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StarShipSofa No 267 Ted Kosmatka

Home Forums Podcast Aural Delights – Episode Feedback StarShipSofa No 267 Ted Kosmatka

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    Coming Up

    Fact: Covering The Sofa by Skeet 02:30

    How To Write Science Fiction with… Spider Robinson 06:00

    News: Adam Pracht becomes Assistant Editor for StarShipSofa 08:00

    Fact: Looking Back at Genre History by Amy H. Sturgis 09:00

    Main Fiction: The Colour Least Used by Nature by Ted Kosmatka 22:00

    Interview: Ted Kosmatka and Nicholas Camm 01:43:00

    Promo: Crush Depth by Jeff Lane

    Narrator: Nicholas Camm 

    The Colour Least Used by Nature will be one of the stories featured in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Seven edited by Jonathan Strahan




    Mike Boris

    As Tony said on the show…a beautiful, engaging story,. Nick captured the quiet intensity of the main character (I’m not even going to attempt to spell the names that cannot be pronounced by outsiders).

    Have to look me up some more Ted!



    I have, at present, 27 short fiction based podcasts in my podcatcher.  Some of them update monthly, but most of them update weekly.  I don’t know how many stories I have listened to this year, but it’s safe to say it’s quite a few.  This story, and this reading, is hands down the best, most resonating and moving story I have heard this year.

    Given the number of fiction based podcasts out there now, there needs to be an award created for best podcast story of the year, and then it needs to be given to Ted Kosmatka for “The Colour Least Used in Nature”.  Then there needs to be an award created for best podcast reading of the year, and it needs to be named for Nicholas Camm, who surely has set some sort of standard for podcast narration.

    Well done all.  As Tony might say, it’s just crackin’!



    Kind words MDominic – I’ll pass on your kind words to all involved.

    Have a good Christmas


    This week on the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, the guys talk about the Fitz-James O’Brien story, “What Was It?” I just mentioned and linked to Amy’s piece on the guy over on their forums, so now I’m telling you guys about their episode. Although they’re a subscription show, they do one free show a month and this one is free, so dig it!




    I found myself checking my iPod at the gym thinking that I had inadvertently  clicked on a podcast other than SSS. The story appeared to be more in the James Michener -type genre  than science fiction. This does not reflect on the quality of the story rather upon my expectations re: science fiction and SSS. I always appreciate character development and found that to be a hallmark of tale.



    El Barto

    The forums here are so lightly traveled that I may be shouting into the wind but I was hugely frustrated and disappointed to listen to “The Colour Least Used by Nature” on Starship Sofa because the story contained ZERO science fiction.

    Was it a rich, complex, moving story that was beautifully written? Yes. But it is not what I wanted to hear when I finally had two free hours in my busy life and readied myself for a great science fiction story from Starship Sofa which is usually a great source for science fiction short stories.

    I would really love to know why Tony (1) chose to run this story that contained ZERO science fiction; (2) did not even warn the listener that the story was not science fiction; and (3) even called this “one of the best stories I’ve read in a damn long long time . . . just cracking.”

    After the story ended I could hardly believe my ears when, ONE HOUR AND FORTY FIVE MINUTES INTO THE SHOW, Tony said, “I know you Ted as science fiction… Kinda through and through science fiction writer of short stories. You come up with this one and it just blows me away and it’s CERTAINLY NOT SCIENCE FICTION.” [facepalm]

    I find this type of thing a form of condescending disrespect of the listener. If you come to my restaurant expecting a great steak and you order a great steak and you’ve been dreaming about that first bite of steak and I tell you that your meal tonight is going to be one of the best ever … and then drop an elaborately prepared fish on your plate, you would likely be angry. Doubly so if you were at a famous steak restaurant.

    I am also frustrated by this episode because I personally vouched for StarShipSofa to many of my friends and told them that it has great science fiction and I’ve donated to support it and they should try it too. To have them come back to me and say thanks for wasting an hour and a half of my time is embarassing.

    The great irony here is that had there been a clear warning that “this week is a complete departure from science fiction to do a story by a great science fiction writer,” I probably would have given it a listen and loved it. Instead, I spent an hour wondering what science concept could possibly be at play related to the trees, and slowly coming to realize that not a stitch of science fiction was forthcoming.

    Tony, if you are there, I hope you take this feedback as equal parts love and frustration. It is only because StarShipSofa is usually so reliably great that it is extremely frustrating when something like this happens.



    I have to agree with eps.  Having read Michener’s Hawaii, I was drawn to this story.  I would have to kindly disagree with ElBarto.  I’ve been on the Sofa for a while now and have heard many stories.  I wasn’t in the least disappointed because the genre wasn’t what I was expecting or that Tony didn’t give the listener a “heads up”.

    I’m always fascinated to hear stories from authors that depart from the author’s normal style of writing.  I also love it when I jump into a story and then realize I’ve been captured by it, I’m not just reading or hearing it, but that I’m “in” it.  This story did that for me.

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