The Momentum Blog

Podmentum: Thronementum

Posted July 11, 2014 by Mark

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We’ve done specials on Star Trek and Doctor Who, now we bring you a special episode all about Game of Thrones! We discuss the TV series and the books with special guests, including former Podmentum host Anne Treasure. This is also Mark Harding’s final episode as host. Oh, and massive spoiler warning for Game of Thrones.

 

Recommendations:

Anne 

Death, Sex & Money podcast

Patrick

Words of Radiance: The Stormlight Archive Book 2 by Brandon Sanderson

Joel

Brilliance by Marcus Sakey

Mark

Orphan Black

 

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Podmentum: Scary Books, Game of Thrones and Romance Edition

Posted April 24, 2014 by Mark

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This week we talk about the books that have scared us and what makes them scary. We also discuss the return of Game of Thrones, the under-representation of romance at writers’ festivals and discuss the books we’ve been reading this week.

What we’re reading

Craig

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman

Joel

SCP Foundation website

Patrick

Dark Palace by Frank Moorhouse

Mark

Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis

 

 

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Podcasts you should listen to if you don’t have time for audiobooks

Posted March 19, 2014 by Mark

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As I’ve mentioned before, I love a good podcast but find my time is squeezed to the point that I can’t keep up with everything I’ve subscribed to. Audiobooks are something I rarely listen to, even though on paper I’m an ideal audiobook consumer. But there are ways to get stories via podcasts, through shows that showcase stories and storytelling. Here are a few of the best.

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Risk!

Risk calls itself the show where people tell stories “they never thought they’d dare to share”. Each episode generally features 3-4 stories told in an entertaining way, sometimes recorded in front of a live audience. The performative aspect of the stories is part of the appeal of Risk, as is the welcoming environment set up by host Kevin Allison – no topic is off limits and no story is too embarrassing or offensive to make it on the air. Often hilarious, disgusting and surprisingly emotional, Risk is well worth a listen.

 

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Selected Shorts

This is another live performance story podcast, which usually features 2-3 fiction short stories read by famous actors (Alec Baldwin and Stephen Colbert are among the regular contributors). The stories come from established writers, generally ‘literary’ figures, and often feature greats from American fiction writing.

 

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The Moth

A less offensive version of Risk, The Moth features people telling stories about things they’ve experienced. The great thing with the podcast is that it’s often bite-sized, featuring one story that goes for about fifteen minutes (there’s also a one hour version available). The stories are a mixture of moving and funny, and are often quite unexpected.

 

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Welcome to Night Vale

Night Vale is a podcasting phenomenon, and there really is nothing else like it on the market. In the form of a radio show from the fictional town of Night Vale (where every conspiracy theory is true and supernatural events are a daily occurrence), each week listeners are treated to a horror story. There may be a phantom subway that has suddenly appeared, or an evil army marching towards the town, or phantom helicopters in the sky. Usually the stories are resolved at the end of each episode, but there are recurring characters and ongoing arcs.

 

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This American Life

No podcast list is complete without a reference to This American Life, the most popular podcast on the internet, and with good cause. Each week the show features stories, mostly true but occasionally fictional, about life in America. Sometimes it’s hard-hitting (like the recent two part episode that looked at the Chicago public school system) and sometimes it’s light and entertaining (David Sedaris is a regular contributor) but it’s always interesting.

 

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The Tobolowsky Files

This is a podcast from Stephen Tobolowsky, who is the ultimate ‘that guy’ actor, as soon as you see his face, you recognise him from countless supporting roles in films and television. The podcast features Stephen telling stories from his life, usually related to his work as an actor. It’s kind of like listening to the audiobook of his autobiography as he shares life lessons, experiences, and insights into the entertainment industry.

 

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Nerdist Writer’s Panel

This spin-off podcast from The Nerdist features panels and interviews with film, television and comic book writers. It offers a great insight into the process of creating stories for these mediums, and often features fairly prominent names. Not a storytelling podcast as such, although it’s usually littered with anecdotes about what it’s like to be in a writing room. Only drawback is that sometimes the audio is bad as the episodes are often recorded at live events.

