Girl Power and Dragons   April 24th, 2010

Early on when PodCastle, the fantasy podcast, started up they ran two stories, back to back, which have heroines going up against both menacing dragons and social conventions and norms.

These stories were Fear of Dragons and Run of the Fiery Horse. The stories get a little political, and the first one is a bit heavy handed, while the second is more balanced. Both of them had neat takes on Easter and Western tales of dragons (or serpents) and they had wonderful  mythology of them, especially the Fiery Horse one.

Moby’s Beautiful Music Video   April 19th, 2010

This music video is a few years old, but still worth mentioning for an interesting concept and some dark comedy.

Moby’s Beautiful is a wonderfully twisted skewering of the party crowd, done at a key party with a bunch of people in animal mascot suits. It’s like a furpile on the set of Boogie Nights. The poor rabbit guy is reminiscent of William H. Macey’s character in that film.

There were cries of “fursecution” when it came out, how everyone thought he was making fun of furries. In truth it looks pretty obvious that it doesn’t have anything to do with the fandom. Instead it’s using the suits to create a cartoonish scene and an interesting take on anthropomorphism. They used the costumes to good effect here, playing on the lack of good facial expressions, to heighten the surreal drama.

Pseudopod – Oded the Merciless   April 14th, 2010

Artificial and cybernetic constructs make for interesting characters because they offer the ability to glimpse into a non-human intelligence. Oded the Merciless by Tina Starr is a good albeit dark example of that.

While it doesn’t have any animal characters in it, the story makes good use of anthropomorphism. The computer AI is an intriguing and disturbing character which allows atrocities to be carried out first by passive limitations of  its programming and then actively with dark experimentation on the nature of the human condition.

Warning: Pseudopod is a horror podcast and the story has strong horror elements of the visceral and psychological, and is for fans of the genre and not for the faint of heart.

The Drabblecast, the strange-fiction podcast, had a wonderful theme for March. They celebrated Women’s History month with stories by women authors and featuring female characters, plus they threw in aliens,  because aliens are cool.

It’s not a simple gimic though. It’s a wonderful collection of fiction covering both our world and those so very different. There are alien worlds ans cultures awash in issues of politics and families and battles big and small fought as worlds collide. House cats fight off tiny invaders and a woman struggles to read the Tarot for a reptilian overlord in order to save her life. Those and other stories are linked below.

Read the rest of this entry »