Podcast Reviews #16: A Book In Any Other Form…

8 Thoughts

It’s been a busy week for me this week. Especially since we have a new General Manager, who officially joined us on the the first day of the month. The first thing our new GM did was to have a 1-to-1 meeting with each and EVERY one of us. He even prepared a set of questions which he expected us to answer during our individual sessions. It feel horribly like a job interview. Yuck!

From another perspective, this was also a good chance for us to feedback what we felt need to be improved. After the merger last year, things have gone pretty much topsy-turvy in the company. Most of the sales/pre-sales/customer service staff have left. It is rather depressing to see co-workers leave the company one by one. Especially those of who I’ve been working with closely since joining the company more than 4 years ago. Some of our most senior staff (in terms of service years) have resigned. Hopefully, the new GM will improve the state of things around here.

I mentioned last week that I’ll be reviewing some podcast novels that I’m currently subscribed to. If you’re new to the concept of novels in podcast format, please read my previous post regarding podcast novels.

Before we begin, here’s a disclaimer:Some of the novels featured here contain mature situations, language and violence.

If you enjoyed playing Cluedo, you’ll probably enjoy Murder at Avedon Hill (rss) by P.G. Holyfield. As the title suggests, the story revolves around a murder mystery which took place on Avedon Hill. Gretta Platt, the housekeeper of the Avedon Manor, has been murdered. Arames Kragen, retired Aarronic Advisor and scholar of prophecy, offers to help find the murderer, in exchange for access to the mountain pass. In the process, he also uncovers the truth about a town that apparently has more secrets than inhabitants. Unlike the podcast novels that I’ve previously reviewed, this novel is presented much like an audio drama, where many fellow podcasters/authors lend their voices and dramatic talent. The plot gets thicker as the story unfolds. I’m often kept at the edge of my seat guessing who the real murderer is.

Another podcast novel involving multiple voice talents is The Metamor City Podcast (rss) by Chris Lester. The podcast consists of short stories as well as full-length novels. The stories occur within Metamor City, a high-magic, high-technology setting, an epic fantasy world projected into the near future. Metamor City reminds me of X-Men, but it really is much more than that. It’s almost like a big reunion of sci-fi characters. Habitants of this magical futeristic world include vampires, telepaths, werewolves, androgynes, magicians, and of course normal, non-magical humans (a.k.a “mundies”)

If you prefer a story that’s slightly “closer to reality”, you might like to try The Takeover (rss) by Mur Lafferty. The story revolves a takeover/merger of 2 companies, and how it’s affected the employees of both sides. The catch is, one of the companies involved are a bunch of zombies! At the same time, the human employees realize that to climb up the corporate ladder, you’ll have to be willing to turn into a zombie. Oh my! Talk about working yourself to death! If you enjoy The Takeover, you might also want to check out Mur’s many other podcasts at Murverse.com, or simply subscribe to her catch-all feed here to enjoy all the Mur goodness.

Meanwhile, fans of J.C. Hutchins7th Son Trilogy will be glad to know that J.C. is back with 7th Son: Obsidian, an short-story anthology series based on the fictional universe of the 7th Son Trilogy. Contributors to this world’s first-ever anthology podcast includes A-List podcasters as well as fans from around the world. Definitely worth checking out!

If you enjoy having famous voices read stories to you, I’m sure you’ll also love SteamPod (rss) by Chris Moody. SteamPod is a podcast about what is going on in the world of SteamPunk, a publication that is dedicated to promoting steampunk as a culture, as more than a sub-category of fiction. It is a journal of fashion, music, misapplied technology and chaos, and fiction.

That’s all for now. I hope you’ll enjoy the selection of podcast novels I’ve reviewed for you. Meanwhile, God bless!

Podcast Reviews #11: Podiobooks Galore!

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I’m back! With more podcast recommendations! As the title of this entry suggests, I’ll be introducing a couple of podcast novels, otherwise known as podiobooks, that I’ve picked up these couple of months.

Since I don’t have any classes for the current summer semester (I’m taking a BSc in Computing at an Australian university via distance learning), I’ve got more time on my hands, which I decided to devote to catching up on my long long list of podcasts. Recently, several of “big shots” in the world of podiobooks have released new productions. Being the junky that I am, I just HAD to subscribe to as many of them as my puny little MP3 player could fit.

Disclaimer: The novels featured below may contain mature situations, language and violence.

At the final hours of Halloweens, Scott Sigler uploaded the first episode of his latest sci-fi horror podcast novel Nocturnal. The novel is revolves around Bryan, a detective in San Francisco, who’s plagued by wierd, murderous dreams. He and his partner, Pookie try to uncover the deadly secrets behind Bryan’s dreams, which are apparently related to a series of recent vicious murders. Well, this is all I can reveal for now, before Scott has me silenced. Subscribe to learn more!

