The ONION: A.V. Club: Podmass – a weekly blog about podcasts

SFFaudio News

The ONION - A.V. CLUB - PodmassI don’t know about you, but I almost never go into the iTunes store anymore. The podcast section deeply buried, and the category I usually look at, “Arts: Literature”, is full podfaded shows. And when the podcasts listed are up-to-date they are often podcasts about TV shows, or if they are book based they are dominated by a long parade of sparkly vampire, boy wizard, or starving-teenager-in-dystopia book series based podcasts.

So like I said I’ve nearly given up on iTunes as a source of podcast discovery.

But, late last year I started following a blog that does weekly podcast reviews, The Onion’s AV Club Podmass.

The way the site works, it’s basically a weekly roundup of review of about a dozen podcasts with sassy descriptions of new episodes.

I think we need a lot more blogs like this.

Here’s how The Onion AV Club’s Podmass describes itself:

Since the iPod debuted in 2001, it has gone from portable music player to a medium in itself: Podcasts, like blogs, have indelibly shaped the media landscape in less than a decade. The A.V. Club listens to a lot of them, so this week we introduce Podmass, our weekly round-up of the podcasts we follow.

Here’s how it will work: Each week, we’ll recommend the best of those we listened to, as well as quick write-ups of everything else. Because of the deadlines required to post on Friday, our coverage week goes Thursday through Wednesday. Every few weeks we’ll visit a fringe podcast, get a recommendation from a podcaster we like, as well as listen to something completely new to us. (If you have podcast suggestions, e-mail us at [email protected])

The only thing missing from the reviews are links to the MP3s themselves. I would HuffDuff a lot more of the shows I’ve spotted there if they were deep linking.

I haven’t posted about Podmass previously because their focus is almost entirely on comedic podcasts. Most weeks see a review of about ten standup comic personality podcasts. There’s also a a sprinkling of history, or non-fiction subjected shows thrown in as well – but they’re not ones I usually love.

The good news is that their |LATEST POST| includes a familiar program. Check it out:


19 Nocturne Boulevard
Julie Hoverson is a writer and producer who lets her dark side show in this anthology audio-drama series. Many episodes of 19 Nocturne Boulevard are horror stories, including some quality adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft, but the show can include comedy, sci-fi, romance or whatever genre Hoverson feels like producing that month. The writing and the sound effects shine brightest in these productions, but the voice acting is made up of a mix of professionals and brand-new talent, which can produce a mixed result. The episode “Little Boxes” is a creepy tale of some store clerks who agree to sell a new product that could save their business, with disastrous results. The story is elegant in its simplicity and a good example of how music and sound effects can set a gloomy and foreboding mood. This is the perfect show for anyone who needs a good scare to motivate their morning jog. [AJ]

And if you go digging you’ll see Julie Davis’ Forgotten Classics was reviewed back in September!

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #131 – Julie Hoverson of 19 Nocturne Boulevard


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #131 – Jesse, Scott, and Tamahome talk to Julie Hoverson of 19 Nocturne Boulevard

Talked about on today’s show:
how do you say “hiatus”?, “one woman butt kicking army”, third year anniversary, 74 episodes, The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft audio drama, Bill Hollweg is in The Deadeye Kid, Maine accents, The Leech by Robert Sheckley (secretly), comedy, A Date With Dana was funny, classic storylines, The Rookie won the Mark Time Award, “line up to get killed by their favorites”, “I love creepy old ladies”, Crumping The Devil, The Imp Of The Perverse, Lovecraft’s The Thing On The Doorstep, Within The Walls Of Eryx is “straightforward sci-fi”, Dis Belief is from a Jorge Luis Borges story, puns, finding the copyright owner, finding quality audio drama, Julie’s audio blog about oversight, we need curation, Voice Hollywood does their own ratings, Julie will be at the next Balticon, Balticon Podcast, there’s never enough people to help, Geek Girl Con, editing the parts together, simultaneous recording?, Julie is in The Radio Drama Handbook by Richard J. Hand and Mary Traynor, The Grand Guignol is violent theater, The Thrice Tolled Bell is like a Hammer film, “cuz I’m crazy”, what dramas does Julie like?, We’re Alive (The Zombie Podcast, also from Blackstone Audio), why do it?, Julie tried to develop a “dead serial killer buddy movie”, Wormwood, comics, Five Fingers Of Doom, short stories, timing your podcast releases, “the mentality of slackness”, for the nasty creepiness: One Eighteen: Migration, Julie’s The Gift Of The Zombi an Xmas show, zombies in love, “zombies are the new cowboys”, a half-hour is a good length, fan dogs on Facebook, “what’s the best science fiction audio drama around?”, Kim’s Warp’d Space involves milk runs, Children Of The Gods, The Leviathan Chronicles, Julie is in Edict Zero (created by Jack Kincaid who did The Geek’s Guide To The Galaxy intro), a cop show on a future colony, how complicated can a show be?, “there’s always engaging things”, Big Finish are pros, “fanfic”, Darker Projects Star Trek tie-ins (Tamahome listened to Lost Frontier), Jesse wants A Princess Of Mars drama, who’s got the rights?, adapting a novel, William Shakespeare, Cymbeline Revisited, Edwardian Entertainments, The Yellow Wallpaper

