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