Thursday, May 18, 2006


I've mentioned my hour long commute, in each direction, minimum. I fill the time listening to podcasts, music and books. There are reviews of some of these books here. My previous car has an MP3 CD player, but now an IPod Shuffle is mostly used.

This is a review of my new favorite podcast. It is a cross between books and the radio show style podcasts you might be used to. About once a week, the show presents a story with an introduction. While billed as Science Fiction, which brings to mind Captain Kirk or Asimov's three robotics laws, it also includes fantasy and even a little horror. I'd like it to be pure Science Fiction, just as i was horrified to see that other stuff on the SciFi channel. In general, i'm not a big horror fan. However, the host, Stephen Eley (whose name barely appears on his site - at least he gives himself credit when he reads), exercises some discretion. He says that the stories have to be entertaining. Yes, he more or less admits that he doesn't know what that means, but he does seem to have the same idea i have on that topic.

Episodes aren't exactly some preset length, but tend to be under 40 minutes. OK, the most recent is the longest, at 53 minutes. This fits my commute really well. Long shows are harder to consume, which was the reason i stopped listening to the Pod Father. There are also FLASH episodes, often under five minutes, and reviews of other SciFi - movies and books mostly. I really like the FLASH episodes. The format is so short that there isn't time to be bored. They tend to be very, very dense. The ideas are packed together. Why water the garden with a squirt gun if you can get a fire hose?

Maybe it's the sound quality. But I'm not reminded of the 50's radio shows, like The Green Hornet. This is better. And, unlike radio, one can listen to a show when one has the time, pause it if needed, back up and re-listen to a bit one missed, due to traffic or something.

I haven't listened to all the back issues yet. I'm still catching up. Sometimes i'll start a show, get on the treadmill and do a run until the show is over. Don't bother checking the time or distance. It'll be enough, whatever it turns out to be.

Feeling trapped? There's no escape? Try Escape Pod.

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