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Author Topic: "The good, the bad and the ugly"  (Read 10217 times)

Ryuujin

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on: January 04, 2007, 11:26:36 AM
Well, there are certainly a lot of things to be said about Escape Pod, so lets get to it:

The good:
Mainly, I like Escape Pod because it introduces a lot of new science fiction to all it's listeners and even though I'm only one, I doubt that anyone would listen to Escape Pod if they didn't like it. Stephen does a considerable job of making the pods and even though he doesn't always read the stories himself, when he does, he manages to portray the characters as my mental image would show them to me, something that not even professionals like Scott Brick, Stephen Fry and others don't always manage.  Whenever he has guests read the stories, he does a good job of picking them or they do a good job of living up to the quality of Escape Pod - or maybe it's a combination of both, which is far more likely.

By far, the quality of the audio in the recordings - whether it's Stephen or anyone else that does the narrating - is as superior as anyone could wish for, with a few exceptions.

And now to the website. It's quite nice and does an amazing job of looking non-too-small on widescreen monitors 19" and up, although I must admit that if I had the choice I, the design would have been different.

Oh, and it's on a Creative Common license which I love.

The bad:
Well, we all knew it had to come. The bad things about Escape Pod aren't many, but lets see if I can come with some constructive criticism so they have a chance of being changed. First off, the website. It's not entirely all too informative and when one has to go back and look up information on the website of a previous show, it's not always easily managed because of the structure of the website (it's length (pixel-wise) and lack of "jump to"-functions). But enough of that.

The pod itself there isn't much bad to say about, except that it (as of today) hasn't been updated since last year, which I suppose can be forgiven since there's been holidays in the way and all. Also, there have been a few technical glitches (the exceptions mentioned above) with reverbs (well, only one that I know of) gone bad and hickups in the encoding of the file itself (most of which have been fixed)

The ugly:
Well, I can't actually think of anything that should go here. I guess it could be reserved for a rant about the quality of some of the stories, yet I wont go there as judging the pod isn't really done by judging the stories that are read.



So, for any of you out there who wish to discuss my above opinions, feel free to do so. And if you don't wish to discuss it, don't.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2007, 11:30:53 AM by Ryuujin »



Bdoomed

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Reply #1 on: January 04, 2007, 03:16:18 PM
i actually fully agree with you on most of those.  The website is only bad, i believe, for searching, but that is expected as it is a blog, and not a hand made website.  Once, i was searchin for some podcast mentioned on escape pod (completely forget what podcast), and i was trying to find out which episode it was that mentioned that podcast so i could find out more about it, but i could not find anything on it, the search feature was a bit inadequate there...  But you cant expect that much out of a blog.  But for episodes that have just aired, it is easy and good for finding info on it.

i would say you could put the reverb episode under the ugly.  I for one could listen to it just fine, but from what i have heard most people could not.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Ryuujin

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Reply #2 on: January 04, 2007, 05:12:56 PM
Yeah well, he updated the version on iTunes to have the correct amount of reverb, Stephen did. Which he also explained in the show after it, I believe.



Michael

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Reply #3 on: January 04, 2007, 05:17:28 PM
Hopefully, a lot of this material migrates here, since the forum software has a nifty search feature.  Once this is ready for prime time Steve might want to disable the Wordpress comment function on the blog and put in a hyperlink to the forum...



Ryuujin

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Reply #4 on: January 04, 2007, 05:26:04 PM
I would have to agree - this forum would be the perfect place for such things. Also makes it easier to create discussions on the different pods.



SFEley

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Reply #5 on: January 04, 2007, 05:44:12 PM
Hopefully, a lot of this material migrates here, since the forum software has a nifty search feature.  Once this is ready for prime time Steve might want to disable the Wordpress comment function on the blog and put in a hyperlink to the forum...
The idea has occurred to me.  The best of all worlds would be something automated, where comments made here can be reflected under the posts...  But first things first.  >8->

ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine


Ryuujin

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Reply #6 on: January 04, 2007, 06:45:03 PM
That could easily be managed if you the blog and the forum had shared sql databases, but then again that always goes wrong. Thus, I think the comment section moved here to the forum itself would be much easier and then just placing an automatic link for each comment thread for each pod you put on the site.

But yes, first things first. Else we'll just end up confusing ourselves.



Jim Crow

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Reply #7 on: January 05, 2007, 02:39:04 AM
I would have spent more time on this, but I'm working hard to try and write a good piece of short fiction that isn't more than 300 words long. 

The Good about Escape Pod!:
The content.  Variety of story, style, point of view, etc.  I enjoy visiting Escape Pod once a week, and being completely unprepared for whatever is in store for me.  The Hugo nominees series was an absolute treat for me, and actually represented my initial foray onto this podcast.   For the most part, the stories are interesting and fascinating and original.

The production values are excellent (I even enjoyed the reverb in Ulla), and I think Stephen has an excellent setup for his stories.  The introductions are personal and are neither too short nor too long.  They're usually well thought through, and there have been times that I've enjoyed them more than the story they were introducing. 

Most of the time the people he chooses for his readings are right on the money, and they narrate excellently.  Giving the story the emphasis where needed, but never really upstaging what's being read.  Well, except for Wichita, but he's special.


