Sunday, March 04, 2007

Interview With Shaun Farrell

I had the pleasure of interviewing SF author, interviewer, and podcaster Shaun Farrell, host of the podcast, Adventures in Scifi Publishing. Enjoy!

What is Adventures in Scifi Publishing about?

Adventures in Scifi Publishing is my podcast about the publishing industry. I tend to focus on science fiction and fantasy themes, since those are my loves. Each show features interviews with writers, editors, and other publishing experts. I've been very lucky so far, as I have had the chance to feature Ray Bradbury, Dan Simmons, David Weber, R.A. Salvatore and many other bestselling authors. Future episodes will feature Robert J. Sawyer and Kim Stanley Robinson, among many others. I also love getting new writers on the show, like Brandon Sanderson. Anyone interested can learn more about the show by visiting

I noticed you're doing a paudio reading of The Silk Code by Paul Levinson.

Yes! The Silk Code won the Locus Award for Best First Novel in 1999, and I'm pleased to have the chance to adapt it for podcast distribution. I've known Paul Levinson for about a year now. He is a big supporter of creative commons, and he has several podcasts of his own. So, when I approached him about doing The Silk Code, he was all for it. It's been a good experience, though, I'll admit, even more work than I expected! And it seems to have been received well, as it's been the most downloaded novel on for about 2 weeks straight. More information on that is available at, and folks can subscribe (for free, of course!) at

What is your short story "Conversion" about?

"Conversion" was a short story published in Issue 13 of Ray Gun Revival Magazine, and it follows a dysfunctional group as they try to escape NET, Nano Engineered Transhumans. I wanted to write a fun piece with quirky characters that had strong pacing. Also, I wanted it to have a space opera flare, since I had never written a space opera story before. So, in a lot of ways, I was experimenting and trying new things. It seemed to work for the folks at Ray Gun, for which I'm grateful, and I've actually received several emails from readers requesting a sequel. That has been very cool.

What's the best music you've heard on podcasts, and what's your opinions on the more stringent DRM/Copyright Laws certain companies have been lobbying for?

You know, I don't listen to any podcast about music. While I enjoy music, I'm very picky about what I like, and I don't have the tolerance or the time to search much. I tend to wait for recommendations from friends. I like the music in my podcasts! And J.C. Hutchin's 7th Son novels have great theme music. But besides that, not much.

As far as DRM/Copyright laws, that's a tough one as I'm not sure exactly to what you're referring. In general, I believe in copyright very strongly, but I think artists are the ones who should have the right to decide if their music can be used or not. It makes sense to allow your music to be used, for how can a potential listener know if she likes a certain band unless she can hear that band? Music labels have a tendency towards being evil, from what I've read and heard concerning this issue, so I'm not supporting everything they do. But I do believe that podcasters should follow the law.

What are your favorite bands?

My favorite rock band, hands down, is Collective Soul. I've been a fan since high school, but never so big as now. While most of their hits came in the late 90s, their last 2 albums, Youth and Home, were very solid. I also like U2, Lifehouse, some Better Than Ezra. But I mostly listen to soundtracks. I collect John Williams scores, and I absolutely love the Battlestar Galactica music scored by Bear McCreary. Those two composers are both geniuses.

What direction do you think podcasting will go in the future? And what's up in your nearest future?

Podcasting is just scratching the surface of its potential. Only 1 percent of internet users actually listen to podcasts, so the audience growth will continue to be staggering. People get hung up on the technology. When words like "RSS" and "podcatcher" and "feed" get thrown around, people tune out (no pun intended), think it's complicated, not for them. Of course, listening to podcasts is quite easy, and if every listener brings just one friend into the fold, well, the numbers climb pretty quickly.

As for me, well, I have a number of very cool things happening. I can't say anything about the biggest of them. It's too soon for that. But if things go well, and if I have a little luck, my life could be drastically changing. I'll be less cryptic when I'm given permission to let that metaphorical cat out of its bag! For now I'll keep on podcasting, writing and acting. And I encourage your readers to either look me up on Myspace or visit my website at


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