Tor.com content by

Justin Landon

Rocket Talk Episode 78: Netflix’s Voltron Remake

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast! We’ve got an exciting episode this week as we’re joined by Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim dos Santos—the co-showrunners of the new Netflix show Voltron Legendary Defender! Together we discusses the new show, what attracted them to work on it, and some of the choices they made in remaking an 80s’ icon.

Season 1 is available now on Netflix!

[Read more]

Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rocket Talk Episode 77: Does Hamilton Count as Genre?

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast! We’ve got some tremendous shows coming in the weeks ahead. So stay tuned!

This week’s show features Rocket Talk regular, Amal El-Mohtar. She joins Justin Landon to talk about Hamilton, the musical cultural sensation. The pair discuss what makes the musical so great, how it’s impacting the discussion, and whether or not it qualifies as “genre”. [Read more]

Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rocket Talk Episode 76: Myke Cole and Isaac Fitzgerald

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast! We apologize for a few weeks delay, but two recordings had to be discarded due to bad audio. Nevertheless, we return in fine fashion!

This episode brings fantasy writing standout Myke Cole back to the show and welcomes BuzzFeed Books Editor, Isaac Fitzgerald for the first time. Isaac gives us the straight dope on BuzzFeed’s mission and breaks down their approach to content. Myke and Isaac then start a conversation about the intersection of genre fiction and general fiction in the modern cultural environment. Finally, Myke convinces you to buy his book.

[Read more]

Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rocket Talk Episode 75: ESPN’s Keith Law

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast!

This episode brings ESPN baseball writer Keith Law to the show. Keith is a dedicated fiction reader, who is slowly working his way through all of the Hugo Award-winning novels. The pair discuss his work in baseball, his general love of fiction, what science fiction is all about, and other things here and there.

[Read more]

Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rocket Talk Episode 74: Charlie Jane Anders

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast!

Charlie Jane Anders visits the show this week, talking about her new novel All the Birds in the Sky. The conversation covers her ideas about the intersection of literary and genre fiction, her fascination with time, and whether or not she’ll listen to Hamilton before seeing it live. The two also discuss Anders’ long running Writers With Drinks series in San Francisco, among other things.

[Listen to Rocket Talk]

Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rocket Talk Episode 73: V.E. Schwab and Miriam Weinberg

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast!

This week, Justin is joined by V.E. Schwab and Miriam Weinberg, the author and editor team behind  A Darker Shade of Magic and its forthcoming sequel A Gathering of Shadows. They talk about their editorial relationship, Schwab’s path to publication, and the thoughts that went into creating the sensation that the series has become.

[Listen to Rocket Talk]

Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rocket Talk Episode 72: Robert Jackson Bennett

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast!

This week, Robert Jackson Bennett invites Justin to his favorite restaurant. They share a sumptuous meal together, with wine and fine conversation. Their waiter, Giuseppe, comes by the table from time to time. The conversation itself covers Robert’s intentions with his new novel, City of Blades, his use of third person present, and Donald Trump.

[Read more]

Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rocket Talk Episode 70: Megan O’Keefe

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast!

The podcast took some time off off to recharge the batteries, but we’re back and ready to go. This week, Justin is joined by Angry Robot author Megan O’Keefe, whose debut novel Steal the Sky was published earlier this month. The conversation covers her path to publication, Reddit, and soap making, among other things.

Additionally, we’re starting a new segment on Rocket Talk in which Justin reviews a book or short story at the end of every episode. This week’s title is Stina Leicht’s Cold Iron.

[Read more]

Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

A Risky Adaptation: Syfy’s The Expanse

Google is an amazing resource. For example, searching “define adaptation” quickly yields: a change or the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment. Also, a film about a confused L.A. screenwriter overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, sexual frustration, self-loathing, and the screenwriting ambitions of his freeloading twin brother Donald.

God damn it, Donald.

Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman knew something when they made Adaptation (2002), because the adaptation of James S.A. Corey’s Expanse novels into The Expanse television series from Syfy is fraught with expectation. And, of course, with expectation comes the fear of failure, inadequacy if you will, and, perhaps, sexual frustration. Nothing hurts the libido more than nerves, after all.

[Read more]

The Expanse’s Line in the Sand: Caliban’s War

I was surprised when SyFy decided to launch The Expanse with the story from Leviathan Wakes. Although Leviathan Wakes is the first book in the Expanse series by James S.A. Corey, it also unquestionably the weakest book in the series. Its plot is a bit absurd and it lacks perspective, not to mention the characters aren’t terribly interesting. Instead, I hoped it would begin with Caliban’s War, which I have called the best science fiction novel of the millennium, cramming the events of the first novel in through flashbacks or info dumps.

But the pilot episode makes it clear the show will do the opposite: In bringing Chrisjen Avasarala on immediately, despite the fact she never appears in Leviathan Wakes, they are sort of cramming the events of Caliban’s War into the opening salvo. Avasarala introduces the viewer to the larger conflict between Martians, Belters, and Earthers, which is central to the series at large, but is backgrounded in Leviathan Wakes. This is necessary. This is good. Avasarala is a brilliant character, with richer layers than either of the main characters: Jim Holden and Detective Miller. Her inclusion in the first season of the television show bodes well for how Caliban’s War, the second novel in the Expanse series, will be incorporated into the small screen narrative. But, it doesn’t tell us everything.

[Read more]

Rocket Talk Episode 69: Kate Elliott and Emma Newman

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast!

This week’s episode features fantasy and science fiction authors Kate Elliott and Emma Newman. Having read both of their most recent novels, Justin asks them about what it’s like to write aged characters and what kinds of resistance exists in society to hearing those stories. They also discuss the rarity of anxiety disorders in fiction.
[Read more]

Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rocket Talk Episode 68: Patrick S. Tomlinson

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast!

This week’s episode features Patrick S. Tomlinson, the author of The Ark from Angry Robot Books. The pair discuss the current status of Milwaukee as a cultural hot bed, the dearth of humor in science fiction and fantasy, and what Tomlinson was trying to accomplish in his new novel. Warning: mild sports talk.
[Read more]

Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast