Tag Archives: tobias buckell

Tobias Buckell on the (New) Art of The Xenowealth Saga

1 Sep The Apocalypse Ocean by Tobias Buckell

In 2006, I came out with my first novel in the US, a somewhat hard-to-categorize (I’m told, I think it makes perfect sense, I wrote it after all) science fiction novel with Caribbean peoples settled on an alien world that have long since lost touch with their home world. That was Crystal Rain. I alternated between calling it Caribbean steampunk (a few years early, I think, for steampunk) and Caribbean SF.

It had a cover I adored — created by the amazing Todd Lockwood, a well known fantasy artist who’s work is amazing. I have a print of the art framed on my wall:  an airship above a verdant forest being chased by another distant ship. But when the novel came out, booksellers emailed me to say that the cover looked like the book was a fantasy, creating confusion among casual browsers. Core SF readers didn’t want to pick up the book. Fantasy readers put it down when they realized what it was. Continue reading

204. Caribbean SF w/ Karen Lord, Tobias Buckell, and Stephanie Saulter — #WorldSFTour

19 May

Histories, languages, and micro-states, oh my!  Authors Tobias Buckell, Stephanie Saulter, and Karen Lord join Julia and Shaun for an in-depth but wholly unfinished discussion about Caribbean sf.  We cover the sf/f community in the Caribbean, Caribbean literature and culture, growing up in the Caribbean (and living abroad), 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 204 — Download (MP3)

Show Notes:

You can also support this podcast by signing up for a one month free trial at Audible.  Doing so helps us, gives you a change to try out Audible’s service, and brings joy to everyone.

Our new intro music is “Time Flux” by Revolution Void (CC BY 3.0).

That’s all, folks!  Thanks for listening.  See you next week.

Episode 88 — An Interview w/ Tobias Buckell (a.k.a. Captain Planet)

20 Feb

The always fascinating Tobias Buckell joins us for an extensive discussion about his latest book, Arctic Rising, technology and its effects on how we interact with the world (crowd sourcing!), the environment (and what that means for extrapolating in science fiction through things like green technology, innovative transportation, etc.), and all kinds of fascinating issues surrounding these topics.  You definitely don’t want to miss this one!

Listen away!

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 88 — Download (MP3)

Intro and Discussion (0:00 – 1:11:25)

  • Tobias Buckell’s Website
  • Buy his book or Jen will break your legs with an AI-controlled reflective atmospheric orb.  It’s on Amazon, B&N, and just about everywhere else (do support your local bookstores if you can!).

Our new intro music is “Time Flux” by Revolution Void (CC BY 3.0).

That’s all, folks!  Thanks for listening.  See you next week.

Tobias S. Buckell Hits Kickstarter with New Xenowealth Novel

24 Sep

Caribbean-born Tobias S. Buckell hasn’t published a new book in his Xenowealth saga since 2008.  Fans of Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, and Sly Mongoose have been hoping for another book in the series, particularly since Sly Mongoose ended with a huge plot shift that opened up Buckell’s “universe” to an infinite number of new stories.  But publishing is a wicked beast, and things don’t always go as planned.

That is until Kickstarter showed up and started changing the game for writers.  Buckell has taken the next installment of the Xenowealth saga to the indie funding/incentive platform and is calling on fans to help him reach his $10,000 goal:

One of the most frequent questions I get is this: ‘When will you write a sequel to Crystal Rain/Ragamuffin/Sly Mongoose?’ The truth is, I have most of the outline for the fourth book already written, as well as a chunk of the opening already done. And I think it would be great to see it fully written.

Using Kickstarter, it seems to me that we can put together a very cool project. One where I can present readers of this existing series with a sequel, while allowing everyone to basically pre-order the novel. If enough people commit to backing it, readers will get an awesome eBook (I create eBooks for freelance income on the side), or a great hardcover (with the help of a great designer), with even cooler rewards for those who want to read the book as it is being written or who want to leave their mark on the Xenowealth universe.

