Tag Archives: Genre Fiction

268. Eastern European and Baltic SF/F at LonCon3 w/ Michael Burianyk, Stanislaw Krawczyk, Irena Raseta, Ivaylo Shmilev, and Imants Belogrîvs

24 Apr

Live from LonCon3 (and very late on our podcast feed):  a panel on Eastern European and Baltic sf/f featuring the lovely voices of Michael Burianyk, Stanislaw Krawczyk, Irena Raseta, Ivaylo Shmilev, and Imants Belogrîvs!

The panel description was as follows:

In the Anglophone World, probably the best-known Eastern European science fiction and fantasy writers are Stanislas Lem and Karel Capek, and in recent years Zoran Zivkovic and Andrzej Sapkowski. But this region has produced many fine writers of fantastika. Which other writers should Anglophone readers be aware of? Our panel of writers and readers from Croatia, Poland, Bulgaria and Latvia will discuss current trends, perennial themes, and future hopes.

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 268 — Download (MP3)Eastern Europe Map

Show Notes: Continue reading

Book Review: WILDALONE by Krassi Zourkova

24 Apr Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova

Talented pianist and bright student Thea Slavin leaves the familiar confines of family and her Bulgarian homeland for the opportunity of study at prestigious Princeton University in the United States. Compounding the normal cultural shocks of studying abroad in an unfamiliar land, Thea discovers that she has chosen to accept an opportunity from the same school her older sister attended years past, an era mired in family secrets. Thea learns that this sister mysteriously died while at Princeton, leaving a hole in her parent’s lives about which they refuse to speak.

Braving the discomfort that the unfamiliarity of the Princeton campus brings with its upper class American culture and distant memories of the embarrassing unsolved crime involving the elder Slavin daughter, Thea turns full focus to her piano/music studies and the strange draw a course in Greek mythology and its professor holds for her. As she tries to settle into her new life and avoid associations with the past history of her sister with the campus, Thea is pushed rapidly into preparing for major recitals and the prospects of college romances.

The appearance of an elegantly mysterious, brooding admirer at one of her performances strikes Thea with an overwhelming desire to resolve a man who turns out is actually two, brothers who look similar, hidden in romantic shadows and deep secrets. But these brothers, Rhys and Jake, are polar opposites in their intensity and approach to Thea: Rhys domineering and forward, enticing Thea into a physical relationship without much of a chance to think around the passion, and Jake hesitant and reserved, sacrificial and gentle, enrapturing Thea with his words and devotion. Continue reading

My Superpower: Peter Newman (The Vagrant)

23 Apr 23559647

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Peter Newman to talk about how the power of escaping reality relates to The Vagrant.


As it happens, I have a few superpowers. I instinctively know where to stand in order to get in other people’s way (this is doubly true in Forbidden Planet and other people’s kitchens), I can relate most things to He-Man in three steps or less, and when the universe needs me, I can summon the appetite of ten tigers.

However, none of these things were any use in writing The Vagrant.

Continue reading

Around the Podosphere: Podcasts of Note for 4/20/15

20 Apr

What fantastic podcast shenanigans have we been enjoying lately?  Here are just a few:

On Movies:

On Literature:

On Books:

#33. Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986) — A Shoot the WISB Subcast w/ Damien Angelica Walters

20 Apr Alien Poster

Facehuggers, flamethrowers, and angry momma aliens, oh my!  Damien Angelica Walters brings her squee to this special Alien-centric episode!  We discuss the legacy of Alien and Aliens, the evocative design of the films, their underlying metaphors, and so much more!

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Spoiler Alert:  the following podcast contains spoilers for the film being reviewed; if you wish to see the film without having it ruined for you, download this podcast and save it for later. Continue reading

Book Review: The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

17 Apr Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

“A knife is not malicious merely because it is sharp, and a plot is not evil merely because it is effective. All depends on the wielder. The grace of kings is not the same as the morals governing individuals.”

My expectations were high after learning about Ken Liu’s debut novel, and I wasn’t disappointed. The Grace of Kings is both spectacular and significant, an approach to epic fantasy that combines some of the best elements of the established genre with Liu’s unique sentiments and voice. I’ve been trying to avoid reviews before writing this up, but judging from the headlines, I’m not alone in excitement and appreciation.

First in a series dubbed The Dandelion Dynasty, the novel is set in an archipelago called Dara. Following a mythological pre-history, Dara existed for generations as a divided land of seven kingdoms, each with a patron god and its own unique resources and culture. The instability of shifting alliances and waves of conflict represented the price for maintaining the independent nations until one king realized the potential peace, stability, and progress that could be achieved by uniting Dara into one standardized empire. Yet the common people still suffer, and many miss the aspects of local culture now being lost. Rumblings of unrest lead to eventual rebellion following the chaos of a difficult imperial succession. But with the empire dissolved, what will a new Dara look like, and upon whom will each god’s favor befall? Continue reading

267. Betsy Dornbusch (a.k.a. the God Sword) — Emissary (An Interview)

17 Apr

Diplomacy, war, and glowing swords, oh my! Betsy Dornbusch joins Shaun and Paul to discuss her newest novel, Emissary.  We explore the novel’s treatment of diplomacy, its worldbuilding, war tactics, and much more.

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 267 — Download (MP3)Emissary by Betsy Dornbusch

Show Notes: Continue reading


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