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The Functional Nerds Podcast
52 minutes | Oct 12, 2021
Episode 511-With Ryan O’Nan
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Ryan O’Nan, author of WINDERS – available now for pre-order (Book Drops on October 26th, 2021). About WINDERS: Juniper Trask is a prodigy, raised under the Council’s strict Code, which allows Winders to exist in secret among average humans. After the shocking murder of her mentor, she is chosen to take his seat on the Council. But as Juniper settles into her new role, cracks of dissension are forming around her, and she uncovers the dark truth behind their power. Juniper has just become a pawn in a game no one knows is being played, and as she begins to question the Code for the first time, her life spirals into a world of danger. Charlie Ryan always knew he was different, ever since he saved his mother from a horrible car wreck that no one but him remembers. After meeting a mysterious man who claims he has the same ability, Charlie leaves home to chase him for answers. But the world Charlie’s stepped into is more dangerous than he could have imagined. Charlie’s powers are special, and there are those who would kill to get their hands on him. Now, Juniper and Charlie need each other if they are going to survive the future—no matter which future that may be… About Ryan O’Nan: Ryan O’Nan is an award-winning screenwriter, actor and director. He has written on such series as Marvel’s Legion on FX, as well as the edgy teenage drama Skins, Queen of the South on USA, and Wu-Tang: An American Saga on Hulu. He wrote/directed the hit indie film “Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best” which was released theatrically by Adam Yauch’s (Beastie Boys) company Oscilloscope Laboratories, where it received several awards. Ryan has been featured in both Filmmaker Magazine and Creative Screenwriting Magazine. As an actor, Ryan is best known for playing King George on the series Queen of the South. Ryan lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and three cats: Bosco Beanbag, Fantine the Bean, and Amelia Wolfman. Winders is Ryan’s debut novel. This week’s picks: Ryan: Magic The Gathering: (WoTC) Ryan 2: East of Eden by John Steinbeck Tracy: Firefly (Fox) Patrick: Star Wars: Visions Links: Ryan O’Nan on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 511-With Ryan O’Nan appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
41 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
Episode 510-With Peter F. Hamilton And Gareth Powell
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth Powell, co-authors of Light Chaser. About Light Chaser: Amahle is a Light Chaser – one of a number of explorers, who travel the universe alone (except for their onboard AI), trading trinkets for life stories. But when she listens to the stories sent down through the ages she hears the same voice talking directly to her from different times and on different worlds. She comes to understand that something terrible is happening, and only she is in a position to do anything about it. And it will cost everything to put it right. About Peter F. Hamilton: Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960 and still lives nearby. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. He has written many bestselling novels, including the Greg Mandel series, the Night’s Dawn trilogy, the Commonwealth Saga, the Void trilogy, short-story collections and several standalone novels including Fallen Dragon and Great North Road. About Gareth Powell: Gareth L. Powell writes science fiction about extraordinary characters wrestling with the question of what it means to be human. He has won and been shortlisted for several major awards, and his Embers of War novels are currently being adapted for television. He is also a magazine columnist, digital artist, and script writer for screen and comics. This week’s picks: Peter: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North Gareth: Far from the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson Tracy: Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher by Lewis Thomas Patrick: Almond Shaved Cinnamon French Toast Links: Peter F. Hamilton on Facebook Gareth Powell on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 510-With Peter F. Hamilton And Gareth Powell appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
52 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
Episode 509-With Clark T Carlson
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Clark T. Carlton, author of THE GHOST ANTS OF GRYLLADESH. About THE GHOST ANTS OF GRYLLADESH: The Ghost Ants of Grylladesh continues the story of an empire in ruins, vicious and mysterious usurpers, and a young man who would lead his people from hopeless squalor to a stable utopia. In the Barley Lands to the East, the deformed and demented Emperor Volokop has blinded the hero Anand and sent him to Dranveria with a message for its rulers. But when Anand is captured by a mysterious people, the fate of his family and his new nation of Bee-Jor is suddenly in jeopardy. Because Bee-Jor remains in chaos. In the South, starving refugees from Hulkren have overwhelmed Mound Palzhad and segregated into warring camps to fight for their very survival … with some descending into cannibalism. Beyond them, the roach riders of The Promised Clearing threaten a new conflict in a quest for more land. And in the West, a new peril