Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Hugo Review: Best Fancast - The Coode Street Podcast

The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan, is an hour-long podcast that features discussion of science fiction and fantasy, and frequently has guests.

Just to get my unfair biases out of the way, I had difficulty downloading these to listen to - they weren't in the feed on my podcast app, and for whatever reason the links in the PDF didn't go to a page where I was able to download. Fortunately, I'm tech savvy and was able to figure it out. The packet linked to three episodes: 282, 288 and Roundtable 3. All three episodes featured guests doing what seemed like the majority of the discussion.

The good: Extremely in-depth and intelligent commentary on each topic, with people who are clearly experts. I really enjoyed the podcast recorded at Kansas City Worldcon, featuring Michael Swanwick and Kij Johnson. I haven't read the story they dissected, James Tiptree Jr.'s novelette "The Women Men Don't See", but now I really want to. The episode with Kai Ashante Wilson answered a few questions I had regarding "A Taste of Honey" and made me like the story a little bit more. I wasn't as interested in the roundtable, partly because I found the sound quality annoying.

The bad: There were far too many issues with sound. At least one of the hosts seemed to be a few decibels louder than any of the guests in one podcast. Also, a guest's microphone kept cutting out, as well. I am not a big fan of live discussion, especially in a podcast where it ought to be easy enough to edit pauses and confusion about who is speaking. The podcast is a bit longer than my preference, although I do seem to be in the minority for wanting shorter 'casts.

Conclusion: This one will be toward the bottom of my ballot. That said, all five of the entries I've reviewed are good, and while I have a preference, I won't be upset if any of them win.

Best Fancast: I've listened to all the entries I plan to listen to. Check them out in my Reviews of 2017 Hugo Finalists