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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Elizabeth Hand this weekend…

If all goes to plan, this coming weekend we'll be featuring Elizabeth Hand as guest on the podcast.  We plan to discuss her forthcoming novella, Wylding Hall, and much more.  Wylding Hall is due out in July in ebook, limited edition hardcover, and audio, and is described as:

From the award-winning author of Waking the Moon, a short novel of unexpected terror

When the young members of a British acid-folk band are compelled by their manager to record their unique music, they hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient country house with dark secrets. There they create the album that will make their reputation, but at a terrifying cost: Julian Blake, the group’s lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen or heard from again.

Now, years later, the surviving musicians, along with their friends and lovers—including a psychic, a photographer, and the band’s manager—meet with a young documentary filmmaker to tell their own versions of what happened that summer. But whose story is true? And what really happened to Julian Blake?

It should be a terrific episode!
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Episode 234: On World Fantasy Awards, Life Achievement and other rambles

This week we sit down and discuss the World Fantasy Awards, the Life Achievement Award, and quite a lot more. Another old-fashioned ramble for the Coode Street Archives.

We would mention that members of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 World Fantasy Conventions are eligible to vote for this year's World Fantasy Awards. A voting form is available, and you may vote via email.  Voting closes 31 May 2015. Support what you think is worthy.
As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast and will be back next week with more.
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Episode 233: Paolo Bacigalupi and The Water Knife

This week we are joined by the Hugo and Nebula Award winning Paolo Bacigalupi, who is just about to publish his first science fiction novel for adults since 2009s The Windup Girl


Picking up from where his harrowing short story "The Tamarisk Hunter" left off, The Water Knife is lean thriller that asks important questions about how global warming will affect us all as seas rise in some places and drinking water becomes scarce in others.

The publisher of the book describes  The Water Knife like this:

In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel “cuts” water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet, while the poor get nothing but dust.

When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with no love for Vegas and every reason to hate Angel, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas refugee who survives by her wits and street smarts in a city that despises everything that she represents.  With bodies piling up, bullets flying, and Phoenix teetering on collapse, it seems like California is making a power play to monopolize the life-giving flow of a river. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.

The conversation is, as always, fascinating and provocative. We're very grateful to Paolo for making the time to return to the podcast and, as always, hope you enjoy the episode.
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Paolo Bacigalupi on the podcast

waterknife.jpg This weekend Paolo Bacigalupi returns to Coode Street and the Gershwin Room to discuss his major new novel, The Water Knife, which will be in stores in a few weeks.

The Water Knife is Paolo's first SF novel for adults since The Windup Girl and is already receiving widespread praise. The publisher describes the book like this:
WATER IS POWER
 
Paolo Bacigalupi, New York Times best-selling author of The Windup Girl and National Book Award finalist, delivers a near-future thriller that casts new light on how we live today—and what may be in store for us tomorrow.

The American Southwest has been decimated by drought. Nevada and Arizona skirmish over dwindling shares of the Colorado River, while California watches, deciding if it should just take the whole river all for itself. Into the fray steps Las Vegas water knife Angel Velasquez. Detective, assassin, and spy, Angel “cuts” water for the Southern Nevada Water Authority and its boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert and that anyone who challenges her is left in the gutted-suburban dust.

When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. With a wallet full of identities and a tricked-out Tesla, Angel arrows south, hunting for answers that seem to evaporate as the heat index soars and the landscape becomes more and more oppressive. There, Angel encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist, who knows far more about Phoenix’s water secrets than she admits, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas migrant, who dreams of escaping north to those places where water still falls from the sky.

As bodies begin to pile up and bullets start flying, the three find themselves pawns in a game far bigger, more corrupt, and dirtier than any of them could have imagined. With Phoenix teetering on the verge of collapse and time running out for Angel, Lucy, and Maria, their only hope for survival rests in one another’s hands.  But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only truth in the desert is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.

It was a lot of fun talking to Paolo about the book. We hope you'll join us this weekend to hear the conversation.

