10 episodes

All writers, when they set pen to paper or post pixel to page, are shaping a world: their own private world, created from their own thoughts and imagination, joys and sorrows, hopes and heartbreaks, triumphs and fears. It may mimic the real world, or it may be as different from the real world as, say, the world of Middle Earth is from the world of Blade Runner, but it is still a shaped world–a sub-creation, to use J.R.R. Tolkien’s formulation. It is not a real world, it does not have the depth or complexity of a real world, it is but an illusion…and yet, these fictional worlds, these illusions, though shaped by humans, not gods, can sometimes touch our minds and expand our spirits in ways nothing else can.



It is a kind of miracle, and very writer performs it in his or her own way. In The Worldshapers, Edward Willett, himself an award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy, delves into the creative process with science fiction and fantasy writers of every kind, seeking to better understand this magical, mystical skill…the skill of worldshaping.

The Worldshapers Edward Willett

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 7 Ratings

All writers, when they set pen to paper or post pixel to page, are shaping a world: their own private world, created from their own thoughts and imagination, joys and sorrows, hopes and heartbreaks, triumphs and fears. It may mimic the real world, or it may be as different from the real world as, say, the world of Middle Earth is from the world of Blade Runner, but it is still a shaped world–a sub-creation, to use J.R.R. Tolkien’s formulation. It is not a real world, it does not have the depth or complexity of a real world, it is but an illusion…and yet, these fictional worlds, these illusions, though shaped by humans, not gods, can sometimes touch our minds and expand our spirits in ways nothing else can.



It is a kind of miracle, and very writer performs it in his or her own way. In The Worldshapers, Edward Willett, himself an award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy, delves into the creative process with science fiction and fantasy writers of every kind, seeking to better understand this magical, mystical skill…the skill of worldshaping.

    Episode 178: Shaun Hamill – The Dissonance

    Episode 178: Shaun Hamill – The Dissonance

    A chat with critically acclaimed author Shaun Hamill about his new dark fantasy novel The Dissonance.



















    Websiteshaunhamill.com







    X@shaunhamill







    Instagram@shaunhamill







    Goodreads







    Shaun Hamill’s Amazon Author Page







    Amazon Links for The DissonanceAmazon.caAmazon.com







    About the Book













    From the acclaimed author of A Cosmology of Monsters (“I loved it” —Stephen King) comes an epic contemporary fantasy, a mixture of The Magicians and It: a story of dark magic, terrible mistakes, and second chances.







    “You can never go home again,” the saying goes—but Hal, Athena, and Erin have to. In high school, the three were students of the eccentric Professor Marsh, trained in a secret system of magic known as the Dissonance, which is built around harnessing negative emotions: alienation, anger, pain. Then, twenty years ago, something happened that shattered their coven, scattering them across the country, stuck in mundane lives, alone.







    But now, terrifying signs and portents (not to mention a pointed Facebook invite) have summoned them back to Clegg, Texas. There, their paths will collide with that of Owen, a closeted teenager from Alabama whose aborted cemetery seance with his crush summoned something far worse: a murderous entity whose desperate, driving purpose includes kidnapping Owen to serve as its Renfield.







    As Owen tries to outwit his new master, and Hal, Athena, and Erin reckon with how the choices they made as teens might connect to the apocalyptic event unfurling over the Lone Star State, shocking alliances form, old and new romances brew, and three unsuccessful adults and one frightened teen are all that stand between reality and oblivion.







    From one of the boldest, most brilliant voices in modern fantastical horror, The Dissonance is a thrilling and beautifully written story of magic and monsters, forgiveness and friendship.







    Praise for The Dissonance







    “One of the most ambitious genre books of the year, and we’d expect nothing less from Hamill.” —Matthew Jackson, Paste“A brilliantly rendered tale of friendship, redemption, cosmic horror, and so much heart. The Dissonance cements Hamill as a master world-builder and one of the most exciting voices in fantasy today. I already want to reread this book.” —Erin A. Craig, #1 New York Times bestselling author of House of Roots and Ruin“Pure magic. A novel that sparks with wonder, heartbreak, and hope. Wildly endearing and compulsively readable, with an immersive, richly drawn world and vibrant characters you’ll never forget. The truths within—about friendship, about pain,

    • 45 min
    Episode 177: Jonathan Strahan – New Adventures in Space Opera

    Episode 177: Jonathan Strahan – New Adventures in Space Opera

    A chat with award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan about his new anthology from Tachyon, New Adventures in Space Opera.



















