As we head into our third straight week without a guest on the podcast, we confront our lack of organisation with a smile and a nod. We actually sat down and planned what we'd discuss on this episode, then Gary brought up something else entirely immediately after the intro and off we went. 

Following the sad news that Prince had died, we spent some time discussing science fiction and popular music, then revisited my (Jonathan's) comments on people reading SF criticism, had a few comments on The Big Book of SF (which Jonathan's reading right now), noted the Hugo nominations are due in a few days, and wound up talking about what we are reading at the moment.

All in all, a pretty typical episode.  As always, we hope you enjoy it. We'll be back next week with more.
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This week’s ramble touches upon a bunch of issues, from Hugo nominations and awards (of course) to what it takes to be called a major science fiction writer, the need for more translations of non-English language science fiction, the advantages and disadvantages of “fix-ups,” “story suites,” and collections of linked stories, and whether SF has developed a kind of informal hierarchy favoring American and British SF, followed by Australian and Canadian writers, and leaving most other world science fiction as a kind of niche interest (which we dearly hope is beginning to change).

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.
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Following last week's announcement of DragonCon's new Dragon Awards, we once again return to the topic of awards proliferation; begin our discussion of Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's massive new Big Book of Science Fiction (we hope to talk to them about the book closer to its release); look at how anthologies might have changed over the past fifty years; touch on the recent trend toward revisiting and revisioning Lovecraft that can be seen in the work of Matt Ruff, Victor LaValle, and Kij Johnson; and debate whether academic criticism of SF is widely enough read to have an impact on science fiction as a whole.

As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast. More next week!

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central-station.jpgThis week we are delighted to be joined by Lavie Tidhar, whose Jerwood Fiction Underwood Prize Award winning novel A Man Lies Dreaming has just appeared in the U.S., and whose fix-up science fiction novel Central Station is set to appear in May, with the reissue of the Bookman novels and nonfiction book Art and War scheduled as well this year.

We discussed his sometimes controversial approach to alternate history, the question of borrowing tropes from pulp fiction in portraying serious events such as the Holocaust and terrorism, the importance of American SF writers like Cordwainer Smith, his own experiences growing up in a kibbutz and what he read there, and the never-ending question of genre literature vs “literary” fiction.

As always, our thanks to Lavie for making the time to join us on the podcast. We hope you enjoy the episode.
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The book selection for the April episode of the Coode St Roundtable has been made! Next month our intrepid readers will come together to discuss the new novel from Paul McAuley, Into Everywhere.   

The publisher describes the novel like this:

The Jackaroo, those enigmatic aliens who claim to have come to help, gave humanity access to worlds littered with ruins and scraps of technology left by long-dead client races. But although people have found new uses for alien technology, that technology may have found its own uses for people. The dissolute scion of a powerful merchant family, and a woman living in seclusion with only her dog and her demons for company, have become infected by a copies of a powerful chunk of alien code. Driven to discover what it wants from them, they become caught up in a conflict between a policeman allied to the Jackaroo and the laminated brain of a scientific wizard, and a mystery that spans light years and centuries. Humanity is about to discover why the Jackaroo came to help us, and how that help is shaping the end of human history.

The Roundtable always features spoilers, so if you're planning on reading along with this, grab a copy of Paul's new novel and get ready for the last weekend in April!

Welcome to the third episode of The Coode Street Roundtable. The Roundtable is a monthly podcast from Coode Street Productions where panelists James BradleyIan Mond, and Jonathan Strahan, joined by occasional special guests, discuss a new or recently released science fiction or fantasy novel.

Patricia A. McKillip’s Kingfisher

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This month Tiptree Award winning writer Nike Sulway and Coode Street co-host Gary K. Wolfe join Jonathan and Ian to discuss Kingfisher, the latest novel from World Fantasy Award and Mythopoeic Award winner Patricia A. McKillip. It’s a lyrical, funny, and sometimes challenging novel about family and destiny described by its publisher as follows:

In the new fantasy from the award-winning author of the Riddle-Master Trilogy, a young man comes of age amid family secrets and revelations, and transformative magic.

