In tonight’s podcast, between three hosts and three guests: microphone, Skype & recorder issues. Two internet outages. Two power outages. Several crossed wires. But…We are joined by Donna Royston, David Keener and Martin Wilsey to talk about their new Tannhauser Press anthology Worlds Enough: Fantastic Defenders.
Waitaminutenow. (flips through table of contents) Patterson? Patterson? They let Jeff Patterson write a story in this thing? Wot?
Here There Be Spoilers!
Perhaps optimistically, we “assigned” four stories: Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius; The Circular Ruins; The Library of Babel; The Garden of Forking Paths—and ended up only really scratching the surface of one! It is clear that we will be back to this subject many more times (before we even start to branch off into “authors that we also like”!).
Sit down, pour yourself a good port and settle in. And please let us know what stories (or essays, or poetry) you would like to see us cover next!
Jorge Luis Borges on Wikipedia.
Ficciones (many editions)
Collected Fictions (Penguin)
Labyrinths (many editions)
Scurrying from rotating work schedules and expanding projects, John E.O. Stevens, Jeff Patterson and Fred Kiesche convene in the tubes that make up the internet as well as the tubes that make up Ceres Station to discuss the second season of The Expanse, Lois McMaster Bujold, hermetic poetry and more!
The Expanse: Season 01
The Expanse: Season 02
The old year departs, the new year arrives. John E.O. Stevens, Jeff Patterson and Fred Kiesche gather around the warm glows of their ham radio rigs and warm their hands over the vacuum tubes to discuss the best of 2016, what they are looking forward to in 2017 and culture consumed.
Also…why do so many Russian sites feature the works of Samuel R. Delany?
Newsflash: Past Fourth Hoarse Patrick Hester has a book! For reals!
In this episode, The Three Hoarsemen continue their fine tradition of helping you to empty your wallet! To do so we have the help of returning guest Patrick Hester, along with his Functional Nerds associate John Anealio to pick what you would like to see under the tree (whether it be for you or for somebody you know).
Are you ready for the picks?
System crashes, Skype issues, tablets bursting into metaphorical flame, microphones that won’t cooperate and more fail to keep The Three Hoarsemen, Fred Kiesche, Jeff Patterson and John E.O. Stevens from being joined by returning guest Jonathan Strahan, editor of many anthologies, reviewer and editor of Locus, editor at Tor, and podcaster (along with Gary K. Wolfe) of The Coode Street Podcast. And better yet, Jonathan joins us from the future (future…future…future…fuuuuutuuuurrrreeee…)
Battling issues with Skype, microphones, tablets and more, The Three Hoarsemen, Fred Kiesche, Jeff Patterson and John E.O. Stevens are joined by returning guest David Annandale (“…that’s Professor Annandale to you…”) who has taken a break from his regular appearances on The Skiffy & Fanty Show and Totally Pretentious to discuss horror in this vaguely Halloween-themed episode. Do they celebrate Halloween in the mythic forested lands of Canada? They sure do discuss horror.
Hold on to your wallets, by the way. This is another potentially expensive episode!
(AND WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Once the podcast was over we kept talking and some of it was pretty gosh darned good. So, good thing the recording was still running, eh?)
With a (hurricane) (tropical storm) (tropical depression) threatening, The Three Hoarsemen batten down the hatches, throw bars across window shutters, and get pails ready for bailing. Fred Kiesche, Jeff Patterson and John E.O. Stevens are joined by returning guest Karen Burnham to discuss the life and works of Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger (a.k.a., Felix C. Forrest; a.k.a. Carmichael Smith), best known as Cordwainer Smith.
Staggering like a phoenix that has consumed too much coffee and cigarette butts, The Three Hoarsemen come at you with our first episode since the sad demise of our former home, the much-loved SF Signal. We discuss SF Signal, how we met in cyberspace and meatspace, our lives since the site closed. Hard to believe that we have collectively spent one year on a project, gotten a job, moved, and started a business! Fred Kiesche, Jeff Patterson and John E.O. Stevens are pleased to make your acquaintance.
As the cruelest month crawls to a close, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson ponder the works of upcoming Damon Knight Grand Master C. J. Cherryh. For this task they have engineered the return of their first guest Hoarseman, the illustrious Paul Weimer.
The discussion includes their first exposures to the Mri, Morgaine, and the Chanur, the deep history of the Alliance/Union universe, the portrayal of the outsider’s perspective, and how they are all woefully behind on the Foreigner books.
As always, there is an accounting of culture consumed.
