It’s the end of the year and time to talk about how it went, what’s worth reading, what could end up on your holiday gift lists, and what could be avoided. To kick off Coode Street’s end of year coverage, this week Roundtablers James Bradley and Ian Mond join Gary and Jonathan to discuss books they’ve loved during the year and would recommend to you, if you’re looking for some great reading.

To help you chase down the books, our lists are below:

James’s List

  • The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
  • Hold, Kirsten Tranter
  • Children of Earth and Sky, Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Vision, Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta & Mike de Mundo
  • Barkskins, Annie Proulx
  • Goldenhand, Garth Nix
  • Into Everywhere, Paul McAuley
  • Company Town, Madeleine Ashby
  • Children of the New World, Alexander Weinstein
  • Version Control, Dexter Palmer
  • Europe in Winter, Dave Hutchinson

Ian’s List

  • Underground Airlines, Ben H. Winters
  • The Sudden Appearance of Hope, Claire North
  • Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff
  • Vigil, Angela Slatter
  • I Am Providence, Nick Mamatas
  • My Best Friend's Exorcism, Grady Hendrix
  • What is Not Yours is Not Yours, Helen Oyeyemi
  • Martin John, Anakana Schofield
  • Solar Bones, Mike McCormack
  • The Obelisk Gate, N K Jemisin

Jonathan’s List

  • Revenger, Alastair Reynolds
  • Goldenhand, Garth Nix
  • Children of Earth and Sky, Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Bloom County XII: A New Hope, Berkeley Breathed
  • Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff

Gary’s List

  • The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
  • Revenger, Alastair Reynolds
  • Children of Earth and Sky, Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Central Station, Lavie Tidhar
  • The Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson
  • The Gradual, Christoper Priest
  • The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle

As always, our thanks to James and Ian, and we hope you enjoy the episode.

 

00:0000:00

This week we find ourselves talking about the resurgence of the novella in fantasy and SF, the possible reasons behind it, the changes in recent print magazines Asimov’s and Analog, the question of why short fiction seems to be moving in a digital direction whereas the novel not so much--and then we segue unconvincingly into questions of what gets reviewed and by whom, finally ending up with the problems in trying to find a workable definition of fantasy as compared to science fiction or horror.

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode!

00:0000:00

After a week off, we return to discuss just how science fictional the recent American elections are, whether political science fiction has ever had much impact on social attitudes or public policy, what if anything SF has to offer to the disenfranchised, and the representation of women and minorities as characters as well as contributors in recent anthologies like Jonathan’s Bridging Infinity. We also offer some thoughts on the recent World Fantasy Convention, the difficulties World Fantasy seems to be facing in terms of both awards and convention attendance, and whether there are really any professional conventions left in the SF field.

00:0000:00

This week, from the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, Ohio, Gary is joined by Hugo-winning David Levine (Arabella of Mars) and Andre Norton-winning Fran Wilde (Updraft, Cloudbound) to discuss various matters from Regency interplanetary adventures to bone cities to where SF titles come from,and balances between SF, fantasy, pulp traditions, and YA elements in SF’s emerging new eclecticism.

As always, our thanks to David and Fran for making the time to talk to Gary. We hope you enjoy the episode!

51hQF8-CgfL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg   26114263.jpg

00:0000:00

The Coode Street Podcast stumbles towards its three hundredth episode with another discursive chat between co-hosts Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. Topics this week include Bob Dylan, the Nobel and accepting awards; baseball in science fiction; and other stuff which, if we were honest, we might admit we don’t remember.

Nonetheless, time was spent and we hope you enjoy the episode. Next week, World Fantasy, Columbus, Ohio, and more!

00:0000:00

9780765390042.jpg

This week we sit down with Crawford Award winning author Kai Ashante Wilson to discuss his fiction, his career and the pros and cons of being a late starter. We focus on his multiple-award nominated novella "The Devil in America", Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, and his new book, the just-released and highly recommended A Taste of Honey.

As always, our thanks to Kai for making the time to join us. We hope you enjoy the episode!

00:0000:00

After last week's experiments with audio ended up in a lost recording, this week we turned to more traditional methods to make sure we'd be bringing you a new episode this week. 

For about an hour, Gary an

hugo-award-logo.jpg?fit=225%2C312&type=v

d I discuss the new Best Series category for the Hugo Awards (in great and possible inaccurate detail(, trends in alternate history, and some new books that we've been reading. We also mention our next guest.

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode. See you next week!
00:0000:00

With apologies, there'll be no new episode this week. Gary and I sat down over the weekend and recorded a new episode where we discussed new books coming out, important writers of the 2000s and the new Hugo series award, but sadly we don't have that episode. We were trialling a new recording product, Zencastr, and something went amiss and we lost the audio. Normally we record a backup, but this time we neglected to, so it's simply gone.  We will be back again this coming weekend, though, where we'll no doubt discuss something else altogether. 

In the final of our conversations recorded during MidAmericon 2, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, in Kansas City, we sit down with Hugo and Nebula winner Jo Walton and Tiptree Award winner Eugene Fischer for a wide-ranging and insightful discussion that touches not only upon their own fiction, but of the kind of reading that helped shape it, from Victorian literature to the SF of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

We’d like to the Jo and Eugene for making time to talk to us. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode!

00:0000:00

Crosstalk by Connie Willis

This week we are joined by Hugo and Nebula Award winning author Connie Willis to discuss her new novel, Crosstalk, which is just out in the UK from Gollancz and will be out in the US early next month.

The publisher describes Crosstalk like this:

Briddey is about to get exactly what she thinks she wants...

