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Episode 167 of Speculate!–Chuck Wendig Novel Review (Invasive)

Welcome to Episode 167 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we talk about a couple of upcoming projects before beginning our next triptych, this one on Chuck Wendig‘s Invasive.  This book, due out on August 16th, follows futurist and FBI consultant Hannah Stander as she tries to uncover the mystery behind a bizarre murder…and unravel her imagined fears from the real threats she faces.  Part disaster tale, part horror, and part thriller, Invasive is a lot of fun, and we talk about the book’s style (which is all Chuck), the message being sent behind the story, the speed of the read, and many other things.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll talk with Chuck Wendig himself about the book.  And if you haven’t already, please check out our Patreon and consider becoming a patron yourself so you can get access to even more content as our show continues to grow.  Thanks for supporting us here and via our Patreon page, and thanks as always for listening to and spreading the word about the show!

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Episode 164 of Speculate!–Daniel Jose Older Novel Review (Shadowshaper)

Welcome to Episode 164 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans. In this episode we talk about Mike’s successful Genrenauts Kickstarter and the new arrival in Greg’s family–the new youngest Speculate podcaster!–along with coming travel plans before beginning our next triptych, this one on Daniel Jose Older‘s Shadowshaper.  This book, about a young Puerto Rican woman from Brooklyn who learns about her family’s ability to use spirits, is our first YA novel in a while, and it’s one which has attracted an enormous amount of critical attention over the past year.  We talk about the book’s really engaging protagonist Sierra, the well-done sense of place (this is the actual Brooklyn, not the hipster one we hear about so often), and the interesting magic system, among other things.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll chat with Daniel Jose Older himself about the book.  And if you haven’t already, please check out our Patreon and consider becoming a patron so you can get access to even more content as our show continues to grow and develop.  Thanks for supporting us here and via our Patreon page, and thanks as always for listening to and spreading the word about the show!

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Episode 161 of Speculate!–Aliette de Bodard Novel Review (The House of Shattered Wings)

Welcome to Episode 161 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we talk a bit about the current state of the Hugo Awards and two projects of our own–Mike’s upcoming Kickstarter for The Genrenauts and Greg’s recently released graphic novel Icarus–before beginning our next triptych of 2016 with our reader response to multiple award-winning author (and former Speculate guest!) Aliette de Bodard‘s The House of Shattered Wings.  This is a really interesting look at a post-apocalyptic Paris run by competing houses controlled by fallen angels–a book which feels a bit like Game of Thrones mixed with Vampire: The Masquerade–and we talk about the book’s fascinating environment, its political intrigue, and its myriad influences, among other things.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll chat with Aliette de Bodard herself about the book.  And if you haven’t already, please check out our Patreon and consider becoming a patron so you can get access to even more content as our show continues to grow and develop.  Thanks for supporting us here and via our Patreon page, and thanks as always for listening to and spreading the word about the show!

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Episode 156 of Speculate!–Emmi Itaranta Novel Review (Memory of Water)

Welcome to Episode 156 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we chat a bit about upcoming work before beginning our second triptych of 2016 with our reader response to Emmi Itaranta‘s Memory of Water, a quiet and beautiful book about a dystopian future where water has become an increasingly scarce resource–and those who control the water control the power.  We talk about the gorgeous prose style and its similarities to the water which dominates the narrative of the book, the push for social and environmental change reflected in the work, the rather unusual protagonist at the center of the tale, and other aspects which really interested us.  We definitely enjoyed this book, despite the darkness of its setting, and we’re looking forward to examining it in even more detail over the coming weeks.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll chat with Emmi Itaranta herself about the book.  And if you haven’t already, please check out our Patreon and consider becoming a patron so you can get access to even more content and we can continue to develop and expand the show in fascinating and productive ways.  Thanks for supporting us here and via our Patreon page, and thanks as always for listening to and spreading the word about the show!

ADDITIONAL NOTE: The time for Hugo nominations is upon us, and we’re pleased to see that Speculate has made several long lists for Best Fancast.  We would dearly love to see the show get nominated for that honor this year, and so we wanted to remind all of our loyal listeners that if you have enjoyed what we do over the years and are so inclined, we would welcome your support. If you’re a member of last year’s, this year’s, or next year’s Worldcon, you’re eligible to nominate, and can do so herebut only before the end of the day on Thursday, March 31st.  So please go and nominate now, and if we’re on your list under the Best Fancast category, we would be most grateful!