John talks about participating in the Grumptroll annual March Madness Flash Fiction contest. Jeff wades into he Up & Coming anthology and finds it a great utility. Fred and family endure the X-Files reboot.
As always the conversation turns to culture consumed.
The discussion covers killing characters, the cost of war, and wrapping up franchises.
The Hoarsemen also talk about culture consumed, the state of Marvel, revisiting Watership Down, and their reading plans for the rest of 2016.
As February wraps up, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson convene with Joelle Presby and David Weber to talk about the collaboration process on their new book The Road to Hell. The talk was substantive enough to necessitate splitting it across two episodes.
Part one of the discussion includes the challenges of stepping into an existing franchise, playing in another author’s sandbox, the difference between art vs. craft, editorial hindsight, working with Jim Baen, and meeting Andre Norton.
As snow and ice bury the east coast, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson turn their thoughts to the cold, merciless abyss that engulfs us all. That’s right, SPACE is the place, and they’ve invited Leah Petersen along to talk about the stories set there, and the role it plays.
Science Fiction’s early depictions of space cast it as a medium to be crossed, or an analog for the sea, facilitating trade, exploration, and empire-building. Frank Herbert made it a commodity, accessible only to those who gave up their humanity. Stephen Baxter filled it with incomprehensible machinations. Star Trek used it as a divide between cultures. Kristine Katherine Rusch riddled it with lethal anomalies. Vernor Vinge gave it dominion over the rise of intelligence. C. J. Cherryh, Samuel Delany, Karen Lord, Alastair Reynolds, Lois McMaster Bujold, and many others shaped the infinite void into a narrative tool. Now, with Star Wars,The Expanse, and a possible new ninth planet, space is once again imposing itself on popular culture. Is it up to the challenge?
As always, the discussion turns to recent culture consumed.
The year’s end looms, so John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson elect to be merciful and convene to put it out of its misery. They’ve invited Andrea Phillips and Jonah Sutton-Morse along to list their favorite books, comics, TV shows, movies, and games of 2015.
The discussion, of course, goes completely off-topic, veering into such subjects as nihilistic narratives, revisiting old favorites, the pitfalls of being a new release junkie, “Batgirling,” and the storytelling idiosyncrasies of various media.
Get comfy. This one’s over two hours.
John recounts his attending the World Fantasy Convention, and tells of the booty he procured. Fred lists his culture consumed. Jeff thinks aloud of the many factors that both influenced and tainted his recent readings.
Subjects discussed include the personalities of book merchants and buyers, how the physical layout of a con impacts its enjoyment, the pitfalls of retro trade-dress, comic book adolescents, The optimal length of Sherlock Holmes stories, and some observations about dealers rooms.
October is here, so John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson decide to go west to the magic-infused realm of California for a chat with Greg van Eekhout. Greg educates the Hoarsemen on the importance of tacos, things that are terrible but wonderful but terrible, the discipline of outlining, the pitfalls with the “urban fantasy” label, writing for kids and adults, and why it isn’t cool to eat a wizard in Northern California.
In this month’s culture consumed, Fred went to The Martian, Jeff went to Capclave, and John went to a big-ass book sale.
As harvest-time descends and pumpkin-spice stormclouds gather on the horizon, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson wrap up their Summer sojourn through the labyrinthine innards of the publishing industry with Joe Monti of Saga Press. Joe educates the Hoarsemen on the pitfalls of book buying-and-selling, forecasts the future of space opera, and ponders if Grimdark is really a thing.
After a chat on trends and tribulations, the discussion turns to culture consumed.
John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson decided to get away from the Dog Days of August in the northeast United States and amble down to Australia* for some winter weather. While there they met up with Alisa Krasnostein, wearer of many hats (Ph.D. candidate, publisher with Twelfth Planet Press, podcaster with Galactic Suburbia). They discuss education, the doctoral process, publishing, podcasting, and (through a lucky coincidence) get into an extended discussion of James Tiptree, Jr. and the upcoming 100th birthday tribute book. By the end of the episode everybody has spent money and changed their reading plans going forward. More Tiptree! Why aren’t we celebrating the anniversary with more events?
*No Hoarsemen actually went to Australia.
As the New Horizons probe hurtles past Pluto in the dark beyond, a con-crud-stricken John E. O. Stevens regales Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson with his adventures at Readercon. Then attentions turn to special guest Hoarsewoman Stina Leicht (on book release day, no less) to talk about her new novel Cold Iron.
The discussion includes forty years of Dhalgren, writing protocols, book budgets, historical baggage, the bookstore landscape, eels, and our relationship with violence.
