Well the last four weeks have been, to put it plainly, rubbish. A chest infection post-Worldcon then a minor family disaster have led to me missing Fantasycon and getting in a tizz work-wise and generally feeling a bit pants.
It’s also stolen any desire to blog out of me and I was aware that I needed to write about something but didn’t feel inspired. I could give you all a Split Worlds update or blather about something else, but nothing emerged. Then I realised there was something I wanted to talk about.
Several years after the rest of the world started following podcasts properly I suddenly realised I could use technology to listen to podcasts when not at my computer, and furthermore, could subscribe to ones I enjoy. Well duh! I have no idea why this passed me by for so long, but I’m happy to say that they’ve saved me from going quietly mad whilst doing lots of cooking lately.
Before I go any further I should add that I hate cooking. Sometimes I feel an urge to bake – about once or twice a year – but that’s it. However, due to the minor disaster I mentioned earlier I have had to cook a lot over the past three weeks. I’m not a foodie and cooking makes me thoroughly miserable. Here are the podcasts which have stopped me from throwing a saucepan through the window:
I simply love the concept behind this show. Basically a very brave guest presents an idea for a story as a pitch and another guest, who is an experienced writer, helps them to make it better by asking questions. It opens out to a discussion with the regular show hosts and they stir it all up in the pot until something even better comes out. They also have 20 minute interviews with the guest writers alternated with the story podcasts. It’s fascinating and the regular hosts are very enjoyable to listen to as they are so enthusiastic and positive.
This is wonderfully varied and the people who run it are very lovely in real life too. This week they had a discussion about alternative history books which got me through cooking bolognaise.
Very slick show and there’s a video version which I need to check out too. There are regular parts of the podcast including news and a calendar for upcoming book releases and notable events, both of which make me feel all clued up about what’s going on in the genres I love.
I love this one; each episode is fifteen minutes long and focuses on a different aspect of writing, from different kinds of plots to writing for different audiences / niches or in-depth discussions of an author’s book. The authors know their stuff (and Mary Robinette Kowal has a voice I could listen to all day). Why, only this morning I was learning about writing sex scenes (blimey!) whilst making breakfast. It’s a great show. I heartily recommend it.
The premise behind this podcast is simply gorgeous; sci-fi and fantasy writers taking turns to talk about something they’ve read and loved. It’s very positive, interesting and lovely to hear people talking passionately about something they’ve enjoyed. One of the regulars is the very splendid Paul Cornell by the way, who is one of the loveliest chaps I know. It won the Hugo at Worldcon too, which made me very happy.
Others on my list
Adventures in Sci-Fi publishing
I’ve only listened to a couple of interviews lately which were excellent but I plan to listen to a lot more. I’ve also downloaded some Functional Nerds episodes but haven’t listened to any yet.
Oh, may I add in a rather cheeky and awkwardly self-promotional manner that the audio versions of the weekly Split Worlds stories are available as a podcast on iTunes?
Got any recommendations?
I’d love to hear them!