After an unexpected break the Coode Street Podcast returns to discuss the use of terminology in genre, Linda Nagata’s recent io9 article on hard SF, and other things large and small. 

Assuming nothing unexpected happens, this episode marks the final official recording session for the podcast before our long holiday hiatus. New episodes recorded in Brighton will appear December 7 (169) and December 14 (170). 

We will be running a series of classic repeats that have been chosen by long-time listener Cat Sparks to hopefully entertain you during the hiatus and will return in late January energised and ready for an exciting year. 

In the meantime we wish you, your family, your friends and everyone else a safe and happy holiday season and a wonderful 2014!


This week our two commentators, emerging from the pall of jetlag and the reality of impending deadlines, turn their attentions to what is intrinsic to science fiction as a genre, what SF & fantasy has in common with historical fiction, the terrible burden of having to read lots of books, and Nicola Griffith's acclaimed sixth novel Hild

There is also, towards the end of the episode, a brief discussion of issues related to this year's World Fantasy Convention, which are outlined in greater depth and with more intelligence over at Cheryl Morgan's blog.

We also want to remind listeners that we will be going on hiatus for four weeks, starting 14 December 2013 and returning 18 January 2014.

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.

A re-upload of the most recent episode. The previous version omitted 2-3 mins from the end of the file. Apologies for any inconvenience.


Warning: This Podcast Contains Incoherent Rambling.  Freshly returned from the 2013 World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, England, our intrepid podcasters peer through a veil of jetlag to discuss the World Fantasy Awards and the happenings of what was a wholly memorable trip.

As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast.

While our intrepid podcasters brave the wilds of London, a new episode for you (hopefully)! With no specific topic in mind, and having sent a greeting to Sleepless in Wagga, Gary and Jonathan answer questions:

  • from Guy in Toronto about single malt whisky;
  • from Fred in New Jersey on:
    • Clifford Simak. Cordwainer Smith. Fritz Leiber. Are they forgotten?;
    • Agents of SHIELD; and
    • making a pitch for a Greg Egan retrospective short story collection; and
  • from Michael about how crowd-funding has changed the anthology market.
All in all, thanks to the friends of the podcast, it made for an interesting and entertaining episode. We hope you enjoy it. We'll be back soon!

In which the Coode Street team philosophize about the nature of science fiction, what the future means, whether it is inevitable or knowable, and what that means for science fiction. 

Other matters are also discussed. As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast.

In the run up to the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton our podcasting heroes are keeping it pretty much one-on-one, with no guest again this week.  In amongst other rambling, Gary and Jonathan they talk about some overlooked books of 2013 (Gary had a list), what "overlooked" means, and how a book gets to be noticed in the first place. 

As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast!

This week, just following the publication of her major short story collection How the World Became Quiet, we are joined by Nebula Award and SFWA Vice President Rachel Swirsky to discuss writing short stories, the business of science fiction and much more.

As always, we would like to thank Rachel for joining us, and hope you enjoy the podcast!


After a long sequence of discussions with wonderful guests, it's just Gary and Jonathan alone in the Waldorf Room once more. This week, after a brief chat about the forthcoming World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, their attention turns to how literary canons are formed, the potential toxicity of the canon forming concept and other matters. No books were sold in the making of this podcast.

As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast. Next week we'll be back with special guest Rachel Swirsky.

With WorldCon a dwindling memory, Jonathan and Gary are joined by passionate, articulate and always fun to talk to special guest Printz, Hugo, Nebula, Campbell and Sturgeon award-winning writer Paolo Bacigalupi and discuss his brand new middle-grade novel Zombie Baseball Beatdown, exciting news about his second adult SF novel The Water Knife, new YA novel The Doubt Factory, and much more.  

As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast!

At the recent San Antonio WorldCon, Gary was joined by special guest co-host Kij Johnson and award-winning author John Kessel (both long time friends of the podcast) to discuss the works of the late, great Alfred Bester.

Our sincere thanks to both Kij and John. As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast!
Recorded live in San Antonio, Texas at LoneStarCon 3, this week's episode sees our intrepid podcasters once again depending on the vagaries of hotel internet connections and Skype calls to bring you the very best in science fiction podcasting.

This week Gary and Jonathan are joined by Malcolm Edwards, Managing Director of Orion Books, and David G. Hartwell, senior editor at Tor.  In a freewheeling discussion, these two enormously experienced and respected giants of the science fiction publishing industry discuss contemporary publishing, editing, and their deep and abiding love for science fiction.

We would like to thank David and Malcom for joining us, and hope you enjoy the podcast. We would also like to thank everyone who nominated The Coode Street Podcast for the Hugo Award this year (it's greatly appreciated) and send out our sincere congratulations to all the 2013 Hugo Awards winners.


