This week Hugo and Nebula nominee Wole Talabi joins Jonathan and Gary for a wide-ranging discussion celebrating the publication of his wonderful first novel Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon and his Hugo Award-nominated novelette, “A Dream of Electric Mothers“.
We discuss the recent worldwide recognition of African SFF, his use of Yoruba religion and mythology in his novel, the importance of movies (especially heist movies)to his work, the nature of Africanfuturism, his attraction to SF as a professional engineer, and his future plans—including a new volume of short fiction due next spring.
After Gary enjoyed a weekend at Readercon, we’re back with another one-on-one ramble that covers topics from the proliferation of SF awards (and what they really might be for), to some recent and forthcoming books we’re excited about (including Kemi Ashing-Giwa’s The Splinter in the Sky, Vajra Chandrasekera’s The Saint of Bright Doors, Wole Talabi’s Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon, and Emily Tesh’s Some Desperate Glory), the question of whether anthologies might rightly or wrongly be seen as definitive, and the importance of supporting short fiction publications given some major changes facing the field in 2023.
As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast.
After an unplanned hiatus, we’re back with the wonderful Kij Johnson, who will be a guest of honour at this year’s World Fantasy Convention in Kansas City this coming October. Small Beer will publish a new collection of Kij’s work, The Privilege of the Happy Ending, to coincide with the convention.
We discuss the challenges and opportunities of teaching fiction writing in workshops versus university creative writing programs, how the workshop and the reading group have become so important to new writers since the early days of Kate Wilhelm and Damon Knight’s Milford, the different problems of writing short stories, novellas, or novels, the balance between estrangement and immersion in stories, and Kij’s own current and recent work, which ranges from experimental fiction to stories that revisit older writers like Lovecraft and Kenneth Grahame.
As always, Kij is bristling with good ideas, and we could easily have gone on for another hour.
In this episode, Jonathan and Gary have a long overdue extended discussion with the wonderful Ursula Vernon (aka T. Kingfisher), whose excellent horror novel A House With Good Bones appeared in late March, and whose thoroughly original imagining of the Sleeping Beauty story Thornhedge, is forthcoming in August.
We also touch upon some of her best-known works like Nettle and Bone and A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, what she read while growing up, her career from webcomic artist to children’s author to fantasy and horror novelist, the role of humour in horror, and why even stories involving murder priests, child abductions, and gruesomely reanimated corpses are actually sweet romances.
As always, we would like to thank Ursula for making the time to talk to us, and we hope you enjoy the episode.
Returning after a brief hiatus, Coode Street welcomes the wonderful multiple award-winning Sarah Pinsker, whose new collection Lost Places has just been published by Small Beer Press, and includes the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning “Where Oaken Hearts do Gather.”
We touch upon her career as both story writer and novelist, the relationship of her music performances to her fiction, the balance between teaching and writing, the challenges for new authors entering the field, and of course the stories in her new book.