April 18, 2013

Confessions of a Podcast Junkie #1: Oh, the Horror

TV and radio are pretty much useless if I'm looking for a show dedicated to books. These days, if I want to listen to a book review or an author interview, podcasts are what I'm looking for. Oh sure, I could catch an interview with Danielle Steele on The Today Show, or some pseudo-celeb hocking their barely legible memoir on Good Morning America--assuming I could be bothered to watch such dreck. But if you're a genre mutt like me, TV is useless, and the likes of NPR and CBC Radio aren't going to be much help, either. Nope, you're going to have to do some digging on Google or iTunes and find some podcasts.

I hopped on the podcast bandwagon around '08-'09, when I stumbled across a link to a podcast interview with Jack Ketchum. Dread Media, hosted by Desmond Reddick, is still going strong with interviews and reviews of all things horror in books and film. Since discovering the podcast years ago, Desmond and his growing squad of minions have offered up interviews with both iconic names in horror, as well as up-and-comers, plus pointed me towards some really good movies and novels I might not have discovered otherwise. One of my favorite recurring segments from the show is the Roadkill Reviews, in which Desmond and Darryl review a movie on the ride home, dissecting the good, the bad, and everything in between, with the hum of car engine as ambient noise in the background. Dread Media is nearing the 300 episode mark and it only seems to get better over time. Here's hoping for 300 more.

Another podcast that I found was one hosted by Blogtalk Radio. It's since moved on to the TMV Cafe, but years ago Blogtalk Radio was a place that was a bit of a go-to in finding author interviews. The Funky Werepig popped up with an interview with Brian Keene. I believe that was the first one I found, anyway. Greg Hall, host and author, is easily the most irreverent and disarming host I've heard on a podcast, inciting bouts of laughter from his guests and listeners. I subscribed to Greg's podcast for the interviews with stalwarts like F. Paul Wilson and Ellen Datlow, to name but a couple, but he also helped me discover other talented storytellers like Kelli Owen, Alethea Kontis, and Rio Youers. I even went out and bought Greg's own novel, At the End of Church Street, when I heard him discussing it on the podcast with his editor Jodi Lee of Belfire Press. He and his loyal piggy-petters provide a gem of a podcast, and there's no better evidence of this than the YouTube interview he did with Joe R. Lansdale that includes a martial arts demonstration. Fan. F**king. Tastic.

Then there is the Pod of Horror. The most sporadic show of the three I'm mentioning here, but when an episode does get posted, it is an automatic download for me, and a welcome treat to my ears every single time. Mark Justice has that slick radio-styled voice that ought to be the envy of any podcaster, and his back-and-forth with Horrorworld's Nancy Kalanta is always entertaining, not to mention informative with Nancy's rundowns of what's new in horror publishing. The interviews are always great, whether Mark's talking to NYT Bestselling authors or debut authors trying to break out on the horror scene. Plus, there's the reviews of books and movies from assorted folks, and a fun trivia contest at the end of the podcast to cap things off. Like I mentioned before, it's sporadic and there hasn't been an episode since #69 in November, but as soon #70 goes live I'll be one of the first to download it.

These are three of the earliest podcasts I started listening to regularly, but over the last few years I've subscribed to several dedicated to genre fiction in its many splendid forms. But I'll blog about those some other time. For now, I'll just recommend these three to my fellow horror hounds.

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