The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies Podcast

If you’re looking for a new magazine to read, and you’re a fan of some quality worldbuilding, you’ve got to check out Beneath Ceaseless Skies. They have a neat little niche market, focusing on worlds that are “other” in some way, either a past time period (with speculative elements added in) or an alternate world; no contemporary, no futuristic.

Title Crafting

One of the aspects of the craft writing that never seems to get much discussion is the choice of title. Now, certainly there are lots of other things you need to work on, endings, the beginning hook, characterization, so on. And those other things are more likely to affect your chances at making a sale. But titles do matter. At the very least they can be the icing on the cake. At the most they can make the story itself more memorable and thus easier to recommend and discuss (always an important thing). Their value is less obvious and harder to measure.

The Best of Pseudopod 2010+

On November 9, 2009 I posted my very first “Best Of” podcast list, the Best of Pseudopod, which was based on Pseudopod episodes 1-167 and flash episodes 1-22. Well, I’m still listening and still enjoying myself, so I figured there’s no reason I can’t make another list. I expect this will become a yearly thing, and will usually cover everything within 1 calendar year. This one will be a tiny bit different because a bit more than a year has passed since my last, which is why this is 2010+. It will cover episodes 168-219, 60 stories total (because there are a few episodes with more than one story).

Noms: John W. Campbell (and Hugo)

Hello, everyone! I wanted to bring to your attention that this is the first year that I am eligible for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. My eligibility opened up because of publication of my story “Turning Back the Clock” in Bull Spec #3, so I figured I’d pander a bit for nominations, and while I’m at it, Hugo noms.

Website Spotlight: Kongregate

I came across a very fun website recently, on the recommendation of Nathaniel Lee (of Mirrorshards fame). The site is called Kongregate and it’s an ever-growing collection of online mini-games. I’m not sure how I haven’t heard of it–it’s been around for a few years. Kongregate is more than just your run-of-the-mill game site. Not only are the games clever and fun,the site has an overarching Achievements system to make everything all the more fun. Most or all of the games are made by indie developers, and I love that this site provides a showcase for their abilities.

The Best of StarShipSofa

Now, keep in mind that StarShipSofa is a rather different format from the other podcasts I’ve reviewed so far. The other ones have been entirely fiction-focused, generally with an intro, the story, and the outro. This one goes for a more well-rounded aesthetic, which is good or bad, depending on what you’re really looking for. For the purposes of this list, I am only going to include the main fiction, and only stories which I did not first hear somewhere else. Not that there’s anything wrong with more than one podcast running the same story, I just want these lists to be about suggesting new fiction, so I don’t want to list the same stories over and over.

Review: Andromeda Spaceways #48

As I mentioned in my review of ASIM #47 last month, I enjoyed that first issue enough that I decided it was well worth my money to get a subscription. Well, my family’s money anyway. I was having trouble thinking of items for my Christmas list, and put a digital subscription to ASIM on there. So I got to celebrate Christmas a bit early. One thing that I was very interested to see was whether or not the quality of the magazine would feel consistent from issue to issue. ASIM, you see, has a rotating set of editors who each take turns in the captain’s chair. #47 was edited by Patty Jansen. #48 featured Juliet Bathory. I’m quite happy to say that the quality between the two was consistently high. I very much enjoyed most of the stories–a much higher portion than I enjoy in a typical magazine. Not only that, but there are just so many stories–plenty of meat here to keep you entertained.

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

The Harry Potter movie series is almost complete. Just one more movie to go after this one, which will cover the second half of the 7th and final book in the series. If you haven’t read/seen the first six in the series, then you really ought to stop now–there’s no way to discuss this without major SPOILERS to the earlier books.