Small Beer Podcast 19: Nathan Ballingrud’s “You Go Where It Takes You”

Tue 14 Jan 2014 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Julie

North American Lake Monsters cover - click to view full sizeNathan Ballingrud is one of those authors who should be far better known. Hopefully, this collection will do something to bridge that particular gap.

I don’t write fan letters and I don’t read stories that sometimes fall across the border into grotesque, but then Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters came along. Immediately after I finished the collection, before I even knew I was going to record this podcast, I had messaged Nathan directly to tell how how I felt. The thing is—I don’t do things like that.

Even as I type this blog entry, I am holding back my over-eager fangirl. Ballingrud’s stories are that good. They are dark and unique and beautifully written. The prose is Ballingrud’s alone, but it reminds me of Raymond Carver after Gordon Lish had cleaned up his work. (Here’s a link for those of you who don’t know that particular story. It is a psychological horror story all its own.)

Ballingrud’s stories blur that artificial line between psychological, supernatural, and physical horror. But they do more than that. These are stories about people who make hard and, often morally uncomfortable choices, and yet remain emphatically human. We may not approve of what they do, but we damn well understand it. In the end, after traveling through Ballingrud’s world, I didn’t feel anxious or scared, I felt lighter, as though his stories had carried off some darkness within myself. Best of all, I felt entertained.

Episode 19: In which Julie C. Day reads Nathan Ballingrud’s “You Go Where It Takes You” from North American Lake Monsters.

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Small Beer Podcast 18: Kelly Link’s “Stone Animals” & Cider

Tue 24 Sep 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Julie

Old friends never go out of style. Yet, somehow, too often they manage to slip into the dusty corners of our lives. Each time one pops up and disrupts my helter skelter schedule, I feel a frisson of rediscovery. “Yes, this is why we remember each other. This really is how it used to be.”

This latest Small Beer podcast is exactly such an old friend. Recorded a while back, I got nervous about the time involved in editing it down, then distracted by a number of non-podcast related deadlines, and finally let the recording slip into some forgotten crack. Dear, Lord, what was I thinking?!  The discussion is opinionated, amusing and thoughtful in just the right measure. Months later it makes me want to go back and reread “Stone Animals” all over again.

Spoiler Alert: The details of the story are discussed at length. If you have not yet read “Stone Animals” consider this your excuse to do so now. Not. One Wasted. Moment. I promise.  You can purchase the beautifully illustrated chapbook from Madras Press, knowing all proceeds go to the Fistula Foundation, or you can read it for free (under a Creative Commons license) as part of Kelly’s Magic for Beginners collection.

Episode 18: In which Julie C. Day, Jennifer Abeles, Dusty Buchins, & Geoff Noble discuss Kelly Link’s “Stone Animals.”

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Small Beer Podcast 17: Angélica Gorodischer’s “The González Family’s Fight for a Better World”

Tue 19 Mar 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Julie

Trafalgar cover - click to view full size

I don’t always take authors very seriously, but when Angélica Gorodischer indicated in Trafalgar’s foreword that the stories should be read in order, something in her tone made me pay attention. And something in her writing. She amused me right from the beginning, and so I decided to take her at her word and allow the journey to unfold over the course of the novel. Honestly, it was no hardship. Once I started the first story, I realized nothing less than mainlining the entire book would satisfy.

Angélica Gorodischer is the recipient of the 2011 World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. She has published over nineteen award-winning books in her native Spanish. Still, for me, an English-only reader, Gorodischer feels like a “new author” discovery. Trafalgar may have been written in 1979, but it’s already one of my top five books for 2013.

A fix-up novel, a mosaic novel, or as the book copy suggests “a novel-in-stories:” whatever the term you choose to describe Angélica Gorodischer’s Trafalgar, it is funny, dry, and always engaging. Trafalgar feels like some sort of Douglas Adams, Gabriel Garcia Marquez hybrid. The narrator of Trafalgar is Trafalgar Medrano’s coffee-shop companion. It is she who transcribes the various intergalactic adventures Trafalgar describes over cups of strong, black coffee. And it is she who understands Trafalgar and his foibles enough to fill in the blanks he might have left in these stories. Unlike Dr. Watson, this biographer has no misapprehensions about human nature.

And now we have one of these stories available on the podcast. When Amalia Gladhart offered to read for the podcast, I was thrilled. Amalia translated Trafalgar; she read the original novel and she shepherded that novel from Spanish to English. What better person to read the English translation?