arises from the Velvet Ant League, one not seen in a thousand generations. Aiding all of these enemies is the deluded Queen Trellana, who has gathered the royal women of the East to march out of Bee-Jor and leave it vulnerable to attack. The founding of Bee-Jor was Anand’s dream of a perfect society, but without their leader, is that all it ever will be: a dream? About Clark T. Carlton: Clark T Carlton is the son of a barefooted, Floridian cowboy and a beauty queen from the Land of Cotton who ventured North to raise their children in the long shadow of New York City. When he was a teenager, his family moved from a blue collar melting pot to a segregated and conservative enclave of Southern California, an event which forever altered his world view. He studied English and Film at Boston University and UCLA and has worked as a screen and television writer, a journalist, and as a producer of reality television in addition to a thousand and one other professions. He has always had more blue than white in his collar. His Antasy series of books began with Prophets of the Ghost Ants, followed up by THE PROPHET OF THE TERMITE GOD and Book 3 – THE GHOST ANTS OF GRYLLADESH, dropped at the end of June. This week’s picks: Clark: Scientist: E. O. Wilson: A Life in Nature by Richard Rhodes Patrick: Oddworld: Soulstorm (PlayStation 4/5) Links: Clark T. Carlton on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 509-With Clark T Carlson appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
44 minutes | Sep 21, 2021
Episode 508-With Jason Sanford
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome back Jason Sanford, author of PLAGUE BIRDS. About PLAGUE BIRDS: Glowing red lines split their faces. Shock-red hair and clothes warn people to flee their approach. They are plague birds, the powerful merging of humans and artificial intelligences who serve as judges and executioners after the collapse of civilization. And the plague birds’ judgment is swift and deadly, as Crista discovered as a child when she watched one kill her mother. In a world of gene-modded humans constantly watched over by benevolent AIs, everyone hates and fears the plague birds. But to save her father and home village, Crista becomes the very creature she fears the most. And her first task as a plague bird is hunting down an ancient group of murderers wielding magic-like powers. As Crista and her AI symbiote travel farther from home than she ever imagined, they are plunged into a strange world where she judges wrongdoers, befriends other outcasts, and uncovers an extremely personal conspiracy that threatens the lives of millions. About Jason Sanford: Jason Sanford is an award-winning author and a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Born and raised in the American South, he currently lives in the Midwestern U.S. with his family. His life’s adventures include work as an archaeologist and as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Jason has published more than a dozen of his short stories in the British SF magazine Interzone, which once devoted a special issue to his fiction. His fiction has also been published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Analog: Science Fiction and Fact, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Fireside, InterGalactic Medicine Show, Tales of the Unanticipated, and other places. Books containing his stories include multiple “year’s best” story collections, the Tachyon anthology The New Voices of Science Fiction, and original anthologies such as Bless Your Mechanical Heart. Two collections of Jason’s short stories have been released: Never Never Stories and Heaven’s Touch and Other Science Fiction Dreams. Jason’s awards and honors include being a three-time finalist for the Nebula Awards (in the categories of Best Novella, Best Novelette and Best Short Story) and a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. Jason has also received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship and three Interzone Readers’ Polls for best story of the year. His stories have been named to multiple Locus Recommended Reading Lists along with being translated into a number of languages including Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian, Polish, Hungarian, Italian and Czech. Jason co-founded the literary journal storySouth, through which he ran the annual Million Writers Award for best online fiction. His critical essays and book reviews have been published in SF Signal, The New York Review of Science Fiction, The Pedestal Magazine and other places. He formerly wrote a regular column for the Czech SF magazine XB-1. This week’s picks: Jason: On the Origin of Species and Other Stories by Bo-Young Kim Patrick: Dug Days (Disney+) Links: Jason Sanford on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 508-With Jason Sanford appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
51 minutes | Sep 14, 2021
Episode 507-With Neil Sharpson