Posted by Tamahome

19 Nocturne Boulevard: An adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Thing On The Doorstep

SFFaudio Online Audio

19 Nocturne Boulevard19 Nocturne Boulevard, created and run by audio dramatist Julie Hoverson, features original and adapted “strange stories” – the podcast alternates between completed productions, like the one below, and diary entry style production notes. I was mightily impressed by Hoverson’s adaptation of Robert Sheckley’s Science Fiction short story The Leech when I heard it back in February! It’s a terrific production by a talented cast. Hoverson has crafted her skill to a keen edge. I was jazzed to hear that she’d undertaken a new production of an H.P. Lovecraft classic, The Thing On The Doorstep which is a novelette first published in the January 1937 issue of Weird Tales.

I’m a sucker for stories with “Thing” in the title. A THING is not a he or a she. It isn’t a describable something – in fact, it’s very indescribability makes it damn intriguing – you, and the characters in the stories, ask questions “What the hell is that thing?!?!?!”

Now DC Comics had the Swamp Thing (a plant elemental) and Marvel had the Man-Thing (a “slow-moving, empathic, humanoid” that had once been a man). But it’s in short fiction especially that I find THINGS compelling. And when you start looking for these THINGS you’ll find dozens and dozens of stories with THING in the title. A couple of other good ones include The Damned Thing by Ambrose Bierce and The Thing On The Roof by Robert E. Howard. And in movies, of course, there is John Carpenter’s The Thing.

Now the particular THING in on this particular doorstep in Julie Hoverson’s adaptation is a whole other thing. I won’t give away, but I will say it certainly lives up to the mysterious nouny goodness of the title.

Lovecraft’s tales can be difficult to adapt, as they’re unusually wholly bereft of actual dialogue between characters (if there is even more than one character!). Julie Hoverson dramatizes the story’s form, which is a kind of confession/statement to police, using a combination of flashbacks and interrogation room scenes to tell the tale. The sound design is good, allowing us to tell who is who and where is where. The acting is also pretty solid with most of the lines coming off as if recorded live on set. Have a listen!

19 Nocturne Boulevard - The Thing On The DoorstepThe Thing On The Doorstep
Based on the story by H.P. Lovecraft; Adapted by Julie Hoverson; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 33 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: 19 Nocturne Boulevard
Podcast: August 15, 2011
What does a man do when his new bride really, really wants his body?.

Dan Upton – Mark Olson
Officer Flatbush – Reynaud LeBoeuf
Officer Malone – Danar Hoverson
Edward Derby – Paul Cram (imdb)
Asenath Derby – Angela Kirby
Jean – Julie Hoverson
Clerk – Suzanne Dunn
Orderly – Gene Thorkildsen
Dr. Castle – Marshal Latham
“Roman” girl – Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard

Music from the first soundtrack album from the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast

Editing and Sound – Julie Hoverson
Cover Design – Brett Coulstock

Podcast feed:

Posted by Jesse Willis

19 Nocturne Boulevard: An adaptation of Robert Sheckley’s The Leech

SFFaudio Online Audio

19 Nocturne BoulevardJulie Hoverson’s long running and prolific anthology podcast, 19 Nocturne Boulevard, features original and adapted “strange stories.” Since it began back in 2009 I’ve pretty much ignored it completely. This is pretty odd considering that Hoverson’s output rivals that of the mighty Bill Hollweg and that she’s been doing something I’m always boosting (adapting public domain Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror). To be fair though, I had heard a couple of shows, most recently Snafu, but every time I’d listened to a 19 Nocturne show I’d come away with nothing to say. It took a recent email from Hoverson to get me to write something. Hoverson pointed out her new adaptation of Phillips Barbee’s The Leech. That title stirred a vague memory, then piqued my interest greatly, as I recalled that Phillips Barbee was actually the great Robert Sheckley!

