Episode 257: The end of the year approaches

This year isn't over yet, but we can just see the end of it over the horizon. Back in Chicago and Perth after their visit to Saratoga Springs, Gary and Jonathan sit down to deliver a classic rambling discussion of science fiction, fantasy and other stuff. They discuss the World Fantasy Awards, lifetime achievement and much more. 

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode!
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Episode 256: Suzy McKee Charnas and Pamela Sargent

And we're back with a new episode!  This week, from the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, we are joined by the genuinely iconic Pamela Sargent, author of many novels including The Shore of Women and editor of the legendary Women of Wonder anthology series, and Suzy McKee Charnas, author of the classic feminist SF series The Holdfast Chronicles and the equally classic The Vampire Tapestry, for a lively discussion of the changing role of women in SF since the 1970s and digress as usual into some fascinating byways and memories.

As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast! 
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World Fantasy Convention 2015

Where am I at World Fantasy Convention 2015? In addition to all sorts of private plans and to recording five podcasts for later Coode St consumption, I will be in public two times. We’re recording a live podcast and I’m moderating a panel on the fantasy canon with a group of people with so much experience, talent and sheer brain power that I can probably show up and play Angry Birds while they entertain you all. 

As to the rest of the convention, I’m in Saratoga from about noon on Wednesday through to Monday lunch time, so I’ll be about. I don’t usually go to the mass signing on Friday, but may see you there. Otherwise, if you’re hoping to catch me or Coode St, we’ll probably be in the bar…

Friday 6 November 10:00AM
Coode Street Podcast Live with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro & Charlie Jane Anders!!

Gary Wolfe and I will be recording a live episode of the Coode St Podcast (our third), this time with the wonderful and incredible Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Charlie Jane Anders. We intend to talk fantasy, careers, and what it is to be a woman making a career in our genre. This episode will be broadcast in November as part of our ‘women in science fiction’ series of podcasts.

Saturday 7 November 2:00PM
Creating the Fantasy Canon 

There are some books we all agree on as fundamental to the genre, but can we agree on a canon of twenty stories? Our panelists will discuss which twenty books are essential reading for understanding the genre and how this list has changed over time. 
Jonathan Strahan (mod.), John Clute, Michael Dirda, Yanni Kuznia, Gary Wolfe, Ron Yaniv
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Episode 255: Eleanor Arnason, Linda Nagata and Women in Science Fiction

This week, in our continuing series of discussions about the experiences of women writers in the science fiction field, we are fortunate to be joined by Eleanor Arnason and Linda Nagata.  

Linda, whose Going Dark appears next week from Saga Press is the third volume in her trilogy that began with the Nebula-nominated The Red, began publishing novels twenty years ago with the nanotech series that started with The Bohr Maker, still available from Mythic Island Press.  

Eleanor, winner of the James Tiptree, Jr. award for her classic novel A Woman of the Iron People, is currently completing a collection of her popular Hwarhath stories and has most recently published a collection of her Icelandic fantasies, Hidden Folk

We touch upon the problems and opportunities presented by self-publishing, working with small presses, and whether women SF writers might more readily disappear from the collective memory of SF readers. 

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.

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Episode 254: Meeting Infinity and Losing the Alien

7a.jpgThis week Gary and Jonathan are back in the Gershwin Room, killing time and talking about Jonathan's new anthology Meeting Infinity, which we discuss in some detail. It leads on to a conversation about our perceptions of 'the alien' and 'the other' in science fiction (and how that has changed over time), and quite a lot more in what is a classic Coode Street ramble.

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode. More next week!
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Episode 253: SF Lectures, The Martian and more

This week Gary returns from the wilds of Virginia or Washington DC or somewhere or other on the US Eastern seaboard. We discuss his experience writing and performing a series of lectures on science fiction; the strengths and weaknesses of Ridley Scott’s The Martian; compiling Gary’s Library of America volumes, and whether or not we kid ourselves on whether a work really is canonical. 

All of that and a little bit more. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode. We should be back next week with a new episode, as we begin our run down to World Fantasy and the end of the year.
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Episode 252: Cecelia Holland and Dragon Heart


This week we welcome distinguished historical novelist Cecelia Holland back to the podcast to discuss her new fantasy novel Dragon Heart, her classic SF novel Floating Worlds, the relationships between SF, fantasy, and historical fiction, and historical and political themes in the work of writers like Kim Stanley Robinson and George R.R. Martin.

As always, our thanks to Cecelia for making time to be on the podcast. We hope you enjoy the episode.
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Episode 251: Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Women in Science Fiction

This week we are joined by multiple award winning writer and editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch who discusses her long and diverse career in science fiction, as a writer,  as editor at Pulphouse then at F&SF, and her more recent experiences as a writer working in both mainstream and independent publishing. We also discuss her 'Retrieval Artist' saga, including the eight novel 'Anniversary Day' series.

We spend most time, though, discussing Kris's work editing a new anthology of science fiction by women, Women of Futures Past, which will be published by Baen Books in 2016, and her new Women in Science Fiction website.
As always, we'd like to thank Kris for making the time to talk to us, and hope you enjoy the episode!
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Stories by Waldrop, Klages and Shepard

The glory days of 2003 when I was going to review every short story that I read and publish it at The Coode Street Review of Science Fiction. Sanity prevailed, but reviews did appear.  During 2003 I reviewed Howard Waldrop's "A Better World's in Birth", Ellen Klages' "Basement Magic", and Lucius Shepard's "Liar's House".

During the podcast I recommend the following books:
More anon!
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Episode 250: Forthcoming books with Liza Trombi

LocusCoverSept2015.jpgEvery three months Locus publishes a long list of forthcoming science fiction, fantasy, and horror books that are being published in the US and the UK. As we have been doing all year, whenever one of these ‘Forthcoming Books’ issues hits the newsstands and your email inboxes, we invite Locus Editor-in-Chief Liza Trombi to join us to discuss some of the books we’re excited about reading. 

This episode is a little different, though. After more than forty years, Locus is moving premises, leaving the home of founder Charles N. Brown in the Oakland hills and moving to bright new digs in San Leandro. Before getting into our discussion of new books, we chat about the herculean task of packing and moving one of the best collections of science fiction books and art in the world, the incredible kindness of Alan Beatts and the Borderlands Books team, and hopes for the future. 

As always, our sincere thanks to Liza for taking the time to chat to us. We hope you enjoy the episode and will be back next week with more!
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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

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


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


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


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


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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