As always, The Hoarsemen recount the books, comics, podcasts, and television that have occupied their free time.
It’s hard to believe it has been nearly a year since The Three Hoarsemen met in meatspace in a hidden sanitarium in upstate New York shortly after John Stevens received his cybernetic upgrades. For this episode, your hosts battle the gremlins of scheduling and meet in cyberspace along the same line of longitude but at differing latitudes. With Jeff Patterson melting from the insides in the south, Fred Kiesche battling conga line dancing viruses in the middle and John Stevens working his way through the stacks in the north we take pause…
…and bring you our nearly most epic episode to date (at least in terms of sheer running time or time that it took John to pause to take a breath). You want rambling? You got rambling! From a breakdown of the works nominated in nearly all the categories of this year’s Hugo’s covered by John Stevens we segue to a discussion about reading and self-education by Fred Kiesche. Jeff Patterson attempts to unravel the tangled mysteries of Marvel’s Secret Wars. We conclude with our usual (snicker) brief look at what culture we have consumed since our last episode (as usual, The Hoarsemen are not to be held responsible for any damage to your wallet!).
Imagine how long the episode would have been if we had had our scheduled guest! Not to worry, she or he will be on in the future and we’re lining up many more folks to browbeatóerrróconverse with into next year!
As the heat builds, and clouds of pollen choke the skies, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson find themselves of a mood to stare at the pretty pictures gracing the jackets and e-files of books and ponder how they came to be. To that end they have hobbled across the simmering landscape to seek out Irene Gallo, art director at Tor Books and Tor.com, to enlighten them on the process.
The discussion encompasses the relationship between book and cover, deadlines, fan feedback, and the aesthetics of different decades. Will we ever see embossed covers come back? And what does it take for a cover to impress John?
Irene also talks about her participation in the Illustration Master Class, and everyone recounts the culture they have recently consumed.
As the cruelest month of April toys with us, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson huddle in their fortress made of long boxes to talk about COMICS! With Summer approaching, superhero movies are ramping up, DC and Marvel roll out their massive crossovers, and the wind smells of reboots.
The Hoarsemen discuss their experiences with reading comics digitally, the rise of SF/F indie books, and the titles currently delivering the goods. Fred continues his deep dive into generations-worth of continuity and encounters the conundrum of Jean Grey! Duplicitous rogue women appear in long-lived SF properties! And will there ever be a DRM-free collection in our lifetime?
As always, there is an accounting of Culture Consumed.
It is a subject that encompasses themed volumes, shared worlds, and literary approaches, from the experimental volumes of the 1970s, through the subject-specific collections of Ace and Daw, to the copious riches that have become available readers in the past decade. What makes an anthology work? Which ones hold special places? And have they stood the test of time?
The discussion then turns, as always, to culture consumed.
As the bleak winter pummels us with ice and illness, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson muster the strength and lucidity to write February off as a loss and trudge forward in search of the mythical Springtime.
First, they discuss the death of Leonard Nimoy, and his impact on SF and Fandom.
Then they turn to the subject of Thomas M. Disch, whose works broke genre conventions on an almost industrial scale. The gentlemen recall their introductions to the author’s work (including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry), and his legacy in SF.
There follows a litany of culture consumed, and some talk about whooshing doors, online shrieking, and myopic definitions of “fan.”
As January’s icy grip tightens, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson find sanctuary in the thrilling days of yesteryear. This time out they have procured the services of Jamie Todd Rubin to act as their guide for their voyage back in time to the Golden Age!
Generally defined as the period between 1939 and 1950, the Golden Age was dominated by John W. Campbell’s editorship at Astounding. It was when Science Fiction acquired a degree of depth and characterization through the works of Isaac Asimov, Lester Del Rey, C.L. Moore, L. Sprague De Camp, Leigh Brackett, A. E. Van Vogt, Robert Heinlein, Jack Vance, and Clifford Simak. Jamie talks about reading those issues of Astounding and what he learned about SF and fandom, then and now.
Also discussed are Jamie’s latest Analog column, plotting-vs-pantsing, and pre-internet flame wars.
And the Hoarsemen start the year with a MASSIVE list of books, comics, and TV consumed.
As the year’s end approaches, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson tempt the fates by doing a THIRD episode for the month. Joining them is the man who was the unintentional catalyst for this podcast, Patrick Hester. They pause in their assorted biscotti, chili, and laundry activities to take on the topic of wish lists, their usefulness, and what is currently on them.
Then the discussion turns to all things comics. It’s really nerdy.
