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Invaders From Planet 3

Invaders From Planet 3 is a bi-weekly podcast where we talk about science fiction, fantasy, and all points in between. Each episode we'll interview authors, editors, and others about the books, short stories, movies, TV shows, radio plays, and comics that made them fall in love with speculative fiction. From there, the conversations can go anywhere! Join us for the invasion!
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A bi-weekly podcast where we talk with authors and others about science fiction, fantasy, and all points in between.

 

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Dec 6, 2017

We're joined by author John Jantunen in this episode. John starts off by telling us about his early influences, including David Gerrold's War Against the Chtorr series, Stephen King, old Hammer horror vampire films starring Peter Cushing, and post-apocalyptic movies like The Road Warrior, Escape from New York, A Boy and His Dog, The Quiet Earth, and Night of the Comet.

We also talk extensively about John's love for the works of Philip K Dick, especially Counter-Clock World; Valis; A Scanner Darkly; Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said; and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? He also discusses watching Bladerunner when it first hit the theatres, what it's like rewatching it now versus his experience as a kid, and how it compares with 'Androids. While John talks about how Dick's weird ideas and the fundamental desperation of his writing were the biggest influence on his own development as a writer, he also discusses the slippery slope of reading too much PKD.

And we go into detail about John's love of the post-apocalypse as subject matter, and specifically the question he continuously asked himself as a kid in the shadow of the Cold War in the 70s and 80s: what would a Canadian apocalypse look like? These thoughts fed into his eventual development of his short story "The Body Politic", and most especially his novel A Desolate Splendor, which we examine.

Our interview took place in December 2016 via a Skype connection between John's home in Guelph, Ontario, and my location in the Lair of bloginhood, located in a cave beneath a hill fort in Kent.

Look for John Jantunen's books in your nearest bookstore or online.

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!

 

Oct 11, 2017

Author Alyx Dellamonica joins us in this episode of the podcast. She tells us about her first loves in the genre, including Spider-Man comics, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, and Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man. We'll also talk about how she grew up in a home where, from a very young age, she was free to read anything, from children's books like Island of the Blue Dolphins, to more adult fare like Jaws.

We'll also talk about her development as a writer, starting with her first attempts at "Dr. Seuss-inspired doggerel" during childhood, to submitting stories to magazines at 16, and her eventual success in getting published. Alyx tells us about how being steeped in the world of theatre helped her writing, and what other writers can learn from the dramatic arts. She also talks about why she feels most at home writing speculative fiction, and we discuss some of her work, including her Hidden Sea Tales trilogy, and her contribution to the 007-inspired anthology License Expired: The Unauthorized James Bond.

And Alyx tells us about some of her latest stories. Those include the short story "Tribes" in the anthology Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts and "Bottleneck" in The Sum of Us: Tales of the Bonded and Bound — both collections published by Laksa Media as  a benefit for people with mental health challenges. She's also working on a novella, "Of Things" and a novel, Win Conditions — both set in a world of resource scarcity where popularity is like currency.

Our interview took place in December 2016 via a Skype connection between Alyx's home in Toronto, and my studio in the Lair of bloginhood, located on a house-sized chunk of ice in the rings of Neptune.

Find out more about Alyx Dellamonica on her website:
alyxdellamonica.com

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!

 

Sep 5, 2017

In this episode, we're joined by author Kelly Robson. We talk about her first love in the genre, Star Wars — how it was big, exciting and sexy, but also an escape from family drama at home; and what it's like to look back on the movie now as an adult and a professional speculative fiction writer. We talk about other early sf pleasures, like the original Battlestar Galactica; books by Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, and others; and the genre magazines of the 70s and 80s. Along the way, we also discuss the early superhero Zorro (and specifically the George Hamilton movie Zorro — The Gay Blade), and why you may have to read Heinlein before a certain age in order to enjoy his stories.

Turning to her own career, Kelly tells us how the Connie Willis story "Blued Moon" reprogrammed her brain and made her want to become a writer. She talks about the positive aspects of starting her career in middle age, and how, despite writing being a selfish line of work, she's still able to be happy as an author married to another author. We also talk about how growing up on a farm in a small town in rural Alberta has influenced her work.

