Ellen Kushner Opens the Way to Bordertown in Episode 37 of The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy

Illustration for article titled Ellen Kushner Opens the Way to Bordertown in Episode 37 of The Geeks Guide to the Galaxy

Ellen Kushner, fantasy author and radio personality, joins us to discuss the Borderland shared-world anthology series and whether or not your cell phone will work on the outskirts of Faerie.

Art from the Bordertown anthology by Steve Stone.

Geek's Guide to the Galaxy is hosted by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley.

You can download the MP3 for this episode here, subscribe to The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast feed here, and browse other episodes here.

Advertisement

This episode includes:

Part 1: Interview with Ellen Kushner (1:26)

Topics covered: The origins of Bordertown, the impact of Bordertown, dealing with our quickly changing world, keeping the details consistent, poetry and music, fan participation, collaboration, writing LGBT characters, changes in the fantasy field, audio projects, funding public radio, the Interstitial Arts foundation

Part 2: Dave and John Discuss Anti-Fantasy Bias (34:24)

Topics covered: People who "don't read that stuff," similar prejudices, English professors, Game of Thrones vs. Rome, Shakespeare, "genre fiction" and "realistic fiction," religion & mythology, escapism, bias within the fantasy field, implausible premises and profound questions, elf intolerance, moral ambiguity, the "farmboy defeats the Dark Lord" trope, Dragonlance, boys not reading, the benefits of mental flexibility and heroic role models

Advertisement

Thanks for listening!

Illustration for article titled Ellen Kushner Opens the Way to Bordertown in Episode 37 of The Geeks Guide to the Galaxy
Advertisement

John Joseph Adams is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the bestselling editor of the anthologies Brave New Worlds, Wastelands, The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, By Blood We Live, Federations, The Way of the Wizard, and The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Forthcoming anthologies include The New Adventures of John Carter of Mars (Simon & Schuster, 2012), Armored (Baen, 2012), and The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination (Tor, 2012). He is a 2011 Hugo Award-nominee for Best Editor (Short Form), his books have been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and he has been called "the reigning king of the anthology world" by Barnes & Noble.com. He is also the editor of Lightspeed Magazine and Fantasy Magazine. Find him on Twitter @johnjosephadams.

Illustration for article titled Ellen Kushner Opens the Way to Bordertown in Episode 37 of The Geeks Guide to the Galaxy
Advertisement

David Barr Kirtley has published fiction in magazines such as Realms of Fantasy, Weird Tales, Lightspeed,Intergalactic Medicine Show, On Spec, and Cicada, and in anthologies such as New Voices in Science Fiction,Fantasy: The Best of the Year, and The Dragon Done It. Recently he's contributed stories to several of John's anthologies, including The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, and The Way of the Wizard. He's attended numerous writing workshops, including Clarion, Odyssey, Viable Paradise, James Gunn's Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and Orson Scott Card's Writers Bootcamp, and he holds an MFA in screenwriting and fiction from the University of Southern California. He also teaches regularly at Alpha, a Pittsburgh-area science fiction workshop for young writers. He lives in New York.

Friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. If you enjoy the show, please consider making a donation via PayPal and/or signing up for a free trial with our sponsor, Audible.com.

Advertisement

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Maybe I'm just lucky, but the general insults thrown at academia don't seem to mesh with what I experienced. My literature professors had no problem with science fiction or fantasy; indeed, as you said, much of historical literature is fantastic (or "romantic" if you want to use the literary term).

Now, I wasn't able to write speculative fiction in the writing classes, for the most part, but it wasn't because my teachers looked down on them. It was because, when you're trying to teach/learn the very basics of writing, it can often be distracting to focus on things like worldbuilding. If we spend an hour dissecting how realistic my FTL drive is, I miss out on the (more, IMO) important things like character and dialogue.