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Episode 54 of Speculate! – Saladin Ahmed Writing Discussion

ThroneOfTheCrescentMoon

Welcome back for Episode 54 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we conclude our quadtych of shows on the work of Saladin Ahmed with a look at some of the specific writing techniques used in his debut novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, focusing on narrative pace and character description, misdirection, filling in the world, character development, and cultural portrayals.  If you enjoy what you hear, don’t forget to check back soon for a series of short interviews from GenCon and the Wellspring workshop.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 48 of Speculate! – Ian McDonald Writing Discussion

TheDervishHouse

Welcome back for Episode 48 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we conclude our series of shows on the work of Ian McDonald with a look at a few of the specific writing techniques used in The Dervish House, particularly his approach to cinematic writing, evoking all the senses, worldbuilding and atmosphere, using contrasting characters and points of view to establish a (reasonably) objective truth, and not being afraid of science–or even educated guesses about what science might reveal in the future–in writing science fiction.  If you enjoy what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week for our series of short interviews from Origins 2012.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

(Side note:  During the show Brad refers to a roundtable he recently participated in over at SF Signal with a host of SFF luminaries including Elizabeth Bear, Charles Stross and recent Speculate! guest Rob Ziegler, moderated by Jeremy Lassen.  There are a lot of interesting insights to be gleaned from the discussion, and if you find today’s episode interesting we recommend you head here for more.)

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Episode 44 of Speculate! – Rob Ziegler Writing Discussion

Seed_DUSTJACKET_FINAL.inddWelcome back for Episode 44 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we conclude our series of shows on the work of Rob Ziegler with a discussion of some of the specific writing techniques used in his book Seed, looking at how gutsy writing with an attention to narrative voice and tone, muscular prose laced with moments of grace, and unity of message and theme makes Seed as good as it is–and how you might be able to use such techniques in your own work.  If you enjoy what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week for our interview with Brent Weeks, author of the Night Angel trilogy and other books.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 37 of Speculate! – Mark Hodder Writing Discussion

Welcome back for Episode 37 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we conclude our series of shows on the work of Mark Hodder with a discussion of some of the specific writing techniques used in his book The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, looking at how the use of characters as foils, attention to theme, meditations on empire and other aspects of writing make Strange Affair such an interesting and enjoyable book…and how aspiring writers can learn to apply these techniques in their own work.  We’ll be taking a break next week, but if you enjoy what you hear don’t forget to check back in two weeks for an interview with artist Todd Lockwood, and be on the lookout for our interview with Brandon Sanderson.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

(Side note: As you’ll hear at the end of this week’s show and will be seeing in more detail in an upcoming post, Speculate! is eligible for nomination in the Best Related Work category of the Hugo awards.  Obviously there are a lot of worthy candidates to be nominated for something like this, but we thought you might not know if we didn’t say that we’d love to join that list.  So if you’re a member of last year’s, this year’s or next year’s Worldcon, please head over to the official site before March 11, 2012 and consider nominating us (and others of the many choices in all the categories) in the Best Related Work category…and thanks!)

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Episode 33 of Speculate! – 2011 Year in Review Show

Welcome back for Episode 33 of Speculate!  The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we’re proud to present our first annual Year in Review show, in which (after wishing ourselves a very happy birthday) we discuss how the show has progressed over the past year and touch on the various episodes we released in 2011, from reviews to interviews to discussion about writing techniques and everything in between, before talking briefly about what’s on the docket in 2012.  We’re very pleased with how everything has turned out so far, and most of the credit for that goes to the authors, artists and editors we’ve had the good fortune to discuss and interview…and, of course, our listeners.  Thanks so much for continuing to tune into the show, and please continue to spread the word about us in 2012!

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Episode 29 of Speculate! – The Book of Cthulhu Writing Discussion

Welcome back for Episode 29 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  This week we conclude our series of shows on Night Shade Books‘ anthology The Book of Cthulhu with a discussion about some of the writing techniques used in the stories we focused on during this sequence.  We enjoyed reading this anthology a great deal, and if you have even a faint interest in cosmic horror (or, you know, just don’t feel like getting on the wrong side of the Elder Gods) we highly recommend you check it out.  If you enjoy the discussion, make sure to check back next episode as we conduct a couple of short interviews while we gear up for our next book sequence on Mark Hodder’s The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack.  Until next time, thanks as always for listening to the show, and please continue to spread the word!

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Episode 22 of Speculate! – Hugo Nominees Discussion

Welcome to Episode 22 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we talk about some of the nominees for the Hugo, to be awarded this coming weekend at Worldcon in Reno, focusing in particular on short stories and graphic novels.  We hardly have a crystal ball, but (as usual) we have some thoughts about the competitors up for the award.  If you like what you hear, please check back next week for a series of short interviews recently conducted at Gen Con; until then, thanks in advance for your support and willingness to spread the word about the show!

P.S. We’ll both be at Worldcon; if you’re going to be there as well, please make sure to stop by a panel or reading we’re doing and say hello!

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Episode 20 of Speculate! – Aliette de Bodard Writing Discussion

Welcome to Episode 20 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we wrap up our series of shows on Aliette de Bodard’s Harbinger of the Storm with a discussion of some of the writing techniques she utilizes in the book…and some suggestions about how aspiring writers can put similar techniques to use in their own fiction.  If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back for a special video episode of Speculate! next week, when you’ll get an inside look at the recently concluded Wellspring Workshop from the participants themselves; until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

P.S. We’ll be at Gen Con this coming weekend in Indianapolis, one of the largest fantasy and science fiction gaming conventions in the world, participating as always in the Writers’ Symposium, a writing track specifically for aspiring authors (and the readers who love them).  If you’re in the area, please stop by and speak to us about the show, or whatever else is on your mind!

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Episode 17 of Speculate! – Wellspring Workshop Discussion

Welcome to Episode 17 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we talk about Wellspring, an invite only novel writing workshop being held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and involving eleven speculative fiction authors (including your humble hosts Greg and Brad!), along with a more extended conversation about workshop models, MFA programs, and courses in speculative fiction.  If you like what you hear, make sure you check back in the next couple of weeks for some video of the workshop and interviews with the participants; until then, thanks as always for listening and continuing to spread the word!

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Episode 15 of Speculate! – Eclipse Four Writing Discussion

Welcome to Episode 15 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we wrap up our look at Eclipse Four, Night Shade Books’ newest anthology, with a discussion of some of the writing techniques demonstrated in some representative stories by Michael Swanwick, James Patrick Kelly and Andy Duncan.  If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll start a series of one-off shows featuring interviews with publicists, artists and authors; until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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