The Halfling and the Spaceman

Wole Talabi, Author

April 30, 2023 Janet & Roger Carden Season 2 Episode 18
Wole Talabi, Author
The Halfling and the Spaceman
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The Halfling and the Spaceman
Wole Talabi, Author
Apr 30, 2023 Season 2 Episode 18
Janet & Roger Carden

Joining us today is Wole Talabi , a Nigerian engineer, author of speculative fiction, and  editor.  He’ll be talking about transitioning his engineering knowledge into his speculative fiction.

References and Links:

Show Notes Transcript

Joining us today is Wole Talabi , a Nigerian engineer, author of speculative fiction, and  editor.  He’ll be talking about transitioning his engineering knowledge into his speculative fiction.

References and Links:

Wole Talabi, Author

[00:00:00] Halfling: Thanks for tuning into the Halfling and the Spaceman: Journeys In Active Fandom. We're having great conversations with people that have turned their love of fandom into something creative. We're fans talking to fans. Joining us today is Wole Talabi, a Nigerian engineer, author of Speculative Fiction, and an editor, welcome to the show.

[00:00:28] Wole Talabi: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

[00:00:30] Halfling: Well, we are so glad that you could take the time to join us and just so everybody is aware, he's gotten up early this morning to do this with us. So we are doubly appreciative of you taking that time. Why don't you just get things started by telling us a little bit about yourself and your background.

[00:00:51] Wole Talabi: Okay. Well, so as Janet said, my name is Wole Talabi. I was born and raised in Nigeria, where I lived until my twenties. Before moving to the UK to London, for my postgraduate studies in engineering. I'm an engineer, as she also said, and I worked there for a few years. Then I was in Mexico for a while.

[00:01:14] Wole Talabi: Um, few months really before going back to the UK and then Malaysia, which is where I live now and where I've lived for the last 10 years or so. As I said, I'm an engineer. I have background in chemical engineering, but I also love stories and yeah, I don't remember exactly when I started writing. I have like a distinct memory of attempting to write what I called a novel when I was in primary school, which was just a story about some ninjas, which I wrote in my notebook and my mom hated. And it was probably, you know, 500 or a thousand words or something. But in my child brain it it was a novel. Um, so I've been making up stories for as long as I've been reading them. I think. And you know, in, in a sense, whenever people ask me this question about like my background and things like that, why I do engineering and writing, I always kind of think like my mom studied English literature and my dad was an engineer as well.

[00:02:13] Wole Talabi: So I guess if you took the average of them, you would get a science fiction writer that's also an engineer. Maybe so yeah, you could say I was predisposed to doing it. But yeah, I started writing for an audience. I would say, you know, not ninja stories in my notebook, but like trying to publish stuff in, the public for other people to read, probably about 12 to 14 years ago.

[00:02:40] Wole Talabi: First on my blog and then later I started publishing with like other blogs and online magazines and eventually, you know, semi-professional and professional magazines. So, yeah, that's kind of my background and yeah, here I am now still publishing with, you know, some of the biggest magazines and publishers in science fiction and fantasy.

[00:03:02] Wole Talabi: And , it's kind of a weird dream come true, but it's fun.

[00:03:06] Halfling: Well, that's awesome. , and now I have to read your ninja story. You're gonna have to,

[00:03:13] Spaceman: Everybody loves (ninjas!)

[00:03:14] Halfling: Do you still have it? Do you still have it? 

[00:03:16] Wole Talabi: I do not know. My mom hated it so much. She destroyed it. She took the notebook and she's like, focus, focus on your schoolwork. This is,

[00:03:24] Halfling: Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Oh wow. 

[00:03:29] Wole Talabi: She was supportive in other ways. She gave me, like, she gave me lots of books to read, which, in my head, every writer is just a reader that became a super fan and decided to like, create more of the thing they loved.

[00:03:44] Halfling: you know, that is, that is an awesome way of, putting it. I love that. I think that is absolutely awesome because every writer that we have had has said something to that effect, but they've never put it like that. And that, I think that just really, really just sort of boils it down to its bare essence really.

[00:04:08] Halfling: So That's great. That's great.

[00:04:12] Spaceman: That is great. So you talked about your first story. Is that your first memory of being a fan of something and what inspired you to write about ninjas?

[00:04:23] Wole Talabi: Yeah. I actually don't have a clear like, you know, childhood memories are always like a jumbled mess of stuff just mushed up. I can't even tell the difference between what happened when I was five and what happened when I was nine. Like, it's all just a blur of like stuff that happened when I was young,

[00:04:41] Wole Talabi: you know?

[00:04:42] Wole Talabi: Um, but I grew up with a lot of different influences. My dad had a lot of science fiction books in the house, but also books on history and theology and encyclopedias, and I would attempt to read them and not understand 90% of what I was reading. But at the same time, we also used to like, I had distinct memories of like going out to rent action movies on the weekends, right?

[00:05:05] Wole Talabi: We would go out to like the video store and rent cassettes and um I was always going straight to like the Asian cinema part, and I would want to watch like Hong Kong cinema, like the old School Shaw Brothers action movies. And those have always, those have always stuck with me. And I think there's still an influence on my writing.

[00:05:24] Wole Talabi: I'm very much partial to like cool action scenes and like melodrama. And then of course I read a lot of African literature, you know, books like Cyprian Ekwensi and African Nights Entertainment, which is like this big adventure, but set in almost like a medieval, Northern African setting.

[00:05:43] Wole Talabi: Um, or Northern Nigerian setting, I would say with like djins and magic and like revenge. So all of these things are kind of in my head and I was a fan of all of it, right? And it all kind of, Has played a role in making me the kind of writer I am. The kinds of things I'm interested in. I would say my earliest clear memory of being a fan of something is probably Final Fantasy.

[00:06:11] Wole Talabi: I don't know if you know the games.

[00:06:12] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:06:13] Wole Talabi: Yeah. The Final Fantasy Games. I think I've played Final Fantasy seven when I was about 11 or so. I was staying at my cousin's house and he had the game and we just played it. And I remember we couldn't stop. We played overnight. We didn't sleep. His mom was not happy about that.

[00:06:32] Wole Talabi: She tried to get us to go to bed, but you know, we would pretend like we were sleeping and just like, go back, go back. Uh, and we played, played that game so much. And I, I like proper fandom. I would say it was a proper fandom because. We would discuss the game and we would discuss with other friends at school that had played it.