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Neil Sharpson, author of When The Sparrow Falls. About When The Sparrow Falls: Life in the Caspian Republic has taught Agent Nikolai South two rules. Trust No One. And work just hard enough not to make enemies. Here, in the last sanctuary for the dying embers of the human race in a world run by artificial intelligence, if you stray from the path?your life is forfeit. But when a Party propagandist is killed?and is discovered as a “machine”?he’s given a new mission: chaperone the widow, Lily, who has arrived to claim her husband’s remains. But when South sees that she, the first “machine” ever allowed into the country, bears an uncanny resemblance to his late wife, he’s thrown into a maelstrom of betrayal, murder, and conspiracy that may bring down the Republic for good. About Neil Sharpson: Neil Sharpson lives in Dublin with his wife and their two children. Having written for theater since his teens, Neil transitioned to writing novels in 2017, adapting his play The Caspian Sea into When The Sparrow Falls. A huge fan of animation, Neil writes Unshaved Mouse, a comedic review blog mostly focusing on animated film and comic book movies. This week’s picks: Neil: Sentinels of the Multiverse (Game) Tracy: Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything by David Bellos Patrick: The Wheel of Time (Trailer) Links: Neil Sharpson on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 507-With Neil Sharpson appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
43 minutes | Sep 7, 2021
Episode 506-With Justin Woolley
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Justin Woolley, author of Shakedowners. About Shakedowners: Some starship captains explore strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilisations. Some lead missions of discovery through wormholes to the other side of the galaxy. Then there’s Captain Iridius B. Franklin, someone who spent too long seeking out strange new bars and new alien cocktails. After graduating bottom of his class at Space Command Academy Iridius Franklin hasn’t had the glamorous career he envisioned, instead he hauls cargo ships full of mining waste, alien land whale dung, and artificially intelligent toy dogs across the stars. Iridius does have talent though – he is exceptionally good at breaking starships. So, when not hauling freight, he is captain of a shakedown crew, a skeleton crew used to test newly constructed ships for faults before the real crew takes over. While on a routine shakedown mission aboard the FSC Gallaway, soon to be pride of the Federation Fleet, Earth is attacked by an unknown alien life-form. With the galaxy in chaos, Captain Iridius B. Franklin finds himself, unqualified, understaffed and completely unprepared, in command of the most advanced starship in the galaxy. Now, he just needs to not break it. About Justin Woolley: Justin Woolley has been writing stories since he could first scrawl with a crayon. When he was six years old he wrote his first book, a 300 word pirate epic in unreadable handwriting called ‘The Ghost Ship’. He promptly declared that he was now an author and didn’t need to go to school. Despite being informed that this was, in fact, not the case, he continued to make things up and write them down. Today Justin is the author of the Australian set dystopian trilogy The Territory Series consisting of the novels A Town Called Dust, A City Called Smoke and A World of Ash, the young-adult science fiction adventure We Are Omega, the science-fiction comedy Shakedowners, and is now adding to the darkness of the 41st millennium for Black Library. Justin lives in Hobart, Australia with his wife and two sons. In his other life he’s been an engineer, a teacher and at one stage even a magician. His handwriting has not improved. This week’s picks: Justin: The Lovecraft Investigations (BBC Podcast) Tracy: Flood – They Might be Giants Patrick: Only Murders in the Building – Hulu Links: Justin Woolley on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 506-With Justin Woolley appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
51 minutes | Aug 31, 2021
Episode 505-With P Djéli Clark
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome P Djéli Clark, author of A Master of Djinn. About A Master of Djinn: Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha’arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she’s certainly not a rookie, especially after preventing the destruction of the universe last summer. So when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world forty years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. His dangerous magical abilities instigate unrest in the streets of Cairo that threaten to spill over onto the global stage. Alongside her Ministry colleagues and a familiar person from her past, Agent Fatma must unravel the mystery behind this imposter to restore peace to the city?or face the possibility he could be exactly who he seems… About P Djéli Clark: Phenderson Djéli Clark is the award winning and Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and World Fantasy nominated author of the novel A Master of Djinn, and the novellas Ring Shout, The Black God’s Drums and The Haunting of Tram Car 015. His stories have appeared in online venues such as Tor.com, Daily Science Fiction, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Apex, Lightspeed, Fireside Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and in print anthologies including, Griots, Hidden Youth and Clockwork Cairo. He is a founding member of FIYAH Literary Magazine and an infrequent reviewer at Strange Horizons. Born in New York and raised mostly in Houston, Texas, he spent the early formative years of his life in the homeland of his parents, Trinidad and Tobago. When not writing speculative fiction, P. Djèlí Clark works as an academic historian whose research spans comparative slavery and emancipation in the Atlantic World. He melds this interest in