AISFP 155 – John Jarrold and Tone Milazzo

This episode is brought to you by MAYAN DECEMBER, the exciting new science fiction novel from Brenda Cooper.

Dr. Alice Cameron is a famous scientist devoted to studying ancient Mayan culture. In December 2012 she finds herself on the Yucatan Peninsula with her daughter, Nixie, fellow scholars, end of the world crazies, and even the President of the United States. It all sounds wonderful until Nixie disappears into the past. Featuring a handsome dreadlocked time-traveler, an ancient shamam, a high ranking Mayan couple, a computer nerd, and an eleven year old child, Alice must traverse the past in a search for the meaning of life and a way to save two worlds.

You can follow Brenda on Twitter, and please tell her Adventures in Scifi Publishing sent you!

Show Notes:

  • Moses sat down with John Jarrold, long time editor and now agent, to discuss his historic career  in publishing, which includes working with the biggest talents of science fiction and fantasy, including Ray Bradbury, Terry Brooks and Robert Jordan. They also discuss doing business in the convention bars, common mistakes writers make in their manuscripts, how he decides to sell manuscripts to UK publishers versus US publishers, why always accepts submissions and much, much more.
  • Moses also had his video camera on hand. LOVE IT!
  • Sponsor Showcase: Tone Milazzo discusses the writing and publication process behind his first novel. We also talk ghost stories, cinema, Chaos Magic, and writing the Other, which isn’t really that “other” at all.

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  1. S Williams says:

    I listened to podcast #155 with John Jarrold and Tone Milazzo. While I enjoyed listening to Mr Jarrold, I took exception to some comments by Mr Milazzo regarding race. Personally, I don’t care for writers who try to represent other races through the use of stereotyping and so-called authentic ethnic dialects. Publishing is an odd industry in that White writers can write about other races and use racial dialects and no one cares. However, if a Black or Hispanic writer tried to do this, it would be a different story.

    Mr. Milazzo obviously isn’t familiar with the culture he’s trying to represent since he apparently had to get all of his information from books about Black people and how they talk. He could have watched episodes of The Wire or just gone out and talked to people and asked “How do kids talk these days? I’m writing a book and trying to make the dialogue sound authentic.” I’m sure the bank teller speaking jive appreciated his efforts. Regardless of their socioeconomic background, not all Black people speak Ebonics nor do they all believe in loas and voodoo.

    I happen to be familiar with East Saint Louis and I know a lot of people from that area and none of them speak Ebonics. In fact, none of my Black friends speak Ebonics and instead find it very offensive. I understand what he’s trying to do, I understand how he feels it makes his character more authentic. Instead, he is perpetuating yet another stereotype about a group of people that he’s obviously not familiar with. He’s also alienating a lot of people who might otherwise give his books a try.

    I’m going to recommend checking which has several posts about race and publishing. For the record, yes, I’m Black and no, I don’t speak Ebonics. Never have, never will. I have nothing against writing about other races, but I do object to using lame stereotypes. I wish Mr Milazzo success in his career but I for one will not be reading Picking up the Ghost.

    Otherwise, I have enjoyed all of your other podcasts and hope you continue with the good work.

  2. James Clark says:

    @ S Williams:

    While I think that your comments regarding the use of stereotyping to portray race are pretty fair, I would point out (in the author’s defence) that it wasn’t a crass approach to writing the other, just an inefficient one. There was research done, there was thought put into the portrayal of the characters, but both were evidently influenced by the nature of the sources he read. I agree that there is little substitute for first-hand experience, and I’m not sure what opportunities he had to get some, but ultimately while language is part of character it will be the character as a whole that will have to be assessed to find out if Mr. Milazzo has successfully written the ‘other’.

    PS. Thanks for the link.


  1. SF Signal says:

    SF Tidbits for 12/3/11…

    Interviews & ProfilesDeus Ex Machinatio profiles Chuck Wendig.Midnight Echo 6 (David Conyers) interviews Jo Anderton.Alt Hist interviews Ian Sales.Novy Interviews Matt Forbeck.Adventures in SciFi Publishing interviews John Jarrold and Tone Milazzo.Loc…

  2. […] Another podcast appearance. This one was conducted via Skype which, given my sluggish Internet connection, was a little come and go. Fortunately editing in post made me sound a lot smoother than I felt. Comments (0) […]

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