[00:06:52] Wole Talabi: And we bought the game guides. You know, back when these things were not online, you would go to an actual game store and buy the magazine that told you, you know, different tricks about it and gave background information. We did all the side quests and even years later, I would still go back to the game and then eventually online I joined like the Yahoo group, right, of fans of Final Fantasy seven to still talk about the game nostalgically.

[00:07:18] Wole Talabi: And even now, I still talk to people about it. Like, it's something that had a huge influence on me and I was just like a permanent fan of, so yeah, that's probably my earliest clear memory of becoming a fan of something. Was the Final Fantasy all the entire series, but specifically Final Fantasy seven.

[00:07:35] Spaceman: Well, I'm very thankful to hear from. I'm somebody else who loves the Shaw Brothers movies. I love those things. And, and, and the worst they were, the better they were.

[00:07:46] Wole Talabi: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. The more melodramatic and like exaggerated it, it was, it was great. It was great. Five element ninjas might be my favorite.

[00:07:56] Spaceman: Okay.

[00:07:56] Wole Talabi: Uh, yeah. But

[00:07:59] Halfling: Have you had any thoughts about, writing another ninja story?

[00:08:05] Wole Talabi: no, not really. I think, I think, I think I, I think I grew up from n but you know what, it still sneaks in. Like, I still write action scenes as if they had ninjas in them, but now I just, you know, pretend to be more literary about it

[00:08:21] Spaceman: literary ninjas. Hmm. 

[00:08:24] Wole Talabi: literary, literary ninjas.

[00:08:26] Spaceman: Literary ninjas

[00:08:27] Wole Talabi: That's,

[00:08:27] Halfling: Okay.

[00:08:27] Spaceman: They hide out in the bookstore and they.

[00:08:31] Wole Talabi: But yeah, it's, I I might actually, well come to think of it. No, you know what? Maybe I never graduated from, Writing this because I'm currently working on another novel, which will be my second novel. I'll talk about the one coming up later this year

[00:08:44] Halfling: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:08:45] Wole Talabi: novel I'm working on now is actually set in Nigeria.

[00:08:50] Wole Talabi: Um, and it's about an assassin who was trained in Japan

[00:08:56] Wole Talabi: by someone who I do not say was an ninja,

[00:08:59] Wole Talabi: but he is kind of an ninja. So yeah, maybe, maybe it never left. Uh, our rephrases. Yeah. Now that you ask the question, I'm realizing yeah, maybe it never actually went away.

[00:09:09] Spaceman: everybody loves ninjas. So Wole, you've had such an interesting background. How much of your early, experience have influenced your writing?

[00:09:22] Wole Talabi: Right. Okay. Um. I would say a lot, like I already mentioned, some of them, you know, the Shaw brothers thing and just action movies in general, or something I love and no matter what I'm writing about, I think I, I kind of try to sneak in a good action scene in there just because of that Final Fantasy seven specifically I think has framed a lot of the way I think about, science fiction and fantasy worlds, melding together because it always had that element of like, it kind of looked cyber punk and it was set in a kind of techno future, but it was very much focused on magic and things like that.

[00:10:01] Wole Talabi: And, you know, epic storytelling, that big final fantasy style of storytelling, is something that has stayed with me. And I would say, you know, even my more recent. Experience, in terms of being an engineer has had a lot of influence on my writing now, my science fiction writing, cuz I very often transpose ideas from science and engineering concepts into like my fiction sometimes, almost directly when I see a parallel between, you know, how some, physical mechanism works in terms of physics or the engineering.

[00:10:39] Wole Talabi: And I see a parallel between that and something happening in society and my brain that's almost always like, uh huh there's a story idea there. I just need to figure out a way to line it up so that the metaphor comes out clearly. So yeah, I would say my, my engineering background, my early love for things like final Fantasy Action cinema, big epic storytelling.

[00:11:00] Wole Talabi: Yeah. They all kind of still, still in there, still show up.

[00:11:05] Spaceman: And the ninjas.

[00:11:07] Wole Talabi: And the ninjas is

[00:11:08] Spaceman: The ninjas and the ninjas.

[00:11:10] Wole Talabi: And I would say also like, as I mentioned as well, I read a lot of African literature, some of it for schoolwork, but a lot of it was just for entertainment. And because of that I try really, really hard.

[00:11:25] Wole Talabi: Well, it's not even trying, I think it just comes out naturally, to include African elements into most of my fiction, even if it's something as simple as the way a character talks or you know, their background. I allude to that a lot because I feel it's, there's a lot of really great African stories, like big myths and legends and, you know, stories of.

[00:11:52] Wole Talabi: Ancient things and kingdoms, like there's so much rich background to draw from that I almost feel like it's a shame to not use it. So I always try to use it and all that comes out in most of my writing.

[00:12:05] Halfling: Yeah, I had an opportunity to read a couple of your, uh, short stories and, I can definitely see what you're talking about. You know with the stories that I've read, those, elements are very, very prominently featured. And I really enjoyed both of them. I should let you know, I'm planning to start a blog where I do reviews of works from different writers that we've had on the show.

[00:12:32] Halfling: We've got a backlog now,, because the idea has just recently crept upon me. But that's my intent. I'm gonna go back to the, you know, to the very start of our podcast with our first writer and just keep, keep going. So eventually one of your works is gonna make its way on to a blog review.

[00:12:50] Wole Talabi: Awesome. On behalf of all writers everywhere. I thank you because we love reviews. Um, even, even the bad ones. Even the bad ones, cuz it means at least someone read your writing right? There is nothing worse as a writer than writing something and no one like, just, you know, that. No response, no one read it, nobody said anything about it.

[00:13:10] Wole Talabi: That is the absolute worst. So yeah, , any review is good. So thanks.

[00:13:15] Halfling: Well, I've been very fortunate that, everything that I have read so far has been really good. You know, I have enjoyed reading everything, so I expect the trend to continue.

[00:13:26] Wole Talabi: Alright.

[00:13:29] Halfling: So we want our listeners to know about our guest journeys to becoming creative forces in fandom. And with that in mind, what would you say that, that your starting point was with your career?

[00:13:44] Halfling: When did you decide, that was what you wanted to do? And I, I know that you're an engineer first. And then a writer, or maybe I've got that backwards, or you are a

[00:13:55] Wole Talabi: No, no, that's, that's 

[00:13:56] Wole Talabi: exactly right. 

[00:13:58] Halfling: you know. So when did you decide that, that you wanted to start writing seriously?

