All posts by Jonathan Strahan

Episode 565: On work published after the author‘s death

Welcome to episode 23 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. This week, after a brief and mostly irrelevant discussion of whether the proposition that Ray Bradbury as the quintessential October writer means anything at all outside North America, Jonathan and Gary actually try to focus on an important question: whether posthumous publications actually do anything to enhance an author’s reputation.

We make distinctions between works that the author clearly wanted to be published (like Philip K. Dick final four novels), works that the author clearly did not intend for publication (like some late Heinlein manuscripts), and works which the author may or may not have tried to publish during their lifetimes (such as a number of R.A. Lafferty manuscripts completed or continued by other hands, including novels by Walter M. Miller, Jr., Robert Jordan, and Terry Pratchett). We even touch upon whether the J. Michael Straczynski The Last Dangerous Visions is a useful idea decades after Harlan Ellison began the project. Do author’s estates see posthumous publication as a means of keeping an author’s name alive, as a purely commercial proposition, or as a way of arguing for an author’s canonical status? Other authors touched upon include J.R.R. Tolkien, John M. Ford, Philip José Farmer, and even a few examples from mainstream fiction, such as John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, which won a Pulitzer Prize more than a decade after its author’s death.

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.

Episode 564: Oghenechovwe Ekpeki and African Speculative Fiction

Welcome to episode 22 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. In this episode, Gary and Jonathan talk to Oghenechovwe Ekpeki, author of the Otherwise Award-winning and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, British SF Award, and Nebula Award-nominated novella “Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon”, editor of The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction, and co-editor with Zelda K. Knight of the British Fantasy Award-winning anthology Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora

Oghenechovwe joins us from Lagos, Nigeria to discuss growing up reading speculative fiction in Nigeria, his hopes for The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction series, the challenges facing writers from Africa to get a chance to be a part of the international science fiction community, his upcoming anthology African Risen for Tordotcom (co-edited with Sheree Renee Thomas and Zelda K. Knight), and much more.

While there are, later in the podcast, a few moments where static affected our Skype connection, we hope you’ll bear with the episode. As always, we’d like to thank Oghenechovwe for taking the time to talk to us, and hope that you enjoy the episode.

 

Available for order now:

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Episode 563: A Ramble in the Wilderness

Welcome to episode 21 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast.Once again, it’s just Jonathan and Gary, talking about the various roles anthologies have played in the history of science fiction and how that role may be different these days, the nominees and winners of the 2021 Ignyte Awards from FIYAHCON 2021, N.K. Jemisin being named as one of Time Magazine’s top 100 most influential people, how SF has begun to shift its historical perspective in terms of colonialism and international literatures, new media adaptations of Asimov and Herbert, and, as always, how genre and other barriers are breaking down and how neither of us is quite keeping up with all the fascinating new fiction published every month, suggesting that maybe 2021 is turning out to be a pretty exciting year.

Episode 562: Reading, reviewing, and an old question answered

Welcome to episode 20 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. It’s just Jonathan and Gary again, eventually circling around an interesting question raised by Andrew Liptak in Transfer Orbit concerning the question of reading the right book at the right time, rather than being chained to the constant parade of new books and their publicity cycles.

Along the way we pause to note the recent passing of Erle Korshak, one of the last survivors of 1930s fandom; the value and hazards of re-reading old favorites from Gene Wolfe to Dune; the way to arrange stories in an anthology or collection; some newer books by Lavie Tidhar, Joe Abercrombie, and others; the importance of context in reviewing, and, inspired by Matt Bell’s My Le Guin Year: Craft Lessons from a Master on Tor.com, how Ursula Le Guin got some things right long before anyone else did, with her own Tehanu. In other words, our usual laser-like focus on whatever comes up in the moment.

As always, we hope you enjoy the episode.

Episode 561: Science fiction, influence, and more

Welcome to episode 19 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. This time out, Jonathan and Gary return, sans guests or much of a plan. They do manage to touch upon a number of significant issues, such as the work of newly minted World Fantasy Life Achievement winner Howard Waldrop, whether Waldrop could be viewed as a regional author (a Texan in particular), and which other writers might be thought of a representing particular regional voices (R.A. Lafferty, Andy Duncan, Christopher Rowe,  Daryl Gregory?), and how regional voice may show up even in the work of hard SF writers like Gregory Benford. This leads into a more general discussion of influences. Are films based on Philip K. Dick now more influential than Dick’s novels themselves? How are innovative writers like Greg Egan (who just turned 60) and Ted Chiang seen as influential?

This leads, somehow, into a discussions of how writers like Dick, Lovecraft, Le Guin, Octavia Butler made it into the Library of America, and finally to the importance of international and regional anthologies such as Oghenchovwe Donald Ekpeki’s new Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction. As always, we also touch upon what we’re reading this week.