I’m doing a roundup of podcasts I’ve been enjoying lately. Just by writing that sentence, I have a hard time picking the right adjective for podcasts: they can be technical, they can be geeky, they can include computers. Maybe what these include more of is topics on science, society and craft, rather than system administration. Lassoing away:
Escape Artists produces the widest variety of narrated sci-fi, and after listening to a few hundred episodes of this, you’ll feel like you know the narrators on all other fiction podcasts. Delightfully, the podcast includes trope and formula challenging stories and themes: Women Destroy Science Fiction, Queers Destroy Science Fiction, etc. Adult level themes ranging from disability, end of times, racism/sexism/…isms/rape/abuse, and being adrift in dystopic society have and will appear here, so I wouldn’t hand it over to your elementary school children without listening to the intro first.
Also by Escape Artists, here is a fantasy oriented genre podcast. Generally more fun kinds of stories than EscapePod, but also frequently serious.
Different editors, often more adventure themed, also pretty serious sci-fi.
Different editors, often more introspective, serious sci-fi. Many stories published here will raise tears.
Cast of Wonders
In contrast to PodCastle, this is short form fantasy, often liberal themed, mostly aimed at middle-school aged listeners.
Norm Sherman is a remarkable voice actor and very capable editor. If you enjoy oddball humor, know Lovecraftian references, and non-sequitur jokes are how you greet you boss…yeah, oddball, this is for us. Includes picks of fan writing.
Fan-produced channel in the themes of Drabblecast.
Podcast For Makers
Here we have an interview podcast with craftspeople in a format surprisingly similar to Dave Rael’s “Developer on Fire” podcast. We listen to stories of makers when they were growing up and learning how they discovered their calling to their craft. Awesome, authentic story/sharing time.
Star Talk Radio
Niel DeGasse Tyson’s astronomy humor show with guest host comedians and guest astronomers. Bill Nye frequently appears. Kid friendly, if not always entirely clean language.
Updates on NASA missions in a friendly radio format. On-site interviews and updates from lead investigators themselves. Bill Nye shows up occasionally, too. I love hearing about planetary imaging from Emily Lakdawalla, she covers neat topics about how we observe our solar system.
On Taking Pictures
Here’s a loosely directed discussion on art in the modern world, often relating to camera work and producing commercial imagery. Very friendly voices, these guys, they know about art.
Spark from CBC Radio
Nora Young collects astute interviews with people researching how our modern society is so dependent on technology, and how society is changing. Vast variety of topics have been covered.
Adam Savage’s Tested
Tested podcast is a variety of topics that ranges from gaming, movie magic/sfx/production, costuming and crafting. The Tested crew is turning into a Wired style collection of geek editors, and often what comes out is quite enjoyable. The Creature Geek episodes are interviews with sfx craftspeople who tell great stories about how movies are made: miniatures, practicals, prosthetics, and on-set politics. Norm and Adam know a lot of these people, and the stories they bust out are like living on set as a janitor…watching it all unfold.