Catching up on back issues of the Drabblecast, a weekly podcast of weird fiction, I found this belated Halloween treat. The Great Old Pumpkin is a fun story which manages to blend the Cthulu mythos with the familiar world of Peanuts holiday specials. It was a nice bit of clever humor which was a lot of fun to listen to.

Escape Pod – Little Ambushes   November 10th, 2009

Escape Pod ran an interesting story, Little Ambushes, which examines the idea of  a cultural exchange program with aliens from a distant world.  It covers some interesting ideas, like what it would be like teaching art to someone with different senses.  It also deals with a non-human intelligence and culture well, but in an understated way with a nice bit of character drama as well.

Escape Pod – βoyfriend   October 23rd, 2009

Escape Pod’s story βoyfriend is another story featuring artificial lifeforms as characters, this time in the form of virtual dating partner apps for your smart phones. It’s an interesting concept that’s wonderfully drawn and fleshed out with some good character drama. This should strike chords with anyone who remembers being a teenager and/or being one of the quirky ones.

Drabblecast Stories   October 8th, 2009

Drabblecast, the podcast of weird fiction for weird listeners has had some stories of interest in recent weeks.

Storm Comes a Callin’ uses a different style of anthropomorphism to personify a force of nature. It’s a nice bit of character drama with some wonderful musical accompaniment with evocative blues songs.

Annabelle’s Alphabet is a wonderfully disturbing piece which starts of innocuous and slowly reveals its dark secrets.

And Nanuq brings another story of the dichotomy between ancient tribal practices coping to exist in a world of modern technology, along with a hunt of an enigmatic polar bear.

EscapePod – Robot Stories   August 16th, 2009

EscapePod the science-fiction podcast with robotic characters. Synthetic characters have always been a favorite of mine as they allow for wonderful uses of anthropomorphism and examining of the human condition.

On the Eyeball Floor has workers at a cyborg factory not only peering into but hovering over the abyss of the uncanny valley.

Harry the Crow does a wonderful job of mixing older cultures and myths with the modern world, holding onto old traditions while dealing with new technology.

Tideline has a leftover war machine trying to make a memorial to the soldiers who died in the battle, while befriending and protecting an orphaned boy.

Edward Bear and the Very Long Walk sets the task of grave importance on a small robotic bear from the ship’s nursery. Edward must take an arduous journey to save the people and the children he was built to love and care for.

These stories are all marked mature for various levels of violence and/or themes of death, but they also contain strong and moving drama and are well worth a listen.