This week Gary and I invited Ian Mond from The Writer and the Critic to join us to discuss recommending books and how buzz is generated around new or upcoming books each year.  We discuss the very welcome feedback we received on the subject before we began to ramble in earnest, going on to discuss currently overlooked writers like Thomas M. Disch, Michael Bishop and Zenna Henderson,  sport in science fiction and fantasy, the delicate balance between literature and science in hard SF, and many other things.  Gary and I would like to thank Ian for joining us, and I'd like to make it clear, personally, that I was only joking about Alisa and the knitting needles. Really :)

Some useful links following on from the podcast: Subterranean are publishing a best of Michael Bishop, and NESFA publish the collected 'People' stories by Zenna Henderson.

PS: I apologise.

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  • John Stevens (@eruditeogre)

    I was delighted to hear the discussion about Disch’s work. I agree that ON WINGS OF SONG is one of the great novels of fantastika. It was odd to hear about it as damaging to Disch’s career, and it was odder to hear Ian say it was *not* an SF novel. I agree that it is a highly distinctive work, and I wonder if its sidelining is part of what Gary was talking about in terms of the New Wave’s history.

    I was curious to hear more about what was problematic about Disch’s SF criticism (was that directed to ON SF, or THE DREAMS OUR STUFF IS MADE OF?). It is a very personal critical discussion that I thought made some good points and asserts others that are overly. . . not curmudgeonly, but certainly quite bitter. I wonder what can be pulled out of that bitterness that tells us something about the genre.

    Sep 24, 2011 at 10:16 pm