history and the social world with speculative fiction, and has written articles on issues ranging from racism and H.P. Lovecraft to critiques of George Schuyler’s Black Empire, and has been a panelist and lecturer at conventions, workshops and other genre events. At current time, he resides in a small Edwardian castle in New England with his wife, daughters, and pet dragon (who suspiciously resembles a Boston Terrier). When so inclined he rambles on issues of speculative fiction, politics, and diversity at his aptly named blog The Disgruntled Haradrim. This week’s picks: Phenderson: Soulfully Vegan – Food Truck Tracy: The Hidden Palace: A Novel of the Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker Patrick: Black and Read – Independent Music, Books & Games Links: P Djéli Clark on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 505-With P Djéli Clark appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
48 minutes | Aug 24, 2021
Episode 504-With Lauren O’Connor
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Lauren O’Connor, author of Robin and the Making of American Adolescence. About Robin and the Making of American Adolescence: Holy adolescence, Batman! Robin and the Making of American Adolescence offers the first character history and analysis of the most famous superhero sidekick, Robin. Debuting just a few months after Batman himself, Robin has been an integral part of the Dark Knight’s history—and debuting just a few months prior to the word “teenager” first appearing in print, Robin has from the outset both reflected and reinforced particular images of American adolescence. Closely reading several characters who have “played” Robin over the past eighty years, Robin and the Making of American Adolescence reveals the Boy (and sometimes Girl!) Wonder as a complex figure through whom mainstream culture has addressed anxieties about adolescents in relation to sexuality, gender, and race. This book partners up comics studies and adolescent studies as a new Dynamic Duo, following Robin as he swings alongside the ever-changing American teenager and finally shining the Bat-signal on the latter half of “Batman and—.” About Lauren O’Connor: LAUREN R. O’CONNOR holds a doctorate in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio and a master of arts in Counseling and Human Services. She is based in Batavia, Illinois. She is a licensed adolescent counselor and studies the history of the American teenager and has published in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, the Journal of Popular Culture, and contributed a chapter to Uncanny Bodies: Superhero Comics and Disability. This week’s picks: Lauren: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar Tracy: The Owl House Patrick: Titans Season 3 Links: Lauren O’Connor on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 504-With Lauren O’Connor appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
52 minutes | Aug 17, 2021
Episode 503-With PJ Manney
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome PJ Manney, author of (CON)science: A Novel (Phoenix Horizon Book 3). About (CON)science: A Novel (Phoenix Horizon Book 3): Five years ago, bioengineer Peter Bernhardt spearheaded an innovation in nanotechnology that changed the course of evolution. Until everything was taken from him—his research, the people he loved, and finally his life. Uploaded as an artificial intelligence, Peter is alive again thanks to a critical reactivation by fellow AI Carter Potsdam. But a third sentient computer program, Major Tom, is tearing the United States apart, destroying its leaders and its cities. Major Tom’s mission: rebuild a new America from the ruins and reign as uncontested monarch. Carter knows that only a revolutionary like Peter can reverse the damage to a country set on fire. Caught in a virtual world between an alleged ally and an enemy, pieces of Peter’s former self remain: the need for vengeance, empathy for the subjugated people of a derelict world, and doubt in everything he’s been led to believe. To rescue what’s left, he’ll need to once again advance the notion of evolution and to expand the meaning of being human—by saving humanity. About PJ Manney: PJ Manney is the author of the bestselling and Philip K. Dick Award nominated science fiction technothriller, (R)EVOLUTION (2015), published by 47North in the Phoenix Horizon trilogy with, (ID)ENTITY (2017), and (CON)SCIENCE, (2021). Set as alternate, future American histories, the novels chart the influence of world-changing technologies on power and nations. Manney graduated from Wesleyan University double majoring in Film and American Studies. She worked for over 25 years in film/TV: motion picture PR at Walt Disney/Touchstone Pictures; story development for independent film production companies; and writing as Patricia Manney for the critically acclaimed hit TV shows Hercules — The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. She also co-founded Uncharted Entertainment, writing and/or creating many pilot scripts for television networks, including CBS, Fox, UPN, Discovery, ABC Family and Comedy Central. Manney lives with her husband in Southern California and is a dual citizen of the US and New Zealand. She is a member of the WGA, SFWA, ITW and PEN America. This week’s picks: PJ: Thailicious – Henderson, NV Tracy: Calico (Game) Patrick: The Suicide Squad (2021) Links: PJ Manney on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 503-With PJ Manney appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