When it was first published, in the December 1952 issue of Galaxy magazine, The Leech was credited to “Phillips Barbee” – a one-off pseudonym, presumably it was only used at all because there were two Sheckley stories running in that issue. All subsequent publications have credited The Leech to Sheckley alone.

As one of the first ever Sheckley stories to be published, The Leech is interesting in itself. But as a kind of precursor to The Blob – which itself has an ancestor of sorts in H.P. Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space (which Hoverson has also read) it is even more interesting. The trope of a knowledgeable professor character investigating a dangerous object from space would be picked up for the 1953 BBC serial The Quatermass Experiment. In structure, however, The Leech more closely resembles the 1959 Manly Wade Wellman novel Giants From Eternity (look for a review of that soon). And it also bears some small resemblance to John W. Campbell’s 1938 novella Who Goes there? (and thus the movies The Thing and The Thing From Another World). Even Dean Koontz’s Phantoms |READ OUR REVIEW| has some sort of ancestry or parallel in The Leech. In short this is a kind of a subgenre’s subgenre that I don’t know the name of.

As for Hoverson’s adaptation of The Leech, it’s pretty darned slick, with good acting and sound effects. There’s even a theremin! It’s also fairly faithful to Sheckley’s story going with the humor, using much of the dialogue, the setting and the period. But, as with most audio drama, Hoverson’s script completely disposes with the third person omniscient narration, opting instead for to give the alien a voice – or voices in this case (the Leech seems to be performed as a kind of hive mind). This choice leaves the ending more open to interpretation than does the original text. The Leech is one of the best amateur audio drama adaptations of a public domain story yet! Highly recommended.

19 Nocturne Boulevard - The Leech19 Nocturne Boulevard – The Leech
Adapted by Julie Hoverson; From the story by Robert Sheckley; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 40 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: 19 Nocturne Boulevard
Podcast: February 23, 2011
Classic era science fiction about a very odd visitor from outer space. The Leech was first published in the December 1952 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction.

Professor Michaels … Grant Baciocco
Frank Connors … Bryan Hendrickson
Mrs. Jones … Kimberly Poole
Sheriff Flynn … Glen Hallstrom
General O’Donnell … Chuck Burke
Allenson, scientist … Cary Ayers
Moriarty, physicist … Eleiece Krawiec
Brigadier-General … H. Keith Lyons
Driver … Cary Ayers
Soldier1 … John Carroll
Soldier2 … Lothar Tuppan
Pilot … Mark Olson
The Leech … Suzanne Dunn, Will Watt, James Sedgwick, Julie Hoverson

Music by misterscott99
Editing and Sound: Julie Hoverson
Cover Design: Brett Coulstock

Podcast feed:

And since we’re talking The Leech, I should also point out there is a new reading, found in the recently completed LibriVox Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 042 collection…

LibriVox - The Leech by Robert SheckleyThe Leech
By Robert Sheckley; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 40 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: November 28, 2010
A visitor should be fed, but this one could eat you out of house and home … literally! From Galaxy Science Fiction December 1952.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Mark Time and Ogle Winners for 2008

SFFaudio News

Mark Time AwardsWe’ve already mentioned two of the four Mark Time and Ogle Winners for 2008. Here’s the official release:

Here are the winners of this year’s Mark Time Awards for Science Fiction Audio and the Ogle Awards for Fantasy/Horror Audio Productions. They will officially be presented on Thursday, July 2 at Convergence 2009 in Bloomington, MN.


The Outpost
Written & Produced by Julie Hoverson
19 Nocturne Boulevard


The Return of the Bogman Mummy
Written & Produced by Roger Gregg
Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin, Ireland



Waiting For a Window
Written by Fred Greenhalgh
Finalrune Productions


The Halloween Tree
(based on the novel by Ray Bradbury)
Produced by Chris Snyder
Exec. Producer: Mark Vanderberg
Colonial Radio Theatre

[Thanks Jerry!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

19 Nocturne Boulevard: AUDIO DRAMA

SFFaudio Online Audio

19 Nocturne BoulevardJulie Hoverson from 19 Nocturne Boulevard, writes in to say:

“One of our episodes, The Outpost, just won the 2008 Mark Time award for best science fiction audio drama!!”

Congratulation Julie! 19 Nocturne Boulevard is a podcast audio drama anthology series. Among the episodes are several dramatized H.P. Lovecraft adaptations. These are Chillin’ (a modernization of Cool Air), Within the Walls of Eryx, and The Temple. Julie also hints of several more Lovecraftian pieces in the works.

And for those who like me, were wondering, here’s the hidden podcast feed for the show:

Posted by Jesse Willis