Eating the Fantastic

Eating the Fantastic

I've been going to science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comic book conventions since I was 15, and I’ve found that while the con which takes place within the walls of a hotel or convention center is always fun, the con away from the con—which takes place when I wander off-site with friends for a meal—can often be more fun. In fact, my love of tracking down good food while traveling the world attending conventions has apparently become so well known that one blogger even dubbed me "science fiction’s Anthony Bourdain." So I've decided to replicate in podcast form one of my favorite parts of any convention—good conversation with good friends over good food. During each episode, I’ll share a meal with someone whose opinions I think you’ll want to hear, and we’ll talk about science fiction, fantasy, horror, writing, comics, movies, fandom … whatever happens to come to mind. (There’ll also be food talk, of course.) Please note—this will not be a pristine studio-recorded podcast, but one which will always occur in a restaurant setting, meaning that mixed in with our conversation will be the sounds of eating and drinking and reviewing of menus and slurping and background chatter and the servers popping in … in other words, it’ll be as messy as life. And I hope you'll find it as entertaining, too.

Episodes

February 23, 2024 98 mins

Snack on sushi with Ray Nayler as we discuss how his time living outside the U.S. helped him become a better science fiction writer, why he feels the greatest effect of having written The Mountain in the Sea was a culinary one, the reason we agree our favorite part of writing is rewriting, the sad results of his accidental Facebook experiment, whether his mammoth memory behavior is based on scientific facts or is purely speculative...

Mark as Played

Nibble garlic naan with Jo Miles as we discuss how what began as a short story blossomed into a trilogy, the way to juggle multiple points of view and keep them balanced, the science fictional precursors which helped them create their sentient ship, how to properly pace the arc of a burgeoning romance, the importance of making sure a redemption arc feels earned, the way their mandate for writing optimistic science fiction came to b...

Mark as Played

Munch MVP sandwiches with MVPs Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan as we discuss why The Coode Street Podcast is "the Cheers of podcasts," the foolish statement made during their first episode which meant there had to be more, the identity of the guest who was most resistant to appearing on their show, the reason the podcast made Paul Cornell want to run, the different interviewing techniques necessary when having conversations with...

Mark as Played
January 12, 2024 76 mins

Join Izzy Wasserstein for Kansas City BBQ as we discuss the way Sarah Pinsker sparked her lightbulb moment, why it's important for her to learn your chosen D&D character, which Star Trek: The Next Generation characters caused her to take her first stab at writing, the change she'd make in her life if she were independently wealthy, why we both miss those paper rejection slips from publishing's pre-electronic days, the disconnect be...

Mark as Played
December 29, 2023 85 mins

Join Pat Murphy for lunch at "the single best restaurant in the world" in Episode 215 of Eating the Fantastic as we discuss the part of Robert A. Heinlein's famed rules of writing with which she disagrees, why she felt the need to attend the Clarion writing workshop even after having made several sales to major pro markets, the occasional difficulties in decoding what an editor is truly trying to tell you, the importance of never g...

Mark as Played
December 15, 2023 77 mins

Feast on crab fried rice with Nina Kiriki Hoffman as we discuss the way a ghost story which left her wanting more led to her taking her writing more seriously, her early reactions to reading Robert A. Heinlein and Ursula K. Le Guin, how the Clarion workshop convinced her she could have a career as a writer, the way she wanted to grow up to be a combination of Ray Bradbury and Zenna Henderson, what she learned about characterization...

Mark as Played
December 1, 2023 111 mins

Snack on spanakopita with Neil Clarke as we discuss how Clarkesworld was born (and what he wishes he'd known back when the magazine launched), the motivation behind his unrivaled response times, the irresponsible impact of AI on science fiction and what he's doing to help ameliorate it, how he proactively analyzes submission data to make sure he receives stories from diverse voices, the differing effect of the pandemic lockdown on ...

Mark as Played
November 17, 2023 82 mins

Polish off a Peruvian lunch with Alex Shvartsman as we discuss how intimations of mortality got him to start writing fiction, what he learned as a pro player of Magic: the Gathering which affected his storytelling, why he set aside his initial urge to write novels in favor of short stories, which U.S. science fiction writers are more famous in Russia than their home country, the reason his success as a writer and editor of humor ca...

Mark as Played
November 3, 2023 113 mins

Binge BBQ with the legendary Mike Gold as we discuss the way his hiring at DC Comics was all Neal Adams' fault, how the guerrilla marketing he learned from Abbie Hoffman helped him quadruple direct market sales, the Steve Ditko Creeper cover which sent a not-so-secret message to publisher Carmine Infantino, why editor Murray Boltinoff compared Marvel Comics to the Beatles (and not in a good way), which staffer was "the most disgust...

Mark as Played
October 24, 2023 94 mins

Chat and chew over fried calamari with the award-winning writer Michael Marano as we discuss how his love of science fiction storytelling led him to explore wrestling and roller derby, the lessons we each learned from our early rejections, his preference for old school Dungeons & Dragons, how his crush on Linda Blair affected his first celebrity interview, whether writers ever really retire regardless of what they claim, what his c...

