Rocket Talk

Lately I’ve been listening to a podcast called Rocket Talk from fantasy/SF publisher Tor.   I think this is a good one, because a lot of what host Justin Landon does is get interesting guests talking with each other, using questions to keep the conversation rolling.  I admit though, that some of the episodes are reading of short stories and I’m less interested in that, so I’ve skipped them.

Episodes I particularly recommend:

#15 with Joe Abercrombie.  Mr. Abercrombie is the author of the First Law trilogy and following books which fall firmly into the same space within genre that has been carved out by Game of Thrones.  Magic doesn’t play a huge role, and the stories are mostly about flawed characters facing off against each other.  There’s a lot of dirt and blood and violence but they’re marvellously well done.

#23 with Kate Elliott and N. K. Jemisin.  Actually I still haven’t read any of Ms Elliot’s books (and will have to correct that), but Jemisin is one of the amazing new authors to come onto the scene in the past few years. She’s been very outspoken and eloquent on issues of race and gender within science fiction and fantasy.  This episode is definitely worth a listen.  (And if you haven’t read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms then go do so.  And the two sequels, and The Killing Moon and it sequel The Shadowed Sun, set in a fantasy society inspired by Egypt.  Go go go!  What are you waiting for?

SFF are dedicated to the exploration of the future and myth and history. Dreams, if you want to frame it that way. Yet the enforced SWM dominance of these genres means that the dreams of whole groups of people have been obliterated from the Zeitgeist. And it’s not as if those dreams don’t exist. They’re out there, in spades; everyone who dreams is capable of participating in these genres. But many have been forcibly barred from entry, tormented and reeducated until they serve the status quo. – N. K. Jemisin’s Guest of Honour Speech at Wiscon 2014 (Link above)

#25 with Robert Jackson Bennett.  Bennett is the author of a great new novel called City of Stairs which involves a murder mystery in a sort of colonial situation in a city which used to be the centre of a god-supported empire.  Bennett is also the author of an online piece called The Genre Fountain which I think gives a lot to think about and is very much worth reading.  I think I’d like to come back to City of Stairs and the Genre Fountain in a future blog post.

So, in essence, when someone walks up to the genre-fountain and sticks their cup under the nozzle, they want to know exactly what’s coming out of it. They’re going to want to know the tropes, the pacing, the narrative structure, all that shit. They’re going to want to know what they’re buying before they buy it, or at least have a really general idea. – Robert Jackson Bennett in The Genre Fountain

#27 with Karen Lord and Tobias Buckell, about how being from the Caribbean affects what they write, and “the challenge of reading western literature from a different point of view”.
That’s all for now, folks!


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