Podcast Episode 51: Focusing on Shorter Fiction

Bud SparkhawkThis week I chat with Bud Sparhawk, a three-time Nebula novella finalist and current Treasurer of the Science Fiction Writers of America. During our fun conversation, we cover what inspired his novella Hurricane!, how he got started as a published writer, the challenges of being a writer with ADD, the differences in sharing written artistic expression from other art forms, the basic formula for short stories and novellas, the difference between short and long form fiction, and more.

To help defray the cost of hosting the podcast, archived episodes greater than four months old will be made available for sale at $0.99 per episode.

Duration: 33:48
File Size: 61.9 MB

Mentioned in this Episode:

Capclave's Dodo Capclave
Capclave is a small, relaxed, Washington-DC-based literary convention with a program that usually focuses on the short fiction form. Guests and attendees explore the creation and enjoyment of short fantasy and science fiction genre stories. It is known for its relaxed atmosphere. It’s logo is a Dodo bird accompanied by the slogan, “Where reading is not extinct.”
I attended Capclave in 2005 when the guests of honor were Howard Waldrop, Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Teresa Nielsen Hayden.
Analog Science Fiction & Fact
Bud’s novella Hurricane! appeared in the September 1994 issue of Analog Science Fiction & Fact. The magazine got its start as a pulp magazine in 1930 as Astounding Stories. When John W. Campbell started editing in 1938, it changed its name to Astounding Science Fiction. And, in 1960, the name changed again to Analog Science Fact & Fiction. Then, in 1992, the magazine changed to its current name of Analog Science Fiction & Fact It is now the longest running, continuously published science fiction magazine. During its “Astounding” years, the magazine influenced the careers of such well-known genre writers as Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein.
September 1994 issue of Analog
ConFrancisco ConFrancisco
ConFrancisco was the 51st World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon). It was held in September of 1993 in downtown San Francisco at the Moscone Convention Center. The guests of honor included Larry Niven, Alicia Austin, Tom Digby and Jan Howard Finder. ConFrancisco was the last Worldcon not to have its own official website.
Dangerous Visions
Harlan Ellison’s anthology is considered an important milestone in the development of the New Wave movement in science fiction in the 1960s. Published in 1967, Dangerous Visions collected together quintessential New Wave stories written by the best writers of the time. The collection helped define what the New Wave science fiction movement, especially in its depiction of sex in the genre. Ellison received a special citation for the book at the 26th Worldcon. In 1972, Ellison produced a sequel called Again, Dangerous Visions. A third book was started, called The Last Dangerous Visions, but, although announced in 1973, is, as yet, unpublished.
Dangerous Visions cover

Rejection and Acceptance
The blog entries Bud mentions in this episode can be found here:

Adult ADD Commercial

Although this commercial give a very good visual example of what its like to have ADD, I’m not sure I’d want all those side effects the advertised medication says might come along with taking it!

Adult ADD and Loving It!

This documentary may be a little unfocused at times, but it provides a lot of very good information about ADD and I recommend it for anyone who has it or loves someone who does.

Interesting ADD/ADHD Facts

  • 20% of children with ADD/ADHD also have another learning disability
  • 80% of children with ADD/ADHD have academic challenges
  • 60% of children with ADD/ADHD will still have it as an adult
  • Although male children are more likely to be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD than female children, the ratio of male to female evens out in adult ADD/ADHD. This may be due to the fact that hyperactivity is more common in males than females and therefore male children get noticed more easily and frequently.

This genre convention that focuses on science fiction and fantasy literature and art is held annually in Pittsburgh. Its programming focuses on letting “fans of science fiction and fantasy hear about the views and visions of some of the leading authors, editors, and critics in the genre.”

Bob Eggleton Bob Eggleton
This science fiction, fantasy and horror artist has been honored with the Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist not once, but eight times since 1994. His art covers the gamut of genre topics from space ships and alien worlds to dragons, vampires and other fantastic creatures. In 2007, Bob agreed to let me interview him for The Genre Traveler (that’s when it was a PDF magazine). You can download the PDF of the story on Bob from the Feb. 2007 issue of The Genre Traveler here.
Writers that Broaden Your Vocabulary
Bud mentioned a couple of writers whose writing might require you to look up a few unfamiliar words. The first was Ian McDonald, a British science fiction novelist who tends to write stories set in nanotechnology and postcyberpunk worlds. The second was China Miéville, an English fantasy fiction writer known for his “weird fiction.”
Ian McDonald and China Miéville
Connie Willis Connie Willis
This American science fiction writer has won 11 Hugo Awards and seven Nebular Awards for her work. She was inducted into the Science Fiction Museum and Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2009. Her writing style tends toward “comedy of errors” and much of her fiction explores social issues. Connie was the Guest of Honor a Worldcon the year I attended. Her picture is on my T-shirt!
Carma wearing her Worldcon t-shirt Closeup of the Worldcon t-shirt artwork
Carma Spence, The Genre Traveler, wearing her Worldcon 2006 t-shirt A close up of the art featuring Connie Willis in the upper left corner under the “L.”

Algis Budrys
Algis was a science fiction author, editor and critic who also wrote under the pen names of Frank Mason, Alger Rome, John A. Sentry, William Scarff and Paul Janvier.

For more information about Bud Sparhawk:

Related Articles

Share your travels!

About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.

1 comments on “Podcast Episode 51: Focusing on Shorter Fiction”

  1. Pingback: The Genre Traveler » Most Memorable Podcasts of 2011

Comments are closed.