Podcastle, a weekly fantasy podcast, annually features a Christmas story by Tim Pratt and Heather Shaw. (I enjoy listening to podcasts while doing Christmas baking.) Below is a chronological list of these imaginative stories for the Christmas season. (And keep an eye on Podcastle; if they do a Christmas story this year, it’ll probably be later in the month.)
More fun for the holidays! The Truth, a radio-drama podcast, has released a new episode, Santa For President, a little humorous look at what happens when Santa is approached by two political operatives about running for President. You can listen or download from the link. This is kind of a sneak peek because it will be aired on NPR on Christmas Day. You heard it here first. 🙂
There’s some nice free and wonderful goodies out there. I’ve already done a couple of posts, but the hits keep coming! Neil Gaiman reads A Christmas Carol from Dicken’s own performance copy and NPR has a First Listen for It’s a Holiday Soul Partyby Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings if you want to try before you buy. The Gaiman reading is available for download via iTunes or your podcatcher app. Search for New York Public Library podcast. It was originally posted last December.
Merry, merry, happy, happy Everything to Everyone! Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All!
Lots of things are popping up online either free or on sale cheap for the holidays. This isn’t a definitive list, but I just thought I’d share some fiction (ebooks, audio books, podcasts) and music. (All but one are holiday-themed.)
Podcasts: I like science fiction and fantasy. However, when one looks at a list of Christmas-themed stories or ebooks what one usually finds are romance and mystery. I like romance and mystery just fine, but if you want SF/fantasy here’s some to brighten (or maybe I should say “enliven”) your holidays. Podcastle, the excellent fantasy podcast, for the past few years has featured a holiday story by Tim Pratt and Heather Shaw in December. (Note that the podcasts are rated; most are G or PG, but one is an R.)
Keep an eye on Podcastle to see if there’s another story this year!
More Fiction: Also….not a podcast, but….“Overtime” by Charles Stross. Fantasy/horror/comedy which is part of his Laundry series, but can be read as a stand-alone story. Free to read on the Tor.com site. (Ebook short story 99 cents Nook and Kindle.)
Music: “Christmas Time Is Here” played by Michelle Shumann Trio live in studio 1A, from KUTX’s Song of the Day podcast. You can listen in the player below (for most browsers) or click through and download the song.
Ebooks: One of my favorite children’s book, Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree is on sale for Nook and Kindle, $1.99 right now. It’s a short illustrated poem. Charming.
A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd is a collection of the essays that were the original basis for his screenplay A Christmas Story. A nice treat for fans of the movie. $1.99 for Nook and Kindle.
Audiobooks: This isn’t Christmas-y — unless you embrace the tradition of ghost stories at Christmas — but M. R. James’ classic story, “Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come To You, My Lad”, read by David Suchet, is free from Audible.com right now. (Not sure if you need an Audible account to get this. Some freebies are accessible to all and some are not.)
This weekend I caught myself singing “Winter Wonderland”, “Sleigh Ride”, and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” under my breath. And why not? Christmas is over, but winter is in full force. Maybe those songs should be played at least through Groundhog Day. True, no one uses a sleigh to get around but who wants songs about snow tires and white knuckle driving on icy roads? I really like the jaunty energy “Sleigh Ride”. Can’t walk the dogs without thinking of “Winter Wonderland”. It makes the windchill easier to bear. 🙂 A number of secular “Christmas” songs make no mention of Santa, reindeer, presents, or Christmas. We need more cheery songs about winter to get us through January. ‘Cause… “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”!
PS: I have heard versions of “Sleigh Ride” that include a passing reference to Christmas, but the basic song does not (see Metrolyrics).