Thursday, March 26, 2009

Podcasts

Yes, yes, I know, I'm late to the party, but I've recently (in the past year or so) discovered podcasts and have been listening to them while noodling around on the computer, or while reading.  Most of them are terribly, terribly geeky.  Consider yourself warned.

I like Wil Wheaton's occasional podcast, Radio Free Burrito.  It mostly features music and a bit of commentary from Mr. Wheaton.  Various random fans have begged him to appear on Geekson.  Geekson features four friends, sitting around a table, shooting the breeze about what's new in science-fiction.   

After listening to all of those, I was desperate to find something similar and dug up a couple of options.  Skepticality is hosted by Derek and Swoopy, and is solidly aimed at the science-loving, atheist set.  They bring a lot of interesting guests on for interviews, from Lori Lipman Brown with the Secular Coalition for America to authors like Scott Sigler, who advocates for digital publishing (and, in turn, does several podcasts of his own.)  Derek and Swoopy have mentioned several times (with scorn) the "woo-woo" podcast, put out by GhostHunters.  Naturally, I had to investigate for myself.

That also led me to Slice of Sci-Fi, one of the many online radio shows put out by FarPoint Media.  There are years of archives of those, and hundreds of hours to catch up on.  In some ways, I like Slice of Sci-Fi better than Geekson, because even though it has a more formal feel to it, I like that they have a woman, Summer Brooks, as a regular member of their cast.  The creators of FarPoint Media all have backgrounds in traditional radio, and in many ways their podcasts appear to follow the standard am radio format.  Two male co-hosts generally razz each other, a female co-host rounds out the trio, and several technical guys can be heard occasionally puttering about in the background.  Geekson does have very rare guest appearances by Lisa Lassek, but it just isn't the same.  I haven't gotten the chance to check out another FarPoint show yet: Dragon Page Cover to Cover, where the hosts interview sci-fi and fantasy authors.  Dragon Page has got archives going all the way back to 2000.

Another podcast which I'm very excited about is Daniel Pinkwater's new radio show.  There's only one episode up so far, but it sounds great!  I remember when Mr. Pinkwater used to do guest spots on NPR's All Things Considered and parents and teachers would go berserk trying to find the books mentioned on his show on Saturday mornings, as he'd always find the most wonderful, offbeat and obscure new children's stories.

I do feel I should mention the Los Angeles Public Library podcasts, even though it doesn't seem as if they've added any new children's authors in a while.  The Tattered Cover independent bookstore has a weekly podcast featuring author interviews called, Authors on Tour.  The recent Ann Brashares podcast was terrific.  

There's so much out there and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface!

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