Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

With our customary meticulous planning, we manage this week to veer from the topic of what causes you to bounce off a particular book—or to keep reading—to the Clarke Awards, which will be announced in a few weeks (Gary volunteered to be on the Shadow Jury this year), to the question of how mainstream writers handle science fiction or fantasy elements in their fiction, and then to the issue of why many excellent British or Australian writers have either failed to gain much traction in the U.S., or in some cases seem to have lost the traction they once enjoyed.  In other words, we had no idea where we were going until we got there. 

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Gardner Dozois

This week Gary and Jonathan spend some time discussing the work and legacy of Gardner Dozois (1947-2018), who died recently. A friend and colleague, Gardner was also a brilliant writer, a perceptive critic, a skilled story doctor and possibly the most influential editor in the history of science fiction. His three novels, several short story collections, and well over a hundred anthologies will stand the test of time, with the 35 volume The Year's Best Science Fiction and his nearly 20 years as editor of Asimov's Science Fiction standing at the heart of his legacy. He was also kind, supportive, and enormously good fun. He'll be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

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This week’s episode ranges from a discussion about the growing importance of novellas and their advantages both for readers and writers, the difficult question of which story you might pick to introduce a new reader to a favourite author, the importance of distinctive voices in both short fictions and novels, the upcoming 87th birthday of the great Gene Wolfe, and James Cameron's new TV documentary on SF, which features appearance from several SF writers and critics, including Gary.

Then Jonathan springs on Gary the question of what his favourite book is, so Gary tossed it right back to Jonathan. We both came up with answers that date back to our respective childhoods. In addition to Gene Wolfe, some of the authors mentioned include R.A. Lafferty, Ted Chiang, Margo Lanagan, Kelly Link, Robert A. Heinlein, T.H. White, Sam J. Miller, Kate Wilhelm, Ursula Le Guin, Andy Duncan, Howard Waldrop, Catherynne Valente, Jeffrey Ford, Lavie Tidhar, John Varley, James Patrick Kelly, Alec Nevala-Lee, and Joseph Heller. In other words, another ramble.

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This week, the always bustling Coode Street Motel battles technical difficulties, sound dropouts, and other gremlins of the Skypesphere to welcome Sam J. Miller, whose Blackfish City is just out, and whose young adult novel The Art of Starving received great notices last year.

We discuss balancing his day job as a community organizer with his fiction, the genesis of his new novel in a couple of earlier short stories, the writers who made him want to become one, the arbitrary nature of classifying stories as SF, horror, fantasy, YA, etc., and even the choice of pronouns in describing particular characters.

As always, our thanks to Sam and we hope you enjoy the episode.

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Gary was looking through the books that seem to tumble endlessly through his front door for review and came across a new edition of David R. Bunch's classic story collection, Moderan, which is set to be re-released by New York Review Books this coming August with an introduction by Jeff VanderMeer. 

It led to a conversation about to whether there's an art to re-reading books, how you should go about republishing classic books, and much more.  We also snuck in an apology or two at the very end of the episode. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode. See you next week (in all of our lo-fi glory).

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This week, Jonathan and Gary discuss the parameters of climate-influenced SF, the usefulness or not of the term 'cli-fi' (with increasing numbers of SF works set all or partly in the Arctic or Antarctic) and, inevitably, the beginning of the awards season, with the Aurealis and Ditmar awards, the BSFA awards,  and the nominees announced this past weekend for the 2018 Hugos. Who is being celebrated on the ballot, and which works were we surprised to see omitted?

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode!

Correction and apology

During this episode we use the incorrect gender pronouns for Yoon Ha Lee. We used she/her when we should have used he/him. We apologise unreservedly for this, and will be sure to correct it in future episodes.

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Episode 326: After ICFA

Gary is back from the International Conference on the Fantastic in Orlando, where he chatted quite a bit with guests of honour John Kessel and Nike Sulway while managing to not attend some very interesting talks and panels. We touch upon the problems of identifying an SF audience in today’s fluid environment, and the feeling of some older writers that their books may be no longer part of the overall discussion. But is there an overall discussion anymore? Has the SF readership atomized into so many different readerships, some more vertical than horizontal, that even when senior writers are still being read widely, it’s difficult to find out who those readers are.  Have we gotten to the point of “everyone their own canon,” where only a handful of books each year make it into the general discussion of where SF is headed?

