listening to the podcast

Click on the menu below to find a link to the episode list.
For descriptions of each episode, check out my Show Notes at the top of the page. This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real people or events is purely coincidental.

WARNING: Some of the language may be offensive, but no worse than you would expect in an R rated movie.

Special thanks to NASA for the image of the galaxy.

Podcast of the novel BETWEEN EARTH AND ARCTURUS

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Royal Manticoran Navy: official Honor Harrington fan association



Everyone knows Star Trek. Everyone knows Star Wars. What about Honor Harrington?
No? Then you probably aren’t a science fiction BOOK fan. The Honor series by David Weber is only on paper at this time, but it’s so good that around 4500 fans belong to the official fan association: The Royal Manticoran Navy

David Weber is a prolific writer and historian. His intricately crafted world of Honorverse spans 35 books, as listed on his website.
Enthusiasm for the series resulted in a fan organization based upon the structure of the fictional Star Kingdom of Manticore, complete with noble titles, military ranks, duties and positions.

We met with Joseph Harney and Theresa Hindle in Sacramento and got an introduction to the Royal Manticoran Navy. They are officers (Commodore and Captain, respectively) in the Tenth Fleet, which covers the western United States and part of Canada. There are fleets across North America, Europe, and Australia, with individual chapters in the fan association designated as ships, bivouacs, Assault Shuttles, and Light Attack Craft. To see a map of these, click here.
The organization takes applications from groups of six or more members to create a new chapter with a ship designation. There is also a branch for kids called the Sphinx Forestry Commission.

But what do they do? Well, by all accounts, they have fun. Oh, they also attend cool science fiction conventions. I met Joseph and Theresa quite by chance at the WizardCon in Sacramento a few months ago. Despite having read at least nine of the Honor Harrington novels, I was oblivious to the existence of a fan association. You can imagine my surprise when I saw uniformed officers in a booth for the Royal Manticoran Navy. The uniforms, by the way, look just like the ones on the book covers, and the club has a rank and award system which is also modeled upon the books’ space navy. Rank is earned by passing exams and awards (service ribbons and medals) also represent real achievements. These are not just costumes.

Another thing they do is support charities. Some chapters help to prevent homelessness, some collect toys-for-tots. The official TRMN charity is
Big Cat Rescue in Florida, the world’s largest accredited sanctuaries for exotic cats, and leading advocate for ending the abuse of captive big cats and saving wild cats from extinction. If you read the Honor Harrington books, you will quickly figure out why this charity makes sense for the fan association.

You might already be a fan, but don’t know if you would like to join TRMN. Well, I don’t know if you would either, but I can tell you that they are all sorts of people with one thing in common: they love the book series. From our chat with Joe and Theresa, I gather that many members also like the convention scene and cosplay. Many are interested in history, roll player games, and reenacting. Joseph Harney describes himself as a professional reenactor who has been active in Renfair, Dickens, and other events.
Author David Weber

Did I mention that David Weber is an historian? The whole Honorverse history has solid parallels in the political, economic, and military history of Earth, and as the fictional decades pass in the novels, events unfold logically and naturally for societies, governments, and individual characters.

If you are not already a fan, I’ll just say this: The titular character is interesting enough to have 13 books about her adventures, spin-off series for young adults, anthologies, graphic novels, a series companion book, and a fan club of 4500 members. Other writers who have contributed to the Honorverse include: David Drake, S.M. Stirling, Roland Freen, Linda Evans, Jane Lindskold, Eric Flint, Timothy Zahn, and John Ringo.


David Weber’s website lists 35 published books related to Honorverse, and the Royal Manticoran Navy website lists some more which are available only to members.

If you are into science fiction, history, and adventure, maybe you should check the books, and the Royal Manticoran Navy.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Return to Our Fair City. The final season begins.



     The final season of Our Fair City is just beginning, and I generally prefer to binge-listen after my favorite shows all released. But I just couldn’t wait any longer when the first episode of season eight went live. Who could blame me after the extraordinary cliffhanger at the end of season seven?

     Bringing the final conflict directly to the ever-insulated narrator was true drama. The new episode, The Narrator’s Name, is a jarring change of perspective which left me more curious than ever to find out what happened after the events in season seven.

     Our Fair City. There are panel discussions on listener questions, and blooper reels, too.
Podcasters will find the season break programming especially interesting, with installments about making shows like this. Listen to Lauren Faits, Stephen Poon, Ele Mataelan and others talk about the music, sound effects and music of the show.

See my earlier post (27 June 2016) for more information or, better yet, visit Our Fair City yourself.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Edict Zero post, part 2


Edict Zero post, part 2
There were some unavoidable hiccups in getting interviews with the cast of Edict Zero, but I’m glad that Working The Galaxy has a bit more to pass along.

Tanja Milojevic (Agent Kora Resnik and other roles as well), Phil Rossi, (Agent Marcus Briggs), and Julie Hoverson (Agent Jewels Kircher) are all professional voice actors with impressive careers.

I asked them about themselves:
Tanja:  I started on voice acting alliance back in 2008 and haven't looked back since. Storytelling in the form of acting has been something I loved since I was a kid. I used to make my own stories on my tape recorder and when I discovered radio dramas on tape from my local library I was hooked. I tried to find ways to get involved and learn. I'm still learning and am happy to be part of the audio drama community we've built over the years! It's helped me meet some amazing people like Jack from Edict Zero.
I'm so happy to be part of the show, and just like the audience, can't wait to see where this exciting journey takes us.

