.

In an engaging discussing we touch on what it is that makes a science fiction fan, what a fan needs to know about SF, whether there is a ‘science fiction canon’, how much of you actually need to be familiar with, whether there is cultural pressure to read stories by men, and if women are being made invisible and written out of SF history. Oh, and probably some stuff we’ve left out. 
We are very grateful to both Nina and Renay for making time to be part of the podcast and, as always, we hope you enjoy the episode. More next week!
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Episode 243: Michael Swanwick and his two rogues

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This week we welcome very special guest Michael Swanwick, discussing his new 'Darger and Surplus' novel Chasing the Phoenix, the origins of the Darger and Surplus stories, his long-ago discussions with Fritz Leiber about whether the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories were actually horror stories, collaborating with Eilieen Gunn, William Gibson, and others, and what it was like to  work with legendary editors Terry Carr and Gardner Dozois, plus other random-but-related topics.


As always, our thanks to Michael for making the time to be on the podcast and to you for taking the time to listen to it!


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Episode 242: Time runs out for the Hugos and more

As time slowly runs out to vote for the most controversial Hugo Awards in recent times, our intrepid commentators sit down to discuss the joy of attending a great convention like Archipelacon, some minor issues surrounding Sad Puppydom, discussion of Stories for Chip, tribute anthologies and much more.  Pig entrails are mentioned, so you have been warned. 

As always we hope you enjoy the podcast. Next week, while Jonathan is travelling, we expect Michael Swanwick on the podcast to discuss his latest novel.

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Episode 241: Samuel R. Delany

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This week we have a very special episode of the Coode Street Podcast indeed. During his recent appearance as Guest of Honor at Readercon 26 in Burlington, Massachusetts, Gary Wolfe sat down for a wide-ranging informal conversation with SF Hall of Fame inductee and SFWA Grand Master Samuel R. Delany to discuss his work, a recent collection of his early novels, and much, much more.

Jonathan was supposed to be part of the podcast, but due to calendar-keeping skills that could at best be described as rudimentary, missed the recording. Nonetheless, we hope you'll enjoy the episode. We would like to thank Chip for making time to be part of the Coode Street Podcast. It's greatly appreciated.
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Episode 240: Karin Tidbeck, Cheryl Morgan and Archipelacon

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Over the weekend of June 25-28 Gary travelled to distant and beautiful Mariehamn in the land of the midnight sun where he was to appear as a guest of honor at Archipelacon: The Nordic SF & Fantasy Convention.

In amongst time spent appearing on panels, making speeches and marveling that the sun was still up as midnight approached, Gary took time to sit down with fellow Archipelacon guest Karin Tidbeck and long-time friend of the podcast Cheryl Morgan to discuss Karin’s writing, Finnish and Swedish SF, some recommended new translations, and much more.

As always, our sincere thanks to Karin and Cheryl for taking the time to be part of Coode Street. We hope you enjoy the episode. Next week: Readercon goodness!

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Episode 239: Archipelacon, World Fantasy and more

This week, with Gary returned from Archipelacon in Finland, we touch once again upon the problems of translation, the Finnish Weird, the international SF community, and such timely matters as the 50th anniversary of Frank Herbert’s Dune, the announcement of World Fantasy Life Achievement winners Ramsey Campbell and Sheri S. Tepper, new critical books in the series from University of Illinois, and even some odd ideas about short books or essays we’d like to see on the model of the 33 1/3 series, as well as the usual random rambles.


Next time we'll be back with a special episode recorded at Archipelacon featuring Karin Tidbeck and Cheryl Morgan.  As always, we hope you enjoy this week's show!
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Episode 238: Kim Stanley Robinson and Aurora

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This week we are joined by Hugo and Nebula Award winning writer Kim Stanley Robinson to discuss generation starships, how we might live in space, how space opera is becoming a subset of fantasy and his exciting new novel Aurora (due July 7).

We are delighted to be able to present what is one of the first major discussions about this extraordinary new novel, which we think will prove to be one of the standout SF novels of 2015. As always, we'd like to thank Stan for making the time to talk to us, and hope you enjoy the podcast.

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Kim Stanley Robinson and Aurora this weekend

This weekend our special guest on the podcast will be multiple award-winning writer and good friend of Coode Street, Kim Stanley Robinson, who joins us to discuss his remarkable new novel Aurora.  We hope you'll keep an eye out for the episode, which should go out in the next day or two.
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Episode 237: On Nebulas and more

After a brief, unplanned hiatus due to scheduling and personal issues (meaning that Gary got more involved in the Nebula weekend than he intended to), we return with a discussion that ranges from the Nebula nominees and winners this year, the encouraging sense of the health of the field during the Nebula weekend, the question of whether middle volumes in trilogies are always worth reading, the question of world-building by accretion through a series of stories (as in Fritz Leiber or Robert E. Howard) versus worldbuilding as a pre-writing activity, the question of how to achieves a balance between science fiction and fantasy in anthologies (or if it makes a difference at all), and various other topics that will delight listeners who enjoy our usual rambling, and hopefully not too seriously frustrate others.


As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast. Next week: Kim Stanley Robinson on Aurora.
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Episode 236: On books to look for

Every year there are thousands of books published and any one of them could appeal to you. To help you find great new books, Locus publishes a list of forthcoming titles every three months.   And to help you navigate through that, each quarter we invite Locus  Editor-in-Chief Liza Groen Trombi to join us and discuss the books that we think might be most interesting that are due out between now and the end of 2015.

