Two Chairs Talking
Episode 57: From a skewed perspective

Episode 57: From a skewed perspective

July 21, 2021

David and Perry discuss the nominees for Best Novella at this year's Hugo Awards, then talk about some more recent reading.

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Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels

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Episode 56: Labyrinths and rooftops

Episode 56: Labyrinths and rooftops

July 6, 2021

Perry and David nominate their best reads in the year so far and then go on to discuss their recent reading, ranging from children's books to a strange novel by a Japanese author

  • Locus Awards (03:25)
  • Arthur C. Clarke Award (01:37)
  • Other Awards (01:03)
  • David's top 5 books of the year so far (02:51)
    • Clarissa Harlowe by Samuel Richardson (00:56)
    • The Women in Black by Madeleine St John (00:10)
    • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (00:13)
    • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (00:08)
    • Lavengro / Romany Rye by George Borrow (00:25)
  • Perry's top 5 books of the year so far (04:11)
    • Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. Le Guin (01:24)
    • Dune by Frank Herbert (00:54)
    • The Yield by Tara Jane Winch (00:11)
    • First Love by Ivan Turgenev (00:51)
    • The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (00:17)
  • Emails and Tweets of Comment (01:57)
  • Why You Should Read Children's Books by Katherine Rundell (04:32)
  • The Scarecrow and His Servant by Philip Pullman (06:08)
  • The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (07:15)
  • Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell (07:08)
  • The Labyrinth by Amanda Lowrey (06:26)
  • Lavengro, Romany Rye by George Borrow (06:08)
  • Interlibrary Loan by Gene Wolfe (05:46)
  • Windup (01:11)

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Illustration: rooftops of Paris.

Episode 55: Make me know the nature of their crimes

Episode 55: Make me know the nature of their crimes

June 22, 2021

David and Perry return to their life of crime and discuss several excellent crime novels by Australian authors and others. They jointly discuss "The Chase", the latest novel by Candice Fox.

  • Hugo Voting Packet (02:42)
  • Miles Franklin Award shortlist (03:00)
  • ALS Gold Medal (02:36)
  • The Dragon Man by Garry Disher (07:51)
  • The Wife and the Widow by Christian White (08:32)
  • Bitter Wash Road by Garry Disher (09:02)
  • Later by Stephen King (06:56)
  • The Chase by Candice Fox (10:18)
  • Windup (01:26)

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Image from pxhere.com

Episode 54: Fandom is a way of life

Episode 54: Fandom is a way of life

June 8, 2021

Perry and David discuss science fiction fandom and their introduction to it via amateur magazine publishing. Perry interviews Rose Mitchell, the Fan Guest of Honour at CoNZealand, the 2020 Worldcon.

  • Nebula Awards 2021 (07:01)

    • Best Novel: Network Effect by Martha Wells (00:46)
    • Best Novella: Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark (00:59)
    • Best Novelette: “Two Truths and a Lie”, Sarah Pinsker (00:19)
    • Best Short Story: “Open House on Haunted Hill”, John Wiswell (01:19)
    • Best Game Writing: Hades by Greg Kasavin (00:12)
    • Ray Bradbury Award: The Good Place (00:25)
    • Andre Norton Award: A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher (00:58)
  • Fanzines and Fandom (00:29)
  • What is a fanzine? (03:02)
  • Changes in terminology and technology (00:57)
  • Amateur Press Associations (00:19)
  • ANZAPA (01:26)
  • Wanting to be a writer (00:38)
  • How apas work (03:43)
  • General distribution fanzines (01:53)
  • Why publish a genzine? (01:07)
  • Visual design of fanzines (01:10)
  • Including illustrations (03:07)
  • Email and the Internet (04:02)
  • Changed the dynamic (03:04)
  • Ego scanning (01:56)
  • Access to old material (02:51)
  • Running conventions (01:49)
  • Younger people and fanzines (03:24)
  • Using up our creative energy (04:13)
  • Interview with Rose Mitchell (44:58)
    • Getting in to SF (04:53)
    • Becoming involved with organising (02:09)
    • Attending conventions (04:41)
    • Things started to change (00:22)
    • Melbourne SF Club (00:39)
    • Getting involved with Worldcon 1999 (01:16)
    • Appointed as Treasurer of convention (02:46)
    • Did the 1999 Worldcon change your ideas of fandom? (01:46)
    • After 1999 (01:31)
    • Running national and smaller conventions (01:44)
    • Chairing national conventions (00:29)
    • Attending overseas conventions (01:24)
    • Chair of the 2010 Worldcon (02:38)
    • After 2010 (03:15)
    • New Zealand Worldcon bid (02:44)
    • Fan Guest of Honour (07:22)
    • What does the future hold? (00:12)
    • Australian Science Fiction Foundation (00:14)
    • Fully retired (03:51)
  • Windup (01:29)

