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  • Writer's pictureChris Russell

Notes from Season 4, Episode 1 “Resurrection”



Hello my survivor friends.


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...

And we are back!

Binge listening and having to wait:

Did you miss the narrative?

I know, I know, you want more!

You want it now!

You want closure!

I am right there with you.

I listen to a lot of podcasts, and for stories I prefer to binge listen. I understand, binge listening to a story can be a much better user experience. It’s much more immersive and it lets you really get to know the characters and get invested.

When there is too much time between episodes you lose that investment.

Having to wait means that you have to resync when you re-engage. There’s a technical term for this. It’s called ‘switching cost’ – and it’s why multi-tasking seldom works.

But that is another story – don’t get me started on personal efficiency and ‘Getting thing Done’.

Most of the commercial shows pre-write and pre-produce the entire season before they release anything. That way they avoid the risk of the writer getting sick, or the producer needing a short stint in rehab, or the main voice actor being struck by a meteorite.

And as consumers, people won’t start a season of a new show until all the episodes are up. And, I also know that if the producers are too slow to get a new episode up, or take too long between seasons they lose audience.

In the end it creates a batch process. Shows get produced in a batch and consumed in a batch.

So, in summary, I totally understand, you having to wait is a bummer.

People are busy. Life moves fast. And it’s easy to let a tardy piece of content fade from ‘must see’ to – ‘oh yeah, I used to listen to that!’

I do have one story to illustrate the point from a podcast I listened to. I told you last time that I was binge listening to the apocalyptic podcast ‘End of All Hope’ from 7-Lamb productions.

Last week I finished the binge listen and caught up to where they are currently at - the end of season 5.

After the last episode of season 5 Robert Lamb dropped an update episode that is basically a get-off-my-lawn rant about how people need to understand he works 15 hours a day and hasn’t had a day off in 10 years. Which I thought was amusing.

For context, Robert has been producing the podcast for 9+ years. So, if you do the math, comes out to an episode every 3.5 months.

This underscores the advantage of binge listening. I got to listen to 10 years of his work in 2 weeks!

If we apply the same math to our little After the Apocalypse show I give you a show every 18.25 days! (Even with the summer breaks).

And if you are sick of waiting, did you know that if you subscribe on Acast you can get the podcast a week earlier than everyone else, just sayin… https://plus.acast.com/s/after-the-apocalypse

Welcome to Season 4!

The plan is the same as previous seasons. We will push through an episode every two weeks. We will have 20 episodes in the season. We will have 5 seasons.

Based this starting date of August 4th, which, I believe, is a few weeks earlier than last year, we will be wrapping up season 4, episode 20 the last week of April 2024.

I hope you enjoyed the listener submitted stories we read over the summer break. That was fun. And even though it was still writing and producing, it was different, and in that way it was regenerative for me.

Update on Book Progress:

I also had the season 3 manuscript cleaned up, so now I have the first 3 books of a 5 book apocalypse series in hand.

And the big-scary-news is that I’m going to do something with them.

I have been talking to developmental editors. I’m going to make a big push to bring after the apocalypse to a published book-form.

I had always planned to do this, but I hit the wall with the book process because I didn’t want to release the word for word manuscripts of the shows – I wanted them to be higher quality and flesh them out a bit for the book form. I wanted the books to be derivative, but also stand-alone, unique, high quality content pieces in themselves.

And I got stuck.

But over the summer I thought about it some more and decided to get help.

I’m hiring a coach.

What a developmental editor does is read your manuscript and suggest changes to character, plot, structure…that sort of thing – so more than just moving commas around.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates from the struggling author chronicles!

Likes, reviews and shares:

Ok my friends, it’s a new season. Time for you, my lazy listeners to get up off your flaccid gluteus maximi and give me some fresh likes and reviews and shares. We are 100% word of mouth – So I need you, yes you, don’t try to hide behind that potted plant, yeah you, hit the button to like the podcast on whatever app you’re using to listen.

And while you’re at it write two good sentences.

OK OK - ONE good sentence. Hemmingway always said his whole life was a struggle to write one true sentence. So, write that one sentence into the review or comments box in your app. Something like, “This podcast is better than a jalapeno enema!” or “The writer is not only good-looking but sexy as heck!.” The algorithms don’t care what you say – they just want you to say it.

We need that algorithm KARMA.

What has Chris been reading?

Now for the What has Chris been reading? Part of our show.

Well, besides The Stars My Destination which we reviewed last time - I also read “Choosing to Run: A Memoir” – by Olympian and winner of the 2018 Boston Marathon Des Linden.

I really liked it. Let me be clear - the prose and the writing in general is non-spectacular, but the story is great. I have never met Des, but I was there in 2011, at Boston when she got outkicked on Boylston Street and came in 2nd. (Well, I wasn’t there, I was about an hour behind her on the course.) But Boston is my hometown race, and I was there, on the same course on the same day.

And I was there in 2018 when we had the freezing rain and 50 mile an hour headwind gusts and she won that race. The first American woman to win Boston since Lisa Larsen Weidenbach in 1985. (I was not there).

So, yeah, I enjoyed the read because I could relate to it.

Earlier in the summer gave myself a fun challenge; to read an entire issue of Analog Magazine.

“What is Analog magazine?” you ask. Analog has been around since the golden age of science fiction – 85 years. Was originally Astounding Stories of Super-Science and was edited by Joseph Campbell. This would have been the place that Dune or Foundation or any of those great Sci-Fi novels would have appeared initially as serials or stories.

I remember reading them as a kid. I think my Dad may have given them to me because they also pretend to have “Science Fact” as part of the content, and he wanted me to be an engineer.

But the joke is on him because Analog is really just a bunch of science fiction stories in pulp magazine form.

Whenever I see old Analog or Asimov’s science fiction magazine, at the library book sale, or in the rubbish bin, I pick them up.

There is something enchanting about a magazine chock full of science fiction tidbits.

Analog is a literal return to the pulp-fiction days. Frankly I don’t know how they can afford to keep printing them. But you can still go to their website and buy 12 paper issues for $24.95.

I’m sure you’re bored with me talking about how much I love science fiction short stories. But I do! A good Sci-Fi story is the essence of a compelling idea. One good idea unencumbered by the extra pages of a novel-length effort.

The issue I read was July/August 2022. Within its pulpy covers were 1 novella, 5 novelettes, 12 short stories, 2 ‘flash fictions’, 2 poems and 1 “Probability Zero’ – which was a very short story. It took me 2-3 weeks to work my way through, reading a bit almost every night.

And you may say ‘so what?’ but - This was a major and dangerous endeavor for me, because my ADD needs me to finish every damn story in the magazine or forever berate myself for being an utter failure and look back with shame on that one time I didn’t finish the entire magazine.

(Utter, not udder, udders are on cows.)

But, I persevered! I beat it! I got through all the stories! and it was quite fun and quite rewarding.

There were some real gems and some nice nuggets.

So, my advice to you is to rescue a pile of old Analog magazines from the rubbish and gather them about you in your old age for comfort. Nestle your old bones into that pile of science fiction short story pulp and read your way out!

The exit:

I have dithered on long enough. It’s great to be working with you again.

Please reach out to me if you need anything.

We now have over 400 members in our Facebook group – come over and say ‘hi’.

Remember – I create a post on the website with these after-the-show discussions with all the links. And is the near future I’m going make it so you can subscribe to that as well so you’ll get these words with the links in a convenient email format when the shows drop.

Again, glad to back with you. Looking forward to a fun and compelling season.

Keep your head above water, your hair under your cap and keep surviving!

Appreciate your attention,

Chris,


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