Chronscast Episode 4 – Swords & Deviltry!

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 E5 – WATCHMEN with Tade Thompson Chronscast

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
  1. S1 E5 – WATCHMEN with Tade Thompson
  2. S1 E4 – Swords And Deviltry with Stephen Cox
  3. S1 E3 – An American Werewolf In London with Richard Sheppard
  4. S1 E2 – Klara And The Sun with Jo Zebedee
  5. S1 E1 – Northern Lights with Stephen Palmer

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.

That rare thing: a superior sequel

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.

Stephen Cox, author of Our Child Of Two Worlds

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.

Published by Dan Jones

I'm a science fiction writer and podcaster. My debut novel Man O’War was published in 2018 by Snowbooks, and I’ve had a few short stories published here and there. I also host Chronscast, the official podcast of SFF Chronicles, the world's largest science-fiction and fantasy community. Away from writing I work for the UK Space Agency on a programme of space robotics for advanced satellite and planetary exploration technologies. All of which comes in rather handy when coming up with new ideas for science fiction stories.

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