47 minutes | Aug 10, 2021
Episode 502-With David Liss
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome David Liss, author of The Peculiarities. About The Peculiarities: Thomas’s problems are more serious than those of a typical young Victorian gentleman. His elder brother may be sabotaging the family’s bank. His childhood friend has died under mysterious circumstances. Far worse, leaves are sprouting on Thomas’s skin. Perhaps it is all the fault of the long-rumored “Peculiarities” lurking in London’s grey fog? Proper society scoffs at the notion of magic, even as it seeps into their buildings, transfiguring the rich and poor alike. If Thomas is going to save the family business ?and stop turning into a tree?he’ll need help from some rather improper companions. Desperate for counsel, he seeks the advice of a lycanthropic medium and London’s unacceptable occult society…including a strange fellow named Aleister Crowley. About David Liss: David Liss is the author of fourteen novels, as well as numerous novellas and short stories. His previous books include A Conspiracy of Paper which was named a New York Times Notable Book and won the 2001 Barry, MacAvity and Edgar awards for Best First novel. The Coffee Trader was also named a New York Times Notable Book and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the year’s 25 Books to Remember. Many of his novels are currently being developed for television or film. Liss has worked on numerous comics projects, including Black Panther and Mystery Men for Marvel, The Spider and Green Hornet for Dynamite, and Angelica Tomorrow. This week’s picks: David: Edward Bunker Novels Tracy: Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark Patrick: Ted Lasso (Apple TV) Links: David Liss on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 502-With David Liss appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
51 minutes | Aug 3, 2021
Episode 501-With S. Qiouyi Lu
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome S. Qiouyi Lu, author of In the Watchful City. About In the Watchful City: The city of Ora is watching. Anima is an extrasensory human tasked with surveilling and protecting Ora’s citizens via a complex living network called the Gleaming. Although ær world is restricted to what æ can see and experience through the Gleaming, Anima takes pride and comfort in keeping Ora safe from harm. When a mysterious outsider enters the city carrying a cabinet of curiosities from around with the world with a story attached to each item, Anima’s world expands beyond the borders of Ora to places?and possibilities?æ never before imagined to exist. But such knowledge leaves Anima with a question that throws into doubt ær entire purpose: What good is a city if it can’t protect its people? About S. Qiouyi Lu: S. Qiouyi Lu writes, translates, and edits between two coasts of the Pacific. Ær work has appeared in several award-winning venues. Æ edits the magazine Arsenika and runs microverses, a hub for tiny narratives. You can find out more about S. at ær website s.qiouyi.lu or on Twitter @sqiouyilu. This week’s picks: S. Qiouyi Lu: The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-line Pioneers by Tom Standage Tracy: Curiosity Daily Podcast Patrick: Gunpowder Milkshake (Netflix) Links: S. Qiouyi Lu on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 501-With S. Qiouyi Lu appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
45 minutes | Jul 27, 2021
Episode 500-With Catherynne M. Valente
This week, Patrick and Tracy celebrate episode 500 with Catherynne M. Valente, author of The Past Is Red. About The Past Is Red: The future is blue. Endless blue…except for a few small places that float across the hot, drowned world left behind by long-gone fossil fuel-guzzlers. One of those patches is a magical place called Garbagetown. Tetley Abednego is the most beloved girl in Garbagetown, but she’s the only one who knows it. She’s the only one who knows a lot of things: that Garbagetown is the most wonderful place in the world, that it’s full of hope, that you can love someone and 66% hate them all at the same time. But Earth is a terrible mess, hope is a fragile thing, and a lot of people are very angry with her. Then Tetley discovers a new friend, a terrible secret, and more to her world than she ever expected. About Catherynne M. Valente: Catherynne M. Valente is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of forty books of fantasy and science fiction. She lives on a small island off the coast of Maine with her partner, one medium-sized dog, one very enormous cat, a baby son slightly less enormous than the cat (for now), a red accordion, an uncompleted master’s degree, a roomful of yarn, a spinning wheel with ulterior motives, a cupboard of jam and pickles, a bookshelf full of folktales, an industrial torch, an Oxford English Dictionary, and a DSL connection. This week’s picks: Cat #1: For All Mankind Cat #2: The Bad Episodes of Star Trek Tracy: The Album of Dr. Moreau by Daryl Gregory Patrick: Music on Vinyl Links: Catherynne M. Valente on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 500-With Catherynne M. Valente appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
56 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
Episode 499-With Lena Nguyen
