Coode Street Roundtable 3: Patricia A. McKillip’s Kingfisher

Welcome to the third episode of The Coode Street Roundtable. The Roundtable is a monthly podcast from Coode Street Productions where panelists James BradleyIan Mond, and Jonathan Strahan, joined by occasional special guests, discuss a new or recently released science fiction or fantasy novel.

Patricia A. McKillip’s Kingfisher

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This month Tiptree Award winning writer Nike Sulway and Coode Street co-host Gary K. Wolfe join Jonathan and Ian to discuss Kingfisher, the latest novel from World Fantasy Award and Mythopoeic Award winner Patricia A. McKillip. It’s a lyrical, funny, and sometimes challenging novel about family and destiny described by its publisher as follows:

In the new fantasy from the award-winning author of the Riddle-Master Trilogy, a young man comes of age amid family secrets and revelations, and transformative magic.

Hidden away from the world by his mother, the powerful sorceress Heloise Oliver, Pierce has grown up working in her restaurant in Desolation Point. One day, unexpectedly, strangers pass through town on the way to the legendary capital city. “Look for us,” they tell Pierce, “if you come to Severluna. You might find a place for yourself in King Arden’s court.”

Lured by a future far away from the bleak northern coast, Pierce makes his choice. Heloise, bereft and furious, tells her son the truth: about his father, a knight in King Arden’s court; about an older brother he never knew existed; about his father’s destructive love for King Arden’s queen, and Heloise’s decision to raise her younger son alone.

As Pierce journeys to Severluna, his path twists and turns through other lives and mysteries: an inn where ancient rites are celebrated, though no one will speak of them; a legendary local chef whose delicacies leave diners slowly withering from hunger; his mysterious wife, who steals Pierce’s heart; a young woman whose need to escape is even greater than Pierce’s; and finally, in Severluna, King Arden’s youngest son, who is urged by strange and lovely forces to sacrifice his father’s kingdom.

Things are changing in that kingdom. Oldmagic is on the rise. The immensely powerful artifact of an ancient god has come to light, and the king is gathering his knights to quest for this profound mystery, which may restore the kingdom to its former glory—or destroy it…

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, Kingfisher 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 month

The Coode Street Roundtable will return at the end of April with a discussion of Paul McAuley’s Into Everywhere.

No episode this week

There won’t be a new episode of the Coode Street Podcast this week. Gary and Jonathan are both busy with one thing or another, and can’t seem to work out timing. It’s probably mostly Jonathan’s fault. They both figure you’ll all be fine till next week. You will, won’t you? Let us know what you’re going to do instead of listen to the podcast this week on Twitter at @coodestreet

Episode 270: Spinoffs, copyright, awards and such


On our 270th episode, we immediately distracted ourselves from our planned topic of catching up on news, awards nominations, etc., and instead rambled on about various matters of literary influence, of writing sequels or revisionist fictions based on the works of writers ranging from Arthur C. Clarke to H.P. Lovecraft, and other topics neither of us clearly remember.

We did get around to discussing the latest round of awards nominations, celebrating the Grand Mastership of C.J. Cherryh, and finally trying to figure which if any SF works seem relevant to the current U.S. presidential campaign. And with the Hugo nominations closing this month, we shamelessly shill for your vote.
As always, we hope you enjoy the episode. More next week!

Coode Street Roundtable 2: Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky

Welcome to the second episode of The Coode Street Roundtable. The Roundtable is a monthly podcast from Coode Street Productions where panelists James BradleyIan Mond, and Jonathan Strahan, joined by occasional special guests, discuss a new or recently released science fiction or fantasy novel. 

Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky

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This month Coode Street co-host Gary Wolfe joins us to discuss All the Birds in the Skythe second novel from Hugo Award winning author Charlie Jane Anders. It’s a warm, humane, funny, and genuinely engaging novel described by its publisher as follows:

From the editor-in-chief of io9.com, a stunning novel about the end of the world–and the beginning of our future…

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.

But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s every-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.

We discuss the novel in detail, including how the story develops and ends. 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, All the Birds in the Sky 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 month

The Coode Street Roundtable will return at the end of March with a discussion of a book to be announced shortly.