Tag Archives: Skinner

It’s An HNoR

iPOS6 I write for my own enjoyment (though I do have a target audience in mind when I write most of my stories) but there are a handful of people I hope to earn the Head Nod of Respect from one day. These are people who aren’t celebrities by any means (though some have audiences far larger than mine). They are creators whose work I have known for some time and whose work I in turn respect and enjoy. I won’t list those people (that would feel like I was begging for attention), but I will list some people who I believe have earned it from me.

You need to check out the stuff these people produce. I’ve sung their praises before, but you can’t say too many good things about a person.

JC Hutchins – He’s one of the reasons I got into podcasting my own fiction. He consistently tells amazing stories in interesting ways. He also likes to try new things and isn’t afraid to set those things aside when they don’t work.
Paul Cooley – One of the smartest horror writers I know. If you like a good scare, you need to be reading his work.
Terry Mixon – I’ve just started reading Terry’s work. Not everything he’s written is my cup of tea, but he knows his ish when it comes to writing.
Christiana Ellis – One of the funniest and most gentle spirits in the world of podcasting. She’s put so much amazing stuff out into the world I just can’t begin to list it.
Mike Plested – He started a podcast on getting published and then worked his butt off to get it done. If you like good YA or heck, just good fiction period, you need to check out his stuff.
Tee Morris – One of the father’s of podcast fiction; Tee has a biting sense of humor, amazing taste in beer, and constantly surprises me with the variety of fiction he tackles.
Jared Axelrod – Seriously one of the most multi-talented artists I know. I can’t say enough good things about what he’s done for me as a creator (whether he realizes it or not).
Philippa Ballantine – Another early presence in the podcast arena, Pip has gone on to be quite the success with her husband and writing partner Tee and on her own.
Skinner Co. – I’m a podcast junky and I know how hard it is to put good work out there on a regular basis. These three people do that and then some. They’ve built a tremendous community and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.
Jake Bible – Seriously one of the most thoughtful and hardest working writers I personally know. He’s living proof that horror writers can be sweet, kind, and not at all what you would expect.
Starla Hutchton – A savvy business person, a great writer, and a sharp designer; Starla is a whole lot of talent in one package.

I hope to give more head nods down the line. Please feel free to give your own in the comments and provide links!

Interview With JRD Skinner (Three Questions)

Skinner Co - Text (This is part  “Three Questions With Xxxx”. If you’re interested in taking part click here and fill out the form.)

I’ve been a fan of Skinner Co’s podcasts for a long time. The writer for the show, JRD, is a admirable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the mountain he’s climbing with his co-horts (whom I hope to have interviews from in the near future). Creating hundreds of interlinked stories, voicing them in a compelling way, and putting out quality audio is a challenge I’m somewhat familiar with. So, I’m happy to bring you this interview and encourage you to subscribe at http://flashpulp.com.

1) All of the stories I’ve seen from you are ultra short aka flash fiction, thus the name for your podcast. What is it that you enjoy so much about this format?

I’ve always been a sucker for the short story format, and one of the things I really wanted to work on when I started Flash Pulp was my density. Two of my cardinal genres, fantasy and science fiction, suffer from chronic bloat, and I was getting to a point where I was suffering page-turn fatigue just from reading the location descriptions of Frank Herbert, Neal Stephenson, Robert Jordan, etc.

On the whole I think “genre fiction” is on the rebound back to a reasonable size, something that’s certainly been aided by the current boom in digital sales.

I want folks to feel like they can depend on us to plant a flag and scale a mountain in fifteen minutes or less.

2) Pulp is one of those words like science fiction or pornography that has no widely accepted definition per se. They are what we point to when we say them. Having said that, I’d like you to define it.

By my thinking there are two aspects to this one: Pulp needs to be easy/cheap to widely distribute – I’m thinking of the mags and dime novels of the ’30s and ’40s, the cheap to-make shadow plays that were the noir movies of the ’40s and ’50s, the drive in flicks that followed, and even the direct to VHS shelf-fillers of the ’80s – and, as a more philosophical matter, it must have a certain sort of romanticism at its core. You can frame it in terms of swashbuckling, or idealism, or even actual romantics, but there’s got to be enough room to allow for some wonder, (be it in the notion that one man really can take on innumerable odds, or that the heroine can escape the fiends chasing her through the graveyard, or even the basic notion that there’s more to the world than we can see with a natural eye.)

3) What are you doing with your podcast that you didn’t think you would and how do you think the podcast will affect/influence any future non-Flashpulp projects?

I’m making a lot more friends through the project than I thought I would. I had only a fuzzy understanding of what exactly the end goal looked like when I started, but I certainly didn’t expect to be surrounded by so many fantastically like-minded folks. Whatever the future project, I’ll definitely be looking for this sort of feedback, both good and bad.

JRD, when not hammering at his keyboard, sells maple-flavoured beaver meat to school children and brags about it at Skinner.fm/FlashPulp.com

Yummy Serials (Giveaway!!!)

I have been a fan of serialized fiction my whole life, everything from comic books to the old school radio serials (no I’m not that old, but I had some on tape… You know, cassette tapes? Sheesh, maybe I am old.). The idea of getting to that cliffhanger only to have to wait until next week or next month was both insanely frustrating and incredibly cool. The last few years have seen something of a resurgence, with podcasts and e-books making it easier for people to produce this sort of content. I’ve got three great examples that I’d like to share with you and then I’d like to give you a chance to win some neat things!!

Skinner Co., consisting of JRD Skinner, Jessica May, and Opoponax, have put out 365 episodes of incredible pulp fiction with over ten different interweaving plot lines. They’ve also done nearly a hundred episodes talking about their passions and giving other people a platform to share theirs. A better example of the old school style infused with new blood and a huge heart you’d be hard pressed to find.