[00:14:05] Wole Talabi: Well, um, I would say probably 2012. So when I first started writing, like I said before, I feel like all writers are just fans that graduated. You know, it's like the PhD of fandom,

[00:14:23] Wole Talabi: right? It's like now, now you're creating your own original

[00:14:26] Wole Talabi: work, right? You have to submit an original thesis. So in the beginning I just started writing for fun.

[00:14:31] Wole Talabi: A lot of it was fan fiction. A lot of it was just cool stuff, ninjas. And then, um sometimes it was me just clumsily playing around with ideas I found interesting and started publishing on blogs. My own personal blog, my friend's blogs. So you could argue that I kind of started writing in fandom because we're all just fans sharing stories, each other's stories.

[00:14:55] Wole Talabi: And then around 20 10, 20 11, I saw a call for submissions. Well, someone sent it to me, actually, a friend sent it to me called for submissions to an anthology of original African science fiction called, uh, yeah, AfroSF, which was probably, I think it was the first deliberate African science fiction anthology.

[00:15:21] Wole Talabi: And I had a friend who had read some of my stories on the blogs, and of course they always had science fictional elements and act like all my influences. Al had always been coming up and she said, oh, maybe you should submit to this, right? Like, you, your writing seems good enough, it could probably work.

[00:15:36] Wole Talabi: And I was like, ah, okay, fine. I'll give it a try. I give it a try. Uh, the story was not published in AfroSF but the editor gave lots of really good feedback. He said, you know, you have good ideas. It's a great, you know, concept. There's just a few craft elements that are not quite working. And that kind of spread me to say, okay, so if I have a decent, cuz I'd never taken a writing course or anything like that, right?

[00:16:05] Wole Talabi: Um, but if a professional editor thinks that my work is close to being professionally published, then maybe with a little effort I could actually make this a thing. So I kind of took it on myself with like, okay, so self-improvement project, we're going to work on our writing craft. And I started doing that and then I started trying to sell stories more professionally and, um, Yeah, so that was in 2012 and I started selling stories to external magazines, not just blogs or my friends blogs, but to actual other editors who would give feedback.

[00:16:41] Wole Talabi: And yeah, after that I said okay, let me see if I can sell to semi-professional magazines, you know, for $20 for a story, or, you know, five bucks, whatever, whatever they were doing. And when I got a few of those, and it's like getting a few mentions here and there, people were like, oh, I read this really good story on this blog and um, on this magazine and, you know, the author seems like they have interesting ideas.

[00:17:05] Wole Talabi: Then I would take that as positive reinforcement and okay, let's aim higher, let's aim for Asimov's now. Or something like that. So I just kept building from there. And I think my first paid story, so I sold a few magazines, semi-professional magazines, not all of them paid. When my first paid story was in a magazine called Liquid Imagination.

[00:17:26] Wole Talabi: I hope they're still around. 

[00:17:27] Spaceman: that's a neat name

[00:17:28] Wole Talabi: Um, yeah, no, it's a great name. I hope they're still around. I haven't checked recently. That was in 2014. And then, yeah, from there it kind of just took off and I kept submitting stories to different places. Eventually got into light speed and F N S F and Clark's World and all the other, big ones as well.

[00:17:48] Wole Talabi: And, never looked back, decided to go onto a novel and other things.

[00:17:55] Halfling: Awesome.

[00:17:56] Halfling: Well, so there was sort of a clear progression of things, you know, it was steps, I guess. It sounds like, I mean, you start off with the blogs and then, somebody suggested that you submit to this publication, and even though it got rejected, that was enough for you to say, okay, maybe there's something to this.

[00:18:13] Halfling: And then you sort of took it upon in your words, you know, self-improvement project. Did you take any courses after that? Did you take any writing classes or,

[00:18:23] Wole Talabi: No, I've never taken, like writing classes per se, so I did take one online course on Coursera, which was called, creating Science Fiction and Fantasy. And it wasn't so much a writing course as it was a. Kind of academic course studying what science fiction and fantasy is and the different, you know, sub genre, sub genres and classifications, so it didn't help me with writing craft per se, but it helped me with understanding a bit more the genre that I had always been exposed to, but like thinking more clearly about what genre means, what the different tropes are how they can be used coming up with different kinds of ideas.

[00:19:08] Wole Talabi: So that was a useful course. In terms of writing craft, I just really learned by doing, 

[00:19:15] Wole Talabi: and one of the things I did was when I was writing for one of my friend's blogs, I was also helping edit as well. So I think that process is where I really learned was in editing other people's stories, because it forces you to think about what stories are working and what doesn't and why.

[00:19:33] Wole Talabi: Right? Because sometimes you need to. You don't, not always, but sometimes you send feedback to the authors and you need to be clear, like, why are we publishing the story and why are we not? And that through that process of writing a lot, editing a lot, I kind of just figured out, I think what works and what doesn't.

[00:19:55] Wole Talabi: And also by submitting, like, I first started trying to submit to places like Asimov and F N S F and I got tons of rejections, but some of the rejections were helpful. Like I would always credit, CC Finlay, Charles, Charles Finlay, who was the editor of F N S F up until I think 2019, or 2020 because he, I, with within my kind of, I kind of judge my progression through my submissions to F N S F, which was initially form rejections.

[00:20:29] Wole Talabi: And then eventually personal rejections from Charlie. And he would tell me like little bits, he's just like, ah, this didn't work because I felt this character wasn't convincing. Maybe if he had done this might have work, and then it would progress to even more detailed feedback. He would like, yeah, I almost took this one, but just this, I just that.

[00:20:45] Wole Talabi: And I would Look, I'll fix it. And then eventually he bought two stories from me. So I was like, okay, I've taken the Charles's Finlay writing course now through hundreds of rejections and graduated from form rejection to acceptance. Okay, done now.

[00:21:01] Halfling: Well, you know, it's always good, like you said before, to get feedback, even if it's not, you know, positive feedback, even if it's not what you really want to hear. Sometimes it's what you need to hear and, it is a way to improve your craft. Roger and I published an online magazine ourselves, and it's on hiatus right now, but I'm the editor and so, I'm the one that's responsible for reading the stories and providing that feedback and either accepting or, rejecting the story.

[00:21:34] Halfling: And I tried to always give, some sort of, feedback that, that could be useful. If I didn't take the story, I could at least offer them, you know, some, some. Hopefully, you know, feedback that they could take forward, and, you know, do something with. So from that side, I can also see that.

[00:21:55] Halfling: So Cool. Cool. So I guess you really answered that question because, you already said that what led to you getting your first story published was somebody said that you should submit, one of your short stories to this magazine and, got it. The first one was rejected, but then you kept going and finally got that bite, right?

