The Jub Jub Bird

A literary blog with fantasy tendencies

Guardian Books Podcast – SF Edition

China Mieville, Mark Charan Newton and George R R Martin all get a mention in this SF edition of the Guardian Books Podcast.

– An interview with Mieville;
– Damien G Walter selects some ones to watch for 2010; and
– some discussion – particularly pertinent to this blog – about the overlap between genre and literary fiction.

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January 22, 2010 Posted by | Podcasts | Leave a comment

Podcast Update

Being the proud father of a beautiful three-month old daughter, while at the same time not being a man of independent means (which is to say: I have to work for a living), I haven’t had much time to read works of speculative fiction recently.  Never mind blog about them.

I do get time to listen to stuff though, when driving, shopping and generally making myself useful around the house.  So I’ve been experimenting with a few sci-fi / fantasy podcasts.  It’s taking me an age to read the Children’s Book so in the meantime here’s the first in an occasional series of podcast updates, just to show that I’m not slacking off entirely…

Clarkesworld – This is probably my favourite podcast right now and not just because of Kate Baker’s hypnotic voice.  Clarkesworld post a short-story every two weeks, generally more sci-fi than fantasy but with a good roster of regular contributors including Ekaterina Sedia, Catherynne M Valente, Kij Johnson and Kat Rambo.  I’ve only been following for a few weeks but there hasn’t been a dud yet.  I particularly enjoyed The Things, by Peter Watts, which is an inversion of the classic 80’s horror film The Thing, this time told from the alien’s perspective (as an aside, I’ve often thought there should be more of this sort of thing – telling well-worn tales from a different character’s point of view).  Just high quality stories on a regular basis.

Starship Sofa – Tony C Smith’s monthly Aural Delights, a magazine style recording which can last up to a couple of hours, including at least one short story, along with various topical articles about speculative themes, upcoming releases and recommendations.  Quite a time-commitment this and I find myself skipping sections I’m not so interested in but generally a good mixed-bag for those of us who can’t get enough sci-fi and fantasy.  Again the emphasis is on Sci fi.

Sofanauts – Tony C Smith’s other monthly recording, recently cancelled to allow Tony to focus on Starship Sofa. This took the form of a panel show with regular contributors including Jeff Vandermeer, Damien G Walter, Amy H Sturgis and Jeremy Tolbert from Escape Pod (see below).  Tony hosted and introduced various topics of conversation for the panel.  It was always interesting to hear the panel’s views on a wide-range of genre related subjects but in some ways I can see why it’s fallen by the wayside, it did ramble on sometimes into areas which are perhaps of only passing interest to those of us not in the publishing trade (I’m thinking here for instance about the challenges facing the publishing industry and niche publishing particularly – interesting but you don’t want to hear too much of it on an SF podcast).

Science Fiction Book Review Podcast – Exactly what it says on the tin, as Luke Burrage releases a podcast review of every book he reads.  Luke is an engaging speaker and the discursive format enables him to explore and explain particular points much more fully than is generally possible in a written review.  As a budding reviewer myself I’m interest in both the similarities and differences between the written / verbal approach.  In many ways, this is the blueprint for the Jub Jub Bird: in-depth reviews about books I read, rather than a multitude of posts about news / activity on other blogs.

Podcastle and Escape Pod – I haven’t listened to these enough to have an opinion, though I’m quietly optimistic that Podcastle will fill the fantasy niche, where those listed above tend to focus on Sci-fi.

January 20, 2010 Posted by | Podcasts | Leave a comment