Friday, September 30, 2011

That Gets My Goat 51: With A Name Like "Cowboys & Aliens..."

Big and Rish finish their conversation about COWBOYS & ALIENS, bringing to an end their movie rant series. What was wrong with C&A? Might it have something to do with the title? What's in a name?

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Big and Rish on "Journey Into..." podcast

Our pal Marshall Latham over at his podcast "Journey Into..." recently used us for a full-cast production of
"The Trial of Thomas Jefferson"
by David Kirtley. It's something of an upsetting story, a dark vision of a murky future where, through the use of time travel, the greatest evildoers in history are finally punished. It's something of an all-star production, as Marshall voices the main character, Abbie Hilton voices his wife, and Podcastle's Dave Thompson voices a paralegal. Big voices the character of the Judge and Rish does the narration.

Check it out. This story upset me, but not in a bad way. May you be upset as well.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Big reads a story on Pseudopod

It's true, Lefou! I found it to be as unusual a request as you surely do. A few months ago, Shawn Garrett, the editor at Pseudopod sent me an email asking if I would read a story for his show. I squinted at the email, shook my head to clear and strangeness that might be going on, yet it persisted. The person they were requesting to read the story was Big Anklevich. Nobody wants Big Anklevich to read a story. That's like asking John Oates to guest on your album. If it was a Muppets tribute show or something, maybe I can understand, but even then, Rish does a better impression of Kermit than me. I just sound vaguely like Kermit or Ernie, so that it brings them to mind without actually sounding anything like them.

Anyway, I just figured that Shawn didn't know our show well enough, and had the two of us mixed up. So, I recorded the story, edited it, and sent it out to him, expecting that he'd get it, and swear when he realized the mix-up. I just hoped he didn't throw out my recording and hand it to some other non-Muppet sounding guy once he stopped swearing, because that would suck.

I never got an angry email from Shawn, and this week, the story went live on Pseudopod. So, either he was too worried about his release schedule to throw out my recording and start over, or he actually wanted me to read it not Rish. I suspect it was the former, and he is just too nice of a guy to say anything about it, but maybe that's just my own insecurities talking.

You can listen to the story here. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

That Gets My Goat 50: You Got Your Alien In My Cowboy!

Big and Rish have reached the end of their summer movie viewing. The last one: COWBOYS & ALIENS.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rish's Least Favorite Part of the Show

(I initially wrote this over at our forums, which is over at, but I thought I'd repost it here, so all my rambling wouldn't only be witnessed by the three users not checking those boards at 5K marathon rest stops.)

I'm not sure if it's obvious, but I really hate asking for donations on the show. Partly, it's my personality. It feels to me a little like like begging for money on a streetcorner, or at least asking a girl out on a date (repeatedly), and I'm no good with that. In my day to day life, I find it incredibly difficult to ask people for money (or sexual intercourse, but I think that topic's been covered).

The other reason, though, is that I often hear it on other podcasts: the obligatory plea for fan support. I know it's obligatory because it FEELS obligatory, as vital a part of their shows as a commercial break on television:
"Please give us money to pay our authors and cover our hosting costs!"
"Please vote for us in the Parsec Awards (or Hugo awards)!"
"Please give us five stars on I-Tunes or Podcast Alley!"
"Please tell your friends about us!"
"Please, please, please, let me get what I want. God knows it would the first time."

When I hear the way the other shows so shamelessly whine about needing money (jeez, there was one who said, "Look, we only got $100 in donations in the last two months. If we get even one more month with that little listener support, we're gonna have to quit doing the show." It repulsed me more than any "Me love you long time" prostitute spiel because it not only had no dignity, but Big and I would be dancing a merry Irish jig with KISS makeup on if we ever got $100 in donations), I shudder and/or roll my eyes. Because I could never do that. I could never come on that strong, hammer it home in such an uncreative, pontificating way, or act like somebody owed me money for the show that I do.

Instead, I've always tried making it funny. "Now's the time to BEG for donations!" "What, Bullwinkle, again? That trick never works." I try to make a mockery of the process, and switch it up every time. And my guess is that they're never funny (mostly because it's a drudgery, and it's hard to be funny when you're doing something against your will), not in the way that other parts of the Dunesteef might be.

I realize it's important to ask for donations. And that there are new listeners every couple of shows, who haven't heard that a free podcast isn't really free. But I simply won't read the same scripted thing every week (unless it's as a joke), and Big and I will even switch up what Announcer Man says at the end of every episode (hope you've noticed).

It's hard, though. Hard to humble myself and say, "We need your help. Don't make us pay for the show out of Big's pocket. We rely on your generosity to be able to buy Catastrophe Baker and Popoca and CHEMO and butthelmet-sorcerer-scorpion stories. Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope."

But do I really have a choice? I mean, we NEED donations to stay afloat. Big takes care of the financial upkeep of the site and podcast and payments, and he has more money problems than Peter Parker. Big constantly tells me he wants to pay the authors more (and he feels that the higher the payment, the higher-caliber of writers will submit, whereas I think we have pretty great writers now, and paying them more will just get us more submissions), and the only way to do that is to get the fans to toss us a few bucks now and then. If just a handful of people subscribe to that monthly/quarterly thing, we stay afloat.

We've got the whole incentive episode scam--er, service as well, which I think is a good idea, since I enjoy producing my own stories almost as much as Well-Told Tales used to, but Big thinks that is a case of diminishing returns. So what else can we do? Do listeners hate the pleas for donations as much as I hate asking for them? Do people even listen all the way to the end of the show? Is my way truly better than the shows that have a script they read from every week, asking people to send them money?

I don't know. Do you?

Rish "The Scrounge" Outfield

Monday, September 12, 2011

That Gets My Goat 49: What's the Score?

Rish and Big finish their conversation (wow, now months old) about CAPTAIN AMERICA, talking about the music of the film. Nice to hear them complaining again, isn't it?

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Final White Whale

There's this story that I read...a few years ago now. I loved it so much that I insisted to Rish that we had to do it for the show. Now, Rish didn't need much convincing. All I had to do was tell him the title of the story, and he was on board.

I tried to contact the author, and was unable to. I let it sit for a while, then tried again, and was still unable to. I let it sit for a while longer, then tried again. I was still unable to get a response from him. At this point, it had been more than a year since I first read the story, and I was forced to admit that it was probably never going to happen. Of the many white whales that swim beyond our reach on the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, this one seemed to be the one we'd never be able to harpoon.

Last night, however, as I was preparing to write my 500 word quota for the day, I thought, out of the blue, that I'd give this author one last chance to be a part of our show. I fired off a quick email, and then got on with what I'd turned the computer on to accomplish.

I was very tired last night when I sent the email, and I'd almost completely forgotten that I'd even done it. As if I was drunk emailing or something. So this morning, when his response came back, it was like an unspoken prayer had been answered with a Christmas miracle. He agreed to let us do his story on the show.

I'm so stoked. You know, there's been many things that we've wanted to do with our show, and I think, once we podcast this story, we'll have accomplished them all. The final white whale will be harpooned, and I'll be able to die a happy man. Good thing Rish has got that final episode edited and ready to post, huh?

So anyway, I'm not going to tell you the author's name, nor the story's title. I want to keep that close to the vest so that you can't ruin your appetite by reading it ahead of time. Just know that, about six months from now, when a story with a completely unforgettable title appears in the queue, all things have been accomplished, and I can die satisfied with myself.

"Go then. There are other worlds than these."

Monday, September 5, 2011

That Gets My Goat 48: Avenge Me!

Big and Rish continue talking about CAPTAIN AMERICA...sort of. This seems to be mostly about World War II and the Avengers now.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.