Chronscast Season 1 Episode 2 - Klara And The Sun with Jo Zebedee

Dan Jones

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We're joined on this episode by @Jo Zebedee, author of several novels, including the Abendau space opera trilogy, the dystopian Inish Carraig and the Irish fantasy Waters And The Wild. Jo talks to us about Klara And The Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro's 2020 novel about a sickly young girl who purchases a robotic "Artificial Friend" called Klara. Klara sets about trying to heal her human owner by using some very strange logic. Jo talks with us about how the book, despite being told from a robot's POV, shows us how to live the most human of lives. We also touch on themes of science vs engineering, the human heart, and whether the book is really the dystopian fiction that it's marketed as.

Jo also talks with us about her new novel The Wildest Hunt, published by Inspired Quill, and about her own body of work. We touch on male and female lead characters, the strong Northern Irish element running through her books, and the difficulties of writing as a career, and what we can do to mitigate that.

We'll also stop by at @The Judge's Corner to take a bite into the meaty topic of Food and the Law, we'll hear a reading of Little Match(maker) Girl, @Peter V's winning entry from the January 75-word writing challenge, and get critical new information about the Jupiterian invasion of Slish Wood.

Listen to Chronscast on Anchor, or through your usual podcast provider (links below). And please like, subscribe, and share!
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Further Reading
Service With A Smile in Klara And The Sun
Jo Zebedee's Website
The End Of All Things by Juliana Spink Mills - Kraxon Magazine's story of the year for 2021
 

Jo Zebedee

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We're joined on this episode by @Jo Zebedee, author of several novels, including the Abendau space opera trilogy, the dystopian Inish Carraig and the Irish fantasy Waters And The Wild. Jo talks to us about Klara And The Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro's 2020 novel about a sickly young girl who purchases a robotic "Artificial Friend" called Klara. Klara sets about trying to heal her human owner by using some very strange logic. Jo talks with us about how the book, despite being told from a robot's POV, shows us how to live the most human of lives. We also touch on themes of science vs engineering, the human heart, and whether the book is really the dystopian fiction that it's marketed as.

Jo also talks with us about her new novel The Wildest Hunt, published by Inspired Quill, and about her own body of work. We touch on male and female lead characters, the strong Northern Irish element running through her books, and the difficulties of writing as a career, and what we can do to mitigate that.

We'll also stop by at @The Judge's Corner to take a bite into the meaty topic of Food and the Law, we'll hear a reading of Little Match(maker) Girl, @Peter V's winning entry from the January 75-word writing challenge, and get critical new information about the Jupiterian invasion of Slish Wood.

Listen to Chronscast on Anchor, or through your usual podcast provider (links below). And please like, subscribe, and share!
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Breaker
Castbox
Pocketcasts
Radiopublic
Spotify
Stitcher

Further Reading
Service With A Smile in Klara And The Sun
Jo Zebedee's Website
The End Of All Things by Juliana Spink Mills - Kraxon Magazine's story of the year for 2021
Was great fun! Cheers!
 

Toby Frost

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That was very interesting. I thought your comments on the sense of ownership and what people think a book is really about were very thought-provoking. I've had similar experiences and it's interesting to see how its affected other writers.
 

Astro Pen

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Nice, and interesting to 'meet' Jo and gain insight into the local societal aspect of being a writer.
Though for near 2 hour podcast an index would be helpful. To find the @The Judge corner etc. (unless I missed it somewhere) Initially I thought I'd dip in for Peter's story while waiting for the kettle but spent so long shuttling that I had to re boil it, increasing my carbon footprint! :giggle:

ps ( on spotify) Peter's story read at 58:50 -59:40

also
PMSL at 59:46 to 1:00:38 :p
 

The Judge

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To find my corner, you'd have needed to push the sound up to what would otherwise be ear-splitting levels! Sorry about that -- and particular apologies to Parson who could barely hear me last month, and it turns out this month is even worse, if my experience is anything to go by. :(
 

Toby Frost

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Pray tell!

Nothing very exciting I'm afraid, but when you write comedy, I think people can get the wrong idea about the way that you're telling jokes, and how much you like/dislike the things you joke about and how satirical you're trying to be (not very, in my case). I used to worry a lot about what people would make of my writing, but as time's gone on I've got more used to the idea that someone will always just hate it or miss the point and then hate it, and that's that.
 

Jo Zebedee

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Nothing very exciting I'm afraid, but when you write comedy, I think people can get the wrong idea about the way that you're telling jokes, and how much you like/dislike the things you joke about and how satirical you're trying to be (not very, in my case). I used to worry a lot about what people would make of my writing, but as time's gone on I've got more used to the idea that someone will always just hate it or miss the point and then hate it, and that's that.
I think that must be a real danger with comedy.
 

Jo Zebedee

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Nice, and interesting to 'meet' Jo and gain insight into the local societal aspect of being a writer.
Though for near 2 hour podcast an index would be helpful. To find the @The Judge corner etc. (unless I missed it somewhere) Initially I thought I'd dip in for Peter's story while waiting for the kettle but spent so long shuttling that I had to re boil it, increasing my carbon footprint! :giggle:

ps ( on spotify) Peter's story read at 58:50 -59:40

also
PMSL at 59:46 to 1:00:38 :p
Also to realise that Jo really does speak with the weirdest accent on the Chrons. :D
 

Dan Jones

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Nice, and interesting to 'meet' Jo and gain insight into the local societal aspect of being a writer.
Though for near 2 hour podcast an index would be helpful. To find the @The Judge corner etc. (unless I missed it somewhere) Initially I thought I'd dip in for Peter's story while waiting for the kettle but spent so long shuttling that I had to re boil it, increasing my carbon footprint! :giggle:

ps ( on spotify) Peter's story read at 58:50 -59:40

also
PMSL at 59:46 to 1:00:38 :p
I've now added an index to the episode, and will do so for future episodes, as well as episode 1 with Stephen. See, this is why we put the threads up! Feedback is gold :)
 

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The idea of an index is good. At 2 hours, not everyone will have time to listen in one go and easier to dip in and out with an index.

