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Episode 117 of Speculate! — Roundtable Discussion with Patrick Hester and Anton Strout


Welcome to Episode 117 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode, simultaneously run on two other podcasts, we talk about the medium and message as we chat with authors and podcasters Patrick Hester (of the Hugo award-winning SF Signal podcast and the Functional Nerds podcast) and Anton Strout (of The Once and Future Podcast) about podcasting, writing, and everything in between.  We talk about what we’ve learned from the experience, what we’ve been most inspired by in the interviews we’ve conducted, and why Lion Voltron is obviously better than Auto Voltron (no idea why this was even a question, frankly).  This is the first time we’ve really had the chance to talk about this particular media, and almost four full years into production we decided there was no reason to wait any longer–the result was a fun and wide-ranging discussion, and we hope to do it again in the future.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next episode when we’ll begin a new triptych of shows on the work of Lev Grossman.  And if you haven’t already, please check out our Patreon; for a small pledge you can both support the show and get even more content, and we really 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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Speculate! has a Patreon!

But Greg and Brad, you may be asking, what is a Patreon?

Patreon is a great new platform that allows fans to back content creators in a more modest and ongoing basis. All sorts of content creators—from online comics to musicians to artist to podcasts—are using the platform to raise funds to continue their efforts to bring their fans the content they love. We hope to do the same.

We think Patreon is perfect not only for us, but for you too, because it allows you to set a budget you’re comfortable with—in Speculate’s case, as little as $1/month. We think that’s a pretty good value, and we hope you’ll agree.

If you like the shows we deliver, please consider backing us on Speculate’s Patreon page. There’s a video that explains the Patreon, the different backing levels, our milestones, and what we hope to do with the funds. You can also back us there and check out more about Patreon. Remember, you can change or drop your backing level at any time.

As always, thank you for your support, and please spread the word about the new Patreon. It’s amazing how much a post or Tweet can help.

Your hosts,

Greg and Brad.

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The Speculate! Kickstarter is now live!


We’ve just launched our first Kickstarter to support the upcoming season of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans! You can go directly to the Kickstarter page to watch our video, and to see the rewards, stretch goals, and project info. You can also listen to Episode 101, where Greg and I talk about the Kickstarter and why we’re running it.

If you could take a moment to spread the word on your social networks, we would very much appreciate it. With your help, we’re sure this is going to be a great success.

As always, we thank you for your continued support!

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Greg’s Graphic Novel Kickstarter for Icarus Goes Live!

Today, the Kickstarter for Greg’s graphic novel, Icarus, a collaboration with comic artist Matt Slay, went live. You can check it out on Kickstarter for more information, but here are the juicy basics:

An original graphic novel from Gregory Wilson and Matt Slay about a being who falls from the sky to save a world from tyranny.

Icarus and Jellinek are, on the surface, about as different as two beings can possibly be.

Icarus is a tall, fair-skinned boy of around 17 who falls to the world of Vol from the sky with no memory of anything but his name. His is a graceful being with wings and incredible powers that he has no memory of how to use.

Jellinek is a four-foot hard-scrabble flamepetal prospector with tough red skin, a gruff disposition and general dislike of everyone around him, and a two-tailed lava-resistant creature called a “solar” as a companion.

On the day that their lives collide, everything about their world changes, and they discover that they have more in common than they can possibly imagine.

Together, Icarus and Jellinek will battle the tyranny of the Magisters, who have enslaved an entire people.

Gregory Wilson’s story Icarus introduces us to the incredibly visual world of Vol, and the stunning array of characters and creatures who call it home. It takes us on an amazing journey in which Icarus and Jellinek fight for their lives and the freedom of a people while trying to unlock the mystery of Icarus’s past. To Jellinek’s surprise, Icarus’s mystery becomes his own, as well.

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Episode 79 of Speculate! — Book Blogging Discussion with Justin Landon of Staffer’s Book Review

Welcome back for Episode 79 of Speculate!  The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode, we dive into the world of book blogging and reviewing with Justin Landon of Staffer’s Book Review.  During the discussion we look at the rising influence of book blogs, how buzz is created (and how tastes are formed), the role of book blogs in pushing the genre of speculative fiction forward, and how to tread the line between friendship and professionalism, especially when a negative review may be in the offing!  We also talk about Pornokitsch‘s Jared Shurin and Justin’s book Speculative Fiction 2012: The Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary, and what such a book says about the rapidly growing impact of the book blogging community in speculative fiction.  If you enjoy the conversation, make sure to stop back for our next show when we’ll begin our next triptych of shows on Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word!

