As we head into our third straight week without a guest on the podcast, we confront our lack of organisation with a smile and a nod. We actually sat down and planned what we’d discuss on this episode, then Gary brought up something else entirely immediately after the intro and off we went.
Following the sad news that Prince had died, we spent some time discussing science fiction and popular music, then revisited my (Jonathan’s) comments on people reading SF criticism, had a few comments on The Big Book of SF (which Jonathan’s reading right now), noted the Hugo nominations are due in a few days, and wound up talking about what we are reading at the moment.
All in all, a pretty typical episode. As always, we hope you enjoy it. We’ll be back next week with more.
This week’s ramble touches upon a bunch of issues, from Hugo nominations and awards (of course) to what it takes to be called a major science fiction writer, the need for more translations of non-English language science fiction, the advantages and disadvantages of “fix-ups,” “story suites,” and collections of linked stories, and whether SF has developed a kind of informal hierarchy favoring American and British SF, followed by Australian and Canadian writers, and leaving most other world science fiction as a kind of niche interest (which we dearly hope is beginning to change).
Following last week’s announcement of DragonCon’s new Dragon Awards, we once again return to the topic of awards proliferation; begin our discussion of Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s massive new Big Book of Science Fiction (we hope to talk to them about the book closer to its release); look at how anthologies might have changed over the past fifty years; touch on the recent trend toward revisiting and revisioning Lovecraft that can be seen in the work of Matt Ruff, Victor LaValle, and Kij Johnson; and debate whether academic criticism of SF is widely enough read to have an impact on science fiction as a whole.
As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast. More next week!