Feed on

What a difference a month makes! Since the last episode, your host Ian Mond and his lovely wife, Jules, have brought a little baby girl into the world. Welcome, Sophie Zara! As revealed at the beginning of this episode, Ian seems in be in two minds as to whether or not that news is in fact overshadowed by The Writer and the Critic winning their second Ditmar Award at Conflux in April! Ian sang a made-up song. Kirstyn McDermott pulled producer-rank and refused to include it in the podcast. Pander to the Mond, she does not. But here's a picture of the shiny (the award, not the daughter):

2013 Ditmar Award

The books up for discussion this month are Feed by M.T. Anderson (beginning around 11:40),  as recommended by Kirstyn, and Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce (48:30) which Ian chose.  Reviews of the Joyce novel by Charlie Jane Anderson at io9 and Ben Godby at Strange Horizons are both mentioned. The usual spoilers abound -- including analysis of the endings -- so listener be very much aware.

Feed and Some Kind of Fairy Tale

If you have skipped ahead, please come back around the 1:25:45 mark for some final remarks and announcements.

Next month, The Writer and the Critic will again be recording in front of a live audience as part of Continuum 9, Melbourne's annual speculative fiction and pop culture convention, and Ian and Kirstyn are delighted to announce that NK Jemisin, will be a special guest on the podcast. For her recommendations, Nora has chosen A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin and the graphic novel Saga (Volume 1 only) by Brian K.Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun -- and if you'll be in Melbourne on 8th June, please come along and be a part of our live audience.


Bouncing back refreshed and rejuvenated from their Moving House hiatus, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond launch into an almost inevitable post-move discussion about books, hoarding books, culling books, having enough books to fill a garage and too many to ever read in one lifetime, whether any of this should possibly be seen as A Problem Which Must Be Remedied, and how digital books might save the world, or at least their storage-related sanity. Just saying.

They then, with much girding of loins, move on to tackle the two books up for discussion this month: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (beginning at 14:15) and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (43.25). Kirstyn warns about the dangers of broken noses while Ian references this interview with David Foster Wallace by Charlie Rose.

Infinite Jest and House of Leaves

If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:25:15 for some brief final remarks.

There will be another brief break in April while Ian and his lovely Jules bring their second child into the world, but The Writer and the Critic will be back again in May. Promise! For that episode, Ian has recommended Some Kind of Fairytale by Graham Joyce, while Kirstyn has chosen Feed by M.T. Anderson. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!


This last episode of The Writer and the Critic for 2012 sees your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, sink their teeth into non-fiction. But first they give a friendly shout-out to the brand spanking new podcast from Sean Wright, Adventures of a Bookonaut -- to which you should all go and listen right now -- as well as the entertainingly erudite Ambling Along the Acqueduct blog. (Kirstyn's brand spanking new novel, Perfections, might also garner a wee mention.) The duo then become embroiled in a debate about critics and authors and whether one person can or even should wear both hats, as well as whether or not critics need to take the feelings of authors into consideration -- regardless of what kind of spiffy headwear either of them might be donning at the time.

The books up for discussion this month are Evaporating Genres, a collection of essays by Gary K. Wolfe (beginning 35:20), and James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, a biography by Julie Phillips (1:03:50). This thoughtful essay by Jonathan McCalmont is mentioned and, in the spirit of Alice Sheldon, Ian promises to begin writing Letters of Appreciation to authors whose work he has enjoyed. We will follow him up on this next year!

Evaporating Genres and James Tiptree Jr

There are no real spoilers here but if you have skipped ahead, then please tune back in at 1:39:50 for some closing remarks and (belated) holiday well-wishes.

And now for the sad news ... The Writer and the Critic is on hiatus for a couple of months and won't be back until March 2013. The good news is that will give you plenty of time to read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Hopefully it will give Kirstyn and Ian plenty of time as well!

Thanks to everyone who listened to The Writer and the Critic during 2012. Ian and Kirstyn love you all to bits and look forward to talking at you a whole lot more in 2013!


This month on The Writer and Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, are delighted to bring you Part the Second of their special eBook Extravaganza. Wasting absolutely no time on formalities, the duo roll up their sleeves and get straight into the discussion of their listener-chosen titles.

The books on the table for this episode are: The Black God's War by Moses Siregar III (at 2:15) the mark), The Silence of Medair by Andrea K Höst (42:30) and Paintwork by Tim Maughan (1:08:30).  During the discussion, Ian mentions an article on "Writing About Rape" that Jim Hines wrote for Apex Magazine back in January 2012. While this isn't available online, Jim Hines has written two similar pieces which can be found on his blog, along with other useful resources on the subject.

The Black God's War, The Silence of Medair, and Paintwork

If you've skipped forward to avoid spoilers, please tune back in at 1:33:35 for a thoughtful discussion of self-publishing, reading in general and concluding remarks about the last two episodes.

Changing gears, next month will see the first non-fiction edition of The Writer and the Critic. Ian has recommended Evaporating Genres, a collection of essays by Gary K. Wolfe, while Kirstyn has picked James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, a biography by Julie Phillips. Read ahead and join in the non-fictional fun!


This month on The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, present Part the First of their special eBook Extravaganza! Yes, that's right ... unable to condense the discussion of six books into less than three hours, they have wisely decided to split the podcast into two episodes. You're welcome, listeners.

After some brief introductory remarks, Kirstyn and Ian jump straight into the dissection of the first three books up on the block: Angelfall by Susan Ee (at the 3:20 mark), Anticopernicus by Adam Roberts (32.15) and The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer (1:01:20). Along the way, Kirstyn recommends this series of philosophical reviews of Anticopernicus by Rich Puchalsky for further reading, while Ian notes a discussion of difficulty in fiction by Adam Roberts, which was in turn inspired by a 2009 essay by John Lanchester. Sarah Diemer's thoughtful explanation of why she chose to self-publish her books can be found here.

Angelfall, Anticopernicus, The Dark Wife

For those who've been skipping ahead to avoid spoilers, you can tune back in around 1:30:20 for a very quick wrap-up.

Next month, in Part the Second of the eBook Extravaganza, Ian and Kirstyn will discuss the last three books as chosen by listeners:

They'd love to hear your feedback on all the eBooks they've discussed!


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