Episode 130: Contemporary fantasy, lists and other things

The quiet days after the New Year, when Coode Street scribes spend their days slowly summarising the moments of the  year just gone and contemplating what the year ahead might bring, pass slowly in the chill of Chicago and the sweltering heat of the Antipodes. With little specific to discuss, we nonetheless headed to the Waldorf Room high atop the Coode St Motel Six, with no clear intention of what would unfold.

Moments before podcasting began, though, a query came through from James Bradley, asking our thoughts on excellent contemporary fantasy. Interest piqued, we discussed, we listed and we chatted. While we would love to hear listeners recommendations, these are the books we discussed (and recommended) during the podcast:

Contemporary Fantasy Novels (in the order mentioned on the podcast)

  • Mythago Wood, Robert Holdstock
  • The Drowning Girl, Caitlin R. Kiernan
  • Last Call, Tim Powers
  • Ysabel, Guy Gavriel Kay
  • The Limits of Enchantment, Graham Joyce
  • The Wizard Knight, Gene Wolfe
  • The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke
  • Perfect Circle, Sean Stewart
  • Waking the Moon, Elizabeth Hand
  • Wizard of Pigeons, Megan Lindholm
  • The Scar, China Mieville
  • The Prestige, Christopher Priest
  • Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor
  • The Brides of Roll-Rock Island, Margo Lanagan
  • Was, Geoff Ryman

The list has its flaws and omissions (one we reason we’d love your recommendations), but it’s a starting point for discussing an interesting subject. Our thanks to James for his question. At podcast’s end we briefly also discuss some points of comparison with the Locus All-Time Poll recently released, and encourage others to run their own similar polls.

As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast!