Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WHOOP WHOOP EMERGENCY: Save the Escape Artists Podcasts

Before Nightvale, there were the Three Little Podcasts That Could.

Escape Artists is the blanket company that runs EscapePod, PodCastle, and PseudoPod, the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror podcasts respectively. EscapePod began in 2005, and their fantasy and horror brethren followed, delivering short stories in audio format for people on the move, busy people, people who prefer their fiction delivered through their earballs.

I have a personal connection to EA. I have voiced stories for all three podcasts, and for a period of time a few years back I lent my time and digital editing skills as an audio editor and compiler. In hindsight, I realize I was working on myself, trying to convince myself to become a writer, and I am forever grateful for the lovely bum-kick I received from Rachel Swirsky. I also worked with Ann Leckie during that time, who has gone on to incredible success with her novel "Ancillary Justice" (so proud and excited!).

I'm not just name dropping here to suit my ego. These podcasts have employed and published the stories of some incredible authors, they are run by people who really love and BELIEVE in genre, and they pay pretty good rates.

And now they are in jeopardy of closing down. So if you'll excuse me a moment:

Kitteh sez: NOOOOOOOOOO!
The EA podcasts rely on a donation and subscription model, and even though their listener numbers have only ever increased, their financial intake has flattened. I can't say it strong enough: GODDAMMIT PEOPLE, pay for the art that you consume. Artists cannot exist on love and air alone.

So here's the thing: Escape Artists need to meet their money-maker by December 31st of this year, or these pioneers of podcasting will kaput. Seriously, it would be like seeing three major speculative magazines wiped from the face of the earth.

Here is a quick post from PseudoPod editor Alisdair Stuart on the situation, with links to the various podcasts and details on how you can donate. Here is a link to the 45 minute metacast on the situation - if you have the time to listen, you'll hear from the many great people that contribute, along with some names with push. Have a listen to their passion and ideas.

If you know, love, and support EA, GREAT! Maybe consider bumping up your contribution. If you've dabbled in listening to them in the past, why not consider flicking them a small donation. If you've never taken a bite of the podcasts, feel free to do so, but at least PLEASE spread the word. These are damn fine people, with damn fine stories.

To get you going, here are some links to some of my favourite stories EA have published:
PodCastle 154: "Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Under the Still Waters" by NK Jemisin
PodCastle 165: "The Paper Menagerie" by Ken Liu
PodCastle 67: "Kissing Frogs" by Jaye Lawrence

EscapePod 388: "Trixie and the Pandas of Dread" by Eugie Foster
EscapePod 195: "26 Monkeys, Also The Abyss" by Kij Johnson
EscapePod 380: "Punk Voyager" by Shaenon Garrity

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