It has been a big week in Sci-Fi and Fantasy in the podcasting world, but the biggest news has to be the astounding success of JC Hutchins' second novel launch, 7th Son: Descent. The blogosphere and Twitter were virtually on fire yesterday as Hutchins' fanbase rushed bookstores and e-retailers across America to show their support for this storyteller, who has brought so many listeners so much great fiction over the past four years.
Descent rocketed up the Amazon charts, peaking at 188 overall, which is a phenomenal achievement and a credit to Hutchins and the commitment of the Beta Clone Army. Congratulations, Hutch. You worked bloody hard, and you've earned every bit.
While 7th Son is a hard act to follow, I can assure you that there are plenty of other great sci-fi and fantasy podcasts out there, hanging around for free, just waiting for your ears to find them. Here are a few of them.
Top of the charts for in-progress releases in my book right now is The Gearheart, an inspired steampunk novel brimming with brass goggles, grand airships, blazing magic, treachery, gunfights, murder and darkness.
Written, performed and produced by Alex White, with the female parts performed by Renée White, The Gearheart is a sleek production, tightly wrapping up an enthralling and brilliantly narrated piece of steampunk fiction.
Alex White also composes all the music for this podcast, and promos the music of steampunk bands at the end of each show. Never heard of a steampunk band? Well, now's your chance.
Well worth a listen. Also, be sure to hang on for the nifty little alternate universe ads at the end - Hilarious!
If you've ever wondered what a drabble is, I just learned that it's a piece of fiction written in under 100 words. So how do you write a drabble novel?
Jake Bible seems to have the idea over at Dead Mech. Written in 100 word snatches, Dead Mech builds a post-zombie-apocalypse world where the few survivors battle the undead in Mech-Warrior style battle-mechs, but it's not that simple: now the zombies have them too.
The drabble style makes for an urgent, non-stop pace to this story, only in its third episode so far. Brutal and gritty, Dead Mech is a step inside a future we should all hope never comes about. It's early days for Dead Mech right now, but so far, so good.
Scott Roche is currently releasing the second book in his Archangel Series, Legion. I have just finished Book 1, Valley of the Shadow, and it is quite an enjoyable listen. The audio quality starts out a bit patchy, but with a bit of perseverance - and a new mic for Father's Day - this picks up nicely inside of about six episodes.
Archangel is a tale of demons and those who hunt them, but it is more than just action and spectacle. Roche delves into social, spiritual and metaphysical discussions over the course of the story, drawing on the mystic and religious beliefs of several cultures to ask questions that go much deeper than the simple debate between good and evil. Archangel challenges the values of morality and ethics in a world where so much that is corrupt reigns. This is a book that is as thoughtful and incisive as it is a heart-pounding adventure.
The second volume, Legion, is a full voice-cast production, and gets off to an intriguing start as well. Looking forward to getting into that.
Weighing in for good old-fashioned fantasy, AP Stephens' book The Stolen Moon of Londor is now releasing as a podcast novel in weekly installments.
Londor is the tale of a band of heroes, set on a quest to discover what happened to one of their world's moons, which has disappeared from the sky completely. With its disappearance, the magic of the world is fading. It's up to the heroes to find it before the magic of Londor evaporates for good - that is, if they don't strangle each other or get torn apart by rampaging werewolves first.
Rooted deep in traditional sword and sorcery, Londor is a compelling tale, narrated by Richard Webster. If you like your elves dark and your heroes moody, this is the one for you. But beware - here be monsters.
This is by no means all that's going on out there, but it's what I've been soaking up in the past few weeks. If you've got a podcast that I've missed, feel free to drop a comment below with a link so I can check it out.