StarShipSofa No 321 C.C. Finlay and Ken Liu

January 21, 2014 by acpracht

Coming up…

Short Fiction 1: “Effect and Cause” by Ken Liu 01:15

Interview: Dr. Linda Spilker – Cassini Project Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory 09:20

Ken’s fiction has appeared in F&SFAsimov’sAnalogStrange HorizonsLightspeed, and Clarkesworld, among other places. He has won a Nebula, two Hugos, a World Fantasy Award, and a Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Award, and been nominated for the Sturgeon and the Locus Awards. He lives near Boston with his family.

Ken’s debut novel, The Chrysanthemum and the Dandelion, the first in a fantasy series, will be published by Simon & Schuster’s new genre fiction imprint in 2015, along with a collection of short stories.

Main Fiction: “The Infill Trait” by C.C. Finlay 49:30

C.C. Finlay has published half a dozen books and dozens of stories, been translated into several languages, and nominated for some awards.

You know, the usual.

Finlay believes that we tell stories to create purpose and find meaning.  The stories we tell about ourselves define our identity, the stories we enjoy reveal our hopes and aspirations, and the stories that we believe without question hide our deepest fears.

Narrators: Josh RosemanTrendane Sparks and Adam Pracht

Josh Roseman (not the trombonist; the other one) lives in Georgia (the state, not the country). His writing has appeared in Asimov’s, Escape Pod, and the Crossed Genres anthology Fat Girl in a Strange Land. His fiction has been reprinted by the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine and StarShipSofa, and his voice has been heard on two Escape Artists and all four District of Wonders podcasts. He is a 2013 graduate of the Taos Toolbox writing workshop. When not writing, he mostly complains about the fact that he’s not writing. Visit him online at, follow him on Twitter @listener42, or purchase his story “Secret Santa” on the Kindle at

Born in 1970, Tren witnessed the birth of modern science fiction and fantasy. Weaned on droids and dragons, cartoons and commercials, voice-over work was always in the forefront of his mind. Whether a bombastic log entry from the captain of a long-derelict star freighter or the molten obsidian rumble of and ancient drake, voice work brings a level of joy not readily found in any of his other jobs.

The worst (and most emasculating) thing which ever happened to him was the day he was to interview Jane Lindskold at a convention and discovered that he had completely lost his voice. PRO TIP: Don’t sleep in a car in the parking lot in January.

Adam is assistant editor of StarShipSofa. He also does other stuff.

Fact: Poetry Planet by Diane Severson 01:18:00

Short Fiction 2: “Before and After” by Ken Liu 01:46:00


  1. Please note that there was an unfortunate omission in Poetry Planet. The winning Dwarf length poem by Lorraine Schein went missing, along with her thoughts on the poem. There is a corrected version of Poetry Planet No. 12 posted on the SFPA website at:

    Please have a listen, it’s toward the beginning.

  2. What a fine, rich podcast! Nearly two hours long, and crammed with goodies.

    -The two Ken Liu’s stories were sharp and moving. They remind me of 1950s/60s era sf.

    -“In Fill Trait” was brilliant, from its running modernist-like punning to its eye on social mores and overall brooding on the war on terror. Splendidly read, too.

    -The interview with Dr. Spilker was exciting. She has a genius for explaining science and exploration in a way that’s both concise and inspiring. And her reflections on Cassini’s end, especially that email, were heartbreaking.

    -This Poetry Planet offered a good showcase of sf poetry’s current range and quality. Well done.

  3. Thank you for the comments, Bryan! This absolutely was one of my favorite episodes I’ve ever had a hand in; certainly our most poetic thus far. 🙂

  4. “The Infill Trait” in particular reminded me of classic “beat” poetry, and that was part of my editorial direction to Tren in his reading, too. He pulled off that feeling masterfully.

  5. Aha! That was a fine move, Adam.

  6. Thanks! Going drunk with power has its side benefits…. 😉