Do you have any suggestions? Leave them in the comments! And be sure to check out Podmentum, Momentum’s very own podcast, where we discuss popular culture, books and publishing.

Momentum Avatar

 

 

 

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Podmentum: And the Podmentum goes to…

Posted March 7, 2014 by Mark

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The latest episode of Podmentum is our Oscars special! We discuss our predictions, the major winners, what we thought deserved to win and lots more. We’re also joined by special guest Sam Sainsbury, senior editor from Pan Macmillan.

 

Recommendations

Sam

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Joel

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Patrick

Murder in Mississippi by John Safran

Mark

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

 

 

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Podmentum: Our Anticipated 2014 Pop Culture, Marriage Thrillers & Dino Porn

Posted January 31, 2014 by Mark

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In this episode we’re joined by new recruit Patrick Lenton, and discuss what we’re looking forward to the most this year in pop culture. After that, we discuss the emerging Marriage Thriller genre that’s been highlighted with the arrival of Gone Girl. Finally, things get a bit lewd as we discuss beast erotica. WARNING: Spoilers for Gone Girl and both the TV and novel series of Game of Thrones.

 

 

Recommendations

Joel:

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

Tara:

What the Ground Can’t Hold by Shady Cosgrove

Patrick:

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Mark:

On the Steele Breeze by Alastair Reynolds, Batman: The Court of Owls

 

 

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Podmentum: Whomentum

Posted December 19, 2013 by Mark

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A special Doctor Who themed episode of Podmentum. Joel and Tara sit this one out as Mark is joined by Alex Lloyd, Jo Lyons and Vanessa Pellatt from Pan Macmillan to discuss the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, the upcoming Christmas special and who we’d love to see cast as the Doctor.

 

Recommendations

Alex:

Doctor Who episode: Journey’s End

Vanessa:

The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot

Tom Baker Scarf

Jo:

An Adventure in Space and Time 

Mark:

Tardis cookie jar

2013 Doctor Who novels

 

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Podmentum: Chopper, Gravity and Stephen King

Posted October 31, 2013 by Mark

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In this episode we talk about the death of Momentum author Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read and what it means for publishers when authors pass away. Then, we all went and saw the new movie Gravity, and we chat about what we thought of the film and whinge about minor details. Finally, Mark sat down with regular contributor to the Momentum blog, Craig Hildebrand-Burke, to discuss Stephen King and Doctor Sleep.

 

Advertised books

Out of Exile: A Tom Bishop Rampage by Luke Preston

Holding Out for a Hero by Amy Andrews

 

What We’re Reading

Joel

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Tara

The Yoga Sutras by Patanjali

Mark

The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

 

 

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Podmentum: Vote 1 Podmentum

Posted September 6, 2013 by Mark

In this episode, we talk to erotic romance author S.A. Gordon about sex, politics, power, romance, and her new novel Hung Parliament. We also make predictions for the upcoming Australian Federal Election, that will probably be out of date by the time you listen to this.

LINKS

Momentum Moonlight

Hung Parliament

Return to Me

S.A. Gordon’s Tumblr, The Poll Vault

RECOMMENDATIONS

S.A. Gordon

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Currawong Creek by Jennifer Scoullar

 

Joel

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Empire State by Adam Christopher

 

Tara

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The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins

Mark

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Railsea by China Miéville

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Vampodmentum

Posted July 19, 2013 by Anne

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Author Adina West joins us to talk about vampires in popular culture. From Nosferatu to NOS4A2, we run the gamut of vampire history from the Slavs to the deep south of America.

We talk about our favourite vampires in popular culture, how vampires have become an allegory for societal issues, and why we think the vampires are such a popular trope in books, television and movies.

