Author Archives: montsamu

Focus on Speculative Fiction: Cory Doctorow’s “Walkaway” and John Kessel’s “The Moon and the Other”

IMG_6456 The Moon and the Other Cover

Cory Doctorow and John Kessel [broadcast 2017-04-24] — UTOPIAN FUTURES! Both Doctorow (Walkaway, Tor Books) and Kessel (The Moon and the Other, Saga Press) posit quasi-utopian futures stemming from responses to our current socio-economic-political climate. In Doctorow’s Walkaway, this comes in the form of literally “walking away” en masse from modern society and setting up new forms of living in the blighted post-industrial wildernesses. In Kessel’s novel, this comes in the form of the creation of colonies on the moon, with various structures and cultures, including his “Society of Cousins”, where women hold nearly all political power. Doctorow joins co-hosts Mur Lafferty and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn via phone, ahead of his now ongoing book tour which brings him to Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books on Friday, May 5, before we are joined in studio by Kessel at around the 24 minute mark for a good amount of overlap between our guests. Enjoy!

Kessel and Lafferty in studio.

Kessel and Lafferty in studio.

Focus on Speculative Fiction: Joe M. McDermott and Mur Lafferty on space clones

The Fortress at the End of Time Six Wakes

Joe M. McDermott and Mur Lafferty [broadcast 2017-01-30] — CLONES! CLONES! CLONES! We featured co-host Mur Lafferty’s new Orbit Books novel Six Wakes, a murder mystery set on a spaceship, and guest Joe M. McDermott (via phone) whose just-out Publishing book The Fortress at the End of Time sees a cloned soldier in a remote outpost coming to grips with his really quite awful situation. We talked about clones, space travel, writing, the Stonecoast MFA program, and more.

Focus on Speculative Fiction: 2016 in Review with Ursula Vernon


Ursula Vernon [broadcast 2016-12-19] — Pittsboro author Ursula Vernon and co-hosts Mur Lafferty and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn in studio to talk about the year in books, games, comics, movies, and more. The “more” included surviving the apocalypse, potatoes, soil, and yet more. Enjoy! And see folks out at illogiCon this weekend!

Focus on Speculative Fiction: Brent Winter, “Blood Family”


Brent Winter [broadcast 2016-11-26] — Carrboro author Brent Winter joined host Samuel Montgomery-Blinn in studio to talk about his debut novel Blood Family, a “literary occult thriller” which “explores themes of familial bonds, the weight of the past, and the elusiveness of truth in a world where each level of reality conceals a deeper one beneath it.”

Brent Winter

Brent Winter in studio at WCOM-FM in Carrboro.

[Production note: Huge, huge thanks to Michael Graziano at Thread Audio for salvaging what was a fairly disastrous podcast recording.]

Focus on Speculative Fiction: Rysa Walker, “The Delphi Effect”

9781503938823 timeboundcover_300dpi-200x300 timetrial_01_cover

Rysa Walker [broadcast 2016-10-17] — Cary author Rysa Walker joined co-hosts Mur Lafferty and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn in studio to talk about her new book The Delphi Effect, the first in a new series from the author of the ABNA winning and bestselling CHRONOS Files, that series also being the basis of a new comic book series The Chronos Files: Time Trial.


Focus on Speculative Fiction: Sabaa Tahir (A Torch Against the Night) and Renée Ahdieh (The Rose and the Dagger)

A Torch Against the Night Cover The Rose and the Dagger Cover

Sabaa Tahir and Renée Ahdieh [broadcast 2016-09-05] — San Francisco author Sabaa Tahir (in studio) and North Carolina author Renée Ahdieh (via phone) discuss their latest young adult fantasy novels, A Torch Against the Night and The Rose and the Dagger, ahead of their joint appearance at Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books on Tuesday, September 6. For some background on Tahir and Ahdieh and their books, see my article in this week’s Indy Week.

In studio at WCOM: co-host Mur Lafferty (left) and guest author Sabaa Tahir (right).

In studio at WCOM: co-host Mur Lafferty (left) and guest author Sabaa Tahir (right).

Focus on Speculative Fiction: John Claude Bemis, “The Wooden Prince”


John Claude Bemis [broadcast 2016-08-08] — Hillsborough author John Claude Bemis joined co-hosts Mur Lafferty and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn in studio to talk about The Wooden Prince, the first in his new Out of Abaton series which re-casts the story of Pinocchio in a Steampunk/alchemical/magical Venetian Empire. We also talked about his Clockwork Dark trilogy for young readers, his background in teaching, and his time as the Piedmont Laureate.


Focus on Speculative Fiction: Jay Posey, “Outriders”

Outriders Cover

Jay Posey [broadcast 2016-07-11] — Posey was last in studio for his “Legends of the Duskwalker” series, returning to talk about his new military science fiction novel Outriders (Angry Robot Books, May 3) as well as his work on the forthcoming virtual reality game Star Trek: Bridge Crew (Ubisoft/Red Storm).  Co-hosts Mur Lafferty and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn. Runtime: 68 minutes.

Mur Lafferty (L) and Jay Posey (R) in studio.

Mur Lafferty (L) and Jay Posey (R) in studio.

Focus on Speculative Fiction: John G. Hartness and Gail Z. Martin


John G. Hartness and Gail Z. Martin [broadcast 2016-04-04] — A funny thing happened on my way to the studio on Monday morning. I was planning to just talk about the absolutely packed month ahead of literary events (see the Bull Spec newsletter for the latest listings) and at the very last minute asked Charlotte authors Hartness and Martin if they would have time for quick chats via phone about their latest projects. Success! Hartness has a new “Bubba the Monster Hunter” novella out, but we spent most of the time talking about his putting a shingle out as publisher of Falstaff Books, for many years his own imprint on his self-publishing efforts, and his recent call for submissions for a #WeAreNotThis anthology. Martin has just seen the fourth and concluding book in her Ascendant Kingdoms series published by Orbit Books, and we also talked about several other series she has ongoing as well. And! I did follow through as planned with an overview of the month ahead in books and readings, including Fred Chappell’s appearances in the Triangle this month, along with the Oak City Comicon, Ernest Cline, Felicia Day, and more. Enjoy!

Focus on Speculative Fiction: the 2016 Manly Wade Wellman Award eligibility list

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1) Star Trek: The Original Series: Savage Trade The Night of One Hundred Thieves

The 2016 Manly Wade Wellman Award eligibility list [broadcast 2016-03-07] — Sam’s fairly rapid-fire descriptions (less than a minute each!) of the 115 titles on this year’s Manly Wade Wellman Award eligibility list, an attempt at surveying the entirety of North Carolina’s book-length science fiction and fantasy published last year. Follow along with the cover gallery at Bull Spec if you’re so inclined!