Welcome to the first issue of the second volume of the Centauri Express Audio Magazine! As we’ve mentioned before, the first volume of the Express was way back in the 1980s and was distributed on cassette, if you can believe such a thing. Today, we’ve moved into…a more modern era.
And, as promised, we are bringing you the expanded edition of Thomas E. Fuller’s epic space opera, Dash Cardigan. We originally presented it as the hour-long stage version on ARTC’s Podcast, but this is the expanded 13-episode original version. Chock full of character development, tense plots, and astounding…wait, what? The whole series is a bunch of cheesy jokes and classic movie references? Sounds great!!
A few extra notes for this episode. We have big changes in store for this podcast. First, we have increased the sampling rate for this episode and for all future episodes.
When we started this podcast 10 years ago we purposely made the decision to encode each episode a lot lower than we needed to because the ultimate goal was to help people understand what audio drama was. We weren’t exactly the only game in town, but we were one of only a few audio drama companies that we knew about and what we wanted to do was draw attention to the art form and also let people know about our titles for sale. What better way than to have free samples? We also had years of live performances sitting around that didn’t meet our standards for sale, but were still something we were extremely proud of and didn’t want to keep to ourselves.
So, with all of that said, this episode, number 167 will be the last installment of what we have been so creatively calling “ARTC’s Podcast”. Next month we’re relaunching as the Centauri Express.
What’s going to be different? Lots. For one thing, we’re joining the club and will begin airing studio-produced episodes of some of the various serials we’ve written over the years, starting with our 13-part expanded story of Dash Cardigan. We’re also working on a new show intro and will be including additional segments from time to time that will feature panel discussions, interviews, and really whatever else you’d like to hear, so be sure to let us know at email@example.com. Plus there’s that improved audio quality we were just discussing.
What’s going to be the same? How you get us. We’re sticking with the same publication platform and RSS feed, so you shouldn’t notice much difference except in the format of the content. Also the same, unfortunately, will be the publication schedule. I had hoped to be able to bring this to you every two weeks, but we’re still getting our studio legs under us, as it were. We’ve been performing live for so long that we’ve gotten pretty good at it, if we do say so ourselves, but adding studio work in there to go with those live shows is a bit of a learning curve. Plus, we want to be able to have a consistent schedule without any gaps in publication. We’re still shooting for that every two week mark, but we want to get there in a way that is sustainable.
For those of you who were enjoying the live performances, fear not. We’ll still be bringing those to you by way of Patreon, which you’ve heard me talk about for the last few episodes. All patrons at any level will be able to hear these updates, which will become free bonus content for those folks like Caran, Matthew, Kerry, Christa, John, Donald, Jason, Chelsea, Brad, Sterling, Ben, Richard, Shael, Juliana, and Sketch. The regular episodes of the Centauri Express will continue to be free, but we’d truly appreciate your support.
And the last thing I’d like to ask of you before we get into this month’s episode is for you to let us know what you’ve been doing while listening to ARTC’s Podcast. Do you listen while you drive? Just sit quietly? Catch Pokemon? Do you listen by yourself or make it a group activity? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or head over to the main website at artc.org and use the Speak Pipe to leave us a voicemail that we can feature in later shows.
And now for this month’s episode, which is kind of a transition episode, as this piece was produced here at ARTC Studio and is the first in a new imprint for us. Our other imprints include things like Science Fiction by Gaslight, which features adaptations of classic horror and science fiction, Into the Labyrinth, featuring original dark fantasy, and Adventures in Sound, which features original work that doesn’t really fit into any specific category. And to that lineup we are adding The Sound of Liberty, a collection of classic science fiction adaptations and some original work that highlights the principles in the American Bill of Rights.
The first installment in The Sound of Liberty is this month’s audio drama offering, The Proper Thing to Do by William Alan Ritch and Brad Linaweaver, adapted for audio and directed by William Alan Ritch, produced by David Benedict.
We love all of our audiences and look forward to entertaining everyone, but some audiences have a special place in our hearts. 221B Con is one of them. Not least because we pack the house when we go there!
It’s such a ton of fun playing to these dedicated Sherlock Holmes fans. An iconic character, portayed by a variety of actors in a variety of ways, but without having to deal with all the time travel and blue police boxes. For this performance, we commissioned new scripts from Sketch MacQuinor. One was Commonplaces, by Naomi Novik (stay tuned to see if we can run that one on the podcast), and the other was The Game is Afoot: Game the Fourth – The Ultimate Ultimatum.
David was such a good sport about this. We only asked him if he’d appear on stage with us a few hours before show time, but he agreed to do it readily. Right up until the show itself, we were figuring out the logistics of when to have him approach the stage, how to introduce him, and going over his role.
And then we gave him a non-speaking part and pushed his character off a cliff.
And the fans LOVED it! Next year we hope to have him back in a more substantial (and audible) role, but for this year he honored us by appearing on stage, however briefly, and gamely played along with the joke. Thank you, David!
Pictured: Our biggest fan
Thank you for listening! If you’re enjoying the podcast, be sure to support us on Patreon! Or just tell your friends about us!
Well, here we are. We made it. All the way through 4 parts of Lovecraftian horror and now we’re…not quite ready for the Centauri Express to launch.