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Episode 232: On canon formation (again)

This week we return, without guests, to a topic with which we have annoyed listeners in podcasts for years—the idea of SF canon formation: who gets dropped from the canon, who gets added, and whether such things as Hugo nominations make any difference at all.

The decade between 1985 and 1995 (20-30 years ago now), saw the deaths of many of the writers who helped establish much of the "classic" SF canon — Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, Frank Herbert, Alfred Bester, Fritz Leiber, John Brunner, Roger Zelazny, James Tiptree Jr, Cliffard Simak, Lester del Rey, Philip K. Dick, C.L. Moore, and more.

Who among them are still being discovered by new readers, and which writers and books in the last 20 years are likely candidates for a future canon? Does it take 50 years or more to determine what is canonical? Are Hugos any sort of reliable guide? And what difference do canons make anyway, beyond collective lists of personal favorites?

We also have decided, as announced in the podcast, to officially support the Helsinki in 2017 and Dublin in 2019 WorldCon bids. Coode St endorses these conventions, will be buying memberships to them, and will attend should they be successful. Both Gary and Jonathan are eager to be part of major international WorldCon events like 2014's Loncon. We hope you'll join us in supporting these great bids.

We hope you enjoy this week's episode. Next week: Paolo Bacigalupi and The Water Knife!

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Episode 231: Ian Mond, James Bradley and the 2015 Hugo Novel Shortlist

This week James Bradley and Ian Mond join Jonathan to discuss the five novels that have made the final Hugo Awards ballot. The shortlisted novels are:

  • Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK) 
  • The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books) 
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books) 
  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor) 
  • Skin Game by Jim Butcher (Roc Books)
We almost completely avoid issues surrounding the ballot, and instead focus on discussing the novels and what might make them interesting to read.  Our thanks to James and Ian for making time to record the podcast. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode!
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Episode 230: K J Parker and the history of a writer

TwoOfSwords.jpgThis week’s very special episode is a conversation with the superb and formerly mysterious K.J. Parker, whose newest work The Two of Swords begins serialization this week from Orbit, and whose Savages is due later this summer from Subterranean Press.  


We discuss the influence of writers as diverse as E.F. Benson, P.G. Wodehouse, Mercedes Lackey, and C.J. Cherryh, the reason there isn’t much overt magic in Parker’s worlds, the freedom offered by fantasy over straight historical fiction, the relative advantages of novellas vs. novels, where all that wonderful dialogue comes from, and—of course—who K.J. Parker really is...

As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast!
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Coming up on Coode Street

Savages_by_K_J_Parker.jpgBusy times at Coode Street! Later today there'll be a special episode featuring mysterious British writer K.J. Parker. We discuss writing under a pseudonym, who Parker really is, writing fantasy without magic, literary influences, new projects and much more. 

But that's not all. We already have a discussion with Paolo Bacigalupi in the can and ready to come out in May, and are about to sit down and have a chat with Kim Stanley Robinson about his new novel, Aurora.  There'll also be the next instalment in our Forthcoming Books discussions with Liza Trombi from Locus and we're working on some other interesting plans that we're excited about.
We haven't forgotten, though, what makes Coode Street what it is. We'll be sitting down for some old school rambles, hoping to get in a few before convention season gets Gary traveling and awards season distracts us all.  That's all a lead up to World Fantasy in Saratoga where we hope to do something special.
All in all, we think this is making for one of the best years in the history of the podcast. As always, we hope you're enjoying the episodes and that you'll stick with us for the rest of the year!
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K.J. Parker on the ‘cast

With a little good fortune the next episode of the Coode Street Podcast will be out with the world sometime in the next thirty-six hours. This week's episode features the first ever "live" interview/chat with World Fantasy Award winning author K.J. Parker. We will be talking about Parker's new online project with Orbit, new novel with Subterranean and, of course, what it means to be K.J. Parker./ We've been waiting for this one for a while, and think it should be pretty special.

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