Episode 348: Nebulas, Hugos, ereading and more

As usual at this time of year, Jonathan and Gary sit down to discuss the beginning of the awards season, and in particular the recently announced Nebula finalists and the fact that the Hugo nominations remain open for another couple of weeks.

Needless to say, this leads off in various directions about whether there is really more first-rate short fiction these days, or merely a broader range of venues, a more diverse pool of editors, or perhaps even more specialized readerships. We also touch upon the comparative virtues and disadvantages of text files vs PDFs vs Kindle, and the sometimes challenging logistics of convention attendance. We also strongly urge everyone to seek out not only online venues, but print magazines before finalizing their Hugo votes.

Links

Episode 347: Charlie Jane Anders and The City in the Middle of the Night

city.jpg

Charlie Jane Anders joins Jonathan and Gary to discuss her second novel, The City in the Middle of the Night, which will be in shops during the coming week. Her powerful and engaging new novel follows her award-winning debut, All the Birds in the Sky, and we chat about following that novel, her hopes for the new book, and much more.

As always, our thanks to Charlie Jane for taking the time to talk to us. We hope you enjoy the episode and the shorter format.

Coode Street for February 3rd

Episode 346: Neil Clarke and the State of Short Fiction in 2018

clarke3.jpg

This week, as part of Coode Street’s experimental trio of shorter episodes, Clarkesworld publisher Neil Clarke joins Jonathan and Gary to discuss the state of short fiction in 2018. How is the field doing artistically? How is to doing in publishing terms? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? We take half an hour to talk about all this, trends in the field and more.  The fourth volume of Neil’s The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of Year will be out in July.

As always, our thanks to Neil for taking the time to talk to us. We hope you enjoy the episode and the shorter format.

Coode Street for February 3rd

 

Episode 345: Liza Trombi, Locus, and the Year in Review

locus2018.jpgThis episode is our more-or-less annual discussion with Locus magazine’s editor-in-chief Liza Groen Trombi, with whom we chat about the Recommended Reading List which appears each February in the magazine’s Year In Review issue.  How is the list compiled, who contributes to it, and perhaps most important of all, what’s it for?  How does it differ from other “best of the year” lists? What does it tell us about the current state of the field, and where it’s going? We touch upon not only the major novels in SFF, but also about first novels, YA, collections, nonfiction, and the various categories of short fiction.  Plus, we corner Liza to talk a bit about her own favourites from the year.

You can buy a copy of the February issue of Locus, check out the Recommended Reading List, and vote in the Locus Awards.  Our thanks to Liza for making time to talk to us. As always we hope you enjoy the episode.

Coode Street for February 3rd

  • Episode 345: Liza Trombi, Locus, and the Year in Review
  • Episode 346: Neil Clarke and the State of Short Fiction in 2018
  • Episode 347: Charlie Jane Anders and The City in the Middle of the Night

Episode 344: Time, Cities and Moving to the Poles

And we’re back with our 344th episode, which one of us incorrectly thought was our 343rd because we counted 342 twice. Ugh. Apologies for the confusion! This week:

The rise and rise of the time travel story

Dr Who has been telling time travel stories for fifty years. Robert A. Heinlein made his name with a time travel story. Kids grow up watching Back to the Future. Time travel is a well-established theme and story device, and it seems to be enjoying prominence at the moment. Kelly Robson used it in Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach. Ian McDonald used it in Time Was. What makes time travel an attractive idea? Have we changed how we’re treating it as a trope in fiction?  

How urbanisation is impacting how we’re looking at the city in SF

7.5 billion people live on Earth, up from 1.5 billion in 1900. Likely to increase to 10 billion by 2050. Levels of urbanisation – people living in cities – are increasing, especially in Africa, China, and India. The largest cities in the world are in those places. How does this growing urbanisation appear in SFF? Has our vision of cities in SF changed from James Blish and Isaac Asimov when you now look at Paolo Bacigalupi and Sam Miller?

Why are looking to move to the Arctic?

Antarctica, Black Fish City, Austral, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. Climate change is heating up the world and we’re heading to the poles.  Read Charlie Jane talking about climate change

Epilogue: You don’t need to read . . . The Drowned World, J G Ballard

Readers don’t need to read Ballard’s novel if you think it ’s an early climate change warning novel, because it isn’t. If you want to understand Ballard’s ideas about “inner space” or psychic spaces, it’s a pioneering work, but it’s in no way a serious precursor of “cli-fi.”