Chasing the Phoenixby Michael Swanwick (broadcast August 17, 2015) — 5-time Hugo Award winning author Michael Swanwick was in town for three events (the Oak City Comic Show, and readings at Quail Ridge Books and Flyleaf Books) on a tour in support of his new novel Chasing the Phoenix, set in his “Darger and Surplus” post-utopian milieu of con artists, malevolent artificial intelligences, and a pre-industrial collapsed future of genetic manipulation and plagues. That sounds a bit bleak, but they’re actually both darkly and laugh-at-loud funny books as well. (If you want a bit bleak, try Swanwick’s Stations of the Tide or his World Fantasy Award nominated The Iron Dragon’s Daughter.) In studio with co-hosts Mur Lafferty and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn. Swanwick’s last tour date is coming up next Monday (September 21) at the Penn Bookstore in Philadelphia at 6:00 p.m.
Knee Deepby Prologue Games (broadcast July 27, 2015) — Durham-based game studio startup Prologue Games is making waves with its innovative story-driven adventure game Knee Deep, a “swamp noir” of intrigue, murder, and journalism. Owner Colin Dwan and writer/designer Wes Platt joined co-hosts Mur Lafferty and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn in studio to talk about the game design and story for “Act I: Wonderland”.
About the Game
Knee Deep unfolds in the backwater Florida town of Cypress Knee. A washed-up Hollywood actor is found hanging from the iconic tower at the center of Chief Roadside’s Wonderland, a tacky resort that is more of an affront to Native Americans than tourist attraction. You investigate this mysterious suicide through the eyes of three distinct characters: cheeky blogger Romana Teague, beleaguered local newspaper reporter Jack Bellet, and cynical private investigator K.C. Gaddis.
(Left to Right) Mur Lafferty, Colin Dwan, and Wes Platt
Midnight Burningby Karissa Laurel (broadcast July 6, 2015) — North Carolina author Karissa Laurel is the author of this debut contemporary fantasy novel from Garner-based publishing house Red Adept Publishing, and she and publisher Lynn McNamee joined co-hosts Mur Lafferty and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn in studio to talk about the book, editing, publishing, gaming, and more in a “focus on speculative fiction” episode.
About the Book
Solina Mundy lives a quiet life, running the family bakery in her small North Carolina hometown. But one night, she suffers a vivid nightmare in which a wolfish beast is devouring her twin brother, who lives in Alaska. The next morning, police notify her that Mani is dead. Driven to learn the truth, Solina heads for the Land of the Midnight Sun. Once there, she begins to suspect Mani’s friends know more about his death than they’ve let on. Skyla, an ex-Marine, is the only one willing to help her. As Solina and Skyla delve into the mystery surrounding Mani’s death, Solina is stunned to learn that her own life is tied to Mani’s friends, his death, and the fate of the entire world. If she can’t learn to control her newfound gifts and keep her friends safe, a long-lost dominion over mortals will rise again, and everything she knows will fall into darkness.
(Left to Right) Karissa Laurel, Lynn McNamee, and Mur Lafferty
Samantha Bryant (broadcast 04-07-2015) — A “focus on speculative fiction” episode with co-hosts Samuel Montgomery-Blinn and Mur Lafferty and guest Samantha Bryant, Hillsborough author of debut novel Going Through the Change[Goodreads]. “Going through ‘the change’ isn’t easy on any woman. Mood swings, hot flashes, hormonal imbalances, and itchy skin are par for the course. But for these four seemingly unrelated women, menopause brought changes none of them had ever anticipated–super-heroic changes.” And! A (brief) special guest review, as Mur’s daughter a.k.a. Princess Scientist reviewed Ursula Vernon’s forthcoming Castle Hangnail. Enjoy!
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The 2015 Manly Wade Wellman Award Eligibility List (broadcast 12-15-2014) — A “focus on speculative fiction” episode with host Samuel Montgomery-Blinn, primarily occupied with short descriptions of each of the 80-ish novels eligible for the 2015 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy. A cover image gallery of the novels, including additional titles added after this broadcast date, is available at bullspec.com.
Ursula Vernon (broadcast 12-01-2014) — A “focus on speculative fiction” episode with co-hosts Samuel Montgomery-Blinn and Mur Lafferty, interviewing author and illustrator Ursula Vernon. Hugo Award winner Vernon is the author and illustrator of the Danny Dragonbreath series of children’s books, and (as the pseudonymous “T. Kingfisher”) stories and books for adults. We also discuss our “best reads of the year” in science fiction and fantasy and (of course) run down the local event and book calendars.
James Maxey (broadcast 11-03-2014) — A “focus on speculative fiction” episode with co-hosts Samuel Montgomery-Blinn and Mur Lafferty, interviewing Hillsborough author James Maxey. Maxey is the author of superhero novels Nobody Gets the Girl and Burn Baby Burn, epic fantasy series Bitterwood and The Dragon Apocalypse, and a short fiction collection There Is No Wheel. In studio he talks about his new novel Bad Wizard, the story of Dorothy Gale ten years after she returns from Oz. Maxey will host a launch party for the novel on Wednesday, November 5th at the Orange County Library.
Richard Dansky (broadcast 10-13-2014) — A “focus on speculative fiction” episode with host Samuel Montgomery-Blinn and new series co-host Mur Lafferty, interviewing guest Richard Dansky, Durham game writer and author, about his work with Ubisoft/Red Storm, his novels Vaporware and Firefly Rain, and forthcoming RPG book Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition. 90 minutes.