Talia wrote:"but I know people say the stories are often feminist and have a common tone to them"
I've listened to every episode of Podcastle and haven't noticed this at all. o.O
I'm with Talia. I've listened to Podcastle since it started, and I think it's a good mag, no more feminist than any other non-sexist publication. I think they've had two setbacks. 1. They chose a non-charismatic host. I don't know anything else about her, except that she did not have that flare that makes listeners like you, and it was a real problem. 2. They came across as pretentious and academic. Worse, they appeared to feel that they were a real
literary magazine just slumming it in podcasting land. They almost never mentioned podcasts other than Escape Artists. One got the impression that they would not soil their ears with such things. They were better than their medium, perhaps better than the rest of the fantasy genre. This impression was probably wrong, but I think a lot of people got that vibe, and it was a huge turn-off.
It is funny that people act surprised every time Podcastle hits one out of the park. In my experience, they post stories that pop just as frequently as their sister podcasts, but no one expects it of them. If you haven't listened to The Meermaid's Tea Party, you are missing out. It is Drabblecast-worthy. http://podcastle.org/2010/03/02/podcast ... tea-party/
alhilton is right on here regarding perception around PodCastle, right or wrong.
I also think many people went into listening to Podcastle with a preconceived idea about what they would find because they knew Rachel from the EA forums prior to her heading up PodCastle. There were some pretty testy debates, usually around feminst issues.
I think another thing that seemed like a put off was that they only accepted reprints. I understand the logic behind it, and the safety of it, but it feels a bit standoffish, especially for a podcast.
BTW, the recent story "Smokestacks Like the Arms of Gods" was not a reprint, but a PodCastle original.
Since we are on the subject, check out a recent interview with new editors Dave Thompson and Anna Schwind over at Diabolical Plots