Episode 316: Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Warrior, Binti, and Beyond

akata.jpgThis week we’re joined by the fabulous Nnedi Okorafor, whose Akata Warrior (sequel to Akata Witch) will be published next week, and whose Binti: The Night Masquerade (concluding her award-winning Binti trilogy of novellas) is due in January. We discuss not only these books, but the ongoing excitement about the possible TV adaptation of Who Fears Death?, the forthcoming novel Remote Control, the growing awareness of African and Naijamerican SF and fantasy, her work in comics and graphic novels, her Star Wars short story, and the problems of juggling academic work with writing. Nnedi is one of the busiest writers in the field these days, and her insights, as always, are fascinating.

Episode 315: Liz Bourke, Niall Harrison and Debut Novels of 2017

This week, we are joined by distinguished critics Niall Harrison, late of Strange Horizons, and Liz Bourke, whose latest collection of reviews and essays is Sleeping With Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy (Aqueduct), to discuss the debut novels of 2017 that we’re all excited or curious about. Here are some of the titles that come up in the discussion:

  • Annalee Newitz, Autonomous
  • Theodora Goss, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter
  • Karin Tidbeck, Amatka
  • Robyn Bennis, The Guns Above
  • Lara Elena Donnelly, Amberlough
  • Ruthanna Emrys, Winter Tide
  • Cat Sparks, Lotus Blue
  • Nicky Drayden, The Prey of Gods
  • Marek Sindelka, Aberrant
  • Prayaag Akbar, Leila
  • Rivers Solomon, An Unkindness of Ghosts
  • Megan Hunter, The End We Start From
  • Mohsin Hamid, Exit West
  • Christopher Brown, Tropic of Kansas
  • Sam Miller, The Art of Starving
  • N.J. Campbell, Found Audio

There’s a long list of debuts with links to reviews and ordering here.

Here are specific recommendations and shout-outs from Liz and Niall:

Liz Bourke

  • The Guns Above, Robyn Bennis (Tor)
  • Amberlough, Lara Elena Donnelly (Tor)
  • The Prey of Gods, Nicky Drayden (HarperVoyager)
  • Winter Tide, Ruthanna Emrys (Tor.com)
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss (Saga)
  • Lotus Blue, Cat Sparks (Talos)
  • Strange Practice, Vivian Shaw (Orbit US)
  • Gods & Monsters: Food of the Gods, Cassandra Khaw (Rebellion/Abaddon US)
  • The Tiger’s Daughter, K Arsenault Rivera (Tor)
  • Barbary Station, R. E. Stearns (Saga)
  • Autonomous, Annalee Newitz (Tor)

Niall Harrison

Books that I have read and recommend:

  • Leila by Prayaag Akbar (Simon & Schuster India)
  • Spaceman of Bohemia, Jaroslav Kalfar (Sceptre)
  • Aberrant, Marek Å indelka (Twisted Spoon Press)
  • Amatka, Karin Tidbeck (Vintage)

Books that I am particularly keen to read that other people did not
mention (i.e. excluding Goss, Newitz, Brown):

  • An Unkindness of Ghosts, Rivers Solomon (Akashic Books)
  • American War, Omar Al Akkad (Picador)
  • An Excess Male,  Maggie Shen King (Harper Voyager)

A first fantastic novel rather than first novel, but excellent:

  • Exit West, Mohsin Hamid (Penguin)

Not a novel at all, but a notable debut:

  • Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press)

As always, our thanks to Liz and Niall.

Episode 314: Annalee Newitz and Telling Stories About the Future

Annalee Newitz, who writes on the cultural impact of science and technology for Ars Technica and who founded and edited io9.com, delivers her debut novel Autonomous this month.

Annalee joined Gary and Jonathan in Helsinki, Finland where they were all attending WorldCon 75, to discuss Autonomous, science fiction, and the power of being able to tell stories about how science influences the world.

As always, Gary and Jonathan would like to thank Annalee for joining us and hope you enjoy the podcast.

