Cover to Cover #270: Anne McCaffrey / David Anthony Durham


The crew is a little punchy from doing extra long shows. 'Nuff said.

Voicemail: Peter Jackson may not be working on the film adaptation of "The Hobbit"; Chris from Glen Burnie on how the novel "Starship Troopers" changed his viewpoint about political involvement; Will the Computer Guy on bringing up your kids with an appreciation of geekdom; a question on marketing materials that authors should consider when promoting their books, and if they look at total sales vs library rentals; Kurt the Camera Guy weighs in on the Laurell K. Hamilton series and how it's changed over recent years, and how you the reader may have changed more than you realize.

July 2007 will be "Cover to Cover" Double Feature Month! That's right, you'll get two interviews in each show. This is what happens when there are too many authors to talk to and not enough weeks in the year for a weekly show.

Interview #1: Michael, Summer, Brian and Michael talk with Anne McCaffrey about what it's like to write in a universe that's so well and widely known, the lengths she goes to to research her stories; and what it's like to open up her Pern universe to new stories by her son, Todd. She also tells us about working with the Writers of the Future to help bring along the next next generation of writers and storytellers.

Interview #2: Next up, talk with award-winning historical novelist David Anthony Durham about Acacia, his first foray into epic fantasy with a multicultural story rich in mythology and history of a kingdom under siege, and the tale of exiled children determined to undo their father's legacy of a tyrannical rule, and rebuild their kingdom into one based on freedom and dignity. It's the first in a series, but the next book will not be completely dependent on this one... but go read this one anyway!

Listener Feedback: What were the books on your must read lists the past year? And keep submitting your opinions on Lord of the Rings compared to The Fionavar Tapestry.

Submitting Listener comments: If you have any suggestions or comments, please let us know!

Link: Anne McCaffrey
Link: David Anthony Durham
Promo: Parsec Awards 2007: Nominations now open!


  1. So I took "Chris from Glen Burnie" call as a stand against having a condsending opinion about know better than listeners and so what is the first thing Michael Stackpole does? Offers a condsending opinion against him.

    Talk about a major turnoff and I was just starting to enjoy Cover to Cover again.

  2. Thank you for giving my week a major face lift. This week is the joyous week where I, as a teen, get to go through the rite of passage known as driving school -- the classroom edition. In MA this means sitting in a room with no one I know (because I'm too thick to sign up with anyone), watching thirty or forty year old videos, taking tests, taking notes, and being bored for six hours a day for five days. So I came home, booted my computer, let iTunes do its thing. And there's Anne McCaffrey listed for an interview. I didn't believe it. But it happened. And I still can't stop grinning.

    Wow. Thank you for putting up that interview in particular; it was very much mildly amusing. And let me tell you, if -- no, when -- the Pern movie comes out, you'll hear me in Arizona.

    And David Anthony Durham's interview was sweet, too.


  3. actually; the 'chris from glen burnie' call isnt a 'stand against condescending opinions'. Its a statement given that was not exactly truth in action:
    The caller says that starship troopers completely change his demeanor towards politics and that he was 'heavily' involved in politics locally. Then he states that he doesnt like his entertainment to challenge or be at all political.

    So what was he doing originally reading starship troopers for, if not for entertainment?

    He made a stink about it because he didn't agree with whatever was being said, in this case the overwhelming evidence for global warming. This is like a flat-earth society member calling in to complain that the references to 'globe' instead of 'earth' is interfering with his entertainment...since it was political in nature. Damn Round-Earther agenda!

    The comment that he doesn't like entertainment to have any politics is a cowardly excuse if i have ever heard one, considering his full admission that it was a entertainment piece that began his own close involvement(and sensitivity, obviously) in politics.

  4. Raul I took it more that he didn't care for arrogance when he was being talked down to by an author or a podcast, which was what I got out of the response and hence made me comment.

    Just to be fair before I responded to you, I went back and relistened, just to be sure that I didn't miss hear what was being said. I stand by my earlier statement.

    Heck Chris even agreed that global warming is going on if you listen, so when you liken his opinion to a flat-earth society that is taking it out of context and is even more insulting.

  5. I enjoy Dragon Page, but I take the politics therein with a grain of salt. I've become convinced that, in the case of global warming, there is strong evidence on both sides. The reason the root cause is important is because isolating man's role in the issue will determine the proper response. If man is not responsible, but something like solar radiation is, then it's arrogant to assume we'll have any real control over the problem. Likewise, if man *is* the root cause, then it is up to us to take action.

    And, come on, we can all trust consensus never to lead to irrationality, right? S.A.R.S, bird-flu, anyone?

