Category Archives: 2024

Episodes of the Coode Street Podcast for 2024.

Episode 654: Paolo Bacigalupi and the Road to Navola

navola.jpegThe distinguished Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Locus Award winner Paolo Bacigalupi joins us this week to talk about his forthcoming historical fantasy Navola, as well as the challenges of shifting from a focus on environmental SF to epic fantasy, the liberation that comes from being able to invent a world (and partly a language) that echoes Florentine history without being bound by it, the importance of following one’s own choices and needs in writing fiction, and his own earlier classics like The Windup Girl and The Water Knife.

We run a bit longer than usual, but that’s a measure of how fascinating it is to chat with Paolo.

Episode 653: Lev Grossman and The Bright Sword

We’re delighted to welcome to Coode Street Lev Grossman, bestselling author of The Magicians trilogy, to discuss his major new Arthurian novel brightsword.jpegThe Bright Sword, which appears from Viking in July.

We touch upon earlier versions of Arthurian fiction by T.H. White, John Steinbeck, Bernard Cornwell, Nicola Griffith, and others, the balance between historical research and pure fantasy invention, the development of characters based on little or no historical evidence, and even Lev’s earlier career as a critic for Time magazine, when he helped bring fantasy literature into the mainstream.

Order it here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/554241/the-bright-sword-by-lev-grossman/

Episode 652: Ellen Klages and the Ham in Jeopardy

For this special short episode, Jonathan and Gary are joined by an old friend, Nebula and World Fantasy winner Ellen Klages, who recently gained an entirely new kind of recognition when she appeared on the long-running TV quiz show Jeopardy and recalled the “scary ham” story, which she first improvised at a Nebula ceremony ten years ago, when called upon to fill time during a technical glitch.

We not only touch upon the venerable history of the anecdote, but upon some other midwestern family memoirs, the use of autobiographical material in fiction, and the possibility of future memoirs. As usual, Ellen is a delight.

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Episode 651: Vajra Chandrasekera and The Saint of Bright Doors

saint.jpegThis episode is a wide-ranging discussion with two important guests: the brilliant Vajra Chandrasekera, whose amazing first novel The Saint of Bright Doors is currently nominated for both Hugo and Nebula Awards, and whose even more adventurous Rakesfall will be published in June, and our old friend, the excellent critic, reviewer and fellow podcaster (The Writer and the Critic) Ian Mond.

We touch upon some of the sources of Vajra’s fiction, the notion of science fantasy, and how his novels incorporate a wide variety of styles and themes, from almost documentary realism about the brutality of colonialism—especially in his native Sri Lanka—to mythic tales and far-future SF. It’s a pretty lively chat!

Note: We experienced some technical difficulties towards the end of the recording so it does end somewhat abruptly.  We do hope you enjoy the recording and we’ll come back to some of the topics soon in another podcast.

Episode 650: Tobi Ogundiran and the Guardian of the Gods

in_the_shadow_of_the_fall.jpegGary and Jonathan are joined by Tobi Ogundiran, whose novella In the Shadow of the Fall is the first of the “Guardian of the Gods,” and whose first story collection Jackal, Jackal, was published to considerable acclaim last year.

Winner of the Ignyte and nominee for the BSFA, and Shirley Jackson awards, Tobi discusses growing up in Nigeria reading what SFF he could come across, the importance of discovering FIYAH as a place for his fiction, the relationship between Western and African storytelling traditions, managing viewpoints and voices, and his own plans for the future.

As always, our thanks to Tobi for making time to talk to us. We hope you enjoy the podcast!