Tor.com content by

Justin Landon

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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 Jonez 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.

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Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Last Argument of Kings: “After the Rains” and “Answers”

Well, my dear friends, we are rapidly approaching the end of this epic reread that has taken far too long to complete. This week is probably the last time I’ll do these paired chapter formats because the chapters get increasingly short from here on out. Answers to questions are coming fast and furious, although I suspect we will not learn the answer to the most important question of all.

On this this week’s chapters!

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Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread

Rocket Talk Episode 67: Matt Wallace and Kameron Hurley

Welcome back to the Rocket Talk podcast!

Justin is visited by authors Matt Wallace and Kameron Hurley. The trio discuss the current status of Southern California, professional wrestling, reality television, and Playboy‘s decision to nix nudity. They even manage to make it all relevant to genre publishing and their recent releases, Envy of Angels and Empire Ascendant, respectively.
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Series: Rocket Talk: A Tor.com Podcast

Rereading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy, Last Argument of Kings: “Open the Box”, “Dark Paths”, and “Reckonings”

I promised three chapters this week and I will deliver! For brevity’s sake though, I’m going to keep the summaries pretty short. Thankfully there’s quite a bit of combat type stuff in these three and that generally means shorter recaps.

I also think it’s important to point out that I am now going to work while it’s still dark outside. This is one of the great crimes in American labor. It makes Bayaz’ law breaking minor in comparison. So say we all.

On to this week’s chapters!

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Series: The Joe Abercrombie First Law Trilogy Reread