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Recommendations – Favourite Pop Culture Vampires

Mark – Joe Pitt

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Joel – Lestat

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Anne – Lestat

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Adina – Selene in Underworld

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For more information on Adina’s Dark Child (non)vampires, head to the book page.

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A Simple Guide to Podcasts

Posted May 22, 2013 by Anne

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It was recently brought to my attention that while most people these days are aware that podcasts exist, and know vaguely what they are, many of our potential Podmentum listeners have no idea how to get the Momentum podcast delivered into their brains via their ears.

So here is a quick user’s guide to enjoying Podmentum.

A podcast is a series of digital audio (or video) episodes that can be listened to by downloading, subscribing or streaming the content over the web. You can think of podcasts as a type of radio broadcast, distributed online in small files via RSS.

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The excellent thing about podcasts is their sheer number and variety. There is a podcast for every interest. I’ve recommended some of my favourite book podcasts in the past here. Podcasts are usually free, and are the audio equivalent of downloading episodic television – it’s basically time-shifting entertainment that in the past people would have listened to on broadcast radio.

While that makes it sound old-fashioned, podcasts only became prevalent in the early 2000s, and are going through a resurgence of popularity thanks to innovation in audio equipment and web access that has made both creating and listening to podcasts easier.

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I find podcasts are one of the most efficient methods of consuming content that is relevant to my interests, and a very democratic means of both consuming and disseminating information.

The best way to listen to podcasts is on an audio-enabled device like a smartphone, but you can also listen on a portable media-playing device like an iPod or iPad, or even directly from your computer. You can either download the content onto your listening device, or stream it directly from the web.

iPhone/iPad/iPad Mini/iPod/iTouch 

A dedicated podcast app is the easiest way to listen to podcasts – it will manage your subscriptions and download new episodes of your favourite podcasts when they are available. You can use the native Podcast app that Apple provides, or a podcast app like Downcast (which is what I use). I recommend you start with the free app that Apple provides and then upgrade to a more substantial podcast managing app when you become more addicted to beaming information directly into your brain.

Android Devices

I’m not as familiar with the podcast software available for Android devices, so if you’re a podcast devotee who uses android please feel free to make a recommendation in the comments. The BeyondPod app is the most popular on Google Play, and appears to be a good start.

Computer

You can listen to podcasts from your computer either through the podcast hosting site (we use PodOmatic), streamed directly from the content creator’s website (ours will play from the blog post for that episode) or you can download the podcast via iTunes and listen to it through the Apple software if you have it installed on your computer.

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That’s it, those are the basics. If you have any questions feel free to ask them below in the comments, tweet us at @momentumbooks or comment on the post in Facebook. Now, go and listen to a podcast.

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Podmentum: Trekmentum

Posted by Mark

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Podcast: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the podcast Podmentum. Its continuing mission: to explore strange, new topics. To seek out new listeners and new online communities. To boldly pod where no one has cast before!

Recommendations:

Alex: Gattaca

Anne: Slate’s Stranger Than Fiction Podcast

Joel: Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Mark: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes Improbable Cause and The Die is Cast

 

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This week’s Podmentum was brought to you by Aurora: Darwin by Amanda Bridgeman and Timesplash by Graham Storrs. Click on the covers to find out more.

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The Momentum Comedy Hour

Posted May 15, 2013 by Anne

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The Sturgeon General Recommends is a digital anthology of short fiction and other writing with a humorous bent. There are five books in the initial release, from young up and coming authors Cait Harris who joins us on The Momentum Comedy Hour podcast, and also Geoff Lemon, Jack Vening, Adam Norris and Callum O’Donnell.

Writers and books mentioned in this podcast include:

David Sedaris 

Terry Pratchett

Sam Lipsyte (The Ask)

Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)

Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones’ Diary)

David Foster Wallace (Consider the Lobster and other Essays)

Gerald Durrell (My Family and other Animals – Corfu trilogy)

Sloane Crosley (I was told there would be cake)

Print

As well as the five Sturgeon General books we have another humorous book out this month, Sean Condon’s Splitsville. It’s a sharply funny book about a corporation that breaks up relationships – kind of like a dating service in reverse. Available for $5.99 from all good online book retailers.

