Nibble soup dumplings with Brenda Clough as we discuss how Superman started off her science fiction life, whether she's a steeplechase horse or a Kentucky derby horse, the time Harlan Ellison phoned to tell her she wrote like an angel, how surrendering to the concept of "false endings" helped her become a better writer, why she'd never want to be one of her own characters, which Anne McCaffrey book she threw in the trash, why she decided to knit a life-sized giant squid, and more.
Listen in to my lunch with K. M. Szpara and learn about his formative years writing Hanson and Harry Potter fanfic, which darlings he had to kill to complete his first novel, why rewrites are like giving a floofy poodle a haircut, what he didn't know about short stories when he began to write them, the many ways conventions are like big sleepovers, the reason he was able to eat one of George R. R. Martin's dragon eggs, and more.
Dig into BBQ with best-selling horror writer Brian Keene as we discuss why the ending to <em>The Rising</em> isn't as bewildering as some seem to think it is, whether new horror writers should try to replicate his career path, the shady way Brian amassed the largest comics collection in the sixth grade, how Marvel Comics creator Steve Gerber is responsible for him becoming a writer, if he's a Scully who changed into a Mulder as he got older or if he's been a Mulder all along, and more.
Binge on pork buns with Rosemary Claire Smith as we discuss why she can't seem to stop writing about dinosaurs, how her years as a lawyer helped her become a better writer, what caused an angry audience member to confront her after one of her readings, whether she'd be willing to risk Ray Bradbury's butterfly effect by traveling back in time, if there are editorial differences between <em>Analog</em> editors Stanley Schmidt and Trevor Quachri, and much more.
Time travel back to a 1995 mall food court lunch as future Eating the Fantastic host Scott Edelman talks about his first job at Marvel Comics, how he broke into writing for <em>Tales from the Darkside</em>, and the beginnings of <em>Science Fiction Age</em> magazine, while Adam-Troy Castro reveals how he created the first story in the first issue of that magazine, as well as how a cab ride he feared he wouldn't survive turned into one of his most memorable works of fiction.
Grab dinner in Greenwich Village with World Fantasy Award-winning writer Richard Bowes as we discuss his early career as a designer of board games for clients such as the <em>National Lampoon</em>, why "going to conventions sober is beyond me," the political transformation of <em>Li'l Abner</em> creator Al Capp, why everyone during the old folk scene days loathed Bob Dylan, what attracts him about writing mosaic novels, and more.
Sit down for deli with Barry N. Malzberg as we discuss why being able to sell his first drafts was so important at the beginning of his writing career, how his debut short story collection came to be published under the pseudonym K. M. O'Donnell, what it was like to edit both <em>Amazing</em> and <em>Fantastic</em> magazines during the late '60s, the identity of his greatest discovery during his years at the Scott Meredith Literary Agency, what's up with the long-promised movie version of <em>Beyond Apollo</em>, how Harry Harrison could have (but didn't) shut down the filming of <em>Soylent Green</em>, and more.
Chow down on Kansas City-style BBQ with Craig Engler as we discuss what life's like when you're a professional game player for Nintendo, how running the Syfy Channel's digital side led to him getting a shot at writing TV movies such as <em>Zombie Apocalypse</em>, why he wrote <em>Weight Hacking</em>, his geek guide to losing weight and getting fit, plus much more, including behind-the-scenes secrets on the past, present, and future of his hit zombie TV show <em> Z Nation</em>.
Share potato pancakes with award-winning editor Ellen Datlow as we discuss why reading slush is relaxing, which editors she wanted to emulate when she began editing, how she winnows down her favorite stories for her Year's Best anthologies, the complexities of navigating friendships when making editorial decisions, how Ed Bryant challenged her to become a better editor, and much more.
Sit down to an Uzbek dinner with James Morrow as we discuss his first novel (written when he was only seven years old!), why he feels more connected to the fiction of Arthur C. Clarke than that of Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, his many paths not taken, including that of filmmaker, the ethical conundrum which occurred after Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. autographed a book "for Jim Morrow, who writes just like me," how Charles Darwin "confiscated our passports," and much more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.