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10-23-09: An Interview with Claire Light at SF in SF / Litquake on October 10, 2009

"The way that writers of color use science fiction is very different..."
        Claire Light

Claire Light is a smart, no-nonsense woman who knows her stuff — and can process it into wonderful science fiction. When I spoke to her at SF in SF on / Litquake on October 10, 2009, what I wanted to know about was the "Carl Brandon Society." Turns out that they'd just taken a major step.

Yes, I'd done my research — I had a few clues about Carl Brandon, and listeners who heard the panel discussion should as well. But hearing the story told by a writer and member of the board is a very different experience from reading about it on the web. Moreover, she tells me stuff you can't really easily find out. Here's the prescription to cure a lack of knowledge about Carl Brandon. First, follow this link to the MP3 audio file of my interview with Claire Light, then once you;ve got the substantive background, give their website, carlbrandon.org, a visit.



10-22-09: Marta Acosta Interviewed at SF in SF / Litquake on October 10, 2009 :

"I think you can connect more with people when you make them laugh..."
        Marta Acosta

When you met Marta Acosta, you're probably going to rapidly find yourself thinking, you know, I think I'd enjoy just about anything this author would write. Acosta speaks with such conviction about humor and writing that one cannot help but be buoyed by her enthusiasm.

Really: had you showed me a "Casa Dracula" novel in the bookstore, I probably would have said, "No thanks." This is a perfect example of why you want to attend gigs like SF in SF, because when you meet an author, you get a very different picture of a work that might not be particularly well-packaged — or that, if it were — you might not think would be your cuppa. So follow this enthusiastic recommendation to this enthusiastic conversation by following this link to the MP3 audio file.



10-21-09: Jewell Gomez at SF in SF / Litquake on October 10, 2009 :

"So first, I decided, OK, I'll get rid of the Christian mythology ...."
        Jewell Gomez

I had an absolute blast talking with Jewell Gomez at SF in SF on October 10, 2009; she's the perfect example of why I enjoy these outings so much. And I suspect that this interview is going lead a lot of readers to pick up her book, 'The Golda Stories.'

Gomez clearly experiences so much joy in her writing, and so much fun as you will hear in this interview that it is certain her fiction will be equally enjoyable — and you already have a reading to convince you of this. Writing is, after all, all about voice. This is a voice you'll definitely want to hear, and voice to which I shall refer you to not just once in this paragraph but twice, to make sure that you follow this link to the MP3 audio file.



10-20-09: Saturday, October 10, 2009 SF in SF / Litquake Panel : Jewell Gomez, Marta Acosta, and Claire Light Moderated by Terry Bisson

Looking for a science fiction convention that meets once monthly and offers just one reading, one panel, comfortable seating and a bar? I can't imagine anything more ideal, really, none of the usual running about from one back-killing chair to another. But that's SF in SF, even when it’s also part of Litquake.

The panel on Saturday, October 10, 2009, was no exception, except that there were three authors rather than the usual two. Jewell Gomez, Marta Acosta, and Claire Light moderated by Terry Bisson proved to be as entertaining as you might expect, offering a variety of opinions and experiences with regards to the topic of "Color Me SF: The Science Fiction Worlds of Octavia Butler and Carl Brandon." We got the lowdown on Carl Brandon, the challenges faced by people of color writing speculative fiction — SF, horror and fantasy — and lots of fascinating anecdotes about Octavia Butler. Here's your link to the P3 audio file.



10-19-09: A 2009 Interview with Max Brooks

"Every day is a fight, you've got to get up and you've got to feel optimistic."
        Max Brooks

I spoke to Max Brooks at NPR West in Los Angeles, after a mad drive down from San Francisco the night before. Having been told so much about the book by so many people, I had really tempered my expectations. Generally, when someone tells me about a horror novel, it's because said novel is particularly grisly. I liked 'The Books of Blood' a lot — but I don’t want every book to be a book of blood. Also, as far as monsters go, zombies are my least favorite. So heading into my Max Brooks reading binge, I wasn't expecting a lot beyond gore, violence and a fairly fast-paced work.

