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The Future And You
The Future And You is an award-winning podcast hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb and teamed with Jim Baen's Universe Magazine (the online magazine of SF&F from Baen Books). In each episode the show's host interviews a variety of authors, scientists, celebrities and "pioneers of the future" as to what they believe both the near future and distant future will be like for individuals as well as for humanity in general.
Additional recommended knowledge
Subjects have included: nanotechnology and molecular manufacturing, computers wired directly into the human brain, exoplanets, cryonics, bootlegging of movies, global warming, the current interglacial period, genetic engineering of humans and other biotechnology, faster-than-light travel, wormholes and black holes, cloning and stem cell research, futurism and futurology, social marketing (the engineering of specific attitude changes within a population), transhumanism, extropianism, and the technology of living more-or-less forever.
Or as the host describes it: "Topics are strictly limited to those things that, in the future, will exist, or cease to exist, or change in some way."
The show's goal seems to be to provide variety within each episode: a variety of guests, subjects and ideas.
Most of the show is composed of interviews: anywhere from four to nine in a single episode. (Which explains why the show is so long compared to most podcasts.) Each episode opens with the host reading a Table of Contents, sometimes followed by a few brief news items, then the interviews begin. Near the middle of the show, after two or three interviews, about fifteen minutes worth of the science fiction novel "Bones Burnt Black" is read by the author. (The serialization of this novel was begun in the first episode.)
Many episodes end with a "Celebrity Interview" which usually has little to do with the show's theme (the future) and may have been included to increase the show's status, or to pull in more listeners by showing up in Google searches of those celebrity names.
There has been a noticeable abundance of SF writers on the show, perhaps because the host feels that since many SF writers write about the future they have spent a great deal of time pondering what is to come (a logical, if unproven, theory) or maybe its just because the host is an SF writer himself and finds it easiest to find guests within his own field.
Also notable is the show's length. Striving for so much variety forces the program to a far greater length than most podcasts. Episodes have fluctuated from 68 minutes to 150 minutes. For many months the target length seemed to be 79 minutes. (Perhaps because 80 minutes is the most that can be burned to a 700 megabyte audio CD.) But more recent episodes seem to be gravitating around two hours.
The alliance with Jim Baen's Universe (see History below) brought ten minutes of new content to each episode. These ten minute segments are provided by the staff of Jim Baen's Universe and are produced by Walt Boyes (AKA: Bananaslug) and Stoney Compton.
During the show's first five months (from December 2005 until April 2006) episodes were released every two weeks. As of May 1, 2006 episodes are being released one per month on the first of each month. All the old episodes have remained available for listening (which is typical of most podcasts). And like most podcasts, there is no charge for listening to one episode or for subscribing.
The June 1, 2006 episode was the first to use VoIP for recording all the phone interviews, and so was the first to provide professional quality sound. (The May 1, 2006 episode contained one VoIP interview, but all the rest were recorded over conventional analog phone lines.)
October 1, 2006 saw another improvement in the show's audio quality. This was done by changing the mp3 file compression from 32 kbit/s (which had been used for all previous episodes) to 64 kbit/s. This better sound was good, but it was also bad in that it made the files twice as large, and take twice as long to download.
The December 1, 2006 episode had two major events. It was declaired the show's One Year Anniversary Episode (the first episode was actually uploaded on December 15, 2005) and it was the beginning of the show's alliance with Jim Baen's Universe the online magazine of SF&F.
The 2006 Parsec Award for "Best Speculative Fiction News Podcast" was given to the show's host, Stephen Euin Cobb, on the evening of September 2, 2006. This was at the first annual Parsec Award ceremony which was held in Atlanta GA, as part of "the world’s largest popular media convention: Dragon*Con."
In his acceptance speech, Stephen thanked the three podcasters who had encouraged him to create a podcast when he knew little about how podcasting was done: Mur Lafferty, Tee Morris, and Rich Sigfrit. Stephen also thanked his photographer and assistant, Peggy Gregory (who is also his sister) for helping him throughout his many promotional travels to science fiction conventions, book signings and TV appearances.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_Future_And_You". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|