Updates: Podcast Interview and Vintage Science Fiction Discussion Extravaganza

I appeared in my first ever podcast–Postcards from a Dying World with David Agranoff–last week. Organized around a series of interview questions, David and I ended up discussing vintage SF for a good hour. I cover how studying history has inspired my project, reasons for my focus on SF from post-WWII to the mid-1980s, favorite authors and themes, etc. Please check out his twitter and website as well. I have gathered together a list of the SF works I mention in the interview with links to my reviews when applicable.

I hate listening to myself as I am far too excited about vintage SF! (but is that a surprise?)


SF novels and short stories I directly reference with relevant links

1. [4:50] Brief mention of Ubik (1969) as an example of a Philip K. Dick media-themed work (advertisements in dreams!) influenced by his time as a TV salesman.

2. [10:00] Discussion of my pseudonym i.e. a name pulled from Russell Hoban’s The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz (1972) and Barrington J. Bayley’s The Pillars of Eternity (1982)

3. [12:00 and again at 15:00-21:00] Discussion of my generation ship series. I mention in no particular order Vonda N. McIntyre’s “The Mountains of Sunset, The Mountains of Dawn” (1974), Frank M. Robinson’s “The Oceans Are Wide” (1954) and The Dark Beyond the Stars (1991), Robert A. Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky (serialized 1941), Brian Aldiss’ Non-Stop (variant title: Starship) (1958), and Harry Harrison’s Captive Universe (1969)

4. [14:00] Brief discussion of other series including my media series and Carol Emshwiller’s SF.

5. [25:00] Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (1954) [review contains the Lima de Freitas cover I mention]. You can watch the Spanish film adaption of the novel that David mentions on Youtube here. Note: Does not contain English subtitles. If you know the trajectory of the novel then you should be able to discern the main elements even without a substantial knowledge of Spanish.

6. [35:00] John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar (1968). Remains my gateway drug to the world of the New Wave! And still my single favorite SF novel… Due for a rare reread!

7. [35.50] I list a bunch of favorite authors: Tanith Lee (Don’t Bite the Sun, Electric Forest), Joanna Russ (We Who Are About To…), Suzy McKee Charnas (Walk to the End of the World), William Kotzwinkle (Doctor Rat), Barry N. Malzberg (Revelations, Beyond Apollo, The Last Transaction), Christopher Priest (The Affirmation, An Infinite Summer, Real-Time World, The Inverted World), and Craig Strete (The Bleeding Man and Other Science Fiction Stories).

8. [41:00] Theodore Sturgeon’s “And Now the News…” (1956)

9. [54:00] Brief mention of my recent Scandinavian SF reviews: P. C. Jersild’s After the Flood (1982, trans. 1986), Knut Faldbakken’s Twilight Country (1974, trans. 1993), Sven Holm’s Termush (1967, trans. 1969) and Anders Bodelsen’s Freezing Down (1969, trans. 1971).

10. [55:00] David gathers my rapid fire reactions to a series of authors off his shelves! I mention John Brunner’s “Nobody Axed You” (1965), Judith Merril’s Survival Ship and Other Stories (1974), Phillip José Farmer’s Strange Relations (1960), Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Nine Lives” (1969), Norman Spinrad’s The Iron Dream (1972), Clifford Simak’s Why Call Them Back from Heaven? (1967), John Shirley’s City Come A-Walkin’ (1980), Josephine Saxton’s The Hieros Gamos of Sam and An Smith (1969), and Eleanor Arnason’s “The Warlord of Saturn’s Moons” (1974)

For book reviews consult the INDEX

For cover art posts consult the INDEX

For TV and film reviews consult the INDEX

9 thoughts on “Updates: Podcast Interview and Vintage Science Fiction Discussion Extravaganza

  1. Very good podcast. Richard Powers was influenced by surrealism and was probably the first SF artist who painted abstractly. I liked Christopher Priest’s “The Affirmation” and “The Inverted World”. “Martian Time-Slip” is a great novel, much better than “Ubik” I think. I thought you might have mentioned Anna Kavan’s “Ice” among your favourite novels.

    • Thank you for the kind words. Works I had read recently definitely came to mind first — this was all on the spot. I did not know what questions he’d ask beforehand and in what order. Unfortunately, there are many many many authors I did not mention and could have! I left out Michael Bishop, Ballard, Sladek, Silverberg, Kid Reed, David Ely, etc. They all wrote masterpieces.

  2. Yes, I thought you might have mentioned Ballard, I know how much you like his surreal modernism. Also probably Silverberg.

Comment! Join the discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.