Ten minutes with... is a special series presented by Coode Street that sees readers and booklovers from around the world talk about what they're reading right now and what's getting them through this strange time.

Today Jonathan spends Ten Minutes with Garth Nix, who talked about Hilary Mantel, Oliver Cromwell, and more. Garth's Angel Mage is out now and The Left-Handed Booksellers of London is due soon (though not soon enough for one unnamed Coode Streeter).

Books mentioned include:

mantel.jpg angelmage.jpg lefthanded.jpg

This week, Jonathan and Gary are back together (with no guests) for the first time in several weeks, and we discuss the inevitable: the current pandemic, and the various ways in which it was and was not anticipated by past science fiction narratives—not only of worldwide plagues but of alien invasion stories and tales of isolation. But we also find time to touch upon the reading we’ve both been up to, including Gene Wolfe’s final novel, Lavie Tidhar’s reinvention of the Arthurian tales By Force Alone and some recent titles edited by Jonathan himself, including Zen Cho’s The Order of the Full Moon Reflected in Water and Alex Irvine’s Anthropocene Rag. We also encourage listeners to check out our newly launched series of short "Ten Minutes With . . ." podcasts, and to support not only their local bookstores, but independent publishers, including our beloved Locus magazine, who like so many people are facing unprecedented stresses in the current economic environment.

Little Free Library by Naomi Kritzer Today Gary spends Ten Minutes with Naomi Kritzer, whose wonderful YA novel Catfishing on CatNet is a finalist for this year’s Andre Norton, Edgar, and Minnesota Book Awards, and whose Tor.com story “Little Free Library” is available on April 8.

Books mentioned include:

catfish.jpg yearsmattermost.jpg dressen.jpg

And we're doing it! One episode every day, without apology (almost)  Today Jonathan spends ten minutes with the incredible Jeffrey Ford who, despite somewhat terrible audio at his end, is wonderful company as he talks about what he's reading to get through the apocalypse and what you might.

  What are you reading right now (and what do you think of it:

What would you recommend people read if they’re shut in (and why)

What do you have out in the world right now or coming soon you’d like to mention (optional)

100doors.jpeg bestofford.jpg outofbody.jpg

Today Jonathan spends ten minutes talking to the fabulous Tochi Onyebuchi about reading for pleasure, writing in a time of crisis, what he's been reading, what he'd recommend, and what he's been writing.  As always, our sincere thanks to Tochi for being part of this crazy project.

Books mentioned include:

riotbaby.jpg threebody.jpg chee.jpg

Last year saw the publication of The Ten Thousand Doors of January, the enchanting debut novel from Alix E. Harrow.  Today, in our continuing "Ten Minutes with..." series of short podcasts, Jonathan sits down with Alix to talk about the inordinate good fortune of being a writer asked to blurb the most awesome of books, what to read if you're looking for something to challenge you in these dark times, and what to read if you're just looking for a little bit of respite.

 Books mentioned in this episode include:

100doors.jpeg witches.jpg piranesi.jpg

And now for something a little different. Jonathan spends ten minutes with James Bradley, author of the fabulous new novel Ghost Species to discuss Adrian McKinty's Sean Duffy series of crime novels which starts with The Cold, Cold Ground; Lily King's Writers & Lovers, and much more.

Books mentioned in this episode include:

Some more things James has read recently that he highly recommends:

  • Bridge 108 by Anne Charnock
  • Greenwood by Michael Christie
  • Agency by William Gibson
  • Zero Bomb by MT Hill
  • The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Gathering Evidence by Martin MacInnes
  • Circe by Madeleine Miller
  • Weather by Jenny Offill

Some books James is looking forward to a lot:

  • Mammoth by Chris Flynn
  • The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
  • War of the Maps by Paul McAuley
  • The Trespassers by Meg Mundell
  • Dead Astronauts by Jeff Vandermeer
Screen_Shot_2020-03-29_at_9_48_56_am.png mckinty.jpg writers.jpg

Today Gary Wolfe spends ten minutes with Nisi Shawl, who is currently preparing her introduction to the Library of America edition of Octavia Butler's work. They briefly touch upon Cory Doctorow as well as Nisi’s recent mini-collection from PM Press, Talk Like a Man, and the forthcoming sequel to her Nebula-nominated novel Everfair.  

Books mentioned in this episode include:
large_1050_talk_like_a_man_web.jpg fledgeling.jpeg walkaway.jpg

In the second of our all-new "Ten Minutes with..." series, Jonathan spends ten minutes (well, nearly twenty) with critic and reviewer Ian Mond talking about the book he's reading right now and the books he recommends for those with a little time on their hands (some of which he's reviewing for Locus).

