Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Weekly J: Podcasts

Some of you may know that I recently got my first iPod. I’d been using a Creative Labs Nomad Zen USB 2.0 for my portable music needs, but the iPod has made me a total convert. It’s how I discovered New Amsterdam (free download of the pilot episode via iTunes). But the biggest change the iPod has made for me has been Podcasts.

I tended to listen to NPR on the way in to work each morning, but lately, I’ve been catching up on some cool podcasts, so I thought I’d mention the ones to which I subscribe. Some of them are just for fun and some of them are for research

1) Dragon Page Cover to Cover. Of the podcasts out there, this is the only one to which I was listening long before owning my iPod. It’s part of the FarPoint Media group of podcasts as are several others in my list and if you like books, I really can’t recommend it enough. I particularly recommend it if you’re a big Michael Stackpole fan (I know I am) because he is one of the hosts, along with Summer Brooks, and Michael R. Mennenga. They talk about new books coming out, have interviews with authors (last week’s was Jim Butcher!) and talk about cool things happening in the industry.

2) Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing Podcast. Mur describes this podcast as “a podcast for wannabe fiction writers by a wannabe fiction writer.” She’s been sick for a few weeks, but there is a glut of great info available here. I’ve been slowly going through old shows, particularly through the interviews. Speaking of which, I think everyone who uses a web browser should go listen to her Neil Gaiman interview.

3) Slice of Sci-Fi. Done by some of the same folks from Dragon Page Cover to Cover, Slice of Sci-Fi is something that I listen to so that I don’t have to spend hours cruising the internet to know what new and cool things sci-fi shows are coming out. They have cool interviews too.

4) Orson Welles: On The Air. This one is a pure guilty pleasure for me. I’m the only one I know who has tracked down every episode of Orson Welles’s The Many Lives of Harry Lime radio show, which details the adventures of the con man from the black & white classic The Third Man. Orson Welles: On The Air showcases a new episode of Orson Welles’s vast collection of radio work each week… ranging from The Mercury Theater, to The Black Museum, to the afore mentioned Many Lives of Harry Lime. It’s radio gold and a must listen for fans of yesteryear.

5) PodCastle. A relatively new podcast, PodCastle (like it’s sister shows EscapePod and PseudoPod) is focused on fiction. PodCastle’s focus is on fantasy. I’ve only listened to the first two episodes: “Come Lady Death” by Peter S. Beagle and “For Fear of Dragons” by Carrie Vaughn. These folks have great taste in short fiction!

6) Tale Chasing. If you ‘re reading this blog, odds are that you like Urban Fantasy. Tale Chasing is all about Urban Fantasy, both tips on writing it and interviewing authors who do. Check out Kimi’s interviews with Stacia Kane and Rachel Vincent and sometime in the near future… yours truly.

7) The Guild. Okay, so this video podcast has absolutely nothing to do with furthering my writing, but it has everything to do with poking fun at folks who let their MMORPG gaming play way too big a role in their lives. If you’ve never played an MMORPG, you might not “get it”, but if you have, then hilarity will ensue.

8) NPR: Fresh Air Podcast. One of the main reasons I used listen to NPR on the way home from work is to make sure that I heard as many of Terry Gross’s weekly interviews as possible. Now I don’t have to miss a thing. If you haven’t ever heard Terry Gross do an interview then you are missing out.

9) Rick Kieffel: The Agony Column. I really have a love/hate relationship with this podcast. Rick either has me engrossed for the entire podcast (the norm) or loses me in the first minute and a half. You’ll note that I’m still subscribed. The show is often excellent! I particularly recommend the stint he did (last month?) about the term Machiavellian and where it came from, how it evolved, and a bit about the man whose name gives us the term.

10) Japancast. I’m a big anime geek, so the idea of learning Japanese appeals to me… particularly now that we are in the same region with Japan for Blu-ray.

I’ve yet to find a SuperRobot-centric podcast, though…

If you know of another podcast that you think is a must listen, please comment about it and let me know.


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