Tag Archives: podcasts

Blowing Wind Up The Kilt – A Podcast on Podcasting

Many years ago (nearly five? Really?) I tried starting a podcast on podcasting, Podcasting: Under the Kilt. It released ONE WHOLE EPISODE!!! I really tried to do way too much. This will probably shock 0% of you. At Balticon this year Thomas Gideon mentioned that he wished someone would relaunch Podholes or do something like it. Essentially, it critiqued individual podcast episodes, requested by the podcaster, and it offered hints and tips. I think that sounds brilliant.

Am I going to do it? I’ll be honest, and maybe this is a sign of maturity, I’ve got an AWFUL lot on my plate. Thomas’ suggestion was to crowdsource it. I think that’s the only way to go. So, here’s what I need to make it happen.

Host – I am totally willing to do this. I can set aside time every other week at first to host and record that week’s topic and review.

Co-host – I need someone to sit in the chair opposite me. Ideally this would be many people over the course of time. I’d like to have a pool to chose from.

Audio Monkey – I am more than capable of being the audio monkey. I’d much prefer to hand each episode’s audio off. Basically I give you the interview, the bed audio, and the Podcast Moment of Zen/Golden Shillelagh for the week and you give me an encoded, tagged MP3.

Vict– Podcaster To Be Reviewed – I need people willing to have their podcast taken apart (constructively). I want us to be honest but not brutal. We’ll grade on sound quality, execution of concept, and any other relevant criteria.

Comment on the post if you’d like to help!

On My iPod

I thought this would be a good time to share with you lovely folks the things that are on my iPod and any thoughts I have on them currently. This isn’t a review of any of them per se. You can be that if they’re on there, I enjoy them to some degree (unless it’s something that I do plan on reviewing later). It’s also worth noting that I have several podcasts that are in iTunes waiting to be updated.

Decoder Ring Theater – Decoder Ring Theatre presents new stories and characters inspired by the classic broadcasts of the Golden Age of Radio. The crimebusting exploits of The Red Panda – Canada’s Greatest Superhero! The mystery of that hardest-boiled of detectives, Black Jack Justice… all this and more in full-length, full-cast recordings.
Commentary – I’ve been listening to this podcast for years. The variety of stories is great and most if not all of them are family safe. If you’re into old school radio drama this is a fine choice.
iTunes Link

Every Photo Tells – On first day of every month we present a photograph on this site and follow it up with at least two short stories inspired by it. We may come up with different stories about the main subject or completely unrelated tales about what is happening in the background. The stories are released in the form of a fortnightly podcast available for free download from this website. Guest writers provide additional stories based on the same prompt, increasing the frequency of episodes each month.
Commentary – I’ve written some stories for this podcast. It’s fun because I get to hear stories from friends. The best part is the readings by Mick and Katarina.
iTunes Link

Flash Pulp – Brought to you by http://skinner.fm, Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – five to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. A recurring cast of characters appear in both one off and serial tales, – classically styled weird, fantasy and adventure stories, for your eyes or podcast feed.
Commentary – I’ve written a story for this one as well. I’m a monthly donor if it tells you how much I believe in supporting it.
iTunes Link

Get Published – A podcast to help remove the pitfalls for writers as they try to live the dream of getting published.
Commentary – Mike does some awesome interviews.
iTunes Link

John Mierau, Serving Worlds – Books, short fiction & commentary from the mind of John Mierau.
Commentary – John’s stories are great and he often puts other tidbits in the feed.
iTunes Link

NPR: Snap Judgment – Snap Judgment is the smoking-hot new show from NPR. Winner of the Public Radio Talent Quest, Glynn Washington delivers a raw, musical brand of storytelling, daring listeners to see the world through the eyes of another.
Commentary – This is something to listen to for when I’m between “indie” podcasts. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard of it.
iTunes Link


