Guardian Books Podcast – SF Special

I have the pleasure of being a guest on this week’s Guardian Books Podcast. This was my second time on the show, but this time around the whole episode is dedicated  to speculative fiction. Hurrah! We discuss the new John Wyndham novel (yes, you heard that right) and the reasons why there are so many sub-genres in SF. Michelle Pauli interviews China Mieville, and I give my SF picks for 2010.

Listen to the Guardian Books Podcast – SF Special


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

7 thoughts on “Guardian Books Podcast – SF Special

  1. Hi Damien,

    I listened to the podcast today, and really enjoyed it. I’ve heard so many good things about The Windup Girl that I’ve got to get my hands on it. But listening to this makes me miss my Sofanauts fix.

    Catch you later,

    Luke B.


    1. Yeah, very sad that Sofanauts is no more. Maybe it will return in some other guise one day. But you are doing a fine job with your podcast, just listened to your Fantasy round-up!


  2. I just released two special episodes with Jesse from SFFaudio as a guest, chatting about invisible man fiction. If it gets good feedback I might have more guests on to help review single novels. Would you be up for it some time later in the spring?


  3. Nice one Damien. It was good to hear Claire and co talking about speculative matters for a change.

    Re. your comments about literary / genre fiction and the analogy with punk rock / classical music: my blog (which is very much in its formative stage) is attempting to address this very point.
    The way you put it, it almost sounds like I’m wasting my time!

    I take your point but there remains plenty of scope for cross-over, even if traditions / demands of the audience mean that it doesn’t happen much, in practice. I would suggest Iain M Banks and Neil Gaiman as exceptions but I hope there are plenty more out there. Do you think this will be a growth area in future, as boundaries break-down and SF and fantasy move closer to the mainstream?



    1. Hi Daniel,

      Yes, I agree that there is real scope for cross-over. The punk-rock analogy was really just to illustrate that genre fiction fiction can have different creative values, that won’t neccesarily satisfy literary readers but that doesn’t make genre fiction ‘lesser’. And yes, Banks and Gaiman both perfect examples of writers that do appeal to genre and literary readers. I think that cross over point is where much of best writing is coming from.




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