AISFP 48 – Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow joins us to discuss his new book, Little Brother. We also delve into Homeland Security’s pitfalls, and how people can use technology to change the world. Then we introduce the Out of the Slush segment, featuring Greg Van Eekhout.

Show Notes:

Publishing News: President Bush proposes to cut funding for Reading is Fundamental.

Bonus News Story: Thanks to Autumn for this book review!

Science fiction can be an almost overwhelming pocket of reading. Hundreds of writers creating thousands of worlds for us to immerse ourselves in is a wonderful thing, to be sure, but some of us occasionally find ourselves in need of a guide. Since I don’t have the spending cash to have my own personal anthology editor on staff, I use the Nebula series as my resource instead. The index to volume eight sounds like a perfect writers’ roundtable – Arthur C. Clark, Frederik Pohl, Harlan Ellison, gene Wolfe, Robert Silverberg and Poul Anderson, all edited by Isaac Asimov.

Each year, after the Nebula Awards are announced, a volume is created featuring both winners and nominees. That alone would make these worthwhile collections, but they are enhanced with essays about the year in film, memoriae for those authors who have died and introductions and essays by an always-fantastic editor. They also feature something I didn’t even know existed until I picked up these books – the Rhysling poetry awards, which may be the ultimate in literary geek culture.

I read all the way through the 70s, 80s and 90s over the last few months, and it was a treasure trove. Isaac Asimov, the grandfather of this corner of the cosmos, edited the series for years, and his introductions are just as good as they stories they preface. Other editors include James Morrow, Michael Bishop, Pamela Sargent, George Zebroski and Marta Randall, each one a leader in their field.

For every year that I read, I not only enjoyed the works by writers that I already liked, but I also ended up with a list of authors that I had never heard of or that I wanted to know more about. Specifically, I was surprised by how many authors who I had thought of as being traditional novelists had a secret stash of phenomenal short fiction; especially welcome to those of us who have to cram our reading in wherever we can find the time.

These books are a wonderful addition to the reading list of any sci-fi fan – short form or long, new reader or old, no one will walk away from these books without at least a few stories making an impression.

– Interview with Cory Doctorow

– Shaun explains the unique circumstances behind interviewing Cory.
Out of the Slush debuts with Greg Van Eekhout. Is that a cool bumper, or what? Greg is pretty cool, too.

– Feedback about Borders and Barnes and Noble.

That’s it for this episode. Don’t forget to enter the Kay Kenyon book contest. If you like the show, please tell a friend, write a blog about us, or write a review in iTunes.

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Comments

  1. For the record, I thought the off-the-cuff Doctorow interview went well! Good job, Shaun.

  2. Mechphisto says:

    Cool episode! Great interview with Doctorow.
    Regarding the Reading is Fundamental defunding: It’s a travesty, but something people don’t understand–the government doesn’t WANT an educated, literate populace. A strong, educated middle class is the enemy of the corporate capitalist power. An educated populace, a strong middle-class, can fight against the ownership of the government by corporate interests and corporate fascism. The Bush crime family and the neo-cons, and not a small number of Democrats in power, don’t want the masses educated and capable of understanding what’s going on with government and changing it.

  3. Shaun Farrell says:

    Thanks, Jordan!

  4. Steve H. says:

    Mechphisto~

    Interesting point. Except that members of the Bush family, namely Barbra and Laura, have held positions within the RIF program.

    His mother served for 8 years on the Board of Directors, then from 1989-1992 was on their National Advisory Board (and was the Chair of that board for 3 years.)

    His wife served on the National Advisory Council from 1996-2001.

    He left out funding for the program once before and public outcry resulted in funding being restored. I certainly believe that such a turnaround will happen again.

    Not to make this a political debate, and this is all I’m going to say on the matter, but the facts don’t bear the weight of your comment on the whole.

    Shaun~ The Doctorow interview, despite being off-the-cuff, was fabulous. See, you can pull through in the panic of an unprepared discussion! 🙂

  5. Shaun Farrell says:

    Thanks, Steve. Maybe I don’t need to prepare so much in the future. Let me think about that. . .

    Naw, I’ll keep over-preparing!

  6. Mech and Steve:

    Great points, both of you. I will abstain from too much political commentary, though I’m sure, if you wanted to, you could discern my feelings just by the off-hand comments I make in the show. Hint hint.

    ALSO

    I think you two should wrestle in a vat of pudding to settle this. And I should be allowed to watch. Just sayin’.

  7. Scott G says:

    Great show! Episode 48 was the first time I had listened to AISFP (through my subscription to Cory’s podcasts in iTunes), but I enjoyed it so much I subscribed and listened to a few older episodes as well.

    Nice job on the interview. By the way I just got a notification that Amazon shipped my copy of Little Brother this morning.

  8. Shaun Farrell says:

    Hi, Scott! Welcome to our little family. Sam and I are both enjoying Little Brother, so let us know what you think when you’re done reading it!

  9. Jim Van Pelt says:

    Hi, Shaun. I read LITTLE BROTHER a couple of weeks ago and liked it quite a bit. It was nice to hear Cory’s take on the book (and to hear about his amazingly busy schedule!), but I enjoyed Greg’s chat about breaking in to publishing even more. He speaks well and said smart things. I hope a lot of folk listen to him.

  10. Shaun Farrell says:

    Greg was a great guy to start off the Out of the Slush segment. It will be fun to have him back on in a year and see how the process went.

  11. Oh the irony. Apparently Obama was for cutting funding for RIF just last year. http://tinyurl.com/43b6wgp

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