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 I've decided to replicate in podcast form one of my favorite parts of any convention—good conversation with good friends over good food.
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 I hope you'll find it as entertaining, too.
Episode 150: Tom King
Binge on the Balkans with Eisner Award-winning comics writer Tom King as we discuss the two questions no one in comics can answer, how he goes back to the beginning when writing a classic character such as Supergirl, whether Alan Moore would have had the impetus to create Watchmen in today's environment, our dealings with comic book censorship, the weird way Monica Lewinsky caused him not to get hired by MAD magazine, what he learned as an intern to the legendary Chris Claremont, and much more.
Episode 149: John Wiswell
Nosh with Nebula Award-winning writer John Wiswell as we discuss his motivation for giving one of the greatest acceptance speeches ever, how he learned to build meaning out of strangeness, the way writing novels taught him to make his short stories better, his dual story generation modes of confrontation vs. escape, why what we think we know about the Marshmallow Test is wrong, how the love of wallpaper led to him becoming a writer, what he learned writing a story a day for six years, and much more.
Episode 148: Joshua Bilmes
Dig into dolmades with agent Joshua Bilmes as we discuss how the COVID-19 lockdown impacted the publishing industry, what he learned by visiting 238 Borders bookstores, how writing letters to Analog led to his career as an agent, the fact which had he but known he might not have gone out on his own as an agent, why he's had to redefine what "pleasure" means, what he has to say to people who think they don't need agents, the sixth sense he possesses which helps him choose new clients, and much more.
Episode 147: Meg Elison
Share sushi with Philip K. Dick Award-winning writer Meg Elison as we discuss her pre-pandemic prediction for the kind of year 2020 was then shaping up to be, how reading Terry Bisson's "They're Made Out of Meat" changed her life, using tabletop RPGs to deal with the powerlessness felt during recent times, the way rereading taught her to be a writer, when she realized her first novel was the start of a trilogy, why she followed that post-apocalyptic trilogy with a contemporary YA novel, and much more.
Episode 146: Karen Osborne
Share shahi korma with writer Karen Osborne as we discuss her biggest surprise after signing with an agent for her first novel, what you need to keep in your head to never go wrong about a character's motivations, how the Viable Paradise writing workshop taught her to lean in on her weird, the favorite line she's ever written, why she doesn't want her daughter to read her second novel until she's 13, the way Star Trek: The Next Generation changed her life, and much more.
Episode 145: Nino Cipri
Nibble prosciutto bread with Nebula and Hugo Award-nominated writer Nino Cipri as we discuss how they made peace with the heat death of the universe, the way their favorite endings also feel like beginnings, the false assumption things will always get better, how their award-nominated novella started out as a screenplay, their trouble with titles and fascination with trees, the many pleasures of ambiguity, how we almost lost them to mortuary science, why they've been called a verbal terrorist, and more.
Dive into the science fiction and fantasy community
Great conversations with people throughout the SF/F field. Scott is a fun host.
“Fantastic” Food for Thought
As a comic book aficionado, I relish this booster seat at the table that elevates me to the level of trusted confidante as Edelman dishes w/industry titans such as Marv Wolfman, Larry Lieber, Gerry Conway, Don McGregor, and (personal hero) Paul Levitz, former DC head honcho and longtime scribe of The Legion of Super-Heroes. These long-form reminiscences are the podcast equivalent of Vanity Fair profiles, exhaustively detailed and served w/steaming sides of priceless anecdotes, yet somehow still leaving me hungry for more! Here’s hoping for a swift cure to the COVID bug that has laid waste to comic cons and fine dining, so we’re treated to more of these five-star culinary confabs!!
Insightful Interviews FTW (usually with foods)
It's kinda hard to have a discussion about SF/F and writing over a meal while we're in a pandemic. And yet Scott Edelman has taken his show to (presumably) Skype and the result is the same really fantastic show with less donuts. You'd think you would be missing out, but if the Justina Ireland interview is any indication, the interviews alone are better than a whole box of donuts.
What I'm really saying is: this show is a fabulous foray into the culture of SF literature with great interviews on writing, SF/F literature, and more. The guests are always fantastic. And when this show returns to its usual format, you'll clamber to buy all the books mentioned and drool endlessly for all the food.
Keep up the good work, Scott!