Well met, my friends!
Since I have a long commute of one and a half hours these days, I decided to improve the drive by listening to podcasts. This was also a good opportunity to ask people about their favourite podcasts and I received a lot of suggestions when I polled people in September 2015.
Unfortunately I had to eliminate many of the recommendations, not due to subject matter, but due to the audio quality. The car engine is so loud and I can only use the built in speakers of my phone, so any podcasts I listen to need to be loud and clear enough for me to hear them over the noisy engine.
Here is my current selection of podcasts in order of preference, if you’re curious:
1. The Co-optional Podcast
This is my favourite podcast at the moment. It is a 2.5 – 3 hour long conversation about video games, despite numerous tangents, between John “Totalbiscuit” Bain, Jesse Cox, Dodger, and a guest. In addition to weighing in on the latest developments in the gaming scene, they talk about the latest releases and their take on them.
2. The JV Club with Janet Varney
I stumbled across this gem after I was looking for Felicia Day’s podcasts and instead found the JV Club where Felicia was on as a guest. During the show, the host Janet Varney, who is an actress, typically interviews a guest. The common thread between the guests, who have been from all walks of life, was that they always had a fascinating story to tell and were female.
3. Podcast – Spieleveteranen
One of two German podcasts in the mix, this is a monthly meeting of “veteran” game journalists, whose magazines I used to read in the 1990s. I did meet some of them at Gamescom Cologne in 2013 and 2014.
4. The Sword and Laser (Audio)
Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt talk about new releases in the realm of science fiction and fantasy. The banter between the two is what makes the show, but it is also informative in addition to being entertaining. Since I backed their Kickstarter campaign regarding a second season, they recorded a guest podcast with me. Unfortunately it was not included in their regular rotation, so only frequenters of their website saw it.
5. Writing Excuses
The tag line is “15 minutes long, because you’re in a hurry and we’re not that smart,” but I suspect that the opposite might be closer to the truth. Anyway, this is Brandon Sanderson’s, Mary Robinette Kowal’s, Howard Tayler’s, and Dan Wells’s podcast about the craft of writing. It is extremely useful, entertaining, and englightening, but due to the short duration it sometimes feels a bit rushed when a topic would benefit from being expounded on a bit more.
6. Sharp Tongue
During one of my vacations I saw Jessimae Peluso on MTV’s girl code. This is her podcast and similar to the JV Club, Jessimae typically has a guest. The result is a mixture of crass jokes and fascinating life stories that adds something unique to my podcast consumption, but it certainly is not something for everyone.
7. TV Crimes
A funny dissection of beloved and reviled old TV shows, hosted by Wil Wheaton and Mike Neumann.
8. Unattended Consequences
These are the ramblings of author Patrick Rothfuss and game designer Max Temkin. It is somewhat difficult to pin down the topic, but it is very enjoyable. During the initial episodes I was about to ditch it, because Max Temkin’s microphone settings were off and I only heard the Rothfuss half of the podcast.
In one of the earlier episodes, they mention that they don’t do “infinity projects” anymore, which are projects that go on forever without a planned goal or end date. Thus, the first batch was restricted to ten episodes and recently they renewed this for another ten episodes.
9. Star Wars: New Canon Book Club
Jesse Cox and two of his friends discuss all things Starwars. The “Book Club” is slightly misleading as they are also talking about comics and the movies. Since they talk about the plot points in depth, the whole show is a perpetual spoiler, so proceed with caution.
This is the other German podcast. One of the aforementioned game journalists also runs the gamers globabl website. In this weekly podcast he and his colleagues Benjamin Braun and Christoph Vent summarize what they have been playing, mention what’s on the horizon, and answer user questions.
11. Rocket Talk Podcast – Tor.com
Author interviews and news from the publishing side are right up my alley, but it is perhaps too specialized to be of general interest.
12. I Should Be Writing
I first heard of Mur Lafferty when she was a guest on Rocket Talk and decided to check out her podcast about writing. Like the Rocket Talk Podcast this is also somewhat specialized. In addition it is harder for just one person to always be on point and deliver an entertaining and educational experience every time.
This is my current list, but I still have several podcast suggestions that I have yet to check out, so perhaps I can write another recommendation blog entry at some point.
Pursue your dreams and see you next time,