Episode 308: Paul Kincaid, Ken Macleod, and the works of Iain (M) Banks

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Any time the Coode Street Podcast connects with the United Kingdom it’s a special occasion. Jonathan stays up until the dead of night (often with a whisky in hand), while Gary is driven out of bed and into the arms of coffee. This week, in the face of puzzling technical difficulties, Jonathan and Gary are joined on the podcast by noted critic Paul Kincaid and award-winning writer Ken Macleod to discuss Paul’s new book on the work of Iain Banks, science fiction, writing in Scotland, and much more.

The aforementioned technical difficulties do mean there’s echo on the line from Scotland, for which we apologise. We’ve tried to minimise it as much as possible, and think the conversation is worth persevering with, but are sorry the overall quality isn’t a bit better. We hope you’ll enjoy the episode and, as always, we should be back next week.

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Episode 307: Theodora Goss and the Alchemist’s Daughter

This week we talk with the multi-talented Theodora Goss, whose forthcoming novel, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, draws not only from her own doctoral research in late Victorian Gothic fiction, but from her earlier story “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter.”

By focusing on a group of women characters drawn from classic tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Robert Louis Stevenson, H.G. Wells, and Mary Shelley—and bearing the familiar names of Jekyll, Hyde, Moreau, Rappaccini, and Frankenstein—Goss gives a voice to the largely invisible figures from classic works of terror.

We also touch upon her recent story, “Come See the Living Dryad”—is it fantasy or not?– as well as the reasons behind the appeal of monsters and the monstrous, and the delights of playing with genre.

As always, we’d like thank Dora for making time to talk to us, and we hope you enjoy the episode.

Note: We experienced some technical difficulties with this episode. There were issues with the audio (Dora drops out occasionally). We think the episode is interesting enough to release, but do apologise for the problems and hope you’ll persevere.

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Episode 306: Geoff Ryman and 100 African Writers of SFF

This week we are joined by Nebula, Clarke, Tiptree, Campbell, and World Fantasy Award winner Geoff Ryman to discuss his important new project, 100 African Writers of SF/F, which sees Ryman traversing the African continent meeting new creators of science fiction and fantasy to discuss their careers, their work and the places they find themselves working.

We also discuss the recently announced 2017 nominations for the African Speculative Fiction Society’s Nommo Award, which will be presented later this year, and a diverse range of other work.  Toward’s the end of our discussion Geoff mentions Adofe Atogun’s novel, Taduno’s Song which we promised to list here so listeners could find it.

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As always, we’d like to thank Geoff for making the time to join us, and hope you enjoy the podcast. If you’d like to do some further reading in African SFF some resources are listed below. We’d also strongly recommend checking out the voters packet for the Nommo Awards, which will be released shortly.

Some online resources:

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Episode 305: Kim Stanley Robinson and the Drowning of New York

This week we’re joined by the delightful and provocative Kim Stanley Robinson, to discuss his new novel New York 2140, his “comedy of coping” about dealing with catastrophic climate change in the next century, as well as how his previous novel Aurora challenged one of the cherished ideas in science fiction, the literary and artistic function of exposition in fiction, the relationship of science fiction writers to “futurists” or to MFA programs in creative writing, and his own distinguished career in the context of both science fiction and contemporary environmental literature.

As always, our thanks to Stan for making the time to tallk to us.  We hope you enjoy the episode and will be back next week!

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Slow Saturday

I find myself less and less happy with social media, so I’m going to try (again) to blog here with some reliability. I may even try to get the blog to push posts over to social media and let it rest at that for the moment. Or I won’t.

Slow start to Saturday. Last night was the eldest daughter’s Prom. She was lovely and I was very proud of her: she seemed to have a good time. While she was at the Prom I got news that it looks like I’ve sold a new book, which is nice. I also started to watch a new Netflix documentary series, Five Came Back, which seems terrific.

What else? Coffee, toast and confusion this morning.

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