Sunday, March 25, 2012


This is the first of what I hope will be many more features on my favorite podcasts!
Wikipedia defines podcast as: A type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of files (either audio or video) subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication. The word is a neologism [a newly coined term, word, or phrase, that may be in the process of entering common use] derived from "broadcast" and "pod" from the success of the iPod, as podcasts are often listened to on portable media players.
I have been listening to podcasts for many years now. I first began listening to podcasts on my computer on their websites’ MP3 players. The first such podcast I remember listening to this way was Slice of SciFi back in March of 2007, when they interviewed Amanda Tapping and Damian Kindler on the then Web series Sanctuary.
It wasn’t until I was given a “hand-me-down” iPhone 3GS that I became fully immersed in the world of podcasting. Thanks to the ease of the iTunes interface and being able to subscribe to podcasts, I now listen to about twenty different podcasts a week; with subjects ranging from Sci-Fi Television to Comic Books. If you have a favorite genre interest – be it a particular TV show or type of film or comic books or just fannish stuff in general – there is a podcast on that subject!
Podcast of the Month for March 2012 is:
Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy!
The following is from their "about the show" page on their web site:

Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy is an interview/talk show hosted by editor John Joseph Adams (Wastelands, The Living Dead) and author David Barr Kirtley (New Voices in Science Fiction, Fantasy: The Best of the Year). Each episode features an interview with a leading figure in the world of science and science fiction, followed by a discussion of science fiction books, movies, video games, and more.
Guests include novelists such as George R. R. Martin (A Game of Thrones), Charlaine Harris (the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series), Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), William Gibson (Neuromancer), Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay), Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game), China Miéville (Perdido Street Station), and R. A. Salvatore (The Dark Elf Trilogy), as well as filmmakers such as Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), comic book writers such as Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) and Chris Roberson (Superman), video game designers such as Ron Gilbert (The Secret of Monkey Island) and Chet Faliszek (Left 4 Dead), science writers such as P. W. Singer (Wired for War) and Mary Roach (Stiff), and scientists such as Neil deGrasse Tyson (Nova scienceNOW) and Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion).
Season One (2010) was produced for, the website of a major science fiction book publisher. Season Two (2011) was produced for, a science fiction and futurism website owned by Gawker Media. Season Three (2012) is currently being produced for, the website of the popular tech magazine Wired.
If you are looking for professionally and impartially executed interviews of writers of books, television and film, then Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy is an exceptional podcast to start with. Most podcasts run at about one hour, with the first half-hour being dedicated to the featured writer for that episode and then the second half-hour usually features hosts John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley talking about other media events related to the author or subject featured in the first half of the program.
An excellent example of this is episode #55 [posted February 29, 2012] that featured an interview with Michael Chabon, the author of Wonder Boys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, who discussed working for Disney and writing the screenplay [with director/co-writer Andrew Stanton and co-writer Mark Andrews] for the 2012 movie John Carter. In the second half-hour John and David, who are knowledgeable authors/editors and Burroughs-philes in their own rite, give a detailed and very opinionated review of the John Carter film, from the perspective of two men who have read the entire series of books about John Carter. One fascinating thing I found out about their review is that the many inconstancies between the books and the movie were received both positively and negatively by the podcasting duo.
If you want to listen to their podcast review of John Carter yourself, go to this link: If you want to go to their web site and check out some of their other podcasts, go to this link:


  1. I only listen to approximately 6 blogs on a regular basis. I download them to a memory stick and listen to them in my car. Geeks Guide to the Galaxy is one of them. I may not listen to every episode but I will check them out. I particularly enjoyed Episode #56 with Vernor Vinge, #45 with Jim Butcher, and #41 with Daniel H. Wilson. The host seem to do a good job at asking pertinent question that keep the reader interested and informed.

  2. You have all of space and time to listen to podcasts and you only listen to six on a regular basis? What a slacker you are, Phileas! Just joking! Don’t go back in time and do something I won’t live to regret!

    So you listen to podcasts in your car? That wouldn’t be a modified DeLorean DMC-12, would it?

    I knew you liked Geeks Guide to the Galaxy and I’m not surprised you enjoyed Episode #56 with Vernor Vinge, as I know you’ve read most of his long fiction. I too listened to the Jim Butcher interview last year.

    I agree with you that both John and David do ask very good questions and seem to be able to encourage their guests to speak freely and easily on their various works and related issues. If I have any complaint with Geeks Guide to the Galaxy’s hosts is that they are a tad “dry”. Not that they’re humorless, but I do think because they are going for a more academic approach to their subject they do sometimes come off a little monotonous. Still, it is a very interesting and enlightening podcast!