 Recommendations

Patrick: Chris Somerville – We Are Not The Same Anymore

Cait: Cheryl Strayed – Tiny Beautiful Things

Anne: Gerald Durrell – Marrying Off Mother and other stories

Joel: Tig Notaro

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Podmentum: Books Reviews, eff off

Posted April 18, 2013 by Anne

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On this week’s Podmentum we talk to Steph Campisi from review site Read in a Single Sitting about reviews and book blogging, and we get to hear the audio debut of Koraly Dimitriadis‘ new poem, Fuck Off.

You can find out more about Love and Fuck Poems by Koraly Dimitriadis here.

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Podmentum: How to get a job in publishing sans pants

Posted March 18, 2013 by Anne

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On this week’s Podmentum Joel and Mark talk about world building with authors Nathan M Farrugia and Nina d’Aleo, and then Joel, Mark and I talk about how we got started in publishing, with some tips for those looking for a job in the book industry.

In the first segment Nathan and Nina discuss how they approach creating fictional worlds in their writing, and Mark and Joel join in to discuss their favourite world-building writers. A really interesting conversation for sci-fi and fantasy fans, with lots of culture recommendations (including the ubiquitous China Miéville, of course).

Then we talk about how we all came to book publishing, and Mark reveals something terrible that will make everyone hate him.

Recommendations

In the interests of diversity we all recommended something futuristic and science-fiction-y. You’re welcome. (Next time I’ll demand we all have something romance-based to recommend.)

Mark – Redshirts by John Scalzi

Joel – Strata by Terry Pratchett 

Anne – Omens by Russ Andersen (article in Aeon magazine)

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This week’s Podmentum was brought to you by Nathan M Farrugia‘s The Seraphim Sequence and Allison Rushby‘s Keep Calm and Carry Vegemite. You can buy them now from all good online retailers, just click on the covers to choose your favourite.

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Podmentum: Tech Warlords and Movie Nerds

Posted February 28, 2013 by Anne

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On this episode of Podmentum we have two topics and an unprecedented number of guests.

First, a special segment with author Nathan Farrugia and internet warlord Dan Nolan talking about fiction and credible tech writing.

Then since the Oscars were announced recently I’ve given in to Mark’s pleading and we’ll be talking about the awards. Special guest Samantha Sainsbury joins us to talk movies and Oscars fashion. Sam is a editor at Pan Macmillan and works with the likes of Di Morrissey, but she’s here in her capacity as chief fashion critic of Macmillan.

Writing credible tech in fiction

Dan recommended Charlie Stross as an author who gets tech writing right. (As well as our own Nathan M Farrugia, and I promise Nathan was not holding a gun to Dan’s head when he said that. The guns only came out later.)

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Oscars 2013

Mark, Joel and Sam knowledgeably discuss the Oscars ceremony, choice of host and give opinions and background on movies and the industry, while Anne has to have everything explained to her slowly. So if you know nothing about movies, this may be useful to you. Then Sam gives us some Oscars fashion background.

Sam’s fashion picks

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Charlize Theron

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Jennifer Lawrence (well-played, Dior)

download (9)Halle Berry

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Recommendations

Samantha – Furious Love by Sam Kashner

Mark – Heart of Darkness and Living in Oblivion

Joel – Marc Maron WTF podcast – Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner eps

Anne – Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson and The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt

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This episode of Podmentum was brought to you by Nathan M Farrugia‘s The Seraphim Sequence and SD Thorpe‘s getting Upboth available in March 2013.

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Word Nerd Podcast

Posted February 21, 2013 by Anne

On this special episode of Podmentum we talk to Macquarie Dictionary Publisher Sue Butler about the latest Word of the Year and various other word nerd topics.

You can listen below or subscribe via iTunes or RSS.

