The final installment of my Best Podcast Fiction of All Time List, is finally here, revealing the top ten. You can find  the individual posts as they were posted #41-50 here,  #31-40 here,  #21-30 here, and #11-20 here.  For those who just want to get to the Top Ten already I’ve listed that first.  For ease of reference, I’ve also included the entire list of fifty at the bottom of the post so if you want to refer people to the list, you can just link here.

These are (my opinion of) what is the best of the best, the most epic of the most epic.  Load them all up and have an awesome road trip, or ration them out over months of liistening.

I would love if other fiction podcast fans would comment here and say what their own favorites are and why.

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Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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The penultimate installment of my Best Podcast Fiction of All Time List, covering #11-20. You can find #41-50 here,  #31-40 here, and #21-30 here.

Just one more list to go!

It was very hard to pick out my favorites among all the great stuff out there.  Now I want to listen to them all again!

Please comment, follow along, share this list with your friends.
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This is my second installment of my Best Podcast Fiction of All Time List, covering #31-40. You can find #41-50 here. The list is picked from thousands of episodes of the backlog of seventeen short fiction podcasts. There are many more episodes that I love, but these are the cream of the cream of the cream. All of the stories on this list are ones for which I have epic love, so it was a matter of trying to rank them based on fine gradations of that epic love.

Please comment, follow along, share this list with your friends.
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Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their special June issue, Women Destroy Science Fiction:

NOTE:

  • Items denoted with * are exclusive to the ebook edition.
  • Items denoted with ♀ are exclusive to the online edition.

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Table of Contents: Lightspeed Magazine, May 2014

Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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Table of Contents: Lightspeed Magazine, April 2014

Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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Table of Contents: Lightspeed Magazine, March 2014

Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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Table of Contents: Lightspeed Magazine, February 2014

Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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Table of Contents: Lightspeed Magazine, January 2014

Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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Table of Contents: Lightspeed Magazine, December 2013

Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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Short Fiction Friday: Lightspeed Issue 42, November 2013

REVIEW SUMMARY: This week’s Short Fiction Friday looks at the Original Short Science Fiction and Fantasy offerings in the latest issue of Lightspeed. The November issue has additional reprint short stories as well as nonfiction and exclusive extras in the ebook addition.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SUMMARY: Four nicely-paced original works of short genre fiction that offer ideas sure to stir the imagination.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Strong science fictional aspects, even in the original fantasy selections; wide variety in style and subject matter; solid nod to two classic science fiction authors; offerings demonstrate that short story writers haven’t forgotten that stories can be fun.
CONS: Purists might feel the two original works of fantasy contain too many science fictional leanings.
BOTTOM LINE: The original fiction presented in the November issue of Lightspeed showcases the variety in subject matter and style that makes engaging in short fiction so pleasurable.  Not every story will work for every reader but the stories chosen demonstrate a proficiency with the medium that allows the ideas, and in some cases the characters, to shine through.

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TOC: Lightspeed Magazine, November 2013

Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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TOC: Lightspeed Magazine, October 2013

Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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Short Fiction Friday: Lightspeed September 2013 Original Science Fiction

REVIEW SUMMARY: This week’s Short Fiction Friday looks at a subset of the September 2013 issue of Lightspeed: two works of original science fiction.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SUMMARY: These two original science fiction stories each look at alien invasion in vastly different ways, offering entertaining, yet frightening, images of the future.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Imaginative sfnal concepts;  thoughtful pacing; satisfying story structure; one story highlights actual scientific concepts.
CONS: Fans of character-driven science fiction over idea-driven science fiction may be disappointed.
BOTTOM LINE: The original works of science fiction in the latest issue of Lightspeed are very entertaining stories focused on science fictional ideas that spark the imagination.  One story looks at a threat to an as-yet-unpopulated Earth while the other examines humanity in the wake of a devastating alien invasion.  Both stories are work checking out and are available for your reading (or listening) pleasure. Additionally there are original works of fantasy, along with reprints and more, available in this issue.

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REVIEW SUMMARY: The July 2013 issue of Lightspeed features four works of fantasy and four works of science fiction (two original stories in each category), plus a novella and two novel excerpts (ebook exclusive), interviews with Hugh Howey and Austin Grossman, author spotlights and a bonus short horror story from Nightmare magazine.
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TOC: Lightspeed Magazine, July 2013

Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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Short Fiction Friday: Lightspeed Issue 37, June 2013

REVIEW SUMMARY: In the June  issue of Lightspeed, 2013 Hugo-nominated editor John Joseph Adams presents a solid slate of new and reprint fantasy and science fiction short stories, accompanying author interviews, feature interviews with Robert J. Sawyer and Nalo Hopkinson, and an artist spotlight and gallery of work for the creator of this beautiful cover illustration, Pavel Elagin.  The Ebook version contains a bonus novella, “The Fool’s Tale” by L. Timmel Duchamp and an excerpt from the newly released third novel in James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series, Abaddon’s Gate.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In this issue, variety reigns supreme. Stories feature time travel, immortality, travel via generation ship, life as art, witchcraft, a dark fairy tale in a modern landscape, terraforming on a hostile planet, and the story of the moon’s daughter and touch on issues of relevance as well as entertain.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Familiar tropes examined in a new context; wide variety in story offerings — darker, more serious stories mixed with lighter but no less entertaining selections; some longer stories allow for deeper characterization; first free online appearance of Ken Liu’s excellent Hugo-nominated “Mono no aware”.
CONS: Fans in the mood for a particular kind of story may find the variety off-putting [I realize that is a reach, but even with the stories that did not hit all my hot buttons, I appreciated what the author was trying to accomplish.]
BOTTOM LINE: Having already overused the “v” word in this opening snapshot, allow me to dip into the Thesaurus and say that the “array” of stories in the June issue meant that each story was a surprise that could be judged on its own merits.  While there were stories that appropriated familiar science fictional or fantasy tropes, several included attempts by the author to play with those tropes — changing the setting or subverting expectations.  It would be safe to say that despite my lack of specific “cons”, there were stories were not in my wheelhouse.  Looking objectively I put those down to personal taste, as this issue was light on stories that missed the landing.   I was predisposed to give this issue a high rating based solely on the presence of “Mono no aware”.  I made an instant emotional connection with Ken Liu’s story when I read it upon release in last year’s The Future is Japanese anthology.  It is a testament to John Joseph Adams that he filled the space around it with interesting and engaging stories.

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TOC: Lightspeed Magazine, June 2013

Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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REVIEW SUMMARY: The May issue of Lightspeed features two new and two reprint stories in both the science fiction and fantasy categories. This review covers the four stories being published for the first time in this issue. In addition to the short fiction, Issue 36 includes feature interviews with authors Karen Russell and Gregory Maguire and cover artist Giuliano Brocani.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The fantastic original fiction offerings in this issue of Lightspeed emphasize relationships set against the backdrop of mythology, end of the world, and parallel universe scenarios.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Unexpected outcomes; familiar story ideas examined through a new lens; satisfying endings; imaginative world-building.
CONS: The focus on relationships over science fictional or fantastical concepts may not be to every reader’s liking. One of the original works has some potentially disturbing imagery.
BOTTOM LINE: The May 2013 issue of Lightspeed, from an original fiction standpoint, is quite good and comes highly recommended from this reviewer. The authors do not shy away from weighty issues while offering up interesting backgrounds against which they allow their dramas to unfold. As these stories become available on the website it would be a shame to pass them up.

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