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Author: Jonathan Strahan

Episode 285: Connie Willis and Crosstalk

Episode 285: Connie Willis and Crosstalk

This week we are joined by Hugo and Nebula Award winning author Connie Willis to discuss her new novel, Crosstalk, which is just out in the UK from Gollancz and will be out in the US early next month.

The publisher describes Crosstalk like this:

Briddey is about to get exactly what she thinks she wants…

Briddey is a high-powered exec in the mobile phone industry, overseeing new products from concept (‘anything to beat the new apple phone’) to delivery. And she works with her wonderful partner, Trent. They’ve been together for six magical weeks, in a whirlwind of flowers, dinners, laughter and now comes the icing on the cake: not a weekend away or a proposal but something even better. An EDD. A procedure which will let them sense each other’s feelings. Trent doesn’t just want to tell her how much he loves her – he wants her to feel it.

Everything is perfect.

The trouble is, Briddey can’t breathe a word of it to anyone (difficult, when the whole office is guessing) until she’s had two minutes to call her family. And they’re hounding her about the latest family drama, but when they find out about the EDD – which they will – they’ll drop everything to interrogate her. And it might just be easier to have the procedure now and explain later.

The race is on: not just for new, cutting-edge technology, but also for a shred of privacy in a public world and – for Briddey – a chance for love at the heart of it all.

This is a brilliant, heart-warming romantic comedy from one of the wittiest and wisest of our authors. Written with a light touch and a smile, we’re swept up in Briddey’s romance – and into the difficulties of a world just one technological step away from our own, as technology and social media blur (or indeed remove) the line between personal and public.

In a spirited and entertaining discussion in a rather noisy hotel room in Kansas City, we discussed the novel, comedy, social media, science fiction, and much more. As always, we’d like to thank Connie for making the time to talk to us, and hope you enjoy the show.

Episode 284: Alastair Reynolds, Revenger and the Far, Far Future

Episode 284: Alastair Reynolds, Revenger and the Far, Far Future

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This week we are joined by the estimable Alastair Reynolds, celebrating the publication of his new space-pirate adventure tale Revenger and his collaboration with Stephen Baxter, The Medusa Chronicles.

We also discuss the attraction many SF readers and writers have for maritime adventures, the influence and heritage of Arthur C. Clarke (as well as Asimov and Heinlein), the impact of cyberpunk on space opera and other later SF, and the question of whether the solar system is enormous enough on its own to be the setting for space operas involving thousands of worlds and habitats—as it seems to be in Revenger.

As always, we’d like to thank Al for making the time to talk to us, and we hope you enjoy the episode.
Episode 283: Kelly Robson and the Waters of Versailles

Episode 283: Kelly Robson and the Waters of Versailles

When Gary and I were in Kansas City for MidAmericon 2, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention last month, we were fortunate enough to sit down with a handful of really interesting people.

One of the highlights was getting to chat with the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Sturgeon award nomination author of “Waters of Versailles”Kelly Robson. In what was a really enjoyable conversation, we discussed Kelly’s work, starting a writing career a little later in life, and a lot more.

We’d like to thank Kelly for making time to join us and, as always, hope you enjoy the episode!

Coode Street Roundtable 7: Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station

Coode Street Roundtable 7: Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station

Welcome to the seventh episode of The Coode Street Roundtable. The Roundtable is a monthly podcast from Coode Street Productions where panelists James Bradley, Ian Mond, and Jonathan Strahan, joined by occasional special guests, discuss a new or recently released science fiction or fantasy novel. With James busy with housemoving and such, we’re joined by award-winning critic Gary K Wolfe.

Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station

This month we discuss Central Station, the latest book from Lavie Tidhar. It’s described by publisher Tachyon as follows:

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper.

When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik—a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return.

Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation—a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness—are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

At Central Station, humans and machines continue to adapt, thrive…and even evolve.

If you’re keen to avoid spoilers, we recommend reading the book before listening to the episode. If you don’t already have a copy, Central Station can be ordered from:

We encourage all of our listeners to leave comments here and we will do our best to respond as soon as possible.

Next monthThe Coode Street Roundtable will return at the end of June with a discussion of Claire North’s The Sudden Appearance of Hope.

PS: During the recording Jonathan incorrectly states this is the sixth Roundtable. It is the seventh. Apologies for any confusion.