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wfas.jpgWith nominations for the 2018 Hugo Awards closing shortly, Jonathan and Gary headed to the Gershwin Room to discuss nominating for the Hugos, the recent proposal to change the name of the young adult (not a Hugo) award and to discuss at length their respective nominees for the 2018 World Fantasy Awards. 

Towards the end of the podcast, Jonathan and Gary became aware of the sad news that Kate Wilhelm had died, and spend some time remembering one of the most important SF and mystery writers of the 20th century.

We don't usually get to this, but in a rare moment of organisation, we're providing a combined copy of Jonathan and Gary's draft World Fantasy ballots below. These will change (they're drafts) but it may serve as a useful pointer to some good reading etc.

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

 

World Fantasy Awards 2018

Life Achievement

  1. Gardner Dozois
  2. Howard Waldrop

Novel

  1. Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr, John Crowley (Saga)
  2. Wintertide, Ruthanna Emrys (Tor.com)
  3. The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss (Saga)
  4. A Skinful of Shadows, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan; Amulet)
  5. The River Bank, Kij Johnson (Small Beer)
  6. The Night Ocean, Paul La Farge (Penguin)
  7. The Changeling, Victor LaValle (Spiegel and Grau)
  8. The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, Philip Pullman (Knopf; Fickling UK)

 

Long Fiction

  1. The Twilight Pariah, Jeffrey Ford (Tor.com Publishing)
  2. Mapping the Interior, Stephen Graham Jones (Tor.com Publishing)
  3. Agents of Dreamland, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Tor.com Publishing)
  4. Passing Strange, Ellen Klages (Tor.com Publishing)
  5. Mightier than the Sword, K.J. Parker (Subterranean)
  6. The Process is a Process (All its Own), Peter Straub (Subterranean)

 

Short Fiction

  1. “Probably Still the Chosen One“, Kelly Barnhill (Lightspeed 2/17)
  2. "This is Our Town", John Crowley (Totalitopia)
  3. “Come See the Living Dryad“, Theodora Goss (Tor.com 3/9/17)
  4. “The Faerie Tree“, Kathleen Kayembe (Lightspeed 11/17)
  5. “The Smoke of Gold Is Glory“, Scott Lynch (The Book of Swords)
  6. "The Resident", Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties)
  7. "Sidewalks", Maureen F. McHugh (Omni)
  8. “Carnival Nine“, Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 5/11/17)
  9. "The Lamentation of Their Women", Kai Ashante Wllson (Tor.com)

  

Anthology

  1. The New Voices of Fantasy, Peter S. Beagle & Jacob Weisman eds (Tachyon)
  2. Black Feathers, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Pegasus)
  3. Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Ellen Datlow ed. (Tor)
  4. The Book of Swords, Gardner Dozois, ed. (Bantam; HarperCollins UK)
  5. The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories, Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin, eds. (Solaris US; Solaris UK)

 

Collection

  1. You Should Come With Me Now, M. John Harrison (Comma)
  2. Dear Sweet Filthy World, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean)
  3. Wicked Wonders, Ellen Klages (Tachyon)
  4. Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf)
  5. Down and Out in Purgatory: The Collected Stories of Tim Powers, Tim Powers (Baen)
  6. Tender: Stories, Sofia Samata (Small Beer)
  7. The Emerald Circus and Other Stories, Jane Yolen (Tachyon)

 

Artist

  1. Rovina Cai
  2. Kathleen Jennings
  3. Gregory Manchess
  4. Victo Ngai
  5. Omar Rayyan

 

Special Award, Professional

  1. Irene Gallo, for Tor.com Publishing
  2. Joe Monti and Navah Wolfe for editing Saga Press
  3. Jonathan Oliver for editing at Solaris
  4. The Locus Publications editorial team for Locus: The Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Fields

 

Special Award, Non-professional

  1. Scott H. Andrews for Beneath Ceaseless Skies

 

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her-body-and-other-parties.jpgWhen Carmen Maria Machado's debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was shortlisted for the National Book Award it went to the top of everybody's "to read" piles. A smart, sensitive and thoughtful look at issues to do with sex, gender, violence and horror, it proved to be one of the very best books of 2017, and one that's sure to hold everyone's attention through 2018.