The Bad:
I really don't have many complaints, outside of the occasional lackluster story offering, and that could very well be just a matter of opinion and taste.  Especially considering one of my least favorite stories was "Seventy Five Years," and that was a Hugo nominee.  I have faith in Stephen's ability to find a variety of different stories from different authors, and despite the good stuff he's receiving from repeat-authors, I hope that doesn't spoil him away for searching for new voices.

I generally don't use the website all that much (I collect the podcast through iTunes), so I can't really list it as a negative.  One of my bigger issues was the forums, and that seems to have been now fixed.


The Ugly
Nothing really.  And I'm trying hard to think of something.




oddpod

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Reply #8 on: January 06, 2007, 07:08:24 PM
maby i am just a simpering fan boy but i have not a bad or ugly thing to say bout escape pod

card carying dislexic and  gramatical revolushonery


wakela

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Reply #9 on: January 08, 2007, 05:30:27 AM
I think what is being done for the SF community here is fantastic.  Kudos to Steve for keeping the torch lit.

Having said that, I'm not the biggest fan of the readers doing voices and accents.  There must be a raging debate about this somewhere.  I can lose myself in a story and then suddenly it's "Eley is talking like an English girl" and I lose the mood.




Bdoomed

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Reply #10 on: January 08, 2007, 06:21:40 AM
Having said that, I'm not the biggest fan of the readers doing voices and accents.  There must be a raging debate about this somewhere.  I can lose myself in a story and then suddenly it's "Eley is talking like an English girl" and I lose the mood.

aww i love the accents, i love the failed (and sometimes not) attempts at accents!  adds character to the story!

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


oddpod

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Reply #11 on: January 08, 2007, 08:19:01 AM
acsents and voces are a bit of a problem on alot of pod casts.
but short of spending a fortune on actors thares not mutch to be done about it, and i dont think its that big a deal any how.

card carying dislexic and  gramatical revolushonery


Russell Nash

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Reply #12 on: January 08, 2007, 08:40:55 AM
I think most of the time the voices are pretty good. I've listened to a lot of audio books (I've had a couple of driving jobs) and I think EP does just about as good of a job as the big publishing companies.

That said, when there are two charactors chatting, especially a man and a woman, I really think it works best when it is read by two different people. Steve's story with the couple in the restaurant (EP076 - The Dinner Game) is a prime example of "charactor confusion". I kept losing track of who was who.

Anyway, I continue to be amazed at the quality of some of the work coming from people doing podcasts essentially as hobbies. I'm far more likely to complain about something coming from Hollywood as I am about something coming out of someone's basement.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 10:42:12 PM by Russell Nash »



Gherkinman

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Reply #13 on: January 14, 2007, 05:34:34 AM
To add to the long list of things that are good about escape pod:

I think its important to mention that SF (and I mean Science Fiction in particular) started fairly recently compared to other genres. Dedicated and selfless work like this pumps life into the SF world. I only discovered podcasts last December and SF is already a part of my daily routine. I am a still a student and it appears that the flavor of the day among whoever determines what "great" literature is never picked up an SF. There is fun to be had outside the world of spaceships and elves but it has always been my personal favorite and this podcast is one of the best ways to satiate my fantastic appetite that I have come across to this day. Many thanks to Stephen for bringing SF into the 21st century in a completely original and entertaining way.

Well a while has passed between typing the last word of the former paragraph and the first here. I can not come up with anything other than criticize the cast's obscurity, which is natural for- to quote Russell Nash-
Quote
...something coming out of someone's basement.
This seems like a good way for authors to get started and I just figured there would be a better way to find Escape Pod than buying an MP3 Player which happens to have software pre-installed on it that points you right here and then by some stroke of fate having the gumption to look into the matter. Most of the comments in this area came off as long reaches to me, that was mine.

As far as ugly is concerned I would place nothing pertaining to Escape Pod as of now in this category. Just the very concept of Escape Pod is so original, easy to use, and entertaining. Plus I think it would be not a little gauche if I said EP was "ugly" in my first post :D
« Last Edit: January 15, 2007, 11:52:21 PM by Gherkinman »



AlexfromQueens

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Reply #14 on: January 15, 2007, 08:44:14 AM
maby i am just a simpering fan boy but i have not a bad or ugly thing to say bout escape pod

I just have to say thank you to Steve for putting together such a great podcast...

I've been listening since September, and am never let down by the content delivered by Escapepod.  It's even inspired me to write again.  I hope to have a submission ready soon.

"I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." -RAH


wakela

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Reply #15 on: January 16, 2007, 02:25:57 AM
Again, me with the voices. 
I just heard "What you wish for" on Pseudopod.  The reader, a woman, gave the sexy spirit sex thing a sexy, sulty voice.  But for the human man, she read it straight.  Wouldn't it have been ridiculous if she had put on a man's voice?  I think that voice acting is fine, but when the reader switches genders it knocks me right out of the story. 



Ryuujin

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Reply #16 on: January 22, 2007, 12:08:24 PM
So I guess we're all just simpering fanboys.

Kudos to Steve for doing that to us, he's really a genius that way.