    Websitejonathanstrahan.com.au/wp/







    X@JonathanStrahan







    Bluesky@jonathanstrahan.bsky.social







    Facebook@jonathanstrahan







    Amazon Links for New Adventures in Space OperaAmazon.caAmazon.com







    About the Book













    Award-winning Australian science-fiction editor Jonathan Strahan (The Best Science Fiction of the Year series) presents the quintessential guide to the exciting New Space Opera.







    This skillfully curated, must-read volume gathers fifteen dramatic, newly classic interstellar adventures from some of the most highly acclaimed and popular speculative-fiction authors.







    In “Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance,” a cloud-based contractor finds a human war criminal clinging to the hull of the ship. The clones of “All the Colours You Thought Were Kings,” about to attend their coming-of-age ceremony, are also plotting treason. During “A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime,” two outlaws go on the run after stealing a device from a space cult.







    Take a faster-than-light trip to the future. Discover where memes rise and fall in moments. Here are the new, adventurous, and extremely efficient takes on interstellar battles, sentient spaceships, and galactic intrigue.







    Stories by Ann Leckie, Becky Chambers, Alastair Reynolds, T. Kingfisherm Charlie Jane Anders, Anya Johanna DeNiro, Yoon Ha Lee, Lavie Tidhar, Tobias S. Buckell, Arkady Martine, Aliette de Bodard, Seth Dickinson, and Karin Tidbeck.







    Praise for New Adventures in Space Opera







    “There is no better or more expert editor working in SF; impeccable taste, great range, excellent choices. Anyone interested in space opera will want to buy New Adventures in Space Opera.” —Adam Roberts, author of The This







    “Hugo Award winner Strahan (Twelve Tomorrows) spotlights 15 sophisticated, award-winning science fiction stories from the past decade that epitomize the best of space opera. He defines the genre as ‘romantic adventure… told on a grand scale,’ set either in space or on a space station with high-stakes plot—and each of these perceptive and evocative stories perfectly fits the bill. In Tobias S. Buckell’s clever revenge tale, ‘Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance,’ after a galactic war, a sentient maintenance robot discusses free will with a cybernetically enhanced human from the fleet that surrendered. Yoon Ha Lee’s ‘Extracurricular Activities’ delivers a lively adventure when assassin Jedao infiltrates a space station to rescue a former classmate and their crew, all while fighting pirates and evading a gene-altering substance. Aliette de Bodard’s pensive ‘Immersion’ imagines a future in which a device provides wearers with an avatar and guidance on culturally acceptable appearance, language, and gestures, while obfuscating any sense of individuality, ethnicity, and heritage.

    • 36 min
    Episode 176: Tobias S. Buckell & Dave Klecha – Runes of Engagement

    Episode 176: Tobias S. Buckell & Dave Klecha – Runes of Engagement

    A chat with Tobias S. Buckell and Dave Klecha about their new humorous collaborative fantasy novel, Runes of Engagement.



















    WebsitesTobias S. BuckellDave Klecha







    Bluesky@tobiasbuckell.bsky.social@daveklecha.bsky.social







    Instagram@daveklecha







    Threads@daveklechaTobias S. Buckell’s Amazon Page







    Amazon Links for Runes of EngagementAmazon.caAmazon.com







    About the Book













    The Lord of the Rings meets Call of Duty in this delirious mashup pitting confused soldiers against legendary monsters. This riotous campaign of a novel could only have sprung from the nerdy minds of a science fiction award-winner and an extreme amateur landscaper.







    No one could have been prepared for the day when orcs, trolls, and dragons fell from portals in the sky. But now a very tough but not-quite-prepared platoon of Marines is trapped on the wrong side. The enchanting world looks like Middle Earth, but to the dismay of even the geekiest soldiers, is nothing like it.







    While the Marines fend off dangerous, improbable, and very rude assailants, their mission is to escort a Very Important Princess who could broker a crucial strategic alliance between worlds. What could possibly go wrong?







