Archive for E-pub

Escape Pod and Soundproof Update


Hey everyone! We’ve had some staff changes here at Escape Pod, and that’s thrown some things off schedule, and for that I take full responsibility and apologize. But we’re getting back on track, and here’s what you can expect in the next few days and weeks:

  • Stories from George R. Galuschak, N.K. Jemisin, Ferrett Steinmetz, and Catherynne Valente
  • Soundproof 17 (February) and Soundproof 18 (March)
  • And below, the oft-requested epub versions of the last 3 Soundproofs!
    1. Soundproof 14 epub | PDF
    2. Soundproof 15 epub | PDF
    3. Soundproof 16 epub | PDF

Thanks for your patience!

Soundproof #16


Click here for the epub version.

Hello everyone,

Can we talk about Fringe for a second? It’s somehow managed to survive to a fourth season on Fox, which is a feat in and of itself. But it’s also managed to keep the monsters of the week new and interesting, even when they’re new iterations of the same monsters of the week because we’re now in a slightly more adjacent parallel universe than the one we’d gotten used to. And when the new monsters are the old good guys.

It’s also notable for surviving because we’re kind of awash in fantasy on the (American) teevee right now. Grimm, Being Human, and Once Upon a Time are the new-ish ‘genre’ shows, and SyFy, which some of you elderly folks may remember as the SciFi channel, doesn’t have a science fiction series that isn’t imminently headed for the grave.

Which is kind of a show of how fickle the fates of TV production is, and how swiftly the tide can shift away once a new shiny happy fun ball enters the room.

But Fringe continues to turn in the solid mediations on the endless strange that lurks in the corners of space-time, while keeping you caring about characters even as many of them permutate as the show moves from universe to universe.

This month we bring you a trio of stories from Judith Tarr, Randy Henderson, and Zachary Jernigan. They contain dinosaurs, a future of literature or at least novels, and the souls of Earth — in a convenient travel cube.

—Bill

Bill Peters

Assistant Editor

Escape Pod

Soundproof #15


Click here to get the epub version.

Dear Faithful Listeners And Readers—

Happy 2012! It’s looking to be a very exciting year at Escape Pod, and we’re delighted you’re still hanging out with us!

We had a lot of fun bringing you different things in 2011, from our first audio drama at the end of the year to the various story collections to our supporters. And thanks to your supporters, by the way. It’s amazing to realize we’re in our seventh year doing this, and we’ve operated in the black the entire time. We couldn’t have done that without you, so thank you.

To be completely honest, it hasn’t been smooth sailing. We got behind in submissions this year, even with some time off to catch up. Authors got angry, as they should have done, and we’ve figured out where things went wrong and are working on fixing it. I won’t offer excuses, only that I’m responsible for this magazine and I let down our authors, and I’m very sorry for this. We’re closing our doors to submissions in January in order to get everything organized.

Hugo voting is open, from now until March 31! I’ll have a blog post soon about what Escape Pod has offered that is eligible, and we’re appreciate a consideration if you’re eligible to nominate.

Resolutions are promises to fail, so we won’t make any, but we do promise to continue to bring you weekly SF that will be fun. And lose those 10 pounds, of course.

Have a safe and happy 2012. Be mighty, and have fun!

Mur Lafferty
Editor

Soundproof #13


You can download the ePub version here.

Hello everyone, and happy November!

It’s NaNoWriMo month, and a lot of professionals don’t like it. They say it’s misleading to tell newbies that the career that pros have taken years to perfect can be achieved in 30 days. They say that December 1 marks the day that thousands of unedited, 50,000 word “novels” hit the desks of agents and editors. Some of them are just cynics who hate the excitement people get as November draws near, since they’re toiling on their own books.

But I tend to think it’s a great thing. Writing well is difficult, yes. But writing is not. And most people just stop themselves at writing, thinking if their story isn’t flat out brilliant literature from word one, they will never improve, never learn, and never be a writer. NaNoWriMo tells people to turn off the horrid editor in our minds and just write- something that’s difficult to do. Pros know for a fact that there’s always a lurking voice saying, “This is crap, why are you wasting your time with tripe?” – they just know to tell that voice to shut up, that they’ll get their opinion once the story is done.

Most of all for me, NaNoWriMo encourages people to write – and write every day. And at the core of things, I really can’t see what kind of ogre thinks this is a bad idea. Writing is a great thing. More writers means more stories. And last I checked, we still liked stories. So participate in NaNoWriMo. Write a 50,000 word story in a month. Then let it sit. Then edit it. Then edit it again. Learn from every step.

