Episode 168: Terminology, hard SF and other inexactiudes

After an unexpected break the Coode Street Podcast returns to discuss the use of terminology in genre, Linda Nagata’s recent io9 article on hard SF, and other things large and small.

Assuming nothing unexpected happens, this episode marks the final official recording session for the podcast before our long holiday hiatus. New episodes recorded in Brighton will appear December 7 (169) and December 14 (170).

We will be running a series of classic repeats that have been chosen by long-time listener Cat Sparks to hopefully entertain you during the hiatus and will return in late January energised and ready for an exciting year.

In the meantime we wish you, your family, your friends and everyone else a safe and happy holiday season and a wonderful 2014!

On episode 167, podcasts and fantastika

Every episode of the Coode Street Podcast tends to be an unedited, unplanned ramble through whatever circular discussion topic might occur to Gary and I. Generally, we’ve not discussed what we’re going to chat about beforehand, which means we’ve also not dont any particular research either.

This makes for a quick and relaxed preparation for us, and also makes the workload of doing a weekly podcast in amongst everything else we do manageable. What that means, though, is that it’s critical that we acknowledge when we’ve got it wrong, or have just not presented as balanced a picture as we should.

During Episode 167 of the podcast, Gary and I discuss fantasy, fantastika and things terminalogical. One of us – probably me (Jonathan) – incorrectly refer to “fantastika” as a term coined by our good friend and critic John Clute.  This, as commenters have correctly pointed out, is not true.   As John himself writes in the SF Encyclopedia:

“A convenient shorthand term employed and promoted by John Clute to describe the armamentarium of the fantastic in literature as a whole, encompassing science fiction, Fantasy, fantastic horror and their various subgenres; (see also Equipoise; Horror in SF). The term has long been used in Czech, other Eastern European and Russian discussion of genre; it is the title of Bulgaria’s first sf magazine (formerly known as F.E.P.) and, as Fantastyka (which see) of Poland’s. Clute discusses the term in his Pardon This Intrusion: Fantastika in the World Storm (coll 2011), where he advocates the use of the term primarily to describe works of the fantastic after about 1800, when the genres for which it serves as an umbrella began to take on conscious form, and began tentatively to use the planet itself (past, present and particularly the future) as a default arena (> Ruins and Futurity). [JC/DRL]

John is quite clear about the origins and usage of the term, as should we have been. Our apologies, and thanks commenters for bringing it to our attention.

Episode 167: On Hild, History, Genre and WFC

This week our two commentators, emerging from the pall of jetlag and the reality of impending deadlines, turn their attentions to what is intrinsic to science fiction as a genre, what SF & fantasy has in common with historical fiction, the terrible burden of having to read lots of books, and Nicola Griffith’s acclaimed sixth novel Hild. 

There is also, towards the end of the episode, a brief discussion of issues related to this year’s World Fantasy Convention, which are outlined in greater depth and with more intelligence over at Cheryl Morgan’s blog.

We also want to remind listeners that we will be going on hiatus for four weeks, starting 14 December 2013 and returning 18 January 2014.

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.


I edit THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY OF THE YEAR anthology series for Solaris Books. The eighth volume in the series will be published in May 2014, and the ninth will appear in May 2015.
I am currently reading for the 2014 volume, which will cover stories first published between 1 January and 31 December 2014. I am looking for stories from all branches of science fiction and fantasy: space opera to cyberpunk, fairy tales to the slipstream, or anything else that might qualify. If in doubt, PLEASE send it. Please note: This is a reprint anthology.
I work on a tight deadline, and need to see work as early as possible.  With that in mind, the submission deadline for this year’s book is 15 October 2014. Anything sent after this deadline will reach me too late. If a magazine, anthology, or collection you are in or you edit is coming out before 31 December 2014 please send galleys or manuscripts so that I can consider the stories in time.
Where possible, I prefer to receive book-length submissions in print. Anything else can be sent to me via email. I prefer ePub, .mobi, .rtf or .doc files. PDFs are acceptable but inconvenient. I strongly suggest that authors check with their publishers that they are sending review copies out to me, as I don’t have the resources to follow-up every publisher to get material.
When sending material please put “BEST SF/F of the Year” on the envelope.
Jonathan Strahan
PO Box 544
Mt Lawley WA 6929
Email submissions, recommendations, or information on publications can be sent to me via email at: jonathan.strahan (at) gmail (dot) com.
I am eager to see and be able to consider the work you are publishing. If you are producing a magazine, a chapbook, a collection or anthology with any original stories in it please let me know. While I prefer not to accept email submissions for book length works as a rule, I am happy to talk to publishers about making exceptions where necessary. The important thing, for me, is to make sure that I get to consider the best science fiction and fantasy published during 2014.
* I do not need to receive manuscripts from authors of stories from venues that it’s likely I already receive regularly (I get Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, Interzone, Black Static, Postscripts etc, but not many of the smaller ‘zines and publications).
** If you are publishing online, please email me copies of your stories at (jonathan.strahan (at) gmail (dot) com). This is particularly important for stories published between October and December, which may otherwise be overlooked. I do not require print-outs of online publications (I regularly read Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Apex, Beneath Ceaseless Skiess, Strange Horizons, Daily SF etc online).
*** Please do not send an SASE. This is not a submission, and I’m unable to return manuscripts or respond directly to stories sent to me.
If I am considering your story for inclusion in THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION AND AND FANTASY OF THE YEAR, I will be acquiring non-exclusive World anthology rights in English and foreign languages.