The 2012 word of the year was recently announced, and the winner was “Phantom Vibration Syndrome”. Sue talks about why they chose this particular “word”, and why they refer to a collection of words as a “word”. Cleared things right up for me.

Sue’s recommendation was for the dictionary she has been working on most recently, a Student Dictionary app. You can check that out here.

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Podmentum 7: The Bingeing on First World Problems Episode

Posted February 15, 2013 by Anne

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On this week’s Podmentum we talk about the idea of reselling used ebooks, bingeing on books and television, and then the Macquarie Dictionary publisher joins us to talk about the Word of the Year.

Topic 1 Amazon second hand ebook patent

Amazon has received a patent for a system for selling “pre-owned” digital files, opening the way for a secondary market in ebooks

Publisher’s Weekly

“Amazon’s business model has long been dependent on resellers of used books and other merchandise. But a U.S. patent that Amazon Technologies in Reno, Nev., received last week indicates that the mega-retailer has its sights on digital resale, including used e-books and audio downloads. According to the abstract, Amazon will be able to create a secondary market for used digital objects purchased from an original vendor by a user and stored in a user’s personalized data store.

Boston-based ReDigi opened the first marketplace for pre-owned digital music, which it launched in late 2011, redigi.com. Once a lawsuit that Capitol Records filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan over the way it handles music downloads is behind it, ReDigi plans to expand into e-books and other digital items. In a press release issued yesterday, ReDigi commented that “the Amazon patent is further proof that the secondary market is the future of the digital space and that there is no turning back.”

Gizmodo article

Motherboard article that so angered Joel (tell us why)

Topic 2 Serialisation

With the Netflix series House of Cards being the talk of the entertainment world for the past couple of weeks, we thought we’d take the chance to talk about how the consumption of content is changing. While TV used to be serialized and consumed in episodic chunks, the trend is now to binge-watch whole series. On the other hand, where we used to read a whole novel in a sitting, publishers are now experimenting with serialized novels in the time-honoured tradition of Charles Dickens.

John Scalzi – The Human Division (episodic narrative) 13 episodes

Alison Rushby – The Heiresses (new adult serial with St Martin’s Press)

“‘An e-serial is a series of digital-only discrete dramatic novella-length “episodes” that advance an overall “season” narrative arc through 4-6 installments, published at regular intervals at a low price. We are conceptualizing e-serials as a loose bridge between a full length novel and a TV show. An e-serial episode is analogous to a one hour drama, one installment of a season of dramas.’

In other words, think Downton Abbey, but in serialized digital book form! Yay!”

Adina WestDark Child 

Mark Z. Danielewski – serial novel The Familiar (beginning in 2014) 27 volumes, first 10 to be published by Pantheon in 3-4 month increments

“’Volume’ speaks to it being a little different from a standard trade paperback book,” Danielewski said by phone Monday. “I can’t write something that takes months and months to read if we’re releasing one every three or four months. It’s possible that [our publishing] schedule could be accelerated. We’re constantly open to new ideas — where will we be in 2014? Maybe digital releases every week, every few months a trade paperback or hardcover. The novel is designed to accommodate, anticipate various platforms.”

Topic 3 Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year

The Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year for 2012 was announced last week, and the winner was “Phantom Vibration Syndrome”. We have the Macquarie editor Sue Butler in to have a chat with us about the dictionary and how they go about naming their word of the year.

Recommendations

Anne – Medium, and Connor O’Brien on twitter

Mark – The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Joel – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This episode of Podmentum is brought to you by Kylie Scott’s Skin

 

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Adventure podcast with Nathan M Farrugia

Posted February 5, 2013 by Anne

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In this episode of Podmentum we talk to author Nathan M Farrugia about his books, his intrepid research techniques, martial arts, being handcuffed to a bunch of sweaty dudes in Texas and writing tools.

Nathan M Farrugia’s first book The Chimera Vector was released in May 2012, and his second book The Seraphim Sequence will be out in March 2013. It can be pre-ordered now for the special pre-order price of $2.99.

