Episode 271: Lavie Tidhar and pushing at boundaries


central-station.jpgThis week we are delighted to be joined by Lavie Tidhar, whose Jerwood Fiction Underwood Prize Award winning novel A Man Lies Dreaming has just appeared in the U.S., and whose fix-up science fiction novel Central Station is set to appear in May, with the reissue of the Bookman novels and nonfiction book Art and War scheduled as well this year.

We discussed his sometimes controversial approach to alternate history, the question of borrowing tropes from pulp fiction in portraying serious events such as the Holocaust and terrorism, the importance of American SF writers like Cordwainer Smith, his own experiences growing up in a kibbutz and what he read there, and the never-ending question of genre literature vs “literary” fiction.

As always, our thanks to Lavie for making the time to join us on the podcast. We hope you enjoy the episode.

Dimension 6 – Issue 7

Dimension 6 The latest issue of Keith Stevenson’s Dimension 6 is out tomorrow (April 1). The first issue for 2016 features three new stories:

  • ‘In the Slip’ by Emillie Colyer
  • ‘Guitarrista’s Lament’ by Jeff Suwak
  • ‘Preservation of Faith’ by Dustin Adams

If you’re reading science fiction and fantasy  and are interested in what’s happening in Australia, it’s well worth checking out.

ToC – Drowned Worlds

drownedworldsI have just put the last touches to Drowned Worlds: Tales from the Anthropocene and Beyond which is due from Solaris in July.  With a spectacular cover from Les Edwards, and a bunch of great stories, I think it’s all come together really well. I’m hoping you’ll like it too.

Here’s the table of contents:

  • Elves of Antarctica, Paul McAuley
  • Dispatches from the Cradle: The Hermit – Forty-Eight Hours in the Sea of Massachusetts, Ken Liu
  • Venice Drowned, Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Brownsville Station, Christopher Rowe
  • Who Do You Love?, Kathleen Ann Goonan
  • Because Change Was the Ocean and We Lived by Her Mercy, Charlie Jane Anders
  • The Common Tongue, the Present Tense, the Known, Nina Allan
  • What is, Jeffrey Ford
  • Destroyed by the Waters, Rachel Swirsky
  • The New Venusians, Sean Williams
  • Inselberg, Nalo Hopkinson
  • Only Ten More Shopping Days Left Till Ragnarök, James Morrow
  • Last Gods, Sam J. Miller
  • Drowned, Lavie Tidhar
  • The Future is Blue, Catherynne M. Valente

I think it’s sharp, pointed, timely and sometimes satirical. I think it’s about who we are when faced with disaster, and not about disaster. I think it makes for good reading.  Here’s what the publisher says about it:

Last call for the Gone World…

We live in a time of change. The Anthropocene Age – the time when human-induced climate change radically reshapes the world – is upon us. Sea water is flooding the streets of Florida, island nations are rapidly disappearing beneath the waves, the polar icecaps are a fraction of what they once were, and distant, exotic places like Australia are slowly baking in the sun.

Drowned Worlds asks fifteen of the top science fiction and fantasy writers working today to look to the future, to ask how will we survive? Do we face a period of dramatic transition and then a new technology-influenced golden age, or a long, slow decline? Swim the drowned streets of Boston, see Venice disappear beneath the waves, meet a woman who’s turned herself into a reef, traverse the floating garbage cities of the Pacific, search for the elf stones of Antarctica, or spend time in the new, dark Dust Bowl of the American mid-west. See the future for what it is: challenging, exciting, filled with adventure, and more than a little disturbing.

Whether here on Earth or elsewhere in our universe, Drowned Worlds give us a glimpse of a new future, one filled with romance and adventure, all while the oceans rise…

I think this is a good book. I hope you’ll consider reading it.

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

kingfisher.jpg

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.

Coode St Roundtable 4 – April 2016

intoeverywhere.jpg

The book selection for the April episode of the Coode St Roundtable has been made! Next month our intrepid readers will come together to discuss the new novel from Paul McAuley, Into Everywhere.   

The publisher describes the novel like this:

The Jackaroo, those enigmatic aliens who claim to have come to help, gave humanity access to worlds littered with ruins and scraps of technology left by long-dead client races. But although people have found new uses for alien technology, that technology may have found its own uses for people. The dissolute scion of a powerful merchant family, and a woman living in seclusion with only her dog and her demons for company, have become infected by a copies of a powerful chunk of alien code. Driven to discover what it wants from them, they become caught up in a conflict between a policeman allied to the Jackaroo and the laminated brain of a scientific wizard, and a mystery that spans light years and centuries. Humanity is about to discover why the Jackaroo came to help us, and how that help is shaping the end of human history.

The Roundtable always features spoilers, so if you’re planning on reading along with this, grab a copy of Paul’s new novel and get ready for the last weekend in April!