Episode 17: In which Amalia Gladhart reads Angélica Gorodischer’s “The González Family’s Fight for a Better World” from Trafalgar.

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Small Beer Podcast 16: Kij Johnson’s “The Empress Jingu Fishes”

Tue 15 Jan 2013 - Filed under: Kij Johnson, Not a Journal., , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Julie

At the Mouth of the River of Bees cover - click to view full size

Hallelujah! Another podcast is neigh. And to everyone’s delight here at the Small Beer Studios, it’s another piece of fiction.

Kij Johnson’s debut collection, At the Mouth of the River of Bees, came out in mid-2012. And people were excited. Kij can rock climb. She can teach. She knows both Old Norse and Latin. But most of all she knows how to tell horrific and wondrous stories in the most beautiful of language.

As well as all that, Kij is a research demon. Science and ancient Japan and near-future teen culture all collide between the pages of this collection.

Kij has won the World Fantasy Award, the Sturgeon Award and the Nebula award (multiple times). Reading “The Empress Jingu Fishes” was a truly lovely experience. Kij Johnson does more than just tell a compelling story. She knows how to put her words together.

Episode 16: In which Julie Day reads Kij Johnson’s “The Empress Jingu Fishes” from At the Mouth of the River of Bees.

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Small Beer Podcast 15: Lydia Millet’s The Shimmers in the Night

Tue 18 Dec 2012 - Filed under: Lydia Millet, Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Julie

The Shimmers in The Night cover - click to view full size

These podcasts are special little moments that pop up in my life, but even when I’m not “on mic” I’m reading to an audience. Every day for almost a decade, I’ve sat with my children and read. Yes, we have a TV. Yes, we have broadband access. But every day we sit together and read novels: novels for kids. That adds up to quite a lot of books.

We read the first book in Lydia Millet’s Dissenters series, The Fires Beneath the Sea, last year, and its sequel, The Shimmers in the Night, earlier this fall. In between, we’ve read quite a number of other books, some of which are just amazing and some of which only part of my tribe actually enjoyed. Hint: it was not the reader. Parenthood has its trials . . .

The Shimmers in the Night was a blast for both reader and audience. Not only that: months later my younger child still asks if the next “Shimmers” book is “ready yet,” while my older child made me solemnly swear to get this particular podcast online “immediately.”

What makes this podcast extra-special is that Lydia Millet herself is the reader. With the help of a friend, she read and recorded Chapter 1. How fricking cool is that?

I hate to listen to recordings of myself if others are nearby, but I know I’ll be listening to this particular edition with two smaller people by my side.

Episode 15: In which Lydia Millet reads chapter 1 of The Shimmers in the Night.

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Small Beer Podcast 14: Benjamin Parzybok’s “The Coder”

Tue 23 Oct 2012 - Filed under: Benjamin Parzybok, Not a Journal., , , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Julie

My podcastery life doesn’t get much better than this. Two of my favorites in one audio track: Benjamin Parzybok and  Michael J. DeLuca. Benjamin Parzybok’s story “The Coder” was first published in Lady Churchhill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 21. We bring it to you in audio for the first time. Not only that. Michael J. DeLuca makes another guest appearance on the Small Beer Podcast. Michael is more than a guest reader; he is a passionate advocate of “The Coder.” He spent long hours with his laptop, software and microphone getting the digital track just right. I can’t think of a better homage to this particular Parzybok story.

For those of you who follow such things, Episode No. 4 of our podcast features an excerpt of Ben’s novel, Couch. In other words, we are returning to the scene of the Parzybok crime. Ben is currently finishing his second novel, Sherwood Nation. You can find out about Ben and all his various projects at his site, ideacog.net.

Episode 14: In which Michael J DeLuca read’s Benjamin Parzybok’s “The Coder.”

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Small Beer Podcast 13: Julie Day Interviews Jennifer Stevenson

Thu 27 Sep 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Julie

Trash Sex Magic cover - click to view full sizeJennifer Stevenson is a fantasy author, a romance writer and a former roller derby queen, so it should be no surprise that our interview veered into a discussion of sex and sexual politics. When you add in the fact that we were discussing Jennifer’s book, Trash Sex Magic, the topic of sex became more than an expectation, it became a necessity.

