The Coode Street Podcast

Discussion and digression on science fiction and fantasy with Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan.

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Episodes

Friday Dec 24, 2021

The Coode Street Podcast kicked off in May 2010.  Over the next 568 episodes Jonathan and Gary, and far too many friends of the podcast to be named here individually, talked about a shared love of science fiction, fantasy, and horror in all of their many forms.  Just a week ago, the members of the World Science Fiction Convention awarded the Coode Street Podcast with the Hugo Award for Best Fancast.  This time out we take a moment, on the very edge of the holidays, to say thank you. Thank you to everyone out there involved, no matter how small or how large your contribution to our ongoing conversation. We will ever be in deeply in your debt for your support. We'll be back in 2022, but for now we'd like to wish you a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season and a thoroughly magical New Year. See you again soon!

Sunday Dec 05, 2021

The holiday season is upon us, another strange, unforgettable year is almost done, and here at Coode Street it's time for our annual gift guide/year in review, where we recommend some books we loved during the year. This time out we invited special guests and good friends James Bradley, Alix E. Harrow, and Ian Mond to join us to recommend just a few of the books we'd loved the most during 2021. Perhaps more than in any other year, this was a time when we all were almost surprised at how much great reading we found. Because this is Coode Street, traditions are traditions and we had some technical issues. All is good for most of the hour of the recording, but there's a jump or two towards the end. We hope you'll excuse this, and that the recommendations will prove of interest. As always, our thanks to Alix, James, and Ian for making time to talk to us. We hope you enjoy the podcast and that the guide is of some use. To help, the recommendations are below. And we're in talks to maybe return in January for a books we're looking forward to chat as well... James Bradley recommended: Jennifer Mills, The Airways Elizabeth Knox, The Absolute Book Nina Allan, The Good Neighbours Olga Ravn, The Employees: A workplace novel of the 22nd century and also mentioned: Alexandra Kleeman, Something New Under the Sun Laura Jean McKay, The Animals in That Country Marion Engel, Bear Garth Nix, Terciel and Elinor Sim Kern, Depart, Depart Hari Kunzru, Red Pill Alix E. Harrow recommended: Lee Mandelo, Summer Sons Shelley Parker-Chan, She Who Became the Sun Ava Reid, The Wolf and the Woodsman Nghi Vo, The Chosen and the Beautiful And I also loved/mentioned/endorsed: Becky Chambers, A Psalm for the Wild-BuiltAngela Slatter, All the Murmuring Bones Ian Mond recommended: Build Your House Around My Body, Violet Kupersmith The Thing Between Us, Gus Moreno The Confessions of Copeland Cane, Keenan Norris All the Murmuring Bones, Angela Slatter Dead Souls, Sam Rivière The Angels of L19, Jonathan Walker Mrs Death: Misses Death, Salena Godden The Employees, Olga Ravn (translated by Martin Aitken) Jonathan recommended: The Hood, Lavie Tidhar A Desolation Called Peace, Arkady Martine A Psalm for the Wild-Built, Becky Chambers The Wisdom of Crowds, Joe Abercrombie and passingly mentioned The Detective Up Late by Adrian McKinty. Gary recommended: Karin Tidbeck, The Memory Theatre M. Rickert, The Shipbuilder of Belfairie E. Lily Yu, On Fragile Waves Nina Allan, The Art of Space Travel and Other Stories P. Djèlí Clark, A Master of Djinn Pus a couple of titles that were also on other folks’ lists, like The Hood and The Chosen and the Beautiful.

Sunday Nov 21, 2021

Welcome to episode 25 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. This week Jonathan and Gary sit down with the very talented and extremely busy Sheree Renée Thomas to discuss her award-winning collection Nine Bar Blues, her first year editing the venerable Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, the lasting impact of her Dark Matter anthologies, her forthcoming anthologies Trouble the Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue (co-edited with Pan Morrigan and Troy L. Wiggins) and Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction (co-edited with Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki and Zelda Knight, her own experiences growing up as an SF and horror reader, and the new age of recognizing African and African diaspora SFF.  It’s a pretty lively conversation. As always, our sincere thanks to Sheree Renée Thomas, and we hope you enjoy the episode.   Order now!   

Monday Nov 08, 2021

Welcome to episode 24 of Season 12 of the Coode Street Podcast. As the year draws to a close and winter comes to Chicago and summer to Perth, Gary and Jonathan sit down for an unexpected and unplanned conversation about life achievement awards and their meaningfulness, a brief foreshadowing of a discussion about interrogating the sociopolitical assumptions of a work of fiction, and more. This time out there were a few technical issues in the final five minutes of the recording, but those have hopefully been addressed by editing. Two episodes remain in the season - a good time to be discussing the year in review and the best fiction of 2021 - before we go on hiatus, but for now we hope you enjoy the episode!

