Podcasts: Week Ending Oct 22, 2011
I’m writing about what I listen to, what it makes me think about and what you might find interesting. Let me know if you think there’s something important I’m missing and if there’s a SFF related podcast you listened to during the week (no matter when it was published) that I should spotlight here.
This week’s post is quite late, but I’m continuing to enjoy reflecting back on what I listen to.
Writing Excuses 6.20: Endings brought to mind the discussion on a recent (for me, it may actually have been the first episode) SF Squeecast, in which an affectionate bashing of Christopher Priest “everyone just walks off stage” endings ensued. Lou Anders joined writing excuses again and endings were discussed largely in relation to the Hollywood formula. Lots of info in 15 minutes and they lie. They’re all super smart.
Adventures In SciFi Publishing continues to publish twice a week. Episode 143 discussed Amazon’s new imprint, 47North. Amazon is in a spectacular position for trend spotting and they’re flush with cash to pay for the editing/marketing/etc. needed to make a successful publishing venue. AiSFP ask a good question, will B&N carry these books? They also talk with Brenda Cooper. It’s interesting to hear a futurist talk about her fantasy time travel novel. I’ve not yet read any Cooper, but she’s always a delightful guest.
Gary K. Wolfe, Ursula K. Le Guin and Jonathan Strahan (Coode Street Podcast 71) politely roast Margaret Attwood’s book, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination. This mainstream/literary vs genre discussion rears it’s head constantly (see SF signal’s latest mind meld) and in many fan’s minds Attwood is the poster child for the “I do not write science fiction” crowd. It was pleasant to hear 3 intelligent people at the core of science fiction look at Attwoods relationship with science fiction from every possible angle.
Pony by Erik Amundsen is a pure Clarkesworld story (podcast). It’s dark, stylized and highly original science fiction. Told from the first person, this tale of wrangling genetically engineered war ships mixes SF and western so seamlessly that Firefly seems positively mainstream in comparison.
Pseudopod is my main audio stop for straight out horror. I’d love a suggestion for another podcast of similar quality to add into the mix. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this week’s tale of a young serial killer and his abusive father. Yardwork was particularly well read. Personally, the level of abuse from the father seemed a bit over the top. I bring that up because of my comment about Radio Nowhere last week. I’m quite happy that the closest experience I have to abuse involved the occasional cruel interaction with childhood “friends.” I digress. The story sort of offers the satisfaction of Dexter, but no matter how sympathetic the protagonist is, there’s no question that he’s a very, very bad boy.
While on pseudopod, I REALLY loved The Cord by Chris Lewis Carter. Usually, when I encounter an idea in a story I’ve recently encountered in a non-fiction science venue, I’m reading science fiction. It’s awesome to encounter this in horror and basically makes strict genre boundaries seem particularly silly. In this case an unreliable narrator is used to great affect in a deceptively simple extrapolation from true stuff that actually happens. Even if horror isn’t normally your cup of tea, don’t miss this one.
The second AiSFP I listened to this week involved an interview with K.V. Johansen. I think Lou Anders, her publisher, did a better job making this sound like a must read book in an earlier podcast. That said, she made the world seem like one that will take nicely to a long series and I’m intrigued by some of her earlier fiction for younger readers. Shaun is experimenting a lot with the format of the show, in this case breaking up the interview with a “from the editor’s desk” segment. I’m not sure how I feel about the contrast between a discussion of epic fantasy and a question about the state of science fiction, but the more dynamic format definitely adds life to the show.
Episode 315 of Escapepod is Clockwork Fagin by Cory Doctorow. It’s from the new anthology Steampunk! and it’s a both a wonderful example of steampunk and just a great story. It’s full of Dickensian orphans, clockwork analytical engines, and murder – told with a maker ethic that you’d expect from Doctorow.