Archive for May 2015

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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