Novel Ideas #79: Once Bitten

Novel Ideas #79: Once Bitten

Wherein I shamelessly promote our new Goodreads discussion group, get VERY excited about new Sandman comics, rave about some excellent SFF books written by women of color, make a pretty bad joke about Octavia Butler’s Fledgling, and talk New Orleans Poetry Festival with Bill Lavender.

Like our new music? That’s “Brave” by Jonathan Coulton, off his newest album Solid State.

Did I mention that we have a new Goodreads discussion group? Please join and talk to us about books!

We’ll be slinging books and making mischief at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival coming up March 23-25. Stop by and say hello!


:00  Intro and Announcements

2:30  Book Industry News

11:44  Booksticle: 10 SF/F Books Written by Women of Color that will change your worldview

20:29  Book of the Month: Fledgling by Octavia Butler

28:19  Interview with publisher, poet, novelist, editor, and teacher Bill Lavender

39:56  Wrap-Up and Coming next month

Book & Game Industry News

Neil Gaiman announces new Sandman Universe line of comics

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Coming to TV!

HBO is adapting Fahrenheit 451 starring Michael B. Jordan

ALA Announces Youth Media Award Winners

Nebula Award Nominees Announced

Extras: I didn’t mention these bits on the podcast, but they’re good to know!

Michelle Obama is releasing a memoir in November

Amazon is adapting Iain Banks’s Consider Phlebas



BOOKSTICLE: 10 SF/F Books Written By Women of Color

In this “Booksticle” segment, I discussed 10 amazing science fiction and fantasy books written by women of color, who are writing mind blowing, game changing, innovative stories.

Remember that you can order any book discussed or mentioned on our podcast by filling out our Special Order form or by calling or stopping by the store.


Book of the Month: Fledgling by Octavia Butler

In this segment, I rave about being “bitten” (heh…HEH) by this novel.

Octavia Butler is a sci-fi legend, and I just recently re-read the Xenogenesis series, where she tackles aliens in such a genius way. After that, I was really interested to see how she does vampires, and this book did not disappoint. You may or may not know that Fledgling was Butler’s last novel before she died, and it was a new novel after a seven year break. Fledgling was released in 2005, and Butler passed away in 2006. Now, you might be thinking vampires? Really? Vampires are SO overdone. And in a lot of ways, that’s true. However, this is Octavia Butler, which means this is no run-of-the-mill vampire story. Butler transforms the trappings of vampire lore into an original story with commentary on racism, sexism, classism, and human nature in a way that only she can.

Fledgling is equal parts fascinating, compelling, and disturbing. Butler does what she does best – takes something you think you know and flips it upside down. This isn’t just any vampire story. It’s an Octavia Butler one. So even if you aren’t into vampires, if you’re into genius writing and compelling stories, I highly recommend this book!

Next month, I’ll be discussing Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. This is a debut novel from a Nigerian-American writer and is the first in a planned trilogy. The book is a West African inspired fantasy starring a teenage girl named Zelie Adebola who has one final chance to bring magic back, but to do so, she must outrun the crown prince, who wants to eradicate magic for good, and overcome terrible dangers. If she doesn’t, it could be the end of magic forever…

This book is basically Black Panther, but with magic instead of superheroes. The worldbuilding is fantastic, and the characters are well rounded, relatable, and feel real. If you decide to read it with me, please go to our Goodreads discussion group and let me know your thoughts in the thread. I may feature them on the podcast next month!

Remember that you can order any book discussed or mentioned on our podcast by filling out our Special Order form or by calling or stopping by the store.


 Interview: Bill Lavender

For this month’s interview segment, I welcome Bill Lavender. Bill is a poet, novelist, editor, and teacher living here in New Orleans. He founded Lavender Ink, a small press devoted mainly to poetry, in 1995, and he founded Diálogos, an imprint devoted to cross-cultural literatures (mostly in translation) in 2011. His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in dozens of print and web journals and anthologies, with theoretical writings appearing in Contemporary Literature and Poetics Today, among others. His most recent book of poetry, the ground-breaking verse memoir, Memory Wing, was published by Black Widow in 2011. His novel, Q, a neo-picaresque view of a world in constant economic crisis, appeared from Trembling Pillow Press in 2013.

Bill and I discuss publishing, poetry, and the New Orleans Poetry Festival, happening April 20-22 at the New Orleans Healing Center.

Lavender Ink/Dialogos books are available at the book shop! You can also find Lavender Ink/Dialogos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And for live updates on the New Orleans Poetry Festival, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Join me again next month for more book & game industry news, my book of the month discussion of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, an interview with debut author Bryan Camp about his book The City of Lost Fortunes, out April 17, and a brand new segment called “Tables & Fables,” where I pair books with board games.

Remember that you can order any book discussed or mentioned on our podcast by filling out our Special Order form or by calling or stopping by the store.

You can also find the bookstore on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @tubbyandcoos. And did I mention our new Goodreads discussion group, where you can find a list of all the books our book clubs are reading, this podcast’s book of the month, and more? Tell us what you’re reading, we’d love to discuss with you! 

Again, the music you heard in this podcast is “Brave” by Jonathan Coulton, off his newest album, Solid State.

Keep on reading!

Novel Ideas is a podcast in partnership with WRBH Reading Radio, 88.3 FM New Orleans. WRBH is the nation’s only full-time FM reading radio service and is one of only three such stations in the world.