Escape Pod (podcast)

From Podpedia
Escape Pod
The official Escape Pod logo
GenreSci-fi Short Stories
No. of episodes(List of episodes)
Original release16 May 2005 – present
LicenseCreative Commons 3.0,
Attribution, Noncommercial,
No Derivative Works

Escape Pod is a magazine-style podcast founded by Steve Eley and launched on 12 May 2005 which presents science fiction stories. It has been called "the world's leading science fiction podcast".[1] In 2006, Eley created Escape Artists, Inc. to produce Escape Pod and sister podcasts, Pseudopod and PodCastle. While episodes are free, writers are paid according to market guidelines established by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America,[2] and the company runs solely on listener donations or subscriptions.

Podcast history[edit | edit source]

Escape Pod launched with founder Steve Eley filling all roles. Later, writer Jeremiah Tolbert joined as editor.[3][4] Steve Eley announced his retirement on 26 April 2010.[5] His last appearance was Episode 240 on 12 May 2010.

Mur Lafferty assumed both producer and hosting roles at Escape Pod with Episode 241. Effective 1 January 2013, Mur Lafferty stepped down as editor, keeping her association with Escape Artists, Inc.[6] On 18 December 2012, at Escape Pod's site, Mur published "Announcing the new editor of Escape Pod!", naming co-host Norm Sherman the new editor and Alasdair Stuart interim editor until Sherman assumed his new role. On 3 January 2013 Escape Pod confirmed Mur's departure during Episode 377's introduction.

Near the end of 2013, the company announced that due to a combination of increased listener demand and a decline in contributions, they were three months from insolvency.[7] After overwhelming response from listeners, it was announced that the company was fully funded for at least ten months, and that the company had been purchased by Pseudopod host, Alasdair Stuart.[8]

Escape Artists, Inc.[edit | edit source]

Escape Artists, Inc. is a Georgia corporation established 21 February 2006 by Steve Eley[9] for producing Escape Pod and sister podcasts and is distinct from Escape Artists Productions, LLC. The company was purchased in July 2014 by Alasdair Stuart and Dan Sawyer.[8] As of January 2016, Escape Artists added a fourth podcast, as Cast of Wonders joined the company.[10]

Sister podcasts[edit | edit source]

Escape Artists has three sister podcasts:

  • Escape Pod is dedicated to science fiction,
  • Pseudopod is dedicated to horror fiction,
  • PodCastle is dedicated to fantasy fiction, and
  • Cast of Wonders features young adult speculative fiction.

Content[edit | edit source]

Escape Pod features several different types of content. The magazine offers a weekly story, usually between 2000 and 6000 words in length. It also releases flash fiction pieces less than 2000 words in length on an irregular schedule. Annually Escape Pod publishes audio presentations the year's Hugo Award nominees in the short story category. On rare occasions, other types of content have been made available on Escape Pod, such as metacasts (episodes discussing the achievements and future plans of the show itself), an interview, book and movie reviews, and PDFs for Playing for Keeps by Mur Lafferty and Infected by Scott Sigler.

In 2008, Escape Pod refocused its attention back to its science fiction roots, leaving the horror and fantasy stories to the sister podcasts but Eley states that there are still no hard and fast rules on content, and Escape Pod may still feature the occasional horror or fantasy piece.

Narration[edit | edit source]

Escape Pod has a policy against allowing authors to read their own works.[why?] Many stories are read by people associated with Escape Pod (Steve Eley, Mur Lafferty, Jonathon Sullivan, and Anna Eley) as well as other members of the podcasting community.

SFWA professional market[edit | edit source]

Escape Pod is considered a professional market by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and publications in it count towards qualifying writers for SFWA.[11]

Music[edit | edit source]

Escape Pod's music is provided by surf rock band Daikaiju with the band's permission. The opening theme is the instrumental song "The Final Phase," and the closing theme is "Choujikuu Mitsukai" ("Super-Dimensional Angels"). Both are from the album The Phasing Spider Menace.

Reception[edit | edit source]

The podcast has been a finalist for the Parsec Award four times for Best Speculative Fiction Story (Short Form), once for Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Novella & Long Form), and twice for Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast.[12][13][14][15][16]

Short fiction audio podcast magazines like Escape Pod and its sister publications, Pseudopod and PodCastle, have caught the interest and imagination of fiction enthusiasts, and doing a wonderful job at reviving awareness in both new short fiction and classic works
Eugie Foster

Distribution and rights[edit | edit source]

Escape Pod is distributed under the Creative Commons attribution non-commercial no-derivatives 3.0 license.[3] This means that Escape Pod episodes are available at no cost and can be redistributed but not sold or modified. Any of the show's episodes may be downloaded individually from Escape Pod's website or received via a podcatcher.

The fiction itself remains copyrighted by its respective authors. Escape Pod contracts with the authors for non-exclusive audio rights, paying semi-professional rates.[17]

Escape Pod now sells collections of their podcasts at PodDisc. There are currently five discs available. Disc one contains episodes 1 through 26. Disc two contains 27 through 52. Disc three contains episodes 53 through 78. Disc four contains episodes 79 through 104. Disc five contains episodes 105 through 130.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. TNC New Media, Inc. "Speaker Bio: Stephen Eley". TNC New Media, Inc. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  2. McDonald, Glenn. "Podcast Picks: 'Judge John Hodgman,' 'Superego' worth a listen". The News & Observer. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "About Escape Pod". Escape Artists, Inc. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  4. Milner, Andrew (2013). Locating Science Fiction. Oxford: Liverpool University Press. p. 244. ISBN 9781781389218. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  5. The State of Escape Pod and a Message from Steve
  6. "Podcasts". The Murverse Annex. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  7. Doctorow, Cory. "Escape Pod, Podcastle and Pseudopod podcasts need your help". Boing Boing. Jason Weisberger. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Stuart, Alasdair. "The Escape Artists' Next Big Trick (31 December 2014)". The Man of Words. Alasdair Stuart. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  9. "ESCAPE ARTISTS, INC. Control Number: 0617104". Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  10. "A Huge Announcement: Cast of Wonders is joining Escape Artists!". 14 October 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  11. SFWA. "SFWA Membership Requirements". SFWA. 
  17. "Submission Guidelines". Escape Artists, Inc. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 

External links[edit | edit source]