Top 5 6 New Podcasts of 2008

Why 6? Because it's one more than 5. (In no particular order.)
  1. CogKNITive - Dr. Gemma, the prison psychologist who tells us what she is knitting, a fun thing she likes, a real-life strategy to make life better, and blathers about her job.

  2. Dinner Party Download -"a fast and funny 'booster shot' of news and culture designed to help you dazzle friends and family at this weekend's dinner party."

  3. Nutrition Diva's Quick and Dirty Tips - "tips for eating well and feeling fabulous." She also displays eminent common sense in cutting through the fads to the facts.

  4. StarShipSofa ... ok, this is not technically new this year but Tony has reimagined SSS so thoroughly that it might as well be new. A complete sci-fi audio magazine every week with fiction, poetry, movie and book reviews, science articles, genre articles. Fantastic!

  5. #11 Central Ave. - "Chicago Public Radio’s new comic strip. This radiostrip plays out in the kitchen of 11 Central Ave, the home of an extended family. As they rush around in the morning drinking coffee, looking for their shoes, they're talking about everything from the most compelling topics of our time (immigration, the war, racism, suicide) to the most ridiculous (mommy blogging, help desks in India, pocket dialing, donor eggs, the fog of internet dating.) It's a wry look at America's zeitgeist in four minutes." It also is eminently even-handed. Whether you lean to the right or left, you're going to see yourself here and the other side as well.

  6. SFFaudio - "News, reviews, and commentary on all forms of science fiction, fantasy, and horror audio. Audiobooks, audio drama, podcasts. Mystery, crime, and noir audio are also fair game." Along the way Scott and Jesse also detour for discussions of many other interesting topics such as authors, DRM music, the library system, pirates, Vikings, rappers, and more. It is for sci-fi uber-geeks ... and if y'all didn't know, yes, that includes me (despite my general disinterest in the writing of Philip K. Dick and Orson Scott Card).


2008 Top 5 6: Audiobooks

Why 6? Because it's one more than 5. (In no particular order and including only books I have finished.)
  1. Already Dead by Charlie Huston: I reviewed this masterful combination of noir with vampirism at SFFaudio, without which blog I'd never have heard it in the first place.

  2. Assam and Darjeeling by T.M. Camp: again reviewed for SFFaudio, this was my find for them and also was named a SFF Audio essential recording. Free!

  3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: This book will be found in the YA sections I think but is actually great for any age, especially when listening to the Audible recording which is by the author. An assassin murders all of a sleeping family except the toddler who habitually slips out of his crib and wanders whenever possible. He wanders to the graveyard before the assassin locates him. In the meantime, the ghost of his mother has appealed to the graveyard ghosts to save her baby. They band together and the little boy is raised by them. As well, the mysterious assassin does not give up so there is a mystery in addition to the fun Neil Gaiman has playing with our graveyard concepts.

  4. Jeeves in the Morning by P.G. Wodehouse: Read at Uvula Audio. The perfect amount of dottiness is achieved in the voicing of Bertie Wooster as we are taken on a hilarious comedy in Wodehouse's classic style. If you've never tried a P.G. Wodehouse book, this would be a perfect first step. Free!

  5. The Risk Profession by Donald Westlake read on Maria Lectrix but archived handily at the title link by SFFaudio. This is more properly a novella but it is a gem that has you trying to solve the mystery of insurance fraud in space before the hard-boiled investigator narrating the tale. (Um, which I completely did, by the way.) If you've never listened to Maureen O'Brien's reading it is a nice intro to that as well. Free!

  6. The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer: Read by Mark Douglas Nelson at SciPodCast. The link is to the concluding episode where Nelson always includes a zip file of the entire book (so thoughtful!). This is a classic space opera/adventure tale of astronaut Alan Green who has been stranded on a primitive planet that would seem at home to those who enjoy reading Edgar Rice Burroughs novels (guilty as charged). As he struggles to escape his slavery and find his way to the two spacemen he has learned are stranded on the other side of the planet, his entanglements provide both humor and adventure. Nelson is narrator you want to investigate if you like classic sci-fi. Free!



Episode 65: The Secret Adversary, chapters 24-25

In which Julius takes action and Jane Finn is found.

EP 65: The Secret Adversary, chapters 24-25
Rating: G
This book is out of copyright in the United States and is in the public domain.

Podcast Highlight

More or Less: Behind the Stats
More or Less makes sense of the numbers that surround us and that rule our world. With wit, freshness and simplicity Tim Harford shows the genuine significance of statistics, productivity, performance indicators, measurements and quantification of every kind. We all use numbers in so many ways to argue about, understand, help make sense of the world around us. More or Less hopes to make that task easier, more entertaining, more surprising.

Episode 64: The Secret Adversary, chapters 21-23

In which Tommy and Julius part ways.

EP 64: The Secret Adversary, chapters 21-23
Rating: G
This book is out of copyright in the United States and is in the public domain.

Podcast Highlight
CBC Radio: Vinyl Cafe Stories
The stories and misadventures of Dave, the owner of the "Vinyl Cafe", the world's smallest record store, where the motto is "We may not be big, but we're small." The show also features Dave's wife, Morley, their two children, Sam and Stephanie and assorted friends and neighbours.


Lagniappe 20: Serve the People

A little something extra from Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China.

According to Webster
la·gniappe \ˈlan-ˌyap, lan-ˈ\
Etymology: American French, from American Spanish la ñapa the lagniappe, from la + ñapa, yapa, from Quechua yapa something added
Date: 1844
: a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase;
broadly : something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure


Episode 63: The Secret Adversary, chapters 18-20

In which Tommy and Julius meet up and the plot thickens!

EP 63: The Secret Adversary, chapters 18-20
Rating: G
This book is out of copyright in the United States and is in the public domain.

Podcast Highlight
CogKNITive with Dr. Gemma: a little knitting, a life strategy, something she likes, and blather about being a prison psychologist. Find her here: