Brian Ruckley's News & Views

Friday, June 20, 2008

What's In My Feeds?

A dip into the pond of my podcast subscriptions to see if anything of any interest to someone else might turn up. Nothing in here that podcast veterans won't already know about, I suspect, but you never know ...

PodCastle: the fantasy sibling of the long(ish) established EscapePod (sf) and PseudoPod (horror) fiction podcasts. Haven't managed to listen to more than a handful of the stories they've put out, but there's been some good stuff. I liked, for example, The Osteomancer's Son by Greg van Eekhout, partly from a technical point of view: takes a clever writer to effectively sketch in as much context and backstory as you'd expect in a modest novel without crippling a short story. Plus, the central idea of doing magic with bones is nicely spun, I thought.

Adventures in SciFi Publishing: lots of author interviews, sf/f publishing news etc. etc. For some reason I can't quite pin down, I just find this one really, really easy and relaxing to listen to. Possibly something to do with having aurally personable hosts and a tone that's enthusiastic without becoming over-excited or feverishly fannish.

In Our Time: the heavy duty end of the podcasting spectrum. This is a BBC radio programme which basically consists of academics discussing their specialist subjects. Covers a huge range of stuff: history, science, philosophy, literature. Often more accessible than it sounds, though it does rattle along at a fair pace, and you have to been in the right kind mood. If it's on a subject you're curious about, worth checking out. Recent ones I've listened to: The Library of Nineveh, The Black Death, Lysenko. (None of which I seem to be able to link to directly, unfortunately - past episodes seem to get scrubbed from the website, so I guess you need to subscribe to the feed and grab anything you want as it shows up.)

Starship Sofa: the long-running podcast on sf writers has gone through big changes in recent months. It's now putting out a mid-week sf 'audio magazine' with one or two bits of fiction, some non-fiction, even poetry. An interesting venture - I'm flabbergasted by the amount of effort various people must be putting into this podcast, and others, for basically zero financial reward. It's a real 'for the love' thing, and more power to their audio elbows, I say.