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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014



     The Scorched Earth audio drama performed by the Texas Radio Theatre Company is one that I highly recommend. I found the plot entertaining and intriguing, the voices genuine, and the production quality outstanding.
     The story follows the residents of Makepeace, Texas back in the 70’s when a mysterious stranger arrives on a night when all the lights go out. The mystery deepens as a conspiracy unfolds and powerful forces battle for control of the future of the world.
     My preference leans toward using sound effects for supporting the atmosphere of a show, rather than overwhelming the listener. This show certainly keeps the balance so well that the effects are not a distraction from the plot while effectively enhancing the experience.
     The show was written by Bruce R. Coleman, who is very active in the Dallas, Texas area live theatre scene. Bruce wrote the two act comedy Mythical Beastie which was performed at the Uptown Theatre Pride Festival in September. He is currently directing A Civil War Christmas (by Paula Vogel) for Theatre Three, where he is a resident artist, running until December 14th.
     Bruce says that he wrote the nine part Scorched Earth two episodes at a time. With his friends at Texas Radio Theatre Company, they would record the two episodes in one session, then Rich Frohlich would get the recordings into shape for publication (no small job) and release them over the next two weeks while Bruce writes the next two episodes.
     That’s not a schedule I would want to keep. My own audio drama was usually recorded 4-8 episodes ahead of release, and I still felt pressured. My hat’s off to the fabulous team that brought us this great show. You can download the show at http://txradiotc.blogspot.com/2012/06/scorched-earth-complete.html.

Friday, October 31, 2014

My take on "Gaia's Voyages"



     Gaia’s Voyages (http://brokensea.com/gaia/), is a sci-fi audio-drama about a zoo spaceship with the mission of preserving and protecting ecologies across the galaxy…interesting concept. The first episode of Gaia’s Voyages came out in 2009 and continued for a staggering four years of entertaining audio. Elaine Barrett is the driving force behind this production, and plays Captain Elizabeth Monroe also. David Ault’s distinctive voice is also a major presence.

     Elaine Barrett has plenty of audio drama experience, and fans across the globe.

     I found the plot and characters reminiscent of STNG in that the characters are of diverse species and the humans have progressed beyond racist and xenophobic tendencies. Their adventures are aboard a sentient spaceship called Gaia, and they have a command structure also reminiscent of the later Star Trek series.

     The technical details will appeal to fans of ‘hard’ sci-fi; the scientific facts and speculation are credible without bogging down the flow of the story.

     The part about the android’s romantic infatuation is a bit over-the-top, but gives a bit of comic relief.

     The sound effects add atmosphere and round out the listening experience, but were a bit too loud and persistent for my taste, distracting from the dialogue.

     The main protagonist, Captain Monroe, came across as a bit too cheerful and giggly for someone commanding a starship in deadly-serious adventures, which may work in audio drama for an adolescent audience, but I just couldn’t stick with it for that reason. I confess I only listened to a few complete episodes, and sampled a few more of the later ones to see if it remained consistent.

     Nevertheless, I am just one person. You can check it out for yourself. By the way, BrokenSea Audio Productions has an extensive website with many other offerings, well worth visiting.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

For your consideration



    If you are browsing around for podcasts you may have found that there’s a broad spectrum of choices, not only in genre but also in format and quality. My own is an example of long fiction—an entire novel—with minimal sound effects.

     Some have a whole cast of voice actors, incidental and background music, impressive intro and outro announcements, and some professional level sound effects.

    Others are even more minimal than mine, with zero sound effects and just one voice that seems to be recorded in a single sitting with almost no editing.

     One such is called Postapodcalypse, which is an unnamed guy in a dystopian future where he rambles on about his experiences, observations, and off-the-wall thoughts from somewhere in North America. The show is strangely fascinating, and keeps drawing me back to hear the next installment. I don’t think it’s been active for a while, but there are a good number of shows available still.  Check it out at this address http://postapodcalypse.tumblr.com/.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Back from paradise

     I took a little break in a tropical paradise, but I'm back now and working on the sequel to Between Earth and Arcturus. I'm also back at my "day job" working on an xray beamline. 
     I used to give advice to young writers about the craft of creating fiction. One thing I always tell them is to take classes. Most don't relish the idea of spending more time in a classroom, but I can assure them that it will help, and I take my own advice. I am currently attending a literature class at Stanford, and regularly sign up for writing classes.
     Still, I understand, I'd rather be writing...or in Hawaii.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Chapters five and six

     Chapter five brings us to the capitol of the planet Earth, West Point , about 40 miles North of Manhattan. Here the secret power behind the New Federation meets and decides the fate of billions.      In chapter six we see the result of Admiral Fisher's hideous passions, and the horror it brings to our lovely Elisa Santino, not to mention poor Julie Klein.
     Miss Klein's brother, by the way, will be an important character in the third book of this series.
     Between Earth and Arcturus is available for Kindle on the Amazon website.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Chapter Four is here!

