Daily Archives: May 17, 2012

Lend me your ear…

A couple of podcasts which are favorites here at TwShiloh HQ are coming to a conclusion much to our sorrow. I’ve mentioned both before but want to throw out a final recommendation of them as well as an official ‘Well done’. These are great examples of user generated content that is as good as anything you’re likely to find from the entertainment-industrial complex. And it’s all for free (unless you want to be a patron of the arts and donate yourself).

The History of Rome by Mike Duncan has been going for nearly five years and over that time Mike has taken us from the mythological origins of the city on the Tiber to the last emporer of the Western Empire. His style has been that magic mix of casual and informative, navigating what could be a boring recitation of names and dates. Furthermore, the episodes aren’t filled with modern topical references so they hold up well over time. If you haven’t given him a listen, feel free to start from the beginning.

The second is Underwood and Flinch, a vampire novel-podcast from Mike Bennett. Mike’s been podcasting his work for almost three years now and he is not only a great voice actor but is able to create amazing tales of horror and the grotesque. He’s done a number of short stories as well and while I don’t know what his future plans are, you could do much worse than listening to his entire back catalog of stuff.

So, with these two holes in my podcast queue, I’ve had to search around for replacements and I’m pleased to recommend the following:

The British History Podcast by Jamie Jeffers. Jamie began the podcast about a year ago and, like Mike Duncan, has found the sweetspot that encompasses quality content and engaging presentation. He’s taken us from around 16,000 b.c.e to the 5th century c.e. so far and depending on how wide he intends to cast his net (will he confine he work just to the British Isles or expand to cover the many domains the empire came to control?) this may go on for quite some time. He’s done some interesting things already with his podcast including a ‘subscriber option’ which, for a small monthly donation ($2.99 a month or more if you’re particularly generous), gets you access to extra episodes. This is supplemental material like readings of myths and legends of the time period the main (free) podcast is covering, more detailed discussions of culture, architecture, and other subjects which might interfere with the flow of the podcast but which are interesting nonetheless. He’s also doing some ‘hands on’ reporting including an interview with a ‘mixologist’ about the history and particulars of scotch whisky and he’s promising and Anglo-Saxon cooking episode.

The second is Tales to Terrify.  Very creepy tales of the macabre told very well.  One of the tough things about good fiction podcasts is getting quality voice acting.  I’ve had to unsubscribe from well written podcasts because I just couldn’t get past the audio experience.  Good stuff.