Archive for TheSoundproofEscapePod
Since we’ve had trouble with ebook stuff for a couple of months, we’re introducing Soundproof EP Digests! Here is the digest for Q1, nearly all the stories from January, February, and March, as well as some key blog posts.
The digest for Q2 will be out soon (as soon as Q2 is over)! Thanks for your patience.
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!
Thanks for your patience!
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.
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!
You know that column you run into every now and then on how time always seems like it’s going faster as you get older? The one where you can kind of tell that the columnist suddenly realized he hadn’t actually written their weekly twelve column inches and was asking themselves how exactly Tuesday afternoon had arrived on them already (or a TV columnnist for that matter — the first time I ran into it I think I was 7 or 8 and my parents were watching 60 Minutes).
Yeah, it’s kind of been like that lately. I think with Christmas/Hanukkah/[insert midwinter celebration of choice]/Festivus coming up and the rapid shortening of days ahead of the solstice, at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, breed a feeling of loss at the time we had, but really would like to have again. Not quite nostalia, more like (part of me wants to write now-stalgia, but that would be a horribly disqualifying pun) the loss of the recent past that you really wanted to have accomplished more in.
Time travel’s usually all about meeting your grandkids to the nth degree and playing with their cool new gadgets/seeing the future dystopia/utopia/stealing a book of sports statistics, or going back and killing Hitler. But commercial and commoditized time travel would probably just be a bunch of people trying to optimize the days that didn’t go horribly wrong, but didn’t approach the theoretical ur-day that modern days rarely meet.
We’d all make our deadlines, but would be 90 years old after 35 calendar years.
And with that, I’ll let you peruse our fine stories this month. For those of you who NaNoWriMo’d last month, I hope you’re recovering.
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.
This is the October issue, so I guess I should be sounding all spooky in the editor’s note, but That Holiday Which Must Be Feared is a month away, so instead why don’t we talk about reinvention.
I’m not that great at waiting out long serialized stories, and honestly with longer book series where the author is know for long stretches between novels (Cough-George-RR-Martin-Cough) I usually stop one before the last one out so I can at least control when I’ll restart the story. So comics have never been an ideal form for me, except for when the storyline’s collected into a volume. Or, in the case of The Sandman, 10 volumes.
But we’re a bit into DC’s reboot, and their reinvention means a bit more critical eye is being cast over their crop than would be if they hadn’t resorted to remaking themselves in the great American tradition. And while there are highs in the new crop, the lows have been getting most of the attention, because, well, while any reboot is going to lose you fans, it shouldn’t do this to young female fans: https://io9.com/5844355/
On a happier note, this is one-year anniversary of Escape Pod reinventing a bit of itself into a text product in addition to the audio coming into your ear canals every week. I think it’s been a success, but this is as good a point as any to stop and ask for feedback, so hit up firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions for what we can do different/better in Soundproof.
This Soundproof is bringing you Lavie Tidhar’s The Insurance Agent, Saladin Ahmed’s The Faithful Soldier, Prompted, and T. L. Morganfield’s Night Bird Soaring. So it’s a strong issue.
Hope you enjoy it,
P.S. SF Signal put together an awesome, awesome flowchart of NPR’s top 100 SF/F books. Go get lost in it here: http://www.box.net/shared/static/a6omcl2la0ivlxsn3o8m.jpg
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 https://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!
Short editor’s note this month to make sure this goes out reasonably on time to all you faithful listeners. Er, readers.
Last month saw a bit of mopping-up action on the various nominees with Stone Wall Truth, which got nominated in the novella category for the Nebula, and the space-piratical Leech Run.
But most importantly, we hit Episode 300 of the podcast that Steve built with Tim Pratt’s We Go Back. Who Escape Pod goes pretty far back with. His stories are episodes 8, 31 (with Greg van Eekhout), 67, 105, 142, 190, 239, 251 and 276. He’s probably far and away the Escape Pod fan favorite, and Impossible Dreams is still the story I usually recommend as the entry point for new Escape Pod listeners.
It’s been a little over a year since Mur took over and I snuck in through an open side Escape Pod airlock (for closed values of open). We’re still adrift in space, same as it ever was, floating along scanning for the next story, and eventually a planet to set down on. Like many fiction journeys, the path laid out at the beginning is not the path you end up going down, because that would be boring.
Until the next,