AISFP 78 – Greg Van Eekhout

CORRECTION: In this episode we incorrectly report that Abyss and Apex has closed as a publication. Indeed, Abyss and Apex is simply closed to fiction submissions at this time, but plans to reopen in August. Thanks to Steven for pointing us in the right direction! In the meantime, go over to Abyss and Apex, read some of their excellent fiction, and then give them a few bucks, if you can, so they can keep paying their authors.

What felt like an unbearable hiatus is over, and AISFP is back! I don’t yet have an idea  what the new production schedule will look like, but regular episodes are here. My sincere thanks to everyone who supported us through emails, blog comments, and donations. Your kindness and well-wishes meant a great deal during a time of stress and uncertainty.

Enough of the mushy stuff, on to the show! Greg Van Eekhout joins us to discuss his first published novel, Norse Code. You may remember that Greg was our first Out of the Slush guest last year when the ink was still wet on his novel contract. Now he’s here to tell us about his passion for Norse mythology, being nominated for a Nebula Award, using short fiction to develop the skills needed as a novelist, and how he survived losing his editor when Norse Code was still in production

Show Notes

Publishing New: Realms of Fantasy is back, and it couldn’t have returned at a better time with several short fiction magazines calling it quits this year. This launches another debate over the viability of short fiction magazines, and we solicit your feedback. Do you read magazines? Do you enjoy short fiction? Why or not? Give us a call at 206-350-5029

After our conversation with Greg, we let you know a little bit about what we’ve been up to, including Sam’s new cat and Shaun’s new locale. We also recommend some excellent summer reading, with Sam giving special emphasis to Graceling, by Kristin Cashore

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Promo: The Imperium Panjianium

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  1. Hey, you’re back! Cool! Can’t wait to listen!

  2. Robert says

    Great to see you back. I enjoy listening to the podcast. You do a great job with the interviews.

  3. Shaun Farrell says

    Thanks, Jenn and Robert!

  4. Damian says

    Hey, I was very happy when a new episode of Adventures popped into my iTunes! And with an interview with the very talented Greg Van E–I’ve loved his short fiction and didn’t realize his novel was out. It was an excellent interview, as always–haven’t lost your touch.

    I look forward to more of your great interviews.

  5. Shaun Farrell says

    Thanks, Damian. I’m glad you liked the show. More to come!

  6. John W. Oliver says

    Glad to have you back! Greg’s book was a fun romp, and as usual, you had a fantastic interview with him.

    As for short fiction: Yes, I do read it. Usually in anthologies, but I will pick up the occasional magazine that catches my eye.

  7. Yeah! You’re Back! whoooohooooooooo

  8. Ahhhh….and….I see your note on short fiction and the magazines. As a writer, I have more short fiction markets than ever. Clarkesworld, Escape Pod, Starship Sofa, Futurismic, Baen’s Universe, IGMS, Analog, Asimov’s, Realms, Fantasy Magazine, Strange Horizons, Nature….the list is very, very long. Much of it is now electronic, and some of it doesn’t pay as well as the print magazines. But it is a great time to write short fiction.
    I subscribe to Analog and Asimov’s because I really hope to see them stay – I have readers who don’t read fiction online (although most now seem to be happy to). I love audio fiction.
    I think all print media is struggling right now – newspapers, magazines, and books. The iphone and the kindle are game-changers. The next few years will be interesting.

  9. Yaaaaaay! I can get my fix again!

  10. I’m so glad you’re back! Your podcast quickly became my favorite when I discovered it. Really great interviews. And I’m really glad Sam is still with us, too. We love Sam! Good luck on your upcoming test, Shawn.

  11. Awww… thanks, Ben! You are my new favorite listener 😉

  12. Jeff Hotchkiss says

    Welcome back!

    Regarding short fiction, I like the themed anthologies. Some of my favorites are Wastelands (Adams); Fast Ships, Black Sails (VanderMeer); Steampunk (VanderMeer); Paper Cities (Sedia); etc. One non-themed anthology I like is Fast Forward 2 (Anders).

    A guy I always look for stories from is Matthew Hughes. He’s has one collection so far (The Gist Hunter and Other Stories) that’s great, as are his novels.

    I also like the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories of Fritz Leiber and the Conan stories of Robert E Howard.

  13. I discovered your show 3 episodes before you quit. Every month I download a few old shows and I just noticed – NEW PODCASTS! It is great to have such a well produced and interesting show back in the air.

    I was stuck in the Atlanta Airport and looked in every single outlet there for a collection of sci-fi or fantasy. Nothing was available. It seems like a perfect place for short stories to sell. I read paperback anthologies. I read too slowly for magazines. I just can’t keep up. I always enjoy the “Years Best SF #x” series edited by Hartwell and Cramer.

  14. Shaun Farrell says

    I’m also a big fan of themed anthologies and Best of Anthologies. I’ve found that the Best of anthologies allow you to get a flavor for what the different magazines like, which is helpful when you’re trying to learn the market.

  15. Welcome back! I’ve been eagerly awaiting your return and what a BANG with Sam’s “We’re baaaaack!”

    Loved it.

  16. Shaun Farrell says

    She does have that creepy Poltergeist quality about her, doesn’t she?

    Don’t forget to enter the Norse Code contest!

  17. Shaun! Great to see/hear that you’re back. Loved the interview with Greg. I’d only just listened to your first interview with him a few months ago. Listening to this one was like time travel.

    Regarding short fiction. I’m with Sam in that I was introduced to some excellent authors through short fiction collections. One of my favorites is Dream’s Underfoot, by Charles de Lint. I even had the opportunity to chat with him at Mysterious Galaxy when he was signing Little (Grrl) Lost. What a great guy.

    Classic anthologies like Wild Cards and Thieves’ World have also been favorites. I’ve rarely subscribed to short magazines though, with the notable exception of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

    Looking forward to upcoming shows. Hope all is going well in your new home.

  18. I’m so glad you’re back!!! I kept my subscription in iTunes with a lots of hope that someday I’d see the little blue dot appear telling me there was a new episode, and it happened! Yeah!!!

  19. Let me add myself to the chorus of “Yaaays”. So, Yaaay, welcome back.

    Coincidentally received Norse code a week or so ago too so good timing. I’ve been a fan of GvE’s short stuff for while too so excellent interview. Thanks.

  20. James from London says

    First, awesome return show, I greatly enjoyed it! Now I have friendly company again to help me on those long cold hours checking M+E engineer’s drawings, not to mention continually interesting and fun content!

    On the issue of short stories, I must confess to a bit of confusion: where do serials fit in? Each serial episode is often short story length, results in a steady stream of income for the author, is a comparatively cheap way of publishing decent quality content for even small magazines and can often profit both parties later on in the form of book deals and the sales of publishing rights. I mean, I used to tune in every month to pick up the “Fool Wolf” story arc in Dragon magazine and I just wonder about the presence or absence of these stories from contemporary magazines.

    Finally, I confess to listening to Escape Pod for my short story fix. For me the audio format with decent story and reader is an excellent way to enjoy and appreciate the short story form.

    Just my two pence worth.

  21. Shaun Farrell says

    Good point about serials, James. I know some magazines still do it from time to time (Analog has serialized Robert J. Sawyer’s last 2 novels before Tor published them), but I don’t see it happening a lot. Seems like a good way to get people hooked into buying multiple issues and perhaps becoming subscribers.

  22. I track down and devour the short fiction of writers I already like. I’m subscribed to Locus and try and track down whatever strikes my fancy from their short reviews. I take in a TON of short fiction via podcasts. Whether it’s themed or “best of [period of time]” or an author collection, there’s an art to assembling a good anthology. It’s usually about 50/50 if I’ll make it to the end of an anthology. 2 duds in a row and I’ll find myself not picking it up again.

    In both the magazines and anthologies, I’m just as fascinated by the non-fiction (reviews and commentary) as I am the actual stories. I guess I’ve accepted that I’ll never be able to read everything, so at least knowing a bit ABOUT everything will help thrive in discussions about genre fiction.


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