[00:22:19] Wole Talabi: Exactly, yeah. The persistence of, um, keep going through the rejections. I, think because for me, writing was always fun.

[00:22:29] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:22:30] Wole Talabi: Like I, I was always writing stories whether I published them or not. So it never mattered whether someone accepted it or not. It's like, well, I've written the story. I, I enjoyed it, so it was fine.

[00:22:40] Wole Talabi: I'll keep it and maybe I'll fix it later or tune it up or do something with it. But it was always fun and I, that's one thing I try to encourage people that want to be writers to do is like, yeah, do it if it's fun, right? Like, if you are obsessed about the outcome, you know, am I selling this, doing that?

[00:23:02] Wole Talabi: Yeah. It's important, especially for writers from certain marginalized backgrounds. If you're trying to do it professionally and it's, you know, one of your few ways of making an income right, to survive, then there are additional concentrations. But at the end of the day, things work best. I feel when you align the thing you enjoy doing with the thing you can get paid for.

[00:23:26] Wole Talabi: So at the very least, even if you don't get paid for it, you enjoyed the process. Right. And I feel like that's what kind of helped me keep going despite the rejections. And of course I was learning as well, so it was, it was

[00:23:38] Wole Talabi: good. 

[00:23:39] Halfling: right.

[00:23:40] Spaceman: You've had a really interesting progression and we've seen that some of your stories have received award nominations. Can you go into that a little bit?

[00:23:50] Wole Talabi: Uh, yeah. Yes, I can. okay. So yeah, some of my stories have, done pretty well, which is, being recognized for certain awards. I, so probably the first big one was, Wednesday story, which was a story I sold to Light Speed Magazine, back in 2016, I believe. And it was nominated for the Kane Prize for African Writing, which was one I was not expecting.

[00:24:20] Wole Talabi: And I was actually really proud of because the Kane Prize for African writing is not a genre specific award. It's quite literally for, you know, the best short stories written by an African author in any genre. And they have a pretty decent, award prize that they give, which I didn't win, but I was nominated, which meant I got to go back to London.

[00:24:43] Wole Talabi: Not as a student this time, but as, an award nominee and get to meet with agents and publishers. And it was quite a, quite a nice event and affair. And it was sponsored by a good group of people. We stayed in the nice hotel in Central London, you know, very different from my student experience of the city.

[00:25:03] Wole Talabi: Living in like, you know, student accommodations. So that was nice. I didn't win, but it was a great experience and for me it was a really big validation that the story I'd written was a fantasy story. But, it was great to see that the craft was recognized not just as a genre of work, but like the quality of writing was good because literally everybody else that was nominated was either like a literature teacher or like someone that had done an MFA course and I was the only one that was just like, yeah, here's me never studied writing.

[00:25:35] Wole Talabi: But uh, sure I'll hang out with you guys.

[00:25:39] Halfling: it 

[00:25:40] Spaceman: It is high praise when a genre book or story gets nominated for an award like that.

[00:25:46] Halfling: Yeah, 

[00:25:46] Wole Talabi: so too. Yeah, I think so.

[00:25:48] Halfling: yeah. Kudos definitely. 

[00:25:51] Wole Talabi: I think, yeah, so that was really nice. And another story that was nominated was actually the first story I sold to F N S F. Which was called the regression test, which is literally just a pure science fiction story.

[00:26:04] Halfling: That's one of the ones I read, by the way.

[00:26:06] Wole Talabi: okay, cool. I hope, I hope you enjoyed it.

[00:26:09] Halfling: I did.

[00:26:10] Wole Talabi: it was nominated and it's actually won the novel normal award, which is, basically it's like the Hugo Awards for African speculated fiction. Right. And then another story that was nominated for an award was Drift Flox, which is space opera, basically. African Space Opera.

[00:26:31] Wole Talabi: And it was nominated recently for the Canopus Award for best Interstellar Fiction. So also Nice. And then more recently, my two stories that have been nominated, four awards have been, one from last year called an Arc of Electric Skin. Which was published in Asimov's Magazine, so that was a finalist for the Locus Awards.

[00:26:53] Halfling: The other one I read, by the way.

[00:26:55] Wole Talabi: oh, okay. Well, you, you made, you made great choices. Good selection. So yeah, an Arch Electric scan, which is kind of political science fictiony, superhero mishmash of ideas, but perhaps a bit sad in a way. But yeah that seemed to resonate with a lot of people. I think. It was a finalist for the Locus Award and also for the normal award as well.

[00:27:24] Wole Talabi: And then just this year I was nominated for the Nebula Award, which is awesome. That's a big one, I think. Sales finalist for Best Novelette, which, for my story, a dream of electric mothers. Which is actually an alternate history story, even though most people think it's a far future science fiction story, but it's an alternate history story of what could have happened.

[00:27:49] Wole Talabi: Well, my imagination of what would've happened if you had never had, colonization of Africa. And instead you had built like this kind of social technological partnership between Europe and Asia and, you know, kind of sharing of ideas and in my imagination, a more rapid development of both, geographical regions.

[00:28:11] Wole Talabi: And so it seems like it's far future because you have a lot of AI technology and like basically the country is managed by an AI which is built from the memories, recorded memories of all the people that have been citizens of the country. And they consult this AI on matters of national interest. So it's basically like, My version of what would the technological version of consulting the ancestors look like.

[00:28:39] Wole Talabi: And yeah, within that story is a story about grief and sadness and all of that in there. But, yeah, also really glad it seemed to have resonated with a lot of people. It's, uh, finalist for the Nebular Awards. I don't know if you'll get nominated for anything else. There seems to be a lot of interest in it.

[00:28:58] Wole Talabi: It's getting translated into Chinese. It was on the Locus recommended reading list, so hopefully it goes on and does well and more people read it because I think that's one of the best things about awards is it gets more people to read your story, which is always nice.

[00:29:15] Halfling: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Well, not, not too shabby. Not too shabby.

[00:29:21] Wole Talabi: No, I don't, I don't think so.

[00:29:22] Spaceman: Yeah, never discount network effects.

[00:29:25] Halfling: Oh no.

[00:29:26] Wole Talabi: Oh. That's true. Yeah. One award win creates the next one.

[00:29:31] Spaceman: Exactly. 

[00:29:33] Halfling: right. That's right.

[00:29:34] Spaceman: Some of our listeners might not be familiar with this, but what does it mean to be one of the third generation of Nigerian writers?

