First Podcast Episode Notes

Podcasting notes! Help needed. This morning, I spent two hours + online with Benjamin Rosenbaum, recording the first in what we hope will turn into a podcast. A few notes & questions from the experience:

– we still don’t have a title, even though we were supposed to spend the time brainstorming the title; we’re going to need help with this, I think, so when we post this raw material on YouTube (once I’m done uploading it), if you happen to feel like listening and suggesting names, we will be forever grateful

– it was GREAT talking to Ben; it felt fun and energizing, like being at a con. There was a little Zoom lag, but not too bad (and Kev has now brought a booster out to the shed, so we’re hopefully that will be better next time). I was surprised that it wasn’t as tiring as Zoom often is; I think in part it was because we did a lot of turn-taking (both tending to go off on spates), so the lag didn’t affect the conversation too much, and because we know each other so well that we can easily read each other despite the lossage of information inherent to virtual vs. embodied.

– we were going to try to use Zencaster for audio and Zoom for video, but were getting echoes from having both going, and though we could have muted Zoom, that would have meant clean audio, but a video without sound, and I wasn’t at all confident that we could lay the sound back over the video track — maybe that’s easy? I don’t know! My former student, Darius Vinesar, is serving as our audio engineer, and he’s eager to learn more on the job, but he doesn’t actually have a lot of expertise yet; if anyone can advise us on this, that’d be so helpful

– we could also abandon the Zoom and just do audio — I’m told that Zencaster will give us cleaner audio. So the question is, do people actually get anything out of seeing our two talking heads in a video? Please weigh in, especially if you’d actively like us to keep recording video

– we spent about an hour on set up and intros, talking about how we know each other, our writing careers so far, etc. More than I expected about Clarion. And then the second hour, we ended up talking about RaceFail in the SF community a bit, and how we handle these difficult conversations. There was various commentary on books and writers throughout. We finished up with discussion of near future and far future SF, the challenges of extrapolation, and balancing character-driven prose with sense of wonder eyeball kicks and the like. I may have had some critique of Picard in there, but Ben hasn’t seen it yet, sadly. The plan is to have Darius pull out at least that last piece, maybe a few pieces, and try releasing those as standalones as well, so if you’re just interested in one of those, you can just listen to that. The last one, certainly, dovetails well with the SLF’s Portolan Project.

– I have more time right now than Ben, so where I’d be happy to record three times a week, I’m not sure he can manage that this summer. But at least once a week, hopefully? We’ll see. Depends a lot on whether y’all actually like this

– the plan is to pay for it (because we want to pay Darius for his audio engineering work especially) through a Patreon dedicated to the podcast. Any further thoughts on that are welcome too.

– I’m not sure whether the other people I want to talk with are all going to be part of this podcast, or yet another podcast. For example, if I co-host an episode with Pooja Makhijani, talking about food, cooking and writing, should I do that as a Serendib House podcast instead? I’m a little worried about fragmenting into a thousand different projects, but I think Ben and I might have a coherent identity for this podcast (SF/F / writing / secular humanism / religion / parenting & family / community / international culture / pandemic) that really isn’t the same as what I’d do for a Serendib House or Maram podcast (cooking / gardening / parenting / making / writing / teaching / community). There’s overlap, certainly, BUT? Maybe I need two different ones? And does the SLF need its own too? (With some pieces being used for multiple ones??)

Oh, lots of rambling notes. Here is the raw, unedited video of Ben and I rambling. Any thoughts welcome.

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