Chronscast Season 1 Episode 1 - Northern Lights with Stephen Palmer

Dan Jones

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Chronscast is LIVE! :love:

Chronscast Art 1.jpeg

It's taken six months or so since @Phyrebrat and I first sketched out our ideas of what the SFF Chronicles podcast would look like (or sound like) and we've come quite a long way in bringing this to fruition. I hope everyone gets a kick out of it. Special thanks go to @The Judge and @AnRoinnUltra for their contributions, and to Brian Turner for supporting us in this endeavour.

Chronscast is hosted through Anchor, and you can take a look at the Anchor site here. We also are available on the following podcast providers - or, just go into your podcast app and search for Chronscast. Do also follow @Chronscast on Twitter; hopefully there'll be more social media to come soon.

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Lastly (and I'm going to sound like a Youtuber now), please make sure you like and subscribe through your podcast provider - and if you're feeling generous, leave a short review. We're trying to grow the Chrons community, and this sort of thing helps reach new listeners, who (hopefully) will be sent back here.

Season 1 Episode 1

We were joined on this episode by Stephen Palmer, author of several genre novels including Memory Seed, Tommy Catkins, The Girl With Two Souls, and many more. His latest novel, Monique Orphan, was published in November 2021 by Infinite Press.

Stephen spoke with us about Philip Pullman's Northern Lights. We discussed the novel's call to action on the part of the protagonist, its rich and complex themes, whether it really succeeds in laying down its atheist credentials, and how Pullman drew the narrative out of John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost.

Stephen talks about his own long career, including his latest novel Monique Orphan, the importance for writers of having something to say, and the equal but infuriating importance of luck to a career in writing.

We also stop by at The Judge's Corner to learn about copyright, hear the winning entry from December's 75-word writing challenge, by @Cat's Cradle, and listen to some odd voicemails received by the Chronscast inbox.

Links and further reading
Listen to Episode 1
The Abyssal Awakening Of Mankind in Northern Lights and Paradise Lost
Philip Pullman's Introduction to Paradise Lost
Stephen Palmer's official website

Episode 0

Episode 0 is a short introductory episode to Chronscast, especially for listeners not familiar with SFF Chronicles.

In episode 0, we give an overview of season 1, outlining what people can expect from Chronscast, why we're doing it, and how it links back to SFF Chronicles. As SFF Chronicles has a large writing community embedded in it, we'll be taking a look at some of the great genre books (and the occasional film) from the perspective of writers, trying to figure out why something works (or doesn't), and what we can learn from it.

Each episode we'll have a special guest who'll help us through the text of that month, and who will also talk to us about their own work and journey. Our guests will include authors, teachers, publishers, literary agents, and other podcasters.

Listen to Episode 0
 

The Judge

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Just listened to Ep 0. Not much of an encomium there, guys -- where was the extravagant praise of my sparkling wit and stupendous intelligence, not to mention my great and overpowering modesty?! :p (Next time I'll write my own panegyric!)

However, just, in my legalistic way, to locate one error and correct it, since Dan had obviously lost the bio I sent to him -- I should have known a 100 page memoir was a mistake. As a solicitor I wasn't primarily involved in contractual work, though it did crop up. I did general litigation, including advocacy in court, with a leaning towards matrimonial work. (I got the equivalent of a first for the family law part of my degree, and I don't intend that anyone should forget it!)

As Dan said, I'll be looking at legal issues which affect us as writers, with a first talk on copyright done, and defamation and contracts coming up later in the year, but if anyone wants me to address anything specific, let me know and I'll see if it's something I can waffle about for 10 minutes. However, with Dan and Chris's permission, I'll also be diving into legal issues which we can bring into our writing, which will be somewhat less legally po-faced and a lot more entertaining!

At this point I know I ought to thank Dan and Chris for giving me the opportunity to show off, but I think I'll leave expressing gratitude until I see what kind of reaction we get from the audience! (At this stage I feel a bit like Andre Previn on the Morecombe & Wise Show, not only "All the wrong notes" but particularly on his later appearance -- "I used to be a conductor, but now..." and as the camera pulls away you see he still is. On a London bus...)
 

nixie

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Just listened to Ep 0. Not much of an encomium there, guys -- where was the extravagant praise of my sparkling wit and stupendous intelligence, not to mention my great and overpowering modesty?! :p (Next time I'll write my own panegyric!)


I'm wondering what punishment you had in mind for their lack of praise. If the gavel isn't heavy enough, you can borrow Wally.
 

Dan Jones

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I've listened to episode 0 this morning. Looking forward to future episodes. Can we suggest guests, for future episodes?

