Science fiction podcasts are some of the most omnipresent podcasts. Most of the popular podcasts started early in the lifespan of podcasting and have a loyal following. The reasoning seems obvious: Early adopters of most technologies are the kinds of geeks who enjoy sci-fi in the first place. Thus, they flock to the discussions of their genre.
Science fiction is one of the most varied genres of podcasting. From discussions on movies and comic books to dramatic presentations of fiction to advice for hopeful movie producers and writers, those who are passionate about speculative fiction have a lot to say, with a lot of people listening.
The popular Escape Pod podcast is covered in the "The Written Word" section, later in this chapter, but could have just as easily been included here instead.
You only have to attend a sci-fi convention to realize that there are countless podcasting opportunities for sci-fi podcasts. With all the movies, TV shows, books, games, and comics that exist, there is something for everyone. And, like all the topics covered in this book, if you find something missing, then perhaps that shows you what your podcast topic should be. Table 3.13 includes a small but diverse list of podcasts that are available, along with information on The Sci-Fi Podcast Network (see Figure 3.7).
Figure 3.7. A listing of shows on The Sci-Fi Podcast Network.
Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana
Tee Morris hosts and narrates one of the first sci-fi novels to be offered as a podcast, the abridged version of the book he co-authored, Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana. This podcast is PG-rated.
This show is hosted by Les and Kari, with major help from a large team of guest contributors. The show's peak was just prior to and during the launch of the movie Serenity. They were able to show the power of a grassroots movement through podcasting. The show is released about once every 2 weeks and has an average length of about 1 hour per episode. The show is PG-rated.
The Dragon Page
Michael R. Mennenga and Evo Terra, hosts of The Dragon Page, had two radio shows from their Arizona studios: one local call-in show and one nationally syndicated show that covers interviews with sci-fi authors. They began podcasting both shows in early October of 2004, which were early hits. After their live show was cancelled by the local radio station, they launched two more podcasts: Dragon Page Wingin' It, a variety show where they drink beer and introduce essays, stories, drama, poetry, and so on, that their listeners submit, and Slice of Sci-Fi, which had the audience backing of the Star Trek fandom. Although Slice of Sci-Fi (covered in depth in Chapter 1, "A Brief History of Podcasting") has by far the largest audience, a good many of their listeners are subscribed to all three shows through one feed. They've done much for the community, bringing in other genre podcasters and helping to promote several more.
The Sci-Fi Podcast Network
The Sci-Fi Podcast Network (TSFPN) launched in June 2005 in an attempt to bring all the best sci-fi programming together. Michael A. Stackpole, popular sci-fi/fantasy author and host of the instructional writing podcast, The Secrets (www.stormwolf.com/thesecrets/podcasts/), and writer Kat Klayborne put the network together. They welcome movie discussion, fiction presentation, dramatic presentation, and anything that touches on the spirit of the network. If you create a sci-fi podcast, this network is an excellent place to affiliate yourself with.
Making of a Sci-Fi Podcast
Sci-fi podcasts are usually longer in nature, spanning around 1 hour. Like sci-fi fans, they reflect strong opinions and encourage community building. Most sci-fi podcasts have forums associated with them, encouraging their listeners to continue the discussion online.
Sci-fi podcasts have been innovative in that they were the first type of podcast to present the reading of original fiction material. The first three books serialized through podcast were all sci-fi in nature.