When we say the word “novel,” most of us think of a book written in prose, split into chapters and possibly parts. But every now and again, we come across novels that defy our expectations. Pratchett’s early work not only eschewed chapters – instead presenting the reader with continuous prose divided by section breaks – but he also used footnotes (and in one memorable case, a footnote to a footnote).

This episode’s guest is Oliver K. Langmead, who joins us to discuss his newest work, Calypso, written entirely in verse. Some might call it science-fiction poetry. You would certainly describe it as lyrical. But science-fiction and verse are not things most of us immediately put together. Ollie tells us how he went about crafting Calypso, his inspirations and challenges, as well as discussing faith amongst the stars.

Mentioned in this episode:

  • Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss
  • Deep Wheel Orcadia by Harry Josephine Giles

Oliver K. Langmead writes speculative fiction. His new verse-novel, Calypso, is available from Titan Books now. Glitterati was shortlisted for a British Fantasy Award, and named one of New Scientist’s best Science Fiction books of 2022, and the French edition of Birds of ParadiseLes Oiseaux du Paradis, was published summer 2023. He is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Lancaster, and in late 2018 he was the writer in residence at the European Space Agency’s Astronaut Centre in Cologne.