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Lena Nguyen, author of We Have Always Been Here. About We Have Always Been Here: Misanthropic psychologist Dr. Grace Park is placed on the Deucalion, a survey ship headed to an icy planet in an unexplored galaxy. Her purpose is to observe the thirteen human crew members aboard the ship—all specialists in their own fields—as they assess the colonization potential of the planet, Eos. But frictions develop as Park befriends the androids of the ship, preferring their company over the baffling complexity of humans, while the rest of the crew treats them with suspicion and even outright hostility. Shortly after landing, the crew finds themselves trapped on the ship by a radiation storm, with no means of communication or escape until it passes—and that’s when things begin to fall apart. Park’s patients are falling prey to waking nightmares of helpless, tongueless insanity. The androids are behaving strangely. There are no windows aboard the ship. Paranoia is closing in, and soon Park is forced to confront the fact that nothing—neither her crew, nor their mission, nor the mysterious Eos itself—is as it seems. About Lena Nguyen: Lena is a writer of speculative fiction and fantasy. She was raised in Phoenix, Arizona and has studied writing all over the world—including at Stanford, Brown, Harvard, and UCLA. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Cornell University, where she also taught as a lecturer of English, leading classes on creative writing, composition, comparative literature, and cultural studies. Lena’s career has been dedicated to writing. Along with lecturing and teaching, she has worked as a researcher of science fiction; a literary novel judge; a creative consultant; a copy editor; a developmental editor; a game developer and writer; and an assistant editor of the literary publication EPOCH. Her science fiction has won several awards. Lena is excited to announce the publication of her forthcoming science fiction thriller, WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE: a post-apocalyptic space mystery featuring a misanthropic psychologist and her android companions as they voyage on a haunted spaceship. WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE was published by DAW Books and Penguin Random House on July 6, 2021, and can be ordered online or in stores now. Lena’s next project is to design, write, and code a full-length, choice-based interactive high fantasy game, as well as to finish her new speculative wasteland adventure: an assassin’s desert romp that lies somewhere between the realms of Mad Max and X-Men. This week’s picks: Lena: Mass Effect Legendary Edition Tracy: The Crew – Quest for Planet Nine (Card Game) Patrick: Marvel Studios’ Black Widow Links: Lena Nguyen on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 499-With Lena Nguyen appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
49 minutes | Jul 13, 2021
Episode 498-With Ellen Datlow
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome multi-award winning fiction editor Ellen Datlow, whose latest anthology – Body Shocks: Extreme Tales of Body Horror – is coming October 19th from Tachyon Publications. About Body Shocks: Extreme Tales of Body Horror: The most terrifying thing that you can possibly imagine is your own body in the hands of a monster. Or worse, in the hands of another human being. In these 29 tales of body horror selected by World Horror Grandmaster Ellen Datlow, you’ll find the unthinkable, the shocking, and more: a couture designer preparing for an exquisitely grotesque runway show; a vengeful son seeking the parent who bred him as plasma donor; a celebrity-kink brothel that inflicts plastic surgery on sex workers; and organ-harvesting doctors who dissect a living man without anesthetic. About Ellen Datlow: Ellen Datlow has been editing science fiction, fantasy, and horror short fiction for over thirty-five years as fiction editor of OMNI Magazine and editor of Event Horizon and SCIFICTION. She currently acquires short fiction for Tor.com. In addition, she has edited more than a hundred science fiction, fantasy, and horror anthologies, including the annual The Best Horror of the Year, Lovecraft’s Monsters, Fearful Symmetries, The Doll Collection,, The Monstrous, Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror, Black Feathers, Haunted Nights (with Lisa Morton), and Mad Hatters and March Hares (stories inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There). Forthcoming are The Devil and the Deep: Horror Stories of the Sea, Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, and The Best of the Best (covering the first Ten volumes of the Best Horror of the Year series). She’s won multiple World Fantasy Awards, Locus Awards, Hugo Awards, Stoker Awards, International Horror Guild Awards, Shirley Jackson Awards, and the 2012 Il Posto Nero Black Spot Award for Excellence as Best Foreign Editor. Datlow was named recipient of the 2007 Karl Edward Wagner Award, given at the British Fantasy Convention for “outstanding contribution to the genre,” was honored with the Life Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association, in acknowledgment of superior achievement over an entire career, and honored with the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award at the 2014 World Fantasy Convention. She lives in New York and co-hosts the monthly Fantastic Fiction Reading Series at KGB Bar. More information can be found at www.datlow.com. This week’s picks: Ellen: Little Island Park Links: Ellen Datlow on TwitterTracy Townsend on TwitterPatrick Hester on TwitterThe Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 498-With Ellen Datlow appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
