I am not a podcast-person. Nor a pod-person, in case you thought I was side-stepping.
Before agreeing to write a post on podcasts about a month ago, I had never listened to one. But I’ve been doing my homework this last month, and I’ve determined that I am a person who, when he listens to podcasts, prefers them talky rather than fictional. That isn’t really what I expected to discover. I thought I’d want to listen to faux-period radio shows talking about fictional news set in a nerd-popular fictional world. Or things of that nature. Nope. I want to hear people speak intelligently about books, television, movies and music.
After listening to elements of a couple of dozen podcasts, I’ve narrowed down my favorites to the following five podcasts (in no particular order, this isn’t a ranked list).
***Quick reminder that there are two separate giveaways at the bottom of this post:
1) a copy each of The Mirror Empire and Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley (More info on these books HERE if you are new to the series), and
2) a giveaway featuring three prizes: a $75, $50, and $25 giftcard to your preferred book retailer.***
1. Round Table Podcast
This is an amazing podcast. I’m particularly fond of the Workshop episodes, in which the hosts (along with a previously unannounced publisher, author, or editor) come to the table and listen to a willing writer’s “pitch” for a story. The hosts and the guest then discuss the idea with the writer, helping the writer flesh out the story idea.
This podcast has drawn guests from the likes of Ed Greenwood, Mary Robinette Kowal, Tobias Buckell, Seanan McGuire, Myke Cole, Maurice Broaddus, Cherie Priest, Christopher Moore, Kameron Hurley and Delilah S. Dawson. That’s a great list of guests.
This podcast is hosted by Dave Robison and Brion Humphrey, and produced by Ben Delano and Lucie Le Blanc.
2. Cabbages and Kings
This is a literary podcast with an NPR, laid-back, non-commercial feel to it. The podcast opens with some smooth music, and then, most of the time, two people (the host, Jonah Sutton-Morse and a guest) talk about a book, a genre, a series of stories, or something publishing related, like, the support of small presses.
Spoilers abound in the podcasts discussing specific works. I would not listen to the Grace of Kings episode, for example, if you haven’t read the book. Unless spoilers don’t spoil anything for you, and then give it a whirl.
Episode 11 is a particular favorite of mine, as supporting small presses is important to me, and there are a lot of mentions in a short time frame.
Did I mention that these episodes are invariably under 30 minutes long?
3. Black Girl Nerds
This podcast covers many areas: video games, artists, authors, television shows and movies, actors and music. These areas are all connected specifically to the nerd-factors of these things: yeah, the podcast covers music, but that might be in the form of a discussion on the musical genre of Nerdcore. Television episodes might cover Doctor Who or The Walking Dead. This is also an excellent podcast for diversity discussion.
I really enjoyed episode #17, featuring author Daniel José Older talking about his novel Half-Resurrection Blues as well as his music and the city of New York as a novel setting.
Jamie Broadnax hosts. She asks reflective questions, allows the guests to lead the flow of conversation, and keeps the podcast moving.
This is a really professionally put-together podcast. Gregory A. Wilson and Bradley P. Beaulieu, both authors, discuss fiction and writing techniques and interview authors and artists. The hosts are extremely knowledgable.
A standout episode, for me, was episode 141 in which the hosts discuss Helene Wecker’s The Golem and the Jinni. The hosts discuss the aspects of the book and how they are similar to (and different from) other books, in this case: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson and Lauren Beukes The Shining Girls. Having read The Devil in the White City, I feel like the hosts totally nail the comparisons. I really enjoyed The Golem and the Jinni, so I may be biased on this one.
5. Rocket Talk
Rocket Talk is a Tor.com Podcast. You’ve heard of Tor.com. It’s sort of a big deal. This is certainly not a little-known company’s podcast.
It is hosted by Justin Landon. The podcast caters to fans of science fiction and fantasy, and the interviews are often with authors, editors, and people who work in book acquisitions.
The episodes I listened to were full of a lot of nerdy goodness. If you listen to an episode with Joe Abercrombie, it is going to be the episode you expect from a podcast featuring Joe Abercrombie.
I enjoyed Episode 44 involves the guests James L. Sutter, the managing editor at Paizo Publishing, and Mordicai Knode, the marketing and publicity manager for Tor.com Publishing. They discuss the acquisition of Pathfinder Tales and the distribution arrangement with Tor Books.
I haven’t been involved in many campaigns. But the one I got into was a Pathfinder campaign. My rogue was an oddly strong, uncharismatic fellow who tried to use charisma much more often than was good for him. He often failed miseably, but it was always fun. Even when I was unsuccessful at seducing that ogre.
Listening to information on novels published in the Pathfinder universe was entertaining, and made me curious about the books themselves.
As a part of the Blog Friends Forever blog hop, we are pleased to have contributed to a tiered giveaway. We are giving out three giftcards, TO YOUR CHOICE OF BOOK RETAILER, one each worth $75, $50, and $25. Who doesn’t like giftcards? Oh, not even the crickets complain?
Special thanks to Fiction Fare and the Swoony Boys Podcast for putting this together. The complete schedule can be found at both of those above links, or at the bottom of this post. There are plenty of other giveaways offered! (Though, note that the $75, $50, and $25 group giveaway will be the same on each site–you can only enter once for each item, no matter how many sites you visit).
We have a paired prize offered by Galleywampus: the winner will receive one (1) copy of The Mirror Empire and one (1) copy of Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley.
These books were provided by Angry Robot. Thanks, you Exasperated Automatons!
Angry Robot allows this giveaway to be International.
Receive entries based on the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries will cease at Midnight, 10/17. We will conduct a random drawing on 10/18 and announce a winner after the winner has been contacted. If the winner does not respond within two days, we will select a second random winner.
The prize: one (1) copy of The Mirror Empire and one (1) copy of Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley. These will be shipped directly from Angry Robot.
Blog Hop Schedule
(Most of these blogs will have their own giveaways!)
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