    It's one of those issues -- like abortion -- that people tend to get close-minded and passionate about. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but moderation is a dying concept in a country determined to split itself down the middle. The caller was exactly right: this isn't a certain or decided issue by any measure.

    The problem with bringing an infotainment podcast into the realm of heavy-handed political discussion is evidenced by this comments thread and other listener feedback. Rather than discussing the interviews, which are always excellent, the conversation turns to the pet political topic of the week. The fact that I'm having to point this out to podcasters mystifies me, but the same phenomenon recently occured over on Pseudopod, so who knows.

    On a person note, I think Mike R. and Summer are pretty reasonable folks, but Mike Stackpole is really starting to come off as pretentious, to the point that I'm considering unsubbing.

  6. The is no moderation in this issue. Either Man's is causing it to get worse or Man is not. Man can not be moderately not causing/helping, nor can they moderately be wrong and having no effect on the trend.

    Doesn't it strike any of you as interesting that the same people that were denying global warming have switched statements a little over a decade ago and now just say its a natural cause?
    Or that the funding from the majority of this evidence comes big oil/big coal who would have the most to lose financially over this issue?

    If by the time people like you are 'convinced', however unlikely that is, if it is too late....what then? Will the environmental events accept your reasoning and clarion call for moderation in all things? Just ask yourself if you can be afford to be wrong; because the people who think global warming is man-accelerated do not and the people who deny/excuse involvement do not think they can afford it($) either.

  7. non-response related:

    I found the comment interesting that Anne doesn't view her books much as fantasy, that she tries to stick as much to factual science as possible. And Acacia is interesting sounding...hopefully he brings a lot of world immersion from the former books he wrote.
    The double-headed interview shows are great so far, thank you!

  8. Raul, that's an absolutely stunning argument indicative of the problem with this debate. Are you honestly telling me that either men is 100% responsible, or 100% a non-factor in global warming?

  9. No.
    What I am saying is that the either you

    a.) believe man's effect is full (or a portion there of) and then actionable to the problem.
    b.) believe man's effect is none, you do nothing and continue as you were.

  10. Here's the deal from my uber-minor perspective.

    Our climate is changing, whether you want to admit it or not. Our main fuels are ruining the atmosphere, at least partly whether you want to admit it or not. Our main fuels are running out. We need to make a shift to not be so dependent on oil especially as the demand continues to rise and the availability declines. If we can do this while protecting our environment, then why not? What is the aversion to solar power or wind power or alternative fuels?

    Yes, yes, big corporations blah blah will disappear...yeah yeah yeah...but someone has to it. If your generation won't get off their lazy ass and do it, then my generation will. And, knowing my generation, we probably won't.

    We need to make the shift NOW. In ten, twenty, thirty years, the demand for oils and gas are going to skyrocket. It's going to be impossible to make the shift if we keep putting it off. Yes, scientists are working on. Blah. Oil corporations need to get in on this and we as consumers need to get in on t his. And politicians have to push for it. The government needs to stop throwing away money, invest in fuels, invest in education (that's going down the toilet at least in my area), and get a monopoly on alternative fuels so that when they do come in demand, we have it.

    Ultimately, it does not come down to the environment, rather the future of transportation and sustaining the western life we all so enjoy.

    I just got SOOOOO off topic. Sorry.

  11. Wow.... this is a deep discussion that should definitely be happening over at Freshly Green!

    Wow... this was a blatant and shameless plug, meant to bring some levity to a comment thread lost in a tangent in hyperspace.

    Seriously, the jury's still out on how much what we do affects everything, from the larger perspective, because humans have been on the planet far shorter than the planet's been around, and the Industrial Age has been around for even less time.

    Yes, there have been some drastic changes. Can we do anything significant now to slow down those changes or stop them? How do we know that the ecosystem's solution isn't to just shake us off like fleas?

    Both sides need to agree that neither side has all the answers, and meet somewhere in the middle to talk about the obvious. The panicking side and the side with it's head in the sand will be dragged along by the masses in the middle who eventually get something done... just like always. If not, well, markets aren't the only mechanisms that can self-correct. 🙂

  12. Actually, the jury is pretty much in in the form of the IPCC report that came out earlier this year. I mean, 90% isn't unanimous, but still, if someobody tells you there's a 90% chance that A causes B, does it make sense to go around declaring that C causes B, and anyone who argues otherwise is being unfair and unreasonable, or even compare enviromentalism to the holocaust like a nameless idiot Senator from Oklahoma has done?*

    * I am not bashing the entire state, I have friends there.

  13. Good lord.

    I just came to comment on the Pern movie - Hurrah?

    Kate: you'll hear me in Australia when the movie comes out here (if I can be heard over all the political discussion;)