All posts by Jonathan Strahan

Episode 563: A Ramble in the Wilderness

Welcome to episode 21 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast.Once again, it’s just Jonathan and Gary, talking about the various roles anthologies have played in the history of science fiction and how that role may be different these days, the nominees and winners of the 2021 Ignyte Awards from FIYAHCON 2021, N.K. Jemisin being named as one of Time Magazine’s top 100 most influential people, how SF has begun to shift its historical perspective in terms of colonialism and international literatures, new media adaptations of Asimov and Herbert, and, as always, how genre and other barriers are breaking down and how neither of us is quite keeping up with all the fascinating new fiction published every month, suggesting that maybe 2021 is turning out to be a pretty exciting year.

Episode 562: Reading, reviewing, and an old question answered

Welcome to episode 20 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. It’s just Jonathan and Gary again, eventually circling around an interesting question raised by Andrew Liptak in Transfer Orbit concerning the question of reading the right book at the right time, rather than being chained to the constant parade of new books and their publicity cycles.

Along the way we pause to note the recent passing of Erle Korshak, one of the last survivors of 1930s fandom; the value and hazards of re-reading old favorites from Gene Wolfe to Dune; the way to arrange stories in an anthology or collection; some newer books by Lavie Tidhar, Joe Abercrombie, and others; the importance of context in reviewing, and, inspired by Matt Bell’s My Le Guin Year: Craft Lessons from a Master on, how Ursula Le Guin got some things right long before anyone else did, with her own Tehanu. In other words, our usual laser-like focus on whatever comes up in the moment.

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.

Episode 561: Science fiction, influence, and more

Welcome to episode 19 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. This time out, Jonathan and Gary return, sans guests or much of a plan. They do manage to touch upon a number of significant issues, such as the work of newly minted World Fantasy Life Achievement winner Howard Waldrop, whether Waldrop could be viewed as a regional author (a Texan in particular), and which other writers might be thought of a representing particular regional voices (R.A. Lafferty, Andy Duncan, Christopher Rowe,  Daryl Gregory?), and how regional voice may show up even in the work of hard SF writers like Gregory Benford. This leads into a more general discussion of influences. Are films based on Philip K. Dick now more influential than Dick’s novels themselves? How are innovative writers like Greg Egan (who just turned 60) and Ted Chiang seen as influential?

This leads, somehow, into a discussions of how writers like Dick, Lovecraft, Le Guin, Octavia Butler made it into the Library of America, and finally to the importance of international and regional anthologies such as Oghenchovwe Donald Ekpeki’s new Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction. As always, we also touch upon what we’re reading this week.

Saturday morning, back at home, still in the endless pandemic

No reading this week at all, which is not great. Sleeping is very poor, which is also not great. Spent a few nights in a hotel so we could get through painting parts of the house, which was, no fault of the hotel, not great. Today, new carpet in one room and some cleaning and organisation elsewhere in advance of the next round of changes. What else? Some day job stuff, some editing stuff – nothing too interesting.

Youngest did have a glam filming thing yesterday. Was radiant and came home in a great mood. We ended up watching Ted Lass, which was a goofy fun Christmas piece of fluff.

At the same time, a good portion of the country is in lockdown. Not here for now, but who knows? It’s endless and it’s wearing and it’s a million times worse for those actually locked down in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and elsewhere.  Good thoughts to them. But this was supposed to have been a fun weekend. Right now I was supposed to be in Adelaide hanging out with dear friends I’ve already not seen in over two years, as time slips away. I think we might try again some time in 2022, but every moment delayed is precious.  Hang on to those around you.

Thursday after, during the current pandemic…

What a discombobulated day today has been. This is the fourth day of painting, the second day staying in a hotel, and the second day off work. All is in chaos, though that overstates it. The painting looks great, but smells less great. The mess is all-pervasive because there’s painting done here and there, and the re-ordering will go on for some time, but it’ll have been worth it. Especially if we can get phase 2 and 3 under way. That’ll be up to me and Marianne, because it involves both deciding on a patio option and hoping we can get it done before the summer, and deciding on colours and designs for the family room. Essential, though.

If we can do this, it’ll be a big step forward.  In the meantime, I’m not reading at all beyond a submission or two. I have done a pile of edits, which are good, but have paperwork to do, which is less good. And I’m hoping to steer us through to other side and to some relative calm.

All in all, the second year of the latest pandemic has been hard, but having set aside any plans at all for travel makes it easier to focus on other plans, I suppose. So it goes.