Briddey is a high-powered exec in the mobile phone industry, overseeing new products from concept ('anything to beat the new apple phone') to delivery. And she works with her wonderful partner, Trent. They've been together for six magical weeks, in a whirlwind of flowers, dinners, laughter and now comes the icing on the cake: not a weekend away or a proposal but something even better. An EDD. A procedure which will let them sense each other's feelings. Trent doesn't just want to tell her how much he loves her - he wants her to feel it.

Everything is perfect.

The trouble is, Briddey can't breathe a word of it to anyone (difficult, when the whole office is guessing) until she's had two minutes to call her family. And they're hounding her about the latest family drama, but when they find out about the EDD - which they will - they'll drop everything to interrogate her. And it might just be easier to have the procedure now and explain later.

The race is on: not just for new, cutting-edge technology, but also for a shred of privacy in a public world and - for Briddey - a chance for love at the heart of it all.

This is a brilliant, heart-warming romantic comedy from one of the wittiest and wisest of our authors. Written with a light touch and a smile, we're swept up in Briddey's romance - and into the difficulties of a world just one technological step away from our own, as technology and social media blur (or indeed remove) the line between personal and public.

In a spirited and entertaining discussion in a rather noisy hotel room in Kansas City, we discussed the novel, comedy, social media, science fiction, and much more. As always, we'd like to thank Connie for making the time to talk to us, and hope you enjoy the show.

00:0000:00

9781473200937_Crosstalk_TPB.jpg

revenger.jpgThis week we are joined by the estimable Alastair Reynolds, celebrating the publication of his new space-pirate adventure tale Revenger and his collaboration with Stephen Baxter, The Medusa Chronicles

We also discuss the attraction many SF readers and writers have for maritime adventures, the influence and heritage of Arthur C. Clarke (as well as Asimov and Heinlein), the impact of cyberpunk on space opera and other later SF, and the question of whether the solar system is enormous enough on its own to be the setting for space operas involving thousands of worlds and habitats—as it seems to be in Revenger.

As always, we'd like to thank Al for making the time to talk to us, and we hope you enjoy the episode.  
00:0000:00

watersofversailles.jpg

When Gary and I were in Kansas City for MidAmericon 2, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention last month, we were fortunate enough to sit down with a handful of really interesting people. 

One of the highlights was getting to chat with the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Sturgeon award nomination author of “Waters of Versailles”Kelly Robson. In what was a really enjoyable conversation, we discussed Kelly’s work, starting a writing career a little later in life, and a lot more.

We’d like to thank Kelly for making time to join us and, as always, hope you enjoy the episode!

00:0000:00

central-station.jpg

Welcome to the seventh 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. With James busy with housemoving and such, we're joined by award-winning critic Gary K Wolfe.

Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station

This month we discuss Central Station, the latest book from Lavie Tidhar. It’s described by publisher Tachyon as follows:

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper.

When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik—a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return.

Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation—a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness—are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

At Central Station, humans and machines continue to adapt, thrive...and even evolve.

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, Central Station 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 Claire North’s The Sudden Appearance of Hope.

PS: During the recording Jonathan incorrectly states this is the sixth Roundtable. It is the seventh. Apologies for any confusion.
00:0000:00
coodest2016.jpg

Over the past several years we've been fortunate to record episodes of the Coode Street Podcast in front of a live audience. One of the highlights of MidAmericon 2, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention was when we got to sit down with convention Guest of Honor Michael Swanwick and award-winning author Kij Johnson to discuss the craft of short fiction. Our discussion focusses entirely on the writing of James Tiptree Jr's classic novelette "The Women Men Don't See". We think, modestly, that it's one of our very best episodes yet.  We hope you agree.

warm-worlds.jpg

The episode was recorded live on Friday 29 August 2016 in front of a terrific audience and was recorded by Kathi Overton and the MidAmericon 2 team. We'd like to sincerely thank Michael and Kij for their time and the effort that went into making this a success, Kathi and her team for their hard work, and everyone at MidAmericon 2 for making this possible. We would love to do more episodes on the craft of short fiction like this one, and are seriously considering it. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.

Photo by Kate Savage. Used with permission.

(c) 2016 Coode St Productions & Gary K. Wolfe. This may not be copied or transcribed without written permission.

00:0000:00

Copyright

A quick note on copyright and Coode Street. The Coode Street Podcast and all of its episodes are copyright Coode Street Productions and Gary K. Wolfe. They may not be copied, transcribed or reused without written permission. If you would like to use a transcription of any episode of the Coode Street Podcast please email Jonathan or Gary to request permission.  

On hiatus

Gary and Jonathan were supposed to record an episode this weekend, but that didn't quite work out, as sometimes happens. And now they're on hiatus again. This coming weekend Jonathan's travelling to the United States for MidAmericon 2 and the following weekend he and Gary are actually at the convention, possibly recording some episodes. After that who knows?

At the moment they expect to return on the weekend of August 27/28 with a new Coode St and a new Coode St Roundtable. After that, they'll have to see. They're discussing reducing the frequency of the podcast, so things will probably change more! See you all in a couple weeks! And if you see Gary or Jonathan in Kansas City, do come up and say hi!

This week, in a quick episode recorded between hiatuses, we are joined by Locus Editor-in Chief Liza Groen Trombi to discuss the upcoming WorldCon, how Locus approaches covering the event, and books we've read recently and liked, and books we're looking forward to.

As always, our thanks to Liza for making the time to be on the podcast and we hope you enjoy the episode.
00:0000:00

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.

00:0000:00

Hiatus

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

- Older Posts »