It’s taken me a little while, but I’m finally getting into the podcast thing. Not making them, you understand (not yet, anyway), but listening to them. Once the routine is nailed, it’s a great format – subscribe in your feed-reader, download new episodes, dump them to your phone and listen on the way to and from work. Beats the hell out of radio, and removes that whole ‘which album’ dilemma that music brings with it. So, here’s a little round-up of the podcasts I’ve started to follow, most (but not all) of which have a science fictional flavour to them. Please let me know if there are any missing that you think I might be interested in!
- Adventures in Scifi Publishing: very new ‘cast (only at issue 3) by an aspiring novelist who interviews authors, editors, publishers and anyone else connected to the industry. Promises to develop into quite a winner.
- BoingBoing’s ‘Get Illuminated’: I know it’s hip to hate the double-Boing, but what can I say, they put out interesting content, and this podcast series has started off very well – interviews with Douglas Rushkoff and Rudy Rucker (two authors I’m rather fond of) and a world renowned cryptozoologist so far. Probably more broadly geeky than specifically science fictional, but hey, I can live with that.
- Cory Doctorow’s podcast: The ubergeek himself often reads his own short stories here, plus the occasional interview by or with him.
- Escape Pod: I’m well late to the party on this one, but that’s me all over. Escape Pod churns out a fresh science fiction story each week. They’re well narrated, and they feature writers both hot and huge – recent examples being Tobias Buckell and Robert Sawyer. Probably the best known and most essential science fiction literature podcast.
- StarshipSofa: I linked these guys before; two Geordie blokes dig deep into the history of a major figure in the sf scene each episode. They managed to unearth a wealth of anecdotes about Harlan Ellison, and I’m sure that the Douglas Adams episode that’s on my listening schedule for tomorrow will be just as detailed. They’re fun to listen to, their enthusiasm is quite infectious – plus American listeners will adore the Northern British accents! The claimed connection to Ronnie Corbett has yet to materialise so far …
- MondoGlobo: Lots of weird counter/cyberculture stuff going on here, articles as well as podcasts; the site is the home of the infamous R. U. Sirius, and he has some pretty wide ranging interests. He’s recently done interviews dealing with artificial intelligence and Stuart Brand’s influence on cyberculture, and the latest episode up seems to be something to do with mind control and the Manson family. If you enjoyed the Illuminatus! books, this is probably right up your street.
- The SciPhi Show: Science fiction and philosophy – two of my favourite things in one package! Interviews with authors and academics, and combinations of the two. The latest episode is an interview with the mighty Vernor Vinge, no less – I’ve been saving that one for my train journey this weekend. A great podcast for the thinking sf fan.
- The Time-Traveller Show: A sort of mixed-bag of sf culture past and present, as far as I can tell; narrated stories, recordings of con panels, interviews with broadcasters, kitchen sink. Current episode is an archive recording of Isaac Asimov giving a speech and Q&A session at some US college back in the seventies, and is well worth listening to – Asimov was bang on the money, and not just as a writer. He was a man who understood that looking forward is a vital part of modern human culture. Check it out. I’m sure new interesting things will pop up here too.
That’s my bag so far – drop a comment with any recommendations you may have, science fictional or otherwise. I’m sure some of the regular RSS posse must be hip to podcasts, so here’s a chance to share the cultural wealth!