Within minutes of Nocturnal’s launch, Mur Lafferty released her latest piece of work Playing For Keeps. This is the story of Keepsie Branson, a bar owner in the shining metropolis of Seventh City: birthplace of super powers. Keepsie and her friends live among egotistical heroes and manipulative villains, and manage to fall directly in the middle as people with powers, but who just aren’t strong enough to make a difference. Or that’s what they’ve been told. As the city begins to melt down, it’s hard to tell who are the good guys and who are the bad. Other than your normal audio-only feed, there is also a special Playing For Keeps experience feed, where in addition to the audio files of the individual episodes, you will ALSO get a PDF of the episode AND a short supplemental podcast called Stories of the Third Wave. Highly recommended! Do check out these other novels/podcasts by Mur:

On December 1st, Steve Saylor launched his very own podcast novel Black Shadow, which is about a faceless super-hero, Black Shadow, who possesses supernatural powers to stop the demonic evil trying to take over the world. Steve also produces the This Week in Geek podcast.

Fans of Tee Morris‘s popular MOREVI series will be pleased to know that MOREVI: Remastered is now available. MOREVI: Remastered is a “Director’s Cut” of the original MOREVI podcast. MOREVI is Tee’s first novel, co-written with Lisa Lee and released in print in 2002. Other novels/podcast produced by Tee are:

Another podcast novel worth checking out is the recently ended Cresent, by Phil Rossi. Crescent is dark science fiction at it’s most visceral. Phil Rossi weaves a tale that is reminiscent of old school Stephen King but with a shiny, new set of tricks and an appetite to terrify. After you sweat your way through the first chapter, there’s plenty more to keep you awake at night.

Well folks, that’s all for now. Hope you enjoy the podcasts I’ve recommended so far!

Podcast Reviews #6: Podcast Novels

2 Thoughts

Podcasts are great! Not only can I keep up with my faith any time, any place, I can also keep up with my “reading” by listening to podcast novels. The brains behind podcasting belong to a genius, that’s for sure!

Podcast novels are variants of the traditional audiobooks, which used to be available on tape/CD. Now, many audiobooks are available in podcast format, and can be easily downloaded through an aggregator. Some podcast novels are available via podcast only. Such podcast novels are typically read and “performed” by the author themselves, and are released on a weekly basis. Podcast novels are a good way of “testing the waters” for new authors, and as there are lots of author-listener interaction. They’re a good (and economical) way of promoting one’s works too. If you like reading, but simply don’t have the time to keep up with your reading list, podcast novels are a way to bring your favorite books to your MP3 player. For a good selection of available podcast novels check out:

Today I’ll like to share with you some of the podcast novels which I’ve listened to or am currently subscribed to. Disclaimer: Some of the novels featured here contain mature situations, language and violence.

I’m recently hooked on the 7th Son written by J.C. Hutchins. It is a trilogy of sci-fi podcast novels exploring the adventures of 7 clones trying to solve the mystery of the assassination of the President of the United States, while desperately trying to stay alive and sane. 7th Son is made up of:

You can choose to subscribe to individual books of the novel, or better yet, you can subscribe to the “catch-all” feed here, where you will also receive bonus episodes, listener feedback, etc.

One of the most prominent podcast novelists out there has got to be Scott Sigler. Apparently, Scott has a penchant for writing sci-fi/horror stuff, peppered with lots and LOTS of violence. I must say he does have talent for it, though sometimes I feel his stuff tend to get TOO gory for my liking. Among his many works, I’ve listened to and enjoyed the following:

Scott has his own channel at PodShow.com, which features all the above podcast novels as well his latest work The Rookie and BloodCast, a podcast where Scott discusses latest news on his upcoming works.

Another podcast novel I listened to was Shadowmagic by John Lenahan, a fun fantasy adventure loosely based on a Irish mythological folklore. Quite humorous and the background music is nice, though the cliffhangers can turn out to be quite anti-climax sometimes. Or maybe I’m just picky.

Ok, enough of science-fiction and back to some family-friendly reading. One of my favorite novels from my high-school days is now available as podcast novels. Anne of Green Gables by Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, tells the adventures of a red-haired orphan girl, Anne Shirley, when she is accidentally adopted by the Cuthberts, a pair of middle-aged siblings who were expecting to adopt a boy to help with chores. Anne’s dreamy and, most times, dramatic personality gets her into lots of trouble throughout the book, but also helps gains the hearts of all around her.

That’s all for now. More podcast adventures next time!