Sixy Beast

Chapter 6 is now up and available to listen to here.  Beware of Ewoks!

Published in: on 14/07/2010 at 8:33 am  Leave a Comment  

6 and counting

Long time since I’ve posted, sorry about that.  Lets see now, Chapter (Episode) 5 went without a hitch.  Fishfingers and Custard was the title, referring to the taste sensation discovered by Matt Smith’s Doctor in his debut performance in Doctor Who.  Odd combinations that just work being the premise behind our episode.  We’ve become a lot more confident over time and I think this episode demonstrates that in being by far our most relaxed and randomly wandering show yet.  We had a whale of a time recording it and I had really very minimal editing to do to get it from raw recording to internet-ready podcast.  We’re by no means Gods-of-Pod material yet but we’ve achieved stability, regularity and entertainment for both ourselves and the listeners (I hope.)

The Chapter format seems to be working well and ideas continue to flow for future episodes.  The best thing about basing the shows around themes rather than specific authors or books is that it frees us up to stretch the boundaries and bring in books that we wouldn’t necessarilly have thought of discussing otherwise.  This keeps it fresh and interesting for all of us as we never quite know where the conversation will go next.

The next Chapter is being recorded tonight – Chapter 6: Funny Stuff.  We’ll be looking at writing that has amused us from the darkly humerous to the outright comedic (and possibly taking in the laughably bad along the way).  All this is of course building up our back catalogue which is available on i-Tunes in with all the other Geek Syndicate podcasts under their network.

My stomach kind of flips when I see how long some of these shows have been running.  I’ve just started listening to Quiet! Panelologists At Work.  They got to 75 episodes and seem to have been comedy geniuses from the start.  GS itself has done nearly a hundred more than that and continues to grow and stretch.  Quite an act to follow.  I’m finding it best to just concentrate on doing one show at a time and enjoying myself whilst doing it.  Each episode I’m trying to improve on the last and gradually build something that is strong and entertaining on all fronts but also professional and engaging to a growing audience.

We now have a proper theme tune debuting in Chapter 6.  A band Clover and i fell in love with in our university days has itself been growing and changing, and is currently living and working in the USA.  We knew them when they were The Dharmas.  They had a single on the Chart Show back in the day.  They then became Steadman and released two albums and had a rave review from Paul McCartney.  Now they are London To Tokyo and at work on a new album.  I’ve had permission from singer Simon Steadman to use a couple of his tracks from the Steadman days for our intro/outro music and I couldn’t be more chuffed.

If you like the music (or are quick off the mark and want to hear the tunes before Chapter 6 even comes out) you can get all their songs and albums here for FREE.  The songs we’ve used are Life Of Leisure and Cut Me Loose from the album Loser Friendly.  Also check out the London To Tokyo site here for their latest material.  It’s all great.  Smiley smiley time!

Dion (he of the newly shaven bonce, poorly fitting tracksuit bottoms and a growing addiction to the Angry Birds application on i-touch.)

Published in: on 06/06/2010 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Refined Redefined

I’ve finally sorted out the bit-rate issues which we’re giving barry gyp.  I think I’ve got a handle on format a little firmer now (more below on that) and Mattie is finally splashing out on a brand new computer, so hopefully all his audio issues will be resolved as of Thursday this week.

We completed recording of our nth episode on Thursday just gone –

Wait, this is getting confusing, let’s hammer this out once and for all.  Add in the ‘lost episode or not?  Include the fact that we had two go’s at it?  How to count the last episode which was broken down into three seperate sections?

Ok, here’s what we’ll do.  The pilot was the pilot, Episode 0 (or Prologue, if you will).  Ignore the lost ones, they’re not going to be found anytime soon, and we’ll probably re-work their content in some form or another into future episodes.  Having sub-divided the previous episode into Chapters (1, 2 and 3) I figure from here on in each episode will be a Chapter and simply continue the numbering.  So, to start again…

We completed recording Chapter 4 on Thursday.  There was no Mattie as he had other committments.  We tried using skype to call our house phone so that Clover andf I wouldn’t have to keep swapping over who had the microphone (a pain in the arse at the best of times, a conversation de-railer and sound-screwer at the worst. Unfortunately the sound quality was not up to much.  I sounded like I was calling in to a radio talk-show.  Never mind.  We’ll keep plugging away and eventually all the elements will combine to give us a great show with great audio quality and a great format.  And if not?  Stuff it, it’s not like anyone’s employing us for this.

