Episode 57: Live with Gary K. Wolfe, Terry Bisson, and Greg Bear

Roving reporter Gary K. Wolfe checked in live from Seattle, where he and many of SF’s glitterati are gathered for the annual Locus Awards and the SF Hall of Fame, to discuss the Hall of Fame, the death of the paperback market and how it affected the SF field, first novelists and new writers, and a little more. We were joined by Greg Bear (who sadly had to leave half way through) and Terry Bisson.  As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast.

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And here’s what’s happening here…

I’ve written a note for the website several times in order to bring you up-to-date on recent events here at Coode Street, but one update was eaten by web-goblins and the others sit as notes here and there in various states of incompletion. So goes the life of the busy editor. The first, and possibly most interesting to some, is that I will be travelling to the United States at least once this year. I purchased the necessary plane tickets last Friday, so it’s definitely that I will be in Reno for Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention (17-21 Aug). The travel details are:

Sat 13 Aug: Fly to Sydney and overnight
Sun 14 Aug: Fly to San Francisco
Tues 16 Aug: Drive to Reno
Sun 21 Aug: Drive to San Francisco
Mon 22 Aug: Fly to Perth via LA and Brisbane arriving home on 24 August.

It must be official because the impressively well organised people from Reno have already sent me a draft programme so I will be on panels and around publicly, as well as looking to meet up with old friends and new during my stopover. Oh, and this trip shouldn’t impact on my attending World Fantasy.

The second, and still slightly secret piece of information is that I’ve agreed to edit a new science fiction anthology. The idea is that it will feature new hard SF/action adventure stories set in a settled, industrialised, pre-starflight solar system. There are still details to be confirmed, but it’s due at the publisher next July and should be out before Christmas, I think. Lots still to be confirmed, but I’ll let you know more as I can.

There has also been a lot of personal stuff which I don’t think I’ll go into in too much detail here. Suffice it say we had happy news, with my eldest daughter celebrating her birthday, and less happy news with her needing to go through some medication changes as a result of recent events. I think she’ll be fine, but it keeps life interesting.

Am I busy? I think so. Need to take care of family things while preparing the next year’s best for publication and getting the dreaded Cyberpunk ready to deliver pre-WorldCon.

Monday, early…

With Joni Mitchell quietly singing about free men in Paris on the stereo, copies of Teeth and Deep State on the couch beside me, a daughter in the other room reasonably quietly watching Brady Bunch, the rest of the family still abed,  and an unfinished cup of coffee to hand, it seems a good time to catch up with you here.

This has been an odd weekend for me.  Gary’s been in Florida and we’ve not recorded a podcast for the first time in more than a year. It’s become part of the rhythm of my weekends, and everything seems a bit different without it. I’d meant to use the time getting caught up on work, but I haven’t really. I tinkered with this and that and spent time with the family.

Alisa dropped the pretty Aurealis Award round (and it is pretty), we took my mother out for her birthday, and we spent some time driving in the hills. Other than that, not so much. So, there’s still an ocean to do (won’t bore you with the details). I do have to find the name for the secret project which I’m tinkering with at the moment. Just as soon as an agreement is reached and there are details I’ll make it non-secret, but there’s still a chance it could become a non-project so I shall wait.

I did read my favorite anthology of the year this week, though. In October Candlewick will publish Gavin Grant and Kelly Link’s Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories (you can see the ToC here).  It features fourteen pieces (12 stories/2 comics) by some terrific writers. I’m still going back and forth over my favorites but I adored Libba Bray’s “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls”, a Western about an all-girl gang of temporally-enhanced trainrobbers, Dylan Horrock’s novelette “Steamgirl” about (sort of) a steampunk girl hero on Mars, and M.T Anderson’s “The Oracle Engine”. Those three alone are strong enough to make this a wonderful anthology, but new stories from Kelly Link, Holly Black and others really do make it a book I’d recommend.  The only thing I found, when I reluctantly reached the end, was that I don’t know if I understand steampunk any better than I had at the start. I’m hoping someone like Jeff VanderMeer (who edited Steampunk and The Steampunk Bible) who has a really strong grasp of the subject might review it. In the meantime, there’s a lot here to read and edit and be distracted by so back to that,