Right now — throughout the day — tor.com, is releasing science fiction and fantasy fiction on the theme “Nevertheless She Persisted“. Lots of stories have already dropped, with more to come! If you want more fiction by women throughout the month of March, EscapePod and Podcastle, science fiction and fantasy podcasts respectively, are celebrating women authors with their Artemis Rising series; look for new stories weekly (the first ones are already out)!
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.)
2010: The Christmas Mummy
2012: Catching the Spirit
2013: Seasonal Disorder
2014: Elf Employment
2015: Winter Jinni
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. 🙂
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.)
- 2010: “The Christmas Mummy”
- 2011: “The Ghost of Christmas Possible”
- 2012: “Catching The Spirit”
- 2013: “Seasonal Disorder”
- 2014: “Elf Employment”
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.)
Joyous Everything to Everyone! 🙂
The Writing Excuses podcast is doing something different this year. Instead of random topics of discussion (many of which I’ve found useful), they’re structuring the year’s podcasts like a master class in writing. Starting with “Where Do You Get Your Ideas” (last week) and “What Do I Do Now?” this week. Instead of a writing prompt at the end of each podcast, there’s a writing exercise. Each podcast, as usual, stands on its own, but I’d strongly recommend starting with the first one of the year this year because the exercise for this week builds on last week’s exercise in an interesting way. If you’re not interested in anything this organized, but just want random interesting discussions on writing, dig through their archives on the Writing Excuses website. You really can’t go wrong. (For those of you who aren’t already familiar with the podcast those “favorite people” referenced in the title of this post are: Brandon Sanderson, Howard Taylor, Dan Wells, and Mary Robinette Kowal. Listen to a few years of podcasts and they’ll be some of your favorite people, too!)
For the fifth year in a row the fantasy fiction podcast, Podcastle, features a Christmas story by Tim Pratt and Heather Shaw. I enjoy listening to podcasts while doing Christmas baking. If you’ve got baking or other holiday food prep to do, download, plug in the earbuds and enjoy these five imaginative stories for the Christmas season.