My commute to work is easily an hour each way. That equals 10–12 hours a week on the road. I often wish that I car-pooled so that I could use that very valuable time to read. Thanks to modern technology, I do the next best thing. Ear buds in ears, I read by listening. The iTunes library and Podiobooks is full of free content, some of which is honestly quite awful and not worth the time it takes to download. On the other hand, a lot of it is totally professional and smart.
Since Starla Huchton was good enough to write a guest post discussing the benefits of podcasting, I thought that I would share five of my favorites. Be forewarned that the short list below is a pretty mixed bag, but that also describes me to a tee.
There are four parts to this fantastic science fiction series, three of which are already podcast. The fourth will be available in early April. Heavenfield won the Podiobook 2009 Founder’s Choice Award, which is impressive. If you listen to podcast novels as much I do, then you know that some people shouldn’t even voice act their own stories, but I.G. Hulme , the author of Heavenfield, does an awesome job of it. The writing is smart and solid enough to make you willing to suspend disbelief for the duration of the tale. I just found out that all four parts are available for download onto Kindle at a steal of a deal.
When I first started listening to this fantasy tale, I honestly thought it was over the edge with goofiness. We start with a teenager who is transported to another place and time and to say he doesn’t quite fit in, is an understatement. Soon the goofiness was just plain charming. I like this action packed fantasy adventure, and I love the way each scene ends with a mini cliffhanger. There are two books in this series and I believe Mr. Lenahan has plans for a third. You can find both books at Podiobooks and in iTunes. They’re also available in paperback and Kindle formats.
I’m pretty new to steampunk but I think I’m in for the long haul. I love the genre. My first taste of steampunk was with Emperor’s Edge. Admittedly, this series is light on steam but that takes nothing away from the motley cast of characters who keep getting caught up in one dangerous scheme after another. Lindsay Buroker has already completed three of the six books she has planned for this series. Currently, Emperor’s Edge is available through Podiobooks and iTunes and it’s read by Starla Huchton who does a smashing job of it. Dark Currents, the second book in the series will soon be available through Podiobooks as well. I’m excited. You can also download Ms. Buroker’s books to Kindle.
I’m a Muslim woman who is American. I work in an industry that brings me into contact with people of every possible affiliation. I often find myself in the position of spokesperson, whether I want to be or not, for an entire group of people that other than faith, are as diverse from one another as snowflakes. The following, quoted from the Inside Islam description is exactly why I love this podcast so much: “Inside Islam is designed to spark conversation and interaction about Islam, and to spotlight the diversity of dialogues and debates within Islam as well as with other religions and communities.” I believe in tolerance and coexistence. I totally love this podcast series.
One word: PHENOMENAL. Clarkesworld is a speculative fiction magazine that offers three podcast stories per month, a digital magazine available on Kindle, and a website with tons of free content. The hostess/voice talent is Kate Baker and she is a gem. I can’t say that I like each and every story, but this is merely a matter of personal taste. Each tale is without a doubt expertly written and read. Some of my favorites are A Jar of Goodwill by Tobias Buckell, The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor, Laying the Ghost by Eric Brown, and Frozen Voice by An Owomoyela just to name a few. Many podcasts come and go on my iPod, but Clarkesworld is permanent.
If you haven’t listened to any of these, I hope you’ll give them a try and let me know what you think. If you have listened to any of these, leave a comment below.
Don’t be shy. Tell me. What are your favorite podcasts?