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So every few months I try to suggest some of the really good stories I'm hearing as podcasts.

My old reliable, Escape Pod has been only so-so lately, though the superhero series "Union Dues" has been consistently good.

But it doesn't matter because Podcastle and Starship Sofa have been bringing the awesomeness instead.

Podcastle hasn't been around that long, but it's off to a terrific start with a lot of good stories. My favorites so far have been The Ant King: A California Fairy Tale (hysterically funny) and The Grand Cheat (which is wonderful and has a terrific last line). Magic in a Certain Slant of Light was good too (if a little unfair to science-minded types), and Fear of Dragons is a great story about young girl vs. dragon.

Starship Sofa comes out of Scotland, and it immediately got my attention with the great story, The Second Coming of Jasmine Fitzgerald. Since then it's offered the very entertaining The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate.

But the prize has to go to Likely Lad, about a boy and his gloriously amoral pirate A.I., Captain Morgan, and the grand scheme they come up with for becoming obscenely rich. So funny it's criminal, with a reader who gets completely into the story. If you only listen to one of these, make it this one.

And, ok, just to be fair, here are some old favorites from Escape Pod: Conversations With and About My Electric Toothbrush (soooo funny!), Instead of a Loving Heart, Just Do It, Some Girlfriends Can, and Impossible Dreams (which is a must for any movie buff). And finally, the two that are my favorites by far: the culinary romance, L'Alchemista, and the wonderfully weird Friction.

Enjoy!

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The Croupier's Ramblings

November 2013

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