Hidden away from the world by his mother, the powerful sorceress Heloise Oliver, Pierce has grown up working in her restaurant in Desolation Point. One day, unexpectedly, strangers pass through town on the way to the legendary capital city. “Look for us,” they tell Pierce, “if you come to Severluna. You might find a place for yourself in King Arden’s court.”

Lured by a future far away from the bleak northern coast, Pierce makes his choice. Heloise, bereft and furious, tells her son the truth: about his father, a knight in King Arden’s court; about an older brother he never knew existed; about his father’s destructive love for King Arden’s queen, and Heloise’s decision to raise her younger son alone.

As Pierce journeys to Severluna, his path twists and turns through other lives and mysteries: an inn where ancient rites are celebrated, though no one will speak of them; a legendary local chef whose delicacies leave diners slowly withering from hunger; his mysterious wife, who steals Pierce’s heart; a young woman whose need to escape is even greater than Pierce’s; and finally, in Severluna, King Arden's youngest son, who is urged by strange and lovely forces to sacrifice his father’s kingdom.

Things are changing in that kingdom. Oldmagic is on the rise. The immensely powerful artifact of an ancient god has come to light, and the king is gathering his knights to quest for this profound mystery, which may restore the kingdom to its former glory—or destroy it...

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, Kingfisher 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 April with a discussion of Paul McAuley's Into Everywhere (his second Jackaroo novel).

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With Gary away at ICFA, there won't be a new episode of the Coode Street Podcast this week. There should be another episode next week, though. Don't lose heart, Coode Streeters!

There won't be a new episode of the Coode Street Podcast this week. Gary and Jonathan are both busy with one thing or another, and can't seem to work out timing. It's probably mostly Jonathan's fault. They 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

On our 270th episode, we immediately distracted ourselves from our planned topic of catching up on news, awards nominations, etc., and instead rambled on about various matters of literary influence, of writing sequels or revisionist fictions based on the works of writers ranging from Arthur C. Clarke to H.P. Lovecraft, and other topics neither of us clearly remember. 

We did get around to discussing the latest round of awards nominations, celebrating the Grand Mastership of C.J. Cherryh, and finally trying to figure which if any SF works seem relevant to the current U.S. presidential campaign. And with the Hugo nominations closing this month, we shamelessly shill for your vote.
As always, we hope you enjoy the episode. More next week!
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Welcome to the second episode of The Coode Street Roundtable. The Roundtable is a monthly podcast from Coode Street Productions where panelists James BradleyIan Mond, and Jonathan Strahan, joined by occasional special guests, discuss a new or recently released science fiction or fantasy novel. 

Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky

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This month Coode Street co-host Gary Wolfe joins us to discuss All the Birds in the Skythe second novel from Hugo Award winning author Charlie Jane Anders. It's a warm, humane, funny, and genuinely engaging novel described by its publisher as follows:

From the editor-in-chief of io9.com, a stunning novel about the end of the world--and the beginning of our future...

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn't expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one's peers and families.

But now they're both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who's working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world's magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world's every-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together--to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.

We discuss the novel in detail, including how the story develops and ends. 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, All the Birds in the 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 month

The Coode Street Roundtable will return at the end of March with a discussion of a book to be announced shortly.
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Last year, at the World Fantasy Convention held in Saratoga Springs, a panel was presented on 'Creating the Fantasy Canon'.  The panel description was:

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 from the Coode Street Podcast was cast in the role of moderator, and the panelists for the discussion were John Clute, Michael Dirda, Yanni Kuznia, Gary Wolfe, and Ron Yaniv.