[00:29:43] Wole Talabi: Right. I've heard myself described as one of them, and it's interesting, it's not a term that's commonly used, but basically what it means is it's a term that was derived by, uh, the Nigerian literature, academic named, I think Pius, Pius Adesanmi he coined term, I think, um, and he was trying to find a term to describe the new wave of Nigerian literature that was popping up.

[00:30:14] Wole Talabi: Kind of sporadically since the early nineties, but more recently in the two thousands and beyond. Because before that, the first and second generation Nigerian writers tended to be very ideological, ideologically driven, which was, partially due to people like Chinua Achebe, um, was really famous Nigerian author that wrote things Fall Apart, who kind of saw writing as a social duty, you know, like was the writer's job to educate and drive certain messages in society and things like that.

[00:30:48] Wole Talabi: And after that period, that was in the seventies and so on after that period, writers have kind of broken away from that philosophy a bit, especially in Nigerian. People have become more loose. So it's the third generation of Nigerian writers is basically a term for describing the emerging phase of Nigerian literature where the themes are less directly social themes and less focused on like teaching or like educating and more focused on just, well, there's less focus on one specific thing.

[00:31:24] Wole Talabi: It's much more open. So you have a more, you have more variety in genre. You have more variety in approach in literary styling, yeah. Different elements. So for example, science fiction was not a popular genre of Nigerian literature in pre 1990, even pre two thousands. I would say the, they, you can find examples of it for sure, and I used to manage like a database of like African speculative fiction. So you can always find examples of fantasy and science fiction from before that, but it was never popular. And now, it tends to be much more popular to find different genres, fantasy, science, fiction, magical realism, like a blending of all that with the previous themes that used to be explored before, which was more social things.

[00:32:22] Wole Talabi: Um, you know, very focused on teaching about the culture and people, and very much focused on the colonial history. And now they tend to be more personal social themes, you know, people looking at the impact of things like class, racism, politics on society, but with a wider variety of genres. So I guess it does describe me in a sense, because I almost exclusively write genre work, which is science fiction advancing, and I do explore political class themes in my work as well. Yeah, I guess you could lump me in there, but it's, it's not a commonly used term, but it applies.

[00:33:06] Spaceman: Okay. When you're talking about that you brought up the database of African authors and you said you used to maintain it, is this still maintained?

[00:33:14] Wole Talabi: No, so not really. I kind of decided to freeze it in 2021, because it just became a bit too much work to keep track because it wasn't just a database of African speculative fiction authors, but it was a speculative fiction work. So, which meant tracking everything that had been published, where it was published, when, all that, which now that seems to be more African authors being published in I'd say well-known venues before you had venues that were fairly local. Maybe a small magazine only published locally in Mozambique or something like that. And now you're getting some of those authors that have been doing that for a while. Same way. I was publishing on blogs early in my career and now they're publishing with magazines like Apex and Clarks Ward and things like that.

[00:34:07] Wole Talabi: And Nigerian authors, you know, Mozambique, South Africa and every everywhere. So it's a lot more stuff to keep track of and at some point it just became a bit too difficult to keep track of everything, which is a good problem to have cuz it means African authors are actually African speculated fiction authors are actually coming and kind of joining the global, speculated fiction field, which I would say has probably, up until maybe the two thousands was not really representative of the world. It was mostly the US, the UK, some Australian. You do have, you know, the East European science fiction has always kind of been there, but always a little bit. And now you're having more of like a available overview check any science fiction magazine today.

[00:35:00] Wole Talabi: And you know, I think it's pretty rare to see all authors from one region. 

[00:35:06] Wole Talabi: Right. It's usually from everywhere. 

[00:35:08] Wole Talabi: Right. Which is great. 

[00:35:09] Halfling: which is wonderful. Yeah, absolutely. We I think people globally need to be exposed to stories globally. And you know, we've said, you know, many times that people need to hear different voices. And this is certainly part of that. So that's wonderful to hear.

[00:35:32] Spaceman: Well, the world is a big place, but it's also a small place these days. You know, we're talking to each other from across the globe.

[00:35:38] Halfling: Yeah. 

[00:35:39] Halfling: well, well, just changing gears a little bit, you had mentioned, doing some work as an editor and how that sort of helped you along, but are you doing any editing now? Tell us a little bit about your editorial work.

[00:35:55] Wole Talabi: So yes, I am editing right now. I have a manuscript right in front of me, which I was working on before I joined the call. So, yes, I have another Anthology I'm currently editing. So I'll, talk about the published, editing work I've done. So as I said, as I editing for a brand online magazine, it was called T N C.

[00:36:17] Wole Talabi: Nowadays they mostly do film and TV only. Not so much online published content, which is good cuz they have partnerships with Netflix and things like that now. But I started when they were mostly focused on fiction and in fact my first editing job for them, like professionally that I got paid for was to edit a book of fiction.

[00:36:39] Wole Talabi: And that was called, these words Expose us. And that was a literary fiction anthology. Of course some stories have speculative elements in there because I can never help myself, but it was mostly, literary fiction. And that was in 2014. And then after that, also with the same company T N C I did another anthology of horror fiction called Lights Out Resurrection, mostly focused on stories that relate to something about resurrection, right?

[00:37:11] Wole Talabi: Like the undead or someone coming back to life and things like that. So that was in 2016. And then in 2020 I edited an anthology of African science fiction stories, which was called African Futurism, which is a specific term. Popularized by the author Nnedi Okorafor, who is, herself famous Nigerian American author, to describe certain kinds of African spec, science fiction, right?

[00:37:47] Wole Talabi: In their themes, in their focus and what they're trying to do. And me and the publisher, what we wanted to do was working with her, she has a story in the book as well, was to try to create an anthology of that to illustrate what those kinds of stories could look like. And that anthology did really well.

[00:38:06] Wole Talabi: We actually put it out for free, so it's free to read online. If you just search African futurism, the name of publisher was Brittle Paper and, it did quite well. Some of the stories were reprinted in years best anthologies. One of them who won. The no more award for, African speculative fiction.

[00:38:26] Wole Talabi: So yeah, that one was good. It was quite a lot of work, but it was a good project. And this was also nominated, the anthology itself was nominated for the Locus Award, so also Nice. And, most recently I have just edited, an anthology of African speculative fiction, but these are reprinted stories, not originals, but translated into Bengali.

[00:38:54] Wole Talabi: So I've been working with a publisher based in India. And my co-editor is from the region as well, and he's working with a group of translators to translate these stories for Bengali market. And they're doing two volumes. So the first volume just came out earlier this year. And second one should be out by the middle or third quarter of the year.

