So long, and thanks for all the friends

In 2005, I was listening to the audio book of Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy,” narrated by Stephen Fry. I loved Mr. Fry’s narration of the book. I wished that I could narrate even remotely as well as him. His narration did inspire me. That was what gave me the idea to produce Variant Frequencies. So, I convinced Anne and Matt to let me produce their stories for the podcast.

We had some success. I think we were well respected among our peers, and we did win four Parsec Awards. I don’t know how many other podcasts managed that feat, but I know it isn’t many. Matt and Anne both also managed to get some acclaim along with getting some of their work published.

The absolute best thing about Variant Frequencies was the friends that I made all over the world. That is the big take away for me. I’m now friends with people whom I never would have met without the podcast.

Now for the bad news. Farpoint Media is making changes. That means they won’t be hosting Variant Frequencies after August 31. First, I want to thank everyone at Farpoint Media. They have been great to us, and I truly appreciate everything they did for us. Since I have not produced a new episode of Variant Frequencies in over two years, I’ve decided it is time to let the podcast go. As of August 31, episodes of Variant Frequencies will no longer be available for download. So, if you still want to hear some of our shows that we did, now is the time. After August 31, 2012, Variant Frequencies will go dark for good.

So, with a little nod to one of my favorite authors, so long, and thanks for all the friends. -Rick

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The Cutting Room Floor on Redline Theatre

Ever wonder what I would sound like as a 70s exploitation film director? Well, this is your lucky day! The guys at Redline Theatre have put together one fantastic story. This one is most certainly not work or kid safe. So, check out this great production by these Parsec Award 2011 Finalists.

RLT016: The Cutting Room Floor
It is 1974 in California’s San Fernando Valley, and veteran film director Roger Adamson has begun production on his low-budget action exploitation film “Candy Dynamite”. Adamson’s old world values are out of place amidst the sleaze of swinging seventies Hollywood. What’s a man to do when his code and that which he holds most dear both end up on the cutting room floor?


Written and Produced by Jim Bultas

Music Composed and Performed by Jim Bultas

ROGER ADAMSON: Rick Stringer

NARRATOR: Eric Schulte

CANDY: Michelle Campbell

STEVEN: Justin Warner


BRICK: Eric Schulte


SOUNDMAN: Chris Stewart

WARDROBE: Barb Schulte

BOUNCER: Jim Bultas

WOUNDED WOMEN: Sarah Rosendahl, Misty Myrick


The 10,000 Horsepower Podcast With a Need for Speed

2011 Parsec Finalist





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I’m a guest narrator on Pseudopod 228: Flash On The Borderlands VII. I narrated the story “Hunting” by Kirsty Logan.

“There was only one inner door, so the hunter opened it. He held his candle at arm’s length, but still could see nothing more than the foot of an ocean-sized bed. The hunter crawled across its length, disregarding the brief waft of mold from the blankets. He placed the candlestick on the squat table beside the bed and pulled the covers up over his body.”

There are two other stories as well. “What Makes You Tick?” by David Steffan, narrated by W. Ralph Walters, and “Pageant Girls” by Caroline Yoachim, narrated by Mur Lafferty.

Thank you to the wonderful people at Pseudopod who let me play in their sandbox again. We hope you enjoy the stories!

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All Good Things…

We have had five awesome seasons of Variant Frequencies. However, in recent months my work life has gotten to be more challenging than in the past. It is harder to concentrate on the podcast.

All good things must come to an end. On May 30, 2010 we will be doing a live show at Balticon 44. That will be the final episode of Variant Frequencies. We hope that any of you who will be at Balticon 44 will come join us for this farewell performance. It is an opportunity to celebrate and say goodbye, instead of simply fading away.

We can’t thank the Farpoint Media family enough. It has been an honor and a privilege to be associated with this wonderful group of people. We will keep the site going as long as FPM is willing to let us. That will keep all of the stories available. It will also leave open the possibility of one day returning if I get the bug again.

Then we have the amazing writers: A.R. Yngve, Adrian Grey Marsden, Bryn Sparks, Carmelo Rafala, Christa Faust, D.K. Thompson, Darren Reid, David Tallerman, Dennis Egan, D.J. Burnham, James P. Hogan, Jason McDowell, Jonathan C. Gillespie, Johathan McGoran, Michael Natale, Ray Banks, Scott Sigler, Seth Harwood, Matthew Warner, Jack Mangan, D. M. Moehrle, Michael A. Stackpole, Ray Banks, Jack Westlake, and of course the two authors for which this podcast was originally started, Anne Stringer and Matt Wallace.

Variant Frequencies could not have existed without the incredible voice talents of: Stacey Griffith-Livingston, Tom “DevoSpice” Rockwell, Ian Jones, Anne Stringer, Maia “KnitWhitch” Whitaker, Anton Buntic, Heidi Jones, Jan Dalton, Evo Terra, Neil Stringer, Adrian Grey Marsden, A.R. Yngve, Jeff Frank, Scott Sigler, Ali Groves, Rich Sigfrit, Dani Cutler, Nan Worthington, Tee Morris, Mur Lafferty, Michael R. Mennenga, Chuck Tomasi, Leann Mabry, J. Marcus Xavior, John Cmar, Jack Hosley, Tony McCartney, Matthew Wayne Selznick, Will Hoffacker, Phil Rossi, Jack Ward, Lonnie Ezell, Ciaran O’Carroll, Nobilis, Paul S. Jenkins, Lorrie Mennenga, TD-0013, P.G. Holyfield, Seth Harwood, Thomas “cmdln” Gideon, Marck Pearlstone, Matthew Warner, Heather Welliver, Kreg Steppe, Matt Wallace, J.C. Hutchins, Chris Lester, Marilyn Taylor, Michael A. Stackpole, Sean “Dogg” Robertson, Benjamin Grundy, Christopher Mott, and Alasdair Stuart.

