Even though I recently announced the new Semiprozine Spotlight series, I’m still featuring fanzines and fancasts, too.
And therefore, here is the next entry in the Fancast Spotlight project. For more about the Fanzine/Fancast Spotlight project, go here. You can also check out the other great fanzines and fancasts featured by clicking here.
Today, I’m pleased to feature Light On Light Through, a podcast run by Paul Levinson, who’s a science fiction author, singer/songwriter, media critic and professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University.
Paul Levinson is clearly a very busy man, so I’m thrilled to welcome him to my blog today to talk about Light On Light Through.
Tell us about your podcast or channel.
I posted the first episode of Light On Light Through on 21 October 2006, a little over 15 years ago to the day. The topics of the podcast are everything I find interesting or important, ranging from the cars I drive to the science fiction series I watch on television. The format is usually me talking. Sometimes I do interviews with editors, authors and actors, sometimes I post readings that I do of my science fiction stories and concerts of my music. I started the podcast doing as many as two or three episodes a week. As the years went by, I became so involved in other projects – finishing a novel, making a new recording – that the number of episodes of Light On Light Through were just three or four per year. But during the lockdown due to the pandemic, I was spending much more time at home, and by the Summer of 2020 I was back to doing as many as 4 or 5 episodes a month. The past few months, the early Fall of 2021, have brought such a cascade of great science fiction on the screen that I’m posting podcast reviews several times a week. In just the past few days, I’ve watched and reviewed a new episode of the Foundation series, the first half of the new Dune movie, and the debut of a new series, Invasion.
Who are the people behind your podcast or channel?
Just me. I do all the taking and recording and posting links to the episodes all over the known and unknown universe. That’s actually one of the things I really love about podcasting – I can do whatever I want with the podcast, whenever I want. Podcasting is a great way to satisfy your creative impulses.
Why did you decide to start your podcast or channel?
I love to talk. That’s one of the reasons I became a professor. But the advantage of podcasting is you can talk about whatever you want to talk about. My first episode in 2006 was about the joys of driving my new hybrid Prius. The second was a review of Battlestar Galactica. Then I had episodes that discussed why I like Trader Joe’s supermarkets and dislike Daylight Savings Time. By the way, I also love to write – that’s why I became an author. I review lots of science fiction on my blog. These often are written springboards for my podcast episodes.
What format do you use for your podcast or channel and why did you choose this format?
I upload MP3s of my episodes to Libsyn. I’ve been with them from the very beginning of my podcast in 2006. Yes, they do charge a monthly fee, but they have great statistics on number and places of downloads, and they have great distribution to social media and podcast apps all over the world.
The fan categories at the Hugos were there at the very beginning, but they are also the categories which consistently gets the lowest number of votes and nominations. So why do you think fanzines, fancasts and other fan projects are important?
Fanzines and other fan projects are vitally important because they are the voice of the people – literally so in the case of podcasts. Why, for example, should reviews of science fiction television series be only found in professional publications on the Internet, like Variety or The New York Times? The beauty and utility of podcasting is that anyone can express their opinion for the world to hear.
In the past twenty years, fanzines have increasingly moved online and fancasts have sprung up. What do you think the future of fan media looks like?
I think the future of fanzines and fancasts is very bright. Podcasts have been bursting out all over the past few years. Listeners love their convenience and specific focus on subjects of interest. I expect fan media to continue growing at an even faster pace.
The four fan categories of the Hugos (best fanzine, fan writer, fan artist and fancast) tend to get less attention than the fiction and dramatic presentation categories. Are there any awesome fanzines, fancasts, fan writers and fan artists you’d like to recommend?
Right now, I’m really focused on the Foundation series on Apple TV+ and the original Isaac Asimov stories and novels. My favorite fancast about the importance of the Foundation narrative, and its relevance to our world today, is Joel McKinnon’s Seldon Crisis podcast. My favorite fan writer review site is Cora Buhlert’s own blog, where she provides in-depth, spirited reviews of each episode, with a copy of Asimov’s novels close at hand.
Where can people find you?
Light On Light Through podcast: https://paullev.libsyn.com/
Paul Levinson’s Infinite Regress blog: https://paullevinson.blogspot.com/
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/PaulLevinson
Amazon books: https://www.amazon.com/author/paullevinson
Thank you, Paul, for stopping by and answering my questions.
Do check out Light On Light Through, cause it’s a great podcast.
Do you have a Hugo eligible fanzine/-site or fancast or a semiprozine and want it featured? Contact me or leave a comment.