Nutty Bites – A monthly podcast that is focused on Art, the creative process, people out there in the verse doing creative works, audio dramas that I’m interested in, books, movies, tv, music, you name it. Also covering Cons, host discussions and other fun tidbits. In addition, games, contests and interviews with people who inspire me.
Commentary – I’ve long been a fan and friend of Nutty. I’ve had her in my feed reader for a long time. Just added this to my iPod this morning so I wouldn’t miss any shows.
iTunes Link

Reader/Writer – Ben and his mom talk about books, writing and publishing.
Commentary – I’ve just added this based on the promo. I haven’t listened to any episodes yet.
iTunes Link

The Roundtable Podcast – Each week, Roundtable hosts Dave Robison and Brion Humphrey – joined by authors, publishers and other literati – invite writers to present ideas for stories they’re developing. What follows is a no-holds-barred discussion of the story’s plot, character, pacing, and theme, in an attempt to transform rough concepts and unformed ideas into literary gold.
Commentary – This podcast has undergone some changes. The description above is for the backlog, well worth listening to. Lately they’ve been doing more topical shows.
iTunes Link

Shadow Publications – Somewhere in Colorado, a serial killer writes his mother a letter. Amidst the destruction of hurricane Ike, an old house settles scores. An artist finds God through his medium. And the stories you chase may find you instead. ShadowPublications.com is the home for Paul Elard Cooley’s tales of urban fantasy and psychological horror. Visit http://shadowpublications.com. We don’t believe in happy endings.
Commentary – Paul’s a friend and an author I respect. He drops his stories here and also any podcasts he appears on.
iTunes Link

Superhero Corner – A short podcast covering supervillains (and heroes)…their lives and methods.
Commentary – This started out as “Super Villain Corner”, a show on how to be a better villain. Now we’re getting it from the heroes points of view. It’s consistently funny. It’s also nice and short.
iTunes Link

#tommw – Nathan Lowell talks while on his morning walks.
Commentary – Nathan, it seems, is one of those guys I can listen to in any capacity. This is literally him just rambling into a mic for 15-20 minutes while he walks. Not for everyone, but I enjoy it.
iTunes Link

View From Valhalla – View from Valhalla provides weekly reviews of works of podio fiction (podiobooks) and interviews with the authors.
Commentary – A podcast that reviews podcasts. Odin is a top notch reviewer and for his podcast he invites guests on to give their honest opinions on that week’s fiction.
iTunes Link

Owning My Podcatcher

One of the wonderful things about this podcasting thing I’ve been a part of for around three years now is discovering “new” authors. Granted most of them are hardly new at the game. They’re just new to me. One of the writers in question owns my iPod whenever something new of his comes out. That would be Nathan Lowell.

I’ve tweeted and blogged about his works before, but I just thought I’d join the ranks of some of my fellow bloggers/podcasters in thanking him for his Share series. He’s finished the series up with Owners Share and I’m in the midst of listening to it. If you’ve been waiting for this to start listening, go ahead! If you’ve never listened to any podcast novel before now, start with this one!

I’ll do a proper review down the road, but for now I just want to take a minute to thank Nathan, not just for his writing, but for all the things he’s done for me personally and the community at large.

Review – Other People's Heroes

This week’s review is of Other People’s Heroes by Blake M. Petit

Synopsis: Josh Corwood has spent his whole life in a world full of superheroes, even becoming a reporter just to get a little closer to their world. When he finally comes face-to-face with the Capes of his dreams, though, he realizes his ideal view may not be in synch with reality.

Production: The audio quality in this podcast is good. He made serious strides compared to his previous podcasts. I’m going to ding him here for one pet peeve of mine. Edit marks. Not infrequently, he’s guilty of leaving obvious edit marks in the episodes. This is easily rectified and according to the author he will be doing more serious QA for the Podiobooks version (which they would, of course, require). No idea if he’ll be doing the same in his own feed. For this, he loses a letter grade.

Grade: C

Cast: Blake elects to act as the voice for each of his characters and stays consistent within each character. If hearing a man do a woman’s voice irritates you then this isn’t the podcast for you, but then that would also disqualify Sigler and a number of other podcast novels. He’s a stage actor and this is to his credit as I’m sure it played a role in his being able to… play… roles.

