All posts by Jonathan Strahan

Why do people write science fiction?

Last weekend I sat in on a discussion with Malcolm Edwards and David G. Hartwell about science fiction, publishing and editing. It’ll form the basis of an upcoming episode of the Coode Street Podcast, and I strongly recommend it. We can give too much attention to the aging white male demographic in SF, but these two men really have achieved remarkable things and lived through fascinating times. The editors of The Shadow of the Torturer, Mythago Wood, Empire of the Sun, Neuromancer, and many, many more: iconic books that evoke worlds when you hear their titles mentioned.

During the discussion, Malcolm and David touch on how difficult it can be for a writer to make their living from writing SF in 2013. David mentions that for a long period of time there were possibly five people in the field making a full-time living from writing SF, and that we may be returning to those days. Publishing is sufficiently complex that I don’t know if that will prove to be true or not, but I was struck by David’s comment that at one time writing SF was a holy mission, a passion that drove writers, almost regardless of economic benefits (or the lack thereof). And I wondered, is that still true for writers today? I think it is, I suspect it is, and I bet I could point to a number of writers for whom I believe it is true, but I think I want to find out. I’m considering doing a new limited series of short interviews/podcasts to ask that very question: why do you write SF and do you feel a burning passion to do so? I think the answers would be fascinating…

 

2013 Hugo Awards

The 2013 Hugo Awards were presented at Lonestarcon 3 today.  The full results and the detailed statistics are now online. My enthusiastic, effusive and possibly slightly embarrassingly over the top congratulations to all of the winners and nominees. Special congratulations to the first Australian woman ever to win a Hugo, Tansy Rayner Roberts, who won for Best Fan Writer and to Pat Cadigan, whose Edge of Infinity story “The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi” won for Best Novelette. I’m very proud to have published the story.

My thanks also to everyone who nominated and voted for me for Best Editor, Short Form and for the Coode Street Podcast for Best Fancast. I can assure you very genuinely that every nomination and every vote is appreciated, and that it is an honour to have appeared on the ballot. Now, back to work!

Episode 157: Live with Ellen Datlow

This weekend in San Antonio, Texas the 71st World Science Fiction Convention is in full swing. Parties are being held, discussions had, panels attended and science fiction celebrated. In amongst it all, Ellen Datlow is being toasted as Guest of Honour, a richly deserved recognition of the amazing contribution this nine-time World Fantasy and five time Hugo Award winner has made to the science fiction and fantasy field.

As a run-up to the weekend, Gary and Jonathan sat down with Ellen to discuss editing, anthologies, her career, and many other things in a frank conversation. The connection to Ellen’s Manhattan pied-à-terre was erratic, so much editing was necessary. The sound quality is fine, but there are one or two spots where the editing may be noticeable. Our apologies for that, and our sincere thanks to Ellen for being part of the podcast.
Next week, most likely, a podcast from WorldCon. Till then, we hope you enjoy the episode.

Bittersweet Bruce

Tickets went sale this morning. Bruce in Perth!! I lucked out and got tickets for the Friday show, but plans went awry so no tickets for Saturday. I’m not really optimistic about fixing that. Both shows seem totally sold out. It means I am going, but only to one Perth show and Marianne won’t be joining me. This is really disappointing. I know she’s not the world’s biggest Bruce fan, but she wanted to go and I wanted her to be there. I hope there’ll be a third show and another chance.

In amongst the madness I bought tickets to the second Melbourne show as well. Suddenly I’m going to the other side of the country with my brother for Broadtrip 2: The Bruce Continues…  Should be fun. Just need that third Perth show and all will be well.

A little more admin

Between September 2011 and June 2012 Alisa Krasnostein and I produced four episodes of Live and Sassy, an informal discussion podcast about issues of interest to us surrounding the publishing business.

After some discussion we’ve decided to officially close the podcast. It was a lot of fun, but as with some other ventures, there just wasn’t the time to keep it going. We’d like to thank Alan Beatts, who guested on one episode, and all of our listeners. And I’d like to thank Alisa, who was a terrific co-host on the episodes.