Course, as fun as sex is, there’s always more to the story. The real-life analog of the book’s magical Fox River, the connection between the author’s mother and Raedawn’s mother, Gelia, and even Jennifer’s role in cofounding the Book View Cafe all found their way into our conversation. An interview with Jennifer Stevenson travels fast. Fact is, Jennifer is as much a force of nature as the characters in her novel.

Trash Sex Magic is now available as an audio book through Iambik. (Iambik distribute their audio books out through all the usual channels but for the best price you can’t beat their own site.) Listen to an an excerpt here.

The print edition is available through Small Beer Press and the ebook can be found at Weightless Books. Pick your poison. It’s a great read no matter how you chose to imbibe.

Episode 13: In which Julie Day interviews Jennifer Stevenson, the author of Trash Sex Magic.

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Small Beer Podcast 12: Benjamin Rosenbaum’s “Sense and Sensibility”

Tue 7 Aug 2012 - Filed under: Benjamin Rosenbaum, Not a Journal., , , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Julie

The Ant King and Other Stories cover - click to view full size

There are just so many lovely people in the world. That was my conclusion after talking with David Thompson, the co-editor and host of Podcastle. He just showed up one day and offered to read a story for our little podcast. Well, of course, we said yes.

I couldn’t be more thrilled  with the pairing we’ve come up with: David Thompson reads Benjamin Rosenbaum. “Sense and Sensibility” is a wild mash-up of Jane Austin, the German comic-grotesteque and Gormenghast, a perfect story for the dog days of summer.

But wait, there’s more! Because we know one Rosenbaum story is just never enough, Small Beer is offering Benjamin’s collection, The Ant King and Other Stories, as a free Creative Commons licensed ebook download.

David’s first audiobook, Tim Pratt’s Briarpatch, will be coming out this fall while Benjamin’s latest story, “Elsewhere,” can be found at Strange Horizons. First though, I hope you’ll spend a little time with both David and Benjamin, a truly excellent pairing.

Episode 12: In which David Thompson read’s Benjamin Rosenbaum’s “Sense and Sensibility.”

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Small Beer Podcast 11: Jennifer Stevenson’s Trash Sex Magic

Mon 4 Jun 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Julie

Trash Sex Magic cover - click to view full sizeI think the world should be filled with double features: double-dip ice cream cones, double copies of the books you’re likely to drop in the tub, bonus skirts given at the time of purchase. Sometimes more is better.

Now that we’ve successfully pulled off our first double feature (the John Kesselmania that was Episode Nine and Episode Ten), we’re raring to do it again. This week we bring you an excerpt of Jennifer Stevenson’s Trash Sex Magic. The novel is now available as an audio book through Iambic Books. It’s wild, weird and sexy: a perfect spring read. But that’s not the end of our Stevenson tear. In the next Small Beer podcast, we return to the scene of the crime and roll out a full-on interview with the amazing Jennifer Stevenson: author, speed skater and former roller derby queen.

Episode 11: An excerpt from Jennifer Stevenson’s novel Trash Sex Magic. [audio]

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Small Beer Podcast 10: Julie Day Interviews John Kessel

Fri 4 May 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Julie

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories cover - click to view full size Here at the Small Beer Studios, it’s Kesselmania! Between the reading of “The Last American” in Episode Nine and this week’s interview of the man himself, right now it seems that we have Kessel and nothing but Kessel on our minds.

And why not? He’s an interesting guy, an astute anthologist and a terrific writer. Yes,it’s true: he’s won the Nebula, the James Tiptree Jr. and the Shirley Jackson awards. He’s also co-edited a fantastic series of anthologies with James Patrick Kelly. I tried to cover everything in a single interview. In other words, I set myself the impossible task.

What did make it into this podcast? John’s thoughts on the singularity, his current batch of anthologies with Jim Kelly, his latest novel in progress (yay!) his illuminating thoughts on Ender’s Game, a reading from his novelette, “Buddha Nostril Bird,” and how science fiction saved his life.

Small Beer is part of the DRM-free universe. More than that, John’s collection The Baum Plan for Financial Independence is available as a free ebook on Weightless Books. So go ahead and read the collection for yourself. After all, how many interviews come with their own free book?

Episode 10: In which Julie Day interviews John Kessel

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Small Beer Podcast 9: John Kessel’s “The Last American”

Thu 12 Apr 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Julie

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories cover - click to view full sizeI don’t know how many different people mentioned John Kessel to me before I ever read his work. Well, actually, that’s a lie. I know exactly how many people mentioned John Kessel: four. One of them was Gavin Grant and another was James Patrick Kelly. Mariel Morales and Taylor Preston, school friends of mine from the Stonecoast M.F.A. program, round out the list. In a weirder than fiction moment, while I’m currently typing up this blog post in Massachusetts, tomorrow John, Taylor, Mariel and I are having lunch in North Carolina. It feels like Jim and Kelly should be there as well.

