DiscoverChronscast - The Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror Podcast
Chronscast - The Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror Podcast

Chronscast - The Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror Podcast

Author: Dan Jones, Christopher Bean, Peat Long, Damaris Browne, Brian Sexton

Subscribed: 9Played: 202


Welcome to Chronscast! We are the official podcast of SFF Chronicles, the world's largest science-fiction and fantasy community.  Each episode your hosts Dan Jones, Christopher Bean, and Peat Long will take a deep dive into some classic science-fiction, fantasy, and horror with a special guest.  

We'll also discuss the challenges of writing and publishing SFF, and our guests' experiences. 

Episodes feature specialist advice on writing and publishing from our resident legal beagle Damaris Browne a.k.a The Judge, plus skits from the Irish SFF comic duo An Roinn Ultra. We also feature winners of the writing challenges from SFF Chronicles.

To get in touch please email us at
23 Episodes
You might be forgiven for thinking that us saying we had two of the horror genre's most distinguished filmmakers on the show would be an April Fool's joke, but you should know by now we never, ever joke about our guests (except for RJ Barker, who will forever be known as the Goth King of Leeds). Today we're joined by Gregg Hale and Eduardo Sanchez, who burst onto the moviemaking scene in 1999 with one of the most audacious, innovative and greatest horror movies of all time, The Blair Witch Project. Gregg and Ed have chosen to talk about one of their favourite movies, Jonathan Glazer's 2013 science-fiction horror sleeper Under The Skin. It stars Scarlett Johansson as a mysterious visitor to Earth who inhabits the body of a beautiful young woman, who then drives around Glasgow in a ratty old white van looking for young men to seduce and prey upon. The movie flopped upon release but quickly won a reputation for being one of the great arthouse science-fiction films of this century. We discuss the difference between male and female predation (and the excessive/ monstrous versions of the male and female), chaos versus order, the strange similarities with Snow White, the black goo, and ask who exactly is the bloke on the motorcycle? Plus, Gregg and Ed give their admiration and opinions on how Glazer made such a great-looking film on a shoestring budget, something they know quite a bit about. Elsewhere, Lieutenant Bungalow visits Earth to investigate ghosts. Or was it phantoms? Or was it John Jarrold? It's definitely something to do with spooky goings on in forests... Join us next time for the second part to the interview, where we discuss Gregg and Ed's forthcoming epic multimedia fantasy project Emerald Anvil, consisting of a novel, an audio drama, a video game and even NFT artwork, and they'll be talking to us about their plans for the 25th Anniversary of The Blair Witch Project. Find out more at
Christopher and Dan are joined by horror writer John Langan, whose great horror novel The Fisherman finally is out now in the UK, an inexplicable seven years after being first published in most other territories. John talks to us about the health and wellbeing of Laird Barron, one of the other members of the modern horror brat pack, who suffered recent well-publicised ill-health.  We also talk about the methods and madness of writing short stories,  touch upon a few of John's acclaimed short fiction, and the relationship between geography and horror. Elsewhere Lieutenant Bungalow returns, enlightened, from a trip to Olympus Mons where he found the Salmon of Insight (insight, insight, insight). Captain Halfmikcarton, however, remains unconvinced. Join us next month when we'll be joined by filmmakers Gregg Hale and Ed Sanchez, who'll be talking about Jonathan Glazer's masterful 2013 horror film Under The Skin, as well as their forthcoming project Black Velvet Fairies. They'll also be chatting to us about the 25th anniversary of one of the greatest and most original horror films of all time, The Blair Witch Project. Image credit: Andyp89 of deviantart.
Ahoy ahoy! When the Beanstalker and I were drawing up our wish list for guests on the podcast, there was one name that @Phyrebrat was adamant that we try and get. That was the American author John Langan, who joins us for this episode. John is one of the masters of modern horror and whose seminal book The Fisherman, an exploration of guilt, diaspora history, and weird cosmic horror, won the prestigious Bram Stoker Award. So we finally got hold of John and he joins us this month to celebrate the UK launch of The Fisherman (a full 7 years after its original publication!), and we talk all things horror. We discuss the book, of course, and the trends in horror, both modern and throughout the ages. We touch on Lovecraft, King, and some of the other heavyweights of the genre, but also the modern writers who form the "Brat Pack" of contemporary horror such as Paul Tremblay, Laird Barron, and our Chronscast friend Alison Littlewood. John's a big-hearted bear of a man with a huge, barrelsome laugh, and he was great fun to talk with - we hope you enjoy the episode! This episode features the first half of our talk with John, with the second half to follow in a couple of weeks. Elsewhere, @The Judge casts her line far and wide and reels in a juicy talk about fish and fishing, and your perpetually inept hosts of Mars Radio 14 discover that the core essence of reality itself is magic. Or logic. Or a really big fish. Index: [0:00:00 - 1:05:51] - John Langan interview [1:05:52 - 1:10:52] - Skit [1:10:53 - 1:31:06] - The Judge's Corner 2nqhs38x5ZYM9Bb356IC
