If you don’t already know Hub as a weekly(ish) e-zine of SF/F&H fiction and reviews, you probably should. But what I’m talking about today is new: Hub are branching out into podcasts, and I, for one, support the move.
They’re serialising a story by Mur Lafferty, of Pseudopod fame. I like podcasts. I rely on the radio, audio lectures, and anything else I can get my ears on to take me to work and back. Although I have sampled the likes of Pseudopod and Escapepod, I find them hit and miss, simply in terms of whether a particular story will mesh with my tastes, or if I’ll end up turning it off to listen to Radio 4 again. The advantage of a serial, of course, is that if you do like the story, you know you’re likely to enjoy the next installment, too.
The serial is Marco and the Red Granny, a science fiction story set in a future where aliens with sophisticated artistic tastes and unusual abilities have dominated all the creative industries. The aliens are capable of mixing the senses to create necklaces that evoke the taste of strawberries, or to embed a novel into a dress. The dream of all human artists is to gain the patronage of one of these aliens, and Marco just lucked out. In part one, Marco is summoned to the moon to meet his new patron, and discovers that the woman sitting next to him for the journey is the Red Granny, star of a violent and popular reality TV show.
It’s intriguing. The foundation has been laid for some very interesting ideas. I want to know more about these aliens. I want to know what Marco will create. I want to know more about the Red Granny and what part she will play in all this. There’s some theme floating on the surface relating to the strangle hold these aliens have on the creative market, but I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to play out, yet. I want to know what happens next.
This is an original and engaging story, and it’s for free, which is my very favourite price. Although you’re invited to donate if you like it. Go poke it, here: http://www.hubfiction.com/2010/09/new-hub-podcast-serial-by-mur-lafferty/ .