The Chapter is called ‘Kick-arse Babes’ and takes a semi-rounded view of the representation of women in fantasy, sci-fi and horror.  I’ve spent my entire day-off editing it – I don’t know why it took so flipping long, but there we are.  Some things do.  Pretty pleased with it over all, though I feel we skated over the icy surface of a very deep, very wide and potentially hazerdous subject.  What will the feedback be like on the forums?  Three possible outcomes as I see it – 1 – general indifference, a few odd comments but not a lot more (as per previous episodes) – 2 – a really interesting and protracted discussion expanding to cover books we’ve not heard of or read yet, characters and authors we missed out or didn’t have time for and a real exploration of gender issues in the early 21st century or – 3 – we’ll be completely slated.

Hoping for 2, fearing 3, expecting 1.

Barry has the final recording, so just waiting for him to get it up on the site now.  As soon as it is I’ll post a link.


Published in: on 26/04/2010 at 7:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Making (radio) waves

Having been in semi-regular contact with Booberella (Brenda) from the fabulous American podcast Geektress over the last three months I’m pleased to announce that Scrolls will be making a transatlantic appearance on the so-new-it’s-not-actually-quite-there-(but-will-be-any-day-now-guv-honest) internet radio station Geektress Radio.

I’ve also put her in touch with Barry from Geek Syndicate, so the whole back catalogue of the geek-ninjas will be on there along with Geekland, Comic Book Queers, Comic Racks, Entertainment Overload and Undead America (so far).

So what’s Geektress Radio?

As I understand it listeners will have the opportunity to hear continuous great podcast entertainment (clearly with a geek slant) without having to go through the faff of finding it and downloading individual episodes.  This will be great for cross-pollinating our audiences who may otherwise never have heard (or heard of) the other podcasts and put all of us ‘out there’ that little bit further.

Fantastic, says I.

Dion (he of the pot-belly and shiny-yet devastatingly handsome-head)

Published in: on 05/04/2010 at 8:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Episode 2: A New Format

Ok folks, here’s Scrolls Episode 2 for your listening pleasure.

It comes with our sincere apologies – not for the content, you understand (we like that) but for the huge delay in getting it out to you.  Gremlins.  Let’s just leave it at that.

In an effort to cater to our lunch-time listeners we are trialling a new bite-sized Chapter format:-

Episode 2: ‘Believe The Hype’

Prologue – in which a new cast member is added, Nigella Lawson is deemed problematical and things are said that may upset one’s mother.

Chapter 1 – in which, despite proverbial advice, books are indeed judged by their covers and someone is revealed to have eaten cat food.

Chapter 2 – in which the nature of the Anti-hero is explained and explored to some depth, with reference to a multitude of books.

Chapter 3 – in which our cast, thoroughly exhausted, whiffle on endlessly about a variety of monsters in adapted genre fiction.

Epilogue – in which all is brought to a satisfactory end, and some heavy-handed hints are dropped regarding the Scrolls Book Group.

We hope you enjoy it.


Published in: on 22/03/2010 at 9:35 pm  Comments (2)  

Believe The Hype

I’ve done what I can to keep our profile in the minds of the Geek Syndicate Network audience with regular updates on the forums, but with technical difficulties meaning we still have only one episode out there in the ether it’s been tough maintaining enthusiasm.

Although from our side of things we have continued to work hard on Scrolls we are aware that for many of the Geek Syndicate audience (and one or two folks outside of that sphere) we seem to have just recorded one episode and given up.  Not so my friends, not so.

Announcing here and now the recording of Scrolls Episode 2  Believe The Hype tonight.  We’re still working to recover one or both of our recording attempts of Episode 1 SFX, Bogs and Mind C’ntrol , but we have decided to move ahead with the next episode in order to try to regain some momentum.  Mattie has replaced his equipment and his sound quality should be improved (though alas probably not perfect), we are also joined by my wife Clover as a permanent team-member.  She was in on the lost episode(s) and loved the experience, if not the outcome.

We have still had very little feedback on the Scrolls Book Group, but will keep plugging away for now.

The current book is Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve.

(Hint, hint)

Dion (bedevilled by rats of all shapes and sizes, but still smiling)

Published in: on 13/03/2010 at 5:48 pm  Comments (1)  

I’ll squeem and squeem and squeem until I’m thick

So, having recorded SFX, Bogs and Mind C’ntrol I was on a bit of a high.  It didn’t all go perfectly, but you can’t expect it to.  Some things were said that came out wrong, I missed saying some things that I wanted to altogether, a few times the conversation went into a dead end then hopped over the wall and became something else entirely and the sound quality was going to be pretty bad thanks to a duff hissy new microphone which is going straight in the bin (thankfully only £7 wasted at Curry’s.  Could have been worse).  A shrug of the shoulders.  Editing can do wonders, I thought and I could see it as a challenge, except…

except that despite seeing the file on my skype recorder the damn thing just won’t play.  It won’t show up on my editing software.  It doesn’t seem to exist in an audio format, just as a useless lump taking up space on my hard-drive. (Any jokes you want to insert here, please post as a comment.)