49 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
Episode 497-With Ryan Van Loan
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome back Ryan Van Loan, author of The Justice in Revenge (The Fall of the Gods, 2). About The Justice in Revenge (The Fall of the Gods, 2): The island nation of Servenza is a land of flint and steel, sail and gearwork, of gods both Dead and sleeping. It is a society where the wealthy few rule the impoverished many. Determined to change that, former street-rat Buc, along with Eld, the ex-soldier who has been her partner in crime-solving, have claimed seats on the board of the powerful Kanados Trading Company. Buc plans to destroy the nobility from within?which is much harder than she expected. Stymied by boardroom politics and dodging mages at every turn, Buc and Eld find a potential patron in the Doga, ruler of Servenza. The deal: by the night of the Masquerade, unmask whoever has been attempting to assassinate the Doga, thereby earning her support in the halls of power. Blow the deadline and she’ll have them deported to opposite ends of the world. Armed with Eld’s razor-sharp sword and Buc’s even sharper intellect, the dynamic duo hit the streets just as the shadow religious conflict between the Gods begins to break into open warfare. Those closest to Buc and Eld begin turning up with their throats slit amid rumors that a hidden mastermind is behind everything that’s going wrong in Servenza. Facing wrathful gods, hostile nobles, and a secret enemy bent on revenge, Buc and Eld will need every trick in their arsenal to survive. Luckily, extra blades aren’t the only things Buc has hidden up her sleeves. About Ryan Van Loan: Ryan Van Loan is an up and coming Science Fiction and Fantasy author. He started reading his Grandfather’s Reader’s Digest when he was four years old. Soon after, he read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer before eventually discovering science fiction and fantasy through the works of Robin McKinley, Robert Jordan, Stephen King and many more. He moved around a lot in his childhood from Montana to Georgia to Puerto Rico before finally ending up in Pennsylvania. Ryan served six years as a Sergeant in the United States Army Infantry (PA National Guard) where he served on the front lines of Afghanistan. All of that travel got into his blood and Ryan has traveled around the world with his wife, wandering Caribbean island haunts, exploring the palaces and cathedrals of Europe, and hiking with elephants in the rain forests of Southeast Asia. When he’s not traveling Ryan enjoys hiking, soccer (football), tabletop gaming, weightlifting (with his personal best coming from deadlifting three times his body weight), and all things culinary. Ryan’s debut novel, The Sin in the Steel (Tor Books), Book One in the Fall of the Gods series came out on July 21, 2020. Today, Ryan lives in northeastern Pennsylvania with his wife and two dogs where he’s hard at work on his next novel. This week’s picks: Ryan: Bosch The Final Season (Prime) Tracy: Ducktales Season 3 (Disney+) Patrick: The Is Pop (Netflix) Links: Ryan Van Loan on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 497-With Ryan Van Loan appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
56 minutes | Jun 22, 2021
Episode 496-Just Us, Monty Python and Root Beer
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome share a special Just Us episode from the Patreon feed, wherein they discuss: Monty Python, Spam, Video Games and Windows theme overlays, Keyboards, dog farts, Star Trek, fanzines, manual typewriters, geek culture, buying habits, Patreon and Kickstarter, custom refrigerators with soft serve, root beer (and other) floats, pizza and ice cream, tea, West Virginia, mountain mamas, Malort, Chicago, comfort food, Kentucky, bbq, Harned’s, The Paducah Dog, Long John Silver’s, hush puppies, comfort food, Cracker Barrel, vaccinations, Joliet, The Blues Brothers, The Lord of the Rings, HBOMax, DC’s Harley Queen, Death at a funeral (original), and Alan Tudyk. Links: Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 496-Just Us, Monty Python and Root Beer appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
57 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Episode 495-With Christopher Swiedler
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Christopher Swiedler, author of The Orpheus Plot. About The Orpheus Plot: Lucas Adebayo grew up on a small mining ship in the asteroid belt, but wants to join the Navy and become the best pilot in the galaxy. The Navy has never accepted a Belter cadet before, but Lucas’s skills secure him a place on the training ship, the Orpheus. Life in the Navy couldn’t be more different than life in the Belt, and Lucas struggles to find his place. As a Belter, he’s an outsider among his peers; as a Navy cadet, he doesn’t quite fit in at home anymore, either. Lucas is caught between the worlds of his past and his future when a Belter rebellion puts everyone’s lives at risk. Only he can lead the way to peace. About Christopher Swiedler: Christopher Swiedler is an author and software engineer who lives with his wife and three children in California, where they’re under constant threat from earthquakes, tsunamis, and the occasional Martian dust storm. His goal in life is to win the Newbery Honor (not the medal itself) because he believes being a runner-up builds good character. He is represented by Bridget Smith of JABberwocky Literary Agency. His debut novel, IN THE RED, will be published by HarperCollins in March 2020. This week’s picks: Chris: Kamado Big Green Egg Grill Tracy: Spell Smashers (Game) Patrick: B.B. King – On The Road (Documentary) Links: Christopher Swiedler on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 495-With Christopher Swiedler appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
