Speculative Fiction Podcast Master List

While I’m at work I listen to podcasts.  Below are the sites which host the podcasts I listen to.  There’s something there for everyone.  Also, they’re all free, donations accepted.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies (literary adventure fantasy):

http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/audio/2012/

Clarkesworld Magazine (sci-fi/fantasy):

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/category/podcast/

The Drabblecast (bizzaro):

http://www.drabblecast.org/

Escape Pod (sci-fi):

http://escapepod.org/

Lightspeed Magazine (sci-fi & fantasy):

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/

Nightmare Magazine (horror):

http://nightmare-magazine.com/podcasting/

PodCastle (fantasy):

http://podcastle.org/

Pseudopod (horror):

http://pseudopod.org/

StarShipSofa (golden-age-type sci-fi):

http://www.starshipsofa.com/

Transmissions From Beyond (sci-fi, fantasy, crime, horror):

http://transmissionsfrombeyond.com/

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Local Brewery Gives A Model A Shot

Oakshire Brewery,  a local brewer in Eugene, OR, recently revamped their webpage so it could sell Oakshire apparel.  When the word went out to my employer about these plans along with the call for models, I was more than happy to lend my mug.  Oakshire is my favorite local brewery, and their Overcast Espresso Stout is one of my favorite beers.  Really, with Oakshire, it’s hard to go wrong.  I’m what they’d call a brand maven.  So, a couple months back, I did a photo shoot, told everyone I knew I was soon to be the face of Oakshire, and from the photos they selected for their revamped site, it appears I’m more like the back of Oakshire.  Most of the back views for the Men’s apparel are of my back.  Apparently, I have a photogenic back.

Below is a link to a shot in which I look like a superhero, for beer.

http://www.oakbrew.com/gnome-tshirt-mens

Writing Author Bios

I recently wrote and submitted the author bio that’ll be paired with my story “Lost Pine” in Volume 28 of the Writers of the Future anthology.  It was a weird exercise.

First, I was writing about myself and I had to ignore the axiom “never let the facts get in the way of a good story.”  Though from time to time I draw from life experience for characters or setting, I rarely write about myself.  I write fiction.  With fiction, there remains a barrier between me and criticism.  If someone says they don’t like a particular story, well, I can convince myself they just didn’t like the subject matter or the approach I took with that story.  The next story can bowl them over.  It’s not me.  It’s the story.  They aren’t saying they don’t like me.  They aren’t saying I shouldn’t continue writing.  But with an author bio, there is no barrier.  It’s about me.  I’m putting what I want known about myself out there, not what I want known about what I think about things.

I may be blowing the importance of  author bios out of all proportions.  I mean, who reads author bios anyway?  What weight do they really have on readers’ take-away impressions from a particular story, or the take-away impressions about its author?

Author bios are a strange mix of bragging,  journalism, and marketing.  Most just present the facts and evidence of achievement.  So-and-so has published here and there, won such-and-such awards.  Those author bios have their places, with writers who have oeuvres.  For me, I’m just starting out.  My here and there is a short list, my such-and-such awards are few.  In short, my bio isn’t that impressive.  If anything, it communicates potential, what kind of start I got off the blocks.

So with the bio I just wrote, I didn’t want to write a list of facts about my achievements.  Those can reside elsewhere, collected for reference here on this site and scattered across the internet under their respective publication headers.   Any website names or publications I could list carry the potential for fading into obscurity, especially since most are internet sales.   Arguments for the permanency of what appears on the internet aside, I didn’t want my bio, which will appear in paper and hopefully remain in hardcopy format for a long, long time, to date me or my work.  I wanted something a little more timeless than hyperlinks.  I wanted to write a story, a story about why I write, why I write speculative fiction, and why readers should keep an eye on me.

I wrote that.  Then I emailed it to an editor.  Now I wait and see what will make the cut.

Scooter Troubles

I own a scooter, a sweet Adly Jet 50.  It’s been giving me troubles recently by crapping out at the bottom of a big hill I live near and losing power intermittently.  These problems have put me (an my wife) in a few harrowing scenarios involving left turns and oncoming traffic and a puttering scooter.

I thought it had something to do with the clutch.  Too much/too little — who knows?  I adjusted that little knob relentlessly.  Ocassionally, it worked, or gave me the feeling that it worked, since it was really the only thing I knew how to tweak on a scooter to any effect.  But that wasn’t the problem.  It was the spark plug and spark plug cap.

Here’s how I came to figure it out.

Every time I adjusted the clutch, I also noticed that the spark plug cap was a little askew, and thinking nothing of it, I would set it back in place, giving the larger value for the fix to the clutch.  What’s a spark plug cap do anyway, other than just cover the spark plug?  Nothing much, as far as I knew.  But, in the end, though the clutch had little to nothing to do with the problems, it helped solve them.  I got mad while adjusting the clutch to no effect, started the scooter (I thought miraculously), then saw the spark plug cap askew.  I stuck my hand right in there to stuff it back in place, and it sent an electric shock up my arm.  That’s not supposed to happen, I thought.  That’s really not supposed to happen.  And thus my thinking turned from the thing I was fiddling with to the actual problem I wasn’t even thinking about yet had been setting right each time.  Good ol’ frustration saves the day again.

In regards to the Robin dive bombing my windows, I think I figured it out, or, really, my wife did.  She read that robins sometimes attack their reflections in window panes.  The robin wasn’t trying to get in, but trying to fight off the relentless robin inside and prevent it from getting out.  Since my last post about it, it has been back, but not with the ferocity it previously had.  I’ll hear a fluttering pat against a window in another room every once in a while, as if it’s trying to remind me that it’s still there, vigilant as ever.

Robin Still At Window

A pair of robins have been throwing their bodies against various windows of my house, trying to get in.  They’ve been doing this for three days now.  The robins aren’t dive bombing to break their necks, but going in feet and breast first.  They leave dirty little imprints.  How dirty the glass is actually getting is quite disturbing.  Every twenty seconds or so there’s a soft fluttering pat against a window, and when I look, there’s an irritated robin, too. 

Snorelax has been falling down on his duty — the tape affixing him to the window failed and I found my dog happily walking around with him in his mouth this morning.  Plus, Snorelax can’t be everywhere.  The robins are trying more and more windows. 

I’ve started closing the blinds of the windows they’re trying in hopes of dissuading further attacks.  Slowly, the house is getting dimmer.

It feels a little like I’m in a horror movie, and eventually, when I close all the blinds, they’ll be a big crash and a big something will make it in.

Also, why isn’t outside good enough for this pair of robins.  We’re surrounded by trees and have bushes trimming our yard? 

If insanity is defined as trying the same thing again and again and expecting a different result, are these robins to be considered insane or determined?

Robin At Window

Since I woke up, a robin has been throwing its body against the window by our table, trying to get in.  We don’t have a plastic owl or a stuffed bear in the house to scare it away.  So we improvised

 

It worked for maybe half an hour, then the robin rounded the house and decided the front window was better.