The Writer and the Critic: Episode 36

The latest episode of our podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Feedback is most welcome!

This month on The Writer and the Critic, your hosts Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond fritter away a few precious minutes talking about carving out time for reading, vomiting on public transport, and anti-social lunchtime habits, before jumping straight into the books at hand.

The books chosen for discussion this episode are Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas (beginning at 3:50) — recommended by Ian — and The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (42:30), which is Kirstyn’s homework pick. Ian also manages to squeeze in a small spoiler-free review of The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker by way of comparison, and you can read his further thoughts on that book over on his blog.

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:10:25 for Ian’s Fun in Fandom Rant as well as some final remarks.

Instead of personal book recommendations, next month’s episode will feature two novels which took home gongs at the recent Aurealis Awards which recognise excellence in Australian speculative fiction. Lexicon by Max Barry won Best Science Fiction Novel while Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near won Best Horror Novel and tied for Best Young Adult Novel. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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The Writer and the Critic: Episode 35

The latest episode of our podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Feedback is most welcome!

This month on The Writer and the Critic, your hosts Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond spend a little time up front talking about political correctness and why the very phrase makes Kirstyn’s brain glaze over.

The pair then move on to the books up for discussion this month. Kirstyn has chosen Bearded Women by Teresa Milbrodt. (beginning at 20:20) while Ian is recommending — and is slightly angry about — Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (51:30). This lengthy review of the latter by Liz Bourke is mentioned during the discussion.

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If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:24:20 for some feedback and final remarks.

Next month, Ian has chosen Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas while Kirstyn is recommending The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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The Writer and the Critic: Episode 34

The latest episode of our podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Feedback is most welcome!

This month on The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, throw out a handful of pocket reviews for books which they have recently read but which may not end up being given the full podcast treatment. No spoilers for these right now, though, just some recommendations for your reading pleasure:

Up on the slab for the usual lengthy dissection process are A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, chosen by Ian and beginning around 14:32, and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (49:30) which was Kirstyn’s vexatious pick.

The reviews and articles mentioned during the discussion can be found via the following links:

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:25:50 for some feedback and final remarks.

Next month, Ian has chosen Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie while Kirstyn is recommending Bearded Women by Teresa Milbrodt. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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The Writer and the Critic: Episode 33

The latest episode of our podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Feedback is most welcome!

This month on The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, have decided to start with a handful of pocket reviews for books which they have recently read but which may not end up being given the full podcast treatment. Or maybe they will. No spoilers for these right now, though, just some hearty recommendations:

The pair then launch into their critique of the books for this episode, NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (starting at 22:45) which Kirstyn picked, followed by Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson (57:30), chosen by Ian.

Here are the links for reviews and articles mentioned during the discussion:

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, then it’s safe to come back at 1:17:20 for final remarks.

For next month — and it will be NEXT month! — Ian has recommended A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, while Kirstyn has chosen to discuss Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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The Writer and the Critic: Episode 32

The latest episode of our podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Feedback is most welcome!

On this episode of The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond have decided to dispense with the idle gossip and instead launch straight into their dissection of the books at hand. First up there is Every Day by David Levithan, which Kirstyn has chosen, followed by Ian’s recommendation, The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud (beginning around 45:30).

Here are the links for reviews, interviews and articles mentioned during the discussion:

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please check back in at 1:36:00 for some very brief final remarks.

Kirstyn and Ian would also like to bring your attention to the current fundraising drive being run by Strange Horizons to continue their excellent work in publishing speculative fiction stories, reviews and commentary. Please consider a donation if you can, no matter how small. Every dollar counts!

And finally, a small and friendly plug for an upcoming book you might find relevant to your interests. Trucksong is the debut novel by Andrew Macrae soon to be published by Twelfth Planet Press and is being touted as a “genre-bending work of literary biopunk [that] mixes the mad fun of Mad Max II with the idiosyncratic testimony of works like Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang or Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting.” It features rogue, bling-encrusted AI trucks roaming the post-apocalytic highways of Australia, people. What’s not to love?

Next month, Kirstyn will be travelling throughout the UK and so there will be a brief hiatus for The Writer and the Critic. Which means you all get an extra month to work your way through the two books up for discussion in November: Sister Mine by Nalo Hopskinson (chosen by Ian) and NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (Kirstyn’s pick). Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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The Writer and the Critic: Episode 31

The latest episode of our podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Feedback is most welcome!

This month on The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, discuss two mainstream novels with a speculative fiction flavour. Ian has chosen Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (beginning at 6:05) and while Kirstyn’s recommendation is The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (46:15).

During the discussion, Ian references this review of the Atkinson by Maureen Kincaid Speller while Kirstyn reads from this Salon piece by Laura Miller. Kirstyn also talks about a Niall Harrison review and mentions this interview with Jane Rogers.

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please check back in at 1:33:15 for final remarks.

Next month, the two books on the slab will be Every Day by David Levithan (Kirstyn’s pick) and The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud (chosen by Ian). Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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The Writer and the Critic: Episode 30

The latest episode of our podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Feedback is most welcome!

Scraping across the line on the last day of the month, this episode of The Writer and the Critic sees your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, waste no time on preamble and instead jump straight into their discussion of the books at hand. Kirstyn has recommended Hair Side, Flesh Side, the debut short story collection by Helen Marshall (beginning at 02:45) while Ian has chosen the science fiction novel Light by M. John Harrison.

Listeners may want to check out this interview with Helen Marshall, which Kirstyn mentions, as well as the full review of Hair Side, Flesh Side by Nina Allen in Strange Horizons, from which Ian reads an excerpt. Also recommended is a recent episode of The Coode Street Podcast which featured M. John Harrison as well as reviews of Light. by Ian Banks, Jeff VanderMeer and Adam Roberts, and the judges’ report for the 2002 Tiptree Award.

And for those curious about the Mari Lwyd reference — Kirstyn again apologises for her Welsh pronunciation, or lack thereof — here’s a picture:

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, you might want to check back in at 1:26:10 for some brief final remarks.

Next month, the two books up for discussion will be Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (chosen by Ian) and The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (Kirstyn’s pick). Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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