     Here we introduce Elisa Santino, a conniving young woman who has fallen into bad times as a result of Admiral Fisher getting power after the fall of the old Federation.
     Elisa is one of the characters that I enjoy writing about the most; she is deliciously wicked, but not mean.
     This book is a science fiction drama, available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. If you have the patience you can listen to it on this website. The complete book, and a three part prequel, is available here in 62 episodes.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Chapter 3 is now posted for your enjoyment

     We go back to Commander Aguire's point of view as he picks up Captain Poluka at the McConnell Spaceport in Kansas.  Poluka is a shrewd bastard and will keep Aguire in the dark about what is really going on...after all, treason is an automatic death sentence, and Poluka isn't ready to trust Aguire completely. The link is at the top.
     By the way, the character information about Lynda Stokes is again posted here. This is one of many files used while writing the novel...never really intended for publication, but shows one tool for keeping information consistent through the process of creating a long work of fiction. Some folks have expressed an interest, so here it is.

     There is an improved link on the right-hand side of this page that will take you to the book's listing on Amazon by clicking on the book cover.
     While working on the sequel to Between Earth and Arcturus, I am also checking out other audio programs online. There is a wide variety of offerings and I will be making some recommendations in the future.
     My own audio program is simply a reading of the book, with only minimal sound effects. Most shows out there have a full cast of actors and some impressive sound effects.  But their shows feature shorter stories and some simply end in the middle without giving a satisfying conclusion.  Others begin a new adventure after just one or two episodes, sort of like watching Star Trek with a single simple story each time.
     I'd love to hear opinions on this. Feel free to comment here, or email to me at workingthegalaxy at gmail dot com.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Second chapter

     Enjoy chapter two, now here online. Just click on the tab above.
     The conspirators react to Aguire's plea for help, but not everyone wants to help him.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Read Chapter One

For a limited time, you can read the first chapter of Between Earth and Arcturus right here. Just click on the tab at the top of the page, and enjoy.
This is an adventure story with science, politics, and lots of personal issues that both the good guys and bad guys need to deal with.
The sequel, Pioneers of Arcturus is in the works and a third story is also planned.
The book is a full length novel, available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Point of View

     I just finished reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons over the holidays. This was like an anthology of tales all told in first-person point of view. The sequel, Fall of Hyperion, is mostly 1st person except for the 'memory/backstory within a dream' parts. 
     I'm wondering if most sci-fi readers have a preference. Both books are great, but this style of narrative is generally found more in detective novels than in sci-fi. 
     The Hyperion saga has been recommended to me by several people, and I have started the second one. I tend to do my reading in binges, with no reading for a long stretch, then several one after another.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome Greece

This website just got our first ever visitors from Greece. 
Working The Galaxy is well on its way to replacing the United Nations.

Happy New Year (с Новым годом to my friends in Russia). I just got back to the Bay Area south of San Francisco from a visit with my mom. She has long since given up and forgotten about the internet, but I gave her a paperback copy of Between Earth and Arcturus which she says she will start reading right away.

I am gratified by the sales thus far, but if everyone who has listened to some of the episodes buys a book I will be more than thrilled.

Listeners can help by going to the Amazon listing and liking the book on Facebook, and by liking this site, too.  Readers of the book can always leave a review on Amazon.

Thanks for all the support.

James

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ahh...that's better

     I just got back from a cruise to Mexico, and feel much better now.
     Another page has materialized for the sequel to Between Earth and Arcturus. Of course this is the just first crappy draft, but that's where it all begins. I really need a routine for productive writing, and it's not easy to carve out an hour or so each day when my schedule is so unconventional. 
     I'm off work for a while longer, and hope to establish a pattern of creativity that will carry over into the coming year. Years ago I had it down pat, as you can read about on the Become a Writer page of this website. Times are not so simple now, but I can't complain.
     Today's effort is to describe Sam's arrival at Arcturus, and give some hints about his personal issues. He comes with Mike Sullivan, who has developed a serious attitude about Earth.
     I hope this winter has been kind to all of you thus far, and even better times are ahead. 

Best wishes,
James

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Possibilities for the sequel, Pioneers of Arcturus.

