Episode 53: Live with Gary K. Wolfe and Karen Lord!

Last weekend Crawford Award-winning novelist Karen Lord joined Gary and I live from an undisclosed location in the Caribbean (well, when we say ‘undisclosed’ a LOT of frogs and just a few motorcycles seemed to know just where Karen was at the time) to discuss the impact of cultural perceptions on fantasy, her novel Redemption in Indigo, and a handful of other things.  We experienced a few recording dropouts (for which we apologise), but Skype struggled to link Perth, Chicago and the Caribbean and did its very best. We hope you enjoy the podcast as much as we enjoyed recording it.
As to this coming weekend, well Gary’s at Wiscon so we have some plans for coming weeks that we think should be a lot of fun. See you then!

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2 thoughts on “Episode 53: Live with Gary K. Wolfe and Karen Lord!”

  1. One classic example of the “culturally dependent” reception of some work as fantastic or not would be Wen Cheng-en’s “Journey to the West” (or “Monkey”) – is this a fantastic novel, a religious allegory a la “Pilgrim’s Progress”, a political satire…? Note that even Chinese readers are puzzled by this – and not only modern Chinese readers. The same goes, mutatis mutandis, for some of C. S. Lewis’ works (not Narnia or the Perelandra trilogy) but “The Screwtape Letters”. Also “Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World” (a.k.a. “Gulliver’s Travels”). On the other hand, no one ever seems to have been bothered by any such conundrums regarding The Stuff of Legends, i.e. fairy tales or legendary incidents, either in East Asia, India, the Arabic world, or all those “Western” cultures – it seems to be a cultural invariant. Of course, sometimes it helps if you have a footnote explaining if the trickster figure already acts so subversively in the original (at least if you still ascribe to the idea authorial intent).

  2. An actual case of it, a from “Variety SF” – this is a guy from India who has taken to blogging about his readings of SF stories:

    Rachel Swirsky’s “Eros, Philia, Agape” (novelette, love story, free): This android must find its own identity
    Good enough read, but it has been done before. Probably the closest read I can off-hand recollect is the third (I think) story in Adam Link series of Eando Binder: girl falls in love with robot, but robot must break her heart & go out to be alone to figure out his own identity & how he can fit in among the humans.

    Background & environment of the story will likely resonate better in some cultures than with others. This is not a story for global audiences.
    [...] I’m not clear what the title means.
    “Eros” probably has something to do with love.
    “Philia” with sex? But there is no overt sex here.
    “Agape” – wonderment? Again I don’t see how it relates to the story.

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