StarShipSofa No 404 Alex Shvartsman

September 30, 2015 by Jeremy Szal

Coming Up…

Fact: Science News by Jim Campanella

Interview with author and editor Alex Shvartsman, with Jeremy Szal

Alex Shvartsman is a writer, translator, and anthologist from Brooklyn, NY. Over 80 of his short stories have appeared in Nature, InterGalactic Medicine Show, Galaxy’s Edge, Daily SF, and other venues. He’s the winner of the 2014 WSFA Small Press Award for short fiction. His collection, Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories, and his steampunk humor novella H. G. Wells, Secret Agent were both published in 2015.

Alex edits Unidentified Funny Objects, the annual anthology series of humorous SF/F. He has edited several other anthologies as well. He’s currently at work on his first novel which, at current pace, will be finished sometime around 2020. His website is


Main Fiction: “Price of Allegiance” by Alex Shvartsman

Originally published in Galactic Creatures

Flash Fiction: “Ravages of Time” by Alex Shvartsman

Originally published in Nature magazine.

Narrator: Mark Nelson

After getting a BA in Radio & Television, I spent the next 28 years in Human Resources – the graveyard of useless degrees. After being laid-off by my last tech company after it was bought-out by a competitor and shut down, I decided to return to my useless roots, and have been narrating audiobooks since 2006.  My goal is to become the world’s oldest hikikomori.


Main Fiction: “Doubt” by Alex Shvartsman

Originally published in Galaxy’s Edge magazine.

Narrator: Elizabeth Armancas

Ibba Armancas is a nomadic screenwriter/director based in Los Angeles and Seattle. Her first feature film is due for release in 2015, and she is currently writing the pilot for a new show by Zombie Orpheus Entertainment ( She regularly makes terrible life choices in pursuit of stories, and is very bad at finding time to work on her website.
You can follow her exploits on Twitter @IbbaArmancas.


  1. Greetings and good health Prof Campanella,

    Firstly, absolutely love your Science News, I look forward to listening every month, thanks for taking the time to educate your listeners.

    Secondly, here is an email, since I heard you weren’t getting much written correspondence.

    I do have two semi-crackpot science stories that I would love to hear your views on!

    One not so unreal is the, getting old now, technique by Dr Ridder he calls DRACO. I am sure you know about it already. He says he has a broad spectrum anti-viral … super serum?
    From my basic cellular biology knowledge it seems like it could be the penicillin of the virus world.
    He says the research has gone into the “valley of death”, how could something so “possibly” important be brushed under the carpet?? He doesn’t seem too phased that this has happened. Maybe you could enlighten us???? Please!!
    The DRACO thingy basically hunts down a viral infected cell in your body and causes cell death. It seems very simple and effective… other than the problem of taking a does for the common cold and not realizing you’re infected with a myriad of other viruses and accidentally destroying half the cells in your body…

    The other one is the “crackpot” science… cold fusion – now known as low energy nuke reactions.. I know its not down your line of study but what do you thing about this, could there be this mysterious heat coming from a mix of chemicals? There seems to be a lot more “learned” people investigating and attempting to make something happen… consistently. What do you think????

    Hope you got lots more e-mails!!!

  2. Merry Xmas prof Campanella
    I heard that you’re not getting any response to your fact articles lately. Please don’t take that as a lack of interest from our,the listeners, part. What makes Starship Sofa stand out among all other SF podcasts are the fact articles and for me, Science News are the thing that I look forward to.
    Next time I run across a weird or interesting piece of science news I’ll send a note in your direction.
    Salutations on this glorious day and happy holidays!
    PS: As a factoid to start off with: we in Sweden, and I think all other Nordic countries, do our Christmas celebration today, the 24th. So tomorrow when you open your gifts we are already one day closer to next Christmas:-)

Links to this post
  1. […] Today also marks my first appearance at the storied StarShipSofa podcast. Episode 404 (insert every conceivable Error 404 – Not Found joke here) and it features an interview Jeremy Szal conducted with me as well as the narration of two of my stories: “Price of Allegiance” and “Doubt.” There was also supposed to be a flash piece, “Ravages of Time” but it was accidentally left out (hey, there’s the perfect spot for the Not Found joke!) and will be included in the next week’s episode. You can listen to episode 404 here. […]