 

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Episode 151 of Speculate!–Katherine Addison Novel Review (The Goblin Emperor)

Welcome to Episode 151 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans. As we head into our sixth year of production, in our first episode of 2016 we begin a new triptych of shows with our reader response to Katherine Addison‘s Locus-award winning The Goblin Emperor, a striking combination of steampunk, political intrigue, and, well, goblins. We talk about the wonderful worldbuilding and characterizations, the way the book acts as a palate cleanser from the current grimdark landscape of fantasy fiction, and the social stakes at the heart of the novel…plus some of the aspects of language which did and didn’t work for us.  We really enjoyed this book, and we’re looking forward to talking about in more detail over the coming weeks.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll chat with Katherine Addison herself about the book.  And if you haven’t already, please check out our Patreon and consider becoming a patron so you can get access to even more content and we can continue to bring you analysis of the best authors, editors, and artists in speculative fiction.  Thanks for supporting us here and via our Patreon page, and thanks as always for listening to and and spreading the word about the show!

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Episode 147 of Speculate!–Daniel Polansky Novella Review (The Builders)

Welcome to Episode 147 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we begin a brief two-show set on the work of Daniel Polansky, looking at his new novella The Builders, published by Tor.com.  Joined by new addition to the team Mike Underwood, we chat about the Redwall meets Unforgiven nostalgia which The Builders unabashedly embraces, the excellent tone and pacing, the wonderfully detailed characters (despite the brief time we have to get to know them), and the sense of humor which keeps an otherwise dark tale from sinking into a morass of despair and gloom.  We also set the stage for our upcoming discussion with several Tor.com notables about the novella and Tor.com’s general approach to publishing, which has been attracting a great deal of notice and praise–and which both Mike and Brad, with works due out from them in the future, were drawn to as well.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll have that discussion with the Tor.com people.  And if you haven’t done so already, please continue supporting our Patreon, which will give you exclusive content and other goodies from us every month.  Thanks for supporting us here and via our Patreon page, and thanks as always for listening to and spreading the word about the show!

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Episode 141 of Speculate!–Helene Wecker Novel Review (The Golem and the Jinni)

Welcome to Episode 141 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we begin a new triptych of shows with our reader response to Helene Wecker‘s extraordinary The Golem and the Jinni.  Along with Paul Weimer (of SF Signal and Skiffy and Fanty fame), we talk about the incredible worldbuilding in the book, the way even side characters are fully realized, and how the turn of the century New York flavor really draws the reader into the tale–along with the ways the two main characters play off each other.  As you’ll be able to tell, we’re all big fans of the book, and we were glad to have Paul join us to talk about it.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll have Helene Wecker herself to chat about the book.  And if you haven’t already, please check out our Patreon and consider becoming a patron so we can continue to bring you analysis of the best authors, editors and artists in speculative fiction.  Thanks for supporting us here and via our Patreon page, and thanks as always for listening to and spreading the word about the show!

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Episode 134 of Speculate! — Ken Liu Novel Review (The Grace of Kings)

Welcome to Episode 134 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we begin a new triptych of shows on the work of multiple Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award winning author Ken Liu, focusing on his debut novel, The Grace of Kings.  Ken’s reputation speaks for itself, and as we discuss in this show, it’s easy to see in his character creation and worldbuilding how he’s earned that reputation…to say nothing of his grasp of Chinese history and politics (and airships!) which are so often in evidence in the book.  If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll interview the author himself (a conversation we’re really looking forward to) about the process of writing The Grace of Kings.  And if you haven’t already, please check out our Patreon and consider becoming a patron so we can continue to bring you analysis of the best authors, editors and artists in speculative fiction.  Thanks for supporting us here and via our Patreon page, and thanks as always for listening to and spreading the word about the show!

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Episode 130 of Speculate!–China Mieville Novel Review (The City and the City)

Welcome to Episode 130 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we tackle China Mieville‘s The City and the City with Tor.com‘s commissioning editor and Rocket Talk‘s co-host Justin Landon, looking at what makes the 2010 Hugo winner such a compelling read.  We consider the role of space, spaces, and the ways we intentionally and unintentionally breach them, the nature of political agency and intention, and what makes a speculative fiction work truly speculative…and what The City and the City does in all of these areas.  If you like what you hear, make sure to support our Patreon so you can get access to our writing technique show next week, when we’ll discuss some of the specific ways Mieville produces the effects he does in his novel.  Thanks for supporting us here and via our Patreon page, and thanks as always for listening to and spreading the word about the show!

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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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