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 154: Four Comics Cognoscentis Celebrate Steve Ditko
Join four comics cognoscenti at the 2021 Steve Ditko mini-con to hear Javier Hernandez analyze the hypnotizing choreography of Spider-Man's fight scenes, Zack Kruse explain how Ditko's early work for Charlton held the seeds of everything the artist did later, Carl Potts reveal what happened when he returned a page of Creeper art after he learned it had been stolen, and Arlen Schumer declare Ditko to be more than a great comics artist, but instead a great American artist who happened to create comics.
Episode 153: Veronica Schanoes
Break bread with Veronica Schanoes as we discuss what it's been like trying to write her first novel during a pandemic, how she makes sure her fairy tale-inspired fiction works even for those who don't catch the allusions, the joy which comes from putting the right words in the right order, how Kelly Link convinced her she should take herself seriously as a writer, the way fairy tales take place "outside of historical space-time," the importance of Joe Strummer and the Clash, and much more.
Episode 152: Michael R. Underwood
Bite into a Baltimore camel burger with Michael R. Underwood as we discuss how his tango past impacts his writing of action scenes, his early love for Star Wars and Spider-Man, how reading Joseph Campbell ignited his desire to write fiction, the lessons the late Graham Joyce taught him about the best way to revise novels, the balance you must keep in mind when inserting Easter eggs into your stories, how he constructed his Genrenauts universe and why he returned to it after a long absence, and much more.
Episode 151: Three Second Novelists Share Their Struggles
Three recent second novelists — Karen Osborne, Sarah Pinsker, and K. M. Szpara — discuss why “second books are weird,” what (if anything) they learned writing their debuts which made book two easier, why pantsing is a thing of the past, whether book two had them concerned about creating a brand, how writing acknowledgements for second novels can be strange, the way deadlines made taking time off between books impossible, the dangers of being abandoned by debut culture, and much more.
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.
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!