You can find their particular brand of madness at http://flashpulp.com/ and I want you to walk… No, run over and subscribe. I’ll wait. And if you’re a junkie like me you’ll kick them a buck or two.

The next bit of serial goodness has been mentioned on this here blog before. The 33 is a… well let me let Hutch tell you:

Standing between us and certain extinction is an unlikely league of saviors: THE 33 — thirty-three men and women blessed with unusual abilities, and even stranger personalities.

John Swords III leads the misfit crew. It ain’t easy. His lieutenants Bliss and Knack want to either kiss or kill each other. Other operatives are defiant, dysfunctional or downright deranged. The enemy is relentless and organized, poised to jumpstart the apocalypse. And Mr. Ins, The 33’s mysterious benefactor, exerts his absolute will over the group, pursuing an agenda all his own.

But one thing is certain — The 33 aren’t good guys. They leave damnation and salvation to the experts. Their mission: Maintain the status quo. Ensure the survival of the human race. Hold the line.

Part A-Team, part X-Files (with a dash of Hellboy and Global Frequency added for apocalyptic spice), The 33 is a high-stakes genre mash of action, sci-fi and supernatural thriller.

Once a month he’ll be putting out an e-book and an audio book sharing this adventure. You can find it at The33.net

Finally, we come to Matt “F’n” Wallace. He’s just released a new e-book called Slingers. You can get it here. He’s using his expertise as a combat trainer, pro-wrestler, and sharp writer to weave an action packed narrative.

Meet Nico. He’s currently falling 30,000 feet above the city of Hanoi to his death while the entire world watches.

And they can’t wait to see him hit the ground.

Welcome to Sling City, an arena in space where Judokas, sumo wrestlers, football stars, and stick fighters compete in the global combat sport of the future. Sling City is more than a stadium, it’s an entire microcosmic world filled with its own cultures, traditions, wars, and secrets. Some of those secrets are about to get out, and while all eyes watch the action-packed struggle of The Games take place, the men and women who compete in those games will have to unravel a disturbing mystery that’s cropped up at the heart of the home where they live, work, play… and die.

SLINGERS is the beginning of an exciting new five-part ebook series from the author of THE FAILED CITIES and SUNDAE.

The first part will set you back a whopping $.99 and each subsequent part (longer than this intro) will be $2.99 or $1.99 if you get it straight from him.

None of these things are expensive and they all go to supporting some awesome indies. But I understand if you’re reluctant. You may not know these guys from Adam’s house cat. So here’s what I’m gonna do. For the next week you’ll have opportunities to put your name into the hate and win either the first episode of Pramantha (the audio/e-book bundle) or the first e-book in the Slingers series. That’s my gift to you. To do it, all you have to do are things like tweet about this, review some independently produced work, and tell me what your favorite serials are. That’s serials with an s. Here are the details. Now go forth and spread the word!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review – Flashpulp (Podcast)

flashpulpicon This week I’m interviewing something a little different. Up until now I’ve reviewed mostly long form fiction podcasts. Flash Pulp isn’t that. It’s an anthology podcast, but it’s no Escape Pod or Every Photo Tells. All of the stories (except for the occasional guest episode) are written by JRD Skinner. As the carnival barker says though, “But wait there’s more!”.

With the help of audio wrangler, Jessica May, and artist and voice actor, Opopanax, he brings three stories a week to your ears. And that’s not all! They’re serialized. He has ten regular story lines and the occasional one off. While the story lines are all “separate” there’s more than one peek into the other strands, letting us see the interconnectedness.

Synopsis: It’s difficult to give you a synopsis given the aforementioned nature of the podcast. I’ll just crib from the show’s about page:

Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

While Flash Pulp is obviously in the tradition of classic radio and magazine stories of the 1930s and ’40s, there exists a trinity of specific modern inspirations for this creation: Warren Ellis, and his constant pushing of format boundaries; Kris Straub, for Ichor Falls, and the persistence of his ideas when he should be focusing on things that actually make him money; and Michael Buonauro, for his work on Marvelous Bob – arguably the seed of this entire mess.

Production: The audio production is solid and reliable. Sometimes Jessica May incorporates sound effects, but overall she ensures a clean, consistent sound.

Grade: B+

Cast: Opopanax provides the voices and narration for every story. If you think writing and interconnecting ten story lines is tough, imagine having to bring these characters to life. She manages to do just that. My particular favorite when it comes to her voices, is that of the narrator from The Murder Plague. That particular storyline is a world I can see Hitchcock dreaming up. Imagine a disease that turns you into a paranoid psycopath. Now imagine that most people have it, but you can’t be sure who does until they come at you with garden shears.

Grade: A-

Story: The writing is generally very good. I’ve run across a few that didn’t work for me. When you’re talking about three hundred plus episodes, I guess that’s going to happen. My favorite part about the entire thing is the arcs JRD has built into the fabric of the universe. Most episodes are stand alone tales that fit within their own arc. Occasionally he throws a two or three parter at us.

I have my favorites. The Murder Plague is up there. I also enjoy Ruby Departed, his take on the zombie apocalypse told through the diary entries of a but kicking young women with an assegai (the Zulu spear). I also like Kar’wick. What isn’t there to like about an immense spider god bent on destroying the world?

Grade: A

Verdict: This is definitely one you need to add to your list. I recommend you start with episode one. While it’s not necessary, it’s certainly the nest option in my opinion. You could listen to each arc on their own as I do believe that there are helpful links to do that from the site.

Grade: A

Sidenote: In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve written one of the guest episodes. I also occasionally contribute audio versions of these reviews for their weekly cast/crew/fan show. That’s right, they have a podcast about their podcast (and their hobbies and a lot of fan generated content).