2017 Debut genre novels – a list

As part of the preparation for an upcoming Coode Street Podcast discussion and to get ready for year-in-review season, I’m compiling a list of debut novels for 2017.  The criteria for making the list are simple:

  1. The book must be a novel (ie at least 40,000 words long; not a short story collection or something else etc).
  2. The book must be being published for the first time in the English language anywhere in the world.
  3. The book must science fiction, fantasy, horror or substantively related to those genres.

This is the current list, as of 19 September.

  1. Magicians Impossible, Brad Abraham (Thomas Dunne, September)
  2. Leila, Prayaag Akbar (Simon & Schuster, January)
  3. The Bear & The Nightingale, Katherine Arden (Del Rey, January)
  4. The Waking Land, Callie Bates (Del Rey, June)
  5. The Guns Above, Robyn Bennis (Tor, May)
  6. Hearts and Other Body Parts, Ira Bloom (Scholastic, March)
  7. Tropic of Kansas, Christopher Brown (HarperVoyager, July)
  8. Amberlough, Lara Elena Donnelly (Tor, February)
  9. The Prey of Gods, Nicky Drayden (HarperVoyager, June)
  10. Crossroads of Canopy, Thoraiya Dyer (Tor, January)
  11. American War, Omar El Akkad (Knopf, April)
  12. Winter Tide, Ruthanna Emrys (Tor.com, April)
  13. Blood Red Rose Rebellion, Rosalyn Eves (Knopf, March)
  14. Sputnik’s Children, Terri Favro (ECW Press, April)
  15. Year of the Orphan, Daniel Findlay (Penguin Australia, May)
  16. Daughter of the Burning City, Amanda Foody (Harlequin Teen, August)
  17. Caraval, Stephanie Garber (Flatiron, January)
  18. Wings Unseen, Rebecca Gomez Farrell (Meerkat, August)
  19. The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss (Saga, June)
  20. Three Years with the Rat, Jay Hosking (Thomas Dunne, January)
  21. Spaceman of Bohemia, Jaroslav Kalfar (Hachette, March)
  22. Allaigna’s Song: Overture, J.M. Landels (Pulp L:iterature, July)
  23. Noumenon, Marina J. Lostetter (HarperVoyager, August)
  24. A Time and a Place, Joseph Mahoney (Five Rivers Capmanry, October)
  25. All Our Wrong Todays, Elan Mastai (Dutton, February)
  26. Only The Devil is Here, Stephen Michell (Chizine Publications, November)
  27. The Art of Starving, Sam J. Miller (HarperTeen, July)
  28. Autonomous, Annalee Newitz (Tor, September)
  29. Under the Pendulum Sun, Jeannette Ng (Angry Robot, October)
  30. The Gatekeeper, Nuraliah Norasid (Epigram, March)
  31. Beasts Made of Night, Tochi Onyebuchi (Razorbill, October)
  32. Zero Repeat Forever, G.S. Prendergast (Simon & Schuster, August)
  33. Nyxia, Scott Reintgen (Crown, September)
  34. Walking on the Sea of Clouds, Gray Rinehart (Wordfire, July)
  35. The Tiger’s Daughter, K Arsenault Rivera (Tor, October)
  36. An Enchantment of Ravens, Margaret Rogerson (Margaret K. McElderry, September)
  37. Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders (Random House, February)
  38. Deer Life, Ron Sexsmith (Dundurn, September)
  39. An Excess Male, Maggie Shen King (HarperVoyager, September)
  40. Aberrant, Marek Sindelka (Twisted Spoon, April)
  41. A Poisoned Prayer, Michael Skeet (Five Rivers Chapmanry, May)
  42. An Unkindness of Ghosts, Rivers Solomon (Akashic, September)
  43. Lotus Blue, Cat Sparks (Talos, March)
  44. Barbary Station, R. E. Stearns (Saga, October)
  45. Godblind, Anna Stephens (Talos, June)
  46. Shadow Run, Adrianne Strickland & Michael Miller (March, Delacorte)
  47. Amatka: A Novel, Karin Tidbeck (Vintage, June)
  48. The Nine, Tracy Townsend (Pyr, November)
  49. Temporary People, Deepak Unnikrishnan (March, Restless)
  50. Heartstone, Elle Katharine White (HarperVoyager, January)