    Praise for Runes of Engagement







    [STARRED REVIEW] “Will be catnip to readers who love this combination of military SF, alternate history, and fantasy. ”—Library Journal







    “Fun, action-packed, occasionally gritty, and full of jokes for geeks and Marines alike.”—Jim C. Hines, author of Terminal Alliance







    About Tobias S. Buckell & Dave Klecha







    Tobias S. Buckell





    Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times bestselling writer and World Fantasy Award winner. He was born in the Caribbean, grew up in Grenada, and has lived in the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. He is the author of the popular Xenowealth series (Crystal Rain), along with other standalone novels and almost one hundred stories. His latest novel is A Stranger in the Citadel. Buckell lives in Bluffton, Ohio.















    Dave Klecha





    Dave Klecha was born in Detroit and studied Russian and history in college. He then joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. In addition to writing, Dave engages in a number of other creative pursuits, including acting, set-building, scriptwriting,

    • 40 min
    Episode 175: Lynne Shaner – Journey to Everland Bay

    Episode 175: Lynne Shaner – Journey to Everland Bay

    A chat with author Lynne Shaner about her debut fantasy novel, Journey to Everland Bay.



















    Websitelynneshaner.com







    Facebook







    Threads@lynne.shanerLynne Shaner’s Amazon Page







    Amazon Links for Journey to Everland BayAmazon.caAmazon.com







    About the Book













    A Heroine’s Journey for our times.







    Jemma Avalon, an unconventional mage-in-training, longs to return to Everland Bay, her ancestral homeland, and find a way to join the renowned magical research institute there, like the women in her family before her.







    Daughter of a gentle part elf-fae mother and a father with fiery dragon blood, an unusual combination even in the magical world, ten years after her mother’s sudden death, she is working at a major museum in DC, where magic is all but outlawed. Her father wants her to assimilate and live without magic, but Jemma is determined to fully embrace her heritage.







    When an ordinary day at the museum takes an extraordinary turn, Jemma is rocketed to an Everland Bay Institute under violent siege, where dark-arts mages threaten everything important to her. Once there, she joins forces with her companions and works feverishly to save Everland Bay from crumbling under enemy attack. In so doing, she finds a path to her own strength and mastery, and her heart’s true home. 







    Praise for Journey to Everland Bay







    “A beautifully engaging fantasy teeming with dragons, fae, magic and the importance of family and friendship. A joy to read from beginning to end. I found myself rooting for our main heroine, Jemma, as she grew into a wonderful and powerful young woman. I am already looking forward to the next work in this thrilling series!” – Julie Boglisch, author of The Elifer Chronicles and The Requiem of Stones series and standalone Ghost of a Memory







    About Lynne Shaner







    Lynne Shaner





    Lynne Shaner has been captivated by fantasy, myth, and fairy tales since childhood, when her mother first read Charlotte’s Web and The Wind in the Willows to her.







    She lives in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, close enough to Lake Michigan to walk to the shoreline every day. Shelves overflowing with books line her home, and there is always a knitting project on her needles. Lynne lives with her husband and Merlin, her small, adorable pup. When not writing, she can be found reading and knitting in her garden, where she grows herbs, flowers and story ideas.







    Her work has appeared in various literary magazines. She holds a master’s degree in creative writing/fiction from Johns Hopkins.

    • 37 min
    Episode 174: Adrian Tchaikovsky – Service Model

    Episode 174: Adrian Tchaikovsky – Service Model

    A chat with critically acclaimed award-winning British author Adrian Tchaikvosky about his latest science fiction novel, Service Model.



















    Websiteadriantchaikovsky.com







    X@aptshadow







    Mastadon@aptshadow







    Threads@aptshadow







    Bluesky@aptshadow.bsky.socialAdrian Tchaikovsky’s Amazon Page







    Amazon Links for Service ModelAmazon.caAmazon.com







    About the Book













    Murderbot meets Redshirts in a delightfully humorous tale of robotic murder from the Hugo-nominated author of Elder Race and The Final Architects Series







    To fix the world they must first break it further.







    Humanity is a dying breed, utterly reliant on artificial labor and service.







