New Podcast Discovery: Science Fiction Shorts

I’m not going to lie, the inspiration for the name of this blog was pulled directly from a podcast I enjoyed from years back that no longer publishes: No Format Podcast. (Also not a lie, I sometimes think about re-branding this blog and calling it something else.)

The podcast was hosted by Josh Wetencamp and his friend Jason (can’t remember the last name, and Apple won’t give me more info right now!), and they covered a number of different topics – as the name suggests, they didn’t have a set topic, or a specific show clock that they followed. They were fun to listen to, and definitely one of the first podcasts of its kind; nowadays you’ll probably find several shows that follow the same premise (“It’s a show…about nothing!”).

But I’m getting away from my main point. Josh has a new podcast available on Apple Podcasts (also via RSS feed)! The main premise is basically Josh reads a story to you, and talks about it a bit. The first episode (and first four episodes I guess) cover a story from the late 1800’s called The Brick Moon. It’s an interesting thought-experiment story and I enjoyed Josh’s thoughts and some of the ramblings that related to the story.

When I was brainstorming what I wanted to do with a new podcast, I thought about doing something similar to Science Fiction Shorts. What I’m trying to accomplish now with The Slow Reader is basically what Josh has done with one episode (albeit I don’t ever plan on narrating the books in full). So this was a lot of fun to dive into and I got a lot out of it, personally.

If you want to listen to sci-fi short fiction, then this is a good place. I think he’s going to be reading public domain stuff for the most part; The Brick Moon comes from Project Gutenberg specifically. If that is up your alley then subscribe!

Interesting Podcasts

I can’t remember the last time I did one of these, so that must mean it’s time to write one!  

Originally I was going to dedicate an entire post to Make Dad Read Comics; I would still like to do that, but I’m still feeling a little conflicted because I don’t want to draw too much attention to the fact that the titular Dad (Patrick Sr.) passed away in July.  I cannot share this podcast enough, and while it is sad that it won’t be continuing, the massive backlog of shows is well worth listening to for two reasons:

  1. The conversations Patrick and his Dad had are often hilarious and heartwarming.  It’s also great to hear the progression Dad makes from the beginning of the show to the end.  His understanding of comics was on display and it’s a real treat to listen to the shows where he really likes a book they read.
  2. You can learn about some new comics / books to read that may not have been on your radar.  I’m currently reading Black Monday Murders, which was the second to last episode they did together.  It’s fantastic.  Previous to that I read I Kill Giants.  Both of these books were highly rated by Patrick & Dad.  I just saw today that I also have Persepolis waiting for me at the library.

Twenty Thousand Hertz – I’ve talked about this podcast in the past, so I thought I would highlight a particular episode that I really enjoyed:  Episode 46 | Slot Machines.  The sound design in this episode was amazing.  The producers did a great job of replicating the casino sounds (there was even a moment where they layered in the various sounds of the casino one at a time, and ended up with what it actually sounds like at a casino).  It was fun to learn about some of the techniques they employ as well, and the history of slot machine music.  Very fun, I highly recommend it.  And it won’t leave you jaded about the slot machine industry.

The Big Story – this one is produced by Rogers Media (I work there, I have to mention that), and is a Mon-Fri (except holidays) daily show that covers the “big topics” (hence…the Big Story) of the day.  The episodes are about 20 minutes in length, and up until this week I’ve been listening to all of them.  They’ve been pretty interesting so far, but some topics I decided I can skip – I don’t need to be a completest here.

Based On A True Story – I haven’t listened to any of the most recent episodes, but checked out A League Of Their Own and The Social Network.  The gist of this one is the host watches movies that are, well, based on a true story, and researches the true story behind them.  I’ve picked out a few movies I’ve seen and want to hear his take behind, and as I go through the list I realize that there are more I missed the first time and need to add.  The episodes are short and easily digestible (usually around the 30 minute mark) so they make for a fun break between my usual episode list.

What else have you got that I haven’t listed here?  Maybe I can check it out in 2-3 months when I’ve caught up on my 90+ shows 🙂 

Recent Podcasts

So my free webhost (DirectHosting) changed servers on the weekend and I neglected to make the changes to the domain name right way – which in turn meant that since Sunday some time this blog has been down.  Woops!  I hope you weren’t in dire need of an update (which there was none this week).  I was also on a whirlwind trip moving some things across the province so was a bit busy.

Anyway, I thought I’d mention some podcasts I’ve been listening to lately.  Something I haven’t done in a while.

