I've been inundated with stuff to listen to and read lately, so here's a quick summary with my recommendations.
Firstly, I was very excited to get an advance review of Jack Kincaid's latest release, a short story called The Church Grim. This is a dark yet comedic horror story, masterfully crafted for both wit and chills. Kincaid uses the same stylistic techniques that worked so well for Hoad's Grim, including his creepy, dissociated narrator's voice and the voice talents of James Keller and Julie Hoverson. Once again, a fantastic piece of speculative fiction and an impressive audio production. Highly recommended, and at 40 minutes or so, a good way to get a feel for Kincaid if you haven't listened to Hoad's Grim already.
Another short podcast that I recently completed - and which also throughly entertained my staff, who have no choice but to listen to whatever I choose to play in the workshop - was The Takeover, by veteran podcaster Mur Lafferty. This zombie comedy clocks in at a little over 2 hours, and features a star-studded cast including Christiana Ellis and JC Hutchins. I can't say much about this without spoiling the story, but suffice to say that if you like zombies or just like to laugh at zombies, or just like to laugh, this is brilliant.
I've finished up several complete podcast novels in the past couple of weeks, and I'm not sure that I'll get to review all of them, so here's my quick star rating on those I've made it through:
The Call of the Herald, by Brian Rathbone: 4 Stars. Fantasy, first in a trilogy. Meticuloulsy constructed world, takes a little bit to get into the story but is satisfying for its buildup. Full review will follow.
Earthcore, by Scott Sigler: 4 1/2 Stars. Action/Sc-Fi. This is one of the world's very first exclusive podcast novels, now available as a print edition as well, and it set the standard for podcasts to follow. Excellent story and production values.
Nina Kimberley the Merciless, by Christiana Ellis: 4 Stars. Fantasy Comedy. NKTM is hilarious, it really is. Featuring an imbecilic king who thinks he's Don Juan, a pacifist dragon, and our eponymous hero who would rather be off questing than leading her people back to their former glory, NKTM is good, solid entertainment. My favourite line, as the bumbling King Francis tried to squeeze into his armour: "I must be light and uncucumbered!"
I'm currently listening to two more podcast novels, including the second book in JC Hutchins' Seventh Son trilogy, and the Failed Cities Monologues by Matt Wallace. I'm also hooked on JC Hutchins' new podcast novella, Personal Effects: Sword of Blood.
And I must throw a big shout of thanks out to all these authors, and to the crew at Podiobooks.com for all the hard work they put into bringing these books to greedy little me.
In terms of reading, I've been getting into the work of bizzaro fiction author Jeremy C Shipp over the past couple of weeks. You can check out some of his short stories online: Camp, Trout, and Dog. Not for the squeamish, however. You have been warned. I'm also reading his rather twisted but intriguing novel, Vacation, and I'll be posting a review of that shortly.
That's all for now. If you have a podcast or an audiobook that you'd like to direct me towards, please feel free to leave a note in the comments. Thanks.