Peat and Dan are joined by Anne Perry, publishing director at Jo Fletcher Books. Anne talks  with us about the state of the publishing market in 2023, and what authors ought to consider when positioning their book in the market.  We talk about the rising prices of books, the price differential between different regions, subscription-based business models, printing-on-demand, and how the high street retail mode, has changed in the face of internet growth. Elsewhere, Lieutenant returns from the Corridors of Time (time, time, time etc) and brings back disturbing news about the future of humanity.  Thinking of setting up your own podcast? Use our special link to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.
We're back after the summer break, and are joined by Anne Perry, the publishing director at Jo Fletcher Books, to talk about Naomi Novik's 2015 fantasy bestseller, Uprooted. Based upon aspects of rural Polish folklore, Uprooted follows Agnieszka, a plain village girl who is shocked to learn that she is to be taken away to live with The Dragon, a powerful and distant wizard who lives in a tower at the edge of the valley, and protects them from a malevolent and expanding forest.    Anne, Peat and Dan discuss the feminine voice and perspectives the book offers, from friendship to romance, and why this was unusual when it was initially sold in 2014. We talk about the malevolent Wood, its echoing of Mythago Wood, and how it spawned an era of new, female oriented fantasy. We also discuss the various aspects of the male characters, and how outward hostility can hide redemptive transformation, when the female enters into their domain in the correct way. The Judge offers a brilliant talk on a topic very relevant to writers of all stripes, namely the issue of copyright of characters, showing cases as diverse as Sherlock Holmes, Only Fools And Horses, Discworld, and Spawn. Lastly, Captain Halfmilkcarton insists that Lt Bungalow clean up his mess, without much success. Join us next time when we'll continue our talk with Anne Perry, talking about the state of publishing in 2023, how this affects authors, booksellers, bookshops, and the pros and cons and indie and self-publishing. Index Anne Perry Interview [0:00:00 - 55:37] Skit (55:45 - 58:37] The Judge's Corner [58:38 - 1:14:36] Credits and close [1:14:37 - 1:15:12]
So! After a few technical hitches and delays our bumper new episode is finally up. The Big Peat and I are joined by the award-winning fantasy author RJ Barker, whose novel The Bone Ships won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 2020. Together we rabbit on about Richard Adams's 1978 classic piece of children's fantasy literature, Watership Down. Watership Down follows a group of rabbits who, led by the reluctant but resourceful leader Hazel, leave the safety of their warren after Hazel's younger brother Fiver, has a Cassandra-like premonition of a catastrophe befalling their home. So, joined by the doughty enforcer Bigwig, who loves nothing more than a scrap, the storyteller Dandelion, the quick-witted Blackberry, and a ragtag bunch of others, they embark on an odyssey to find a new home. A few square miles of west Oxfordshire countryside becomes the canvas for an epic tale of adventure in which the rabbits encounter danger, despair, tragedy, unexpected friendships, tyranny, war, and peace. With RJ we talk about the strange worldbuilding of the book, including rabbit language and mythology, the English countryside setting, and the various forms of social order presented by the different warrens found in the book. Elsewhere we talk about RJ's forthcoming book Gods of The Wyrdwood, his heavy metal roots, and his route into publishing. Along the way we discuss chimps, muppets, Goth make up, and how the film Excalibur saved RJ's life in Leeds. The Judge gives us a follow-up to her talk on trial by combat with another, broader talk about early criminal trials, including trials by ordeal, and how this may be used in our writing and worldbuilding, and we hear the winning 75-word entry from April by emrosenagel. Lastly, our roving reporters from Mars FM give us an interview with a chap who claims to have visited Venus and seen the most incredible creatures, who bear an uncanny similarity to something else encountered in this episode. Enjoy! Next month In July we'll be joined by Anne Perry, Director of Publishing at Quercus Books, a subsidiary of Hodder & Stoughton. Anne will be talking with us about Naomi Novik's beautiful and multi-award-winning 2015 novel Uprooted. Index [00:00 - 54:04] - RJ Barker Interview pt 1 [54:05 - 57:03] - skit 1 [57:04 - 1:17:04] - The Judge's Corner [1:17:05 - 1:17:55] - Challenge winner [1:17:57 - 1:21:53] - skit 2 [1:21:54 - 2:16:15] RJ Interview part 2 [2:16:16 - 2:17:54] credits and close
