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On this episode of The Writer and the Critic, your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, begin by addressing listener feedback about high fantasy and narratives of power which followed on from the discussion at the end of the last episode recorded at Continuum 10. They would also like to draw your attention to some Links of Relevant Interest:

Ian then provides a brief but thoughtful (and spoiler-free) review of War Stories: Modern Military Science Fiction, a crowd-funded anthology edited by Jaym Gates and Andrew Liptak, which he highly recommends.

The two books up for critique on this episode are We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Fabio Fernandes and Djibril al-Ayad (beginning around 22:05) and Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older (1:01:35).



The reviews and articles mentioned during the discussion can be found via the following links:

If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:53:05 for final remarks.

For the next episode, Kirstyn has chosen We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler while Ian is recommending Dust Devil on a Quiet Street by Richard Bowes. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

Listen Now:


This very special episode of The Writer and the Critic was recorded live at Continuum 10 -- the Melbourne speculative fiction and pop culture convention -- which this year doubled as the 53rd National Science Fiction Convention. In keeping with tradition, your hosts Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond have invited the convention's fabulous Guests of Honour, Jim C. Hines and Ambelin Kwaymullina, to come along and recommend a favourite book each for everyone to talk about.

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Minimum Safe Distance (photograph by Terry Frost)

After chatting with Ambelin and Jim about their current work, why they write the stories they do, matters of censorship and the problems which arise from writing within a culture which may or may not be your own, the discussion moves on to the novels at hand. Jim has picked The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu (beginning around 22:15) while Ambelin has chosen The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold (50:40).

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If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please listen in again from 1:15:15 mark for some energetic questions from the audience as well as final remarks.

Due to the new bimonthly schedule, the next episode of The Writer and the Critic will not air until August -- but it will be well worth the wait! Kirstyn and Ian have chosen to look at two recent speculative fiction anthologies which have sparked some discussion of late: We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Fabio Fernandes and Djibril al-Ayad, and Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older.

Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

Listen Now:


This month on The Writer and the Critic, your hosts Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond spend a few minutes chatting about their recent HUGO AWARD NOMINATION ... ahem ... and awards in general. Just a few minutes, we promise!

Instead of recommending books themselves this episode, Ian and Kirstyn have chosen to critique two novels which were honoured at the recent Aurealis Awards for excellence in Australian speculative fiction. The discussion begins with the winner of Best Science Fiction Novel, Lexicon by Max Barry (at 8:46 minutes), and continues with Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near (49:30) which won Best Horror Novel and tied for Best Young Adult Novel.

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If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at the 1:34:25 mark for some final remarks. (And a little bit of sad news.)

Next month, The Writer and the Critic will be recorded live at Continuum 10 -- the Melbourne speculative fiction and pop culture convention -- which this year is doubling as the 53rd National Science Fiction Convention. As has become traditional, their special guests for the podcast will be the convention's Guests of Honour, Jim C. Hines and Ambelin Kwaymullina, who will each be recommending a favourite book to talk about. Jim has picked The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu while Ambelin has chosen The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun! And if you'll be at Continuum X, we'd love to see you in the audience!

Listen Now:


This month on The Writer and the Critic, your hosts Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond fritter away a few precious minutes talking about carving out time for reading, vomiting on public transport, and anti-social lunchtime habits, before jumping straight into the books at hand.

The books chosen for discussion this episode are Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas (beginning at 3:50) -- recommended by Ian -- and The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (42:30), which is Kirstyn's homework pick. Ian also manages to squeeze in a small spoiler-free review of The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker by way of comparison, and you can read his further thoughts on that book over on his blog.



If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:10:25 for Ian's Fun in Fandom Rant as well as some final remarks.

Instead of personal book recommendations, next month's episode will feature two novels which took home gongs at the recent Aurealis Awards which recognise excellence in Australian speculative fiction. Lexicon by Max Barry won Best Science Fiction Novel while Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near won Best Horror Novel and tied for Best Young Adult Novel. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!


Listen Now:


This month on The Writer and the Critic, your hosts Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond spend a little time up front talking about political correctness and why the very phrase makes Kirstyn's brain glaze over.

The pair then move on to the books up for discussion this month. Kirstyn has chosen Bearded Women by Teresa Milbrodt. (beginning at 20:20) while Ian is recommending -- and is slightly angry about -- Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (51:30). This lengthy review of the latter by Liz Bourke is mentioned during the discussion.

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If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:24:20 for some feedback and final remarks.

Next month, Ian has chosen Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas while Kirstyn is recommending The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

Listen Now:


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