As well, we discuss Kelly's unique suggestion to resolve the Sad/Rabid Puppies controversy that wracked the Hugo Awards in 2015 and 2016.

And Kelly tells us about some of her recent stories, including "A Human Stain" on Tor.com, and her contribution to the Kickstarter project NASTY — Fetish Erotica for a Good Cause.

Our interview took place in December 2016 via a Skype connection between Kelly's home in Toronto, and my studio in the Lair of bloginhood, located in the rafters of an abandoned whisky distillery in the Highlands of Scotland.

Find out more about Kelly Robson on her website:
kellyrobson.com

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!

 

Aug 18, 2017

Author and editor David Nickle joins us for this episode. He tells us about works of speculative fiction that influenced him early on, including the TV series Lost in Space (and what it has in common with Larry Niven's Ringworld), Lester del Rey's novel The Runaway Robot, and the stories of Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Shirley Jackson, Harlan Ellison, and Stephen King. On the subject of enjoying King, David talks about how he and his wife, author and editor Madeline Ashby, read a chapter of Salem's Lot out loud every night before bed. But also in our discussion of the giants of the genre, he also explains why Robert A. Heinlein isn't among his favourites.

On the subject of being an author, David recounts the tale of his first stab at writing: dictating Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons fanfic to his mother for transcription when he was four. He talks about how being a journalist has helped his writing. And David shares his thoughts on whether national identity plays a role in writing Canadian sf these days. He also discusses the challenges he and Ashby faced as co-editors wrangling the legal ins-and-outs of the anthology License Expired: The Unauthorized James Bond, which was released only in Canada due to copyright laws.

And David tells us about his new book, VOLK: A Novel of Radiant Abomination.

Our interview took place in December 2016 via a Skype connection between David's home in Toronto and my studio in the Lair of bloginhood, located in a bunker beneath a picnic table at Long Beach near Tofino.

Find out more about David Nickle on his website:
davidnickle.blogspot.ca (a.k.a The Devil's Exercise Yard)

 

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!

 

Jul 15, 2017

In this episode, we're joined by author and editor Silvia Moreno-Garcia. She tells us how HP Lovecraft and Peter S Beagle were among the English language authors who made an early impression on her. Silvia then goes on to discuss what it was like coming back to Lovecraft while doing thesis work, analyzing the attitudes towards race and sex in his stories, and how some of her own works have responded to him. She also shares the importance of Silvina Ocampo, one of the few female authors writing magic realism in Spanish during the 1950s.

We also talk about Silvia's experience with overlapping cultures — growing up in Mexico while also being exposed to American culture, then moving to Canada — and how this has influenced her writing, as demonstrated in her luchador superhero short story "Iron Justice versus the Fiends of Evil" (from the Masked Mosaic anthology). This leads us into a discussion about the phenomenon of Latin American speculative fiction authors getting recognition in their home countries only after moving overseas and writing in English. And she tells us what needs to happen for Latin American countries and Spain need to build their own strong, local speculative fiction communities.

Silvia also teases her upcoming novel, The Beautiful Ones (set for release in October, 2017).

Our interview took place in October 2016 at VCon 41 in Surrey, BC.

Find out more about Silvia Moreno-Garcia on her website:
silviamoreno-garcia.com/blog/

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!



Let the invasion begin!

May 23, 2017

Author Matt Ruff joins us in this episode, where he talks about how books like Bertrand R. Brinley's The Mad Scientists' Club made him fall in love with scientific thinking and science fictional ideas. He also tells us how being given a box of Robert A. Heinlein's adult books at the age of 9 got him thinking critically about stories, and how they could be written better. And he discusses other influences over the years, such as Stephen King, John Crowley's Little, Big, Neal Stephenson, and William Gibson.

Matt shares his thoughts on writing, including how to know when something is written well, crafting stories that are in conversation with the works of other authors, and why he doesn't like to go back over the same ground. We also talk about a trope he frequently explores in his stories: the challenges of dealing with power — getting on in a world where power imbalances exist.

