There are never enough hours in a day, especially since I spend more than two hours a day commuting to and from work. Needless to say, my science-fiction, fantasy, and horror magazine subscriptions have dwindled from a high of five to zero. Talk about your major league withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, the tie-dyed spiders summoned by my withdrawal offered a pretty good idea: Pseudopod, a horror podcast. (What else would you expect from spiders?)
Interestingly, Pseudopod has two sister podcasts, Escape Pod, a science-fiction podcast and PodCastle, a fantasy podcast. Between these three podcasts, my deep-seated short fiction needs are met by authors such as Edgar Allen Poe, Jim Bihyeh, Robert A. Heinlein, Issac Asimov, Cat Rambo, Peter S. Beagle, and Tim Pratt. The stories on each of these Web sites are an entertaining combination of classic and new.Pseudopod has stories ranging from the mild psychological horror to the icky, why am I listening to this? The funny thing is that the stories are so well written that I don't want to miss a single one, even the ickier ones. To horror aficionados, the stories in Pseudopod are something of a secret vice, like a Twinkie hidden in a desk drawer. (Important note: The podcasts are not kid-friendly.)
Escape Pod has the feel of a golden age science-fiction magazine, but with 21st century stories sprinkled with classics. For instance, you'll find Heinlein's All You Zombies and Asimov's Nightfall, as well as Katherine Sparrow's Pirate Solutions.
PodCastle is my favorite because of its occasional irreverent stories in a genre where pretty much anything goes. Of the three podcasts, PodCastle will, by far, will cost me the most money yet make Barnes & Noble the most money. Want proof? Well, after listening to Jim C. Hines's Goblin Lullaby, I find myself under a compulsion to purchase his Goblin Trilogy. It must be a geis.
All of the stories in these three podcasts are published under a Creative Commons License, so you can download them without the fear of knocks on your door in the middle of the night. Although after listening to some of the Pseudopod stories, I'm afraid of much more than knocks on the door. I blame the tie-dyed spiders for my nocturnal problems.
If you listen to geek-worthy podcasts (in addition to TechRepublic podcasts, of course), tell us about your favorites in the discussion.