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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


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.


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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,, 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 118 of Speculate! — Roundtable Discussion with Brenda Cooper and Martha Wells


Welcome to Episode 118 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode, we delve more into the world of short speculative fiction as we chat with authors (and former guests) Brenda Cooper and Martha Wells about their particular approaches to writing short fiction, the difference in process and product between writing novels and short stories, and how each form can complement the other.  Since Brenda, Martha and Brad have joined forces with Will McIntosh, Tina Connolly and Stephen Gaskell in the Six by Six Kickstarter, we also discuss the “synergistic energy” of stories in an anthology and how, even though each author is producing his or her own collection of six stories, working as part of a team can still be an exciting change from the often solitary working life of the author.  If you like what you hear, head over to the Kickstarter to find out more–and of course, don’t forget to check back next episode when we’ll begin a new triptych of shows on the work of Lev Grossman. And finally, we’ve gotten some excellent movement on our Patreon over the past few days; thanks so much to those of you who have gotten on board, and for those of you haven’t yet, don’t forget that for a small pledge you can both support the show and get even more content–like the Good, Bad and Ugly segment from this very episode!  Until next time, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word!

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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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