I used to read a lot of science fiction. I wasn’t into the space battles stuff but the thoughtful and speculative stories. I think one of the first I read was Heinlein’s “Stranger In a Strange Land”. It was the 60’s. Says it all. Drifted away from sci-fi in the 80’s and later, as my eyes aged and since I never enjoyed wearing glasses, I mostly stopped reading text books. Audio books are great but a bad reader can sure kill a good book so it’s hit or miss there.
Recently I followed a rabbit hole down to ClarkeWorld – an online sci-fi magazine. They publish a monthly edition you can subscribe to for a very low price. But they also have a free podcast of all the stories they publish. I’ve listened to a few and the stories are very good but, more importantly, the reader is phenomenal. I actually cried during one of them and I don’t think it was just because the story itself was so moving. A good reader can elevate a story to new heights. I don’t like the financial commitment of a subscription but I happily made a one-time donation on their Ko-Fi page.
You can listen online or subscribe via your favorite podcast player. I like AntennaPod on Android. It’s free and open-source and has been implementing the Podcast 2.0 standards. On Linux I use Kasts also because it’s open-source and implements Podcast 2.0 standards. Both apps sync in my Nextcloud installation so I can pick up on one device where I left off on another.
What is Podcasting 2.0?
Podcasting 2.0 is an umbrella term that covers a collection of initiatives to advance podcasting technology and to decentralize podcasting, taking control of the medium out of the hands of large technology companies. These projects are all open source. Get away from Apple, Spotify, Google, etc. Check out https://podcastindex.org. Also a good article on Medium that explains what the standard is and why we need it.
Anyway – Here is my favorite ClarkesWorld story so far – The Librarian and the Robot. Looking forward to listening to more.