It's Coronation Day! Well, not quite. But in the UK we are steadily approaching the moment when the king, Charles III, formally takes the Oath and is crowned.  This month we're tackling Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan, the first book in the seminal Gormenghast series. Titus follows the birth of the titular character and the first eighteen months of his life, which culminates in a very strange, ersatz coronation of its own. Joining Pete and me as we clamber across the rooftops and sneak through the dungeons of Gormenghast is the author Toby Frost, best known for his the Space Captain Smith novels, Dark Renaissance fantasy series, and Straken from the Warhammer 40K universe. We consider the sprawling castle-state of Gormenghast and it means when the old and new clash head-on, and specifically what it means when the ossified state, for so long indulged in its own wilful blindness and ritualised behaviour, comes into contact with the shock of the new, especially when the "new" - in this case, the kitchen boy Steerpike) is violent, psychopathic, and ruthless. We consider the utterly bizarre and grotesque cast of characters, from the wilfully blind, Prospero-like Earl Sepulchrave, who ostensibly rules the castle, to the ensemble of witless, violent, and occasionally noble people who live beneath his crumbling sovereignty. And we consider Titus himself, a marginalised titular character if ever there was one, who only appears as a baby, and yet whose coronation the book slowly builds to. Elsewhere, The Judge considers the coronation as a way of revivifying the state, just as we mentioned when discussing Excalibur last month). She considers the Crown Jewels, the Coronation Oath, and how the relationship between the Crown and its subjects has changed over the centuries. To see how a real monarchy like the House of Windsor can stop itself from becoming a fossilised version of itself a la Gormenghast, The Judge shows how the coronation is a living, shifting thing, where rituals, symbols and laws either change or stay the same to maintain a crucial balance between antiquity and modernity. Though Bean is away this month he's still here in spirit as he won the 75 word challenge this March with his entry The Death Of Ageing, and The Martian Space Force find unexpected kindred spirits in the crazy, smelly, stupid inhabitants of Gormenghast. Next month Next month we'll be joined by the winner of the British Fantasy Award and one of the brightest lights of modern fantasy, the author RJ Barker, who will be talking with us about one of his greatest loves, Richard Adams's Watership Down. Index [0:00:00 - 56:42] Interview Part 1 [0:56:43 - 0:59:59] Skit [1:00:00 - 1:15:05] The Judge's Corner [1:15:06 - 1:16:21] Challenge Winner [1:16:22 - 1:55:25] Interview Part 2 [1:55:26 - 2:00:40] Credits and close
Merlin's Beard! What better topic to talk about as we enter the springtime and the regeneration of the land than Excalibur and the legend of Arthur, King of the Britons, who is prophesied to restore the land to verdance and glory and who knows much about the average velocity of unladen swallows. But we'll not be focusing on that particular cinematic incarnation of the once and future king. We'll be talking about the operatic 1981 John Boorman film Excalibur, which boldly attempts to condense a significant amount of Thomas Malory's 15th century manuscript, Le Morte d'Arthur, into two and-a-half hours of dreamlike cinema. Joining us to talk through this is the fantasy author Bryan Wigmore, best known for his ongoing fantasy series The Fire Stealers, comprising The Goddess Project (2017), The Empyreus Proof (2018), and the forthcoming third instalment, The Mandala Praxis. With Bryan we discuss Arthur's connection to the land, what the Holy Grail represents, why it appears in the story when it does, and the mysterious figure of the Fisher King. We discuss the explicitly Christian imagery, the use of opera music in the score, the preponderance of Irish accents in a story about the King of the Britons (clue: it was filmed in County Wicklow); the scalable aspect of the Arthurian story, Merlin's pratfalls, and Brian Blessed's head. We also talk about Bryan's own work and its foundation upon such ancient myths as these; his use of the land and the environment, the question of timing a publication to retain its topicality, and the bones of myth. We also talk about his forthcoming YA fantasy series called Earthwyrms, which leans heavily upon the Arthurian mythos, and we pester him for an update on when The Mandala Praxis will be ready. Elsewhere, The Judge throws down her own gauntlet and challenges us to trial by combat, and how that strange aspect of the ancient judiciary came to be, and how the trial by combat we see in such films as Excalibur might work in reality. We also hear Paranoid Marvin's victorious 75-word challenge entry from February, and The Judge's winning entry to the January 300-word writing challenge. Finally, a certain King Of The Britons is perturbed and discombobulated when he is approached by the Lieutenant Bungalow of the Martian space force for a rare interview.
Introducing Peat Long