Yes, please ramp up the volume on TJ's section next time.

Have you thought about sponsorship from a Wine Merchants?
 

farntfar

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Sorry to be a pain, but can you be even more specific in the index.
I've recently downloaded the kindle of Klara and the Sun, and will be reading it soon. So as soon as Jo spoke of spoilers I had to stop listening immediately. But I would like to hear the rest of the podcast.
Now despite what Jo says herself about her accent, I love to hear her speak, and would also love to hear her talking about her own books, most of which I have already read. (I've also listened to several other of her recorded interviews.)

On the subject of spoilers in the discussions, it's a difficult one isn't it. Listening to Stephen talk about the Pullman books last time, I had already read them, and could (and did) feel rather smug that he wasn't giving anything away to me. But here is the other case and I don't feel at all smug this time. :) .

Don't worry about the timings really. I'll just keep jumping forward a bit until I think I'm clear. And I can listen to the other sections, even if I have to get out a really high power amp for TJ.
 

Jo Zebedee

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Sorry to be a pain, but can you be even more specific in the index.
I've recently downloaded the kindle of Klara and the Sun, and will be reading it soon. So as soon as Jo spoke of spoilers I had to stop listening immediately. But I would like to hear the rest of the podcast.
Now despite what Jo says herself about her accent, I love to hear her speak, and would also love to hear her talking about her own books, most of which I have already read. (I've also listened to several other of her recorded interviews.)

On the subject of spoilers in the discussions, it's a difficult one isn't it. Listening to Stephen talk about the Pullman books last time, I had already read them, and could (and did) feel rather smug that he wasn't giving anything away to me. But here is the other case and I don't feel at all smug this time. :) .

Don't worry about the timings really. I'll just keep jumping forward a bit until I think I'm clear. And I can listen to the other sections, even if I have to get out a really high power amp for TJ.
The second half should be me talking about my books, as opposed to Klara but I don’t want to say 100 percent that nothing came up (and thank you :))
 

Cat's Cradle

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Champing at the bit to listen to this, but have to listen to Klara and the Sun first. Great line-up of content, though.

I had a thought - I'm in the same boat as @farntfar, delaying listening to the new Chronscast to avoid Klara spoilers. I wonder if it'd be possible to post - a few weeks before each new podcast - what the discussion book will be for the following month. Then you could create almost a book-club atmosphere, where some members of your audience might actually buy the next book early to have it listened to before experiencing the new podcast. (Same might happen with one of your interviewees, if they have a new book coming out, which surely would be discussed in a later segment of the podcast.)

But truly looking forward to this! CC

edit - I looked around to see if Klara... was mentioned as the next book, in last month's Chronscast thread, but didn't see it there. Forgive the above if it was mentioned somewhere, and I just missed it...
 

Dan Jones

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I wonder if it'd be possible to post - a few weeks before each new podcast - what the discussion book will be for the following month.
Yes, a few people have said this so I think I'll start doing it from next episode, and include it in the episode blurb. And no, I hadn't mentioned Klara in episode one. Do read Klara, it's a magnificent book.

You'll be happy to know that next month we aren't tackling a book but a film, so should be easier for everybody to get ready - we're doing An American Werewolf In London.

(Same might happen with one of your interviewees, if they have a new book coming out, which surely would be discussed in a later segment of the podcast.)
Indeed, one of our future guests has a book coming out to coincide with the podcast episode (can't say any more at the mo as we haven't recorded it yet) so it will hopefully work that way as well.
 

Phyrebrat

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Though for near 2 hour podcast an index would be helpful. To find the @The Judge corner etc. (unless I missed it somewhere) Initially I thought I'd dip in for Peter's story while waiting for the kettle but spent so long shuttling that I had to re boil it, increasing my carbon footprint!
Great idea! Thanks.
I've recently downloaded the kindle of Klara and the Sun, and will be reading it soon. So as soon as Jo spoke of spoilers I had to stop listening immediately. But I would like to hear the rest of the podcast.
I think this is sorted now re releasing info on what the next episode will be. Typically this is what is done at the end of the previous podcast, so Dan and I should start doing that.

Glad you’re enjoying Jo’s podcast. :)
 

farntfar

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Another great podcast which I will listen to the beginning of later.

A couple of minor observations.

Relating to TJ’s discussion, I had always understood from my wife, who was French, that the rule for the weight and size of baguettes here in France was very strictly controlled.

However having just looked it up, it is, now at any rate, a custom rate than a rule. (And as is so often the case, the custom is different in Paris to the rest of France:giggle: )
About ten years ago, many bakers here brought out a new format, called the Banette, which is the same weight as a baguette but shorter and a slightly different shape, which I had understood had to have the new name to get by that rule.

Is the format of a TIN in British bakeries a standard? Or was it just so much part of my youth that I projected a fixed size local loaf all round the world.

I enjoyed your discussion with Jo at the end, and note that when you were talking of the strong ruthless women like Kare’s mum, and Mrs Coulter who had given up morals for power, I immediately thought of the Empress in the Star Trek mirror universe.

Lastly, a great idea by Cat’s Cradle to have a warning of the book/film/etc to be discussed next time. I saw An American Werewolf in London many years ago and really enjoyed it. I must see if I can rewatch it before the next episode.
 

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