A final (for now) podcast episode before I head off on hiatus, this time discussing the idea of genre with author Ryan O’Neill.
This was going to be the first episode of a loose series on the theme of genre…and, I suppose, it still is, it’s just that that second, third, and fourth episodes will come after a mid-season break. So for this entry we nose around the idea of what ‘genre’ means, whether rules are important, how cross-genre novels and stories work, and the ways in which the expectations of a genre can both be positive and a way for that genre’s critics to stick the boot in.
If I may allow myself a moment of hubris, I’m also pretty pleased with the observation I make toward the end about the sanitised nature of death in some GAD novels — this isn’t a perspective that I’ve held for a while, it just spontaneously came to me as we were recording — so let me know how near or far away from the truth you think I land. And spare athought for Ryan when you discover which two books formed his first exposures to detective fiction, then marvel that he went on to become as much of a fan as he has…proof that no obstacle is too great to overcome…!
As usual, you can open the audio in your browser here, find the podcast on iTunes here, on Spotify here, or listen below. Someone mentioned something called Stitcher for podcasts recently so I’ll look into that during shutdown, too.
Thanks, of course, go to Ryan, to Jonny Berliner for the music, to those of you listening, and to those people who have gotten in touch to express the hope that In GAD We Trust will not now vanish from their lives — after all, how many other podcasts can legitimately make reference to both Spaceballs (1987) and experimental French literature of the 1960s as a way of reinforcing their points? The plan is, as I’ve said, just a month or two off to get my head straight, and then back to business. And I always stick to my plans.
If you’re interested, I make reference in this episode to various posts that already appear on this blog, so at the following links you can find…
1. Christian and I working through Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of ratiocination
2. My defence of the perceived ‘rules’ of detective fiction
3. How The X-Files missed a trick by only using aliens
…and Noah Stewart’s post on the novel I Shot My Bridge Partner (1989) can be found here.
And finally, another plug for Ryan’s books Their Brilliant Careers (2016) and The Drover’s Wives (2019), both of which come highly recommended — and you know me, I’m not going to recommend something just to be polite. If the guy’s books weren’t any good, do you think I’d have him on the podcast to begin with? Exactly.