Introducing Peat Long


When Chronscast was originally set up I wanted different co-host folks for different co-host strokes. I wanted my guest today, the blogger Peat Long, to contribute to the podcast particularly in the area of fantasy fiction, in all its guises and possibilities. For various reasons he couldn't commit at the start of the venture, but I'm pleased to say that Peat has agreed to be an occasional co-host with me in the future. Today Peat and I are having a short conversation to introduce him, his thoughts on genre fiction, his prolific blog, and his own writing habits and capacities. Pete will be joining us later in the spring to discuss books such as Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan, and Stephen Donaldson's Lord Foul's Bane. Links Peat Long's Blog [] Next Episode Our next full episode will see Bean and I joined by the inimitable Bryan Wigmore, who'll be telling us how to make like Michael Jackson and heal the world with the sword pulled from the stone in John Boorman's 1981 Arthurian epic, Excalibur.
Sandman with Tade Thompson

Sandman with Tade Thompson


We're joined today by Tade Thompson, the multi award-winning author of such books as Rosewater, Making Wolf, Far From the Light of Heaven, and the Molly Southbourne novellas. He is also a self-confessed comics junkie, which he proved when he joined us last year to delve into the great WATCHMEN. This year Tade talks with us about Sandman, arguably Neil Gaiman's greatest piece of work, and another example of the comic book medium bursting free from its pulpy roots and demonstrating that it can stand up as art and literature. Sandman's mantelpiece, groaning under the weight of a World Fantasy Award (the only comic to have achieved this), a Bram Stoker Award, and no fewer than 26 Eisner awards, attests to this. The recent and long-awaited Netflix adaptation of Sandman starring Tom Sturridge has also been a worldwide success. Be warned! This show comes with huge spoilers not just for the first couple of volumes of Sandman, which have been adapted by Netflix, but for the whole comic book series, and we will be discussing the final ending. You have been advised! We talk about the psychoanalytic and mythological structures that form the foundation of Sandman, and particularly the characters of Dream and his siblings. We discuss our capacity as humans to use our dreams to simulate strategies in the waking world, and why dreams rub up against desires. Tade walks us through the history of the Sandman IP, and we pontificate on whether a piece of work such as this can be fully formed in the mind of the author, or whether it was discovered as Gaiman progressed through the telling. We also discuss horror more generally, reflecting some recent conversations on the Chrons boards, and how to best define that slippery genre. In particular we talk about Tade's most recent novella Jackdaw, a magnificent exploration into obsession, art, the creative act, and its relationship to science. Elsewhere The Judge wraps up the topic of plagiarism, with some advice to authors on how we can protect ourselves against copyright infringement, or having your work stolen. Important stuff for all writers, so take note. Our winner from January's 75-word challenge is Ashleyne and, staying with our topic of dreams, we see what happens when Captain Halkmilkcarton from Mars Radio 14 attempts to stay awake for three weeks straight. Listener Poll Lastly, please fill out our very short poll, which is going to inform some future content we're bringing to the show. Next Month Next month we'll be joined by none other than Bryan Wigmore, author of the Fire Stealers series, including The Goddess Project and The Empyreus Proof, to talk about John Boorman's 1981 cinematic take on the Arthurian myth, Excalibur.  Index [0:00:00 - 0:51:23] Tade Thompson talk part 1 [0:51:24 - 54:53] Skit 1 [0:54:54 - 1:08:18] - The Judge's Corner [1:08:19 - 1:09:51] - 75-word challenge winner [1:09:52 - 1:12:25] - Skit 2 [1:12:25 - 2:01:46] - Tade Thompson talk part 2 [2:01:46 - 2:03:43] - Credits and close