Quite possibly, but I want to get a few episodes under our belt and see where we get to in terms of the guests we've already booked. I think we've got a good line-up. If season 1 works out then maybe we can expand a little in subsequent seasons. I just want to get our feet under the table first!
 

farntfar

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I've just just listened to episodes 0 and 1, both of which I have greatly enjoyed.

Despite having read the His Dark Materials books many years ago, I clearly missed a lot, particularly concerning Lord Asriel, and I should probably read the books again. I must also find some way to watch the BBC series, which I could never find a way to see from here. All your views on this series appear glowing.

My one disappointment with podcast 1 is that The Judge sounds far too normal. (*) :) I wasn't really expecting a sort of Peter Cook impression, but perhaps a bit.

(*) Apart from your voice, I liked what you had to say though.
 

The Judge

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Ah-ha! I'm now about half-way through Ep1 -- clearly in the gap between Ep 0 and this being published, my bio was located in Dan's dustbin and given a hose down to remove the remnants of foie gras and beluga caviar, ready for Chris to read!


At some point I might put an edited version of my talk up, so that newcomers can be pointed to a written copy of it as well as being encouraged to listen to the whole episode, but in the meantime here are some links which might be of interest to those wanting to look further:
And I doubt anyone but me is interested, but I thoroughly enjoyed it (I don't get out much...) here's the 53 page High Court judgement in the Duchess of Sussex case https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content...s-of-Sussex-v-Associated-2021-EWCH-273-Ch.pdf



EDIT: I've now finished Ep 1 -- I've been taking it slowly in stages among other jobs. Interesting conversations with Stephen, and really lovely to hear CC read (and sing!) his winning story!
 
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Phyrebrat

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Thanks Dan, for the heavy lifting on these early episodes, and to The Judge and AnRoinnUltra along with @Cat's Cradle for their contributions.

Please feel free to comment and submit requests -- all the usual stuff -- but we have the first season and guests mapped out and are currently working on 2023's guests. Please bear in mind, though that we're interested in the guests themselves, their views and their writing practice. We're not here to censor or offer a balance, but just put forward the discussions. Sorry our answerphone is backed up at the moment. We've had to submit the machine to MI5 who are helping us with @AnRoinnUltra and his dilemma...

Exciting Christmas pressie news is that Dan and I both got pro microphones from Santa so hopefully we'll sound like we're in the room with you in future episodes.

Thank you to all who've listened or commented for your support. A lot of work goes into this.

Also, hasn't CC got a lovely singing voice :love:
 

Dan Jones

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That picture you used is absolutely beautiful. :D
You mean the artwork? That's all Phyrebrat, nowt to do with me, and yes, you're right, it's great. It'd probably end up being done in crayon if it were me. Or Indian ink, at least.

Ah-ha! I'm now about half-way through Ep1 -- clearly in the gap between Ep 0 and this being published, my bio was located in Dan's dustbin and given a hose down to remove the remnants of foie gras and beluga caviar, ready for Chris to read!
Heaven forfend that the foie gras should end up in the dustbin! Only whalebones and sticks of rock left out in the Sun too long go in the dustbin. Everything else is ground down into gunge and fed to the goose.

And I doubt anyone but me is interested, but I thoroughly enjoyed it (I don't get out much...) here's the 53 page High Court judgement in the Duchess of Sussex case https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content...s-of-Sussex-v-Associated-2021-EWCH-273-Ch.pdf
That really is going above and beyond. There's enough there for an entire episode - but probably not of this podcast!
 

AnRoinnUltra

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Great work @Dan Jones and @Phyrebrat , the show is a credit to ye. When you get people talking about what they are passionate about it is always interesting, but there were some nice touches in there too. The quick bit of background info on 'Paradise Lost' is a good example (I've heard of it, but...), and it makes it accessible to all comers.
Really good show, some hard work went into it -fair play (y)
 

AnRoinnUltra

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I might put an edited version of my talk up
Was good to hear it explained, and made for an easy listen -there's a general writing part to the show that goes beyond specific genre; would recommend listening to your advice to anyone doing a bit of writing (it might never be relevant, but knowledge is easy carried).
Thanks
 

nixie

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@Cat's Cradle has a lovely voice, he'd make a good newsreader.

@Stephen Palmer didn't realise you had written so many books. Enjoyed listening to your views on The Northern Lights, might have to reread now.

The real star of the show was @The Judge, gives it a a touch of class was worried after I heard the uncouth tones of @Dan Jones and @Phyrebrat.

I'm kidding the whole show was entertaining, you all sound amazing and I'm looking forward to future episodes.
 

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