Bookwaves is a half-hour literary show produced in KPFA, Berkeley, California that primarily features interviews of authors by Richard Wolinsky.
Bookwaves started back in 1977 on KPFA-FM in Berkeley as an hour-long program about science fiction and science fiction writing called “Probabilities Unlimited.” The first program was hosted by Lawrence Davidson, with Richard Wolinsky at the controls. One of the guests was novelist Richard A. Lupoff. A couple of months later, Wolinsky and Davidson became co-hosts and co-producers for the second program. After a handful of other hour-long specials, the program retitled “Probabilities” and was placed into a weekly slot as a half-hour show, and Richard A. Lupoff joined Wolinsky and Davidson as co-host. During the next few years, Richard Wolinsky gradually become sole editor of the pre-recorded program and eventuallly sole producer.
By the early 1980s, the show expanded into the mystery genre, with forays into westerns. This was during the height of the mystery craze, and “Probabilities” capitalized on it by interviewing most of the major mystery writers of the era. Many of those early shows focused on publishing history and other information these days unavailable at the time but now readily accessible on line.
During the late 1980s, Lawrence Davidson graduallly phased out, and the program became a two-man show, nicknamed “the Richard and Richard show” by regular listeners, and expanded to include literary and popular fiction as well as narrative non-fiction and political topics. There was a brief foray into satellite syndication in the late 1990s as Cover to Cover which ended in 1999 when Pacifica nearly went under. In 2001, after numerous extended sabbaticals, Richard A. Lupoff departed the program as an interviewer (but would continue as occasional co-reviewer) to focus more exclusively on his writing career, and the show was renamed Bookwaves. This was simultaneous with the move from tape to digitral recording and with the rise of the web and the creation of this website. Bookwaves began its current syndication life at the Pacifica Audioport website in 2006.