You can listen below, subscribe to the RSS or download via iTunes.

Parkour

While Nathan does give a brief explanation of Systema on the podcast it might be more helpful to check it out on Wikipedia.

Recommendations

Nathan recommended Chris Allen‘s book Defender in a stunning display of Momentum nepotism.

Mark – The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey

Joel – Bitter Seeds and The Coldest War from Ian Tregillis’ Milkweed Triptych

Anne – The Blue Ant series by William Gibson

This episode of Podmentum was brought to you by The Seraphim Sequence, which can be preordered here.

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The one where we autorip pirates a new CD hole

Posted January 23, 2013 by Anne

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We have three topics for today. The first will centre around book piracy, the second on Amazon’s new autorip service for music and what this could mean for book bundling, and finally we’ll be talking about novels written in record times.

Topic 1

Pirated ebooks, file sharing and data security

Mega and Kim Dotcom

Kim Dotcom, who is currently still involved in a legal battle over his initial uploiading service Megaupload, has just launched a storage service called Mega, which offers 50 megs of file storage with an encryption system that means no one, not even Mega, can see what you’re storing or what you’re doing with it. So they can claim, without blinking, that they have no idea if peer to peer file sharing (ie piracy) is going on via their service.

They save space on their servers by only keeping a single copy of each file uploaded, so that does pose the question, if they don’t know what you’re storing with them then how do they do that? It is a technique also practiced by Apple and Amazon with their data storage facilities but they’re not claiming any ignorance.

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time ebook release delayed

Wheel of Time author Robert Jordan died in 2007 while writing the final book in the series, and Brandon Sanderson undertook to finish writing the book. Publisher Tor and Sanderson have faced a backlash for releasing the hardback but delaying the ebook release, purportedly at the request of Jordan’s wife Harriet.

Backlash includes the review bombing of the title on Amazon and other book seller websites

Various end users have threatened to download a pirated ebook unless the official e-book was available at launch

When I googled Tor Robert Jordan ebook the first result was a torrent link, and three of the top ten results were torrent sites.

Question: Why a delayed ebook release for A Memory of Light?

Answer: This is not my decision or Tor’s decision, but Harriet’s. She is uncomfortable with ebooks. Specifically, she worries about ebooks cutting into the hardcover sales. It isn’t about money for her, as the monetary difference between the two is negligible here. It is about a worry that her husband’s legacy will be undermined if sales are split between ebooks and hardcovers, preventing the last book of the Wheel of Time from hitting number one on either list. (Many of the bestseller lists are still handling ebooks in somewhat awkward ways.)

As the last books have all hit number one, she doesn’t want to risk one of these not hitting number one, and therefore ending the series on a down note. (Even though each Wheel of Time book has sold more than its predecessor, including the ones I have worked on.) I personally feel her worries are unfounded, and have explained that to her, but it is not my choice and I respect her reasoning for the decision. She is just trying to safeguard Robert Jordan’s legacy, and feels this is a very important way she needs to do so. After talking about the issue, we were able to move the ebook up from the originally planned one-year delay to instead come out this spring.

Topic 2

Bundling

Amazon’s autorip service for music goes live – books next?

While much of the current tech coverage is focused on the latest in streaming music, including both radio services like Pandora, as well as on-demand options like Spotify, Boom says people still like to buy physical music. “It’s almost 50 percent of the music market in the U.S.,” he says. “Only in 2011 did digital overtake physical in the United States, and in many countries, physical still represents 70 to 80 percent of music being sold.” At Amazon, both the physical and digital music businesses continue to grow, he adds, but declined to provide specific numbers.

