The Writer and the Critic: Episode 57

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, plunge straight into discussing two short story collections, Get in Trouble by Kelly Link [1:30] and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi [40:10].


Listeners might like to check out the following links mentioned during the podcast:

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:33:30 for final remarks. Up for discussion on the next episode – which will be the first episode of 2017! – are two more  short story collections:

Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!



The Writer and the Critic: Episode 20

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!

Here are the show notes:

This episode of The Writer and the Critic is recorded LIVE in front of an actual audience at Continuum 8, the National SF Convention, with two very, very special guests: authors extraordinaire Alison Goodman and Kelly Link. Your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, talk with Alison about her new project, a dark supernatural Regency trilogy which may or may not involve gowns, bonnets and a large bloody knife. Kelly reaffirms her love of short fiction — recommending “The New Mother” by Lucy Clifford along the way — while reluctantly confessing that she might be considering writing a novel of her own. Certainly, if Holly Black has anything to do with it!

Alison Goodman and Kelly Link

Because  reviewing four books in a single podcast would be an act of no small madness, Kirstyn and Ian wisely decide to leave the recommendations for this month to their guests. Alison has chosen The Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey (discussion begins at 17:50) while Kelly has brought along The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (48:20).

The Crystal Singer and The Scorpio Races

Inspired by the online exploits of Jim C. Hines, Ian attempts to reconstruct the pose illustrated on the cover of The Crystal Singer. He does rather a marvellous job:

Ian Mond

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please tune back in around 1:16:50 for final remarks. Kelly would also like to make two additional recommendations that listeners might enjoy, The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss and the Flora Segunda series of books by Ysabeau Wilce.

Writer and the Critic live at Continuum 8

(photo: Art Bébé Promotions)

Next month’s episode features yet another special guest, editor and fellow podcaster, Jonathan Strahan, who has recommended Galveston by Sean Stewart for Ian and Kirstyn to read.

Ian has picked Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor while Kirstyn has chosen The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan. It will possibly be their longest podcast ever. Okay, okay, it’s already been recorded and, yes, it is definitely their longest podcast ever. Make sure you bring along a comfy chair!



You are now listening to a multi-award-winning podcast — a fact which Kirstyn and Ian did not yet know while recording this episode. Because this episode was in fact recorded before the awards were announced. We’re not living that much in the future! But Ian would explode if he had to wait until the next recording to announce that The Writer and the Critic has won both Chronos and Ditmar Awards for Best Fan Publication. Ian and Kirstyn are ever so chuffed, and would like to thank all their listeners as well as everyone who voted for them. (They would also like to apologise to Galactic Suburbia for being so shocked and overwhelmed that they failed to notice the GS standing ovation in the back row. They promise to ovate in an upright posture the next time GS wins an award so they too can be blissfully ignored. It’s only fair.)

But yes, awards! Look! Proof! Plus a random monkey!

Happy Award Winners!


Continuum, Quilts and Chronos Awards

I had a fantastic and satisfyingly exhausting time at Continuum 7 over the long weekend. The panels I saw were entertaining and engaging and Catherynne M. Valente was one of the most gracious and erudite and downright fun-to-be-around Guests of Honour a convention could hope to have. She was also a special guest on The Writer and the Critic podcast that Ian Mond and myself recorded live at the con — it will be available very soon; I just need to get some more sleep before finishing post-production — and one of my team-mates on the Great Debate. Which we won. Immortality for everyone! I also loved the enthusiastic, intelligent and impassioned discussions that took place during almost all of the panels I participated in — among panelists and audiences alike. It’s invigorating and inspiring to be in a room full of people so keen to discuss and debate and contribute. Possibly the highlight of the convention for me was the Dark Delights panel which explored the links between beauty and horror. Kyla Ward performed one of her poems with her usual aplomb and Talie Helene knocked everyone’s socks off with a stunning a cappella rendition of an old ghost ballad. (Talie’s working on an exciting new multi-media project … more details soon.)

Chronos Award 2011

Oh, and I won a very pretty Chronos Award for Madigan Mine! Karen Healey‘s Aurealis Award-winning novel, The Guardian of the Dead, was nominated in the same category and I was fortunate enough to meet and have dinner with Karen on the Sunday night. She’s witty and delightful and I’m looking forward to reading her new novel, The Shattering, which is due for release in July. (I was so very good and only purchased that one book at the convention — my To Be Read pile is already structurally unsound!)

The full list of 2011 Chronos Award winners are:

  • Best Long Fiction: Madigan Mine, Kirstyn McDermott (Pan MacMillan Australia)
  • Best Short Fiction: “Her Gallant Needs”, Paul Haines (Sprawl, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Best Artwork: Australis Imaginarium cover, Shaun Tan (FableCroft Publishing)
  • Best Fan Writer: Alexandra Pierce
  • Best Fan Written Work: “Review: The Secret Feminist Cabal by Helen Merrick”, Alexandra Pierce
  • Best Fan Artwork: Continuum 6 Props, Rachel Holkner
  • Best Fan Publication: Live Boxcutters Doctor Who at AussieCon IV, Josh Kinal and John Richards
  • Best Achievement: Programming: AussieCon IV, Sue Ann Barber and Grant Watson

I should also remind you that the Conquilt fundraising auction is now up and running on eBay with some impressive early bidding. It’s an amazingly gorgeous quilt — after seeing it on display at Continuum, I’m half-tempted to bid on it myself. Honestly, the photos really don’t do it any justice at all.

I’m already very excited about attending Continuum 8 next year. Not only is the NatCon but it has Kelly Link and Alison Goodman as Guests of Honour. Huzzah!

Finally, on matters unrelated to Continuum, I was interviewed by the Adventures of a Bookonaut blog as part of an ongoing series featuring Australian spec fic authors. The questions were about authors and social media, and I had a lot of fun answering them. Next time you have a few minutes to spare, wander across and have a read. Sean’s blog is a treasure trove of news and reviews and other SF tidbits — well worth following!