I was shocked to discover that there was not much gore in Brooks' work, and that the horror did not devolve from the fear of the zombies so much as Brooks' outstanding portrayal of the effects of a world-wide plague. And talking to him, I discovered a writer who was fiercely practical, a writer who was interested in people, not monsters. Moreover, Brooks is a superb speaker. You can hear just how superb by following this link to the MP3 audio file of our conversation.



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04-17-15: Commentary : Erik Larson Follows a 'Dead Wake' : Countdown to Destiny

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Erik Larson : " "...said to have been found in the arms of a dead German sailor..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 201: Erik Larson : Dead Wake

04-15-15: Commentary : Peter Bell Reflects 'A Certain Slant of Light' : Strange Stories of Modern Scholars

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Peter Bell : "...I looked up some of the old books..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 200: Peter Bell : Strange Epiphanies and A Certain Slant of Light

03-14-15: Commentary : Marc Goodman Foresees 'Future Crimes' : Exponential Potential

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Marc Goodman : "...every physical object around us is being transformed, one way or another, into an information technology..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 199: Marc Goodman : Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It

03-01-15: Commentary : William Ury on Getting to Yes with Yourself: And Other Worthy Opponents : To the BATNA, Robin!

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with William Ury : ...he proceeded to shout at me for approximately 30 minutes..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 198: William Ury : Getting to Yes with Yourself: And Other Worthy Opponents

02-22-15: Commentary : Jennifer Senior Experiences 'All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood' : Reading Fun for the Whole Fambly!

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Jennifer Senior : "...it becomes a source of enormous tension once a baby comes along..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 197: Jennifer Senior : All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

02-09-15: Commentary : Stewart O'Nan Looks 'West of Sunset' : Twilight of the Great

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Stewart O'Nan : "...we see him as a tragedian because is life is a tragedy..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 196: Stewart O'Nan : West of Sunset

02-04-15: Commentary : Armistead Maupin Maps 'The Days of Anna Madrigal' : Swiftly Flow the Years

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Armistead Maupin : "I could see what silliness was going on while it was happening..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 195: Armistead Maupin : The Days of Anna Madrigal

01-31-15: Commentary : Christine Carter's Path to 'The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work' : Neurohabits

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Christine Carter, Ph.D. : "...a real tipping point..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 194: Christine Carter, Ph.D. : The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work

01-23-15: Commentary : Jake Halpern Pushes 'Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld' : Non-Fiction 21st Century Noir

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Jake Halpern : "...he goes to Las Vegas to this debt-buyers' convention..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 193: Jake Halpern : Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld

01-19-15: Commentary : David Shields and Caleb Powell Assert 'I Think You're Totally Wrong' : The Power to Bicker

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with David Shields and Caleb Powell : "I read no book reviews any more; the level of discussion is really pedestrian." David Shields "I'm just saying it's a conflict of interest!" Caleb Powell

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 192: David Shields and Caleb Powell : I Think You're Totally Wrong

01-17-15: Commentary : Charles Todd Expects 'A Fine Summer's Day' : We Interrupt This Program...

Commentary : Charles Todd Engages In 'A Test of Wills' : The Politics of Passion and Policing

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Charles and Caroline Todd : "...let them be themselves and sort it out..." Caroline Todd "...it's more on a personal level..." Charles Todd

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 191: Charles Todd : A Fine Summer's Day

01-13-15: Commentary : Rosalie Parker Unearths 'The Old Knowledge' : The New Old World

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Ray Russell and Rosalie Parker : "I thought I'd write something for fun.." Ray Russell "..there was a side of me of that was interested in the strangeness..." Ros Parker

01-12-15: Commentary : Richard Ford 'Let Me Be Frank with You' : The Default Years

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Richard Ford : "...most of our politicians are morons..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 190: Richard Ford : Let Me Be Frank with You

01-06-15: Commentary : Bessel van der Kolk 'The Body Keeps the Score' : Human Trauma

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Bessel van der Kolk : "...being able to see what happens in the brain really helps us to understand certain things..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 189: Bessel van der Kolk : The Body Keeps the Score

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