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