Topic 3

The hastily written novel

The Quick and the Read

Australian writer Graham Simsion’s debut novel The Rosie Project has been the subject of discussion at the news that it was written in just 50 days, sparking The Age’s Jane Sullivan to examine other books that were written in record time, including A Clockwork Orange (3 weeks), A Christmas Carol (6 weeks) and As I Lay Dying (also 6 weeks)

National Novel Writing Month

Virtual Linsanity: Jeremy Lin e-books flood the market

Recommendations

Mark – Wool by Hugh Howey

Blue Remembered Earth

2312

Joel – Locke & Key

Anne – Parade’s End

Downcast app 

Ninja Sex Party – Dinosaur Laser Fight

This episode of Podmentum was brought to you by the Momentum Classics Series and Lexxie Couper’s Powerplay

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Podmentum: Burgers and Porn

Posted December 20, 2012 by Anne

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On the last Podmentum of 2012 we discuss blockbuster movie franchises and their relationship to gourmet burgers, and then do a round up of the year in book publishing: the year of mummy porn. 

Topic 1: Gourmet burgers

Charlie Brooker: Q: What do Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises and a hamburger have in common? A: See below

Topic 2: Yearly round up

Publishers Weekly named EL James as the person of the year

PW’s annual accolade, for “shaping and, sometimes, transforming, the publishing industry”, has never gone to an author before: winners in the past include Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, and, last year, Penguin US’s chief executive David Shanks. But citing the huge sales of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy – they have sold more than 35m copies in the US alone and brought in over $200m (£125m) in revenue to publisher Random House – Publishers Weekly said that James had exerted a comparable influence. “Because the success of the series continues to reverberate throughout the industry in a number of ways – among other things, the money it’s brought in helped boost print sales in bookstores and turned erotic fiction into a hot category – we have selected James as the most notable player on the publishing stage this year.”

Ebook gift-giving guide. 

Recommendations

Anne: Goodreads, Bookrageous podcast

Mark: Stephen King’s The Wind Through the Keyhole

Joel: Wild Cards series by George R R Martin

Hannah: Daniel Handler’s Adverbs

Podmentum was brought to you this week by Kelli Fox’s Big Book of Astrology and Chopper Unchopped by Mark “Chopper” Read.

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Podmentum: Bondcast

Posted December 12, 2012 by Anne

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Author of the Intrepid series Chris Allen joins us at Momentum HQ to talk all things James Bond and Ian Fleming.

From the books to the movies, we talk favourite Bonds, Bond telemovies, villains, torture scenes and Ian Fleming’s predilection for… well, you’ll hear.

Chris also tells us how Fleming influenced his writing, particularly his villain in the latest book in the Intrepid series Hunter.

iTunes link is here for your subscription needs, hint hint.

 

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James Bond and paper books

Posted December 11, 2012 by Anne

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This picture reminds me so much of Chris Allen. Not just because of his Bond obsession, but that’s a part of it. I swear I’ve seen Chris make this face before.

If you haven’t listened to Chris talk about Bond on the latest Podmentum, what are you waiting for? We’re releasing the Bondcast this week, so catch up now.

Listen and subscribe to Podmentum on iTunes here, so you’ll get each new podcast as soon as it is available.

Here’s Chris signing paper copies of Defender at the launch of Hunter on the weekend.

Print-on-demand formats of both books are available to order now. Or you can just get copies the traditional (Momentum) way, as ebooks.

 

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Podmentum: The one where we spoil everything

Posted December 6, 2012 by Anne

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WARNING: There is a spoiler for Game of Thrones book 5 at 12-13m, so if you don’t want to know what happens at the end of this book just fast forward that bit.

First Podmentum of December! Who knew we’d make it this far. This episode includes discussion of endings in pop culture, spoilers and then we have a special guest who came in to give us all a dose of Bond culture, from Ian Fleming to Skyfall.

Topic 1 – Books and endings

There has been a bit of discussion recently about the endings of books, ignited by a column in The Guardian in which the writer expresses annoyance at ambiguous endings.

Coming to bad ends: stories that refuse closure

Endless fascination: in praise of novels without neat conclusions

Happy endings – modern readers apparently aren’t big fans of sad endings, according to Salon. I disagree but having recently learned about the phenomenon of romance readers and their unbending penchant for a happy ending perhaps there is something in it.

