When following science fiction writers that you admire, you get pure gems. Today, I will share one of them. It is a link to a list of science fiction podcasts. So, thank you Elisabeth Vonarburg for sharing this link!
To be honest, for a very long time, I was not interested in podcasts. I wanted articles and books, my love of print as kept me reluctant to other – media when dealing with learning. Other forms of media have been mostly for fun, and often brainless – a break from academia. However, after spending many hours in a car with somebody who loves podcasts, I am starting to enjoy them as well, especially as food for thought. It has given us a lot to discuss on topics that wouldn’t have come up otherwise. I am looking forward to giving a try to these science fiction podcasts on our upcoming long drives, as I have now made my first contribution to our playlist!
The sad note: I will have to pick a selection as I cannot follow all of them! This is why I have decided to listen to each 1st episode to help me in my decision. I did not include the ones that were mostly horror narratives as their focus is not science fiction. Here are my impressions:
Synopsis: “Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. American Public Radio reporter Lia Haddock asks the question once more, “What happened to the people of Limetown?””
The first episode introduces the character of Lia Haddock and her motivation for covering the story of the disappearance of the inhabitants of Limetown. Her narration is set up as an investigation/documentary attempting to solving a mystery/ghost story/closed case, including interviews, pieces of evidence, and personal reflections.
I am not a fan of detective style narratives, so it will probably not be on my list. But I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys Serial and others in the genre!
Description of episode 1: “The NSA has tasked the Cypher Group with decoding a verified alien message that has plagued code breakers for decades. In this episode, Nicky introduces the members of the Cypher Group and “The Message” to the world in her podcast Cyphercast. – 8 episodes so far.”
Science fiction and linguistics – what a great combination! The first episode introduces the team that will work on deciphering an alien message. I really like the concept and I will definitely listen to more! It seemed more subtle than Limetown as the narrator seems to be more critical than the Limetown: she can’t believe the origin of the message but her love of deciphering pushes her into the project. I am hoping that her narration will keep its skeptical tone – it makes it more realistic.
Description: “a story about people searching for meaning in a universe that aggressively lacks one, and who occasionally find the next best thing in those around them. It’s also about the way power corrupts. When you’ve got a time machine and the backing of the most powerful nation on Earth, you start to get the idea that you can always tilt the scales in your favor, but there are cost and consequence for every action. Above all, it’s about science, America, and the deeply human desire to fix our mistakes.”
Episode 1: Hypothesis – 1st entry of Dr. Sally Grissom’s journal
Sally time-travels by accident and lands on a US ship during WWII (Octobe 1943). After they establish that she isn’t a German spy, she is sent to a small hidden town in Texas that functions like a think tank hidden from the public. I really liked the format of this one, it feels more like a story than the ones I have already listened to. I also enjoy the fact that she is reacting to a situation she is forced into rather than reporting on something. She struggles with doing what she thinks is the right thing to do (not to interfere in the past) and having a decent life in this new environment.
Description: “The 10 episode series follows Ross, a low-level employee at the FBI, who spends his days conversing online with his wife Charlie – who died eight months ago. But the technology behind this digital resurrection leads Ross down a dangerous path that threatens his job, his own life, and maybe even the world.”
Episode 1 doesn’t start so well… too soppy, too dramatic; and suggests another mad scientist narrative ignited by the death of a loved one. To be honest, I didn’t make it till the end of the episode … A bit unfair for a review, but I couldn’t get into it.
Description: “Flash Forward is a podcast about the future. Each month we take on a possible future scenario — everything from the existence of artificial wombs, to what would happen if space pirates dragged a second moon to Earth.”
Episodes are not linked which makes it very easy to listen, stop, and come back. Great format for busy people. I chose to listen to the episode on Bot teachers as my 1st episode (as a teacher, I was of course especially interested in the topic). Using facts to fuel fiction about the future – a topic in which I am especially invested, the show provides interesting speculative narratives. I like the format as it feels more thought-provoking because it includes facts. I will definitively keep on listening to this one! My favorite so far!
Description: “follows a group of therapy patients with unique supernatural ability. The show documents their struggles and discoveries as well as the motivations of their mysterious therapist, Dr. Bright.” – 17 episodes so far
Episode 1: Not quite sure what to think about this one. The episode is set up as a session between a therapist and a uniquely abled patient. The 1st episode is centered on an anxious time-traveller. It is unclear where the overall narrative arc is going – and if there is any (except the description offered on the website). I will probably listen to a few more before making up my mind about it.
Description: “serialized bi-weekly podcast about something Terry & Nic have been obsessed with for well over a decade, a fascinating and surprising mystery: the myth of Tanis. Tanis is hosted by Nic Silver. Tanis is an exploration of the nature of truth, conspiracy, and information. Tanis is what happens when the lines of science and fiction start to blur…”
Episode 1: “Seeking Tanis. Runner available”
Interesting beginning with its explanation of the podcast’s origins and the short story it is inspired from. The tone is a bit dry and flat, so it gets a bit tedious to listen to and I found myself checking out a various point even though I enjoyed the content.
Description: docudrama – “When Carly Parker’s friend Yumiko goes missing under very mysterious circumstances, Carly’s search for her friend leads her headfirst into an ancient mysterious game known only as Rabbits. Soon Carly begins to suspect that Rabbits is much more than just a game and that the key to understanding Rabbits, might be the key to the survival of our species, and the Universe, as we know it.”
Episode 1: “Game on”
Same producers as TANIS. I am finding the same issues as with Tanis. It is interesting but the tone is not very engaging. It also follows a detective/journalistic type of narrative that I don’t enjoy that much. If you are interested in conspiration theory, this one is for you!
Description: “gripping noir science fiction thriller in 14 episodes: Forbidden love, a crashed UFO, an alien body, and an impossible heist unlike any ever attempted”
The first episode will be released on August 2nd. The description is intriguing and I am hoping the podcast lives up to it.
Here is my top 3 and I will be following them regularly:
- Flash Forward
- The Message
- ars PARADOXICA
If time permits, I will keep track (every now and then) of: The Bright Sessions and Tanis.