Sunday, September 29, 2019

Completely Conspicuous 514: A Punk Rock Future

I'm joined by guest Steve Zisson as we discuss the new sci-fi short story anthology he compiled, A Punk Rock Future. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Recorded at CompCon world HQ
- Take 2 of our conversation after the first one didn't record
- A Punk Rock Future is available on Oct. 8
- Book mashes up Steve's love of punk rock and science fiction
- Inspired by other self-published sci-fi anthologies
- Steve and I go back to the late '80s when we were both newspaper reporters
- Later worked together at three different companies
- Zisson: Love for sci-fi started with the original Star Trek series
- Wrote sci-fi in his teens, but then went into journalism
- Jay: Realized that chemical engineering wasn't the path for me and decided to go into journalism
- Zisson: Got into music in the mid-'70s, including early incarnation of the Cars (R.I.P., Ric Ocasek)
- Was going to see bands like Queen, the Kinks, Roxy Music before checking out early punk acts
- Saw Ocasek and Ben Orr's pre-Cars band Cap'n Swing at a small club in Nahant, Mass.
- Then a year or so later, sees the Cars playing at UMass right before they hit it big
- Then would go see the Clash, the Jam, and local Boston punk acts like the Neighborhoods and DMZ
- Zisson got back into writing sci-fi around 2012
- Would dedicate time to write in his spare time
- Discovered a lot of great young writers
- Got a few stories published in well-known sci-fi journals and sites
- More ways to get published now, but more competition, too
- Used to be primarily U.S. writers, now more international
- Came up with the idea for the book after 2016 election
- Drew parallel to late '70s and talked to some writers about "a punk rock future" as an anthology idea
- Put the call out for stories and got over 400 submissions
- Started a Kickstarter to raise $5,000 to pay the authors selected
- Enlisted former Webnoize colleagues to help read the submissions
- With music now, there's so much out there, it's impossible to keep up
- The goal of the project was to get it done and showcase the authors
- One of the authors, Sarah Pinsker, has a new book out that's getting good buzz called A Song For a New Day
- A Punk Rock Future is available on Amazon and at indie bookstores
- Don't confuse Steve Zisson with Steve Zissou
- Next up: Get some more writing done
- Maybe do an anthology of really short stories, like an album of 2-minute songs

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.

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