We see in 2023 with Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey, the hosts of the Strange Studies of Strange Stories podcast covering genre fiction. As well podcasting, they are quite the polymath duo; Chad is a filmmaker, screenwriter, and musician, and Chris is a writer of books for tabletop RPGs and co-host of other podcasts such as Rachel Watches Star Trek. Chad and Chris's bread and butter is H.P Lovecraft - they cut their teeth on HP Podcraft, a podcast dedicated to the master of cosmic horror - and they join us today to talk about a movie that has Lovecraftian DNA running through it - John Carpenter's The Thing, the 1982 science-fiction horror masterpiece. We'll talk about the evolution of the film, from At the Mountains Of Madness to Who Goes There?; we'll cover fears of the unknown, a post-Covid reading of the film, and ponder upon alternative versions of the film starring Ernie Hudson and Christopher Walken (which almost happened!). We also chat about the various projects Chad and Chris have on the go, including Chad's 2022 movie The Time Capsule, his music with Pitch Black Manor, and Chris's unexpected podcasting adventures with his wife Rachel. Elsewhere The Judge concludes her series of talks on plagiarism, we hear Mosaix's winning entry from December's 75-word writing challenge, and Elon Musk tells Mars Radio FM how his acquisition of Twitter is paving the way for his journey to the Red Planet. Links The Strange Studies Of Strange Stories [] Podcast Chad's band Pitch Black Manor [] Chad's movie The Colossus, adapted from Clark Ashton Smith's short story, can be viewed for free (!!) on Youtube []. For more info on Chad's 2022 sci-fi romance movie The Time Capsule visit Chris's other podcast, Rachel Watches Star Trek, is available on all good podcast platforms, and there are more details here []. Index [0:00:00 - 0:41:07] - Interview Part 1 [0:41:08 - 0:43:26] - Skit 1 [0:43:27 - 0:59:25] - The Judge's Corner [0:59:26 - 1:00:41] - 75-word challenge [1:00:42 - 1:03:37] - Skit 2 [1:03:38 - 1:31:24] - Interview Part 2 [1:32:25 - Close] - Credits
As the nights draw in and we approach the midwinter, what better way to celebrate the season than dipping into that most macabre of festive traditions, the Christmas ghost story? While we're all familiar with Dickens's A Christmas Carol, more modern traditions include the BBC's A Ghost Story For Christmas, adaptations of typically M.R James stories, and which themselves are continuations of ancient storytelling customs that stretches back several centuries, when midwinter and the winter solstice, rather than Hallowe'en, was the time of year where the veil between the lands of the living and the dead was at its thinnest. Adding to that tradition is our guest Alison Littlewood, the author of Mistletoe, a festive Gothic ghost story that follows in those traditions of tales that see the past interfering with the present, seeking reconciliation and peace. We discuss the idea of the revivification of the bleak midwinter landscape, folk horror and how Christmas builds upon more ancient customs, rites. We talk about short stories, and where the market lies for them in 2022 and 2023, the necessity of failure, and how writers can keep their heads up even when through those long bleak winters of grafting which yield little fruit. Elsewhere The Judge updates us all on matters relating to plagiarism (don't do it, kids), and November's winner of the 75-word challenge, our very own Brian Sexton, with his reimagining of the Moon Landings. Last but not least, reports of paranormal activity emanating from the planet Earth catch the attention of the Martian Space Force Ghosthunting Division, and lead to some confusion as to the true meaning of Christmas. Merry Christmas, and thanks to everyone who tuned in to listen throughout this year. See you in 2023! Links and further reading Mistletoe [] Whistle, And I'll Come To You My Lad (youtube) [] Ralan [] - the place to visit for finding short story markets Index [0:00:00 - 35:36] - Alison Littlewood interview part 1 [35:37 - 38:07] - Skit 1 [38:09 - 53:23] - The Judge's Corner [53:29 - 55:48] - Skit 2 [55:54 - 58:18] - Writing Challenge Winner [58:20 - 1:33:13] - Alison Littlewood Interview Part 2 [1:33:14 - 1:35:15] - Credits and close Next Month Next month we'll be joined by Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey, hosts of the H.P Podcraft and Strange Studies podcasts, to talk about the 1982 cult science-fiction horror masterpiece, John Carpenter's The Thing.
