james patrick kelly

J.C. interviewed for Asimov's Science Fiction magazine by J.C. Hutchins


In May, I had the great fortune to meet James Patrick Kelly at Balticon 42. Jim is one of the finest science-fiction writers living today. He is a master narrative craftsman; his work transcends the noisy, predictable trappings of most SF, and is fueled by excellent characterizations -- something I pine for in my own writing. His tales also sport a literary vibe that's not usually seen in sci-fi today, which makes them a delight to read.

Perhaps the only Balticon 42 moment more memorable that speaking on a panel with the man (and later chatting with him at the con's hotel bar) was being interviewed by him. Jim writes a monthly column for Asimov's Science Fiction magazine called "On the Net." A podcaster himself, Jim spent more than a half-hour chatting with me and other podcast novelists about this crazy newfangled "New Media" thing we do, and how it's positively impacting our careers.

The most recent issue of Asimov's features the first of Jim's two-part series on podcast fiction, and I'm honored to have been quoted in the column. This month's article does an elegant job of explaining the appeal of New Media for creators like me, and shares some insights from myself, Mur Lafferty and Tee Morris regarding its potential.

During our interview, we discussed what businessfolk like to call "first mover status" -- specifically, early podfiction adopters such as Mur, Tee, I and a few others, and our prominence in the community. Is it possible for newcomers to make a splash and compete with us podcasting oldtimers?

"When I hear the word 'competition,' I immediately think of buying things," I told Jim. "But podcasting isn't a bookstore. I think of it as a library. It's all free; you're just competing for time. That book will always be there on the (digital) shelf, so you can always come back to it. Is this space saturated? Well, it is. Is this space saturated with killer content? No."

Translation: If you produce excellent work -- and there indeed is excellent new work to be found in the podfic space -- you'll rise to the top. According to Jim's column, the second part of his series will explore this, as well as short-form podcast fiction, and other topics.

I can't wait to read it, and I'm honored to have contributed to his story.