Episode 127 of Speculate! — Roundtable Discussion with Brian McClellan and Myke Cole

                         

Welcome to Episode 127 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans. In this episode, we talk fantasy, military, and writing business with authors (and former Speculate guests) Brian McClellan and Myke Cole as we look at writing trilogies, what a civilian author does or doesn’t “owe” to a military person when writing fantasy with a military slant, and what engages and excites Brian and Myke (and what doesn’t) about the business–and why they’re so excited about their new books, The Autumn Republic and Gemini Cell, respectively. If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check out our next episode, when we’ll take a look at speculative fiction poetry–and of course there are plenty of other shows to come.   As a reminder, our Good, Bad and Ugly segments (including the one from Brian and Myke here!) are only available to our Patreon supporters, so please head over there to hear more about our guests and their work.  Thanks to everyone who’s helped out so far, and thanks as always for listening to and spreading the word about the show!

Additional Note:  Nominations for the 2015 Hugo Awards are now open (for one final day!), 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!

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Episode 126 of Speculate! — The Mirror Empire Writing Technique Discussion

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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.

https://www.patreon.com/speculate

 

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Episode 125 of Speculate! — Kameron Hurley Author Discussion

Welcome to Episode 125 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we continue our triptych of shows on the work of Kameron Hurley, focusing on her novel The Mirror Empire.  During the course of our conversation Kameron talks about her process of worldbuilding, why persistence in writing is so important, and how she’s been able to balance her time so she can write consistently, maintain a social media presence and even have a life outside of her work…and remain sane while doing all of it!  This was a fun and extensive interview, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week for our final show of the triptych as we look at some of the writing techniques used in the novel.  And as a reminder, both our writing technique shows and the Good, Bad and Ugly segments are only available to our Patreon supporters, so please head over there to hear more about Kameron and her work.  Thanks to everyone who’s helped out so far, and thanks as always for listening to and spreading the word about the show!

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!

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Episode 124 of Speculate! — Kameron Hurley Novel Review (The Mirror Empire)

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!

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Episode 123 of Speculate!–Interview with Jason M. Hough

Welcome to Episode 123 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we talk to Jason M. Hough, author of the highly successful Dire Earth Cycle, about his writing process, the appeal of NaNoWriMo, and how “Scalzi writes Firefly” got him a contract with Del Rey–even if he doesn’t think his writing is much like Scalzi’s.  We also get to talk a bit about the current state of science fiction and how to maintain your equilibrium when success comes your way.  This was an interesting conversation with someone who’s thought a lot about the business, and we hope you find it as enlightening as we did.  If so, don’t forget to check back for our next show when we’ll begin a new triptych of shows on the work of Kameron Hurley; until then, thanks as always for listening to the show, and please continue to spread the word!

Additional Note: We’ve got another Good, Bad and Ugly segment from this interview, and we think it’s a particularly good one–if you’d like to hear it, remember it’s available to our Patreon backers, so head over there and become a patron–and thanks so much for the support!

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Episode 122 of Speculate! — Interview with Jeanne Cavelos

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!

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Artwork Reveal for Twelve Kings in Sharakhai

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.

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Episode 121 — Writing Technique Discussion Based on Lev Grossman’s The Magicians

The Magicians

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.

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Episode 120 of Speculate! — Lev Grossman Author Discussion

Welcome to Episode 120 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we continue our triptych of shows on the work of Lev Grossman, focusing on his breakout novel The Magicians.  During the course of a remarkably frank discussion Lev talks about growing up in New York City, the ways he has both been inspired by and resisted the influence of works like The Chronicles of Narnia and the Harry Potter series in his own writing, and how his own insecurities and growing pains affected the construction of his characters and the ways they experience magic–more with realism than wonder.  He also touches on his career as a literary critic and shares some of his unique marketing savvy; all in all, we found it a really enlightening chat, and we hope you’ll feel the same.  If you like what you hear, please check back next week for our final show of the triptych as we look at a few of the writing techniques used in the novel.  And as a reminder, both our writing technique shows and Good, Bad and Ugly segments are only available to our Patreon supporters of $3 and up, so please head over there to get more from and about Lev.  Thanks as always for your support, and Happy New Year!

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Episode 119 of Speculate!–Lev Grossman Novel Review (The Magicians)

Welcome to Episode 119 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we begin a new triptych of shows on the work of Lev Grossman, focusing on his breakout novel The Magicians, the book which began the bestselling trilogy of the same name.  The Magicians is an unabashedly New York book, looking at the more realistic and darker side of magic and those who would practice it, and during the course of our response we talk about its strong flavor, the influences which inform it, the distinctive way in which magic is portrayed and other such topics.  If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll talk to the author himself about the process of writing this book. And if you haven’t already, please check out our Patreon, now starting to really climb and get us to levels which will let us provide you even more and cooler content; for a small pledge you can support the show and get even more content from it, and we appreciate everyone who has become a patron so far. Until next time, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word!

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