This week Carmen was kind enough to join Gary and Jonathan on the podcast to discuss her work, her reading and writing life, and much more.  Our thanks to Carmen for making the time to talk to us. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.

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Every year Gary and Jonathan sit down and start talking about "awards season", a short period in the science fiction year that runs from February to November where we take time out to recognise all of the excellent work published in the preceding year.   This year they're getting to the job late, having already missed the announcement of the Crawford, the BSFA, and the Stoker ballots. Still, just in the nick of time, they take a moment to discuss possible 2018 Hugo Awards nominees, or at least possible fiction nominees, along with some encouragement for listeners to read, watch, and listen widely, and then nominate what they loved.

 

 

 

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This week, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we are joined by two authors whose own recent works celebrate that classic work. 

John Kessel’s Pride and Prometheus will be published in February, combining characters from Shelley’s classic and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, while Theodora Goss’s The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, featuring a number of classic characters from 19th century fantastic fiction—including Frankenstein’s “daughter”--will be joined by its sequel European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman in July; both are part of her series "The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club.”

We touch upon Shelley’s work, the problems of writing narratives that exist within the spaces of earlier novels, whether or not Frankenstein was really the first science fiction novel, and—briefly—on the debt we all own to Ursula K. Le Guin after her passing earlier in the week.

As always, our thanks to our guests, Dora and John. We hope you enjoy the episode. See you next week!

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Six years ago Gary Wolfe and I were privileged enough to get to chat with Ursula K. Le Guin about science fiction. The reason for the discussion was Margaret Atwood's book of essays, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, which discusses her thoughts on science fiction in some detail. It is a marvellous discussion and one we thought we'd repost, given the sad news of Ursula's death today.

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Normal service resumes with a rambly episode after last week's chat with Jane Yolen. Having decided what they were going to discuss beforehand, Gary and Jonathan immediately head off and start discussing something else altogether! It's a ramble, it's a chat, it's very much business as usual.

Topics discussed this week include novellas, Kelly Robson's "Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach", the persistence of fairy tales in modern fantasy, and the new anthology Robots v. Fairies.  The frankly dodgy Western Australian internet connection didn't quite hold out until the end, so the chat ends a little short, though complete.  

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode. Next week: John Kessel and Theodora Goss are scheduled to discuss their new novels and the fascination with Frankenstein.

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MappingTheBones_FinalArtRev.jpgThe Coode Street Podcast returns for 2018 with a very special opening episode. Today Gary and Jonathan sat down to talk with SFWA Grand Master, World Fantasy Award Lifetime Achievement recipient, and Nebula Award winner Jane Yolen to talk to her about her life as a storyteller, her new collection The Emerald Circus, her forthcoming Holocaust novel Mapping the Bones, and what it means to have multiple careers as an author of children’s picture books, young adult novels, historical fiction, SF and fantasy, and poetry.

As always, we would like to thank Jane for taking the time to talk to us and hope you enjoy the episode. We'll be back next week with more!

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In the brief hiatus between Christmas and New Year, a final episode for 2018. Jonathan and Gary take a moment to sit down in the Gershwin Room and discuss the books they're looking forward to in 2018, a range of novels, novellas, collections, and anthologies that should interest any genre reader. Of course, to find out what they recommend you'll need to listen to the episode!

Normal service will resume in the second week of January, but until then sincere thanks to everyone who has appeared on the Coode Street Podcast, contributed to it in any way, and special thanks to everyone who has listened in, either live in Helsinki or to any of our regular episodes.  May the rest of the holidays treat you well, and may 2018 be a safe, happy, and healthy year for you and yours.

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After our longest break ever, the Coode Street Podcast returns to regular programming with a discussion of the year in review. Gary and Jonathan discuss their favourite novels, collections, anthologies, novellas, and nonfiction books of 2017, and end up sounding pretty optimistic about the year.

As always, we hope you enjoy today's episode. We'll see you next week!

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This week we are joined by Chesley and World Fantasy Award-winning designer, art director, editor and publisher Irene Gallo to discuss how she came to join Tor Books back in the 1990s, her career as an art director, her role in helping to establish Tor.com, and her work as Associate Publisher at Tor.com Publishing.