This weekend in San Antonio, Texas the 71st World Science Fiction Convention is in full swing. Parties are being held, discussions had, panels attended and science fiction celebrated. In amongst it all, Ellen Datlow is being toasted as Guest of Honour, a richly deserved recognition of the amazing contribution this nine-time World Fantasy and five time Hugo Award winner has made to the science fiction and fantasy field.

As a run-up to the weekend, Gary and Jonathan sat down with Ellen to discuss editing, anthologies, her career, and many other things in a frank conversation. The connection to Ellen's Manhattan pied-à-terre was erratic, so much editing was necessary. The sound quality is fine, but there are one or two spots where the editing may be noticeable. Our apologies for that, and our sincere thanks to Ellen for being part of the podcast.  

Next week, most likely, a podcast from WorldCon. Till then, we hope you enjoy the episode.

Cover art for A Stranger in OlondriaThis week Jonathan and Gary are joined in the Gershwin Room by Sofia Samatar, author of the brilliant debut fantasy novel A Stranger in Olondria, which was published by Small Beer Press this April.

In a wide-ranging discussion, we look at the origins of  A Stranger in Olondria, re-encountering genre fiction, the power of language and how we encounter it, and much, much more.

As mentioned in the podcast, you can read more of Sofia's fiction here:
Another new story is coming up shortly at Lightspeed, and a sequel to A Stranger in Olondria is in the works.

As always, we would like to thank Sofia for taking the time to join us, and hope you enjoy the podcast.

A little late due to technical issues, but here is Episode 155 of The Coode Street Podcast. This week we asked master storytellers Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages to join us in the Gershwin Room to discuss the writing life, short fiction, collaboration and their forthcoming novella "Wakulla Springs".

As always, our sincere thanks to Andy and Ellen for taking the time to talk to us. We hope you enjoy the episode!


With WorldCon looming in the near future and news of the World Fantasy Awards just around the corner, award-winning writer and critic James Bradley joins Jonathan and Gary in the Waldorf Room to discuss the best in recent science fiction and fantasy. As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast!

00:00 Introduction

01:50 On Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Lord of the Rings and consolation in modern fantasy.

16:10 Arthur C Clarke Award winner Chris Beckett's Dark Eden.

18:00 On Paul McAuley, Evening's Empires, and the mission of modern science fiction.

33:00 On the movies Oblivion and Pacific Rim.

36:00 Climate change, recent science fiction and Patrick Flanery's Fallen Land.

43:00 On Margaret Atwood's Maddaddam

53:00 On Graham Joyce's The Year of the Ladybird.


It was another typical day in the office for the Coode Street team. Having taken the time and made the effort to ascend to the Gershwin Room (there are a LOT of stairs), having avoided the temptations of the Tiki Lounge, having decided not to simply spend their time gossiping, Gary and Jonathan instead turn their attention to pressing issues like Sharknado and modern SF, whether British SF is more political than its US counterparts, and the growning prominence of non-Anglo SF with a minor sidestep into what it is to be an insider in the SF field. Naked attempts to persuade readers to buy new books are truncated by the sudden termination of the podcast due to Jonathan's PC crashing. Fortunately they were close to done. Still, they hope you enjoy the podcast and remain, now as ever, the mullahs of Coode St.


After all of the excitement of broadcasting from ReaderCon with Rob Shearman and Howard Waldrop, Gary and Jonathan turn back to more typical discussion of matters science fictional in an all new podcast that, as always, comes to you live from the Waldorf Room. As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast.


The great Lost Podcasts of 2012 are a part of Coode Street Podcast lore. A sad and painful memory of four wonderful conversations ever lost to perfidious technology. This week one of the participants in those conversations, brilliant short story writer Robert Shearman, and living legend Howard Waldrop, join Gary and Jonathan in a special podcast recorded in Boston at Readercon 24. Much is discussed about the art of the short story, changes in contemporary culture, and more. As always, we hope you enjoy this episode of the podcast!


This week the Coode Street Podcast, or part of it, is on the move! With Readercon 24 in full swing, Gary has travelled to Burlington, Massachusetts and has corralled award-winning author of Little Big and the Aegypt sequence, John Crowley, and long-time friend of the podcast Peter Straub to take part in a fascinating discussion of genre and other things. As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast!

00:00 Introduction (flawed)

02:00 Discussion of reading and being influenced by early science fiction from the '50s and '60s, and the path from there to reading literature.

12:40 On how genre works and what makes the SF ideational space function. Mention of Bob Shaw's classic "Light of Other Days".

19:00 Peter discusses writing about fear, reading Ballard, and other influences.

30:00 On reading work as science fiction, including mention of John's novel The Translator.

35:00 On how writing SF/F is accepted to day in a way that it was not before.

40:00 Peter discusses his novel In the Night Room.

43:00 Story McGuffins and the death of the author.

50:00 Sequels, Lin Carter, book signings.

58:00 A brief discussion of what's next from Peter and John.

As discussed in the podcast, you can order the 25th Anniversary Edition of Little Big, or just check it out.


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