This leads us into a discussion about Matt's latest work: his mosaic novel Lovecraft Country, about an African-American family in the 1950s dealing with the supernatural machinations of a Lovecraftian cult, as well as the day-to-day horrors of racism in the U.S. Matt talks about confronting the racism and sexism in Lovecraft's work. He also shares this thoughts about the importance of doing a good job on the writing, and of finding common ground, as a white author writing about African-Americans. And we talk about last week's announcement that Jordan Peele, Misha Green, and J.J. Abrams will be producing a Lovecraft Country series for HBO, and how he's okay with adaptations and letting TV writers play with his ideas.

Our interview took place in May 2017 at Matt's home in Seattle.

Find out more about Matt Ruff on his website:

bymattruff.com

 

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!

 

May 15, 2017

In this episode, we're joined by author Robert Charles Wilson, who tells us about how he fell in love with speculative fiction — including stories such as Louis Slobodkin's The Space Ship Under the Apple Tree, the Mushroom Planet books by Eleanor Cameron, and Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time —  as soon as he learned to read. We'll learn how sf's juxtaposition of the ordinary with the extraordinary fascinated him, and how exploring the genre and its ideas was a reaction to growing up in an incurious family.

Bob also talks about how he became a writer, and overcoming his anxiety about his work — an anxiety that gave him nightmares. We'll discuss some of the tropes frequently addressed in his stories, including unfathomable cosmic forces and how humanity deals with them, and how he'll sometimes examine them from different perspectives across several unrelated novels. We'll also talk about the presence of characters in his books who are on the autism spectrum.

And we'll hear about some of the stories he's developing (including his novel Last Year, which was released in December 2016, a couple of months after our interview).

Our interview took place in September 2016 near Bob's home in the Greater Toronto Area.

Find out more about Robert Charles Wilson and his books on his website:

robert-charles-wilson.com

 

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!

 

Apr 22, 2017

Sebastien de Castell, author of the Greatcoats fantasy series, joins us in this episode. We talk about how his love of fantasy started with CS Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the importance of the story to him at a time when he was dealing with one of the toughest experiences a child can face. As well, he shares his thoughts about fantasy's role in highlighting the wonder of the real world, rather than just being a means of escape.

 

Sebastien then discusses how a rainy camping trip with a copy of Keith Taylor's Bard ultimately inspired his career path: music, swordplay, and storytelling. We explore how his writing has been shaped by what he's learned as a musician. As someone who's coordinated sword fighting scenes for stage productions, he also talks about how technique with a blade is often less important to writing a fight scene than the other experiences one has during a duel.

 

He explains the benefits of having a good working relationship with his editor, and having beta readers who will help him hash-out a story. Sebastien also talks about the challenges of transitioning from writing one book to another, and of shifting gears when he has multiple stories on the go at once (at the time of our conversation, he was working on three books simultaneously: the upcoming Greatcoats instalment Tyrant's Throne, the also soon-to-be-released Spellslinger, and a third book that's in development).

 

 

We talk about the problems that arise when people try impose a personal frame on art. This leads to a discussion about the 2016 Hugo Awards controversy.

 

Our interview took place in June 2016 at Sebastien's home in Vancouver, BC.

 

Find out more about Sebastien de Castell and his works at:

decastell.com

 

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!

 

 

 

 

Apr 13, 2017

The invasion resumes!

In this episode, bridging season 1 and 2, we hear from a group of fans about their first loves in science fiction and fantasy. Our guests include the owners of Vancouver's White Dwarf science fiction bookstore, Jill Sanagan and Walter Sinclair; Vancouver film critic Thor Diakow; and fans-about-town Geordie Howe and Brandon Wong.

Some of the interviews were conducted around Greater Vancouver (accounting for the non-stop construction noise in the background), while others were held in the lair of bloginhood, located in an abandoned coal mine deep beneath the Cumberland village centre park on Vancouver Island.

Be sure to tune in over the coming weeks for more episodes from our new season of Invaders From Planet 3!

 

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!

 

Let the invasion begin!

 

May 7, 2016
Ep 09 - Minister Faust

In this episode, we're joined by author, podcaster, and video game dialogue & plot writer Minister Faust. Minister tells us how his love of speculative fiction started with the original Star Trek series and Robert A. Heinlein's Red Planet. We also talk about Frank Herbert's Dune as one of his early influences, along with the merits and faults of the various incarnations of Dune over the years.

