Small Realities

Inside the mind of Lance Schonberg

What’s on Your MP3?

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I listen to a lot of podcasts.  With a fifty (50) minute commute each way, plus time spent running or solo on home improvements, housework or cutting the lawn, I can easily run through 12-15 hours of audio each week.  If the average podcast is half an hour long, I’m listening to a lot of shows.

In the mild conceit that the few people who read my blog actually care what I think, today I’m going to present a selection of my current listening habits.  There’s no ranking involved and the list is in no particular order.  Fiction today, and non-fiction tomorrow.

Current Fiction:

The Goblin Market – Jennifer Hudock.  There’s always something that jumps to the front of the listening queue whenever a new episode shows up and this is it right now.  The Goblin Market is a darker fantasy drawing some inspiration from traditional fairy tales but not nearly stopping there.  More going on than meets the eye, I think, and we’re only seven episodes in.

Fetidus – James Durham.  Takes place in 2030s Washington, DC a decade or so after some near apocalyptic zombie outbreaks.  Other supernatural beings exist, too.  An odd reflection of our world.  Full cast production and James writes his own (edgy, sometimes dark) music.  Oh, and it’s a hard boiled mystery.  With zombies.  How can you lose?

Drabblecast – Norm Sherman.  “Strange stories by strange authors for strange listeners, such as yourself.”  I couldn’t sum it up any better.  If you like strange, weird, or bizarre short fiction, you need to listen to the Drabblecast.  A recent favourite of mine is “Clown Eggs”, and if it’s what you think it is, you’re even stranger than I am.

Escape Pod – Steve Eley.  Escape Pod was the first podcast I ever listened to, way back in the summer of 2007, and I downloaded the episodes a dozen at a time until running out.  I credit/blame Steve for getting me interested in short fiction again and, in some ways for helping push me back into writing again.  The creative spark came back to life after a long absence a month or two after I started listening to EP and it’s still burning.  I should probably tell  him that some day.  Escape Pod has fantasy and horror siblings in Podcastle and Pseudopod.

But there’s a lot of audio fiction available and a lot of stuff I’ve listened to in the past.  A few of my past favourites:

Weatherchild – Philippa Ballantine.  Only recently finished, I know I’ve mentioned Weatherchild before.  I discovered Pip listening to Tee Morris’s Morevi and followed her to her own ‘cast of Chasing the Bard.  Weatherchild is the third novel she’s podcast and is set in post WWI New Zealand where magic is part of reality.  I’m really looking forward to Digital Magic, the sequel to Chasing the Bard, which I’ve already read but the podcast starts in November.

Heart of the RoninTravis Heermann.  Feudal Japan.  Samurai.  Ninjas.  Demons.  Sound like fun?  It definitely is with plenty of action and a big taste of the Japanese culture of the time.

Prophet of Panamindorah – Abigail Hilton.  Prophet is a sweeping epic fantasy, starting small and growing to cover massive events affecting nations.  Fawns and shelts, talking animals, wizards.  Magic and adventure in a kid safe epic story spanning three, well volumes isn’t quite the right word.  Abbie broke things up into three “Books” but together the three make up one huge novel.  Don’t blink; you’ll miss something.

Murder at Avedon Hill – P.G. Holyfield.  A murder mystery in a fantasy world complete with vampires, werewolves, gods, and a nearly full voice cast (P.G. kept several characters for himself).  Took a long time from beginning to end, but now available in its entirety for your listening enjoyment.  He’s currently putting together a short fiction podcast set in the same world, but with contributors from across the internet.

Nathan Lowell.  Can you have SF without space battles and explosions?  Well, yeah, but not many people try it at the novel level and I’m not sure anyone does it as well as Nathan Lowell.  Mr. Lowell currently has five books completed in podcast form, four of which are in the same series, all released through Podiobooks.com, and is closing in on finishing the manuscript for his next book.  Quartershare is the first and a great place to start.

So that’s the fiction list.  It’s hardly everything I’ve listened to or everything currently loaded on my MP3, but some of the ones that really stand out for me.  More to come.  I’ll happily take recommendations, too.

Tomorrow, the non-fiction highlights.  Possibly tomorrow.  Let’s just say next post.

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