50 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
Episode 494-With Andy Weir
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Andy Weir, author of Project Hail Mary. About Project hail Mary: Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company. His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone. Or does he? About Andy Weir: Andy Weir built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California. This week’s picks: Andy: Woodworking Tracy: Spaceteam (app) Patrick: Resident Alien (SyFy) Links: Andy Weir on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 494-With Andy Weir appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
41 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Episode 493-With K.M. Szpara
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome K.M. Szpara, author of FIRST, BECOME ASHES. About FIRST, BECOME ASHES: For thirty years, the Fellowship of the Anointed isolated its members, conditioning them to believe that pain is power. That magic is suffering. That the world beyond the fence has fallen prey to monsters. But when their leader is arrested, all her teachings come into question. Those touched by the Fellowship face a choice: how will they adjust to the world they were taught to fear, and how will they relate to the cult’s last crusader, Lark? For Kane, survival means rejecting the magic he and his lover suffered for. For Deryn, the cult’s collapse is an opportunity to prove they are worth as much as their Anointed brother. For Calvin, lark is the alluring embodiment of the magic he’s been seeking his entire life. But for Lark, the Fellowship isn’t over. Before he can begin to discover himself and heal a lifetime of traumas, he has a monster to slay. About K.M. Szpara: K.M. Szpara is a queer and trans author who lives in Baltimore, MD, with a tiny dog. His new book, FIRST, BECOME ASHES, tells a story of self-discovery after trauma and outgrowing abusive origins over the course of an American road trip. Kellan’s debut alt-/near-future novel, DOCILE, explores the snowballing debt crisis, consent, and privilege, and can be described as “really gay”. He is the author of “Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time,” a Hugo and Nebula nominated novelette about a gay trans man who’s bitten by a vampire. More of his fiction can be found in venues such as Uncanny, Lightspeed, and Shimmer. This week’s picks: Kellen: Crop Tops Tracy: Adventure Time (Hulu) Patrick: Naughty Books – Documentary (Hulu) Links: K.M. Szpara on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 493-With K.M. Szpara appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
56 minutes | May 25, 2021
Episode 492-With David Ebenbach
This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome David Ebenbach, author of How To Mars. About How To Mars: For the six lucky scientists selected by the Destination Mars! corporation, a one-way ticket to Mars?in exchange for a lifetime of research?was an absolute no-brainer. The incredible opportunity was clearly worth even the most absurdly tedious screening process. Perhaps worth following the strange protocols in a nonsensical handbook written by an eccentric billionaire. Possibly even worth their constant surveillance, the video of which is carefully edited into a ratings-bonanza back on Earth. But it turns out that after a while even scientists can get bored of science. Tempers begin to fray; unsanctioned affairs blossom. When perfectly good equipment begins to fail, the Marsonauts are faced with a possibility that their training just cannot explain. About David Ebenbach: David Ebenbach writes. He’s been writing ever since he was a kid, when he kept his whole family awake by banging away on an enormous manual typewriter, and he’s never wanted to stop. In fact, David’s now the author of eight books of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction (all of which you can find on the Books page), and his work has picked up awards along the way: the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, the Juniper Prize, the Patricia Bibby Award, and more. A Philadelphia native, these days David does most of his writing in Washington, DC, where he lives with his family—because he uses a laptop now, he doesn’t keep them awake with his typing—and where he works at Georgetown University, teaching creative writing and literature at the Center for Jewish Civilization and promoting student-centered teaching at the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship. This week’s picks: David: Dunkaroos Tracy: Jackbox Games Party Pack 7 Patrick: Dishonored 2 (PS4) Links: David Ebenbach on Twitter Tracy Townsend on Twitter Patrick Hester on Twitter The Functional Nerds Patreon Page © 2021 Patrick Hester The post Episode 492-With David Ebenbach appeared first on The Functional Nerds.
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