Also of particular interest are Minister's reflections on the significant role his mother played in his early development as a reader and a writer. How she introduced him to science fiction — and literature in general — and allowed him to read anything in the house. How she gave him a sense of the importance of having someone to talk about stories with. And how she fostered his enthusiasm for the wonder of the universe.

We'll talk about his books and how they struggle with the question of redemption and the humanity of both heroes and villains. On the subject of heroes, we'll discuss superheroes and comics, and how his novel Shrinking the Heroes (formerly known as From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain) uses the tropes of this sub-genre to grapple with the dangers of both poorly practiced psychology and the US government under the George W. Bush administration.

As we talk about superhero movies like Mystery Men and TV shows like Breaking Bad (which he contends is actually science fiction), Minister will share his thoughts on what he wants out of novels, comics, and other forms of entertainment. Our conversation will branch out into an exploration of the nature of communication and perception. And we circle back to the topic of heroes with a discussion on Canada's difficulty with heroes and mythology, nationalism versus regionalism, and the effects of our history.

Our interview took place in October 2015 via a Skype connection between Minister's headquarters at the Grand Lodge of Imhotep in Edmonton, and my location in the lair of bloginhood, located aboard a refurbished airship moored to the peak of Mt. Garibaldi.

Find out more about Minister Faust and his works at:

ministerfaust.com

 

 

Apr 23, 2016
Ep 08 - Kit Reed

In this episode, we're joined by author Kit Reed, who tells us how the Oz books — the ones penned by Ruth Plumly Thompson, rather than the originals by L. Frank Baum — were her gateway to speculative fiction. She'll talk about other early influences, like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ray Bradbury, Theodore Sturgeon, and John Collier, and how her reading continues to range across a wide variety of genre and non-genre authors and subjects.

We'll hear how being the child of a navy officer who moved around a lot meant having to adapt to new communities and situations, teaching her to observe group behaviour and in turn contributing to some of the themes in her stories. Kit then discusses how her career as a journalist also helped shape her approach to writing fiction.

And we'll talk about her love of comics, from early favourites like Superman and Batman, to more recent fare, including Preacher and Snow Piercer. She'll also tell us why — apart from her childhood creation of Harbour the Bunny — she hasn't taken a crack at writing comics herself.

Our interview took place in October 2015 via a Skype connection between Kit's home in Connecticut and my studio in the lair of bloginhood, located deep beneath the Niagara Escarpment.

Find out more about Kit and her works at:

kitreed.net

 

 

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!

 

 

Apr 9, 2016
Ep 07 - Joe Haldeman

In this episode, we'll chat with author Joe Haldeman. We're also joined by Joe's wife, Gay — and the resident murder of crows at the hotel hosting the convention.

Joe shares some of his early sf favourites with us, including Lester del Rey's Rocket Jockey, Robert A Heinlein's Red Planet, and the TV series Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. He talks about meeting some of the science fiction authors that influenced him during his youth. And he'll tell us about his enjoyment of the Year's Best anthology series at this stage in his life.

Joe also muses about the way the world and the ability of people to access information and entertainment has changed over the years, and how one's personality and experiences affect one's tastes. He tells us about how his letters home from Vietnam formed the basis of his first novel. And he talks about being a writer, and how science fiction authors differ from their mainstream counterparts.

At various points in our conversation, we talk about gatekeepers — people who have played an important role in introducing him to science fiction, and his own part in fostering someone else's appreciation of the genre.

Our interview took place in October 2015 at VCon — the Vancouver Science Fiction, Fantasy and Games Convention (in the hotel's courtyard, which accounts for the crows adding their two cents to the conversation).

Find out more about Joe and his works at:

joehaldeman.com

 

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!

 

Mar 26, 2016
Ep 06 - Kristi Charish

In this episode, we're joined by author, podcaster and scientist Kristi Charish, who tells us about how important the Indiana Jones movies were to her as a young fan — especially The Temple of Doom — and why they still resonate so powerfully in pop culture and sf. She'll talk about reading Heinlein and Asimov, and some of her favourite Marvel Comics series over the years, including Excalibur and Ultimate Avengers. She'll also tell us about her love of video games, especially Dragon Age, Uncharted and Mass Effect, and how they influenced her writing.