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Illustration: a selection of Australian fanzines.

Episode 53: Fact and fantasy

Episode 53: Fact and fantasy

May 25, 2021

David and Perry discuss recent awards in the Horror genre; Perry talks about a recent Australian novel, a podcast, and some fantasy novellas; and David talks about fascinating non-fiction books he's recently enjoyed.

  • The horror, the horror... (05:53)

    • The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (00:37)
    • Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones (00:33)
    • The Invisible Man (screenplay) (00:40)
    • Werewolf novel by John Steinbeck (03:12)
  • Non-fiction (01:17)
  • Deep Sea and Foreign Going by Rose George (07:11)
  • The Yield by Tara June Winch (08:02)
  • The Shape of Sound by Fiona Murphy (09:37)
  • Seeing Voices by Oliver Sacks (00:24)
  • Sideways podcast by Matthew Syed (10:55)
  • Extraterrestial by Avi Loeb (08:51)
  • Nghi Vo novellas (06:46)
    • The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo (03:00)
    • When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo (02:56)
  • Liftoff by Eric Berger (09:13)
  • Windup (01:22)

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Photo of dragon by Eva Elijas from Pexels. Rocket launch courtesy of SpaceX.

Episode 52: Nothing is so perfect…

Episode 52: Nothing is so perfect…

May 12, 2021

Perry and David take the Hugo Time Machine on an expedition to the year 1966, the year when Dune won the Best Novel award

  • The Big Jab (01:48)
  • 2021 Locus Awards shortlists (04:11)
  • Hugo Time Machine 1966 (01:20:06)
    • Worldcon in 1966 (01:08)
    • First Nebula Awards (02:50)
    • Marque and Reprisal by Poul Anderson (08:36)
    • Stardock by Fritz Leiber (04:59)
    • The Day of the Great Shout by Phillip Jose Farmer (07:55)
    • The Doors of his Face by Roger Zelazny (05:56)
    • “Repent Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman by Harlan Ellision (06:21)
    • Comparison with Nebulas (05:05)
    • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (04:15)
    • The Squares of the City by John Brunner (06:05)
    • Skylark DuQuesne by E. E. Smith (03:59)
    • Dune by Frank Herbert (09:58)
    • And Call Me Conrad by Roger Zelazny (08:01)
    • Other possible nominees (04:37)
  • Windup (01:01)

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Image created by smithytomy - www.freepik.com

Episode 51: My Uncle Oscar had a sudden flash

Episode 51: My Uncle Oscar had a sudden flash

April 27, 2021

David and Perry talk about television and movies. Perry discusses several films nominated for this year’s Academy Awards, and David talks about The Flash television series and a short film based on the work of Terry Pratchett.