Both this podcast and the next one are all about John Kessel’s fiction. Once you’ve read or listened to one of John’s stories, you’ll find yourself needing more, at least I did. One of my personal Kessel favorites is “Every Angel is Terrifying” along with his series of science fiction stories “A Lunar Quartet.”

It’s nice when it’s easy to share what you love. John’s collection The Baum Plan for Financial Independence is available as a free ebook on Weightless Books. So listen, enjoy and then download the rest of John’s stories and read them for yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Episode 9: In which Michael J. DeLuca reads John Kessel’s “The Last American.”

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Small Beer Podcast 8: Jenny Terpsichore Abeles’s “Three Hats”

Thu 22 Mar 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | 3 Comments| Posted by: Julie

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet No. 26

I should be used to the Small Beer studios by now: the pictures on the walls of kimono-clad women selling insect repellent, the Studio Ghibli bag illustrated with a seaplane pirate from Porco Rosso, the awards tacked haphazardly just above the couch.

The voices are even better.

There are the books, of course, whispering from their various stacks. Delia Sherman’s Sophie and Karen Joy Fowler’s Nora have no doubt talked at length. John Kessel’s Dot and Sid are in that tunnel somewhere just on the other side of the office wall. Still in the end, it’s the voices of the living, breathing people that surprise me every time.

Jennifer Terpsichore Abeles, or Jenny as we call her, has been a great office companion and fellow volunteer, a spitfire, some might say.  But it wasn’t until I started to read her fiction that I realized the truth. She’s not a spitfire at all; she’s a conflagration. In this week’s podcast, Jenny reads her story from Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet issue number twenty-six. So dig up a beer and enjoy.

Episode 8: In which Jenny Terpsichore Abeles reads her story, “Three Hats.”

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Small Beer Podcast 7: Zombie Plans, Beer & Maureen F. McHugh’s “The Naturalist”

Thu 8 Mar 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Julie

the_naturalist_tasting_beersHere at the Small Beer studios we find there’s nothing like  a great book and some damn fine beers to really get the conversation flowing. We’d already read Maureen F. McHugh’s zombie story “The Naturalist” (read | listen) and with the help of  Tru Beer in Easthampton, Massachusetts, we happened upon three beers that go perfectly with just about any zombie apocalypse.

The result? This week’s Small Beer on Beer episode, a podcasting love letter to “The Naturalist,” all things zombie and some very unusual beers.

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t yet read Maureen’s story in her collection, After the Apocalypse, you might want to listen to episode 6, the audio version, before diving into this episode.

Episode 7: In which we talk of  beer,  Reynard the Fox & Maureen F. McHugh’s “The Naturalist.”

On Tap This Week:
Cerveza Cucapa’s Low Rider.
Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye.
Avery Brewing Company’s Mephistopheles’ Stout.

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Small Beer Podcast 6: In Which Julie reads Maureen F. McHugh’s “The Naturalist”

Mon 20 Feb 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Julie

After the Apocalypse cover - click to view full sizeNo, Robert Redford is not in this, neither are baseball games or family farms. This piece is not called The Natural. This story, “The Naturalist,” from Maureen’s collection, After the Apocalypse, is filled with zombies, post-apocalyptic Cleveland and meditations on good, evil, and our human impulse (or lack thereof) toward empathy.

We here at Small Beer loved it so much we decided to devote an entire Small Beer on Beer episode to the sampling of beer and the discussion of this story. So listen, enjoy, and tune back in next week when we broadcast part two: our roundtable discussion of “The Naturalist,” Avery’s Mephistopheles Stout and Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye.

Episode 6: Maureen F. McHugh’s “The Naturalist” as read by Julie Day.

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Small Beer Podcast 5: Three Messages and a Warning

Thu 2 Feb 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Julie

It turns out the gestation period for this podcast is somewhere between that of a lion and a wolf. At the beginning of November, Michael J. DeLuca, Gavin and I recorded the first ever Small Beer beer tasting. Then we recorded two, yes two, stories from our latest anthology Three Messages and a Warning, a collection of the Mexican fantastic.

