You know what’s almost as good as reading? Listening. Sometimes it’s even better – after all, reading while driving is a recipe for disaster. And in the age of the podcast, you don’t even have to rely on radio schedules for what was once the rarest of treats – an audio program to entertain nerds.
A whole bunch of people I know and admire now make podcasts, so here are four recommendations, things I’m not involved with but love listening to.
Featuring writers Charlotte Bond, Lucy Hounsom and Megan Leigh, Breaking the Glass Slipper is a literary podcast discussing women in science fiction and fantasy. The first episode was an interesting discussion of why female authors feature so seldom in “best of” lists. If you enjoy intelligent discussion of sf+f, and in particular if you’ve been following recent debates about representation in fandom, then this one is for you.
Many of the most entertaining weekends I’ve ever had were spent live roleplaying with a group of hilariously surreal and outlandish gamers. Now some of them have put together Crudely Drawn Swords, in which we follow the adventures of four mismatched heroes trying to save the kingdom. There’s Enigma (Ali), the hipster rogue; Tristan (Stu), the bloodthirsty bard; Bambari (Mags), a mage with a pet rock; and Sir Percival (Gwyn), their heroic leader, trying not to laugh at inappropriate moments. Gamesmastered and produced by Ben Moxon, it’s a story of good intentions and bad puns, using the Dungeon World roleplay system and some of the most entertaining people I know.
I find Eve Online endlessly fascinating. It’s a galaxy-spanning online computer game of massive space fleets and interplanetary industry, so complex and with so many players that academics have used it to gain insight into real economic and social trends. Sadly, I don’t have the time or patience to play it myself. Fortunately, I have people who play it for me, and for anyone else who wants to learn about the game or give it a try. Nick, an experienced player, talks new player Will through the Eve gaming experience week by week, while Will asks important questions like “how do I get a clone?”, “why are people shooting at me?” and “why don’t these spaceships make any sense?” From mining colonies to art installations made of corpses, imaginary space is a weird place.
This one’s less purely nerdy, but should still appeal. The RH Experience are an improvisational comedy group, featuring my friend Dan on guitar. Every week on their show Played Up they invite a guest to join them and share a selection of their favourite tapes. Except that the tapes aren’t real, the music on them is imaginary, and the RH Experience have to make it up. Prepare for some strange and hilarious listening.
Any Other Recommendations?
There you go – four podcasts I think you might enjoy. If you have some other recommendations then please leave them below.
Also, I’m thinking of podcasting my Friday flash stories, so if that’s something you’d listen to then let me know that too.No promises, but it’s something I’m seriously considering.