Rupert Thomson, Edward Falco, Megan Sullivan & Scott Esposito (BSS #22)


Authors: Megan Sullivan, Rupert Thomson, Scott Esposito and Edward Falco.

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Looking for answers in British science fiction.

Subjects Discussed: How the idea came about, relentlessly cheery Swedish girlfriends, how Rupert Thomson processes his prodigious research, Ian McEwan, inspiration vs. craft, the trappings of being a “speculative fiction writer,” entertaining novels vs. literary novels, the difficulties of first-person narration, George Orwell, Anthony Burgess’ The Wanting Seed, Mikhail Bulgakov and literary influences, definitive grit in rural settings, disturbing characters, sex and death, decorum in fiction, what’s not talked about in fiction, manhood vs. multicultralism, Catholicism, the influence of personal background, Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, World War II, realism vs. postmodernism, hypertext fiction, compulsions, experimental fiction, literary vs. commercial fiction, and writing in longhand vs. writing on computer.

[INTERVIEW NOTES: With the exception of the conversation with Mr. Esposito, the interviews were all conducted by telephone.]


Categories: Fiction

Ander Monson, Elizabeth Crane, Sam Jones & C. Max Magee (BSS #21)


Authors: Sam Jones, Ander Monson, C. Max Magee and Elizabeth Crane.

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Snubbed and self-righteous.

Subjects Discussed: Visceral voice vs. conceptual voice, the book’s origins, the Monson universe of stories, snow, self-help books, postmodernism, the war on ambitious fiction, John Barth, the original expansive form of Other Electricities, Twin Peaks, book design, Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves, experimental fiction, how Other Electricities was almost published by McSweeney’s Books, Rick Moody, Monson’s obsession with snow, mashed potatoes, Jonas Hanway, umbrellas, comparisons with Elizabeth McKenzie’s Stop that Girl, writers named Elizabeth, blatant autobiographical fiction vs. entirely invented fiction, Owen Wilson, the influence of pop culture upon Crane’s writing, numerology, three-minute films, Maury Povich’s sadism, writing for Nerve, the horrors of blueberry bagels, the influence of David Foster Wallce, Michiko Kakutani, the credibility of “by the way” in dialogue, being categorized as chicklit, dicklit, Nick Laird, on being reviewed, the pros and cons of being a woman writer, and New York vs. Chicago.

[INTERVIEW NOTES: The interviews were all conducted by telephone.]


Categories: Fiction

Dave Barry (BSS #20)


Author: Dave Barry

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Reduced to second-string narrator.

Subjects Discussed: Suze Orman, footnotes, Donald Trump, lawsuits, phone calls from Paul Anka, daily affirmations, indices, sex with ducks, buzz cuts (1960 vs. 2005), the boomerang generation, getting reviewed in the NYTBR, Dave Barry deconstructs our Young, Roving Correspondent’s baroque speaking style, snobbery, humor, Lee Eisenberg, commuting, podcasting, reading books and farting, quitting his column, reader expectations, and working with Jeff McNelly.

[LISTENER’S NOTE: This podcast is probably the strangest one we’ve put out.]


Categories: People