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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: 2024
May 15, 2024

Chow down on cryptid pizza with writer/editor Lesley Conner as we discuss why horror is where she feels the most comfortable as a writer, how her role at <em>Apex</em> magazine grew from Social Media Manager to Chief Editor, her "Price is Right" method of filling out an issue's word count, why she hardly ever reads cover letters, the trends she's seen in the slush pile and what they mean, the key difference between editing magazines vs. anthologies, her longtime obsession with serial killers, how to go on writing after one's writing mentor passes away, and much more.

May 3, 2024

Devour a Georgian dinner with Dan Parent as we discuss why we both loved the legendary Ramona Fradon, how a Charlton Comics pamphlet gave him the tools to take his art more seriously, what he learned working at the start of his career with the great Dan DeCarlo, the character fans demand he draw the most during his convention appearances, the Archie artist who tormented him during his early days, how to respect legacy characters while still keeping them fresh, whose blood got added to the ink of which comics, how hopeful artists can do now what he did then, and much more.

Apr 18, 2024

Sup on scallops with Arthur Suydam as we discuss the way a lengthy hospital stay resulted in him falling in love with comics, what Joe Orlando said to convince him to start his comics career at DC instead of Warren, the permission he was granted upon seeing the ghastly artwork of Graham Ingels, what he learned from dealing with cadavers during his art student days, how Gil Kane hurt his feelings by chewing out his early work, the grief Frank Frazetta got out of dealing with <em>Mad</em> magazine, the way his work for <em>Epic Illustrated</em> made Archie Goodwin squirm, why Marvel teamed him up with Robert Kirkman for its Marvel Zombies project, his reason for avoiding social media like the plague, and much more.

Apr 5, 2024

Join writer Sunny Moraine for dinner as we discuss how the short story version of <em>Your Shadow Half Remains</em> exploded into a novel (and whether either of them would have existed at all without COVID-19), why pantsing is good but can sometimes become a nightmare, the way stories come to them cinematically,  several questions to which I didn't want to know the answers but only whether <em>they</em> knew the answers, the unsettling demands of <em>Skinamarink</em>, why we both love ambiguity but most of the world doesn't, how to interpret and when to implement the feedback of beta readers, the writerly gifts given to us by our subconsciouses,  why their short story days seem to be behind them, the two reasons they hate the process of titling their tales, and much more.

Mar 22, 2024

Join biographer Julie Phillips for Jӓgerschnitzel as we discuss why she called <em>The Baby on the Fire Escape</em> "a weird hybrid monster of a book," the one thing she regrets not researching more thoroughly for her Tiptree bio, the reason there's more space for the reader in a biography than a memoir, why some children of artistic mothers can make peace with their relationships and others can't, the three things she felt it important to squeeze into the seven minutes she was given to speak at Ursula K. Le Guin's memorial service, her writing method of starting in the middle of a book and working out toward both ends, the occasional difficulty of withholding judgement on one's biographical subjects, the relationship between biographer Robert Caro and editor Robert Gottlieb, plus much more.

Mar 8, 2024

Nosh pastrami with Glenn Hauman as we discuss how he shook things up during the earliest days of electronic publishing, the embarrassing high school newspaper writings of Ted Chiang, the way the assembly-line nature of comics keeps many creatives from seeing the big picture, why he's nobody's first choice for anything but everybody's second choice for everything, his pre-teen encounters with another pre-teen fan who eventually became a Marvel Comics Executive Editor, the philosophical question he asked actor Michael O'Hare just before <em>Babylon 5</em> began to air, the lunch that led to his first published short story being about the X-Men, what visiting Don Heck's house at age 12 taught him about artists and taking an art class from John Buscema at age 13 taught him about himself, the plot of the Warren Worthington novel he never got a chance to write, the free speech lawsuit which had him going head to head with the Dr. Seuss estate, plus much more.

Feb 23, 2024

Snack on sushi with Ray Nayler as we discuss how his time living outside the U.S. helped him become a better science fiction writer, why he feels the greatest effect of having written <em>The Mountain in the Sea</em> was a culinary one, the reason we agree our favorite part of writing is rewriting, the sad results of his accidental Facebook experiment, whether his mammoth memory behavior is based on scientific facts or is purely speculative, why we'll likely never be able to truly resurrect extinct species, how changes in culture can affect evolution, the train trip where he received career advice from a stranger he didn't realize was Neil Gaiman, why we aren't totally in control of our writing destinies, how he's haunted by the ghost of an alternate version of himself, plus much more.

Feb 9, 2024

Nibble garlic naan with Jo Miles as we discuss how what began as a short story blossomed into a trilogy, the way to juggle multiple points of view and keep them balanced, the science fictional precursors which helped them create their sentient ship, how to properly pace the arc of a burgeoning romance, the importance of making sure a redemption arc feels earned, the way their mandate for writing optimistic science fiction came to be, the differing ways we were each affected by the pandemic, how the Taos Toolbox workshop teaches writers to break down the beats  of their stories (and why that terrifies me), plus much more.

Jan 23, 2024

Munch MVP sandwiches with MVPs Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan as we discuss why <em>The Coode Street Podcast</em> is "the <em>Cheers</em> of podcasts," the foolish statement made during their first episode which meant there had to be more, the identity of the guest who was most resistant to appearing on their show, the reason the podcast made Paul Cornell want to run, the different interviewing techniques necessary when having conversations with the voluble vs. the reticent, the white whales whom they could never snare, how to make sure we're speaking to more than just our own generations, their advice for anyone who wants to launch a podcast of their own, the way to avoid getting canned responses out of guests, how their conversational methods have changed over 13 years, whether critiquing books or rejecting stories has ever affected relationships with a guest, and much more.

Jan 12, 2024

Join Izzy Wasserstein for Kansas City BBQ as we discuss the way Sarah Pinsker sparked her lightbulb moment, why it's important for her to learn your chosen D&D character, which <em>Star Trek: The Next Generation</em> characters caused her to take her first stab at writing, the change she'd make in her life if she were independently wealthy, why we both miss those paper rejection slips from publishing's pre-electronic days, the disconnect between the way we feel about certain stories of ours and how readers respond, the most important gift she was given by the Clarion writing workshop, our perverse love for second-person present-tense stories, how surprised she was when she sold a story to <em>Analog</em>, and much more.

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