[00:39:19] Wole Talabi: So that's the most recent thing I've done. And right now, as I said, I'm working on the fifth anthology, which is also original stories. But this one is unique because it's an anthology of stories all set in a shared world,

[00:39:34] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:39:35] Wole Talabi: which, I helped co-create with a group of other African authors. So what we wanted to do was create a shared setting that any African author could set stories in, right?

[00:39:48] Wole Talabi: And we essentially built this world up from scratch. So it's a secondary world science fantasy set on, imaginary solar system with a binary star, five planets. We have a whole physical history. We have all the myths and culture of the people there. Obviously very inspired by African philosophy and culture and language.

[00:40:10] Wole Talabi: But as you know, Africa is 52, 53 countries, basically, 52 countries, one region, lots of cultures, lots of languages. So we were picking and borrowing and meshing and kind of weaving things together to create this unique secondary world. That's just a really, I think, like a great sandbox for people to play in and come up with stories.

[00:40:33] Wole Talabi: So this anthology is kind of like to launch that world into the broader public. So all the stories are set in the world, which we call the Sauúti verse because the world is called Sauúti, the Sauúti verse, and I'm editing the anthology for that now, which will be published in November of this year by Android press in the US.

[00:40:57] Wole Talabi: So that's when it's, it's fun. It's fun, you know, doing a shared world and. You know, picking all the things that all the stories have in common and how they link to each other. And there's a larger story of the Sauúti verse itself,

[00:41:10] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:41:12] Wole Talabi: and within that you have all these little pockets of stories that explore one character during this major event, or what happened in this planet during the time something else was happening.

[00:41:23] Wole Talabi: So it's almost like layered storytelling basically. And it's really fun editing this anthology. 

[00:41:28] Halfling: Yeah. Well, I get the distinct impression that's a little different than collaborating. Because collaborating is basically, you've got the same set of characters more or less, and while you may have different people writing, They all have to write with the same voice again for the character, or characters and they have to maintain a certain continuity and all that.

[00:41:56] Halfling: Whereas, like you said, this is just kind of a sandbox where people can just kind of do their own thing within this universe that's been created. 

[00:42:06] Wole Talabi: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, there are some, like people do borrow each other's characters mostly as background references if it's set in the same place. Then sometimes you want to refer to the other character, right? Just to establish that it is the same place and people are aware of the events that happen with these other characters, but most of the time people are making up their own characters and maybe exploring different time periods, during the history of the Sauúti verse.

[00:42:35] Wole Talabi: So yeah, it's quite different. We have so many different voices, different styles. Some of the stories lean, more horror, some of them lean more, fun space, opera, prayer style. Um, so yeah, it's all

[00:42:47] Halfling: Okay. Alright. Yeah, it does sound very exciting. So I wanna switch gears again cuz I'm real good at doing that. What type of challenges have you had along your journey to becoming a successful writer and what have you done to overcome those challenges?

[00:43:09] Wole Talabi: Right. So I think there've been a lot, but I'll just focus on two, that have most directly impacted me. I'd say the first one is time, managing my time because I do have a full-time job as an engineer, a very demanding job. So, people are usually surprised, like how do you find time to write and, well, it's, the way I overcome it has been mostly, a lot of discipline and time management, and it's taken me a lot of trial and error to arrive At a system that works for me, which is why I said at the beginning, I'm usually up at 5:30 in the morning.

[00:43:50] Wole Talabi: Cuz that's my writing time. Um, I usually write in the morning till about 7, 7 30 and then, work and sometimes I go back to writing at night and it took me a certain, cuz it's not, no one wants to be waking up super early in the morning unless you're getting, you know, paid to do it.

[00:44:10] Wole Talabi: Like a professional athlete getting millions of dollars to go train. Yes, of course I'll wake up at five in the morning. But, but um, yeah, it's taken a lot of practice and trial and error and some days you just really don't feel like doing it. But that has been one that's taken me time to get to a stable point.

[00:44:30] Wole Talabi: And I think it's, I've, I found a balance between the job and the writing. I'd say the other challenge that's less directly about me and maybe more on more broadly affects anyone that is writing and publishing from outside the publishing industry center

[00:44:53] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:44:54] Wole Talabi: is just getting access to the people, to opportunities and things like that.

[00:45:02] Wole Talabi: So the reason I said the publishing center is because publishing centers in English, if you're writing in English, it's basically US, UK, right? US, Canada, UK. Those are the publishing centers. You know, you have the big publishing houses in New York and in other places scattered around and in London as well.

[00:45:22] Wole Talabi: And even things as simple as, you know, getting to meet with publishers and agents and introducing yourself and establishing those connections. Has been quite difficult. Right? It's one of the things I really liked about the Kane Prize, ceremony that I told you about when I was nominated for the award is they flew us , into London and they organized specific sessions with publishers and agents where you get to meet them and make a personal impression.

[00:45:49] Wole Talabi: But also even things like attending genre events, award ceremonies, conventions, or even just book signings for other authors that you really like and where you could potentially meet other fans as well. Right. That might be interested in what you're doing is just really difficult when you're outside of the center.

[00:46:09] Wole Talabi: So getting around that has required basically the internet. The internet has been a bit of a minor miracle, well, not minor, it's a major miracle in connecting, for example, me with you. I've never met my publisher in person for my upcoming novel, Betsy, but we talk all the time. We've had Zoom calls, we email, we get a lot done.

[00:46:32] Halfling: Sure. 

[00:46:33] Wole Talabi: I've made, you know, introductions, I've attended conventions online, so it's not quite the same, but it's one way of mitigating that challenge. And what I'll say is to any, if anyone's listening, that's a author, maybe based in Southeast Asia like where I live, or Africa, south America that's having similar challenges, you just kind of need to use the internet to the most of your advantage, right?

[00:47:04] Wole Talabi: Make connections with people. For example, Joelle, Joelle Presby, who has an awesome book, called The Dabare Snake Launcher,

[00:47:11] Halfling: reading it right now.

[00:47:13] Wole Talabi: yeah, it's, I really enjoyed it. She's the one that introduced me to you, and hence I'm on the podcast. So, you know, and my connection with her was mostly online as well. So, um, yeah, that's kind of the way around it.

[00:47:27] Wole Talabi: And it's getting easier now with a lot of social networks. And I think since Covid, people have become more open to the idea of doing things online, because there used to be a huge stigma of like, well, we can't organize agent meetings or publisher meetings online. If you can't fly into New York, then sorry, we can't do anything.

