Parsec Award Winners

I wasn’t going to do a bragging post about our Parsec Award, but then I saw this picture. Back row left, that’s Matt Wallace, author of the winning story, Absolution, Insured, and Rick Stringer, producer of the podcast and narrator of the story.

They’re in excellent company. Also in the photo are such luminaries as Michael A. Stackpole, NYT bestselling author, who won for his podcast about writing, The Secrets; Patrick McLean, for his podcast The Seanachai, who won two Parsecs; Stephen Euin Cobb, who won for his podcast, The Future and You; Kevin Bachelder, who won for The Scapecast. How cool is that?

A full list can be seen at

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Failed Cities Monologues 08: The Maven

When fevered streets reach their boiling point, you bring in a mediator. When it’s looking like back alley war, you need a maven. Tonight was already going to be his toughest mediation yet. Then his throat got put on the bargaining table…

Written by Matt Wallace
Narrated by Jan Dalton

Copyright 2006 Rick Stringer and Matt Wallace
May 2006

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Parsec Awards

The first annual Parsec Awards, honoring excellence in podcasting, will be presented at this year’s Dragoncon, to be held in Atlanta in September. Nominations are currently being accepted at The Parsec Awards.

Categories include:
• Best Speculative Fiction Story, Short Form (Pick your favorite Variant Frequencies short!)
• Best Speculative Fiction Story, Long Form (May we suggest The Failed Cities Monologues?)
• Best Audio Production (We think Variant Frequencies sounds pretty good!)

So go to
Register there so you can nominate your favorite podcast. (Variant Frequencies!)

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Podcasts We Like

This list isn’t going to be all inclusive, we just wanted to give a shout out to some of the ones we’ve listened to and liked. It’s a helluva community out there, and we’re proud to be part of it. Our encounters with other podcasters (Podders? Casties? Is there a nickname?) have been awesome. We’ve been very impressed with how much help other podcasters have been. Tim Robertson helped troubleshoot the feed. Evo Terra advised. Dave Hamilton gave us advice on getting our name out there. Our intro and promos have been played on a number of shows. DevoSpice said some nice things in his journal.

So on with the names. I found The Secrets, Michael A. Stackpole’s podcast about writing, at TSFPN, the science fiction podcast network, and tuned in. He’s got a fabulous voice, we should see if he’ll read for us! If you’re a serious writer, listen to Michael. He’s got excellent advice and seems like a genuinely nice guy.

Three of Rick’s favorites are MyMac by Tim Robertson and Chad Perry, The MacCast by Adam Christianson and The Mac Geek Gab by Dave Hamilton and John Braun. Anybody see a pattern here? All of them give reviews of the latest Mac products, so they’re a good source of information. He’s always learning something from these guys. And their presentations are entertaining.

Rick admires Escape Pod for their impressive presentations of good spec fiction, much like our own Variant Frequencies, except they have the audience we’d love to have. I’ve also listened to several of their stories and have been inspired.

Rick also listens to Dragon’s Landing Inn by Chuck Tinsley and Lonnie Ezell, Slice of SciFi by Evo Terra and Michael R. Mennenga, Manic Mondays by Tom Rockwell of Sudden Death, a comedy rap group. (He REALLY likes podcasts.) Also a couple of Firefly ‘casts, The Signal and Firefly Talk, keeping the Serenity spirit alive.

Matt likes Shadowdance: interviews, commentary and articles about fringe culture, like vampires and magic. He also listens to Velcrotroupe and Manic Mondays for their humor. He also believes that Wil Wheaton did, in fact, invent podcasting. Wheaton’s site is currently In Exile, but Matt is positive he will return.

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