Background Noise Podcast Episode 1

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The Background Noise podcast is dedicated to digging up strange topics and hidden gems that don’t often get talked about in popular media. In the first episode, a couple of students talk about what it’s like to be introverts in an extroverted world.

A New Story

Well, it’s coming up on the final week of school, and of course I’ve got more work than I can shake a stick at. But there is one piece of good news: my IPP (Independent Professional Project) got approved. For the next year, the tables will be turned. I’m going to write a book.

Well, it’s really a novella, only 20,000 words, but I’ll be writing, editing, publishing and marketing it all myself. A big job, but I’m really excited to take a crack at writing a story of my own. Stay tuned here for all the excited behind-the-scenes action, including more yelling about young adult fantasy fiction, and the inevitable questioning of my life choices. More details to come, just as soon as I can figure out what they are.

The Curse of the Cliffhanger

Somehow, this week I managed to carve out some personal reading time between madly planning for a magazine fair and even more madly trying to find a summer job. Luckily school hasn’t taken away my ability to bust through 500 pages in an evening, so I finished Peter V. Brett’s The Skull Throne in short order. It was a great book, the fourth in his Demon Cycle series, but it highlighted for me one of my biggest pet peeves about serial fiction: cliffhangers.

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I Hate Zombies

I know, go ahead and judge me, I’m the worst sci-fi fan ever. I cannot stand zombie narratives. The Walking Dead, Warm Bodies, Left 4 Dead, 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead…I can’t get into them. Part of it is instinctual revulsion – I’ve never done well with gross things on screen – but at this point part of it is some kind of misplaced hipster spite. Those kinds of stories are so popular with almost everyone else I get a certain perverse pleasure out of being in the minority.

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This is why, when I tell you that you should read World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, you should listen.  Continue reading

The Passing of a Legend

Last week, the world lost one of its greatest authors of fiction. Terry Pratchett passed away on March 12, 2015. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, and finally succumbed to what he referred to as his “Embuggerance”.

He was most famous for his Discworld novels, but sadly I’ve only read one or two of the approximately 70 novels. The work of his that I know and love best is his collaboration with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens. It’s the story of a frumpy, sweater-wearing angel, a surprisingly amicable demon, and a misplaced antichrist all trying to avert the apocalypse. Pratchett had a unique ability to take the most overused tropes of fantasy fiction and turn them on their ear with simple, matter-of-fact language.

If you haven’t had a chance to read his work, I highly recommend it. The man himself may be gone, but he’s left the world a wonderful legacy in his books.