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
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.
Welcome to the second 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.
Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky
This month Coode Street co-host Gary Wolfe joins us to discuss All the Birds in the Sky, the 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.
Last year, at the World Fantasy Convention held in Saratoga Springs, a panel was presented on ‘Creating the Fantasy Canon’. The panel description was:
There are some books we all agree on as fundamental to the genre, but can we agree on a canon of twenty stories? Our panelists will discuss which twenty books are essential reading for understanding the genre and how this list has changed over time.
Jonathan from the Coode Street Podcast was cast in the role of moderator, and the panelists for the discussion were John Clute, Michael Dirda, Yanni Kuznia, Gary Wolfe, and Ron Yaniv.
The conversation that unfolded was energetic, thoughtful and entertaining, and even if it didn’t resolve the question, it nonetheless was something we at Coode St thought you might enjoy.
The Coode Street Podcast team would like to thank the administrators of the World Fantasy convention for permission to present the panel here, and would specially like to thank sound expert Paul Kraus for his hard work on making sure the recording was as good as it is.
As always, we hope you enjoy the episode!
This week we are joined by World Fantasy Award Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and long-time friend of the podcast Peter Straub, to discuss his brand new short story collection Interior Darkness, writing, genre, music, and much, much more.