It may be salvagable.  I’m looking at a couple of leads now,  but I have a horrible feeling we’re going to have to record the whole thing again.  I could just scream.  Anyway, it seems like we’ll be a bit late getting the episode out, so if you’re reading this and you care, I’m sorry.  If you’re not, or you don’t then why am I typing this?  I don’t know.

Dion. (Confused again)

Published in: on 16/02/2010 at 11:25 am  Comments (2)  

SFX Weekender

Piccies from the fabulous weekender event.  sorry there are so few, but we were really just having too much fun.  We’ll try harder next time.

There was an absence of Phil which was a terrible shame, but you can now see what Mattie, Clover and I look like (with special cameo by Indiana Nuge from Geek Syndicate).  GS did a much better job of recording the event, so check out their photos here and also pop over to the official SFX photos here if you’re interested.

Latest episode ‘SFX, Bogs and Mind C’ntrol’ is in the can.  Editing starts tomorrow, should be available by next weekend.

Right – I’d better shower and do romantic valentines day things.



Published in: on 14/02/2010 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  


Well this is frustrating.

Next post will be all about the SFX Weekender and how brilliant that was, but tonight I was going to try posting direct onto the Geek Syndicate website.  I’ve been set up with password etc but every time I try to log on I just keep coming back to my Scrolls blog.


By the way, if somehow you’re reading this and you haven’t been on Geek Syndicate or it’s forums then shame on you.  Check them out here.

One of the forum threads is on the first book for our book group – Cabal, by Clive Barker.  Please read it, then go there and post.  We’re feeling lonely.  I just spent twenty minutes pulling together my most insightful thoughts and questions only to be kicked out without the damned thing posting.  I’m debating whether to try again tonight or leave it.

Bum.  Again.

Recording Episode 1 (the second episode… don’t question it, just go with the flow) on Saturday and introducing the world to my lovely wife Clover – described by Barry from the Geek Syndicate as a ‘very fine wench.’  Make of that what you will, but I’m not about to disagree…

Ok, that’s me.  Back to podcasty preperations…

Dion.  (He of the frozen fingers, cursing the plumber and his lack of just-being-here-and-fixing-the-damned-heating-now!-ness-ness.  Ness.)

Published in: on 11/02/2010 at 9:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Scrolls Book Group 2010 list

Ok folks, the Scrolls Book Group is now up and ready to go.

As previously explained this is your chance to build an online community, encouraging others to read the books you love and in turn being introduced to authors and books you might otherwise have missed.

As community founders we’d just like to make sure everybody is clear from the start on the following:

– Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but backing it up with reasoning makes it more interesting for everybody.

– People of all ages will be using the forum, so please moderate your language accordingly.  Abuse will not be tolerated.

– Try to stick to topic.  If you want to really deviate please start a new thread and signpost people there.

Now, the list I’m publishing below is just the spine of the Book Group – our choices which we would like to discuss with you on the forums – but it doesn’t stop there.  Oh no.  We’d like you to think about the books that have really had an impact on you and to start discussion threads about them alongside our own.  Go as broad or intellectual as you like, dip in and out as you see fit but most of all enjoy it.

Here’s our list for 2010. (My tip would be to save your pennies and order them from the library.)

February – Cabal – by Clive Barker – (ISBN  978-0743417327)

March – Mortal Engines – by Phillip Reeve – (ISBN 978-0439982221)

April – The Book of Lost Things – by John Connolly – (ISBN 978-0340899489)

May – Spiral – by Koji Suzuki – (ISBN 978-0007179077)

June – Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? – by Philip K. Dick – (ISBN 978-1857988130)

July – Fantasy Stories – by Rudyard Kipling – (ISBN 978-0812520026)

August – We Have Always Lived In The Castle – by Shirley Jackson – (ISBN 978-0141191454)

September – Use Of Weapons – by Iain M. Banks – (ISBN 978-1857231359)

October – A Wizard Of Earthsea – by Ursula LeGuin – (ISBN 978-0140304770)

November – Ghost Stories – by M.R. James – (ISBN 978-1853260537)

December –  The Time Traveller’s Wife – by Audrey Niffenegger – (ISBN 978-0099464464)

Each month on the podcast we’ll read out some of the best posts and also direct listeners to the threads which have most caught our attention.

There will also be a thread started in the next day or two for you to post suggestions for any books which you would like us to consider for the 2011 Book Group, or even to discuss on the podcast.

See you on the forums,


Published in: on 24/01/2010 at 8:52 pm  Leave a Comment