Eating the Fantastic

I’ve been going to science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comic book conventions since I was 15, and I’ve found that while the con which takes place within the walls of a hotel or convention center is always fun, the con away from the con—which takes place when I wander off-site with friends for a meal—can often be more fun. In fact, my love of tracking down good food while traveling the world attending conventions has apparently become so well known that one blogger even dubbed me “science fiction’s Anthony Bourdain.” So after toying for quite awhile with the idea of attempting to replicate in podcast form one of my favorite parts of any convention—good conversation with good friends over good food—it’s finally happening. During each episode, I’ll share a meal with someone whose opinions I think you’ll want to hear, and we’ll talk about science fiction, fantasy, horror, writing, comics, movies, fandom … whatever happens to come to mind. (There’ll also be food talk, of course.) Please note—this will not be a pristine studio-recorded podcast, but one which will always occur in a restaurant setting, meaning that mixed in with our conversation will be the sounds of eating and drinking and reviewing of menus and slurping and background chatter and the servers popping in … in other words, it’ll be as messy as life. And hopefully as entertaining, too. And now … please pull up a chair to the table and get ready to dig in.
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Eating the Fantastic


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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 23, 2016

Join Nalo Hopkinson for lunch at Aggio as we discuss how knowing Nobel Prize winner Derek Wolcott when she was young affected her future, why Samuel R. Delany's <em>The Motion of Light in Water</em> is "a lifesaving book," the Lemonade Award, which she launched to encourage generosity within the science fiction community, that time she cosplayed as Lt. Uhura at her first convention, and much more.

Dec 9, 2016

Take a bite out of a steak-free Philly cheesesteak sandwich with Sam J. Miller during a discussion of the value of community within the science fiction field, the transformative piece of advice he received from Ted Chiang while attending the Clarion Writers Workshop, how one deals with reviews that are more politically than artistically motivated, the way 9/11 changed horror movies, the importance of the life and works of the great Thomas M. Disch, and more.

Nov 25, 2016

Grab Kansas City BBQ with the incredible prolific Robert Reed as we discuss why he believes he isn't as prolific as you think he is, the reason Robert Silverberg was a role model for him as he was getting started, what it was like writing 500-word short shorts for the <em>Destiny</em> videogame, why he didn't read the shooting script when his short story "Truth" was made into the movie <em>Prisoner X</em>, how he really feels about collaboration (hint: he doesn't play well with others), and more.

Nov 11, 2016

Share sushi with Kathleen Ann Goonan as we talk about which side she chose as a kid in the Marvel vs. DC comics rivalry, why she ended up a creator of science fiction rather than fantasy, whether she's a plotter or a pantser when she writes, if she'll ever continue her acclaimed Nanotech Quartet, and more.

Oct 28, 2016

Join Nebula Award-winning writer Alyssa Wong at Gates B-B-Q as we talk about what franchise inspired her to write fanfic, the exciting moment when she first encountered a character who looked like her, where she hopes to be 10 years down the road, how she encountered Faceless Ghost Grandma, why she said, "I hate being bored and I don't like rules," and more.

Oct 14, 2016

Eavesdrop on Adam-Troy Castro as we talk about the epiphany caused by his first viewing of <em>Night of the Living Dead</em>, how he handled a heckler during his early days doing stand-up comedy, the history behind the novel he almost wrote spinning off from the classic TV show <em>The Prisoner</em>, and much more. We even, for reasons you will learn, had cause to sing a few bars of the Johnny Cash classic "Folsom Prison Blues."

Sep 30, 2016

Join David D. Levine for some awesome Kansas City BBQ as we talk about the things being a science fiction fan for so long taught him about being a professional science fiction writer, what it was like contributing to George R.R. Martin's <em>Wild Cards</em> universe after having read the series since Day One, how pretending to live on Mars for two weeks helped him write his newly published novel <em>Arabella of Mars</em>, and much more.

Sep 16, 2016

Grab lobster rolls with F. Brett Cox as we talk of the debate we witnessed between Isaac Asimov and Harlan Ellison in 1974 at our joint first Worldcon, how the Connie Willis story "A Letter from the Clearys" made the scales fall from his eyes, why George Saunders is his "favorite contemporary American short story writer," and more.

Sep 2, 2016

Breakfast with Jeffrey Ford over blood sausage as we talk about how being edited by Jennifer Brehl made him a better writer, what it was like to be taught by the legendary John Gardner, why he admitted "I don't really know dick about science fiction or fantasy," and much more.

Aug 23, 2016

Join Resa Nelson for Indian food and a discussion of how a short story of hers that I published in <em>Science Fiction Age</em> magazine grew into not just a single novel, but a series of novels, why she watches the Japanese  movie <em>The Mystery of Rampo</em>  before beginning any new writing project, what she learned from the hundreds of film interviews she did for <em>Realms of Fantasy</em> magazine,  and more.

Aug 8, 2016

Grab lunch with writer, editor, and foodie Cecilia Tan as we discuss how her self-published Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords gave birth to the Circlet Press empire, the advice she received from Tor publisher Tom Doherty, her love for the Legion of Super-Heroes, the lesson you should learn from the fact mass market publishing finally caught up with what she'd been doing all along, and much more. Plus a few things you might not know about her, such as her her teen presidency of the largest Menudo fan club in the English-speaking world!

