Episode 584: Back on the ramble

For the handful of listeners who might be nostalgic for those earlier Coode Streets which were mostly just disorganized rambles, this week we return to form—or lack of form, as the case may be.

We do mention Rich Horton’s recent re-reads of pre-Hugo SF classics, and his contention that 1953 was a high point in SF publishing, but then get into questions of why it was just an impressive year (partly due to a backlog of SF writing that hadn’t previously been widely available in book form), which in turn leads us to another discussion of the familiar periods of SF history still make much sense given the broadening of the field in the last half-century. Are there other Golden Ages? Are we in one now? How do today’s readers decide which earlier SF is worth reading? Is the overall quality of SF stronger today than ever, or are we simply applying different or more stringently literary standards? This leads to a digression about exciting books coming out later this year, and a number of other topics that we challenge you to even try to keep track of. But at least we had fun.

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