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In which we pore over the Ditmar ballot, Alex makes Tansy squirm about her nominations, Alisa makes Alex say 'sexytimes' more than once, and we take on the hard-hitting issues of the day: plagiarism, pirates and mommy porn.

News Ditmar shortlist

Shirley Jackson shortlist featuring Deborah B

Stephenie Meyer moves into film production and who can blame her?

Story Siren & Plagiarism: Smart Bitches presents the story. Kristi's apology.

MindMeld looks at great SF reads for teenage girls. But what KIND of teenage girls?

What Culture Have we Consumed? Alisa: Feed by Mira Grant Alex: By Light Alone, Adam Roberts; Lathe of Heaven, Ursula le Guin; In the Mouth of the Whale, Paul McAuley; Among Others, Jo Walton; Tansy: Womanthology, The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Feedback: Fifty Shades of Grey

Interview with the author

Mommy porn

COMPETITION - SHOWTIME - What’s your favourite vampire?

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  • Kennedy

    Really entertaining podcast! Its interesting that you brought up the Avengers movie and behind the scenes stuff about comics. I’m boycotting the Avengers movie and all Marvel product because Avengers co-creator Jack Kirby and his family were screwed out of all rights and royalties to the Avengers and the characters he created. Comic Book pro Steve Bissette could probably describe what happened better than I could http://srbissette.com/?p=14066

    Apr 29, 2012 at 3:42 pm
  • Jon Baker

    Congratulations on your Hugo nomination! If it weren’t for that, I would not have discovered your fantastic podcast! Exclamation point! I’ve been listening, and reporting on it to my wife, and now she’s downloading them too!

    OTOH, I’ve been listening to a few episodes, and am somewhat bothered by the high-pitched tinkly artifacts that accompany your voices. I used to get them when I would reprocess a large mp3 file at a lower sample rate, say 8000 or 11025 Hz, which can easily leave artifacts above 4000 or 5500 Hz (one can only sample signals that are half the sampling rate or lower). I loaded one of your shows into Audacity mp3 editor, and yes, there’s a spurious 1700Hz signal (approximately) overlaid on your regular voices, which makes the little tinkly noises, almost as loud as your own voices in spots.

    The comparison picture can be found here:


    I see that you send them out as 44100Hz samples, but I have to figure that somewhere between recording and final production, there’s a lower-frequency sampling going on.

    Could you look into that?

    May 3, 2012 at 9:12 am
  • Aifin

    Thanks for the congratulations and your comments, Jon!

    I am aware of the ‘tinkling’ artifact which is a product of the fact we record using Skype and then heavily compress to mp3 to maximize bandwidth (a lot of our podcasts are up to two hours long!). We are also restricted to upload speeds of 256kbs by our ISP. I have found that listening in the car tends to reduce the ‘tinkling’ effect but I appreciate it could get annoying for headphone users.

    I still have all the original recordings so it should be possible to produce better quality copies onto a CD or DVD ROM if there is demand for such.

    Anyway, thanks for listening and I hope you and your wife continue to enjoy the podcast.

    The Silent Producer.

    May 3, 2012 at 10:46 am
  • Celia

    I’m glad Alex mentioned that she had disliked the previous Adam Roberts book she’d read, as it gave me a chance to go and delete it from the Galactic Suburbia Recommends pinboard - woops!

    On a vaguely-not-really-related note to the list of SF reads for teenage girls, I enjoyed the list that Culturally Disoriented posted of 8 great SF books for women - http://culturallydisoriented.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/eight-great-science-fiction-books-for-women-an-alternative-list/

    May 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm
  • Alex

    Celia, that’s quite funny! Maybe I should put a note in the show notes in future about whether it was a book I disliked but still wanted to discuss… Thanks so much, again, for creating the pinboard for us - we really like it!

    May 7, 2012 at 8:09 am