  51. Case of the Green-Dressed Ghost, Lucy Banks (Amberjack)
  52. Age of Assassins, RJ Barker (Orbit US)
  53. Golden Pearl, Cassandra Beck (Archway Publishing)
  54. Empress of a Thousand Skies, Rhoda Belleza (Penguin Random House/Razorbill)
  55. Frostblood, Elly Blake (Little, Brown)
  56. Zenn Diagram, Wendy Brant (Kids Can Press)
  57. Hawkweed Prophecy, Irena Brignull (Perseus Books Group/Weinstein Books)
  58. Felix YZ, Lisa Bunker (Penguin Random House/Viking Books for Young Readers)
  59. Found Audio, N.J. Campbell (Two Dollar Radio)
  60. Girl in Between, Sarah Carroll (Penguin Random House/Dawson)
  61. Best Kind of Magic, Crystal Cestari (Disney/Hyperion)
  62. Brave Man Seven Stories Tall, Will Chancellor (Harper)
  63. Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  64. Last Namsara, Kristen Ciccarelli (HarperTeen)
  65. Mermaid’s Daughter, Ann Claycomb (HarperCollins/Morrow)
  66. House of Ash, Hope Cook (Abrams/Amulet)
  67. Bone Jack, Sara Crowe (Penguin Random House/Philomel)
  68. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, Julie C. Dao (Penguin Random House/Philomel)
  69. Exo Project, Andrew DeYoung (Boyds Mills Press)
  70. More of Me, Kathryn Evans (Abrams/Amulet)
  71. I Liked My Life, Abby Fabiaschi (St. Martin’s)
  72. Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat, Keith R. Fentonmiller (Curiosity Quills Press)
  73. Touch, Robert Flynn III (CreateSpace)
  74. Black Witch, Laurie Forest (Harlequin Teen)
  75. Secret Island of Edgar Dewitt, Ferrill Gibbs (Amberjack)
  76. Children of Eden, Joey Graceffa (Simon & Schuster/Atria/Keywords Press)
  77. Light Years, Emily Ziff Griffin (Simon Pulse)
  78. Breaking Light, Heather Hansen (Amazon/Skyscape)
  79. Graveyard Shift, Michael F. Haspil (Tor)
  80. For the Most Beautiful, Emily Hauser (Pegasus)
  81. Seventh Age: Dawn, Rick Heinz (Inkshares)
  82. Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan (HarperCollins/Morrow)
  83. Carmer and Grit, Book One: The Wingsnatchers, Sarah Jean Horwitz (Workman/Algonquin Young Readers)
  84. Gork, the Teenage Dragon, Gabe Hudson (Pengiun Random House/Knopf)
  85. Wintersong, S. Jae-Jones (St. Martin’s Griffin/Dunne)
  86. Next Forever, Lauren James (Skyhorse/Sky Pony Press)
  87. Gilded Cage, Vic James (Penguin Random House/Del Rey)
  88. Luster of Lost Things, Sophie Chen Keller (Penguin Random House/Putnam)
  89. Gods & Monsters: Food of the Gods, Cassandra Khaw (Rebellion/Abaddon US)
  90. Himself, Jess Kidd (Simon & Schuster/Atria)
  91. Hundredth Queen, Emily R. King (Amazon/Skyscape)
  92. Necessary Monsters, Richard A. Kirk (Resurrection House/Arche Press)
  93. Freya, Matthew Laurence (Macmillan/Imprint)
  94. Daughter of the Pirate King, Tricia Levenseller (Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends)
  95. Game of Shadows, Erika Lewis (Tor)
  96. Five Daughters of the Moon, Leena Likitalo (Tor.com Publishing)
  97. Toward a Secret Sky, Heather MacLean (Blink)
  98. Hidden Memory of Objects, Danielle Mages Amato (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)
  99. Sleeping Seer, Morgan Blue Malory (43 Hours Press)
  100. Birthrights, J. Kyle McNeal (Elevate Fiction)
  101. Mask of Shadows, Linsey Miller (Sourcebooks Fire)
