Ostium Mini Episode: EMU #5 – Transatlanticism

In this latest installment from EMU, Dave recounts his harrowing journey across the Atlantic, with the goal of reaching the hallowed grounds of the hidden town known as Ostium.

Written and performed by Alex C. Telander.

Warning, this episode contains explicit language.

Ostium now has a merchandise store, check it out.

If you want more Ostium, why not become a patron on our Patreon page, where for just $2 a month you’ll get access to an exclusive brand new mini episode every two weeks (and this includes all through the offseason); and during the regular season of the show you’ll get access to new episodes a full week before everyone else. Alternatively, you could also make a one-time donation and help support Ostium on our website, www.ostiumpodcast.com.

And if you wouldn’t mind leaving Ostium a review on whatever app or program you use to listen to podcasts and that way people can see what you’re saying to convince them to listen to Ostium.

Thanks for listening and see you in two weeks.

 

Advertisements

“Tunnel Kids” by Werner J. Egli

tunnel_kids-cover

This is the story of a boy of about fifteen who travels through Mexico to the borders of the USA. Set in the 1990` s, at the beginning of the story the main character, Santiago Molina, reflects on his early life in a small village near the town of San Cristobal de las Casas in the east of Mexico. Soldiers have killed his father, his older sister has run off with a boyfriend, and now tensions between himself and his mother have caused him also to set off on the long trip to the States. After walking for several weeks he reaches Mexico City, where he is beaten up by a gang and then by the police after being arrested for stealing. Eventually, he is found by an unexpected benefactor who turns out to be a leading barrister and campaigner for justice, and who takes him home to his family and his large estate. Santiago is happy but leaves after venturing back into Mexico City to shoot the police officer who assaulted and abused him. The police are now after him. On reaching Nogales he joins in with the kids who live in one of the floodwater tunnels running below the city of this border town. The girl he is in love with is drowned in a flash flood. To start a new life he has to get to the end of the tunnel, on the other side of the border.

From the San Francisco Book Review:

Composed in beautiful, sensual, and lyrical language, Tunnel Kids by Werner J. Egli is an engaging story of Santiago Molina, a fifteen-year-old boy who leaves his small village near San Cristobal de las Casas and travels to Mexico City to start a new life. But his journey doesn’t end in Mexico City because Mexico is just another stop that propels him further toward the United States.

The story starts with a powerful, disquieting memory and reminiscences from the narrator’s childhood, including the inciting incident of Sta Claus whom the author describes as a gringo and his attempt to touch his elder sister improperly. The narrative moves on pretty fast and different conflicts are introduced. The author’s father is killed. His sister runs off and, unable to live in peace with his mother, he runs off to start a new life abroad. But as soon as he reaches Mexico City, things go awry for him. He is beaten by a gang and the police and arrested for robbery, but a kind man of justice takes him to his opulent home. The protagonist is fueled by a sense of revenge and goes after the police officer who abused him. But he finds himself in a place where there is no life, the floodwater tunnel of Nogales, where many children live and where he falls in love and loses the love of his life to the cold hands of the flood. To survive, he will have to travel to the end of the tunnel.

Tunnel Kids is a wonderful story, told in a powerful, clear, and exciting voice. The story is told in first-person narrative, and the author seems to have a unique mastery of this narrative style. The beautiful prose is enticing, featuring very powerful descriptions that capture the setting and the culture in vivid detail and clarity. I enjoyed the emotional insights and the psychological depth of the story as well as the internal conflict. The protagonist is a character who readers will love. It is also interesting to notice how the themes of love, family, death, crime, and adventure are seamlessly woven into the story. It’s a page-turner, an exciting and delightful read.

Ostium Episode 10: A Crack in the Edge of the World, Part One

In the Ostium Season One finale, “A Crack in the Edge of the World, Part One,” Jake and Monica . . . well, you’re just going to have to listen to the episode to find out.

Written and produced by Alex C. Telander.

Performed by Chris Fletcher and Georgia McKenzie.

Warning, this episode contains explicit language.

Please help and support Team Ostium by rating and reviewing on iTunes, as well as checking out our Patreon. Perks include mini episodes, all the music to Season 1, transcripts featuring full-color covers and illustrations, outtakes, and access to new episodes a week before regular release.

And don’t forget to subscribe and tell your friends.

And finally from Team Ostium to you: Thanks for listening to season one and see you in season two! In the meantime, enjoy lots of upcoming mini episodes and outtakes, and lots of other good stuff.

#Trypod: What is a podcast and why should I try it?

Today is the last day of March and the last day of the #trypod campaign, encouraging people who’ve never listened to a podcast before to give it a try.

What is a podcast?

Now, for those who don’t know, a podcast is essentially a serialized audio recording that you can download and/or stream online for free. Podcasts harken back to the days when radio dramas were popular and people would be glued to their radio each night, waiting to hear the next installment. The highpoint of these radio dramas was of course Orson Welles’s adaptation of War of the Worlds.

Podcasts these days come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. There are many that are works of entertaining fiction covering just about every genre. And there are also many nonfiction podcasts featuring interviews and biographies and news discussions, also covering all the nonfiction categories.

How do you listen to a podcast?

The great thing about podcasts right now is that they’re really popular, which is good news, because it means they’re really easy to get access to and listen to, whether it’s on your laptop/desktop or your phone. Also they’re all free .

If you have an iPhone or use iTunes a lot, there’s a specific podcasts section where you can find pretty much every podcast in existence just by searching for it in the search bar. Click on the podcast logo and you’ll see the page with info about the podcast and all the episodes available so far. Click on “Get” with each episode and they’ll all be downloaded for you, and you’ll want to make sure you start with the first episode. Also, if you like the podcast be sure to click on “Follow” and that way new episodes will automatically be downloaded for you.

If you’re an Android user or don’t use iTunes, the best free program to go with is Podbean. There are a number of other podcast programs that people like including SoundCloud, Google Play, Overcast, Player FM and Otto Radio to name a few. Podbean is simple to use and definitely very user friendly. You can download the app for free on your phone or go to the Podbean site on your computer. Just plug in the name of the podcast and just like with iTunes, you can click to download specific episodes, and again be sure to follow to get new episodes automatically downloaded for you.

What do I listen to?

I got really into podcasts about a year and a half ago. I read a ton of audiobooks with my job, and decided to branch out to podcasts. I started with the wacky podcast which has become a massive international success called Welcome to Night Vale.  I am currently subscribed to 12 podcasts: Welcome to Night Vale, Tanis, Black Tapes, Rabbits, A Scottish Podcast, The Bridge, The Bright Sessions, Small Town Horror, The Box, Mabel, ars Paradoxica, and my own podcast, Ostium.

I’ve also recently gotten way into science podcasts and enjoy: Science Friday, The Guardian’s Science Weekly, Anthropod, StarTalk, Orbital Path, BBC World Service Space, Audio News from Archaeologica, Nature Podcast, BBC Inside Science, Science Talk, and because I’m a San Francisco Giants fan, The Giants Insider Podcast.

What I really like about the Podbean app is that it automatically downloads all the new episodes to all the podcasts I’m subscribed to and I can listen to them all in a row without having to do anything other than hit play. You can even create your own playlists of specific episodes if you want.

Why should I listen to a podcast?

So to sum up: why a podcast? If you like audiobooks and find you have lots of time when you’re driving or could be listening to something, the sheer variety of podcasts out there now is just staggering. The subjects that are covered practically guarantee you’ll find something interesting. Also there’s some incredible fictional writing out there and some great drama being recorded that’s just really entertaining, like an addictive book or engrossing movie.

What is Ostium?

Ostium is a podcast I write and create and record with some friends. It’s about a man who discovers a hidden town in Northern California where there are many doors leading to different worlds. You can find out more about it on the Ostium website, or by searching for Ostium on iTunes, Podbean, or any of those other podcast apps I mentioned.

Bookbanter’s Best Books of 2016

#1

Not Dead Yet by Phil Collins: Phil Collins has been kind of quiet for the last five or so years. He said it’s because he wanted to semi-retire and actually spend time raising a family for once, having never had this experience with his previous three families during his multiple decade-spanning superstar career. Continue . . .

#2

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch: From the author of the Wayward Pines trilogy (now a TV series) comes Blake Crouch’s follow up novel which is in every way as addictive and compelling as his previous works. “Are you happy with your life?” Continue . . .

#3

It’s been a few years since fans enjoyed the last Newsflesh novel, and in that time the dark and twisted Mira Grant has written a number of novellas for various anthologies, which fans may have missed along the way. Thankfully, the wonderful people at Orbit have helped collect all these separate stories together in this mighty and magnificent tome, Rise. Continue . . .

#4

It is likely that you have heard in some way, shape or form of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale that has grown to incredible popularity over the last few years. In addition to putting up new episodes every couple weeks, the team continues to go on live tours not just across the United States, but also across the globe. Continue . . .

#5

Mary Roach has wowed her addictive readers with corpses (Stiff), sex (Bonk), and life in space (Packing for Mars). In Grunt she delves into a new arena with the world of the military and the science behind it that protects them in every way possible. Continue . . .

#6

It’s been many years since readers got the first bloody taste of the terrifying vampires in Justin Cronin’s The Passage. Since that time the second volume of the trilogy, The Twelve, came out with a lesser bang than the first. And now the final volume, The City of Mirrors, is finally here much to everyone’s hope and excitement, and it does not disappoint. Continue . . .

#7

Seanan McGuire has a number of books under her belt, with both the October Daye and Incryptid series. Then there are the many books she’s written under Mira Grant. So with the publication of her new novel,with a new publisher – Tor, readers might be expecting something similar to what they’ve read before. Every Heart a Doorway is completely different to anything she has written before, and it may be (at least in my opinion) the best piece of fiction she’s written so far. Continue . . .

#8

If you’re any sort of epic fantasy fan, then by now you know full well who bestselling author Brandon Sanderson is. You may know him as the author who finished the long-spanning Wheel of Time series by the late Robert Jordan; or the creator of the fantastic Mistborn series; or perhaps you know him as the great mind behind his ongoing epic Stormlight Archive series. Continue . . .

#9

Bestselling science fiction author Allen Steele’s latest novel, Arkwright, is the science fiction equivalent of Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds. Readers get to experience the saga of the family Arkwright and its friends through the centuries and across the distant reaches of space. Continue . . .

#10

Bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay’s previous two books were fantasy-tinged sweeping works of historical fiction set within the Tang dynasty of 8th century China. In his latest novel, Children of Earth and Sky, he returns to his alternate quasi-medieval Europe that readers have come to know in his Sarantine Mosaic duology and The Lions of Al-Rassan. Continue . . .

#11

The long-awaited (whether it’s published two weeks after the last one or two years, it will always be long-awaited) fifth installment of the Old Kingdom is out! Goldenhand is the one fans have been waiting for, featuring many old friends we’ve cared for and wondered about for some time: Sabriel, the Abhorsen; King Touchstone; Lirael, Abhorsen-in-waiting; and Nicholas Sayre; and yes maybe Chlorr of the Mask is involved somehow too. Continue . . .

#12

It’s been a few years since Robert J. Sawyer published a novel, his last being Red Planet Blues in 2013. With the passing of his brother, Sawyer needed to take some time off. Now he’s back with a new novel, Quantum Night, and if readers and fans might be wondering if the new book might be lacking in some classic Sawyer way with the time off, they will not be disappointed in the slightest! Continue . . .

#13

The second book in The Change quartet, after Stranger, does a lot of things the second book in the series should: opening the world further, adding some new and interesting characters, and raising the stakes to a whole new level that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. Continue . . .

#14

Charlie Jane Anders is someone who has been very much a mainstay of the science fiction and fantasy world, is a co-editor of the science fiction blog iO9, and Emcees a monthly reading series Writers with Drinks in San Francisco. So it’s not surprising that she should write an interesting novel the blends the worlds of fantasy and science fiction in a delicious way. Continue . . .

#15

There is a Peruvian legend that Andres Ruzo once heard his father tell him, of a mysterious river deep within the Amazon jungle that consists of rushing boiling water so hot that anything living that falls into it is immediately boiled alive. It seems like little more than an entertaining folk tale that can’t possibly be true, but now a geoscientist, Andres Ruzo intends to find out whether there is any truth to this “boiling river” story. Continue . . .

On Serial Box: Episodic Writing: The Golden Era of Podcasts

Writing a podcast is very different from writing a novel or short story, in fact I believe it’s more akin to writing for a TV series, but can’t confidently say since I have yet to be hired on to write the next episode of Game of Thrones. The big difference with this type of writing is that it’s episodic: you’re writing shorter pieces in each episode for a longer overarching story. You might think, well, this is pretty similar to writing a novel with individual chapters each telling a part of the longer story of the book. And yes, there are some similarities, but when you’re working on a novel you usually have a deadline in mind many months or sometimes even a year or more down the road. When it comes to a podcast, especially an ongoing one, the deadlines are a lot more . . . oncoming and perhaps seemingly never ending.

[read the rest of the article on Serial Box]

Join Me in Taking a Stand

Ever since the night of November 4th, I’ve felt sad and somewhat helpless about the future. Lots of changes are going to happen and have already begun to happen, and pretty much all of them are for the worse for this country and is many diverse and wonderful people. I’ve done what I can, donating when I can afford it.

When I heard that a publisher I have respected for decades, Simon & Schuster, plans to publish a book – after a book deal for a quarter of a million dollars – by white supremacist Milo Yiannopoulos I was incensed and angered. Simon & Schuster says it is an expression of free speech.

When I learned that an online publication I work for, City Book Review, which includes multiple online publications of book reviews, was boycotting Simon & Schuster, along with others, there was no hesitation. Finally, I could do something. I immediately joined the boycott.

Below is the email I sent to every Simon & Schuster publicist I could find. I understand this punishes the authors as well as the publisher and its imprints, but it also sends a strong message, and the authors may want to think about the publisher that represents them.

I encourage you to join me in boycotting Simon & Schuster.

Dear Publicist,

It was extremely disappointing to discover one of Simon & Schuster’s imprints is publishing white supremacist Milo Yiannopoulos’s book. When it seems like daily this country moves one step deeper into the quagmire of racism, bigotry, and hatred, as well as the bullying and harassment of women and minorities, giving this man a lot of money and publishing his voice from a publisher I have respected for years is one more step in completely the wrong direction.

Your publisher claims it is freedom of speech. So were speeches made by Hitler, Stalin, and so many others throughout history.

I will be expressing my freedom of speech, in joining The Chicago Review of Books, San Francisco Book Review, Manhattan Book Review, Seattle Book Review, Kid’s Bookbuzz and Booksmith, and Bookbanter will no longer be reviewing a single book published by Simon & Schuster or any of its imprints. I join those in a growing voice hoping Simon & Schuster will make the right choice about this disgusting book deal.

Sincerely,

Alex C. Telander.