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’s with us to take a dive 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 strangehold 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.
S1 E9 – Lud In The Mist with Juliet E. McKenna – Chronscast
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. I’ve read his latest work, and I believe it to be one of those rare things; a sequel that surpasses the original. To my eye it was more nuanced and sophisticated in its drawing of the characters. But perhaps that’s to be expected as the character of Cory moves from his childlike state in the first book to something approaching adulthood in the second. Best of all was the underlying message that for of our flaws, humanity is worth saving, and worth believing in. And I can’t think of a finer sentiment than that.
Elsewhere Stephen tells us about some of the writing processes, the experience of having two literary agents, and the difficulties of publishing in the 21st century. We also discuss the issue of “Hard” SF against “Soft” SF, and current trends around this question.
Elsewhere The Judge gives a fascinating talk about using the idea of defamation in writing fiction and worldbuilding. We hear Put The
LeftRight Foot In Front Of The Other, Surely?, Stuart Orford’s winning entry from the March 75-word Chrons writing challenge, and there are strange reports of sorcery and dragons in Conneaghy, which for reasons unknown require us to fix them. Such is the life of the modern podcaster.
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.