This month, unfortunately, Liza was not able to join us. However, we have persevered and have some recommendations for you. Of course, we strongly recommend you pick up a copy of the June issue of Locus and see the full list, which goes through to March 2016. 
As promised, here's our list:
  • ABERCROMBIE, JOE Half a War, Ballantine Del Rey, Jul 2015 (eb, hc) 
  • BEAR, GREG Killing Titan, Orbit US, Oct 2015 (hc)
  • BENFORD, GREGORY The Best of Gregory Benford, Sub- terranean Press, Jul 2015 (c, eb, hc)
  • BIANCOTTI, DEBORAH Waking in Winter, PS Publishing, Jul 2015 (na, hc)
  • BLAYLOCK, JAMES P. Beneath London, Titan US, May 2015 (eb, tp)
  • BRAY, LIBBA Lair of Dreams, Little, Brown, Aug 2015 (1st US, ya, eb, hc)
  • CHO, ZEN Sorcerer to the Crown, Macmillan, Sep 2015 (eb, hc)
  • CIXIN, LIU The Dark Forest, Tor, Jul 2015 (eb, hc) 
  • DE BODARD, ALIETTE House of Shattered Wings, Penguin/Roc, Sep 2015 (1st US, hc)
  • DICKINSON, SETH The Traitor Boru Cormorant, Macmillan/Tor UK, Aug 2015 (eb, hc)
  • GORODISCHER, ANGELICA Prodigies, Small Beer Press, Aug 2015 (eb, tp) 
  • HAND, ELIZABETH Wylding Hall, Open Road, Jul 2015 
  • HOLLAND, CECELIA Dragon Heart, Tor, Sep 2015 (eb, hc) 
  • HOPKINSON, NALO Falling in Love with Hominids, Tachyon Publications, Aug 2015 (c, tp)
  • HURLEY, KAMERON Empire Ascendant, Angry Robot US, Oct 2015 (eb, tp)
  • HUTCHISON, DAVE, Europe in Autumn, Solaris, UK/US Nov 2015  (tp)
  • KIERNAN, CAITLÍN R. Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea, Subterranean Press, Nov 2015 (c, eb, hc)
  • KRESS, NANCY The Best of Nancy Kress, Subterranean Press, Sep 2015 (c, eb, hc)
  • LECKIE, ANN Ancillary Mercy, Orbit US, Oct 2015 (tp) 
  • LIU, KEN The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, Simon & Schuster/Saga Press, Nov 2015 (c, eb, hc)
  • McDONALD, IAN Luna: New Moon, Tor, Sep 2015 (eb, hc)
  • McDONALD, IAN The Best of Ian MacDonald, PS Publishing, Jun 2015 (c, hc) 
  • McDONALD, IAN The Locomotives’ Graveyard, PS Publishing, Aug 2015 (na, hc) 
  • McDONALD, IAN Mars Stories, PS Publishing, Aug 2015 (c, hc)
  • MIÉVILLE, CHINA Three Moments of an Explosion, Ballantine Del Rey, Aug 2015 (1st US, c, eb, hc) MITCHELL, DAVID Slade House, Random House, Oct 2015 (eb, hc) 
  • MORROW, JAMES Reality by Other Means: The Best Short Fiction of James Morrow, Wesleyan University Press, Nov 2015 (c, hc)
  • NAGATA, LINDA, The Red:Going Dark, Saga Press, Nov 2015 (hc)
  • NIX, GARTH  To Hold the Bridge, Harper, Jun 2015 (c, ya, hc)
  • PRATCHETT, TERRY The Shepherd’s Crown, HarperCollins, Sep 2015 (ya, hc) 
  • REYNOLDS, ALASTAIR The Best of Alastair Reynolds, Subterranean Press, Nov 2015 (c, eb, hc)
  • RICKERT, MARY The Corpse Painter’s Masterpiece: New and Selected Stories, Small Beer Press, Aug 2015 (c, eb, tp)
  • ROBERTS, ADAM The Thing Itself, Orion/Gollancz, Dec 2015 (tp)
  • SCALZI, JOHN The End of All Things, Tor, Aug 2015 (eb, hc)
  • SWANWICK, MICHAEL Chasing the Phoenix, Tor, Aug 2015 (eb, hc) 
  • WESTERFELD, SCOTT Zeroes (with Margo Lanagan & Debo rah Biancotti), Simon Pulse, Sep 2015 (ya, hc)
  • WOLFE, GENE A Borrowed Man, Tor, Oct 2015 (eb, hc)
As always, we hope you enjoy the episode! 
Correction: During the podcast Jonathan incorrectly said Linda Nagata's Going Dark was the reissue of the first book in her "The Red" sequence. It's actually the third, with The Red: First Light coming in June, The Red: The Trials in August, and series closer The Red: Going Dark in November. All are worth your attention.
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Forthcoming books episode coming!

As promised, regular guest Locus Editor-in-Chief Liza Groen Trombi will join us on the podcast this weekend to discuss highlights from the next "Forthcoming Books" issue of Locus. We expect to give you an idea of the books we'll be looking out for during the rest of the year, while also possibly mentioning other surprises.   We record tomorrow, and the episode should be out late Monday.

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Episode 235: Elizabeth Hand and Building the Mystery

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This week we pay a return visit to World Fantasy Award winning author Elizabeth Hand, discussing her new short novel Wylding Hall, the British folk revival of the 1970s which provides the novel’s background, the use of multiple narrators (and the advantages of audio-books in differentiating them), and such diverse matters as the legacy of Arthur Machen, why there aren’t more fantasy novels about the arts, and what to expect next in her ongoing series of crime novels involving the troubled ex-punk photographer Cass Neary.

As always, our thanks to Liz for making the time to talk to us and we hope you enjoy the podcast!

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