Nominations for the 2022 Hugo Awards are open, so I will be continuing the Fanzine and Fancast Spotlights. 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 GeekShock, a podcast from Las Vegas, Nevada, about all things geeky.
Therefore, I’m happy to welcome Kerstan Szczepanski aka Kommander K of GeekShock to my blog today:
Tell us about your podcast or channel.
GeekShock is a podcast about the week-in-geek. We like to think we’re a funny bunch, so we style ourselves as a comedy podcast. We approach geek topics of the day however they may strike us as humorous, but we get serious when serious subjects arise. We talk about movies and television of course, but we also cover subjects in comics, games of all types (video, board, tabletop rpg), geek accessories i.e., toys, collectables, curiosities, and genre literature.
Who are the people behind your podcast or channel?
The Ugly Couch Show was a video show started by four friends from Las Vegas’ Star Trek: The Experience themed attraction. Before the attraction closed in 2008, they had dropped several videos exalting things in geek culture they loved. Mastertorgo, The Famous Paul, and Vlarg were all performers at the Experience, and 80s Jeff, a childhood friend of Torgo’s (they met at Space Camp!) was a bartender at the Experience’s famous Quark’s Bar and Restaurant. While improv actor Famous Paul has moved on, the others continue our current roster along with Deb, a former server at the Experience, Maple Leaf Matt, husband to Deb’s BFF, and myself, Kommander K, another performer from the Experience.
Why did you decide to start your podcast or channel?
We wanted to create the show that we wanted to listen to. The idea started as a talk show pitch for an AM radio station back in 2008. We wanted to create a companion show to go with “The Ugly Couch Show”, but one where we talked about the geeky news of the week rather than the focused subjects of the video show. The podcast worked so well, the video show went on hiatus after a few years.
What format do you use for your podcast or channel and why did you choose this format?
It grew organically over the years, but it was always based on a “geeky news of the week” discussion format. In 2009 there wasn’t much of that around. We have our week-in-geek segment, our popular News You Don’t Give a Shit About, the Week in News, as well as other bits.
The fan categories at the Hugos were there at the very beginning, but they are also the categories which consistently get the lowest number of votes and nominations. So why do you think fanzines, fancasts and other fan projects are important?
Passion is important. Love is important. And it’s the passion and love for all things genre that make the nerd world go round. As geek celebrity Wil Wheaton says, “It’s not about what you love, it’s how you love it.” GeekShock embraces that fully.
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?
YouTube will continue to dominate for some time, but the explosion of podcasting makes it easier and easier to make, and find, your particular love. Podcast and YouTube cross-pollinating with streaming services like Twitch will continue, and growth in diverse voices will be great in the coming years. Watch for non-English and non-Western media!
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?
“Talking Scared” a horror literature podcast.
Matthew David Surridge is one of the premier fantasy bloggers we have. He was unfairly hurt by the Sad Puppies years ago. He wasn’t a part of the movement, and in no way agrees with their politics, so he turned down the Hugo nom he got with the Puppies shenanigans. He should be much wider read than he is.
James Maliszewski of Grognardia is a wonderful historic pulp and tabletop rpg blogger who had a hiatus but has returned. Check him out!
Where can people find you?
Thank you, Kerstan, for stopping by and answering my questions.
Do check out GeekShock, cause it’s a great podcast and source of news on all things geeky.
Do you have a Hugo eligible fanzine/-site or fancast or a semiprozine and want it featured? Contact me or leave a comment.