John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson gather for the SECOND episode of December! This time out they are joined by Karen Burnham to talk about William Hope Hodgson’s classic The House on the Borderland. Topics include the novel’s unique storytelling, possible interpretations, and where it falls in the spectrum of SF/F.
Fred has posted a companion piece to this episode on his blog as an introduction to both Hodgson and the book.
And even though we discussed our recent genre culture consumed in last week’s episode, we still manage to have more to talk about.
Jeff recounts his adventures at the World Fantasy Convention (sporting his homemade Three Hoarsemen t-shirt), and then the gentlemen discuss the books, comics, and shows that have been vying for their hard-fought entertainment time (and funds).
Feeling their sap slow down with the onset of Fall, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson stumble northwards in search of maple syrup, strangely-shaped bacon and cheese curds. In their journey they stumble across David Annandale, professor of strange films, author of strange books, and lover of strange games. Join in the conversation with the latest Fourth Hoarseman as the boys discuss the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the legacy of splatterpunk, the horror implosion of the 90s, the scarier aspects of the New Weird, and old cheap movies.
After that…hold on to your wallet…the discussion turns to books, movies, comics, television, conventions, and other culture consumed!
Flying so close to the Sun their duct tape and bailing wire melts and their headphones explode, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson return this month for our lucky thirteenth episode! Not only have we seamlessly spliced together two different recording sessions (thanks to said duct tape and bailing wire), but we are joined by one of SF Signal’s most prolific irregulars Sarah Chorn as we spelunk the depths of the genre to discuss overlooked works of fantasy and science fiction that deserve more attention.
If your wallet survives that list, we once again bring you a list of books (and other things) that we’ve consumed since last month that may finally tumble Mount ToBeRead down upon your heads!
As epic terrors imperil the cosmos, Fred Kiesche, Jeff Patterson, and the newly cyberneticized John E. O. Stevens blaze across the heavens wielding wit, fortitude, and implausibly potent weapons of dubious origin to discuss the Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Hoarsemen share their opinions on the movie (SPOILER ALERT), then turn their attentions to the comics which spawned it. Fred wrestles with the convoluted continuity of Marvel’s cosmic playground, while life-long readers John and Jeff endure the dual threats of retcon and reboot. Why was the first iteration of Jason Quill such a jackass? Will we ever see Mantis on the big screen? And can anyone defeat Taserface!
As usual, the chaotic cosmic conversation concludes with the customary captivating chronicles of Culture Consumed. (Long-time Marvel fans, see what I did there?)
The celestial vastness awaits! Quickly! Before the spacetime continuum is torn asunder!
As John E. O. Stevens endures the recovery phase of his surgery, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson leave the comfort of their domains to traverse wild and unknown lands for the first meeting of the Three Hoarsemen in meatspace! The heavens tremble as they sit in the lobby of the rehabilitation facility to update listeners on culture consumed and plans for the future.
As the blazing eye of summer fixates on the Northern Hemisphere, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson call upon a special guest FROM THE FUTURE! From the wintry land of Australia, Locus Award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan rides over from the Coode Street podcast to discuss SFF anthology creation, “peak short story,” and the publishing environment for short fiction past, present, and future!
Also: Can you really can claim to have “nothing to read” given the several dozen sources of periodical fiction (and hundreds of anthologies) that we have access to these days? Unlike the Dawn of Time when the Hoarsemen were young and had to walk twelve miles, uphill, both ways, in the snow, to buy magazine fiction…
Finally, we once again attempt to separate money from your wallet with all of the titles that we’ve read since the last show. Comics! Books! Roleplaying games! Heavens, we’re even spreading it out to our families.
Shaking their sullen heads at the fact that June marks the first anniversary of the Three Hoarsemen Podcast, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson LAUGH at the cruel passage of time and ride out for another adventure. This time around they ask the intrepid Kate Sherrod to take a break from enduring the floods in Wyoming and saddle up with them for a discussion on the works of Octavia Butler.
After that, they give their thoughts on Andy Weir’s The Martian, and scrutinize the truly staggering number of books and comics that have passed their eyes since last they met.
Venturing out of the soaking rain and bitter cold of March in which they spent more time hibernating than podcasting, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson add a fourth saddle to their April episode. Paul Weimer, who has commented at every genre blog possible and who has appeared in more podcasts than you can listen to comfortably in one sitting, joins the Three Hoarsemen for this episode.
While hibernating, we spent much time reading, and now gather around the communal fire pit to discuss the works of the late Charles Sheffield, their reactions to Ann Leckie’s Nebula-nominated novel Ancillary Justice, as well as the bits and pieces of the genre that we consumed since last time.