Grade: B+

Story: This is a comic book in audio form. The characters are fairly well fleshed out (some more than others). The story is certainly enjoyable and there are a few surprises towards the end. That’s always good. If you’re looking for a serious treatise on the state of humanity at large, well there’s actually a little bit of that here. If you’re looking for an interesting take on what it would be like to live in a comic book universe, then I recommend this. It compares favorably in my mind to Playing For Keeps*.

Grade: B+

Verdict: Audio issues aside, I think this is a strong entry. It’s funny. I love the takes he has on some of the superhero/villain tropes and the world he’s constructed is very interesting. There are more stories in this universe including on that was published in Flagship. I will continue to check out Blake’s podcast projects. I might recommend waiting for the Podiobooks* version though.

Grade: B

*At the time of posting the Podiobooks site is down due to upgrades. Consider donating to help them defray costs and keep money flowing to the authors!

Balticon Recap

I had the privilege of attending Balticon 44, a science fiction/fantasy writer’s convention in Baltimore, MD, on Memorial Day weekend. This was my second outing and I’ll continue to attend annually as scheduling and finances allow. Why’s that?

Well it seems to be the place to go for writers who also podcast. The first year I went I got to meet very nearly all of the podcasting authors whose works I appreciate. There are a number of excellent panels every year on everything from sound production to writing and the sheer number of live readings and live shows scheduled is staggering. There just isn’t enough time over the weekend to do everything.

That’s not the main reason I go though. It has become something of a family reunion for me. Now don’t mistake me, I don’t know a tenth of the people I see as well as I’d like and I don’t want to cheapen the notion of friendship or family, but really that’s the way it feels to me. Whether meeting someone in person for the first time or reconnecting with someone I saw last year, there was an instant bond. Part of that is assisted by mutual passions and of course most of us keep in touch through the magic of Twitter. So it’s “instant” only in the same sense that folks like Scott Sigler are an “overnight” success.

In any event, sociology aside, the people are the major reason I go. Sadly I have yet to spend any real time talking to Chris Lester either year. I also missed some excellent panels and readings. Rather than focusing on missed opportunities though, I’d rather touch on the highlights.

I got to meet and share drinks with some awesome producers and fans (in some case the same folks). Sharing mojitos with Paul Cooley, Laura Frechette, Dave Sobkowiak, and Kate Sherrod was EPIC!

I had taken a wingman with me in the form and shape of co-producer Shawn Murphy aka SidFaiwu, but when he was off doing his own thing I had the good fortune of meeting Mike Plested in person and spending a lot of time talking to him. Mike’s a great guy. He put up with my digs at Canada and took a number of the pics you’ll see on Flickr of the event. He also interviewed Zach Ricks and I about Flying Island Press and our launch of Flagship.

I took some of my homebrew and shared it with Thomas Gideon and John Williams. They’re PASSIONATE home brewers in their own rights and we hope to have a home brew panel at next year’s Balticon.

I also met, hugged, and exchanged a word or two with Dan Sawyer. He and I have traded plenty of emails and blog comments. I’m also a big fan of his writing style and appreciate the wealth of knowledge he has on audio and a number of other topics. If you’re a new media person then you should REALLY check out the ANMAP Foundation that he’s set up with some other creatives.

There were plenty of larger form geek social gatherings (not an oxymoron) like the Geek Prom (with awesome food thanks to Viv!), room parties galore, and a concert or three. I got to see Book launches by Patrick McLean, PG Holyfield, and Nathan Lowell. I got to buy Tumbler, a most excellent YA sci-fi novel by Brand Gamblin. Jared Axelrod launched Fables of the Flying City (unaffiliated with the Flying Island).

There was just too much going on to get it all in or even to mention it all in one blog post. At least not without boring you to tears. I wasn’t on any panels this year (though if you listen to Mur Lafferty’s live I Should Be Writing, I think you’ll hear me towards the end). Perhaps next year I’ll be on one or two. In any case I hope that if you haven’t been to one and any of this sounds cool to you that you’ll go next year and good Lord willing I’ll be there!

