Category Archives: Podcasts

Episode 235: Elizabeth Hand and Building the Mystery

Coode235

This week we pay a return visit to World Fantasy Award winning author Elizabeth Hand, discussing her new short novel Wylding Hall, the British folk revival of the 1970s which provides the novel’s background, the use of multiple narrators (and the advantages of audio-books in differentiating them), and such diverse matters as the legacy of Arthur Machen, why there aren’t more fantasy novels about the arts, and what to expect next in her ongoing series of crime novels involving the troubled ex-punk photographer Cass Neary.

As always, our thanks to Liz for making the time to talk to us and we hope you enjoy the podcast!

Episode 234: On World Fantasy Awards, Life Achievement and other rambles


This week we sit down and discuss the World Fantasy Awards, the Life Achievement Award, and quite a lot more. Another old-fashioned ramble for the Coode Street Archives.

We would mention that members of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 World Fantasy Conventions are eligible to vote for this year’s World Fantasy Awards. A voting form is available, and you may vote via email.  Voting closes 31 May 2015. Support what you think is worthy.
As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast and will be back next week with more.

Episode 233: Paolo Bacigalupi and The Water Knife


This week we are joined by the Hugo and Nebula Award winning Paolo Bacigalupi, who is just about to publish his first science fiction novel for adults since 2009s The Windup Girl


Picking up from where his harrowing short story “The Tamarisk Hunter” left off, The Water Knife is lean thriller that asks important questions about how global warming will affect us all as seas rise in some places and drinking water becomes scarce in others.

The publisher of the book describes  The Water Knife like this:

In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel “cuts” water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet, while the poor get nothing but dust.

When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with no love for Vegas and every reason to hate Angel, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas refugee who survives by her wits and street smarts in a city that despises everything that she represents.  With bodies piling up, bullets flying, and Phoenix teetering on collapse, it seems like California is making a power play to monopolize the life-giving flow of a river. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.

The conversation is, as always, fascinating and provocative. We’re very grateful to Paolo for making the time to return to the podcast and, as always, hope you enjoy the episode.

Episode 232: On canon formation (again)

This week we return, without guests, to a topic with which we have annoyed listeners in podcasts for years—the idea of SF canon formation: who gets dropped from the canon, who gets added, and whether such things as Hugo nominations make any difference at all.

The decade between 1985 and 1995 (20-30 years ago now), saw the deaths of many of the writers who helped establish much of the “classic” SF canon — Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, Frank Herbert, Alfred Bester, Fritz Leiber, John Brunner, Roger Zelazny, James Tiptree Jr, Cliffard Simak, Lester del Rey, Philip K. Dick, C.L. Moore, and more.

Who among them are still being discovered by new readers, and which writers and books in the last 20 years are likely candidates for a future canon? Does it take 50 years or more to determine what is canonical? Are Hugos any sort of reliable guide? And what difference do canons make anyway, beyond collective lists of personal favorites?

We also have decided, as announced in the podcast, to officially support the Helsinki in 2017 and Dublin in 2019 WorldCon bids. Coode St endorses these conventions, will be buying memberships to them, and will attend should they be successful. Both Gary and Jonathan are eager to be part of major international WorldCon events like 2014’s Loncon. We hope you’ll join us in supporting these great bids.

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode. Next week: Paolo Bacigalupi and The Water Knife!


Episode 231: Ian Mond, James Bradley and the 2015 Hugo Novel Shortlist


This week James Bradley and Ian Mond join Jonathan to discuss the five novels that have made the final Hugo Awards ballot. The shortlisted novels are:

  • Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK) 
  • The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books) 
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books) 
  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor) 
  • Skin Game by Jim Butcher (Roc Books)
We almost completely avoid issues surrounding the ballot, and instead focus on discussing the novels and what might make them interesting to read.  Our thanks to James and Ian for making time to record the podcast. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode!