From Podpedia

File:Starshipsofa logo.png
Blast Off with the StarShipSofa
Hosted byTony C. Smith
GenreScience Fiction
Original releaseJuly 2006 – present

StarShipSofa is a science fiction podcast from the United Kingdom hosted by Tony C. Smith with Jeremy Szal as the fiction editor. It was the first ever podcast to be both nominated for and to win a Hugo Award for Best Fanzine. StarShipSofa was also nominated for Best Fan Podcast in the 2007 Parsec Awards.[1] StarShipSofa is free directly from the web site and is available for subscription and automatic download through iTunes.

History[edit | edit source]

The show was first broadcast in July 2006 by Smith and Ciaran O'Carrol with an episode focusing on Alfred Bester.[2] The next 70 episodes ran weekly and featured commentary on such subjects as Harlan Ellison, Samuel R. Delany, Charles Stross, and other well-known science fiction authors. StarShipSofa also covered subjects such as films and specific themes such as religion in science fiction.[3]

In 2010 many of these original podcasts were transcribed and published in book form as StarShipSofa: The Captain's Logs.[4]

At the end of this initial run O'Carrol left StarShipSofa and the podcast began to transition to an audio fiction magazine, with narrated fiction mixed with commentary and essays.[5] Now calling itself StarShipSofa - The Audio Science Fiction Magazine, in October 2007 StarShipSofa began podcasting Hugo Award winning audio stories for free. In March 2008, for the first time ever, all five of the short stories that had been shortlisted for the BSFA Award for Best Short Story were made available on the StarShipSofa in audio narrated format.[6]

Adam Pracht was the assistant editor up until September 2014, when he left to pursue other activities. He was replaced with Jeremy Szal, which was announced in Episode 361.

Hugo Award[edit | edit source]

On 4 April 2010, StarShipSofa became the first podcast to ever be included on the Hugo Awards ballot. It was nominated in the category Best Fanzine. On 5 September 2010 StarShipSofa went on to become the first podcast to win a Hugo Award.[7] The award was presented at Aussiecon 4 in Melbourne, Australia.

As a result, the 2011 business meeting of the Worldcon voted to create a new category for "Best Fancast", so that podcasts would no longer be deemed a fanzine or be eligible for a fanzine Hugo.[8]

District of Wonders[edit | edit source]

In January 2012 StarShipSofa launched its first spin-off, a horror podcast hosted by Lawrence Santoro called Tales to Terrify. This was followed in July 2012 by two more spin-offs - the crime-themed Crime City Central hosted by Jack Calverley, and the pulp-themed Protecting Project Pulp hosted by Dave Robison. The four are now united under the District of Wonders banner. However, The District of Wonders soon abandoned both Crime City Central and Protecting Project Pulp. Instead in April 2014 they started fantasy podcast Far Fetched Fables, leaving the District of Wonders with three podcasts, respectively.[9]

StarShipSofa Stories[edit | edit source]

To celebrate the 100th episode of StarShipSofa's audio fiction magazine, an anthology of stories titled StarShipSofa Stories, Volume 1 was published, featuring fiction by Michael Moorcock, Gene Wolfe, Peter Watts, Elizabeth Bear, and others.[10] The second volume of stories was published in October 2010 and contains fiction by Neil Gaiman, China Miéville, Mary Rosenblum, and others.

Special episodes[edit | edit source]

In June 2015 for Episode 389, StarShipSofa produced and adapted in audio the story "The Men of Greywater Station" co-written by George R. R. Martin and Howard Waldrop. The story was published in the anthology Songs of Stars and Shadows, published in 1977 and now out of print with no electronic copies existing and the story never previously appearing online. The story was narrated by English actor Nicholas Camm. StarShipSofa produced a YouTube video discussing the story to promote the episode.[11]

In an interview with Boing Boing, assistant editor Jeremy Szal revealed that the author offered to post a copy of the anthology by snail mail.[12] Shortly after the episode's launch the author himself publicly approved of the story's production and narration on his blog.[13] YouTuber prestonjacobs created an analysis of the podcast's adaptation and the story, highlighting the similarities to the A Song of Ice and Fire canon and theorizing that all stories written by George R. R. Martin are contained in one singular universe.[14]

Notable Authors[edit | edit source]

Notable authors published in the magazine include:

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "StarShipSofa Podcast: science fiction". Archived from the original on 29 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  2. StarShipSofa EP> #1, Alfred Bester, Transcribed by Craig Webster, StarShipSofa: The Captain's Logs, edited by Tony C. Smith, published by StarShipSofa, page 8.
  3. "Update on StarShipSofa – in case you missed our first rave". Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  4. "StarShip Sofa Announces Publication of The Captain's Logs," Archived 23 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine. by John DeNardo,, 17 June 2010.
  5. Afterword by Tony C. Smith, StarShipSofa: The Captain's Logs, edited by Tony C. Smith, published by StarShipSofa, page 327.
  6. "Podcast of all the BSFA Award shortlisted short stories". Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2008. 
  7. 2010 Hugo Award winners, The Hugo Awards, accessed 5 September 2010.
  8. Glyer, Mike. "Business Meeting Votes Hugo Zine Category Changes" File 770 20 August 2011
  9. "Far Fetched Fables' home page". Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  10. TOC: StarShipSofa Stories, Volume 1 edited by Tony C. Smith Archived 30 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. by John DeNardo,, 6 September 2009.
  11. "YouTube - Men of Greywater Station". Youtube. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  12. "Boing Boing Interview". Boing Boing. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  13. "Not a Blog". Not A Blog. 10 June 2015. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  14. "PrestonJacobs - Thousand Worlds Book Club: Men of Greywater Station by George R.R. Martin". YouTube. 29 November 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 

External links[edit | edit source]