The conversation that unfolded was energetic, thoughtful and entertaining, and even if it didn't resolve the question, it nonetheless was something we at Coode St thought you might enjoy.
The Coode Street Podcast team would like to thank the administrators of the World Fantasy convention for permission to present the panel here, and would specially like to thank sound expert Paul Kraus for his hard work on making sure the recording was as good as it is.
As always, we hope you enjoy the episode!
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BookReviewInteriorDarkness-042a4.jpgThis week we are joined by World Fantasy Award Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and long-time friend of the podcast Peter Straub, to discuss his brand new short story collection Interior Darkness, writing, genre, music, and much, much more.

As always, we would like to thank Peter for making the time to join us on the podcast and hope you enjoy the episode.
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anders.jpgA quick head's up for all of the dedicated listeners to the new Coode Street Roundtable. With the first episode under our belts, we're working hard to make sure we get a new episode out every month as promised.

This month Ian, James, Gary and I will be reviewing/discussing Charlie Jane Anders' second novel, All the Birds in the Sky.  The discussion will be an open one and could be quite spoiler heavy, so if you'd like to read along now's a great time to get the book.  To help with that, Charlie Jane has a great page covering places you can get it.
Listen for this episode around February 28th.

This week we are joined by multiple award-winning editor and publisher Neil Clarke of Clarkesworld magazine, discussing his provocative October 2015 editorial concerning the state of short fiction venues in SF, the question of whether so many venues dilutes the quality of fiction in the field or simply broadens its base, and how conditions today compare with the SF world of the 1980s as described by Mike Ashley in his magisterial history Science Fiction Rebels: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1981 to 1990, which both Jonathan and Gary are currently reading.

As always, our sincere thanks to Neil for making time to appear on the podcast. We hope you'll enjoy the episode!
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Tonight we discuss, as we do all too often, the beginning of the awards season, as well as the sometimes problematical Hugo category of Best Related Work, the question of authors who are so prolific that new readers may feel intimidated, and some of the parameters of who and who should not be covered in the Modern Masters of Science Fiction series of books, of which Gary has recently assumed editorship.

As  always, we hope you enjoy the episode.
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Welcome to the first episode of The Coode Street Roundtable. The Roundtable is a new monthly podcast from Coode Street Productions where panelists James BradleyIan Mond, and Jonathan Strahan, joined by occasional special guests, discuss a new or recently released science fiction or fantasy novel. 

Adam Roberts' The Thing Itself

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This month James, Ian, and Jonathan discuss The Thing Itself, the latest novel from British Science Fiction and John Campbell Memorial Award winning author Adam Roberts.  The Thing Itself is a powerful and engaging novel described by its publisher as follows: 
“Adam Roberts turns his attention to answering the Fermi Paradox with a taut and claustrophobic tale that echoes John Carpenters' The Thing
Two men while away the days in an Antarctic research station. Tensions between them build as they argue over a love-letter one of them has received. One is practical and open. The other surly, superior and obsessed with reading one book - by the philosopher Kant. 
As a storm brews and they lose contact with the outside world they debate Kant, reality and the emptiness of the universe. The come to hate each other, and they learn that they are not alone.” 
The Thing Itself has been reviewed by Locus Online and Tor.com. You can order copies of the book 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 February with a discussion of Charlie Jane Anders's second novel, All the Birds in the Sky
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For our first podcast recorded in 2016, beginning our sixth year, we discuss the remarkable career of David G. Hartwell, the role of editors in shaping science fiction, the forthcoming Hugo Awards nominations and MidAmericon, the World Fantasy Convention, and the significance of science fiction of the the 1980s—both as it appeared then and as it appears to us now.

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Continuing the series of podcasts we recorded in Saratoga Springs at the World Fantasy Convention, we sat down with distinguished fantasy writers Glen Cook and Steven Erikson, discussing the genesis of Cook's influential Black Company and Dread Empire series and other novels, and Erikson's hugely popular Malazan Book of the Fallen. In addition to their approaches to character and world-building, they offer insights into how Steve's background in archaeology influenced his work, and what it was like for Glen to live with Fritz Leiber many years ago.