  102. Borrowed Souls, Chelsea Mueller (Skyhorse/Talos Press)
  103. Bones of the Past, Craig A. Munro (Inkshares)
  104. Emperor’s Horn, Jordan R. Murray (self-published)
  105. Gray Wolf Island, Tracey Neithercott (Penguin Random House/Knopf)
  106. Warlock in Training, TJ Nichols (DSP Publications)
  107. Apprentice Witch, James Nicol (Scholastic/Chicken House)
  108. Rebel Seoul, Axie Oh (Lee & Low/Tu Books)
  109. Sandcastle Empire, Kayla Olson (HarperTeen)
  110. Lucky Ones, Julianne Pachico (Penguin Random House/Spiegel & Grau)
  111. Shadows We Know by Heart, Jennifer Park (Simon Pulse)
  112. Gray House, Mariam Petrosyan (AmazonCrossing)
  113. Hook’s Tale, John Leonard Pielmeier (Simon & Schuster/Scribner)
  114. Return of the Vinetropes, Sherry Ross (ACC Art Books)
  115. Hour of Daydreams, Renee Macalino Rutledge (Forest Avenue Press)
  116. Bone Snatcher, Charlotte Salter (Penguin Random House/Dial)
  117. Strange Practice, Vivian Shaw (Orbit US)
  118. Poison’s Kiss, Breeana Shields (Penguin Random House/Random House)
  119. Wellside, Robin Shortt (Candlemark & Gleam)
  120. Day the Angels Fell, Shawn Smucker (Baker Publishing Group/Revell)
  121. Talon of God, Wesley Snipes (Harper Voyager US)
  122. Court of Broken Knives, Anna Smith Spark (Orbit US)
  123. Empire’s Ghost, Isabelle Steiger (St. Martin’s/Dunne)
  124. Otherwhere: Muddy Waters, Sara O. Thompson (Curiosity Quills Press)
  125. Song of the Current, Sarah Tolcser (Bloomsbury USA)
  126. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, Jessic Townsend (Little, Brown)
  127. Heartstone, Elle Katharine White (Harper Voyager US)
  128. Lost Frost Girl, Amy Wilson (HarperCollins/Tegen Books)
  129. Scribe of Siena, Melodie Winawer (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone)
  130. Dragon’s Legacy, Deborah A. Wolf (Titan US)
  131. Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer, Leslie Peter Wulff (Skyhorse/Night Shade Books)
  132. Epic Crush of Genie Lo, F.C. Yee (Abrams/Amulet)
  133. American Street, Ibi Zoboi (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)

My thanks to everyone who’s has helped with this list so far, including everyone on Facebook, Gordon, and Niall. Please let me know in comments if you have any changes/additions. I’m currently checking this list for accuracy.

Note: Once I’ve fact checked this list I’ll go through an add links etc.


Episode 313: Jeffrey Ford and The Twilight Pariah

35083306.jpgThis week Gary and Jonathan are joined by long-time friend of the podcast, Jeffrey Ford. Jeff is the winner of the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Shirley Jackson awards and has published eight novels, six short story collections and more than 130 short stories. His most recent book is Shirley Jackon Award winner A Natural History of Hell. Just out is new short novel, The Twilight Pariah. He joins us to discuss his writing, genre and his first new novel in ten years, Ahab’s Return, or The Last Voyage.

As always we’d like to thank Jeff for making the time to join us. We’d also like to apologise, this time out, for some technical issues which affect the sound quality of this episode, especially in the first half. We think it’s worth persevering with, though.  Next week: Annalee Newitz discusses Autonomous.