  • 372 Pages We’ll Never Get Back – This started off as a podcast reviewing Ready Player One.  As a follow-up, the hosts (Mike J. Nelson and Conor Lastowka) decided to read Ernest Cline’s follow-up, Armada.  Unfortunately they aired their final episode covering Armada this past Friday.  I’m not sure what they’re going to do to follow up these books, if they are in fact doing anything.  Disclaimer: I enjoyed both RP1 and Armada, but I also enjoyed how Nelson and Lastowka ripped apart the books.
  • Radio Free Burrito – Wil Wheaton is back!  In episode 51 he talks about a crippling depression he faced in 2017 and how he’s gotten better.  I recommend listening to back episodes but hopefully the fact that he put out a new show is a sign indicating more new shows to come.
  • Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo – An investigative podcast from Connie Walker, and a follow-up to Missing and Murdered: Who Killed Alberta Williams?  All episodes are available to download, and it’s turning out to be an important podcast series rather than “just another true crime podcast”.
  • Incoming Game: A ReBoot ReWatch – With The Guardian Code (trailer) coming out in the US in March (and June, in Canada), ReBoot is suddenly relevant again.  Listening to this show prompted me to start my own rewatch.  The hosts are still getting their rhythm down but it’s entertaining.

Podcast Recommendation: Filmspotting #651

I’m about a week behind, but just recommending the 651st episode of FilmSpotting: American Made / Top 5 Tom Cruise Performances

I find myself skipping FilmSpotting more than I used to (they’re just really long – I don’t always have time to listen to them apart from Massacre Theatre), but this was a really good episode.  Great discussion, and you’ll probably get a long list of movies you need to watch out of this.

Monthly Podcast Update

You can see the original post back in February – but the updated list is available at https://podstand.co/profile/lwgrs.

Since my last post, I decided to cull some podcasts from my subscription list.  I will come back to those in a bit.  I wanted first to talk about  the new shows that I added.

New Subscriptions

Side Hustle School: I added this show because I’m interested in the concept of the “side hustle”, colloquially known as beermoney in some online circles.  But I was skeptical of this, thinking that it might be a mass-produced, spammy podcast that I wouldn’t end up liking.  I definitely recommend this show, because it’s short (most episodes are 10 minutes or less) and gives a brief overview of what some people are doing to earn income on the side of their regular job.  I might prefer more information in a weekly format, but in its daily form, it’s not bad.  The great thing about this show is that the stories presented are all pretty interesting and often unique.  One thing I like about short podcasts is that I can throw one of these in between longer shows.

Twenty Thousand Hertz: I was impressed with this show.  I listened to the “Cars” episode – in the car, fittingly.  I learned some new things about the sound design of cars, and I thought it was really well-produced.  I’ve only heard one more episode (it was about talking dolls) – looks like it is possibly a bi-weekly show.  I may need to download back episodes to get a better feel.

The Pitch: Pretty much what I thought it would be – Shark Tank in audio form.  What I liked about the most recent episode I heard was that the show interviewed the people making  their pitch after the fact.  I like it, but it definitely doesn’t update often.  Still waiting for a new episode.  This may fall off the list.

Steele Wars: If you get a chance, listen to the episode where Steele convinces a friend who’s never seen a single Star Wars movie to watch Rogue One.  It’s a good example of what I like so far of this podcast.  One problem: Steele releases a lot of episodes, and they’re all lengthy.  I’m not 100% sure I’m going to stay subscribed, mainly for a ‘no time in the day’ reason.

Comeback Show

The Adam Sandcast: I think what Tyler (of Cynical Cartoons) is doing is a unique angle.  If you’re not familiar, the Adam Sandcast used to cover only Adam Sandler movies.  Now he’s doing standalone episodes of “fake” podcasts, if that makes sense; last week it was Kevin James (“Kevin Can Pod”) and this week it’s Jim Carrey (“Jim PodCarrey”).  He’s trying something different and it’s worth a listen if you like Cynical Cartoons.

Dropped Subscriptions

Storm of Spoilers.  I just found these episodes to be too long, and I was skipping too many of them.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s not due to poor quality.  I just found that I wasn’t keeping up with them.  And with Game of Thrones coming back soon, and not being able to watch the episodes right away, I only really want one GoT podcast piling up for me – that would be A Cast of Kings.

That’s it!  No other dropped shows this month.  Will that change?  Stay tuned at the end of April…

Coming up next week on the blog: my first look and Android 7 – Nougat.

Podcast Subscription Post

I almost labelled this as the “Monthly Podcast Subscription Post” but thought better of it.  I’d like to have this as a regular feature on the blog, but I don’t know yet if it’s going to be monthly or maybe less frequent.  Either way, I think the format may change, but you’re going to see this kind of post pop up more than once!

I subscribe and listen to a lot of podcasts.  Usually, I don’t have the time to listen to more than a few in a day, so I tend to be pretty picky when it comes to adding or dropping shows.  I have no problem trying out new shows if I like the description or it comes recommended, but I quickly drop shows from my rotation if it doesn’t “do it” for me.

These posts won’t have much info added to them, with the exception of new subscriptions & dropped subscriptions.  For those, I’ve got a brief write-up of why I added / dropped the subscription.

