Jan 06

Synthetic Voices’ Top Podcasted Stories of 2012

Here on the Synthetic Voices podcast, I see a LOT of fiction over the course of a calendar year.  Now, the 2012th year of the Common Era is coming to a close, so I thought I’d look back over my selections and pick out the cream of the crop.  The podcast has only been running since March, but I have been writing a “Top Picks” list since at least January of 2012, so all of those stories were eligible in addition to those featured on the podcast.

The winners below were painstakingly plucked from over 30 initial candidate stories, so congrats to all the authors, narrators, producers, and editors involved!

Continue reading

Dec 04

My Top 5 Podcasted Science Fiction Picks of 2011

Some people in the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) asked me to select some of the best podcasted fiction episodes of the year, so I have done so in this post.  Keep in mind, these are the result of MY opinions, not the club’s, but I think you’ll agree that they are pretty darn good.  FYI, I tried to avoid major fiction nominees and winners (Nebulas, Hugos, etc.).

In no particular order, The Top 5:

Clockwork Fagin – Cory Doctorow
Escape Pod Episode 315
*This story is definitely one of my favorites of the year, even though it is only from last month.  None of our participants had listened to it yet, so I figured I’d give it another chance to warm your heart!

Tying Knots – Ken Liu
Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 52
*Ken Liu is one of my favorite rising stars in SF short fiction.  This a a really interesting story that blends cutting-edge science problems with intercultural conflicts.  I was also privileged to help critique this story when Ken shared it with the Critters online workshop.

Breakaway, Backdown – James Patrick Kelly
Lightspeed Magazine February Issue
*Make sure you listen to this one with your ears.  The narrator does a fantastic job and the “one-sided conversation” format took me to new and exciting places (especially as a hobbyist writer).

Raft of the Titanic – James Morrow
StarShipSofa Episode 214
*Be aware this is a long one and to get to it, you’ll need to skip to timecode 31:55 (though I thought the previous segment was interesting too).  That said, if you listen to this whimsical story (reminded me of Gulliver’s Travels to some degree) in a few smaller chunks, I think you’ll enjoy it.  It’s another recent entry, but I think it deserves a spot in the year’s best for its micro world-building.

Epoch – Cory Doctorow
Cory Doctorow Podcast (Excerpt from With A Little Help)
*Yep, that’s two Doctorow stories out of 5.  Don’t be upset – I could have made it 5 without breaking  a sweat (he’s had a good year)!  This story stuck with me all throughout the year, and I think it contrasts fairly well with the other chosen story.

That’s the list, BUT I am weak and will include below all the runners-up that I just couldn’t leave you without mentioning: Continue reading