S&L Podcast - #282 - Where The Salt Roads Lead

We check in on our reading of The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson, get some hints on the progress of the next Kingkiller Chronicle, and find another way to track author releases.

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Tom: Laguvulin 16    
Veronica: Arcadia Ales IPA    
David: The movie rights to Planet of Exile by Ursula K. Le Guin have been purchased.
Greg: The Name of the Wind 10th Anniversary edition as well as some non-spoilery info on book 3
David: Goodreads is now adding a "reread" function. Until now, they'd only allow one ""date read"" per book, but now we'll be able to add multiple dates. (According to the Goodreads blog post, they're rolling out this feature, so it may not show for everyone just yet.) This will make it easier for us folks who reread a lot or do yearly reading challenges."    
Martin: The Thorn of Emberlain Teaser Update on Scott Lynch's tumblr.  
Mark: An interesting reading list for fans of The Man in the High Castle, the book and/or the tv show.  
Atasteforbooks: A release date has been announced for the follow up trilogy to His Dark Materials! Philip Pullman shared that the first book, The Book of Dust, will be out (in the UK) on October 19, 2017! 
Louie: Read Chapter One from John Scalzi's upcoming novel, The Collapsing Empire. Available March 21st.
We'll be doing March Madness for the April book again. Get your nomination in! Tournament starts March 1

On episode #280 Adam H asked about "a way of tracking upcoming releases" 
from authors. You noted a few services that try. Adam had noted "Amazon
does for stuff from authors I've previously purchased, but..."

Amazon does send some emails automatically for those authors, yes. But
you can explicitly "Follow" any author on Amazon to opt-in to
notifications about all of their new releases. Search for the author, 
click through to their page, hit the ""Follow"" button.

It's an automated system, so it can only be as smart as the data - but
most authors and their agents are pretty good at keeping their Amazon
data clean[*], and there is some human + machine-learned curation to
make sure that any book you get notified about really is a new one, not
just a reprint, a book by an author with the same name, etc.


Formally I should say that although I work for Amazon, I'm not speaking
officially for them - this is just me telling you what I know.

(But in this particular case: I work on the team that runs this system, 
so what I know ought to be reliable!)

[*] I dunno about that B00EYUJ8F0 guy though. I just cleaned up his
bibliography, but why someone who knows how information on the Net
stales would years ago put things like ""has written two novels"" into a
bio is beyond me. :-)

February Pick: The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson
Recommended: A podcast history of the Haitian Revolution
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser
You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks

S&L Podcast - #280 - Good Omens for 2018

Neil Gaiman is running a new TV show and we're excited! Plus the Arrival folks are making a Larry Niven short story into a show, and indie bookstores are booming! We also kick-off Nalo Hopkinson's The Salt Roads.

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Tom: Nothing     
Veronica: Ipswitch Original Ale    
Dara and Robert: Good Omens is coming to Amazon Prime as a limited 6 episode event with Neil Gaiman as showrunner.
Nokomis.FL: Indie bookstores are booming thanks to Amazon
Phil: It looks like the producer of Arrival (21 Laps) will be making a movie based on Inconstant Moon by Larry Niven.
It's one of my favorite Niven stories and I look forward to this. It was previously made into an episode of the Outer Limits in the 90's.
Nokomis.FL: Peter Capaldi to bow out from Doctor Who at the end of 2017
Dara and Silvana: The new ASoIAF story in Gardner Dozois's The Book of Swords will be titled The Sons of the Dragon, a story of Aenys I and Maegor the Cruel. Fans speculation that this will be about the Targaryen era is correct.    David: This is also the same anthology that will contain Ken Liu's "The Hidden Girl," which was optioned by Studio 8 last May. "The story is about a team of assassins who are able to navigate between dimensions."    
Hello Veronica and Tom. Love the show, one of the few I support via patreon. On a recent episode of Cord Killers Tom mentioned a service called Sidereel. I got this app and love it, but would like something like it for books, authors. Goodreads doesnt seem to have way of tracking upcoming releases. Amazon does for stuff from authors Ive previously purchased but Id like to add a list of authors to track. Thanks, Adam H    

Author Alerts
Track New Book - New book notification by author, subject, or keyword
Sci-fi and Fantasy Magazines. Anyone subscribe? Can you give me a rundown?
On Fantasy and Utility... (A Rant for your Consideration/Critique)

February Pick: The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson
Book Kick-off
BLOG INTERVIEW: Nalo Hopkinson releases two e-books with Open Road Media
Final Wrap Up    
January Pick: Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons. Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser.