    When a domesticated robot gets a nasty little idea downloaded into its core programming, they murder their owner. The robot discovers they can also do something else they never did before: they can run away.







    Fleeing the household they enter a wider world they never knew existed, where the age-old hierarchy of humans at the top is disintegrating into ruins and an entire robot ecosystem devoted to human wellbeing is having to find a new purpose.







    Sometimes all it takes is a nudge to overcome the limits of your programming.







    Praise for Service Model







    “With humor, heart, and hope balancing out the decay, this glimpse of the future is sure to win fans.” ― Publishers Weekly







    “A surprisingly thoughtful and compelling story . . . Readers who love a good postapocalyptic hell ride, AI-centered adventures, and robot/human companion stories, such as A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers, will appreciate.” ― Library Journal, starred review







    “A deliciously witty dystopian thriller” ― Waterstones







    “Picking up an Adrian Tchaikovsky book is proof you love your brain and want it to be happy.” ― John Scalzi, author of Starter Villain







    About Adrian Tchaikovsky







    Adrian Tchaikovsky





    Adrian Tchaikovsky was born in Lincolnshire and studied zoology and psychology at Reading before becoming a professional author in 2007. He is a keen role-player and board gamer and is trained in stage-fighting. His literary influences include Gene Wolfe, Mervyn Peake, China Miéville, Steven Erikson, Naomi Novak, Scott Lynch and Alan Campbell.







    Adrian primarily explores deep themes, such as artificial intelligence and alien awareness within epic galactic and fantastical settings.







    He has a deep interest in the animal world specifically insects from his studies in Zoology and has a particular p...

    • 42 min
    Episode 173: Ann Charles – Time Reaping in Deadwood

    Episode 173: Ann Charles – Time Reaping in Deadwood

    A chat with USA Today-bestselling author Ann Charles about Time Reaping in Deadwood, the latest installment in her popular humorous mystery/fantasy series.



















    Websiteanncharles.com







    Facebook@AnnCharlesAuthorPage







    X@AnnWCharles







    Instagram@Ann_Charles







    Pinterest@AnnWCharlesAnne Charles’s Amazon Page







    Amazon Links for Time Reaping in DeadwoodAmazon.caAmazon.com







    About the Book













    Time is a tricky devil. And so is that blasted imp!







    Violet Parker needs to catch the little terror before it wreaks even more havoc in the Black Hills. But now that she’s saddled with this dang Timekeeper gig, she has a lot to juggle, like the real monsters wanting to tear the flesh from her bones just for fun.







    If she can’t figure out how to wrangle “time” to save her family, the Grim Reaper might come swinging for them next.







    But what about that danged honey-loving imp?







    Praise for the Deadwood series







    “What a voice! Hilarious, original, and genuinely wonderful. This fresh and feisty mystery will instantly win your heart. Loved it!” – Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha and Macavity-winning author 







    “I laughed (a lot), cried (a little), and wanted to stab a certain family member. This story brings all the feels!” – Renee George, USA Today Bestselling Author 







    “Watch out Stephanie Plum, because Violet Parker is coming your way.” – Deborah Schneider, RWA Librarian of the Year 2009 and author of Promise Me 







    About Ann Charles







    Ann Charles





    Ann Charles is a USA Today-bestselling author who writes award-winning books that are splashed with humor, mystery, suspense, romance, supernatural elements, and whatever else sounds fun.







    Ann has a B.A. in English with an emphasis on creative writing from the University of Washington. She is a member of Novelists, Inc. She is currently toiling away on her next book, wishing she was on a Mexican beach with an ice-cold Corona in one hand and a book in the other.







    When she is not dabbling in fiction, she is arm wrestling with her two kids, attempting to seduce her husband, and arguing with her sassy cats.

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

E.L. Thomas ,

Great podcast

Incredible resource for writers and readers alike. Interesting and inspiring conversations about the science fiction and fantasy genres, the writing process and creative acts. My to-read list grows with every interview. Please keep going!

Garethhvj ,

Excellent interviews!

Ed’s interviews are great because they are in depth. He gets into why writers write, not just what the latest book is. It’s nice to have a writer interview a writer, seeing the similarities and differences between their experiences.

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