The Coode Street Podcast

Jonathan Strahan & Gary K. Wolfe

Discussion and digression on science fiction and fantasy with Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan.

  • 57 minutes 44 seconds
    Episode 650: Tobi Ogundiran and the Guardian of the Gods

    Gary 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!

    18 May 2024, 2:31 am
  • 55 minutes 54 seconds
    Episode 649: Nghi Vo and The Brides of High Hill

    This week, we’re joined by the wonderful Nghi Vo, whose The Brides of High Hill is out this week. It’s the fifth of her ongoing “Singing Hills” sequence of novellas about the peripatetic Cleric Chih and their sharp-tongued companion hoopoe, Almost Brilliant.

    We discuss how Nghi has made use of different storytelling modes throughout the series, her novels The Chosen and the Beautiful and Siren Queen, a forthcoming novella (again alluding to the world of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and a very intriguing novel due in the fall, The City in Glass, which involves doing very interesting things with libraries. There are also, as usual, some totally irrelevant digressions involving everything from writing blurbs to The Clan of the Cave Bear.

    5 May 2024, 3:08 am
  • 1 hour 4 minutes
    Episode 648: Genre, marketing, and more

    This week Jonathan and Gary start out with something resembling a topic: the proliferation of subgenres, movements, and marketing categories in SF and fantasy: from the evolution of space opera in SF to the rise of epic fantasy (and Ballantine’s earlier term “adult fantasy”), as well as consciously developed movements such as the New Wave, cyberpunk, or Africanfuturism and new market categories such as “romantasy".

    After a wide-ranging discussion of the various ways of slicing up genres, we spend some time musing about the hot market for collectible, special, limited, and subscriber editions from publishers such as the Folio Society or Subterranean Press.

    27 April 2024, 3:54 am
  • 1 hour 37 seconds
    Episode 647: Oh no, not us again...

    Once again with no guest to give us focus, Jonathan and Gary return to rambling mode, spurred on by the observation that voting for the 2024 Hugo Awards is now open.

    This leads to our ongoing discussion of what the Hugo Awards do and do not represent, why voting for your favorite works is important even if you haven’t read all the nominees, what makes a genuine SFF classic, and how the Hugo procedures and categories differ from those of the World Fantasy Awards—which are also accepting nominations from members of the 2022, 2023, and 2024 conventions.

    We suggest you take a look at Jo Walton's An Informal History of the Hugos if you're interested in a history of the Hugos, and point out that nominations for the 2024 World Fantasy Awards are now open too.

    21 April 2024, 4:06 am
  • 1 hour 37 seconds
    Episode 646: Peter S. Beagle and a Life Filled With Story

    This week we are joined by the  legendary author of The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle, who discusses his new novel I'm Afraid You've Got Dragons (published next month by Saga Press & Gollancz), as well as his storied career, his pals from childhood, influential writers such as Robert Nathan and Avram Davidson, and last year’s important retrospective collection The Essential Peter S. Beagle.

    As always, our thanks to Peter for making time to talk to us, and we hope you enjoy the podcast.

    14 April 2024, 5:44 am
  • 54 minutes 36 seconds
    Episode 645: Jack Dann and Fifty Years of Wandering Stars

    On the fiftieth anniversary of his groundbreaking anthology Wandering Stars: An Anthology of Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy, we’re joined by the terrific author and editor Jack Dann.

    During our conversation, we mention his new collection Islands of Time—published almost exactly 50 years after his first book— as well as his The Fiction Writer’s Guide to Alternate History and some of his classic novels like The Memory Cathedral and The Rebel.

    Mostly, though, we discuss how that classic anthology evolved, in part from his friendship with Pamela Sargent and George Zebrowski, what the anthology meant in 1974, and how the nature of Jewish science fiction has evolved over the decades.

    7 April 2024, 9:34 am
  • 1 hour 6 minutes
    Episode 644: Cozy books and a prickly writer

    This time out, Jonathan and Gary consider the meaning of "cozy" (or "cosy") SF and fantasy, and whether cozy horror is even a thing. We trace the term back to cozy mystery novels and Brian W. Aldiss’s characterization of certain British writers of the 1950s—especially John Wyndham—as "cozy catastrophes".

    Not surprisingly, this doesn’t lead to any meaningful conclusions, but we do touch upon whether the notion of cozy has to do with the fiction itself, or just the reader's experience of it. Authors mentioned include Travis Baldree, Becky Chambers, Peter S. Beagle, Martha Wells, and Terry Pratchett.

    Then, with our usual lack of grace, we transition awkwardly into a discussion of the new Harlan Ellison’s Greatest Hits, how well Ellison’s fiction holds up, and some brief previews of forthcoming episodes.

    23 March 2024, 11:46 pm
  • 1 hour 2 minutes
    Episode 643: All Time Top 5s

    Somewhat hesitantly, Jonathan and Gary return to the mics, sans guests, and somehow get into a discussion of various SFF listicles—partly because of Gary’s recent contribution to of a list of five novels about science fiction. Why are such lists so appealing and so ubiquitous these days, and who are they for?

    By the time we're done, Jonathan begins musing on a possible list of the top five most disappointing SF novels of all time. You'll have to tune in to see what’s at the top of that list—and get ready to argue!

    4 March 2024, 7:40 am
  • 1 hour 16 seconds
    Episode 642: Premee Mohamed and The Butcher of the Forest

    This week Nebula and World Fantasy award winner, Premee Mohamed, joins Gary and Jonathan from somewhere in the wilds of Canada to discuss writing, reading, building a career, and her fabulous new novella, The Butcher of the Forest. We also discuss the projects Premee has planned for the rest of the year, including forthcoming new novel  The Siege of Burning Grass, which you can pre-order now.

    As always, we'd like to thank Premee for making time to join us, and hope you enjoy the episode.

    17 February 2024, 7:22 am
  • 58 minutes 51 seconds
    Episode 641: Kelly Link and the love of books

    For our second episode of 2024, we’re joined by the inimitable Kelly Link, whose forthcoming first novel The Book of Love is already receiving stellar advance reviews (including one from Gary in Locus). Kelly explains how the novel evolved, it connections to various genres from romance to supernatural horror, the importance of valuable encouragement from friends such as Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, the challenges of shifting from short fiction to a long novel, managing multiple narrative viewpoints, and maintaining the balance between the interiority of the characters and the large-scale history and spectacle of the fantasy elements. She also updates us a bit on Small Beer Press and her own plans for future work.

    As always, our thanks to Kelly. We hope you enjoy the podcast!

    28 January 2024, 3:07 am
  • 1 hour 22 minutes
    Eating the Fantastic: Episode 217: Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan

    All round good guy Scott Edelman was at the recent World Fantasy Convention, and took Gary and Jonathan out for lunch and a chat. That chat became the latest episode of Eating the Fantastic, Scott's terrific podcast.

    If you're interested, you can hear the episode here.

    27 January 2024, 11:40 pm
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