Hal Wiedeman is displeased
We were so looking forward to this being the last episode of the venerable, but generically named, ARTC’s Podcast. But we just can’t. We can’t put forth something that’s less than our best effort. We just can’t do that to our listeners. So we’re pushing back to August. We hope.
Paige Steadman has her doubts.
So we’ll be carrying on in our usual fashion for just a couple more months. In the meantime, won’t you consider supporting us on Patreon? We just posted a bunch of really cool milestone goals to help you know what your support will mean to us, and we’re working on a short video to show how we’re operating, too. All kinds of good stuff going on, so remember that you can set your own budget and hopefully you can see your way clear to helping us out a bit. We’d really appreciate it!
Bob Zimmerman, Kat Nowack, and Bill Ritch are waiting for YOU.
So in this month’s show notes, we’re going to talk instead about what’s coming up for the podcast. As we mention in the podcast itself, we’re about to wind down on the show as you’ve known it for the last 10 years. We’re shooting for a June launch, but we’re perfectionists, so it might be July or August before we get this really ready, but when it gets moving it’s going to be as hard to stop as a freight train. Which is fitting since it will be theCentauri Express Audio Magazine!
What is the Centauri Express? It’s whatever you want it to be! For one thing we’ll be taking a step back from our anthology format and focusing on a serialized audio drama, beginning with the full 13-episode version of Dash Cardigan!
But that’s not all! We’ll also be featuring interviews with ARTC personnel, behind-the-scenes looks at our productions, outtakes, and user-submitted content that might take the form of reviews or previews of other audio dramas, convention reports, flash fiction, and whatever else looks interesting to us and to you, our loyal listeners.
Enjoying the live performances? Fret not! The majority of the back catalog will remain online and free for the foreseeable future and future live performances will be made available as free perks for our Patreon subscribers at ALL levels.
Hal Wiedeman has “feelings” about that news. David Benedict looks on, while scouting an escape route.
There’s still one more part of The Rats in the Walls to go and then…well, you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out what happens next. But whatever shows up next you can be sure that….There is Adventure in Sound!
Tony Fuller practices breaking some kneecaps in case this ever happens again.
This month we continue with The Rats in the Walls from our 2012 performance. With music by The Ghosts Project, it was a really creepy experience.
Robert Drake is really creeped out.
The creepiness was enhanced by the lighting wizardry of Robert Drake. We don’t always have the luxury of special lighting at our live shows. At most of our convention appearances we usually just have the ballroom lights of the room we’re performing in, so being able to do a show at the Academy Theatre is a real treat.
Probably should have saved the fisheye lens for The Shadow Over Innsmouth
So last month we brought you The Music of Erich Zann. This month we decided to keep the cosmic horror going. And why not? It’s our 10th year of podcasting and our H. P. Lovecraft fans have been very good to us, so we’d like to be very good to them!
For the uninitiated, Lovecraft’s Nightmares was our monthlong celebration of the master of cosmic horror. For four weekends in October, ARTC performed a different Lovecraft adaptation from our catalog. The first weekend, we led off with The Rats in the Walls, featuring Dave Schroeder in the role of Delapore.
Can you believe the first ARTC podcast was back in 2006? We can’t, and we published it!
At the end of 2015, we featured three interviews with ARTC writers and performers. We’ll be having more of that in 2016, but for now let’s get back to the audio drama with The Music of Erich Zann by H. P. Lovecraft, adapated for audio by Jonathan Horton and David Benedict, featuring music by The Ghosts Project, Paul Mercer and Davis Petterson with Alton Leonard.
This was part of our Lovecraft’s Nightmares show back in 2012 at the Academy Theatre.
Davis is a dark and shadowy presence.
Lovecraft’s Nightmares was a monthlong celebration of the master of cosmic horror. His writing focuses on the strange, the macabre, and the insane. Speaking of insane, we performed a different Lovecraft adaptation each week in October of 2012, and many of the cast and crew went insane and everyone called the producer insane. But it was a ton of fun and we got a lot of great performances out of that month!
Pictured: The Producer. Insane.
You can hear more of the performances from Lovecraft’s Nightmares, and even more of our ongoing collaboration with The Ghosts Project, by purchasing them from our catalog. But for now, here’s a glimpse into madness. We hope you enjoy it.
This month we’re completing our interview series…for now. Be sure to let us know what you think of this new format and we may mix it in again from time to time! This time we are featuring ARTC actor and Head Writer Brad Strickland. Also, how is everybody liking the new Libsyn plugin format? Be sure to let us know what you think and we’ll make adjustments based on your feedback!
This month we’re continuing on with our interview series, this time featuring ARTC author and actress Kelley S. Ceccato. We’re also pleased to be making our very first post using the new Libsyn WordPress plugin! This will, of course, be changing up how the podcast is presented just slightly, so be sure to let us know what you think of the new format and we’ll make adjustments based on your feedback!
Kelley is the author of several audio dramas including Nothing-at-All (which we’ll be performing LIVE at CONjuration this weekend), In Need of a Bard, Sarabande for a Condemned Man, The Horseman of the Hollow, The Worst Good Woman in the World, and The House Across the Way.
She is also the author of the novel Atterwald and the forthcoming Nightmare Lullabye under the name Nan Monroe.