Sunday Oct 24, 2021

Welcome to episode 23 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. This week, after a brief and mostly irrelevant discussion of whether the proposition that Ray Bradbury as the quintessential October writer means anything at all outside North America, Jonathan and Gary actually try to focus on an important question: whether posthumous publications actually do anything to enhance an author’s reputation. We make distinctions between works that the author clearly wanted to be published (like Philip K. Dick final four novels), works that the author clearly did not intend for publication (like some late Heinlein manuscripts), and works which the author may or may not have tried to publish during their lifetimes (such as a number of R.A. Lafferty manuscripts completed or continued by other hands, including novels by Walter M. Miller, Jr., Robert Jordan, and Terry Pratchett). We even touch upon whether the J. Michael Straczynski The Last Dangerous Visions is a useful idea decades after Harlan Ellison began the project. Do author's estates see posthumous publication as a means of keeping an author’s name alive, as a purely commercial proposition, or as a way of arguing for an author’s canonical status? Other authors touched upon include J.R.R. Tolkien, John M. Ford, Philip José Farmer, and even a few examples from mainstream fiction, such as John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, which won a Pulitzer Prize more than a decade after its author's death. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.

Sunday Oct 10, 2021

Welcome to episode 22 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. In this episode, Gary and Jonathan talk to Oghenechovwe Ekpeki, author of the Otherwise Award-winning and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, British SF Award, and Nebula Award-nominated novella "Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon", editor of The Year's Best African Speculative Fiction, and co-editor with Zelda K. Knight of the British Fantasy Award-winning anthology Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora.  Oghenechovwe joins us from Lagos, Nigeria to discuss growing up reading speculative fiction in Nigeria, his hopes for The Year's Best African Speculative Fiction series, the challenges facing writers from Africa to get a chance to be a part of the international science fiction community, his upcoming anthology African Risen for Tordotcom (co-edited with Sheree Renee Thomas and Zelda K. Knight), and much more. While there are, later in the podcast, a few moments where static affected our Skype connection, we hope you'll bear with the episode. As always, we'd like to thank Oghenechovwe for taking the time to talk to us, and hope that you enjoy the episode.   Available for order now:

Sunday Sep 19, 2021

Welcome to episode 21 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast.Once again, it's just Jonathan and Gary, talking about the various roles anthologies have played in the history of science fiction and how that role may be different these days, the nominees and winners of the 2021 Ignyte Awards from FIYAHCON 2021, N.K. Jemisin being named as one of Time Magazine's top 100 most influential people, how SF has begun to shift its historical perspective in terms of colonialism and international literatures, new media adaptations of Asimov and Herbert, and, as always, how genre and other barriers are breaking down and how neither of us is quite keeping up with all the fascinating new fiction published every month, suggesting that maybe 2021 is turning out to be a pretty exciting year.

Sunday Aug 29, 2021

Welcome to episode 20 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. It's just Jonathan and Gary again, eventually circling around an interesting question raised by Andrew Liptak in Transfer Orbit concerning the question of reading the right book at the right time, rather than being chained to the constant parade of new books and their publicity cycles. Along the way we pause to note the recent passing of Erle Korshak, one of the last survivors of 1930s fandom; the value and hazards of re-reading old favorites from Gene Wolfe to Dune; the way to arrange stories in an anthology or collection; some newer books by Lavie Tidhar, Joe Abercrombie, and others; the importance of context in reviewing, and, inspired by Matt Bell's My Le Guin Year: Craft Lessons from a Master on Tor.com, how Ursula Le Guin got some things right long before anyone else did, with her own Tehanu. In other words, our usual laser-like focus on whatever comes up in the moment. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.

Sunday Aug 22, 2021

Welcome to episode 19 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. This time out, Jonathan and Gary return, sans guests or much of a plan. They do manage to touch upon a number of significant issues, such as the work of newly minted World Fantasy Life Achievement winner Howard Waldrop, whether Waldrop could be viewed as a regional author (a Texan in particular), and which other writers might be thought of a representing particular regional voices (R.A. Lafferty, Andy Duncan, Christopher Rowe,  Daryl Gregory?), and how regional voice may show up even in the work of hard SF writers like Gregory Benford. This leads into a more general discussion of influences. Are films based on Philip K. Dick now more influential than Dick’s novels themselves? How are innovative writers like Greg Egan (who just turned 60) and Ted Chiang seen as influential? This leads, somehow, into a discussions of how writers like Dick, Lovecraft, Le Guin, Octavia Butler made it into the Library of America, and finally to the importance of international and regional anthologies such as Oghenchovwe Donald Ekpeki’s new Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction. As always, we also touch upon what we’re reading this week.

Sunday Aug 08, 2021

Welcome to episode 18 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. This time out, Jonathan and Gary are joined by the wonderful Arkady Martine, author of the Hugo-winning A Memory Called Empire and its equally remarkable sequel A Desolation Called Peace. We touch upon how her research as an academic historian helped shape her fiction, the various meanings of empire (and the comparative virtues of SF and fantasy in dealing with such concepts), growing up with a houseful of SF classics from Asimov to Zelazny, and her own current work—including the possibility of more stories set in the Teixcalaanli universe and a likely venture into near-future SF. As always, our thanks to Arkady for making the time to talk to us. We hope you enjoy the episode!

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