Mark as Played
October 12, 2023 89 mins

Dine on oxtail stew with Lauren Beukes as we discuss why the genre community is like a giant amoeba, how her choice of D&D character is in perfect sync with the way she writes, the reason she only recently realized she has ADHD (and why her new novel Bridge is definitely an ADHD book), why AI can never replace writers, the ways in which the protagonist of her new novel is different from all her other protagonists, the importance of...

Mark as Played
October 3, 2023 134 mins

Relive Capclaves past and present during the lightning-round Capclave Donut Carnival, where you'll hear R. Z. Held and me bond over rejection, David Hacker explain his love of listening to writers read, Michael Dirda recall why Orson Scott Card once kneeled before him on an elevator, James Morrow share his fascination with Charles Darwin, how Katy Lewis found her husband through Dungeons and Dragons, Michael Walsh's favorite moment...

Mark as Played
September 22, 2023 109 mins

Join Hildy Silverman for a Georgian feast as we discuss the kindergarten incident which taught her all she ever wanted to do was write, how to keep writing when the whole world is telling you to stop, what she learned early on from such literary lions as Sue Miller and Jayne Anne Phillips, the lunch that changed her life, why she loves writing for themed anthologies (and how to do it right), what made her decide to take over as edi...

Mark as Played
September 7, 2023 87 mins

Munch on a monstrous fish sandwich with Michael Bailey as we discuss his Stoker Award-nominated poetry collaboration with Marge Simon (and how they managed not to kill each other during the writing of it), how he knows when a poem is a poem and not a short story, what reading other anthologies taught him that made his own anthologies better, the economics of small press publishing, how to lose awards gracefully, the way getting an ...

Mark as Played
August 25, 2023 88 mins

Chow down on crispy pickled cucumbers with Lisa Morton as we discuss how seeing The Exorcist at age 15 changed her life, why she sometimes feels guilty about her path to publication, our memories of the late, great Dennis Etchison, the differences between trick or treating in New York vs. L.A., the weirdest thing about working in a bookstore during the pandemic, the differing ways our writing was affected by lockdown, how she myth-...

Mark as Played
August 11, 2023 97 mins

Feast on Fettuccine Alfredo with Howard Bender as we discuss how desperate Marvel Comics must have been to have hired young kids like us, his role in founding the Pittsburgh Comics Club (and the way he paid homage to that club down the road in Dial H for Hero), the day he showed Stan Lee his art portfolio over dessert, how he started his career at Marvel using Jack Kirby's taboret, the fact neither of us would have become who we tu...

Mark as Played
July 28, 2023 77 mins

Bite into baklava with Charlie Jane Anders as we discuss how her childhood fantasy of aliens whisking her away from Earth gave birth to her Unstoppable trilogy, the way writing a YA meant she had to completely change the way she writes, the challenges of bringing a large cast of characters to life while giving them their own inner lives, why she has problems with Clarke's Third Law but was willing to roll with it for her new trilog...

Mark as Played
July 12, 2023 61 mins

It's time for a ramen reunion with my 1979 Clarion classmate Rhondi Salsitz as we discuss her early missed opportunity to workshop with Octavia Butler, the terrible thing Tom Disch told her during their one-on-one meeting during Clarion, the animated series which inspired her to write her bestselling Sand Wars series of novels, why she feels she's still standing when so many of our Clarion comrades aren't, what caused a reader to w...

Mark as Played
June 30, 2023 84 mins

Bite into a baconless BLT with Jordan Kurella as we discuss which ice cream flavor he chose to celebrate his Nebula Award nomination, the way readers can tell which stories writers had the most fun writing, how  all he needs to pants a story is the first line, what caused him to say "it's not write what you know, it's write what you're embarrassed about," why he doesn't like to reread his own published work unless he has to, how to...

Mark as Played
June 16, 2023 81 mins

Join J. Michael Straczynski for breakfast as we discuss his appearance on one of the greatest convention panels I've ever been privileged to witness, why Superman stood out above all the other superheroes of his youth, his epiphany which occurred the night before the premiere of Changling at the Cannes Film Festival, the low boredom threshold of Harlan Ellison, how Norman Corwin's ability to overcome bitterness about the Blacklist ...

Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Forty six years ago, on a warm summer night in Melbourne, Susan Bartlett and Suzanne Armstrong were stabbed to death in their home in Easey Street, Collingwood. Suzanne's 16 month-old son was asleep in the cot at this time. The double homicide remains one of the most confronting cold cases.

    Math & Magic: Stories from the Frontiers of Marketing with Bob Pittman

    How do the smartest marketers and business entrepreneurs cut through the noise? And how do they manage to do it again and again? It's a combination of math—the strategy and analytics—and magic, the creative spark. Join iHeartMedia Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman as he analyzes the Math and Magic of marketing—sitting down with today's most gifted disruptors and compelling storytellers.

    Dateline NBC

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    BG2Pod with Brad Gerstner and Bill Gurley

    Open Source bi-weekly conversation with Brad Gerstner (@altcap) & Bill Gurley (@bgurley) on all things tech, markets, investing & capitalism

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

Advertise With Us
Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

Connect

© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.