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 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
    Episode 172: Brian Nelson – The Great Unmaking

    Episode 172: Brian Nelson – The Great Unmaking

    A chat with critically acclaimed Amazon-bestselling thriller author Brian Nelson about The Great Unmaking, Book 3 in his trilogy, The Course of Empire.



















    Websitebriannelsonbooks.com







    Facebook@BrianNelsonTheAuthor







    Brian Nelson’s Amazon Page







    Amazon Links for The Great UnmakingAmazon.caAmazon.com







    About the Book













    A propulsive, mind-expanding thriller—and the world-shaking conclusion to the Course of Empire trilogy—about bold scientific dreams turning into nightmares … or perhaps new beginnings …







    After usurping control of the world’s most powerful military technology, General Chip Walden knows the endgame is near and tasks scientist Eric Hill with one final assignment. Helped by the love of his life, Jane Hunter, Hill is haunted by premonitions of a coming catastrophe as the technology he created takes on a life of its own.







    As Hill attempts to avert disaster, FBI Special Agent Bud Brown seeks revenge for the murder of his fellow agents by eco-terrorist Riona Finley. But what no one realizes is that forces are at work that have already decided humanity’s fate. With the clock ticking toward an irrevocable apocalypse, it’s no longer a question of if the world can be saved, but who will be the chosen few that survive.







    The Great Unmaking is the grand conclusion to Brian Nelson’s magisterial trilogy that James Rollins has called “a must-read adventure.”







    Praise for The Great Unmaking







    “In The Great Unmaking, Nelson crafts an adrenaline-charged, white-knuckle thriller that is sure to leave you breathless. Fans of Crichton, Rollins, and Crouch will love this superb and final installment of the Course of Empire series.” – Andrews & Wilson, Wall Street Journal-bestselling authors of the Tier One series







    “Extraordinarily enjoyable, The Great Unmaking is the grand finale of Nelson’s epic adventure. It’s also hands down the most ingenious take on the apocalypse narrative that I have ever read. This is an edge-of-your-seat thriller.” – Moisés Naím, author and contributing editor to The Atlantic







    “So clearly and forcefully presented that readers will find it hard to put the book down. Nelson has outdone himself.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)







    “I came to The Great Unmaking as a fresh reader. Three hundred fifty pulse-pounding pages later, I closed the book, thoroughly convinced of Nelson’s mastery of a fever-pitch plot…Nelson’s series explores the lines between pastoral idealism and the inevitable gluttony and decay of human civilization…High-paced, plot-driven, and brimming with action…A thinking person’s military techno-thriller…What’s not to love?” – Strand Magazine







    About Brian Nelson







    Brian Nelson





    Brian was born and raised in Ohio and is a graduate of Miami University. After a brief stint as a Systems Engineer for General Motors he set off for the University of Arizona to study Creative Writing.  

    • 41 min
    Episode 171: Samantha Mills – The Wings Upon Her Back

    Episode 171: Samantha Mills – The Wings Upon Her Back

    A chat with Locus, Sturgeon, and Nebula Award-winning author Samantha Mills about her debut novel, The Wings Upon Her Back.



















    Websitesamtasticbooks.com







    Instagram@samtasticbooks







    Bluesky@samtasticbooksGoodreads







    Amazon Links for The Wings Upon Her BackAmazon.caAmazon.com







    About the Book













    In this gripping debut novel from acclaimed Nebula, Sturgeon, and Locus Award-winning author Samantha Mills, a disgraced soldier fights to make sense of her world and the gods who abandoned it.







    The Wings Upon Her Back is an action-packed, devastating exploration of the brutal costs of zealous loyalty.







    Zenya was a teenager when she ran away to join the mechanically-modified warrior sect. She was determined to earn mechanized wings and protect the people of Radezhda, the city she loved. Under the strict tutelage of a mercurial, charismatic leader, Vodaya, Zenya finally became Winged Zemolai.







    But after twenty-six years of service, Zemolai is disillusioned with her role as an enforcer in an increasingly fascist state. After one tragic act of mercy, she is brutally cast out and loses everything she worked for. As Zemolai struggles for her life, she must question her sect, their leader, and even the gods themselves.







    Praise for The Wings Upon Her Back







    [STARRED REVIEW] “In the city-state of Radezha—a towering metropolis constructed vertically to reach the five slumbering gods in the heavens—discontent is stirring. Devoted to the mecha god, patron of the city’s warriors and keeper of the law, Zemolai has spent 26 years rising in the ranks of her sect until she receives the ultimate sign of devotion: mechanized wings attached to ports along her back. One fateful evening, returning home from a brutal, month-long mission patrolling Radezha’s borders, Winged Zemolai performs a single act of mercy that results in the destruction of everything she has ever known. Zemolai is shunned by her god, and the wings are ripped from her back, leaving her permanently disfigured. With no one to turn to but the rebels that she unknowingly saved, the Once-Winged Zemolai’s disillusionment continues to grow as her eyes are opened to the increasingly fascist state she has spent her life defending. The Wings upon Her Back is a triumphant debut novel. The complex narrative examines the intricacies of blind devotion, self-image, and the hidden motivations behind martial control. For fans of C. L. Clark’s The Unbroken looking for a timely perspective on the human cost of destructive nationalism.” —Booklist







    [STARRED REVIEW] “Mills debuts with an intricate and intriguing science fantasy set in the divided city of Radezhda. Five sects each serve one of five gods who sleep behind portals floating high above the land. After a brutal civil war, the mecha sect, a group of human warriors with their nerves wired into mechanical wings that allow them to fly, reigns supreme, led by power-hungry Winged Vodaya. After Vodaya’s closest confidant, Winged Zemolai, returns home tired and aching from a month of border patrol, she makes what is perhaps the worst mistake of her life: letting a spy go free...

    • 41 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.

Top Podcasts In Arts

99% Invisible
Roman Mars
Juste entre toi et moi
La Presse
The Moth
The Moth
Fresh Air
NPR
The Jann Arden Podcast
Jann Arden
Jay Du Temple discute
Jay Du Temple

You Might Also Like