BIG thank you to all the people who support us, including Katie Gross, Jay Johnson and Dan Griffin!
You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks.   

BLOG INTERVIEW: Nalo Hopkinson releases two e-books with Open Road Media

Recently we were introduced to author Nalo Hopkinson, who was kind enough to answer some questions for us here on the blog. Two of her books, The Salt Roads and short story collection Skin Folk, are being published as e-books for the first time through Open Road Media. Editor Betsy Mitchell tells us, "I had the pleasure of introducing Nalo's wondrously imaginative work to the world when her Brown Girl in the Ring won the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest. It's a delight to be able to bring out the first-ever ebook editions of The Salt Roads and Skin Folk.”

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, Nalo! When did you start writing?

NH: You're most welcome. Thanks for asking me. I believe I began writing in my mid-30s. But I'd been an avid reader since I was three years old. Author Samuel R. Delany has said that one learns more about how to write by reading a lot and internalizing models for good writing. I agree. I always have a book or seven on the go. I also watch a lot of fantasy and science fiction media, and read comics, graphic novels, and literary criticism in science fiction and fantasy.

Was fantasy always a genre you were interested in writing in? Who were some early favorites for you?

NH: Yes, fantasy and science fiction about equally. Early favourites (I'm Jamaican-Canadian; I use British spelling conventions) include Samuel R. Delany, Ursula K. Le Guin, Theodore Sturgeon, Terri Windling, Emma Bull.

Tell us about your book, The Salt Roads! What are some of the themes you explore? How would you classify the novel?

NH: In some ways, it's a time travel novel. It's written in four voices in three different times and locations and one timeless place. In some ways, it's the coming-of-age story of an Afro-Caribbean goddess. An exploration of the challenges faced by mixed race Black women throughout history. An honouring of women and men who do sex work, whether by choice or through lack of it. A thank you to the queers and transfolk of colour who fought for freedom during Stonewall. A praise song to Black people's survival despite, oh, everything.

It's really refreshing to hear about something outside the box of typical fantasy. Do you feel like genre fiction is beginning to move away from the Eurocentric, male point of view?

NH: I don't. And it needn't. I lurves me some Neil Gaiman, some China Mieville, some Ian Macdonald. Orson Scott Card should by all means keep writing fiction about smart, misunderstood white boys. He writes them well. (Though I fervently wish he would stop writing irrational and inaccurate hate screeds against queer folk. It's both bad science and a poor way to profess love for one's neighbour.) I don't want fewer white, male voices in the genre. I do want more centrisms, greater inclusion, a larger world view. Fantasy and science fiction are full of good stories. I want more.

Another book of yours coming out on ebook via Open Road is Skin Folk. What are some of your personal favorite short stories from this collection?

NH: You know how many parents don't like to tell you which is their favourite amongst their children? That's how I feel about my stories.

Hah, fair enough! What are you working on these days?

NH: Working on a new novel that my agent is currently shopping around. Collaborating on a short story with Nisi Shawl. If all goes well, it'll appear in a tribute anthology for Samuel R. Delany. Making Black mermaids, boudoir and fantasy dolls in various media: stuffed and painted fabric; plaster; and fabric design. Trying to perfect my skills at macaron-making and baking gluten-free bread. Teaching Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside, which has perhaps the most lovable student body in the world.

Where can people follow you online?

NH: I'm most frequently on Twitter, where my handle is nalo_hopkinson. My website is nalohopkinson.com.