I have been encouraged by a few friends to check out more podcasts. I listen to a lot of audiobook, but I have not been as diligent about listening to podcasts. But now that I'm being more intentional about checking out podcasts I'm finding that there is some really great ones out there. So I thought I'd take a moment to just quickly give a shout out to three podcasts I recently have started listening to and that I'm really enjoying. As a lover of sci-fi short stories, it was a happy-dance-inducing moment when I came across these podcasts.
Lightspeed Science Fiction & Fantasy Magazine is edited by John Joseph Adams, who is also the editor behind many of my favorite anthologies of short stories. The podcast is well produced and the stories are generally quite enjoyable. You can go directly to their website to check out the stories and listen to the podcasts where their stories are read: www.lightspeedmagazine.com/podcasting.
You can also subscribe to Lightspeed's podcast on iTunes.
If you do check out Lightspeed, I highly recommend "The Independence Patch" by Bryan Camp. It's a solid sci-fi story with with a rather possible scenario in our foreseeable future as technological augmentation of human beings becomes more common place.
StarShipSofa is hosted by Tony C. Smith and Jeremy Szal is the Fiction Editor. I've only just started in on listening to their podcast, but so far I'm quite enamored. You can check out their podcast on their site: http://www.starshipsofa.com or subscribe to them on iTunes.
Check out episode number 529 featuring the amusing and highly imaginative story by Robert Jeschonek, “A Little Song, A Little Dance, a Little Apocalypse Down Your Pants" (that title alone has you intrigued, right?). I also really loved the "The Motivation Cure" by R. K. Nickel (episode number 528).
Escape Pod is quite a bit of fun and might be my favorite out of these four so far. It is Co-edited by Divya Breed and Mur Lafferty and the podcast is hosted by Tina Connolly. You can hop on their website: escapepod.org or you can subscribe on iTunes. They also have a very helpful page for anyone who is new to Escape Pod and wondering where to start: escapepod.org/new-listener/
I really enjoyed the "All Profound and Logical Minds" by Bennett North (number 618) and "A Cure for Homesickness" by S. L. Scott (617). Two very different stories but both highly engaging.
Clarkesworld is another wonderful magazine and podcast that's been releasing great sci-fi and fantasy short stories for years. Headed up by Neil Clarke (publisher/editor-in-cheif), who has also edited The Best Science Fiction of the Year books, which comes out with its third volume next week. The podcast is directed and narrated by Kate Baker. I've only dipped my toes into Clarkesworld podcast, but I was quite impressed with "Tool-Using Mimics" by Kij Johnson. The story is fresh and very imaginative, providing a uniquely feminine perspective that is much needed in sci-fi. Baker's narration helps the story feel quite immersive. I am eager to carve out more time from my busy schedule to dive into more of these podcasts. One of the great things about getting to listen to these stories is that I'm not limited to exposing myself to such stories only when I have time to sit down and read. Washing dishes, driving, mowing the lawn, and a whole host of random activities become a great time to listen to an audiobook or podcast. Diving into great sci-fi stories makes it that much better. After all, sci-fi has a special place in my hear as a uniquely philosophical genre (read more about that here) and is central to why I am a storyteller (read more on that here).
If you are eager to discover more fascinating sci-fi and fantasy storytelling, I can't recommend any of the above podcasts enough. Maybe you don't know if you'd be into listening to such short stories. But let me put it this way: if you watched Arrival and Annihilation and found that you were engaged and drawn in by the complex plot, imaginative story, and nuanced characters, then you definitely should be checking out science fiction short stories. And if you find more podcasts I should know about, please, please, please, let me know!