The second Coode Street Podcast features Tim Pratt, one of my favorite new short story writers. His first collection, Little Gods, was published in 2003, and his first novel, The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl, was published in 2005. Upcoming is a new collection, Hart and Boot, and a new novel, Blood Engines. His short fiction has been nominated for the Nebula Award, one of SF/Fantasy’s highest honors, and in 2004 he was a finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He won the Rhysling award (for poetry) in 2005 for his poem “Soul Searching”. He also works for Locus as a senior editor and book reviewer.
“The Third-Quarter King” is featured in Eidolon, a new science fiction and fantasy anthology that I’ve spent the last year or so working with Jeremy Byrne to complete. Eidolon, which also features stories by Carol Ryles, Hal Duncan, Margo Lanagan, Chris Lawson, Tim Pratt, Eleanor Arnason, William Eakin, Holly Phillips, Deborah Roggie, Deborah Biancotti, Kim Westwood, Alistair Ong, Elizabeth Bear, Jeff VanderMeer, Grace Dugan, Lucy Sussex, and Simon Brown, will be published by Eidolon Books in Australia in August and by Prime Books in the United States in December.
The story that follows is one of the book’s stand-outs, and I’m delighted to be able to present it, read by the author, as a Coode Street Podcast.
“The third-quarter king leaned back in his brown leather recliner, eyes closed, and spent the first evening of the season after his reign listening to music by bands named, all unknowingly, in his honor – The Octobers, November Witch, Through the Fall, The Decemberists. His friend the fourth-quarter king had sent the music, because that king loved songs, and giving gifts. When the last song on the last album had played, the third-quarter king rose and went to his window, looking out on the narrow street, and the songs played on in his mind, made bittersweet by the mere fact of their movement into the past. The songs had been lyrical, mostly, and almost all a little melancholy, which was fitting, as they owed some part of themselves to him.”
Listen to “The Third-Quarter King” [17mb].