As always, we'd like to thank Irene for taking the time to talk to us and hope you enjoy the episode. See you in  while!

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2017 and out!

October completely got away from us and we're about to move into our extended hiatus period, so we thought we'd update you on what you can expect from the Coode Street Podcast for the remainder of 2017. 

At the moment our plan is to record a new episode this coming weekend with the fabulous Irene Gallo of Tor.com Publishing. If that happens as planned, the next episode of Coode Street will be with you by 29 October. The following weekend is World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Gary will be attending and may record some episodes. If he does, those will come out during November. 

Jonathan has a book to complete and deliver on 15 December. Assuming that happens on time, there should be a final 2017 episode during the week of 18 December. We'll then be on hiatus until mid-January.  As to 2018, we don't quite know yet. There'll be episodes. There may be a schedule. There may even be a Patreon. Who knows. More soon.

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akata.jpgThis week we’re joined by the fabulous Nnedi Okorafor, whose Akata Warrior (sequel to Akata Witch) will be published next week, and whose Binti: The Night Masquerade (concluding her award-winning Binti trilogy of novellas) is due in January. We discuss not only these books, but the ongoing excitement about the possible TV adaptation of Who Fears Death?, the forthcoming novel Remote Control, the growing awareness of African and Naijamerican SF and fantasy, her work in comics and graphic novels, her Star Wars short story, and the problems of juggling academic work with writing. Nnedi is one of the busiest writers in the field these days, and her insights, as always, are fascinating.

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This week, we are joined by distinguished critics Niall Harrison, late of Strange Horizons, and Liz Bourke, whose latest collection of reviews and essays is Sleeping With Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy (Aqueduct), to discuss the debut novels of 2017 that we’re all excited or curious about. Here are some of the titles that come up in the discussion:

  • Annalee Newitz, Autonomous
  • Theodora Goss, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter
  • Karin Tidbeck, Amatka
  • Robyn Bennis, The Guns Above
  • Lara Elena Donnelly, Amberlough
  • Ruthanna Emrys, Winter Tide
  • Cat Sparks, Lotus Blue
  • Nicky Drayden, The Prey of Gods
  • Marek Sindelka, Aberrant
  • Prayaag Akbar, Leila
  • Rivers Solomon, An Unkindness of Ghosts
  • Megan Hunter, The End We Start From
  • Mohsin Hamid, Exit West
  • Christopher Brown, Tropic of Kansas
  • Sam Miller, The Art of Starving
  • N.J. Campbell, Found Audio

There's a long list of debuts with links to reviews and ordering here.

 Here are specific recommendations and shout-outs from Liz and Niall:

Liz Bourke

  • The Guns Above, Robyn Bennis (Tor)
  • Amberlough, Lara Elena Donnelly (Tor)
  • The Prey of Gods, Nicky Drayden (HarperVoyager)
  • Winter Tide, Ruthanna Emrys (Tor.com)
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss (Saga)
  • Lotus Blue, Cat Sparks (Talos)
  • Strange Practice, Vivian Shaw (Orbit US)
  • Gods & Monsters: Food of the Gods, Cassandra Khaw (Rebellion/Abaddon US)
  • The Tiger’s Daughter, K Arsenault Rivera (Tor)
  • Barbary Station, R. E. Stearns (Saga)
  • Autonomous, Annalee Newitz (Tor)

Niall Harrison

Books that I have read and recommend:

  • Leila by Prayaag Akbar (Simon & Schuster India)
  • Spaceman of Bohemia, Jaroslav Kalfar (Sceptre)
  • Aberrant, Marek Šindelka (Twisted Spoon Press)
  • Amatka, Karin Tidbeck (Vintage)

Books that I am particularly keen to read that other people did not
mention (i.e. excluding Goss, Newitz, Brown):

  • An Unkindness of Ghosts, Rivers Solomon (Akashic Books)
  • American War, Omar Al Akkad (Picador)
  • An Excess Male,  Maggie Shen King (Harper Voyager)

A first fantastic novel rather than first novel, but excellent:

  • Exit West, Mohsin Hamid (Penguin)

Not a novel at all, but a notable debut:

  • Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press)

As always, our thanks to Liz and Niall. 

 

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