This month we're talking about one of the all-time classics of science-fiction literature, and arguably the book that demonstrated science-fiction could be literature: Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand Of Darkness, a million-selling Hugo and Nebula winner. We talk about the book's enduring legacy, its approach to worldbuilding, character, and loose(ish) plot, and how the book plays with ideas of light, darkness, a balance of the two, and ultimately, love. We also dig into the book's sexual politics, the extent to which the book is feminist with respect to its portrayals of sex and gender, and the controversies that greeted the book from some surprising sources.  Joining us to talk about Le Guin's book is the author Emily Inkpen. Emily was born in South London and raised on the South Coast of England, but moved to Glasgow for her university years and now lives in Berkshire. She juggles copywriting for Marmalade Game Studio with writing novels, short stories and audio drama, and is the Social Media Officer for the BSFA. Elsewhere The Judge talks about monarchies in our writing, particularly pertinent given the recent succession in the UK. We have the winner of the Chrons October 75-word writing challenge, and peace talks at the 43rd Andromeda conference sadly collapse when the discussion turns to the erotic properties of golden eagles. Naturally. Join us in December for a talk about Christmas ghost stories with the author Alison Littlewood! Index [00:00 - ] Emily Inkpen Interview Pt 1 Voicemail 1 The Judge's Corner Writing Challenge Voicemail 2 Emily Inkpen Interview Pt 2
This month we're joined by the author fantasy author Juliet E. McKenna, creator of several epic series including The Tales of Einarinn, The Aldabreshin Compass sequence, The Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution, and The Hadrumal Crisis trilogy. Juliet talks to us about one of the very first examples of what we might term "modern fantasy" - Hope Mirrlees' 192 novel Lud In The Mist. Juliet and I talk about where Lud sits in the canon of fantasy - we compare it to Tolkien, for example, and Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast books, as well as other modernist literature from the post-WW1 years of the 1920s.  There is talk about borders, the liminal spaces between spaces, and the reconciliation of our own prejudices and biases, as well as of silly names and Mirrlees's "interesting" approach to worldbuilding. Juliet talks to us about her own writing experiences, with particular reference to English folklore, myth, and the countryside, which is prevalent throughout her work and none more so than her current Green Man cycle of novels and her forthcoming Arthurian novel The Cleaving. We also discuss fantasy emerging from other cultures and parts of the world, and how writers should approach the writing and representation of other cultures.  Elsewhere, The Judge takes a break from her advisory talks and gives her own opinion and analysis of Lud In The Mist, which places the idea of laws, frameworks, and legal structures at the heart of the novel. We have two writing challenge winners in Doug Van Aarten and Jo Zebedee. Lastly, to coincide with the 40th anniversary release of Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Captain Kirk is having trouble getting hold of the Division 4 football results, and lays the blame squarely on a certain green-blooded, pointy-eared crew member.  Next Month In October we'll be joined by the author Steven Hall to discuss his smash hit debut novel The Raw Shark Texts.  Index [00:00 - 43:53] Juliet E McKenna interview Part 1 [43:53 - 45:17] Voicemail 1 [45:17 - 1:01:13] The Judge's Corner [1:01:13 - 1:02:24] Voicemail 2 [1:02:24 - 1:05:47] Writing Challenge Winners [1:05:7 - 1:07:09] Voicemail 3 [1:07:09 - 1:48:55] Juliet E McKenna interview part 2 [1:48:55 - 1:51:01] Credits and close
This month we're joined by the award-winning British-Canadian author, poet and essayist Naomi Foyle, to talk about Inish Carraig, the alien-invasion-cum-prison break thriller by our very own @Jo Zebedee. Among the topics we cover is the quintessential "Norn Irishness" of the book, conveyed without ever lapsing into cliché, but yet acknowledging the unique history and culture of the place in a subtle and different manner. We also talk about the physiology of alien species, robots, the gothic setting, and the different identities and representations the book plays with. Elsewhere we also discuss the possibilities and processes that enable writers to access Arts Council funding (England only) to further their writing careers. Specifically we talk about adapting one's own work for other media; Naomi recently adapted her own Gaia Chronicles quartet of SF novels into a multimedia stage show, Astra, featuring cutting-edge puppetry, acting, music, and technical effects, and she discusses the mammoth effort this has entailed. @The Judge corners us with another fascinating talk, this time about privacy. Her Honour also relates her winning entry from the July 75-word challenge, The Eternal Scapegoat, and (we think) Sally Rooney is having trouble with the accuracy - and the characters - of her latest, er, science fiction epic. Next Month In September's episode we'll be talking to fantasy author Juliet E. McKenna about Hope Mirrlees's 1926 prototypical fantasy novel, Lud-In-The-Mist. Index [0:00:00 - 55:30] Naomi Foyle Interview Part 1 [55:30 - 56:42] Voicemail 1 [56:43 - 1:12:33] The Judge's Corner [1:12:38 - 1:13:45] Voicemail 2 [1:13:45 - 1:14:53] Writing Challenge Winner [1:14:54 - 1:15:35] Voicemail 3 [1:15:37 - 2:00:44] Naomi Foyle Interview Part 2 [2:00:45 - 2:02:49] Credits and Close