 

Topic 2 – Spoilers

In the office we talk a lot about the pop culture we’re currently consuming, and the one thing Mark and I always clash on is spoilers. I’m quite happy to know what happens in a book, movie or tv episode before I see it, whereas Mark is vehemently against hearing about the outcome before he gets to experience it himself.

Turns out my way is better, according to NPR and Time magazine.

It was all a dream (or, Turns out spoilers are good for you)

Dead Tree Alert: Don’t fear the spoiler

Spoilers might actually make reading stories more enjoyable, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California San Diego. They gave their subjects short stories they hadn’t read before, spoiling one group of readers but not others. So for example, when the assignment was Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” some readers were informed about its joltingly morbid ending. Others weren’t.

It turns out that most of the people for whom the story was “spoiled” reported enjoying it more than those who read it unprepared. 

“It’s much more terrifying to know that something horrible is about to happen than not to know it’s about to happen,” – James Poniewozik, Time

Dan Kois: Spoilers: the official Vulture statute of limitations (2008)


Chuck Wendig: A plea to all you spoilery bastards out there in Spoiler Land

Here’s why I’d first politely ask that you consider holding your tongue in terms of spoiling… well, anything within reason (and a reasonable amount of time, as set by John Q. Scalzi, Esquire): because it suggests that you’re the most important person on social media. I get it. You want to talk about what you just saw. But we all want lots of things. I want a pony. I want to punch people sometimes. I want to eat a gallon of ice cream and guzzle liquor every night. But I don’t. I don’t do a lot of things because it’d either be bad for me or bad for someone else. We don’t just follow our every id-driven impulse because: uhh, hello, selfish.

I’m just asking that you cool it on the spoilers.

John Scalzi’s suggested Statute of Limitations on Spoilers (2009)

Topic 3 – Chris Allen and James Bond

Intrepid author Chris Allen shares with us with exhaustive knowledge of Ian Fleming and James Bond. This is merely an excerpt of our whole Bondcast episode, so watch out for that next week.

 

Recommendations

Chris Allen – Homeland

Mark – Infinitas Bookshop

Joel – Old Man’s War

Anne – Ablutions

 

This week’s Podmentum is brought to you by Erica HayesDragonfly and Ben Pobjie‘s Book of Bloke. Click through to view these books (no spoilers).

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Podmentum 3: the one with ice cream and puppies

Posted November 22, 2012 by Anne

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You can listen here on the blog, over here at PodOmatic, or via iTunes.

Topic 1 – Why Publishers Hate Authors

HuffPo ran a piece by entrepreneur Michael Levin about his views on how publishers treat authors, including lines like

“It’s completely unfair, but destroying the options of a writer actually has some benefits for publishers. Which leads me to think that maybe publishers are actually happy when authors fail.”

Felice Howden wrote a reply on Book Machine called Publishers We Need to Talk about how publishing employees need to communicate better with authors and readers.

She makes the point that a publishers job is to sell their authors, not themselves. I think we take a slightly different tack here at Momentum, in that we want to start a conversation around our authors that includes us, and is not simply facilitated by us.

 

Topic 2 – Tim Ferriss and Amazon Want to Reinvent Publishing

Tim Ferriss and Amazon Try to Reinvent Publishing 

Barnes and Noble refuse to sell 4 hour chef because it is published by Amazon’s new publishing arm

“Our decision is based on Amazon’s continued push for exclusivity with publishers, agents and the authors they represent,” Barnes & Noble announced earlier this year. “Their actions have undermined the industry as a whole and have prevented millions of customers from having access to content.”

 

Topic 3Who Wants to Read This Stuff?  

Joel on book apps and storytelling in the digital age

 

Recommendations

Joel – Faber apps The Wasteland and Sonnets

Mark – In the Tall Grass by Stephen King & Joe Hill and Seven Psychopaths

Anne – Small Demons and Negronis

 

  Podmentum is sponsored this week by Hot Down Under and Defender: Intrepid 1

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