In other news, I just returned from World Fantasy Con, which was my first. It was a fantastic meeting of industry professionals, and I met a lot of great authors and narrators that have appeared in Escape Pod, Podcastle, and Pseudopod. (To name a few: Cat Rambo, K. Tempest Bradford, Keffy R. M. Kehrli, M. K. Hobson, Vylar Kaftan, and several more.) During the Escape Artists’ meetup, we managed to discuss fanfic, Elmo, and the Escape Artists forums. In retrospect perhaps we should have served alcohol. Ah well. It was fantastic meeting people, and cons are over too quickly.

The last two months of the year have some really exciting stories planned, and I can’t wait to bring them to you.

Be mighty!

Mur

Soundproof #11


You can download the ePub version here.

Greetings dear listeners!

I just returned from WorldCon where I met several listeners, thanks to everyone who came by to say hi! I was able to solicit stories from some pros and talk to some authors about their upcoming work – we’ve got an original piece from James Patrick Kelly coming up that I’m utterly thrilled about. But more on that another month…

The Hugo awards were given out on Saturday, August 20, and the ceremony was a blast. Jay Lake and Ken Scholes brought their clever rapport to the stage and gave a good show with minimal hiccups (to my eyes, anyway. On Jay’s blog he talks about how frantic it was when script pages went missing, etc.) Extra special congrats to Mary Robinette Kowal, who took the prize for Best Short Story (remember you can find “For Want of a Nail” at http://escapepod.org/2011/06/09/ep296-for-want-of-a-nail/ ) and Clarkesworld, the Best Semi-Pro winner that allowed us to use Kate Baker’s fantastic narrations in our Hugo month! You can see the other winners at Escape Pod’s home page.

Awards always serve to split people. While people covet awards, they still manage to convince themselves that the system is rigged, or undeserving works win, or people band behind their friends to skew the voting. I’ve read flat-out boring Hugo winners. I’ve wondered why fantastic stories didn’t make even a nomination. I’ve seen fandom get frothing at the mouth angry over things like websites and podcasts edging into their territory (SF fans afraid of technology and the future. Mind boggling….)

This year the business part of WorldCon featured people that were so mad at last year’s Starship Sofa win (and nomination this year, not to mention the excellent Writing Excuses got a nod for Best Related Work) that they decided to create a new category called Best FanCast. While this does show that they are accepting that the podcast is a medium that will not go away, it’s somewhat sad that some people are now asking “are there enough podcasts to qualify?”

Head, meet desk.

What really worries me is that all podcasts will be pushed into Best Fancast just because of the medium. Escape Pod publishes stories and is a paying market (qualifying for Best Semi-pro Zine). Starship Sofa publishes stories and nonfic commentary/essays and qualifies (or qualified) for Best Fanzine. James Patrick Kelly’s podcast novella Burn is a Nebula winner. Writing Excuses talks about writing and the SF craft, and it’s done entirely by pro writers. Would all of these be pushed into the same category because of the podcast element? Why not put Blackout/All Clear, Asimov’s, and Chicks Dig Time Lords in the same category because they’re all on paper?

I’m not a strong arguer, I admit. It’s not in my nature. But I believe I’m going to have to hit the business meetings next year in order to speak up for podcasts, else we’ll all be shoved to the kids’ table, the one with the rickety leg, just because of our medium instead of our content.

See you in Chicago next year, and at DragonCon this weekend!

—Mur

Soundproof #9


Click here to download the ePub version.

This month we’re bringing you short story and novella nominees for the Hugo awards, one of the two big Science Fiction and Fantasy awards alongside the Nebula. The Nebulas are awarded by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the Hugos by the attendees of Worldcon. The Nebula’s were awarded in May, and we’ll find out who wins the Hugos next month at Renovation in Reno, Nevada.

It’s always been more than a bit amusing to me to see the inevitable ‘That got nominated? The [insert award name] is losing it’ comments cropping up on our forums and elsewhere. As if the Nebulas and Hugos are awarded by some wise men up on the crags, parsing the year’s crop of stories against the award’s prior canon. The nominations and awards come from a large swath of fandom or one’s fellow writers, and there’s always going to be elements of friendship, politics, fervent loyalty, and emotion in these endeavors.

And yet, the nominating crowds for both pick stories that are good, and worth reading. You won’t like all of them, but you’ll like a lot of them, and that is really the best you can hope for. Fiction is not nearly so varied as fiction readers, and the point of these things is to make sure good stories get the biggest audience then can.

Which is also the point of Soundproof. People write into us about having friends that can’t stand hearing stories, or who have a deaf spouse, or they just prefer to read.

