Writing Podcasts

I picked up a serious podcast habit while I was a traveling book rep, and have kept up with most of them even in my more localized gig at Angry Robot. These days, I do most of my listening while at the gym and during my commute.

People sometimes ask me about podcasts, and I thought it’d be cool to list my regular listens and talk a bit about each.

Most of this list is SF/F writing oriented, since that the world I live, eat, breathe, and work in for both my day and whenever-I-can jobs.

Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing – Hosted by Shaun Farrell, Moses Siregar III, and Brent Bowen, Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing takes the temperature of the SF Publishing world on a regular basis with news and topical discussion, as well as frequent interview segments with SF/F writers/editors, and professionals.

Functional Nerds — Hosted by John Anealio and Patrick Hester, this is the sister show to the SF Signal Podcast. The Functional Nerds podcast is balanced between the hosts discussing recent events in SF/F, Music, and Cool Stuff, as well as interviews, all from a perspective informed by the title — being geeky without being disconnected with or nonfunctional in the real world. Functional Nerds is going through a format change soon, so I’m interested to see what they’ll do next.

Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy – Hosted by acclaimed editor J.J. Adams and noted writer David Barr Kirtley, The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy gets some incredibly prominent authors and creatives on the show. I’m also a fan of their guest geek segments, where they have discussions after the interview with the assistance of guest geeks, talking about a subject (usually) related to the work of the main guest.

Once and Future Podcast – Hosted by Urban Fantasy author Anton Strout, The Once and Future Podcast was launched by Strout to give him a chance to share the awesome kinds of conversations from conventions, where writers would talk about their paths to publication, trade tricks, and wander off into awesome digressions about various bits of geekdom. Strout is a fun and probing interviewer, and I was honored to be a guest on the show last summer.

Roundtable Podcast — This show is one of my favorites for listening during workouts, as it helps really get my brain going in the morning. Hosted by Dave Robison and David Humphrey, each week delivers two episodes: an author interview and then a workshop episode, where the hosts and guest host help a courageous author to workshop their story idea into something truly awesome, in their eternal search for what they call…literary gold. I’m slotted to be a guest host in the new year, and I’m really excited for it.

SF Signal Podcast – Hosted by Patrick Hester, this is the Podcast for the Hugo-winning fanzine SF Signal, which features both individual interviews and panel-style discussions on a variety of topics. I find the panel discussions particularly awesome, but like all things, it depends on the mix of panelists and how well they mingle.

SF Squeecast – The Hugo-Award-Winning Podcast (!) comprised of a selection of participants including Paul Cornell, Lynne M. Thomas (moderator), Elizabeth Bear, Seanan McGuire and Catherynne M. Valente, as well as occasional guest stars. This show is imagined as a “never-ending panel discussion of vague positivity.” Participants bring shows, books, etc. to Squee about, giving vaguely-positive-to-total-squee level reviews and commentary. It’s also worth noting that this podcast is a Hugo Award Winner for Best Fancast.

Speculate! The Speculative Fiction Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans — Hosted by Brad Beaulieu and Gregory A. Wilson (both of whom I’ve had the fortune to meet in person outside of the podcast work). Speculate’s normal format is a bit different than most of the other podcasts I follow, in that they (mostly) use a triptych model. They do three episodes on one text, collection, or issue of a SF/F magazine. The first episode is Greg and Brad’s review of the text, where they’ll give a usually-low-spoiler evaluation, and raise thoughts and questions that they’ll bring up in the second and third episodes of the triptych. The second episode is an interview with a professional directly involved with the text, usually the author but sometimes the editor or the artist. The third episode is more free-form, with discussion of the text, the interview, and re-visitation of ideas raised earlier in the triptych  They also have occasional State of the Field podcasts taking a broader look at SF/F publishing. I had a great time as a guest on their second State of the Field podcast, along with the fabulous Mary Robinette Kowal.

Sword & Laser – Hosted by Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont, this is the long-running podcast connected to the Goodreads group and Geek & Sundry YouTube show. The podcast is the backbone of the Sword & Laser world, with news, interviews, and book group discussion.

Writing Excuses – Hosted by Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells, Writing Excuses is a short-format show where the hosts discuss aspects of writing, panel-style, including features of audiobooks and writing prompts.

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