Things have been a bit quiet out there for a few weeks, mostly because it's been summer vacation time in the Northern Hemisphere, but there are rumblings of exciting things happening.
Top of the list, Jack Kincaid has just released a PDF copy of Hoad's Grim, available right now for free download or to be read online. E-book fans, go grab it right now, it's an absolutely brilliant book.
JC Hutchins has completed his Sword of Blood podcast, and has been writing a series of seven short stories set in the days prior to the first chapters of Seventh Son. Follow him on Twitter, and you might even get a chance to make an appearance - if you're lucky.
If you're in the States, you might still be able to catch Scott Sigler as he travels about the country on his Tailgate Tour, buying his fans beer and signing books. He just dropped in on Ann Arbor, Michigan, the location of his fantastic horror/sci-fi novel Infection, to a rousing welcome. Even James Melzer made the trip all the way from the cold white North to join the party, but now he's back home and getting back into his excellent Invasion podcast with renewed energy - but then he's off again, heading to Horror Realm in Pennsylvania. Horror fans, that would be your chance to meet the Zombie-God himself, and maybe get a free signed audiobook of The Zombie Chronicles. Go on. You know you want to.
Seth Harwood, too, is back in the saddle after a well-earned break, and podcasts from the Hot Tub are back on the menu. His most recent houseguest was Goblin Market author and podcaster Jennifer Hudock. Top quality stuff, I assure you.
Speaking of JC Hutchins and Scott Sigler, Podioracket will be interviewing both of these podcast trailblazers in the next few weeks, as well as Lost Gods author Drew Beatty. Listen out to Blog Talk Radio or follow Podioracket on Twitter for more info.
Now, in the Cool-Stuff-I've-Recently-Discovered Department, I'd like to mention a few in-progress podcasts that I've been listening to lately.
I've just started into double Parsec Award Winner FETIDUS by James Durham, a post-apocalyptic drama that has turned out to be much, much more than I was expecting. When it comes to genre-bending, it doesn't get much better than zombie sci-fi fused with classic noir - and it's not just zombies running around either. I'm up to Episode Four and I can already say that this one is a must. The world and the story are hooks in the mouth right from the start, and the engineering is brilliant. Masterfully layered with ensemble voice talent and Durham's own score, FETIDUS is a pleasure to listen to. I can see why this deserved to win the Parsecs for Best Speculative Fiction Story (Novel) and Best New Speculative Fiction Podcaster/Team awards.
Down From 10, by J Daniel Sawyer and performed by a star-studded cast including Philippa Ballantine and Nathan Lowell, reaches its halfway mark next week. DF10 is a curious mix of comedy, philosophy, and erotica, most definitely not one for the kids, but a worthwhile digression from the action and adventure of the rest of my usual podcast preferences. Sawyer's scripts come across as multiple conversations falling over one another, and the abilities of both the cast to record these in isolation from each other and Sawyer to edit and produce them to deliver the effect he was aiming for are testament to the cast's consummate professionalism and Sawyer's own skills, both as writer and editor. A thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking piece of podcast fiction.
And last but by no means least for this episode, today I started listening to Guardians by Kimi Alexandre. This book is only two episodes in so far, with another issue due early next month, but so far it has me intrigued. Raegan is a bodyguard to the stars, but her world is about to be turned on its end, so we hear. And when a girl wears a knife that tight to her thigh, that can only mean trouble. The audio on Guardians is well-polished, with a collaboration of voicework which always lends a podcast credibility from the outset. I'll be listening out for more of this in the weeks to come. So should you.
Until next time, keep those podcasts cranking.