In some ways it was the gift of an iPod from my wife that led to the publication of this book and the birth of StarShipSofa. So I think we have to thank her. Thank you, Mel.
I am proud to hold my hand up and say â€œI am a Geek.â€ I love computers and I love gadgets. With my iPod came the discovery of podcasts. There was no more listening to radio stations that bored me stupid. Podcasts were out there, and they were playing what I wanted to hear, and this is still the case today. I have fine tuned my listening pleasure down to precisely what I want, all thanks to the iPod.
And what do I want to listen to? Why, science fiction.
But it wasnâ€™t the first thing that came to mind as I scrolled through the oodles and oodles of podcasts. I was trying all things: geeks, gadgets, and gizmos. Then I stumbled upon science fiction and, way back in my brain department, little motors slowly began to whirr and clunk, hiss and spit, until eventually it coughed up the computation: You used to like science fiction! You used to read it all the time. Why did you stop? I thought about why I had stopped. There was a period in my life when the soul reason for me being me was to read, but for some reason Iâ€™d drifted away and even to this day I cannot say why. Maybe it was gradual and time tricked me â€“ who can tell.
I have my iPod; I have discovered science fiction podcasts; and now came another discovery. Anyone can make a podcast. So began the teetering foundations that were to lead to where StarShipSofa is today: one of the biggest SF literature podcasts in the world. A grand statement, you might say, but nearly four years down the line that is where I find StarShipSofa. That makes me feel rather proud. I didnâ€™t get there by myself; StarShipSofa is a community, and we are all here because we love science fiction. StarShipSofa is made by many and put together by one. If it wasnâ€™t for everyone – listeners, writers, and narrators – being so kind and helping out so much, I think the good ship Sofa would have crashed and burned into a star long ago. The Sofa community has made this show what it is today.
And so we find ourselves celebrating StarShipSofa Audio Magazine hitting show one hundred, and this time itâ€™s done something quite remarkable: itâ€™s evolved from digital bits, servers, and drives into this fine printed book. Who would have thought after listening to StarShipSofa, a show made from kbps, mono, stereo, mp3s, wav, upload, and download, you would be holding the very first StarShipSofa Stories Volume 1
I hope you enjoy reading it, and Iâ€™ll see you in a yearâ€™s time for Volume 2
Tony C. Smith
Newcastle, September 2009