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By Jen R. Albert and Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

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PodCastle is the world’s first audio fantasy magazine. Weekly, we broadcast the best in fantasy short stories, running the gammut from heart-pounding sword and sorcery, to strange surrealist tales, to gritty urban fantasy, to the psychological depth of magical realism. Our podcast features authors including Peter Beagle, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Jim C. Hines, and Cat Rambo, among others. Terry Pratchett once wrote, “Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.” Tune in to PodCastle each Tuesday for our weekly tale, and spend the length of a morning commute giving your imagination a work out.

Customer Reviews

What a Nice Surprise

I do not mean to be petty, but I I can’t give the show 5-Stars because the artwork is horrible & totally unbecoming of the hard work put into creating stories. Something more professional and reflective of the honor of women, other cultures, and LGBT. Additionally, I enjoy the accents and find them all easy to understand except the voice-actor telling Black cultural stories...she does very unwell until she tries to add in sub-characters, at which times her voice get whispery & draws out words at the end of her sentences, at which point you can’t understand what she is saying-VERY FRUSTRATING! There is no where to go up! GREAT JOB! Thank you!

Not what it used to be

PodCastle used to be a very enjoyable podcast, with most stories worth listening to, or at least fun to listen to. You would have an occasional dud, but overall it was worth your time.

But about a year ago, the new editors took it in a very different direction. Nowadays almost all of the published stories are written by women, with many stories having only the barest trappings of fantasy while sending a “message”, often involving oppression or violence against marginalized groups or women. In effect, Podcastle has morphed into a feminist/LBTGQ podcast with a social justice theme for most stories.

The big problem with this, unfortunately, is that the quality of the stories has suffered tremendously. When you deliberately exclude half of the population from publishing stories, quality will inevitably suffer. Many of the stories seem like rejects from a college creative writing class. With others, I feel like I am being beaten over the head with a very obvious social message. I also get the feeling that many of the published authors may be friends, or insiders, with the editors. I now dread the words “This is a Podcastle original”, because four out of five times I will find myself giving up after the first five or ten minutes.

What is particularly ironic is that Podcastle still promotes its “Artemis Rising” month of women authors, when in fact male authors are now quite rare in this podcast. They really need an “Apollo Rising“ month instead.

So despite what you may think by listening to this podcast, men did not quit writing fantasy a year or two ago. Quite the contrary, there is still plenty of good fantasy being written by members of both sexes. You simply won’t find it in Podcastle.

Awesome stories

I’ve enjoyed every story I’ve listened to on this podcast. Great selection. Some of them are going to stick with me for a long time.

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  • Free
  • Category: Literature
  • Language: English

Customer Ratings