With that said, here’s my current subscription list, pulled from my OPML file in Pocket Casts:

Active Subscriptions
(Podcasts with an episode in the last 90 days)

  • Cynical Cartoons
  • Overthinking It
  • Filmspotting
  • Toronto Blue Jays Podcast
  • Harry Potter and the Sacred Text
  • A Cast of Kings
  • Make Dad Read Comics
  • Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast
  • The Night Time Podcast
  • CBC Radio 3 Podcast
  • Writing Excuses
  • Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast
  • Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder
  • A STORM OF SPOILERS
  • Hokey Religion: The Star Wars Podcast
  • The Benchcast
  • Missing & Murdered: Who Killed Alberta Williams?
  • Sens Callups
  • Almost Educational
  • Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin
  • Good Job, Brain!
  • Transporter Room 3: The Star Trek Podcast
  • Under the Influence
  • Anthology – The Twilight Zone and Classic Sci-Fi
  • Birds All Day
  • Polaris Podcast

New Subscriptions

  • Side Hustle School
    • Why I added it: I’m skeptical of this one but the subject matter is something I’m interested in: “A daily show for everyone who works a regular job and wants to start an income – earning project on the side . In each episode , listeners will hear a different story of someone who ‘s started a side hustle – along with what went well , how that person overcame challenges , and what happened as a result . The show is written and hosted by Chris Guillebeau , the New York Times bestselling author of The $ 100 Startup , The Happiness of Pursuit , and other books.” 
  • Twenty Thousand Hertz
    • Why I added it: this was based on description alone.  It sounds like it’s a podcast about Sound Design, something that is inherently COOL: “You may not think about the sounds you hear every day but somebody has . The voice in your phone the effects in your video games that drum machine in your favorite song There are people – and stories – behind every one of them . Join your host , Dallas Taylor , on an exploration of the stories behind the world ‘s most recognizable and interesting sounds.”
  • The Pitch
    • Why I added it: based on the description, I figured I’d give it a try. After all I like Shark Tank / Dragon’s Den a little: “A show where entrepreneurs pitch investors for funding Like Shark Tank , but smarter”
  • Steele Wars : Star Wars Podcast
    • Why I added it: Steele has appeared a few times on Plumbing The Death Star and I wanted to add some more SW content to my list.

Dropped Subscriptions

  • Beware & Warning
    • Why I dropped it: The humour just wasn’t for me.  I felt that the length of the shows was also too long for what I wanted from the episodes. I respect the work they do but it’s just not a show for me.

Inactive Subscriptions
(I haven’t declared these “dead” yet…)

  • Eric and the Legion
  • Radio Free Burrito
  • The Adam Sandcast
  • The 6th Sens Podcast
  • Rathole Radio
  • TV CRIMES
  • Memories of the Futurecast
  • Days of Old

I really want to meet Robert Picardo and Ethan Phillips

This is going to be largely another podcast recommendation, but if I’m ever asked what celebrity I’d most like to meet, it’d be Robert Picardo and Ethan Phillips, together in the same room.  Those two are downright funny, and also (mostly) down to earth.

Apparently they know each other quite well since starring together on Star Trek: Voyager, and have crossed paths several times.  I learned today that both Picardo and Phillips were cast in Cowen Brothers movies – and I specifically want to seek out Inside LLewyn Davis now.

I would definitely want to meet both of them, but if I had to choose, probably Robert Picardo.  Anyway, if you want to hear some proof of their genius together (and apart), have a listen to some episodes from Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast.  I’ve listed them in order of newest to oldest.  Don’t worry, inside jokes are kept to a minimum.

Death Star Trench Run Revelations

I had a post in the works talking about Our Lady Peace, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.  To keep the streak of a post every day though, enjoy this blog post from FXRant.

It’s a fun read!

Podcasts For 2017

I consider podcasts to be one of my areas of expertise.  I’ve been listening to them for over 10 years, and have hosted one for almost as long.  I listen to podcasts almost every day, and subscribe to a lot of them – so I’m always adding or subtracting from my active subscriptions.

Here are three recommendations for 2017 – some of these are older and have been around for a while, and others are a little more recent.  I’m 99% sure that most of these will NOT show up in your typical Buzzfeed list of “most popular podcasts”.

  • The Night Time Podcast – This is a Canadian-produced show based on mysteries and other strange occurrences, mainly in Atlantic Canada, but also stories across the country.  Host Jordan Bonaparte has strong focus on The Curse of Oak Island and Emma Fillipoff and gets some good guests for discussion.  If you were ever a fan of ABC’s Unsolved Mysteries, you’ll like this one.  Can be rough around the edges but Jordan is growing into his hosting duties.
  • Harry Potter & The Sacred Text – OK, this one might show up in one of those “top 10 podcast” lists as it’s been gaining a lot of momentum since it launched sometime in 2016.  The hosts of this show aim to analyze and discuss the Harry Potter book as they would a religious text.  The result is some different view points while reading through the book that I may not have considered before.
  • Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast – This is one that ends up on my lists all the time.  The mission statement is simple: the hosts watch each and every episode of Star Trek (including the animated series – they’re on TNG Season 5 right now), and discuss the morals, meanings, and messages presented.  You don’t need to watch the episodes alongside – they do a great recap – but I highly recommend it, because I know I’ve missed a lot of things I hadn’t noticed before when watching casually.

I subscribe to many more, but a lot of them are even more niche than the ones I recommended above.  If you want some more good ones, ask in the comments!