We're joined by one of the kings of UK science-fiction and fantasy, the literary agent John Jarrold, to talk about Rob Holdstock's majestic 1984 novel Mythago Wood, winner of the World Fantasy Award. Over a career spanning almost fifty years John has become one of the leading lights and champions for British genre fiction, and a household name within that community. In the publishing industry he has run three SFF imprints: Legend at Random House; Earthlight at Simon & Schuster, and Orbit books, where one of his authors was none other than Rob Holdstock. These days he runs the John Jarrold Literary Agency, with and continues to be a hugely influential and popular figure in the industry and SFF community. We talk about the peculiar Englishness of Mythago Wood, with respect to its post-war setting, which informs the damaged male characters at the heart of the book and how this in turn has an impact on the representation of the female characters present. We also touch upon the cycle of myth and history, the myth of the hostile brothers, and Holdstock's wonderful writing style.  John brings his enormous experience to bear as we talk at length about the publishing industry and how it has changed over the last fifty years. He is armed with great anecdotes, and the list of people he's worked with over the years read like a Who's Who of international SFF. Elsewhere Damaris Browne dishes up some salacious details on how to handle the issue of privacy, and how to approach using real-life people in your stories (spoiler alert: very, very carefully). Christine Wheelwright reads Weeping Willows, her winning 75-word entry from June's writing challenge, and the trees in Slish Wood are not - I repeat not - of interest to the CIA. Join us next month when our guest will be the novelist, poet and essayist Naomi Foyle, who'll be talking with us about Jo Zebedee's alien invasion-cum-prison break thriller Inish Carraig. Further Reading There'll Always Be An England in Mythago Wood [] Index [0:00:00 - 49:15] John Jarrold Interview Part 1 [49:16 - 50:24] Voicemail 1 [50:25 - 1:05:10] The Judge's Corner [1:05:16 - 1:06:14] Voicemail 2 [1:06:15 - 1:07:20] Writing Challenge Winner [1:07:21 - 1:08:36] Voicemail 3 [1:08:37 - 2:02:12] John Jarrold Interview Part 2 [2:02:13 - 2:04:18] Credits and Close
This episode we finally open that door of the Chronscast household we'd not dared to open before and plunge into the abyssal labyrinth that is Mark Danielewski's maddeningly epic debut novel, House Of Leaves. A book that defies conventional categorisation, it's been described as a horror, a literary piece, a puzzle, and even a love story. We're joined on this subterranean literary odyssey by renowned literary agent Ed Wilson. Ed is the director of the Johnson & Alcock literary agency, representing a vibrant and developing list of fiction and non-fiction, from new and debut writers to established, bestselling and award-winning authors. With Ed we gleefully dip down the House Of Leaves rabbithole, discussing ergodic literature, innovation in writing, the perils of overanalysing texts, and the Manic Street Preachers. We also chat about the submissions process and navigating the slush pile, and the options open to authors and agents. Elsewhere, The Judge gives a sumptuous talk on the use of clothing in worldbuilding, and the effects that clothing can have on society, and our writing. We'll hear the winning entries to May's 75-word challenge, and April's 300-word challenge, written by Oliver Helm and Victoria Silverwolf respectively, and we get an unexpected phone call from an ex-President of the United States, whose home extension has gotten out of hand and seems to lead to the belt of Orion. Join us next month when we'll be joined by literary agent John Jarrold to talk about Rob Holdstock's winner of the 1984 World Fantasy Award, Mythago Wood. Index [00:00 - 52:54] Ed Wilson Interview Part 1 [52:54 - 54:07] Voicemail 1 [54:08 - 1:08:28] The Judge's Corner [1:08:28 - 1:09:10] Voicemail 2 [1:09:11 - 1:12:31] Writing Challenge Winners [1:12:32 - 1:13:43] Voicemail 3 [1:13:44 - 2:07:31] Ed Wilson Interview Part 2 [2:07:32 - 2:09:36] - Credits
WATCHMEN with Tade Thompson