This podcast was something akin to a seventies concept album, think The Allen Parsons Project or Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. I seem to remember a intense discussion with the proprietor of the fabulous craft beer store, Tru Beer, in Easthampton, Massachusetts. A rapid convert, he donated a few beers to the cause. From Bread Euphoria, we acquired Day of the Dead bread. And then, like so many concept albums, the production requirements along with the obligatory aviator sunglasses and hair mousse almost brought the entire project to a screeching halt.

We are absolutely thrilled we’ve finally got our act together enough to finish this particular podcast.

Episode 5: Julie Day, Gavin Grant, Michael J. DeLuca and Three Messages and a Warning.

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Small Beer Podcast 4: Benjamin Parzybok’s Couch

Thu 17 Nov 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Julie

Couch cover - click to view full sizeFiction. We love it. And this week’s Small Beer podcast is over thirty minutes of nothing but imagined words.

Benjamin Parzybok’s Couch is damned funny. Well, his novel Couch is anyway.

To celebrate the release of the audiobook version of Couch, we’re running an excerpt in this week’s podcast. Don’t worry. Though we hope you’ll love it as we do and want to hear more, this section of the novel was actually published as a stand-alone story in the journal Eleven Eleven. In fact, while I was editing this podcast, my family gathered around my computer to listen in. Yes, sometimes it can be strange days at the Day-Davidson household.

Ben and his wife, the artist Laura Moulton, are both quite fascinating people. You can check out Ben’s various art projects at ideacog.net. Laura is behind the amazing streetbooks.org — a bicycle-powered mobile library in Portland, Oregon, serving people who live outside.

Episode 4: An excerpt from Benjamin Parzybok’s novel Couch.


The audiobook is available for purchase at iambik.com.

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Small Beer Podcast 3: Michael J. DeLuca, Head Brewer and CTO

Thu 10 Nov 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , , , | 3 Comments| Posted by: Julie

I’m thrilled to be back from wilds of Western Connecticut where I was billeted after the recent Nor’easter. Small Beer headquarters feels like a book-filled Shangri-La. I can’t believe I’ve returned.

In Episode Three of our Small Beer podcast, Michael J. DeLuca and I talk about yarrow-infused beer, medieval brewing, his fiction and why Small Beer’s ebook portal, Weightless Books, is a bibliophile’s dream. Not content to leave it at that, in part two of the podcast Michael reads “The Hour of the Fireflies” by Karen Chacek. It’s part of our upcoming Three Messages and a Warning anthology and I don’t know how you couldn’t love it. It comes out in December.

Episode 3: Michael J. DeLuca, Head Brewer and CTO along with Julie Day and Three Messages and a Warning.

Oh, and if you’d like, go listen to Michael’s story, “The Eater,” on Pseudopod.

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Small Beer Podcast 2: In Which Julie Reads a Story by J. M. McDermott

Thu 27 Oct 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Julie

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet No. 26Who doesn’t love Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet? I shipped issue number twenty-six on my very first day here at Small Beer. In honor of that moment, and of all the damn good fiction inside, this week’s podcast is a story taken from that issue, “Death’s Shed” by J.M. McDermott.

Episode 2: Death’s Shed by J.M. McDermott as read by Julie Day of Small Beer Press.

Tune back in next week as Mike DeLuca and Julie Day discuss Weightless Books, Mexican speculative fiction and Mike’s home-brewing techniques. The week after that: beer!

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Small Beer Podcast 1: Delia Sherman and The Freedom Maze

Thu 20 Oct 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Julie

Delia Sherman is a woman very close to our hearts here at Small Beer Press. To launch our latest podcasting venture, we decided to chat with Delia about her latest book, The Freedom Maze, her Southern roots and the stubborn nature of dreams.

Episode 1: Delia Sherman Discusses Her Latest Book, The Freedom Maze with Julie Day of Small Beer Press.

Oh, and if  the excerpt Delia reads catches your fancy, and we think it will, you can preorder The Freedom Maze right here on the Small Beer site.

This is the first in a two or three month podcasting series.  Tune back in as we discuss everything from yarrow-flavored beer to Mexican speculative fiction.

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Podcastery

Fri 30 Mar 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Small Beer Press

One of these days we will start a podcast. You, You, You (Tu, dear), can subscribe to it now using the Podcastery link up there on the right hand side (of the site—I doubt this will show on your RSS feed).

Individual category RSS feeds! The niched-info future is coming. Soonish.