Thursday 11 February 2010

Castmonger #4: The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy

Seeing the legion of film previews that have kept The Speculative Scotsman and its readers occupied for the past fortnight, at some indeterminate point the opportunistic Castmonger seized his chance to disappear into the great goodnight - news that any other day I'd be ecstatic to pass on.

But it seems his awful work his not yet done. Along with this morning's bills and a few new books for me to devour, the postman, looking evermore the worse for wear, brought to TSS headquarters a mysterious, unmarked package. Wrapped in a crumpled copy of yesterday's newspaper and splattered with a few worrying stains came a bundle of twigs. Buried somewhere in the mouldering mess of twigs I found a startling piece of evidence supporting the theory that the Castmonger has taken to inflicting his terrifying podcast recommendations on some poor soul held against their will.

Also enclosed was a USB thumbstick and what looks to be... a human ear... not to mention a letter, written as ever in the third person, threatening that if The Speculative Scotsman didn't continue to publish his dire advice to readers with an ear for aural excellence, another body part would follow shortly.

I'll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that I do not for a second doubt the veracity of the Castmonger's claims. To save an innocent life, then, or at least prevent the continued dismemberment of said being, I present to you a transcription of the first document I discovered in a file on the USB drive...


Launched not long after the impressive Story Podcast, covered here in the first installment of Castmonger, The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy is an entertaining hour of discussion chaired by rising stars John Joseph Adams and David Barr Curtley. Each week, they offer their critical  commentary on a variety of subjects, including but not limited to sci-fi and fantasy fiction, video games and the technology of tomorrow. Not to mention zombies and killer robots, of course.

Merely six episodes old as of this writing, some highlights of The Geeks Guide to the Galaxy to date include a chat with Chet Faliszek, writer and funny-man from the house of Left 4 Dead developers Valve Software, and an in-depth interview with the author of the incredible and deservedly award-winning The Windup Girl in which Paolo Bacigalupi offered his thoughts on a range of subjects including his difficulty breaking into the closed-circuit publishing sphere and the dire problems faced by even the most popular of today's SF&F magazines.

John and David are cordial hosts with an ear to the ground and an opinion on everything. The questions they put to the subjects of their weekly interviews are thoughtful and informative. The podcasts and the regular grillings therein are conducted via Skype, presuming my ears aren't failing me, but the chairs are a professional pair - either that, or well edited - so there's no need to fear dodgy sound quality or the dreaded overtalk. All in all, The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy is a great new weekly podcast, well worth a listen whatever your particular tastes.

My advice would be to get in on the ground floor of TOR's second podcast venture now. The Castmonger has not yet listened to the latest episode, but I hear Cherie Priest is the interview candidate of the week, so expect steampunk to be next on John and David's agenda.


Click here for more information on The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy, or subscribe to the podcast discussed in this post via the following links:

... For regular RSS readers:

... iTunes users, meanwhile, should use this link.

If you'd like to submit your podcast or a personal favourite to be considered for a future installment of Castmonger, simply leave a link and a brief description below.

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