Hosts Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe have created a relaxed and knowledgeable podcast about books and the science fiction community. They frequently have read and praised the best books of the year before they become available to the public, which is valuable to any reader.
As The Coode Street Podcast has matured, their interviews have improved and become the strength of the podcast. I would go so far as to say that these interviews have become important listening for anyone interested in science fiction, fantasy, and related fiction.
Here’s an overview of interviews so far in 2012 that were remarkable:
Hand discusses her two new novels, Available Dark (sequel to Generation Loss) and Radiant Days. Gary Wolfe suggests that the arts are central to Hand’s recent work, which frequently deal with struggling artists, photographers, painters, the theatre, and Rimbaud in Radiant Days. Hand finds that novella-length may be her natural story length. (follow here)
Kushner shares the process of adapting her novel Swordpoint into an audio book, available on Audible.com. (follow here)
Malzberg, a grand old man of the science fiction field, whose memories and experiences are a treasure, advances his theory that the 1950s is the Golden Age of science fiction. Kindly overlook the comically maladroit use of Skype. (follow here)
Essayist and long-time book reviewer for the Washington Post, Dirda shares his enthusiasm for the fathers of genre fiction: Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. (follow here)
Straub and his hosts consider the wonders and joys of reading Gene Wolfe (I could listen to listen to them talk about Gene Wolfe all day long). Straub praises the work of Brian Evenson and Caitlín Keirnan. He calls Keirnan’s new book, The Drowning Girl: A Memoir (2012), a masterpiece. They discuss the limitations of genre boundaries and the Library of America’s notions of genre. (follow here)
Older episodes of The Coode Street Podcast have featured many fine guests, including Ursula K. Le Guin. Unfortunately they spent the Le Guin interview discussing the (by all accounts) under-informed book of essays about science fiction by Margaret Atwood, instead of talking about something more interesting, like what writing Le Guin herself is working on, or what books that she has read recently that she is excited about.
A list of prior guests reads like a Who’s Who of the science fiction community: Kim Stanley Robinson, Ian McDonald. Alastair Reynolds, Jo Walton, John Clute, Ellen Klages, Eileen Gunn, Geoff Ryman, Terry Bisson, Greg Bear, Karen Lord, Ellen Datlow, Jeffrey Ford and many others.