Jim Freund, Hour of the Wolf 6-27-2009

Once or twice a year for the last three years or so, my writing group, Altered Fluid, has visited Jim Freund’s speculative fiction-themed radio show on WBAI, Hour of the Wolf.  The topic of these shows is writing groups and how they function.

After the banter and self-introductions are out of the way, one of us reads the first draft of a new short story.  Then we conduct a regular workshopping session – we go around the room, and each member critiques the story, speaking for a carefully timed two and a half minutes.  The writer can’t respond during this time, but after everyone has had their turn, we open it into a free discussion.  After that, since this is a live radio show, we take calls from listeners.

Perhaps because the show airs from 5 to 7 A.M. on Saturday mornings, Jim has to stay on top of the calls to ensure they are on-topic.  Often they are, and we get insightful feedback.  Sometimes we get snippets of whatever’s on the mind of people who happen to already be up and about at dawn on a Saturday.  Our favorite comment was the heavily accented guy who called in after a hard-sf story about dark matter aliens and said, “I didn’t like it — It needs more trolls.”

Today was my turn at the microphone, and I think it went pretty well.  I read a sf story about three men stuck in a time machine with a sleeping dinosaur, which is not my usual stuff, but its pace and humor made it a good selection for a reading (my thoughts on stegosauruses are here.)  The feedback was kind, and where people saw faults, they had some exciting ideas I could apply towards fixing them.  They got my jokes, mostly.  And we had some great callers: one who had a full crit prepared; one who verified my references to elephants based on personal experience; and one heavily accented guy who said what I thought at the time was, “We all want to have peace in Chechen,” but which actually turned out to be, “We all want a hot beef injection.”  Good thing Jim cut him off quick, or I might have said something like, “As do we all, caller.”  (Now that I think about it, this may have been the same guy who wanted more trolls.)

Here’s the mp3 of the whole two-hour show.

WBAI is on FM 99.5 in the New York area.