     Having made a few starts on the next manuscript which did not go well, I dug out an old binder full of the original, unfinished rough draft. It has been a couple of years since I last look at the notes, and was surprised at how much I had changed the premise since the first conception of a story about colonizing an alien world.
     Of course,  the first book is now finished and the story has a more solid foundation to build upon, and my feeling for this fictional world has evolved as well.
     The original notes called for a main character who is a young female scientist sent to study some of the mysteries of Arcturus. The newer version does not include her, but has more alien characters.
     I want to avoid having too many central characters, but I am temped to bring this young lady back into the story as a secondary character. The main protagonists shall be Sam Benjamin, who was briefly introduced in episode #11 (Lonely Lynda), and Pazi, the alien translator who was seen but not named in episode #44 (Matriarch's Lawyer).
    
     The paperback and kindle versions have had some sales, but I'm no marketing expert, so it's getting a slow start. Fans of the podcast can help by posting reviews on Amazon, and by 'liking' the book on Facebook.
     It's been an interesting year for me, with lots of changes...some good and some otherwise. I will be taking a short break from my routine until January and doing a bit of traveling, but I will have my trusty notebook and pen with me to capture any inspiration that appears.
    
Best wishes,
James

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Lost Episode

     Did I mention that the missing episode is now posted.  Quite a few have already downloaded it. This one is listed as #20.5, which was supposed to follow #20. It tells of the desperate attempt to get out of the bind our explorers find themselves in after arriving in the Zone.
     If you have enjoyed the show, please help spread the word that the book is now available on Amazon in both Kindle and print versions.
     A good review on Amazon is always welcome, and you can click the facebook "Like" button on the book listing to show your support.
     This show has had over 56000 downloads to 20 countries, but I still don't get much feedback. Don't be shy if you have something to say. You can leave a comment on the website at any time. And do join as a follower...your personal information will be invisible even to me.
     If you want to send a private message, my address is workingthegalaxy@gmail.com.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Work continues on the next book

     It's one of those precious quiet moments in my home tonight. I can actually do a bit of writing new stuff.  My natural (and usually uncanny) sense of pessimism tells me it won't last long, but I will make the best of it and write about Sam Benjamin, the young hotel manager we met when Lynda Stokes attended a lecture in New Wichita.
    Oh, oh...the dog is licking my laptop and nudging me while I try to type. Time for a walk.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Kindle has Between Earth and Arcturus

     All is well. Both paper and electronic editions can be found on Amazon by searching for Between Earth and Arcturus.  
     The audio version of the book is still posted on this site as well as on iTunes and audiodramadirectory.
     If you would like to help, you may 'like' postings on this site to facebook, as well as 'like' the Amazon listing. If you have enjoyed listening to the show, please mention it on your facebook page and any other social media that you participate in. Of course, just telling your friends about it will be great too.
     Thank you for all of the support. I know it is a lot of listening, and many prefer to read instead of listen. The book is here now...enjoy.

Cheers,
James

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The paperback is here!

     Between Earth and Arcturus is now available as a paperback book. You can find it on Amazon.com. The Kindle version will be out within the next few days.
I've been working towards this for some time now and I am happy to bring this epic saga to those who prefer reading over listening. 

Cheers,
James

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

American Government Shutdown

But we don't stop paying taxes, right?
If Congress shut down I'd feel a lot safer.
Maybe it's time for a clean sweep.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Greetings to Ireland

     My web service statistics show more visitors to this site from Ireland in the last two months. I am gratified to see an expanding audience. I can't tell more than that. The information that comes back to me shows general regions, but no more.
     I would love to hear from some of you. You can send a message to workingthegalaxy@gmail.com.
     One listener from South Dakota found a discrepancy in the show, which I am working to correct. Apparently, I left out an entire episode. I blame my laptop.  Maybe that's the problem the Erosians had when they let a million people through the portal without noticing--a laptop problem. Yeah, I can see that.
     Anyway, I've never been to Ireland, though it's on my list of places to visit.  I've got Irish on my mother's side, English and Scottish on my father's side. Scotland is on my list, too.
     Occasionally, I see downloads going to countries which are mostly not English speaking, such as Brazil, Russia, or China, but most listeners are from England, Canada, and the USA.

Welcome, one and all,
James Prescott

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

     Starla finished the artwork for the book cover and I love it. The novel is getting another round of proofreading and polishing before sending it to press, and things are moving forward. 

     I have some short stories I'd like to post, but I need to check with my audio hosting service on how to do that while keeping it separate from the Between Earth and Arcturus.


     I haven't recorded and posted anything new for about two months and I really miss it. After doing 61 weekly shows if feels strange not to be working on the next one.