In a dark world ‘Forest Guide’ lights the way.

Forest Guide is a four-part magical realism fiction podcast from Crossroad Stations, written and directed by Jim Robbie and the Wanderers‘ Jack Pevyhouse. The show follows a night in the life of Shiloh (Pevyhouse), a bartending grad student (and ex-poet) who has lost his way in life. That is, until one night when the titular Forest Guide (Julia Schifni) shows up to get Shiloh back on track.

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Mount Olympus University: Where Gods Have Midterms

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There’s a slight chance very few people will actually read this review in full. If you’re anything like me just hearing the mere premise of this show will cause you to lose focus in your scramble to subscribe and start listening to this delightful show.

Mount Olympus University is an audio fiction series set on a peculiar college campus where the student body and faculty all have unique abilities. That is, except for Pandora, who is there on a full ride scholarship (that she didn’t apply for). The show begins with Pandora stumbling across an abandoned student radio station deep within the ever-changing hallways of MOU.

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Review | A Scottish Podcast: Season One

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A Scottish Podcast is a comedy-horror (note the order) audio drama that tells the story of a disgraced radio presenter who starts a paranormal podcast with intentions of capitalizing on an inherently gullible audience, only to accidentally stumble across legitimate paranormal phenomenon.

After crapping his pants on a nationally broadcast live chat show years prior, washed-up radio DJ Lee powers is looking to regain some popularity and make money along the way. In a particularly meta plot point, real-world podcast The Black Tapes inspires him to start a “real” horror documentary podcast: The Terror Files (a title that gets extra points when said with a Scottish accent). With reluctant, snarky production assistant Doug, Lee lucks upon a spooky situation that launches the podcast to instant stardom.

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Feeling alone at ‘Station Blue’ | First Impressions

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It’s time to get cold, real cold. Today I’m talking about the new isolationist horror audio drama Station Blue. This will probably be the most first-impressiony-est of my first impressions as there are only two full episodes (and three prologue shorts) released as of this writing.

Station Blue is set in a location I’m quite shocked more podcasts haven’t taken advantage of yet: Antarctica. Not only that, but Antarctica during the harsh winter when no planes can get in or out in the event of an emergency. The idea of being completely stranded in a barren wasteland of snow and harsh winds is rife for horror potential, especially when one throws a creepy/mysterious research station into the mix.  Continue reading

Dead water and goat cheese | The world-building of ‘Girl in Space’

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Source: girlinspacepodcast.com

About 18 hours after listening to every released episode of Girl in Space in one go, I’m left dumbfounded by the talent and craftsmanship that goes into producing each episode. While there isn’t a full season one for me to properly review, I feel safe in publicly saying “this is some damned good science fiction.” So good, in fact, I’d like to take a few paragraphs to highlight the brutally simplistic world-building tactics producer/writer/editor/star Sarah Rhea Werner uses to paint the world around their characters.

Three lines. That’s all we’re going to talk about. Girl in Space has three lines in episodes 103 and 104 (one apiece) that aren’t necessarily plot-important, they feel like asides more than anything else, but they’re a perfect one-two shot of world-building information that hit so hard I had to pause the podcast and work through what I’d just experienced.

Light spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t listened past episode one of the series (which you should do anyway, this show rocks).

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First Impressions: The Phenomenon

Occasionally I come across certain podcasts worthy of discussion and critique, but the show in question doesn’t have enough published content produced to justify a fully-scored review. Early Impressions is a spoiler-free solution to fill this gap. 

I’m a sucker for well-edited scary things. Or at the very least, edited scary things. I remember as a teen lying in bed listening to the famed “first Star Wars horror” book Death Troopers on CD and getting the heebiest of jeebies from subtle usage of sound effects and music cues. All it took was a few well-timed clicking sounds and goopy flesh noises to get me binge-watching a sitcom or two for hours on end after to purge the spooky thoughts.

The Phenomenon hit this spot perfectly by trading on an imprinted fear of the Emergency Broadcast System. While it might not have the same impact in other parts of the world, I grew up on one end of an area known as “tornado alley.” Hearing that tone while a worried-looking weatherman tried to keep the county up-to-date was a summer fixture. That sustained tone is enough to make my blood run cold. Continue reading