Around the Podosphere #16: Podcasts of Note for 10/21/17

21 Oct

It’s been a few weeks since the last edition, and as expected, there are more podcasts to talk about! So sit back, get your clicker finger ready, and enjoy some podcast goodness.

Also:  if you have any podcast recommendations, let us know in the comments!

Here we go: Continue reading

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Book Review: Iraq + 100: Stories from a Century After the Invasion

20 Oct

Our world is dark and full of terrors. I won’t bother enumerating them here. Either you already know them or you’re already hiding in the peace and safety of your own personal new dark age. And anyway, it all will have changed utterly by the time we hit publish on this review.

Bummed out? Now think about the people of Iraq, the cradle of civilization that we’re only the most recent society to have somehow decided would be better off blown to splinters. As exiled Iraqi artist Hassan Blasim reminds us in the introduction to Iraq + 100, the ordinary people of Iraq haven’t known peace in anyone’s lifetime, and that’s just for starters.

But some people have gotten out, including some amazing artists, including the aforementioned Blasim, primarily a filmmaker, but also a writer and anthologist, who, from faraway Finland saw that if there was one thing his beleaguered countrymen (and the rest of us) needed these days, it’s some speculative fiction, some stories created under the assumption that Iraq (and the rest of us) will still be around in 100 years. And thus was born Iraq + 100, an anthology of fantastic, disturbing, wondrous and deeply historically grounded stories by authors and translators who now live all over the world but once called Iraq home. Continue reading

Guest Post: Tremontaine’s Karen A. R. Lord shares her Philosophy of the Sword

18 Oct

This blog post originally appeared at Serial Box, where you can find serialized fiction released in episodes week after week. Karen Lord is one of the writers on Tremontaine season 3.

Tremontaine is the critically acclaimed prequel to Ellen Kushner’s beloved Riverside novels, which developed a cult following beginning with Swordspoint in 1987. The “Fantasy of Manners” focuses on decadent world building and interpersonal intrigue, and has been noted for its progressive expression of gender and sexuality. Team-written by some of today’s most exciting authors, Tremontaine season 3 is brought to you by Ellen Kushner, Joel Derfner, Karen Lord, Delia Sherman, Racheline Maltese, Paul Witcover, Tessa Gratton, and Liz Duffy Adams. The first episode is available for free at Serial Box and can be found here.


Being a writer is like being a director with a crowd of characters demanding ‘So, what’s my motivation?’ Like real-life actors, they don’t always listen when you tell them your plans, which is why flexible plots and rewrites are a part of my process.

It’s a process that works when I’m writing a book by myself, but a joint writing project like Tremontaine is a different beast. The world belongs to Ellen Kushner, the characters belong to Ellen and the full team of Tremontaine writers, and being on the same page is not a mere metaphor, but an absolute necessity. The Tremontaine writers are passionate about the world and the characters, and it’s been an exciting experience to work with them. Continue reading

Signal Boost #22: Tonya Liburd and Stephen Graham Jones

17 Oct

In today’s episode of Signal Boost, Jen talks to Canadian-Born Trinidadian horror writer, Tonya Liburd, about the horror of losing identity, how horror allows you to talk about taboo subjects, and her short story, “A Question of Faith.”

Then Stephen Graham Jones — award winning author — joins Jen to talk about how he first got into horror, his first published horror novel, Demon, and about the compact between horror writer and reader.

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): Continue reading

#63. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) — A Shoot the WISB Subcast

16 Oct

Pinocchio, man-children, and mashed potato towers, oh my! In honor of the film’s 40th anniversary digitally remastered theater release, Shaun, Jen, David, and Joyce discuss the 1977 Spielberg classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. They explore how this film still evokes the science fictional “sense of wonder”, how it fits into Spielberg’s career within the context of America in the 1970s, how the French New Wave played a role in the concept, and how communication is a consistent theme throughout the film. We go a bit longer than usual, but only so we could really dig into all the bits and pieces.

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): Continue reading

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