The point of Escape Pod is getting as many good stories out to as many ears and eyes (or fingers, if anyone’s feeding this into one of those Braille boxes) as possible, which is why we’ve worked hard to keep things free, taking advertising when we like the advertiser, and being ever thankful to those of you who donate. We couldn’t do it without you. (Which is why Dave Thompson and Wilson Fowlie have been working hard to bring those who donate the Alphabet Quartet as a thank you.)

Hopefully one of the Hugo nominees in this issue will get the shiny, shiny rocket ship next month. They’re all worthy of it, even if they are [insert ghastly sub-genre].

–Bill

The Soundproof Escape Pod #8


ePub version here.

Hello Gentle Listeners—

May brought us the announcement of the Hugo Awards nominees, which means that June is Hugo Month! For years, Escape Pod has been buying the rights to most of the Hugo short story nominees, and this year is no different. We’ll be featuring three of the four nominees, and since June has five Thursdays, we will also be featuring two longer stories that got Nebula and/or Hugo nods!

We also have the ebook rights to the stories, which is an Escape Pod first, so next month’s Soundproof will be a collector’s item. (If a digital file could be collectible. Which it can’t. So never mind. But you know what I mean; it’ll be cool.) I’m very excited to see our site growing so much.

We want to send extra special congrats to the podcasts who managed to make it onto the Hugo Ballot this year! 2010 winner for Best Fanzine, Starship Sofa, has gotten another nomination, and Writing Excuses has received a nod for Best Related Work. SSS has wonderful stories from many masters of SF, and Writing Excuses has wonderful discussions on how to write genre fiction. We are thrilled that these quality podcasts are getting attention from fandom. I’ll be reporting from WorldCon in two and a half months, and liveblogging the Hugo Awards. More info soon!

A question we get a lot of is, “Why do you not have all the stories in your PDF?” The answer is simple- audio and ebook rights are purchased separately, and sometimes an author cannot or will not grant us both rights. Or there are stories we’ve purchased before we started purchasing ebook rights, so we have no right to give you text versions of the stories. We take our authors’ rights very seriously and will only release the format for which we have rights. Audio-only stories are fewer and fewer these days, but there still will be an occasional one in our future feed.

Speaking of the feed, some people have asked that the Soundproof Escape Pod have its own feed, or the audio have its own feed. Or the R stories to have their own feed. We get this question a lot and can’t really create custom feeds for each listener – but never fear, there is a solution. I’d like to point you to a page that gives you some RSS options, including some things you can do to custom make your own EP feed.

From How To Subscribe (http://escapepod.org/subscribe/):

You can make your own special Escape Pod feed by subscribing to http://www.escapepod.org/category/XXXX/feed where you replace XXXX with the category you want to subscribe to. Categories are listed on the front page in a drop-down box on the right. Have at it!

Lastly, in order to get the submissions under control, we’re taking two months off and closing for submissions on June 6th.

We hope you enjoy this issue, chock full of awesome stories, reviews, and Nebula reporting. We hope you have a wonderful summer (or winter, if you’re on the other side of the world) and keep listening! We will have other announcements next month!

—Mur

The Soundproof Escape Pod #6


The ePub version can be found here.

Welcome to April! —

March was a sad month worldwide, and I, frankly, am looking forward to leaving winter behind. (Yeah, I know March starts spring in the Northern Hemisphere, but the damp and dank weather we’ve been having the US South makes me feel more like winter than January did.)

First, the world was shocked by the disasters in Japan, earthquake, tsunami, and the continuing threat of radiation from their nuclear plant.

Then fantasy lost one of its masters with the death of Diana Wynne Jones. Any fan or writer of fantasy needs to read her Tough Guide to Fantasyland, and, well, any of her other books. Thirdly…

Well, hell, isn’t that enough?

Many people find themselves feeling lost and useless when it comes to disasters, especially if they’re happening far away. Luckily, some very quick and innovative SFF fans and professionals (including Pseudopod’s own Alasdair Stuart) got together to create Genre for Japan ( http://genreforjapan.wordpress.com/ ), an auction featuring signed books from authors, collections of books from publishers (like Tor and Angry Robot), and editing or critique services from agents and editors. All proceeds go to the Japan Tsunami Appeal run by the British Red Cross. (They know what they’re doing.) Give generously and you can get some awesome prizes.

We hope you’re enjoying the monthly Soundproof PDFs.

We have had gotten a couple of questions asking why some of our audio stories don’t get printed on the site or in the Soundproof. The answer is simple: we don’t have the rights.

We buy the audio and ebook rights to all stories we are able to, but sometimes we are only able to get the audio rights, so those stories are in our audio feed. As we move forward we will do everything we can to get both ebook and audio rights.

Here’s to a better month.

——Mur

Mur Lafferty

Editor