Phil:  I'm a writer and podcaster (Horror and science fiction) and I have a patreon campaign at http://www.patreon.com/philrossi  Patreon gave me back my future as a writer and podcaster.  I'm also a musician and producer and I've worked with Jack on music for Edict Zero as well as for Epoch Nine Productions.  
Working with Edict Zero has been a blast--a truly rewarding experience.  Jack Kincaid has an incredible imagination, he's a brilliant writer, and producer so I consider myself fortunate to be part of a cast that is all-star. Jack's easy to work and I've also provided some of the music for Edict Zero as well.  I think that podcasting has definitely revitalized the audio drama genre.  And there are some well-executed entries out there.  I think audio drama has a bright future. 
Check out Phil’s website http://www.philrossi.net/
Julie:   I first worked with a performance group doing old time radio re-creations, along with several of my friends.  Since OTR has a very limited set of good roles for female actors, i started writing my own plays.  I also got recruited by my friend Rey into a podcast audio drama that needed a lead, and then began to realize how simple (and yet how complex) it would be to put together my own shows.  Having entered a script in an OTR-style script contest, whcih required you make up your own "show opener" - I had already created the 19 Nocturne Boulevard opening and closing credits, which (I have to brag) has been mentioned in a book  on modern audio plays as an exemplary opening sequence...

WTG:    Is there a link that you would like my readers to click on to learn more about you?

Julie:  My website 19nocturneboulevard.com is sadly static, but we have a facebook page, and an online radio station which also plays Edict Zero at justpasttheautomat.com (it's from the opening credits of 19 Nocturne)

Tanja:  My link on sound cloud has demos:

https://soundcloud.com/tanja-milojevic-210687350 

My radio drama podcast: Lightningbolt Theater of the Mind.
I'm on facebook and will be on twitter soon.

WTG:    The episodes of Edict Zero are fairly long for a podcast show. Does this affect how challenging it is to do your part?
Phil:  The episode length doesn’t impact my workflow much.  Lines are recording solo and if I'm not in a scene, I won't read up on, because I like to be surprised when I check out the episode. 

WTG:     Did you know where the story was going for each entire season, or did you find out a bit at a time?
Phil:  While it's impossible not to get a sense of the story arc, I do my best to stay as in the dark as possible.  Because Jack's writing is such a treat, I don't want to spoil the surprises. 

WTG:     Jack tells me that most of the recording was done remotely. How does it affect the cast to work separately?
Tanja:  I didn't have too many challenges playing remote roles since it
allowed me to react differently based on what I anticipated the other
actors would say. I was given the chance to say the line multiple ways
and in different tones. It lets me create subtext for a given line and
then it's up to the producer/writer to decide if the takes work or if
he needs something said differently. I've also been working with this
cast for years now and can anticipate how they will react in a given
situation. I know my character and ask questions if I have them.
Yes, I did all of my lines remotely. It can be challenging to only
record by myself sometimes but if I get stuck I will listen to old
episodes and pick up on voice patterns which helps me in creating
reactions for that moment.

Phil:  We've been doing this for a number of years and we all listen to the episodes.  Speaking for myself, I'd say I can pretty much hear my fellow cast mates in my head as I do my lines. 
Julie:  I've done it both ways (with everyone present, and all alone, though not for Edict Zero) and there are different challenges.  When everyone is in the same room, there's an energy, and you can play off each other more, but there's also a need to be very careful about extraneous noise and cutting others off - two voices talking over one another does not come apart in post.  That's one reason satellite recording - each actor on their own - works well.  Plus, we all tend to give several interpretations of each line so the director/producer/assembler can choose which works best, both for the scene, and for the lines which have come before and after.  I've been on both sides, assembling my own show 19 Nocturne Boulevard, and from a producer's point of view. I find remote recording easiest, though not always guaranteed to get the utmost performance, depending on the skill and experience of the actors.  Obviously, though, the bulk of us in Edict Zero have been doing this a long time and are pretty good at this.

WTG:    Would you like Agent Jewels Kircher to revisit her past relationship with Agent Marcus Briggs?
Phil:  That could be fun, sure.  Who knows? Briggs is quite a catch. 

WTG:    What do you think the future of podcast audio drama is? Do you see any trends?
Tanja:  I see radio drama continuing to be popular in the future. More and
more podcasters are getting into the medium now and it will continue
to grow. There will always be varying shows and quality differences
but the amount available for listeners will continue to increase.
Radio drama is snowballing its way into popularity again. We may see
another silver (not golden this time) age of radio drama on platforms
like podamatic, iTunes, Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc. The AI's of the
world now have the capability to play podcasts in the home; just like
in the golden age of radio when families would gather around their
radios. I'm hopeful about the future. We live in an exciting time of
radio drama expansion. I'm glad to be contributing to the amount of
entertainment out there.

Julie:  I would love to see it go somewhere, but I fear that people are so inculcated in getting everything online for free, that monetizing it won't be very feasible.  Luckily Jack Kincaid is an artist and doesn't care (meant as a good thing, but I can't seem to phrase it right).

Julie makes a really good point here. People have reached the point of feeling entitled to getting performing arts for free. Talented and inspired people don’t always have the option of putting in the time and work if it doesn’t also pay some bills. Please consider it only fair when you see (or hear) that someone can be supported through patreon, direct donations, or some other mechanism for compensation.  

If you haven’t checked out Edict Zero yet, you can find it here
Do consider leaving a review on the site on iTunes. Podcasters really like that (I know I do). And there is a Facebook page for the show:
where you can click the “like” button to show your good taste.