Friday, January 17, 2020

Invaders From Planet 3 - Ep 35 - Diane Walton

On Spec Magazine Managing Editor and Sunburst Award Board of Directors Chairperson Diane Walton joins us for this episode. She talks about her first love in science fiction, Andre Norton's novel The Stars Are Ours!, and reading everything in the genre she could get her hands on, including the works of Clifford Simak and James Blish.

Diane also shares the story of how an Alberta writers' group gave rise to On Spec Magazine (one of Canada's major speculative fiction magazines), and how she eventually ended up in the Editor's chair. She tells us about the challenges of finding funding for the publication, navigating a publishing universe where print and electronic versions of the magazine are available, what this means in terms of garnering a global readership, what it's like running the operation off the side of her desk, and the kinds of stories that get her excited.

And we learn about how the Sunburst Award (Canada's juried award for literature of the fantastic) ignited. Diane talks about what's involved in running the award, and why Canada even needs two awards for speculative fiction. Lastly, she reflects on how Canada's sf&f scene has changed over the years.

Our conversation took place in the impromptu bloginhood studio in the Dublin convention centre at the 2019 Worldcon last summer.

Find out more about On Spec Magazine on its website:

And you can discover which novels and short stories have won the Sunburst Award on its page:

To listen to Invaders From Planet 3, or to subscribe, visit Libsyn, iTunes, or your other favourite podcatching service. Be sure to rate and review us while you're there!

Let the Invasion begin!

*Note: In the interests of disclosure, at the time of this interview, and as of the time of the posting of this episode, I have served as a member of the Sunburst Award board of directors. This in no way influenced my line of questioning during the interview, or the editing of this episode.

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