[00:47:49] Wole Talabi: And now people are much more open to like hybrid conferences or online discussions and things like that, and they don't see it as less than, an in-person meeting. So, yeah.

[00:48:03] Halfling: Yeah, I would definitely agree. I think, the whole Zoom call meeting. Thing just kind of took me by surprise. When they sent us home at the start of the pandemic. They sent us home from work and we thought, okay, maybe we'll be gone, you know, two or three weeks and we'll come back.

[00:48:23] Wole Talabi: Yeah,

[00:48:24] Halfling: Yeah.

[00:48:25] Spaceman: No.

[00:48:27] Wole Talabi: so, so over three years.

[00:48:29] Halfling: Yeah. E exactly. Well, well, we actually were able to go back after three months, three and a half months. But with limitations, but during the time we were out, that's what we did. We had to do Zoom calls, because we had to keep up with things that were going on and, whatever news needed to, our supervisor needed to relay to us or what have you, you know?

[00:48:52] Halfling: Right. So that was what we had to do. 

[00:48:54] Halfling: So, 

[00:48:54] Spaceman: and Zoom isn't perfect, but it gets the job done and it's easy to use, which is, you know, one of the reasons why we use it.

[00:49:00] Halfling: Yeah, no. Um,

[00:49:04] Spaceman: All right. Well, another question we like to ask folks is, along the way, we're all helped by other people as we face challenges. Who would you say is the person who has inspired you the most as a writer?

[00:49:18] Wole Talabi: That, that is a really hard question cuz I have many different inspirations for different things. Yeah, I'd have to give a list and even that would be incomplete, but Okay. I will, I'll restrict myself to three, semi direct influences. So I would say my early, concept of science fiction storytelling was probably most influenced by Isaac Asmov, 

[00:49:48] Wole Talabi: right.

[00:49:48] Wole Talabi: The work of Isaac Asimov, which I, my dad had a lot of his books. And anthology, specifically anthologies, he edited, right? For example, he used to edit the Hugo Award Winners series. I think there were five editions of that. My dad had them, I read them, and that was kind of my introduction to short science fiction.

[00:50:07] Wole Talabi: So that was a big performative influence. More recently I have been influenced a lot in writing style by Neil Gaiman.

[00:50:17] Halfling: Oh, love

[00:50:18] Wole Talabi: I love, I, I love his writing style. I love the freedom of imagination, but also the playfulness with language. And I think a lot of my own, whatever version of that I have, it probably comes from reading a lot of his work.

[00:50:33] Wole Talabi: And now people are drawing parallels between his work and mine. And I'm like, well, that's

[00:50:37] Wole Talabi: high praise indeed.. Okay. 

[00:50:38] Halfling: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:50:43] Wole Talabi: Probably also, I mentioned that Okorafor. I love her work ethic and her kind of deliberateness in introducing African concepts in a science fictional or fantastical setting without compromise. And she works a lot. She has so much stuff out. She's constantly writing. I've actually seen, because I was at a writing event, which she also attended last November.

[00:51:12] Wole Talabi: And while most of us, like at the end of the event, this was in the evening, most of us were like out having drinks and talking and whatever we could see from the garden where we were in the hotel, she was in the gym. And that's just a metaphor for like, her work ethic is like, she's constantly just working and that is, inspirational.

[00:51:35] Wole Talabi: In her writing, in her just consistency. And I will also say like one of her stories, in Light Speed Magazine where I first read it called Spider the Artist, the way she blended a lot of traditional Nigerian thinking into essentially a standard science fictional story when I first read it, which was years ago, maybe 10, 10 years ago now, I don't remember.

[00:52:03] Wole Talabi: But it really struck me and stuck with me as like, that's something I could do, right? Like it was a big formative part of my inspiration. So yeah, probably those three. And then if so many people have helped me along the way as well. People like Jeff Ryman, I mentioned CC Finlay with his feedback. Other authors that are not even in speculative fiction, but yeah, I'll stop there.

[00:52:26] Wole Talabi: So I don't, I don't keep going on it indefinitely.

[00:52:29] Halfling: Uh, well, that's, that, that's fair. I mean, I think, I think most writers probably have a lot of people that they draw inspiration from. So, so you're, I don't think you're unusual in that boat.

[00:52:44] Spaceman: Leading into that we talked about people who've inspired you. What advice do you have for people that are starting out that you know, things you might have wish you had known when you started that you could share with aspiring folks who really want to get started?

[00:52:59] Wole Talabi: Okay. Um, I get, I get I, I get asked this question a lot and I almost never know what to respond but, or how to respond, but things I wish I had known. The word rejection doesn't mean what you think it means. Because as a young author, when you submit a story somewhere and you get a rejection, the natural instinct is to think, oh, my story wasn't good enough. That's the reason it was rejected. And it's not always that a lot of the time editors reject stories because maybe they already have similar stories and they don't want too much of the same thing. They want some variety. Or sometimes the story is out of their budget.

[00:53:42] Wole Talabi: Maybe they've already accepted five long stories for the next, you know, six issues and they really just need something short because they pay by word count. So they can't take a longer story right now, they're going to take a shorter one because they have a budget and there's a million other reasons, right?

[00:54:01] Wole Talabi: Maybe they received six stories about AI this month and they're all similar, so they kind of just needed to pick the one that was the best. It doesn't mean the others were not good, they just picked the best one. So there's so many reasons why stories get rejected. That. I think as a young author, my advice would be don't take rejections personally.

[00:54:21] Wole Talabi: There's so many reasons. It doesn't always mean that your story wasn't good enough. It could be, but you don't know unless they tell you. If they give you some feedback, yeah, they tell you what worked, what they work, um, but you don't know. So all you do is just keep writing, keep submitting. Don't let rejections discourage you because they don't always mean what you think they mean.

[00:54:43] Wole Talabi: And probably the second piece of advice would always be, find out what works for you and then be consistent with it. Because, you know, people say consistency is important. You have to write every day. You need to do this. You don't need to write every day. There's no one size fits all approach to writing, right?

[00:55:06] Wole Talabi: Everybody has a different, Mentality, different likes, dislikes, different living condition, different life situation. Not everyone can afford to write every day, right? But once you find something that works for you, being consistent with it is important. Right? Sticking to your own system and just keep at it.

[00:55:26] Wole Talabi: Like, don't let rejections discourage you. Don't, you know, don't make excuses for yourself as well. Cuz that's really easy to do, right? Like oh, I don't feel like doing it today. No. Once you found the system, like, okay, writing in the mornings works for me, then keep doing that. Or I only write on the weekends.

