Podcasts Of Mars

The Readercon panel that had me taking lots of notes was “Podcasts Of Mars.” They threw out a huge list of podcasts worth listening to, and gave pointers for creating your own podcasts.

For SF, there’s Escape Pod & Podcastle, Starship Sofa and they might have mentioned Beam Me Up. And of course, Jim Kelly has Free Reads and StoryPod, and Cory Doctorow has Craphound.

As Liz Gorinsky remarked, with the New Yorker Fiction, the cool part is that a writer gets to pick a story from their archives, read it, and discuss it. For instance, in a recent one, Jonathan Lethem reads and discusses “The Wood Duck” by James Thurber. Another good literary podcast is Selected Shorts, where actors read contemporary fiction. (I think that might be one that Jim Freund mentioned in his Reading Aloud workshop.)

ZBS has been creating wonderful stories that pick up where Fireside Theater left off, from “The Fourth Tower of Inverness” to “Ruby”. You can get books at Librivox, podiobooks.com, and audible.com.

Interesting non-fiction podcasts include In Our Time and Material World from BBC 4, as well as Science Friday from NPR, and Quirks & Quarks from CBC. There are SF Interview podcasts, like If You’re Just Joining Us and Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing.

And if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, the closest thing to a gateway to podcasts is SFFAudio.

If you want to start your own podcast, Mary Robinette Kowal has an excellent series on reading aloud. Jim Freund showed off his Zoom H4, a really nifty toy, and compared it to the Zoom H2s being used to record the panels. He also recommended Olympus digital recorders. Jim Kelly plugs a microphone into his laptop and records in a walk-in closet, where he reads his stories to his sweaters. For editing software, people recommended Audacity.

But more than the tools what really matters is where you record. You want a quiet space, with the A/C off, the fans off, the computer off. No traffic in the background either, or even bird noises. Just to make sure, you should wear headphones plugged into the mic, so you can hear what you’re recording.

Hope to hear from you!

Addendum: Cat Rambo has issued a much more accurate listing of podcasts mentioned.