Books mentioned in this episode include:

weallhearstories.jpg

And now for something a little different. With all of us staying indoors, the team at Coode Street thought it might be fun to get in touch with some of our favourite people - writers, artists, and just folk we like to hang out with - and ask them what they're reading at the moment, what they recommend to read if you're currently hanging around indoors a lot, and maybe to let us know what they've been doing to.

For the very first of this "Ten Minutes with..." series, Gary calls up Sarah Pinsker to chat with her about her insanely prescient novel, A Song for a New Day, and what she's been reading.

 Books discussed in this episode include:

songforanewday.jpeg pinkser1.png 9780358023937_lres.jpg

The City We Became by N K Jemisin

This week Jonathan and Gary have a lively discussion with the wonderful N.K. Jemisin, mostly about her new novel The City We Became (you can read the short story that inspired the novel at Tor.com), but with fascinating side discussions about living in New York and trying to capture and celebrate it in fiction; the vices and virtues of H.P. Lovecraft and his difficulties in dealing with Brooklyn; the comparative challenges of world-building in an invented versus a recognizable world; how her work as a psychologist has informed her fiction; and a couple of side trips about the short stories in her recent short story collection How Long Til Black Future Month? 

With most book tours cancelled (including hers), this is a good way to spend some time with one of our most interesting and innovative writers. As always, our thanks to Nora for making time to join us, and we hope you enjoy the episode. See you in two weeks (and stay safe and well!)

hiddengirl.jpgThis week Gary and Jonathan are joined by a long time friend of the podcast, Ken Liu, to discuss his new short story collection The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, approaching the end of his epic silkpunk fantasy series The Dandelion Dynasty, and how having good stories is more important to a society than having good institutions. Along the way, we talk about history, life, evolving art, and much, more more.

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories is out now and The Veiled Throne is out early next year. 

As always, we'd like to thank Ken for making time to join us and hope that you all enjoy the episode.  See you in two weeks with more!

 

comet.jpg

As usual on this week’s Coode Street, Jonathan and Gary discuss what they’ve been reading lately, with a particular focus on how apocalyptic fiction has evolved over the decades, and how writers like Kim Stanley Robinson have found ways of finding some sort of hope even in the face of what increasingly seems inevitable.

This being the start of awards season, they also spend some time discussing the finalists for the Nebula, Stoker, and Spectrum awards, as well as the new Ray Bradbury Prize from the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.

Mostly, though, they focus on the Nebulas, and the interesting question of whether Nebula nominees which had a lot of buzz years or decades ago still have impact today. We stop short of guessing which of this year’s nominees will have readers in another decade or so.

Among current and forthcoming books, Gary sounds pretty enthusiastic about the new Liz Williams novel Comet Season and James Bradley's forthcoming novel, Ghost Species.

threecals.jpgIn the second (or maybe third) episode in our new bi-weekly schedule, Jonathan and Gary eventually get around to the question of what books to recommend to someone new to science fiction and fantasy or someone who’s been away from the field for years or even decades.

The standard answer to this a generation ago—Heinlein, Bradbury, Clarke—hardly provides an intro to modern SF, and while names like Le Guin and Butler still seem helpful, the question remains what current authors are good entry points. Along the way, we touch upon N.K. Jemisin’s forthcoming The City We Became, which Octavia Butler novel might be the best to start with, Kim Stanley Robinson’s novels, including the recent reissue of his California trilogy along with Maureen McHugh’s China Mountain Zhang.

But first, Gary complains about the overused shorthand of describing a new novel in terms of other novels (“think Novel X meets Novel Y”), and the habit of publicists and even reviewers of describing novels as “for both literary and genre readers.

The Vanished BirdsThis week, after more or less inadvertently falling into a discussion of Simon Jimenez’s new novel The Vanished Birds (Del Rey) and whether it will successfully gain attention from both SF and mainstream literary readers, Jonathan and Gary mention a few other forthcoming books and eventually circle in on a discussion of fandom—what it means to be a fan, different kinds of fandom, and questions of what happens when you stop being a fan of a particular series or author, what major works you may have missed or over-looked despite considering yourself a fan of the author, and why some fans drift away in the face of too much sameness, while others remain fans because of that sameness.  Characteristically, we fail to adequately answer any of these questions, but at least we raise them. 

Next episode

We are officially moving from a weekly schedule to a two-weekly schedule, so look for the next episode on the weekend of Febuary 8th, wherever good podcasts are sold.

cityj.jpegAfter last week’s episode where Jonathan and Gary discussed their favourite books from 2019, this time they talk about books they're looking forward to in 2020 (a few of which, in fairness, they’ve already seen or in Jonathan’s case even edited).

It’s a pretty varied list, and probably incomplete, so feel free to suggest more titles that we might not have known about. Overall, though, 2020 is starting off as a pretty promising year.