  • Letters of Comment (05:25)

    • From Szymon Szott (02:08)
    • From Candice Fox (01:27)
    • Meeting Garry Disher (01:26)
  • Hugo ballot (10:51)
  • The Flash Season 5 (07:35)
  • Zack Snyder's Justice League (01:52)
  • Nomadland (07:37)
  • The Flash Season 6 (05:10)
  • The Father (07:58)
  • Troll Bridge (06:38)
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 (08:27)
  • The Current War (06:21)
  • Mank (04:59)
  • Windup (01:07)

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Illustration: combines photo of an Academy Award by Davidlohr Bueso (CC BY 2.0) with a poster for The Flash series, copyright Warner Brothers (used here for purposes of review: fair use).

Episode 50: The bones of the dead

Episode 50: The bones of the dead

April 13, 2021

Perry and David celebrate their 50th episode of the podcast, and talk about the books they have read recently in the crime and thriller genre.

  • Game of Thrones anniversary (01:14)
  • Hugo Ballots coming (00:50)
  • Worldcon date change (03:19)
  • Game of Thrones book publication date (00:20)
  • Letter of Comment - comfort reading (03:04)
  • Crime Fiction (00:17)
  • Gathering Dark by Candice Fox (10:18)
  • Consolation by Garry Disher (06:34)
  • Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk (07:57)
  • The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child (12:45)
  • Darkness for Light by Emma Viskic (09:28)
  • A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin (08:09)
  • Windup (01:22)

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Illustration: "Still Life with a Skull and a Writing Quill" by Pieter Claesz. Thanks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Episode 49: Delving Down Under

Episode 49: Delving Down Under

March 30, 2021

David and Perry look at Australian literature, ranging from a book about bushrangers written in serial form in 1882 to modern science fiction.

  • Reading overload (00:30)
  • Comfort reads (01:50)
  • Hugo Award nominations (02:47)
  • Nebula Awards short list (07:58)
    • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (00:05)
    • The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin (00:17)
    • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (00:22)
    • The Midnight Bargain by C. L. Polk (00:42)
    • Black Sun by Rebecca Rowanhorse (00:22)
    • Network Effect by Martha Wells (01:22)
    • Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark (03:35)
  • Such is Life by Joseph Furphy (04:42)
  • The Watch Tower by Elizabeth Harrower (08:12)
  • Robbery Under Arms by Rolf Boldrewood (08:47)
  • Dispersion by Greg Egan (05:59)
  • The Black Opal by Katharine Susannah Prichard (07:52)
  • Falling Towards England by Clive James (04:42)
  • The Ministry For The Future by Kim Stanley Robinson (01:36)
  • Discussion with W. H. Chong (21:14)
    • The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson (04:03)
    • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (02:04)
    • The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott (03:53)
    • Underland by Robert McFarlane (03:24)
    • Reading multiple genres (02:41)
    • Poetry (00:29)
    • New translation of Beowulf (01:43)
  • Wind-up (02:15)

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Illustration: "Fire's On!" by Arthur Streeton.

Episode 48: We’re not the judges

Episode 48: We’re not the judges

March 16, 2021

Perry and David talk about a diverse selection of books they've been reading lately, and Perry talks to Dr. Lucy Sussex about the best books she read last year.

  • NASA naming of Perseverance landing spot (02:00)
  • Nebula Awards (06:25)
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (04:53)
  • Cross-cultural influence of The Beatles (01:41)
  • Website Galactic Journey - http://galacticjourney.org/ (08:48)
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (05:54)
  • The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie (09:36)
  • Daria's Daughter by Linda Huber (06:28)
  • Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender (09:48)
  • Interview with Lucy Sussex (19:03)
    • Square Haunting by Francesca Wade (01:29)
    • Truganini by Cassandra Pybus (04:03)
    • Friends & Rivals by Brenda Niall (01:05)
    • The Haunting of Alma Fielding by Kate Summerscale (02:29)
    • No Love Lost by Marjorie Allingham (01:41)
    • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (07:22)
  • Windup (01:07)

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Image: detail from "High Treason" by Sir John Lavery

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