Our thanks to Glen and Steve for making time in their busy schedules as guests of honour at WFC2015 to sit down and talk to us for the podcast. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode. 
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Two of the powerhouse writers of their generation, bestselling fantasy novelist Scott Lynch and award-winning science fiction and fantasy author Elizabeth Bear, sat down with us in a noisy hotel room in Saratoga Springs, New York to discuss their mutual love affair with the genre, their shared awareness of the history of the field and how it influences their work, and much more.
We would, of course, like to thank Scott and Elizabeth for making the time to sit down with us during what was a busy World Fantasy Convention weekend. Coode Street remains on hiatus. Next week a final podcast from Saratoga, where we talk with convention guests of honor Glen Cook and Steven Erikson.
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Audience

Listenership for the Coode Street Podcast (www.coodestreetpodcast.com) grew for the fifth consecutive year in 2015, with a total of 48 full-length episodes and three mini-episodes produced, up from 42 full-length episodes in 2013 and 2014. The audience for the podcast increased by 52.1% over 2014, with a total of 133,501 downloads (episode plays) during the year. The average number of listeners for individual episodes increased by 33.1%, from 2,081 in 2014 to 2,781 in 2015. Interest in the podcast also increased, with feed hits growing by 44% to 1,148,322 across the year.

Guests

Guests appearing on the podcast during 2015 included Adam Roberts, Aliette de Bodard, Alisa Krasnostein, Bill Schafer, Cecelia Holland, Charlie Jane Anders, Cheryl Morgan, Chris Brown, Deborah Biancotti, Eileen Gunn, Elizabeth Hand, Gene Wolfe, Guy Gavriel Kay, Harlan Ellison, Ian McDonald, Ian Mond, James Bradley, James Morrow, Jim Minz, Joe Abercrombie, Joe Monti, John Clute, John Scalzi, Karin Tidbeck, Kelly Link, Ken Liu, Kim Stanley Robinson, KJ Parker, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Linda Nagata, Liza Trombi, Margo Lanagan, Michael Swanwick, Nina Allan, Nisi Shawl, Pamela Sargent, Paolo Bacigalupi, Paul Kincaid, Samuel R Delany, Scott Westerfeld, Sean Williams, Sean Wright, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Suzy McKee Charnas, Tehani Wessely, William Gibson, and Zen Cho.

Highlights

Highlights for the year included:

  • Tor.com: We trialled syndicating the podcast with Tor.com. Episodes were published on the Sunday of each week on Coode Street, and then republished on Tor.com on Tuesdays. The trial ran from February to November, concluding with Episode 256. Listenership for the podcast via Tor.com is not included in the statistics in this summary. We would like to thank Tor.com and Irene Gallo for partnering with us during the year.
  • K.J. Parker: We presented the first interview with World Fantasy Award winning writer K.J. Parker, revealing Parker as a pseudonym for British writer Tom Holt. The episode was published April 21, 2015.
  • Women in science fiction: We spoke to Pamela Sargent, Suzy McKee Charnas, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Charlie Jane Anders, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Eleanor Arnason, and Linda Nagata as part of an ongoing series looking at the careers of women working in science fiction.

The most popular episodes of the year were:

  1. Episode 245: Ian McDonald and Luna (3,333)
  2. Episode 246: Aliette de Bodard and The House of Shattered Wings (2,756)
  3. Episode 230: K J Parker and the history of a writer (2,672)
  4. Episode 253: SF Lectures, The Martian and more (2,637)
  5. Episode 238: Kim Stanley Robinson and Aurora (2,634)
  6. Episode 242: Time runs out for the Hugos and more (2,619)
  7. Episode 207: Kameron Hurley (2,508)
  8. Episode 236: On books to look for... (with Liza Trombi) (2,398)
  9. Episode 250: Forthcoming books with Liza Trombi (2,388)
  10. Episode 231: Ian Mond, James Bradley and the 2015 Hugo Novel Shortlist (2,298)

The Coode Street Podcast is produced by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe and published by The Coode Street Press. The podcast will resume in January 2016.

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