We also had some beautiful artwork by: Deena Warner, Paul Drummond, and Vincent Chong.

A major part of Variant Frequencies has been the music. We have been honored to feature music by: Abney Park, Cagey House, Evan Tate, Greg Seaman, Mue Sephei, Neil Stringer, and the Traverse Symphony Orchestra.

Finally, we want to thank you, the listeners. Without you, Variant Frequencies would have had no reason to be. It has been truly an honor to have you listen to our stories. We can only hope that we entertained you, and distorted your reality…

for just a little while.

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Our Fourth Anniversary – sort of

Hi everyone. This post was supposed to be a celebration of our fourth anniversary, on our anniversary. Unfortunately for us, Variant Frequencies was off-line for a week and a half, we were unable to post this on the actual anniversary. Thank you to everyone who stuck with us.

On January 24th, 2006, Variant Frequencies was born. It is hard to believe that we have been going for over four years now. Many things have happened in those four years.

We started out as a showcase of the writing by Matt Wallace and Anne Stringer. Our first story was written by Matt Wallace. Another Man’s Run was released in two parts.

Another Man’s Run – part 1

Another Man’s Run – part 2

Our second story was another Matt Wallace piece. Absolution Insured was not only a great story, but it won a Parsec Award for Best Short Story. Not bad for only the second story that we produced.

Absolution Insured

After that was the beginning of the ground breaking “The Failed Cities Monologues” by Matt Wallace. This dystopian tale was told from the perspective of eight characters. It was critically acclaimed, and also appeared on

The Failed Cities Monologues 01: Ethan

Our first story written by Anne Stringer was “Evelyn.” Evelyn, actually is two stories in one podcast episode. It is two short stories called “Any Other Name,” and “Evelyn.” Both stories are narrated by Stacey Griffith Livingston.


Over the next three years, we added more authors and won three more Parsec Awards.

Now, in our fifth season, we are bringing you even more great stories.

Thank you for listening to Variant Frequencies. We hope you have found our stories to be entertaining.

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Variant Frequencies: Season V

Variant Frequencies: Season V starts on October 15, 2009. We will be back with a great story by Matthew Warner.

In December, we are going to blast your ears twice a week with The Failed Cities: Hath a Darkness by Matt Wallace! The action starts on December 1 and ends on Christmas Day.

In January we will continue the Christmas theme with a fantastic story by New York Times Best Selling Author, Michael A. Stackpole.

We are just getting rolling folks. It is going to be a great season!

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The Podagogue: review of The Failed Cities Monologues

There is a really great review of The Failed Cities Monologues on The Podagogue right now.

Check it out, and tell him what you thought of the review!

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StarShipSofa Aural Delights

I narrated “Aerophelia” by Tobias Buckell. It was a fun story to do, and StarShipSofa is doing a fantastic job with their stories. Check it out at:

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Parsec Awards 2009

The Parsec Awards are now open for submissions for 2009. As you all know, Variant Frequencies has done well at the Parsec Awards. We don’t know if we can win an unprecedented fourth year in a row, but that sure would be nice.

Here is a list of our episodes that qualify for Best Speculative Fiction Story (Short Form).

Saint Darwin’s Spirituals
The Destruction of Sennacherib
All The Time
Under The Bridge Downtown
Best In Class
Creature of God
Gill Bando
Under The Bed

For Best Speculative Fiction Story (novella)
The End of Flesh

Finally, you certainly could nominate us for Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast.

We hope that you have enjoyed Variant Frequencies enough to nominate us again for the Parsec Awards. It has been an honor to be part of it for the past three years. So, if you think we deserve it, please go to and tell them what you think about us.

Thank you from everyone at Variant Frequencies.


UPDATE: Variant Frequencies has been nominated by a few people now. Thank you to those that have nominated us. If you want to nominate a specific story, then go to this page: Then add a comment that tells them the exact story that you want to nominate.

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Remember Joe 2009

No matter how crazy the time or the schedules in life get, we make time to remember; and on April 1st, Jack and I are asking that you remember our fallen friend, Joe Murphy.

For those of you new to podcasting, you might have missed the audio wit and always-clever banter of my friend, Joe Murphy. He was (and still is) an amazing guy, his voice now part of the history of such podcasts, as Wingin’ It, Slice of SciFi, The Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas, and the award-winning The Case of the Singing Sword: A Billibub Baddings Mystery. He was taken from us too soon, and on April 1 we remember him.

Please, syndicate this podcast through your feeds, blog about Joe, tell a friend today about Joe Murphy, show your support in an avatar change, and let your subscribers know that you also remember Joe.

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