Kristi shares the story of her roundabout path from being a kid who wanted to be Short Round, to becoming an archaeology student who switched to genetics, to branching into a career as a writer. She'll talk about how that background in science is as important to her writing as her enjoyment of speculative fiction has been. She'll explore the nature of urban fantasy. And we'll discuss how hard science underlies her urban fantasy stories, and how she works to ensure that doesn't interrupt the storytelling.

Our interview took place in October 2015 at VCon — the Vancouver Science Fiction, Fantasy and Games Convention (in a lounge along a main thoroughfare, which is why you'll hear the comings and goings of conventioneers in the background).

Find out more about Kristi and her works at:

kristicharish.com

 

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!

 

Mar 12, 2016
Ep 05 - Melinda Snodgrass

Author and editor Melinda Snodgrass joins us in this episode, telling us how she began her journey into speculative fiction with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. She'll talk about how Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom books, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Heinlein's juveniles were important to her as a smart kid who wanted adventure and escapism, why she's still fond of them as an adult, and the influence the stories of her youth have had on her own writing. Melinda will share her thoughts on what it's like to read the works of friends versus books written by people she doesn't know. She'll talk about some of the business aspects of writing, such as the cross-pollination that takes place between different types of media. And she has some words of wisdom for older fans about the next generation of science fiction and fantasy lovers who have come to the genre by different paths.

Our interview took place in August 2015 at Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, Washington (in a lounge area near a hallway in the convention centre, which is why you'll hear some background noise).

Find out more about Melinda and her works at:

melindasnodgrass.com

 

Visit iTunes to subscribe to Invaders From Planet 3 and download episodes, and be sure to rate the show while you're there!

 

 

Feb 27, 2016
Ep 04 - Robert J Sawyer

In this episode, author & editor Robert J. Sawyer tells us about getting an early start in adult-level science fiction reading books by David Gerrold and Isaac Asimov. He'll talk about why the original Star Trek was such a great TV series, and share his opinions about how science fiction has evolved and sometimes taken steps backward over the years. We'll also chat with Rob about how well old sf novels hold up, specifically some of the works of Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. Reflecting on his own writing, Rob will tell us about what he learned from interviewing some of the giants in the field back in the 1980s, how he's tried to synthesize the approaches of Larry Niven and Mike Resnick, and  his reputation for being an optimist. He'll also give us some hints about what to expect from his newest novel, Quantum Night.

Our interview took place in August 2015 at Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, Washington.

Find out more about Rob and his works at:

sfwriter.com

 

Feb 12, 2016
Ep 03 - Alex Renwick

In this episode, we'll talk with author and editor Alex Renwick (a.k.a. Camille Alexa) about how Watership Down, Childhood's End, and A Canticle for Leibowitz switched her on to literature and speculative fiction when she was a child. She'll tell us about her love for the TV shows The Bionic Woman and Ark II, and how she later discovered the Regency romance novels of Georgette Heyer. Along the way, we'll find out about how a long train ride played a key role in her transformation into a writer, and Alex will talk about creating short fiction versus novels.

Our interview took place in May 2015 in the lair of bloginhood, located in a sub-aquatic citadel on the floor of the Bay of Fundy.

Find out more about Alex and her latest works at:

alexcrenwick.com

 

Feb 12, 2016
Ep 02 - Claude Lalumiere

In this episode, author and editor Claude Lalumiere talks about his love of the TV show Ultraman and comics like The Avengers during his formative years. We'll also hear about the importance of Interzone magazine, and the influence of Philip Jose Farmer, Robert Silverberg, Roger Zelazny, and others on his development as a writer. He shares his thoughts on the two stages of his writing career, what it's like to look back at his older stories, and the state of speculative fiction today.

Our interview took place in May 2015 in the lair of bloginhood, located in a habitat module on an asteroid in the Oort cloud.

Find out more about Claude and his latest stories and anthologies at:

claudepages.info

 

Feb 12, 2016
Ep 01 - Let the Invasion Begin

Welcome to the inaugural episode of Invaders From Planet 3, a bi-weekly podcast about science fiction, fantasy, and all points in between.

In this episode, you'll get a quick overview of what we'll be talking about with our guests, and why the name Invaders From Planet 3 was chosen.

I look forward to hearing from you on this page, on bloginhood.com (the staging point for the invasion), or on my Twitter feed: @bloginhood.

 

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