Welcome to Episode 129 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans. This episode, starring Tor.com‘s commissioning editor and Rocket Talk‘s co-host Justin Landon, was originally intended to be a discussion of China Mieville‘s The City and the City, but we felt we had to weigh in on the recent Hugo controversy first; that discussion ended up lasting about a half hour, so we decided to split it out and tackle it separately here. During our conversation we touch on the problems with the Hugos (and why they’re not just confined to Sad or Rabid Puppies), offer some possible suggestions, and explain why this is (or should be) such a big deal to the everyday fan of science fiction and fantasy. If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check out our duology on The City and the City, which (we promise!) will begin next week. Thanks for supporting us here and via our Patreon page, and thanks as always for listening to and spreading the word about the show!
Join us for our writing technique show where we use Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire to inspire our discussion. In this episode, Brad and Greg dig into worldbuilding, how rock, scissors, paper can help to differentiate character relationships, how to avoid monolithic cultures, how to approach culture vis a vis political correctness, and the difficulty curve with respect to fantasy and science fiction. We also, for the first time in our writing technique series, talk about the business of writing in terms of how to approach a book release vs. carving out writing time.
Out writing technique shows are limited to our Patreon backers, but becoming a patron is easy. Just head on over to our Patreon page and sign up for for $5 per month level to get access to all of our content.
Welcome to Episode 124 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans. In this episode we begin a new triptych of shows on the work of Kameron Hurley, focusing on the first novel from the Worldbreaker Saga, The Mirror Empire. We had a chance to see this book in an earlier form when we were all at Wellspring Workshop a couple of years ago, and we were pretty impressed by it then–and as we discuss during this show, Kameron’s trademark worldbuilding excellence is in full display here, along with her willingness to challenge established tropes in a way that is both brave and in service to the story rather than forced and shoehorned into the narrative. (We’re also big fans of political intrigue, interesting characters and insect/plant magic–all of which The Mirror Empire has in spades.) If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll talk to the author herself about the book and her process of seeing it safely through to publication with Angry Robot Books. And if you haven’t already, please check out our Patreon (now over $110 a month) and consider becoming a patron–doing so will both get you extra content every month with the Good, Bad and Ugly segments and the writing technique shows, and will also help get us to levels where we can provide even more awesome content. Thanks again to everyone who’s helped out so far, and thanks as always for listening to and spreading the word about the show!
During the show, we mentioned the Indie Fantasy Bundle that Brad’s critically acclaimed epic fantasy novel, The Winds of Khalakovo, is a part of. Please head over to Story Bundle for more information on the books and how to buy!
Additional Note: Nominations for the 2015 Hugo Awards are now open, and Speculate is eligible to be nominated in the Best Fancast category. If you’re a voting member of either last year’s, this year’s or next year’s Worldcon, you’re eligible to make Hugo nominations, and we’d be honored (and grateful) if you would nominate us for Best Fancast. Please go here for more details, spread the word, and thanks so much as always for your support!
Welcome to Episode 122 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans. In this episode we talk to Jeanne Cavelos, founder of the long-running and highly respected Odyssey Writing Workshop, about the reasons she started the workshop, how it’s measured up to her expectations (and surpassed them!), and both the benefits and potential pitfalls of a workshop like Odyssey. We also get to chat about what workshops actually do for an author’s career, and who will (and won’t) see a benefit in attending. This is an interesting chat with a real expert about something we’ve both done before, and we hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did. If so, don’t forget to check back next week for our discussion with author Jason M. Hough, and until then, thanks as always for listening to the show, and please continue to spread the word!
From the Odyssey team:
The Odyssey Writing Workshop is widely considered one of the top programs in the world for fantasy, science fiction, and horror writers. The 2015 workshop will be held from June 8th to July 17th at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Odyssey is a great opportunity for writers to improve their work and receive feedback from top authors and editors.
The Odyssey site, odysseyworkshop.org, offers many free resources for writers, including podcasts, a weekly video-discussion salon, writing tips, and a monthly blog in addition to offering information about our workshop, online classes, and critique service.
Additional Note: We taped another Good, Bad and Ugly segment during this interview, and if you’re interested in hearing it (and other special episodes, like our writing technique ones), keep in mind it’s available to our Patreon backers–we’ve gotten great feedback on these, so please head over and see what all the buzz is about by becoming a patron. Thanks!
Aidan Moher at A Dribble of Ink has just done a reveal for Brad’s upcoming epic fantasy, Twelve Kings in Sharakhai.
Head on over to A Dribble of Ink to take a look.
Join us over at Speculate’s Patreon page for a discussion of writing technique, where Greg and Brad use Lev Grossman‘s The Magicians to discuss topics such as pacing vis-à-vis word count, set pieces and how to use them, how and how much to codify magic, the dialogue authors can have with other works, the relatability of your characters to readers, and authorial intent vs. reader response.
This is for backers at our $5 level, but remember, if you DO join us, you’ll get access to all the other extras as well like the Good, Bad, and Ugly segments, and other special episodes.