Podcast Pimpage

Wherein I show some love to podcasts I’ve been listening to lately.

Bird House RulesI’m on Twitter A LOT and have been quite some time. It would be easy for me to consider myself some kind of “expert” on the social media app. Far from it though. Tee Morris literally wrote the book on the subject (among others). So if you’re a Twitter user and want to know how to do it up right, listen to this.

Cybrosis – I had the pleasure of meeting P.C. Haring at Balticon last year. You might meet a nicer chap, but not by much. This is P.C.’s first foray into podcast novelship and he has hit the ground running. While I think there are a few things that could stand to improve (and I’ve shared those things with him), as a whole it’s a great ride. If you’re into cyberpunk this is the place to go. The action is top notch as is the production. This is a full voice case and he’s got some serious talent along for the ride. Cybrosis is in progress, but so far his release schedule has been reliable.

Decoder Ring Theater – I love me some quirky humor and I have a serious thing for noir and radio dramas. This podcast puts all that into the blender and hits frappe stirring it up into a frothing tasty concoction of awesomeness. At the moment it consists of two main stories, The Red Panda Adventures and Black Jack Justice. The first is a pulp superhero tale and the latter a take on the hard boiled detective. Neither one takes itself seriously at all and the humor is decidedly Canadian. if that sounds lovely to you then go get you some! Each episode is self contained, but I think it helped me to go back a little ways and trust me, you’ll kick yourself if you don’t.

Down From TenJ. Daniel Sawyer is one of those writers that gets me all in a froth of jealousy. (See also Nathan Lowell) He makes the whole thing look effortless. This particular podcast outing was written as a screenplay for TV is memory serves and unfortunately for everyone NOT listening to podcast fiction it didn’t make it. Thankfully we get it in all its unadulterated glory. It’s basically a country house mystery and Dan has this to say “The book is a mix of Agatha Christie, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, E.A. Poe, Salman Rushdie, and Robert A. Heinlein. It is a story solidly oriented towards adults, and will not be suitable for children in any fashion.” The latter half of that quote is very true. It may not even be suitable for some adults. There is some sexual content and violence that some won’t find suitable. The story is absolutely compelling though and while it’s hit some production snags recently, he says that it will be done within the next week or so.

Mad Poet FilesZach Ricks is no stranger to podcasting. He has the Gut Check Cast, an effort to help us geeks to get fit, and the Geek Survival Guide, in which he gives us hints and tips on how to survive scenarios found in some of our favorite books and movies. Recently, in an effort to sharpen his writing skills, he decided to start releasing a short story every other week. The thing I really like about this, other than the stories, is that he talks about his writing process. The stories themselves aren’t always top notch (though so far I’ve enjoyed all of them), but the transparency is admirable. He’s also trying to make some coin from them by selling the stories themselves in polished form. He does a straight read of each story and I think that’s a great way to sharpen your narration skills. I like this idea so much I’ll be doing it soon!

Closet TreatsPaul E. Cooley is a writer I’ve become aware of only recently thanks to the magic of Twitter. This story is a relatively new podcast and I’d put it firmly in the psychological horror category. The main character, Trey Leger, is no stranger to seeing things, but something new has been added to the mix. A local ice cream trucks seems to be inhabited by an evil force or is it just that Trey is slipping deeper into madness? I love stories with a well written protagonist that may or may not be reliable. It’s a tough balance to strike and Paul is doing a fantastic job. Tackling characters with a mental illness is also a challenge and so far so good. Paul’s doing this as a straight read, which leads to him doing some female voices (a la Sigler, though better). I think he may be using some digital effects for some of the voices, but its not jarring (if he is). In any event it doesn’t take me out of the story. He qualifies this novel as a “slow burn” and promises big fireworks at the end. Closet Treats is a work in progress, but he feels confident that he’ll be finished with it by the time Balticon rolls around.

I hope you enjoy any of these that you might choose to listen to!