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!

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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.

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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.  
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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!

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.
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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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