Jul 25, 2016

Join award-winning writer Fran Wilde for lunch as we talk about what she lost the night she won her Nebula, her love for Anne McCaffrey's <em>The Ship Who Sang</em>, the power of poetry, why she tries to do one thing a month that scares her, her <em>Cooking the Books</em> podcast, and much more.

Jul 11, 2016

Celebrate Readercon with 15 guests eating 12 donuts -- purchased at the world's first Dunkin' Donuts -- in a “lightning round” episode of Eating the Fantastic! Guests include Greer Gilman, Maria Dahvana Headley, Rajan Khanna, plus a dozen more surprise visitors.

Jul 6, 2016

Eavesdrop on my lunch in Las Vegas with Gene O'Neill as we reminisce about our shared Clarion experience way back in 1979, our reaction upon seeing a stack of Jack London's rejection slips,  the personality trait he shares with Harlan Ellison, what he learned from Carol Emshwiller, what he and Kim Stanley Robinson taught each other during their eight-hour drives to Eugene, Oregon for workshops with Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm, and much more.

Jun 22, 2016

Join Linda Addison for lunch at Yardbird in Las Vegas as we talk of how someone who earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics transformed into a  four-time Bram Stoker Award winning writer, the way a chance encounter with Grand Master Frederik Pohl during a New York is Book Country Festival helped her nail her first sale to <em>Asimov's</em>, why this acclaimed horror poet has now  decided to go from micro to macro and write a trilogy of science fiction novels, and much more.

Jun 8, 2016

Nebula Award-winning writer Mary Turzillo joins me at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas to talk about whether there's a Venn Diagram overlap between her horror and science fiction readership, how her Cajun Sushi Hamsters from Hell writers workshop got its name, why she won't be self-publishing her unpublished novels, what Gene Wolfe taught her about revising her fiction, and much more.

May 26, 2016

Join Maria Alexander at old-timey ice cream parlor Serendipity 3 in Las Vegas as we discuss Mr. Wicker's transformation from a short story to a screenplay to a Stoker Award-winning novel, how she convinced Clive Barker to be her mentor, what's wrong with most of the swordswomen we see on book covers and TV, and much more.

May 13, 2016

Chow down with Lynne Hansen and Jeff Strand at the Carnegie Deli for a chat about how the horror supercouple came together after the 1995 World Horror Convention,  why she's moved on from novels to movies while he's gone in exactly the opposite direction, what writers must keep in mind when creating YA horror, how she's turning one of his novellas into a  full-length movie titled <em>Cold Dead Hands</em>,  and much more.

Apr 29, 2016

Time travel back to 2001 for lunch with science fiction Grand Master Samuel R. Delany at Bistro Bis in Washington, D.C.'s Hotel George as we discuss the 25th anniversary edition of his magnum opus Dhalgren,  the "sheer madness" of trying to write such a book in the first place, the state of the science fiction field during the mid-‘70s, the joys he receives from teaching, and much more.

Apr 15, 2016

Andy Duncan joins me in the Truman booth at Frostburg's Princess Restaurant, where we discuss the profound influence of Richard Pryor on his writing, why he loves playing with real-world historical characters and events in his stories, what it was like to collaborate with Ellen Klages on their award-winning novella "Wakulla Springs," what, if anything, writing teachers can teach, and much more.

Apr 1, 2016

Join Carolyn Ives Gilman at Range in Friendship Heights, Maryland as we discuss what's kept her coming back to The Twenty Planets universe for a quarter of a century, how her first science fiction convention was "total sensory overload," what it was like working with David Hartwell as an editor, why she's not visible on social media, and more.

Mar 15, 2016

Sit down for dinner with writer Tom Doyle at Washington D.C.'s Ethiopic Ethiopian restaurant as we discuss how what was was originally pitched as a standalone novel turned into a surprise trilogy, his fascination with apocalyptic fiction, what effect the Clarion workshop had on his growth as a writer, and much more.

Mar 5, 2016

Join writer, editor, and publisher Bill Campbell at The Jerk Pit in College Park, Maryland for a discussion of the genius of Samuel R. Delany, how Rosarium's first book Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond gave birth to a new publishing company, the challenges of crowd funding creative projects, why he was once blacklisted at convention, and much, much more. 

Feb 20, 2016

Join science fiction writer Bud Sparhawk -- a three-time Nebula finalist and Analog magazine regular -- for lunch with host Scott Edelman at Washington, D.C.'s Cafe Mozart in the second episode as they chat about how Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions anthology inspired him to become a writer, what it was like to write for three different Analog editors over four decades, the plotters vs. pantsers debate, and more.

Feb 10, 2016

Eavesdrop on host Scott Edelman and writer/musician Sarah Pinsker over lunch at Baltimore's Family Meal on the premiere episode of Eating the Fantastic as they discuss her award-winning fiction, how story titles come to be, the differences (and similarities) between writing and performing, the continuing influence of Alice Sheldon (aka James Tiptree, Jr.) and much, much more.