Gary's list

  • Susanna Clarke, Piranesi
  • William Gibson, Agency
  • M. John Harrison, The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again
  • N.K. Jemisin, The City We Became
  • Hao Jingfang, Vagabonds
  • Nancy Kress, Eleventh Gate and Sea Change
  • Yoon Ha Lee, Phoenix Extravagant
  • Ken Liu, The Veiled Throne
  • Paul J. McCauley, War of the Maps
  • Tamsin Muir, Harrow the Ninth
  • Tochi Onyebuchi, Riot Baby
  • K.M. Szpara, Docile
  • Lavie Tidhar, By Force Alone
  • Jo Walton, Or What You Will
  • Gene Wolfe, Interlibrary Loan
  • Alexander Irvine, Anthropocene Rag
  • Greg Egan, Dispersion
  • Jeffrey Ford, Out of Body
  • The Best of Elizabeth Bear
  • Ken Liu, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories
  • The Best of Jeffrey Ford
  • Jonathan Strahan (ed.), Made to Order: Robots and Revolution
  • Jonathan Strahan (ed.), The Book of Dragons

Jonathan's list

  • Agency, William Gibson (Viking)
  • Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, Deepa Anappara (Chatto & Windus)
  • The City We Became, NK Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Burn, Patrick Ness (Walker)
  • Utopia Avenue, David Mitchell (Sceptre)
  • Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
  • By Force Alone, Lavie Tidhar (Head of Zeus/Tor)
  • Vagabonds, Hao Jingfang (Saga)
  • The Angel of the Crows, Katherine Addison (Tor)
  • Unconquerable Sun, Kate Elliott (Orbit)
  • The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again, M. John Harrison (Gollancz)
  • Or What You Will, Jo Walton (Tor)
  • The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin/Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins)
  • Ghost Species, James Bradley (Penguin)
  • Comet Weather, Liz Williams (Newcon)

gurkha.jpg

It's been a long time! Jonathan and Gary are together again for the first new episode of Coode Street since October!

There's a lot to catch up on, ranging from the current climate apocalypse in Australia—and the question of whether SF has done much to prepare us for this sort of thing—to major events of 2019, such as the renaming of major awards, the dramatic growth in awareness of world SF (from Asia in particular, with important recent anthologies of Chinese, Korean, and South Asian fiction), the explosion in the market for novellas and the question of whether short fiction can be similarly profitable for writers after years of getting it for free on the web, and our own lists of major books and likely award nominees from 2019. 

Our expectation and hope is that the Coode Street Podcast will return to a more or less regular schedule during the coming year, complete with brilliant guests and our own half-baked ideas and theories.

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode!

jackzipes.jpg

It's been quiet here at Coode Street, of late. Jonathan has been working on books and recommended reading lists, and Gary has been travelling. Just two weeks ago Gary travelled to sunny Los Angeles, California to attend the 2019 World Fantasy Convention.

During the weekend Gary was busy, interviewing guest of honour Margo Lanagan, doing some panels, and seeing friends. He did take a moment to sit down with newly minted World Fantasy Award Lifetime Achievement recipient Jack Zipes to discuss fantasy, fairy tales, and more. 

As always, our thanks to Jack for taking the time to join us and my thanks to Gary for this special shorter episode of Coode Street.

Margo-Frame.png

It's been quiet here at Coode Street, of late. Jonathan has been working on books and recommended reading lists, and Gary has been travelling. Just two weeks ago Gary travelled to sunny Los Angeles, California to attend the 2019 World Fantasy Convention.

During the weekend Gary was busy, interviewing guest of honour Margo Lanagan, doing some panels, and seeing friends. He did take a moment to sit down with Margo Lanagan, Eileen Gunn, and Ellen Klages - all long-time friends of the podcast - to discuss fantasy, fairy tales, and more. 

As always, our thanks to Margo, Eileen and Ellen for taking the time to join us and my thanks to Gary for this special shorter episode of Coode Street.

testaments.jpg

We're on a roll! Two episodes in two weeks. Surely it can't last! Gary has been reading Margaret Atwood's Booker Prize-winning novel The Testaments and it's sparked off all sorts of thoughts on that old chestnut: science fiction vs. literary fiction. What are literary writers doing when they write SF? Can SF writers cross-over to the mainstream? Is this purely a generational perspective and does it just not matter any more? All these questions are at least touched on, if not settled (they're not settled), as well as mentions of Lethem, Le Guin, Chabon and others, and a brief discussion of robots and AI in SF. They even discuss some very interesting comments on the Atwood novel by Nina Allan over on her blog.

All in all, a typical rambly shambles. As always, we hope you enjoy!

- Older Posts »