Last Short Story podcast

So, I have a new podast….<g>   I want to say I didn’t mean to have a new podcast, it wasn’t my idea and so on, but it was. As long time readers and listeners will know, I’m part of the Not if You Were the Last Short Story on Earth reading group.

About a month ago I was talking podcasts with Ian Mond, who is also part of LSSOE, and we discussed how the one problem with the group is that we never really get to discussing what we’re reading with one another in a meaningful way. I said we should do a podcast once a month and that it should be of one work only (a collection, a magazine, something), that way we all would have read it.

I liked the idea so much I almost just launched it as my own podcast, but I began to think it would make sense to actually do it with Last Short Story, so I proposed it to the group. And everyone liked it. Yay. I was ready to go. Less yay. Everyone in the group was busy and they thought NEXT year was a great time to start.

I agreed, but I’m always impatient when I have an idea I like so I went back to Ian and started talking about it some more. After a little discussion we decided to record a pre-season for the podcast. A set of monthly podcasts that would come out every four weeks, that would let us test and develop the format, and that would set the ground for the full podcast when it happens in 2013. This sounded like fun and scratched my itch to do something now.

And so, last weekend Ian and I sat down and recorded Pre-Season Episode 1 of Last Short Story, where we discuss the August issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. I’m including the podcast in this post as a sample. I won’t be repeating this as I don’t want to double up subs with The Coode St Podcast. If you like it you can subscribe here! Next month we plan to discuss Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling’s new anthology, After.


Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Alif the UnseenAlif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the most interesting and rewarding books I’ve read in 2012, G. Willow Wilson’s debut novel Alif the Unseen is ostensibly a contemporary young adult fantasy novel about a dissident computer hacker set in an unspecified Arabic country at a time of rising civil unrest. The book has a lot to recommend it – engaging characters, a fast-paced narrative and so on – but what makes it most interesting is the way it interrogates the boundaries between science fiction and fantasy, between what secular and religious worldviews, and about the role of women in traditional societies. That a book focussed on dissent and revolution is so respectful of traditional religious perspectives is a significant strength of the book. Highly recommended.

Note: Check out this review of the book by James Bradley (…)

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Jeff on editors, influence and power

I’m not especially given to shouting out “me too” or piling in to agree on things, but that’s how I felt when reading Jeff VanderMeer’s post on “Editors, influence and you“. Folllowing on from an SF Signal podcast and discussion of recent events at Readercon, Jeff addresses the issue of editors, the influence they can have on your career as a writer, and harrassment.

I can only say read it. I agree pretty much wholeheartedly. Realistically, no single editor can influence a writer’s career significantly. Any editor who tries to suggest otherwise is either being foolish or a creep. Anyone who tries to trade on that impression in any way (especially physically) is contemptible, damages every editor when he or she does so, and deserves to be ejected from our community for such actions (the punch in the face Jeff suggests would also be appropriate).

I also agree about the editor/writer power balance comments Jeff makes. I still very much feel like the newbie I was 20 years ago, and am always surprised and taken aback when I hear people don’t see me that way. It is something I try more and more to be aware of and to manage as best I can, but it does turn people like me into old farts, and I’m already far too far down that path to need any help so I’d ask anyone I meet to remember I’m just some guy and not to take me too seriously.