And then two months passed, we moved across the Atlantic to Nottingham, Marguerite started attending law school and I wrote these things. How have you been?
Starting with Blogbusters,the last two months have seen us caper up and down the genre lines like a chilli-tailed rat…or…something. We’ve discussed who the best Nemesis relationship in genre fiction is, who should helm the Justice League movie, the best sidekicks in science fiction, what we’d all desperately like to see in the Whedon-fronted SHIELD TV show (First letter ‘c’ rhymes with ‘pool son’), looked at genre fiction deaths we’d like to see reversed, talked about heroes that are difficult to love and looked at zombie bug out bag inventory.
I also interview uber-talented comic writer Si Spurrier about his new superhero post-apocalypse series Extinction, the unending horror of Wish You Were Here, the Crossed webcomic he’s writing and his work on the various X-titles. In a moment which my 14 year old self is still squeeing about I then interviewed the magnificent John DeLancie about his life as Q, his upcoming documentary on My Little Pony fandom and his plans for the future.
I also reviewed the second issue of phenomenal digital comic, Amelia Cole and the Unknown World. Finally, I participated in a look at the 25 worst TV shows of all time. I remembered Manimal, so you don’t have to.
On the right hand side of the page, I reported back from the extremely entertaining Tracy Hickman panel at GenCon about his book, Wayne of Gotham. I also wrote about the trailer for the new Martin McDonagah comedy thriller Seven Psychopaths and, having seen the filming of the season finale way back at the top of the year, gave my five reasons to stop worrying and look forward to Red Dwarf X.
We put out another of our popular Flashes from the Borderlands with (Black) Arts & (Dead) Letters, featuring the graceful body horror of Dancing by Donna Glee Williams, the horror of creativity in Lost for Words by Kenneth Yu and the brutal tempo of city life in Music on the Michigan Avenue Bridge by Mort Castle.
Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls by Brian Hodge was next, mixing the fascination of art with, again, the horror of creativity and creation, as two lost children find a very different way of looking at the world.
The Squat by Sean Logan followed, a neatly balanced combination of punk attitude and Cthonic menace. And then the fun began, as, in the run up to our 300th episode, we began posting a short history of the show. It’s a very odd, very funny audio experiment and a testament to our astounding sound editor Graeme Dunlop. Parts 1, 2 and 3 can be found here. I may briefly feature introducing the second one of those too.
Of Ants and Mountains by Charlie Bookout followed, and it’s one of my favorites from the year. You often find surprising, and awful, things when you turn over rocks or look where you shouldn’t. When Mother Natures does that for you? Well, that’s when things can get very nasty…
The Long Road To The Sea by James L Sutter opened September for us and did so in style. An unusually hopeful piece of post-apocalyptic fiction from one side, a tragic story of post-human discrimination from another and a love story from any angle, it’s another one of my highlights of the year.
White As A Bedroom Door by Nathaniel Lee is intimate horror, polite, even mundane horror. It’s artfully crafted, beautifully written and drawn from the worst place you can draw these stories from; experience. It’s not an easy listen by any means but if I had to pick a story of the year, right now I’d pick this one.
Episode 300, a milestone by any lights. The Step by EF Benson is an old classic, but one with sharp teeth and a predator’s eye. This was the perfect capstone for this hundred, and it was an honor to introduce and talk about. Here’s to the next 300, eh?
The road to that next milestone began with The Last Man After The War by Erich William Bergmeier. I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic fiction and this measured, calm, weary approach to the world’s end is a haunting and massively effective one.
Most recently, we delivered more Flashes from the Borderlands with our 13th edition, Responsible Parties. A Murder of Crows by Tres Crow opens the episode in stark, effective fashion and is followed by Magnitude Seven by David Glen Larson, that explores the horrific combination of natural disasters and the supernatural. Finally, Always Grinning by Nathaniel Lee is a classic piece of apocalyptic fiction.
Finally, I pitched in at the last minute for Escape Pod, who’d had a narrator fall through. The narration itself isn’t ideal (Immediately post strep throat, huge ceiling in the room) but the story’s massive fun. Techno-Rat by Brad Hafford is the story of two car thieves in near future London, on what will either be the best or worst night of their lives. I had a blast reading it, especially as I’d just got back from seeing The Sweeney.