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Episode 105 of Speculate! — Holly Black Novel Review (The Coldest Girl In Coldtown)

Welcome to Episode 105 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we begin a new triptych of shows on the work of Holly Black, the bestselling author of fantasies like The Spiderwick Chronicles and numerous other books in middle grade, young adult and adult markets, focusing on her newest novel The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.  A love letter to the vampire books Holly read and loved when she was young, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a surprising combination of old and new, and we talk about lost generations and new hopes during the course of our response.  If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll interview Holly about this book and other aspects of her career.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

Additional Note: Our Kickstarter is entering crunch time, and with a little over a week to go we want to both thank those who have supported us so far and encourage those who haven’t yet had the chance to please do so–we still need everyone’s help to make our goal.  Please check out, support and spread the word about the Kickstarter–and thanks so much as always!

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Episode 98 of Speculate! — Garth Nix and Sean Williams Novel Review (Troubletwisters)

Welcome to Episode 98 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we begin a new triptych of shows on the work of Garth Nix and Sean Williams, two of the most famous speculative fiction authors in Australia and both veterans of the middle grade and young adult markets, focusing on their book Troubletwisters–the first book in an SFF series with the same name.  Featuring an unusual combination of elements from authors like P.L. Travers and Stephen King, the novel gives us a chance to look not just at what makes a book work for its readers but also who its readers really are…and whether that’s changed over the years, especially in the middle grade market.  If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll interview Garth and Sean about both this book and the series as a whole.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

Additional Note:  Nominations for the 2014 Hugo Awards are only open for another ten days, 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 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 86 of Speculate!–Scott Lynch Novel Review (The Lies of Locke Lamora)

Welcome to Episode 86 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we begin a new triptych of shows on the work of Scott Lynch, focusing on his hit series The Gentleman Bastard Sequence and more specifically his breakout debut novel The Lies of Locke Lamora.  A fascinating fusion of Ocean’s Eleven, the worlds of Fritz Leiber and Robert Asprin and many others, this book created quite a splash when it was first published in 2006–and as the third book in the series, The Republic of Thieves, has just come out, we thought it would be a good chance to look back at what started it all.  Suffice to say we now understand what all the fuss was about!  If you enjoy the conversation, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll interview Scott about both this book and the series as a whole.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 80 of Speculate! — Lauren Beukes Novel Review (The Shining Girls)

Welcome to Episode 80 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we begin a new triptych of shows on the work of Lauren Beukes, focusing on her recent novel generating a tremendous amount of buzz in and outside the genre: The Shining Girls.  A combination crime novel / mystery / time traveling tale, this book uses gritty realism and compelling characters to generate both tension and dread–and as we discuss during the episode, this is a hard book to put down once you’ve picked it up.  If you enjoy the talk, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll interview Lauren herself.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 74 of Speculate! — Tim Powers Novel Review (Hide Me Among The Graves)

Welcome to Episode 74 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we begin a new triptych of shows on the work of Tim Powers, focusing in particular on his most recent novel Hide Me Among The Graves–a “vampire ghost story” set in Victorian England starring poets, artists, prostitutes, and even a veterinarian.  What’s not to love?  As we touch on during our discussion, this is a book which rewards careful reading and knowledge of the genre, and between that and the historical research for which Tim is famous there’s a whole lot to chew on.  If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll interview the author of this fantastic mix of real and supernatural himself.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 62 of Speculate! — Joe Abercrombie Novel Review (Red Country)

 

Welcome to Episode 63 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  Join us as we begin a new triptych of shows on the work of Joe Abercrombie. In this episode, as we review Red Country, Brad and Greg find themselves at opposite ends of the fantasy-western continuum, a phenomenon we didn’t even know existed much less applied to us before reading Abercrombie’s latest book. We also talk about our impressions of the three main characters, the no-nonsense Shy South, the quiet giant Lamb, and Temple the Not So Heroic. Don’t forget to check in with us next week when we speak with the man himself, Joe Abercrombie. Until then, please share and enjoy!

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Episode 51 of Speculate! – Saladin Ahmed Novel Review (Throne of the Crescent Moon)

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Welcome back for Episode 51 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we begin a new triptych plus one (is that a quadtych?) of shows on the work of Saladin Ahmed, who previously appeared on Episode 2 of Speculate! as we discussed one of his short stories; this time we’re looking at his debut novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, a sword and sorcery tale which NPR calls “Lord of the Rings meets Arab Spring.”  With a line like that, how could we resist taking our own look at a book with dervishes, ghuls, and a fantastic city with an Arabian flair?  If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll be conducting an interview with the book’s editor, DAW president Betsy Wollheim.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 46 of Speculate! – Ian McDonald Novel Review (The Dervish House)

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Welcome back for Episode 46 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we begin a new triptych of shows on the work of BSFA-winning author Ian McDonald, discussing our reaction to his Hugo-nominated book The Dervish House–a book about near-future Istanbul which is as dense, and fascinating, as the city in which it is set.  If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll interview Ian about his book and his process for researching and writing it.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 42 of Speculate! – Rob Ziegler Novel Review (Seed)

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Welcome back for Episode 42 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we start a new sequence of shows on the work of speculative fiction author Rob Ziegler, giving our reaction to and review of his book Seed, a new ecopunk novel from Night Shade Books which punches you in the solar plexus…and that’s just the beginning for this stunning vision of a bleak future.  If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll interview Rob about his book and his thoughts about what our actual future might look like. Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 35 of Speculate! – Mark Hodder Novel Review (The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack)

Welcome back for Episode 35 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we start a new sequence of shows on the work of speculative fiction author Mark Hodder, giving our reaction to and review of his book The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack–a cool steampunk novel which doesn’t forget about the punk while it’s presenting the steam!  If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll interview Mark about this book and his take on steampunk and speculative fiction.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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