WATCHMEN with Tade Thompson


On this episode of Chronscast we're joined by award-winning SF author Tade Thompson to talk about WATCHMEN, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's comic-book masterpiece that skewers the superhero genre using its own architecture. Tade is the author of numerous novels, including the critically acclaimed sci-fi novel Rosewater, the first in his award winning WORMWOOD TRILOGY, Making Wolf, and most recently Far From the Heaven, and the Molly Southbourne series. He has won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Nommo Award, the Kitschies Golden Tentacle award, and the Julia Verlange award, and been shortlisted for the Hugo Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, and the Shirley Jackson Prize. We talk about how WATCHMEN reflects contemporary 1980s existential anxieties around the Cold War nuclear annihilation, and how it skewers the absurd braggadocio of the superhero genre. We dig down into the weeds of the book, picking apart the characters, their differing pathologies, and whether salvation lies in a masked figure. We ask how the genre can innovate from here, and why WATCHMEN endures. We also touch on the free spiritedness of Manga, writing fractured timelines as seen in Rosewater, and how the creation of narratives builds a psychological bridge between art and clinical practice. The Judge gives us the second part of her talk on defamation, reminding us the usually the only winners of such altercations are the lawyers - so watch out! Elsewhere we hear Starship, Christine Wheelwright's excellent winning entry to the April 75-word writing challenge, and Superman has an axe to grind with Pine Marten Man... or is he just jealous? Further Reading You Better Watch Yourself [] Superfolk [] The Kryptonite Kid [] Quack This Way [] Where Are You Now, Batman? [] Join SFF Chronicles for free [] Join us next time when we'll be joined by Ed Wilson, literary agent and director of the Johnson & Alcock literary agency. Ed will walk with us through the labyrinth that is Mark Danielewski's mad millennial monster story House Of Leaves. Index [00:00:00] Tade Thompson Interview Part 1 [1:04:03] Voicemail 1 [1:05:10] The Judge's Corner [1:18:03] Voicemail 2 [1:19:00] Writing Challenge Winner [1:21:02] Voicemail 3 [1:22:00] Tade Thompson Interview Part 2
Today we're joined by Stephen Cox, the author of the science-fiction drama Our Child Of The Stars, and the newly-published sequel, Our Child Of Two Worlds, both published by Jo Fletcher Books. Stephen dives with us into Fritz Leiber's swords-and-sorcery classic, Swords And Deviltry, which introduces two of fantasy's greatest heroes, the barbarian Fafhrd, and the sly swordsman Gray Mouser. We talk about the origin stories of the two heroes, and the psychodramas contained therein, paying attention to how the young protagonists must each escape the very different types of parental stranglehold to make their own way in the world; the female characters of the world of Nehwon; and Leiber's huge, pervasive influence upon the fantasy genre in all its guises, from fiction to D&D to computer gaming.  We also take an in-depth look at Stephen's latest novel, Our Child Of Two Worlds, which continues the story of the charming but lost alien child Cory, and introduces an existential threat to humanity from the outer reaches of the cosmos. Stephen tells us about some of his writing processes, the experience of having two literary agents, and the difficulties of publishing in the 21st century. We also discuss the question of "Hard" SF versus "Soft" SF, and how this is affecting current trends in the genre. Elsewhere The Judge provides fascinating historical (and futuristic) information on how writers might use the issue of defamation for their worldbuilding. We hear Stuart Orford's winning entry from the March 75-word writing challenge, and strange reports of dragons and sorcerers abound in Kinnegad, near the bus stop. Join us in May when our guest will be the multiple award-winning author Tade Thompson, who will be waxing lyrical about Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's comic book maxiseries masterpiece, WATCHMEN. Index [00:00] Stephen Cox Interview Part 1 [38:57] Voicemail 1 [39:41] The Judge's Corner [54:55] Voicemail 2 [55:54] Writing Challenge Winner [56:55] Voicemail 3 [58:05] Stephen Cox Interview Part 2  Links Stephen Cox's website and blog Join Chrons for free
For this episode we're joined by Richard Sheppard, host of The Constant Reader Podcast, which takes a deep dive into all things Stephen King, from his numerous novels to the equally numerous movie and TV adaptations of his work. Richard talks with us about John Landis's seminal 1981 film An American Werewolf in London, a horror comedy that is funny and scary in equal measure, and remains the high watermark for werewolf movies everywhere, and especially so for a curious period in the early 1980s when werewolf fever seems to have had America in its lycanthropic claw. We talk werewolves in general, taking in themes of duality, Jewishness, sexuality, the Beauty and the Beast myth, and of course, the literally transformative advances made in movie make-up and special effects technology in the late 1970s and early 1980s. We also take the time to talk about The Constant Reader Podcast, about podcasting more generally, and the possibilities of making your voice heard using non-conventional means. Elsewhere, The Judge delivers her verdict on defamation, we'll hear Third Player, our very own Christopher's winning entry from the January 300-word challenge, and A Better Yesterday, Reiver33's winning entry from the February 75-word challenge, and a regular evening down in Slish Wood takes a turn for the worse when a full Moon appears from behind the clouds... Further Reading and Links The Constant Reader Podcast [] Join SFF Chronicles for free [] Index [00:00] Richard Sheppard Interview Part 1  [47:20] Voicemail 1 [48:23] The Judge's Corner [1:02:24] Voicemail 2 [1:03:08] Writing Challenge Winners [1:06:18] Voicemail 3 [1:07:08] Richard Sheppard Interview Part 2 Join us next month when we talk to author Stephen Cox about swords and sorcery in Fritz Leiber's genre classic Swords And Deviltry, featuring two of fantasy's greatest heroes, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, and Stephen's latest novel Our Child Of Two Worlds.
Comments (1)

Douglas Van Aartsen

This podcast is a wonder of a deep dive into great SF and Fantasy books. Recommended for serious readers

Nov 8th
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