[00:55:44] Wole Talabi: Okay. Just be consistent with it then. And I think, yeah, that consistency and persistence probably. I wish if I'd had that earlier, I might have probably written more by now.

[00:55:56] Halfling: Okay. Well that's good advice. You know, I think one of the keys there is, the proper motivation. You know, to keep, like you said, sometimes you don't feel like it, but you need to do it anyway, just to be consistent, because once you allow yourself to slack, you know that one day, then it's easier to slack the next day and the next day, and then,

[00:56:19] Wole Talabi: exactly. It becomes a habit.

[00:56:21] Halfling: right.

[00:56:22] Spaceman: It does. 

[00:56:23] Wole Talabi: And the final piece of advice, probably the most important one, I can't believe I almost forgot this cuz I say this to everyone, read a lot. It is impossible to be a good writer if you don't read. I'm shocked when I hear people say, oh yeah, I want to be a writer. And then I asked him, so what's the last thing you read?

[00:56:39] Wole Talabi: And you're like, well, I read something like eight months ago or last year. I'm like, no, no, no, no, no, no. That's not, no. The only way to be a good writer is to read a lot because it's where ideas come from. It's where inspiration comes from. It's where you see other things you, cause we are all the, some of our influences at the end of the day, right?

[00:57:00] Wole Talabi: So you need to keep getting new influences and new inspiration.

[00:57:04] Halfling: Makes perfect sense. So tell us about what upcoming story or books you have coming up. I know a little bit, but go ahead.

[00:57:17] Wole Talabi: Alright.

[00:57:18] Halfling: want our listeners to know.

[00:57:20] Wole Talabi: All right. So this is the part where I plug my stuff.

[00:57:22] Wole Talabi: Great. 

[00:57:23] Wole Talabi: Um, 

[00:57:24] Halfling: Plug away.

[00:57:26] Wole Talabi: all right, I have quite a lot of stuff coming out this year is probably going to be a big one. So I'll start with short stories. So I have a story coming out next month in Light Speed Magazine. I mentioned Wednesday's story, which was a story that was nominated for the King Prize.

[00:57:41] Wole Talabi: I wrote a sequel to it, called Saturday's Song. And surprisingly, well, not surprisingly, but very grateful that light Speed who published the original are also going to publish the sequel. So that should be out next month. And then I have another story out in, Analog Magazine, which is called Blowout. So that's more of a science fiction story.

[00:58:04] Wole Talabi: So yeah, Saturday song is Fantasy Blowout is more Hard, science fiction. And those are the two stories coming out almost immediately. And then I have a novel, which is my big thing for this year, which is called Shigidi: And the Brass Head of Obalufon, or just Shigidi for short Right? just call it Shigidi because I know it's a long title.

[00:58:30] Wole Talabi: So Shigidi will be out in August this year in the US and also ebook in the UK. And then there's another UK release, I think should come out later, maybe in January. Oh yeah, I will spell that. So Shigidi is, uh S h i g i D i, Shigidi

[00:58:55] Halfling: Okay.

[00:58:55] Wole Talabi: and you can just search that with my name and you'll get the pre-order links to the book.

[00:59:00] Wole Talabi: You can pre-order it already in the us. Please do it. My publisher will be very grateful cuz I've heard pre, pre-orders are important and yeah, it's a fantasy novel set kind of in modern days, slightly in the past in 2017, but it covers a huge time span. It goes all the way back to like, 800 AD 

[00:59:22] Wole Talabi: And it covers, basically it follows the story of a nightmare God in like a Yoruba mythology from Nigeria.

[00:59:32] Wole Talabi: And I basically put him in the setting. I reimagined the mythology as a company, as a kind of operating company that trades in belief and prayers. And basically he's working, he's basically like a salary man in the company, you know, because no one likes a nightmare God. So he barely gets by. He doesn't really bring in much prayers or belief.

[00:59:53] Wole Talabi: And then he meets a succubus who is an ancient creature that has been around for a long time. And basically, they form a partnership, and a weird relationship that's kind of fun. But then they get tossed into this huge adventure, which eventually, you know, they go around Asia, Europe, Africa doing so doing all sorts of adventures.

[01:00:16] Wole Talabi: And there's also a heist study British museum. So it's a very mish mashy genre fan. It's urban fantasy. Mostly urban fantasy with elements of heist, like a typical heist movie, style. So I think it's fun and hopefully a bit poignant and clever philosophical, kind of digging into lots of different myth mythologies and what does belief mean?

[01:00:42] Wole Talabi: So that's mostly what the novel is about. Um, but also fun, I think. And this action seems as well, of course, no ninjas,

[01:00:50] Spaceman: No ninjas. I was gonna ask,

[01:00:52] Halfling: ask. 

[01:00:52] Wole Talabi: no ninjas.

[01:00:54] Halfling: Well, that, that sounds absolutely, absolutely wonderful. 

[01:00:58] Spaceman: It sounds like a book The Spaceman needs to read.

[01:01:00] Halfling: Yeah, you would probably enjoy that for sure. Well, cool. Um, and so you've got some exciting things coming up. Tell us where people can find you and where your different stories or the novel that you've got coming out, where that's gonna be available. I know you mentioned it, but I'm giving you another chance to plug again.

[01:01:24] Wole Talabi: Alright, so, people can keep up with me on my website, which is wtalabi, that's So you can, that's my website. I update it with all my new stuff. And, there's a subscription you can subscribe to get information when I post new things. I also have a Twitter, which is the social media account I use mostly.

[01:01:53] Wole Talabi: Which is just wtalabi as well. So at W T A L A B I, they can follow me there. I post about, my writing, random martial arts stuff, and anything I find interesting. So those are places people can keep up with me. And, the pre-order for my novel in the US is on the penguin Random House website.

[01:02:17] Wole Talabi: So if you go to Penguin Random House and Search Shigidi, it'll pop up Shigidi, S H I G I D I, or anyone that wants to just type that in that search.

[01:02:30] Halfling: Got it. Got it. That's awesome. , we will make sure to get all that in the show notes for sure. I think that's gonna about wrap it up for us, spaceman.

[01:02:40] Spaceman: Yeah. Yeah. Thanks so much for joining us today. Day. We've had a great time getting to know you and hearing about your journey into active fandom. We want to thank all our listeners for tuning in today, and we hope that you've enjoyed and become inspired by today's guest, Wole Talabi. We want to give Wole a huge thank you for joining us today, and this is the spaceman of the Halfling and the Spaceman over and out.

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