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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Episode 229: On books, history, awards and such

This has been a busy year for the Coode Street Podcast, talking to interesting guests, covering a wide-range of issues, and being syndicated by our friends at Tor.com. For a bit of change, Gary and Jonathan decided to sit down together and record an old-fashioned Coode Street Podcast, just two guys rambling about science fiction.

Topics covered, or touched on, included awards (of course), politics, the anniversary of SF classics, what makes a a work entertaining, and more.  All in all, a pretty typical episode of the podcast.  As always, we hope you enjoy the episode and will be back for more next week!
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Episode 228: John Scalzi and Alisa Krasnostein

scalzi.jpgWith Swancon 40, the 2015 Australian National Science Fiction Convention, in full swing Jonathan sat down with convention guest of honour John Scalzi and Twelfth Planet Press editor/publisher Alisa Krasnostein to discuss science fiction, community, Robert Heinlein, having just finished new novel The End of All Things and more!

As always, we'd like to thank John and Alisa for appearing on the podcast. John's next novel, The End of All Things, is out for preorder and you can support the Pozible campaign for Alisa's new project Defying Doomsday here. 
We hope you enjoy the episode!
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Episode 227: Ken Liu, Joe Monti and The Grace of Kings

graceofkings.jpgThis week Gary* is joined by award-winning author Ken Liu and Joe Monti, Executive Editor at Saga Press, to discuss Ken's exciting debut novel The Grace of Kings, his forthcoming collection The Paper Menagerie, and much more.

As always we'd like to thank Ken and Joe for making the time to talk to us. And we hope you enjoy the podcast!
The Grace of Kings is in stores next week.
* Jonathan missed this episode due to illness.
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Episode 226: Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Signal to Noise

Signal to Noise, Silvia Moreno-GarciaThis weekend Silvia Moreno-Garcia joins us to talk about her debut fantasy novel, Signal to Noise. 


Described in an upcoming issue of Locus as “one of the most important fantasy debuts of the year”, it’s an engaging and compelling story of a woman returning to her family home in Mexico for her father’s funeral, and of a time in her teens when she discovered that the right music played just the right way could change the world. 

It may be that we grew up at the right time, it may be that Meche’s past overlapped mine in just the right way, but we loved this gentle, moving book quite a bit.

If you have any interest in fantasy and music, then we think Signal to Noise is for you. It’s the best genre book about music that Jonathan has read since Lewis Shiner’s Glimpses


The publisher describes the book like this:
A literary fantasy about love, music and sorcery, set against the background of Mexico City.

Mexico City, 1988: Long before iTunes or MP3s, you said “I love you” with a mixtape. Meche, awkward and fifteen, has two equally unhip friends -- Sebastian and Daniela -- and a whole lot of vinyl records to keep her company. When she discovers how to cast spells using music, the future looks brighter for the trio. With help from this newfound magic, the three friends will piece together their broken families, change their status as non-entities, and maybe even find love...

Mexico City, 2009: Two decades after abandoning the metropolis, Meche returns for her estranged father’s funeral. It’s hard enough to cope with her family, but then she runs into Sebastian, and it revives memories from her childhood she thought she buried a long time ago. What really happened back then? What precipitated the bitter falling out with her father? And, is there any magic left?

Silvia was a terrific guest and the conversation we recorded talks about the book in an interesting way that really complements reading the book. Consider picking up a copy of Silvia’s book. It’s Coode Street Recommended.

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Coode Street - Tshirts

A quick reminder, should you be interested, that we do have Coode Street merchandise! T-shirts. Lovingly designed, criminally undersold, these wonderful designs with original Coode St logos, attractive layout, and witty sayings could be yours.  Pretty much entirely non-profit, we nonethless commend them to the keen Coode Street listener.  

You can check out and order Coode Street t-shirts here.
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Episode 225: Biancotti, Lanagan, Westerfeld and Zeroes

This week Deborah BiancottiMargo Lanagan, and Scott Westerfeld join Gary and Jonathan in the Gershwin Room (aka Skype) to discuss their exciting new book project, Zeroes. Our discussion ranges from collaborating, and all of the ins and outs of collaboration, to superheroes and the origins of the new series.  Zeroes will be released in September.

As always, we would like to thank Deborah, Margo, and Scott for joining us, and hope you enjoy the episode.
Next week: Silvia Moreno-Garcia, strong female characters and Signal to Noise.
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Episode 224: Kelly Link Gets in Trouble

This week we welcome the remarkable Kelly Link, celebrating her new collection Get In Trouble, her recent anthology with Gavin Grant getintrouble.jpg, her career in general, and what’s coming up from Small Beer Press.  We talk about the differences (if there are any) between adult and YA fiction, genre and mainstream, the possibility of a new novel, and what we did or didn’t read in school. 

In addition to discussing Kelly’s own fiction and her rapidly growing reputation between Stranger Things Happen and Get in Trouble, we touch upon other books and authors from T.H. White’s The Once and Future Kingto Peter Straub’s “Hunger: An Introduction,” from Ray Bradbury to Shirley Jackson.  And Kelly, who loves ghost stories, raises the very good question of why we return to the same stories again and again, even long after we know what’s going to happen.  Listen, and see if any of us come up with a good answer for that. 
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Episode 223: Alisa Krasnostein, Sean Wright, Tehani Wessely and the Aurealis Awards

As the Aurealis Awards reach their twentieth anniversary, Jonathan sits down with Aurealis Awards judging co-ordinator Tehani Wessely, publisher Alisa Krasnostein, and critic Sean Wright to discuss the Aurealis Awards, their history and the recently released 2014 Aurealis Awards shortlist.

This is the first time two episodes of Coode Street have been recorded and released on the same day! Our thanks to Alisa, Tehani and Sean for making the time to be available to record the podcast. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode!
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Episode 222: Forthcoming Books with Liza Trombi

locusmarch.jpgWe are always on the look-out for new and exciting books to read, and always want to know what we should keep an eye out for.  For years we've relied on Locus's quarterly Forthcoming Books issues as a guide on what to look for.


One of the very earliest ideas for the Coode Street Podcast was that each month we'd sit down and discuss the newest issue of Locus. That didn't happen, but hopefully this is the start of a new series where, once every three months, we sit down with Locus Editor-in-Chief Liza Trombi to discuss what's new and exciting, and what we all should be looking for in the month's ahead.

Our thanks to Liza for making time to record the podcast. The March issue of Locus will be on sale shortly.  We hope to get a list of titles from the episode up here soon.

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode. More next week. 
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Coming up on Coode Street

Coming up this weekend in episode 222 of the Coode Street Podcast, Deborah Biancotti, Margo Lanagan, and Scott Westerfeld join us to talk about their exciting new project, Zeroes, collaborating, superheroes and why Australia doesn't make a good setting for genre fiction.

This one's already in the can, so look for it here on Sunday and on Tor.com the following Tuesday!
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