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Episode 78 of Speculate! — Writing for Games Discussion with John Helfers and Aaron Rosenberg


Welcome back for Episode 78 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode, taped live at the Origins convention in Columbus, Ohio (we apologize for the somewhat subpar audio), we look at the connections between writing and gaming with two veterans in the field, John Helfers and Aaron Rosenberg.  During the discussion we touch on how to get into writing for games, both face to face and computer-oriented, and consider whether the lines between narrative in games and narrative in stories have begun to blur–and if so, what the implications might be.  If you enjoy the conversation, make sure to check out more of John and Aaron’s work, and don’t forget to check back for our next episode, a discussion about book blogging in the speculative fiction field with Justin Landon of Staffer’s Book Review.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word!

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Episode 77 of Speculate! — Writing Workshop Discussion with Cat Rambo and Luc Reid


Welcome back for Episode 77 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this special episode we take a look at the potential benefits and pitfalls of writing workshops with two veteran workshop goers, authors Cat Rambo and Luc Reid, discussing how workshops function at their best, when an author is ready to attend a workshop, and how that author can get the most out of the experience.  We also chat a bit about related subjects, like Luc’s brainchild Codex, and how community building for authors is an important step in building successful careers.  If you enjoy the discussion as much as we did, make sure to check out more of Luc and Cat’s work–and don’t forget to check back for our next episode, which will be recorded live at the Origins convention in Columbus this coming week!  (And if you happen to be in the Columbus area, please stop by and say hello.)  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word!

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Greg reviews Brad’s Lays of Anuskaya Trilogy

Only a little over 24 hours remain in Brad’s Kickstarter for the third book in his Lays of Anuskaya trilogy. Greg recently finished his read of Brad’s third book and had a few things to say about it. On video, no less! Now he can’t take any of it back!

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Episode 68 of Speculate! — The State of the Field (Kickstarter Edition), with Special Guests Matt Forbeck and Lee Moyer


Welcome back for Episode 68 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we focus for the third time on the state of the speculative fiction field with special guests Matt Forbeck and Lee Moyer, concentrating this time around on the impact of Kickstarter and other crowdsourcing systems on the world of fantasy and science fiction.  Both Matt and Lee have run highly successful Kickstarters in the past year, and over the course of our discussion we look at the implications of Kickstarter for all of us:  is this system going to replace the traditional methods of getting a book or game to market, or can it work side by side with those methods?  What are its potential pitfalls (and how can you avoid them)?  And if you succeed, what comes next?  We cover all these bases and a few more during the course of our discussion, and we hope you’ll find it as enlightening as we did.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back for our next episode, the first in a triptych on the work of Robin Hobb.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word!

Update: here are links to Lee’s whitepaper on Kickstarters, including the introduction:

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The Hugos Are Upon Us!


Hi everyone. As the co-hosts of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans, we spend most of our time on the show interviewing, analyzing and discussing the work of other people in the speculative fiction field. But now, we’re asking for something a little different. Nominations for the 2013 Hugo Awards are being accepted now, and although we’re not big fans of shameless self-promotion, we figure if we didn’t ask, you might not know that we are eligible to be nominated in the Hugo’s Best Fancast category.

If you are an attending or supporting member of LoneStarCon3, the Worldcon coming up this August, an attending or supporting member of Chicon, last year’s Worldcon, or an attending or supporting member of LonCon3, next year’s Worldcon, you’re eligible to nominate for any or all of the Hugo Awards. And it’s easy–simply go to the nomination page (, type in your name and the PIN sent to you by LonestarCon, and nominate for as many of the awards as you like–including, we hope, Speculate! in the Best Fancast category.

We do this show because we love talking about the field in which we write and study, speculative fiction; interviewing authors, artists, and editors, and getting to analyze the work they produce, is a great thrill for us. But the main reason we enjoy doing the show is it gives us a chance to communicate with all of you—to present our show to a lively and ever-growing audience.

Getting nominated for a Hugo—to say nothing of winning one!—would allow us to broaden that reach and communicate with even more fans of one of the most fascinating genres of literature we have. So we would greatly appreciate it if you could nominate Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans by heading over to the nomination page.

The deadline is Sunday, March 10, 2013, which is coming soon–so please do it as soon as you can! And thanks from both Greg and Brad to all of you for your feedback, enthusiastic support, and of course listening to the show! We look forward to giving you some great ones in the year ahead.

Thanks for tuning in, and of course for nominating!

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