As Winter once again brings snowy doom of the East Coast, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson huddle within a makeshift shelter made of long boxes to discuss the Science Fiction works of comic book writer Warren Ellis.
Since the 90s Ellis has been producing singularly recognizable work, including superhero titles for DC, Marvel, and Image. He has dabbled in horror, crime fiction, and dark comedy. But he has also written many standalone Science Fiction tales encompassing pulp, cyberpunk, space opera, and alternate history. Some are speculative ruminations on the future or technology, some are absurdist eye-candy, others are adventurous romps. His significant body of SF work delivers modern genre sensibilities to the sometimes myopic landscape of comics.
The Hoarsemen also discuss reading comics digitally, their opinions on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as what they have read recently.
Rising from their nightmare-ridden winter slumber, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson convene around the fire to discuss the works of Catherine Lucille Moore.
Moore penned the Northwest of Earth and Jirel of Joiry series, as well as many collaborations with husband Henry Kuttner, who first wrote her a fan letter thinking that “C.L. Moore” was a man. She propelled the still-fledgling genre of “sword and sorcery” into strange new territories full of horrors and wonders, building on the foundations laid by Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith, and lighting the way for Vance, Brackett, Bradbury and Zelazny.
The Hoarsemen also discuss the fiction, non-fiction, dreary Russian movies (and their remakes), and comics they have consumed since the start of the year. Hold on to your wallets.
The dreaded Holiday season, with its attendant joys and anxieties, seems to fall upon us earlier with each advancing year. Once again we hear the fretful murmurs that Science Fiction and Fantasy fans are notoriously difficult to buy presents for. Fear not, for the venerable John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson have compiled hefty lists of fiction, non-fiction, art, and other sundry morsels suitable as gifts (or wish list items). Behold treasures, from the sublime to obscure, fit to sate the desires of nerds, fans, and aficionados of the fantastic, as well as the more adventurous mundanes. Also: a remembrance of Doris Lessing, Fred gives his report from HonorCon, and the gentlemen chime in on the culture they have been consuming. As an extra holiday treat, not all the culture consumed is genre related!
It is an allegorical tale of interstellar adventure, a quest that is part Moby Dick and part revolutionary act. It is about confluence, archetypes, obsession, seeking the future, and the creative process itself. It is the story that marked the transition from Delany’s more straightforward genre explorations to the maturation of his career when he returned to the field with Dhalgren. It is the book that critic Algis Budrys said “…right now, as of this book…not as of some future book or some accumulated body of work, [Delany] is the best science-fiction writer in the world, at a time when competition for that status is intense.” In this installment of The Three Hoarsemen, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson discuss Nova by Samuel R. Delany, including their first encounter with the book, how subsequent readings have altered their views, and the continuing strength of the story after four and a half decades.
As Summer is relegated to the vaults of imperfect memory, the occasionally venerable John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson pull their cloaks tight against the mounting Autumn chill. Listen as they gather around the flame, pass the jug and Ibuprofen, and speak of a road trip through the American South, LoneStarCon, revisiting reviews of old, reading with one’s daughter, the books that sustain them, and other mortal matters.
And so, having proven their mettle in the harsh environs of podcastery, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson were cast out from the shelter of the venerable SF Signal Podcast, armed only with wit, canes, and beta blockers, to forge their own path. Here they discussed the utility and relevance of awards, the return of the dreaded online SF books list, how no reading plan survives contact with the enemy, and the culture they have recently consumed.
And so it was that, during the brutal heatwave of July 2013, Fred Kiesche, John Stevens, and Jeff Patterson did re-convene to swelter and bemoan the state of things. Thrill as they endure cicadas and noisy fans! Listen to them discuss Readercon, the irrelevance of poorly-researched reviews, comic books, noir, specious definitions of the “canon,” and other sundry subjects. It’s like visiting three cranky uncles in a run down retirement home…
(Originally SF Signal Podcast Episode 198)
In the long and storied history of the SF Signal Podcast, never had the powers-that-be deigned it safe to allow John H. Stevens, Fred Kiesche, and Jeff Patterson to appear on the same panel discussion. “It would be like crossing the streams,” they said. “Violent weather would sweep the land, and cicadas emerge from the depths!”
In this inaugural episode of The Three Hoarsemen we discuss Iain M. Banks, how our book format preferences dictate our reading (and buying) habits, and recommend some books and stories we’ve recently enjoyed.
(Originally SF Signal Podcast Episode 193)