The Xenowealth novels have always been fairly unique with their diaspora characters in the future, bringing a range of diversity to straight up adventure novels, with bits and pieces of Caribbean inspiration folded in for good measure. Allowing readers to pre-purchase the next Xenowealth adventure is an exciting prospect, and I hope that many of the dedicated readers of the first three books are as as excited as I am about a chance to come back to these worlds and characters.

If we can raise $10,000, upon completion of the novel (I will start writing it January 1st at the latest, and will finish in June), backers receive their rewards (those backing the project for above $250 get to read along live, however) once the book is finished and turned into an eBook and limited edition hardcover.

The project has to meet its minimum funding goal by the 19th of October (by 2:56 PM EDT).

And what’s in it for readers?  Depending on how much you give, you can receive ebook or hardcover copies of the finished product, have a character or spaceship named after you, or even have a short story set in the universe written specifically for you.  There are also incentives to publicize the hell out of the project.  Buckell has set a series of goals above $10,000 that, if reached, will result in lots of cool extras for everyone who donates (artwork, etc.).  But the main goal is that $10,000.

So the question is:  are you going to donate?  Because I am…as soon as I get my next paycheck.


P.S.:  You can check out our interview with Tobias S. Buckell here.

Episode 42 — An Interview w/ Tobias Buckell

20 Mar

We’re excited to have Tobias Buckell on the show!  The interview springs off our last episode on colonialism and science fiction, and, as you all may know, Shaun is writing his M.A. thesis on Buckell’s work, so this is a very special interview for him.  Buckell is also awesome.  We hope you enjoy the interview!

Quick note:  Please donate to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan.  They could really use our help, folks.  $1.  $20.  Whatever you can manage.  Just help.

Feel free to shoot us an email at skiffyandfanty [at] gmail [dot] com, leave a comment, or follow us on Twitter.  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 42 — Download (MP3)

Intro and Interview w/ Tobias Buckell (0:00 – 56:34):

Our new intro music is “Time Flux” by Revolution Void (CC BY 3.0).

That’s all, folks!  Thanks for listening.  See you next week.

Question of the Week: Which science fiction novel would you start middle school kids on and why?

18 Mar

Since our latest episode is a little on the dark side, we thought it would be a good idea to have a happier question for you all to think about.  We’ve also brought in a friend to sweeten the deal:


The hard thing about choosing books for middle school kids is that a great deal of books for their age group that are fantastic in nature are actually fantasies, rather than science fiction.  There isn’t enough science fiction written explicitly for their age group, let alone for the two groups around them (children’s lit and young adult).  If we were talking high school, the doors would be wide open for all kinds of stuff, from John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War to Tobias Buckell’s Xenowealth novels (Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, and Sly Mongoose).  But because this group is a young group, content is a big issue.  I have no doubt that they can handle more adult material than we’d like to think, but they are still younglings.

With that in mind, I would have to pick The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  The novel may not be meant for middle school kids, but it’s hilarious, fun, and all kinds of weird.  Whether they’ll get all the jokes is irrelevant, because the characters are funny enough on their own.  The big question, of course, is whether Adams is a good gateway into the SF genre as a whole.  I don’t think I can say…


Honestly.  I have no idea!  I started reading science fiction earlier than middle school, but I think the same books are appropriate.  However, they’re a little outdated.  To be honest, though I haven’t even read the series yet, I would start with The Hunger Games.  I’ve always been of the opinion that to get a kid interested in something for the first time, you have to play to their interests.  Not only is The Hunger Games a new series of books, it is also being made into a series of movies.  Double win to a teenager (especially if that hot guy from Beastly and I Am Number Four is in it, then you’ll get every girl in America reading the series).  I see no reason to throw them straight into the complexities of Ender’s Game or something by Heinlein.  I started with Ray Bradbury and Madeleine L’Engle (although I was never a big L’Engle fan) and these are still great authors to begin a science fiction journey with, but to snag a kid so late in the game (yes, I’m calling middle school late) – appealling to them on a less “literary” level might be a good way to go.

Patrick Hester

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

I think the story is accessible to kids because it’s about kids, their relationships and a lot of themes involved with growing up that they’ll relate to. Plus, the kids are the smartest people in the story (for the most part), which I think they’ll like too.

So, what do you think would be a good SF book to start middle school kids on? Let us know in the comments!


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