Episode 67: Live with Gary K. Wolfe!

It doesn’t feel like it, but the end of the science fiction year is not too far away, so Gary and I thought, in response to Ian Mond’s of Writer and the Critic, that we’d discuss possible award-likely texts, how books get buzz, and much more.  As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast.



9 thoughts on “Episode 67: Live with Gary K. Wolfe!”

  1. Here’s a 2011 book that’s got no buzz but was actually quite a good read — and it’s something unexpected from the author: The Kings of Eternity by Eric Brown. Try it!

  2. Would think Mira Grant’s Deadline has a shot for the Hugo Ballot – Feed was a close runner-up this year and every review I’ve seen has declared Deadline even better

  3. I haven’t heard any buzz for Rudy Rucker’s Jim and the Flims. Psychedelic SF that reads somewhat like a fantasy, the plot is a riff on Orpheus and Eurydice, with a moving character arc for the protagonist. A unique amalgam of elements, and great fun!

  4. Two more from 2011:

    The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie – his best yet imo, and
    Down To The Bone by Justina Robson – a very fine conclusion to the whole Quantum Gravity sequence I thought.

  5. Not been reading as much this year but I liked both Hannu Rajaniemi’s “The Quantum Thief” which should be eligible so long as the rule of extending the eligibility of works first published outside the USA is renewed, and Charles Stross’ “Rule 34”.

    In terms of ‘buzz’, podcasts such as this & other conversations generate it. If the work in question is good enough, others pick up on it & it builds. I suspect that’s what happened with Alastair Reynolds’ “Troika”; I was prompted to seek it out after hearing Jonathan speak passionately about it. Would it have made the Hugo final ballot otherwise?

  6. Belatedly: you two may be near the end of your 2011 reading, but I still have a lot to get through! Still, I’d like to see some more love for Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi (sly novel-in-stories, part folkloreish, part metafictional; I want to see it on the Tiptree, Shirley Jackson, World Fantasy and BSFA ballots) and The Sacred Band by David Anthony Durham (majestic, progressive conclusion to an epic fantasy trilogy; would be thrilled if this showed up on the Hugo and World Fantasy Lists). Jane Rogers’ The Testament of Jessie Lamb is a good ethical-dilemma novel (Tiptree, Clarke Award). Currently in the middle of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and enjoying it. On the books I’m waiting for front, there’s Richard Morgan’s The Cold Commands, and Rob Ziegler’s Seed (another Night Shade debut) looks interesting. Kameron Hurley’s Infidel, of course. Also Karen Heuler’s The Made-Up Man could be promising. Things I haven’t read yet but mean to: The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung, By Light Alone by Adam Roberts, Twilight Robbery by Frances Hardinge, Mechanique, Down to the Bone, Bronze Summer by Stephen Baxter, The Godless Boys by Naomi Wood, Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Towfik, The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett. Plenty more I’m forgetting, I’m sure…

  7. In my opinion, Mira Grant’s FEED is one of the novels which was not one of last year’s best (it was not bad by any means! that’s not what I’m saying…) and yet indeed it was nominated and well-supported in votes beyond that. This is a case study in terms of the buzz vs. best discussion here, perhaps.

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