FAQ

The short fiction industry has changed a great deal since 2005. There are widespread misconceptions about audio publication in general, and EA in particular.

We can help with that.

If this list doesn’t answer your question, please let us know using the Contact form, and we’ll update it!

Escape Artists Inc. (or ‘EA’) is a publishing company. We publish four free weekly audio fiction podcasts.

From 2015 to 2017, we published the six issue digital magazine Mothership Zeta.

 

That’s the Hugo-nominated Escape Pod; we publish them.

Nope! They’re also called Escape Artists, though. And they produced one of our favorite movies. You can find them here.

From an editorial perspective, yes. Each show has their own staff and controls their own submission windows and story decisions.

As their publisher, we help out in areas where efficiency between shows makes a difference. Things like a central contracting team, and our EA-wide events like Artemis Rising.

Not true! When Escape Pod was launched in 2005 its goal was to create a reprint market for short science fiction. In those days if you didn’t subscribe to a print magazine, chances were you’d never get another chance to read the stories it contained. PseudoPod and PodCastle followed Escape Pod’s lead, and for many years focused on reprints as a way of introducing their growing audiences to great fiction and the developing podcast distribution method.

But over the last few years EA has shifted towards more original fiction. The Artemis Rising original fiction showcase is a great example. While each show takes their own approach in terms of balancing new and reprint fiction, here’s some numbers from the first quarter of 2017 to give you an idea:

  • Cast of Wonders – 18 episodes (10 originals, 8 reprints)
  • Escape Pod – 13 episodes (9 originals, 4 reprints)
  • PodCastle – 16 episodes (8 originals, 8 reprints)
  • PseudoPod – 13 episodes (9 originals, 4 reprints)

All four EA podcasts are SFWA qualified short fiction markets, and pay $0.06/word for original fiction of any length.

Are there other magazines that have higher per-word rates? Yes – but do they have a combined half a million average monthly listeners? That’s our unique selling point.

There are plenty of other markets that pay lower rates, fixed rates, or not at all. We consider ourselves middle of the pack, and the rights we request in our contracts reflect this. We request only what we use, ask for industry-standard exclusivity periods, and give up front carve-outs for annual ‘best of’ and award anthologies.

Definitely not true! Ratified in 2015 and passed in 2016, the ‘A Story by Any Other Name’ amendment to the World Science Fiction Society’s bylaws makes it clear that a work is eligible in the category appropriate to its length, regardless of publication format (including digital publication and audio):

Section 3.2.6: the categories of Best Novel, Novella, Novelette, and Short Story shall be open to works in which the text is the primary form of communication, regardless of the publication medium, including but not limited to physical print, audiobook, and ebook.

For example:

  • Escape Pod was the very first Hugo-nominated semiprozine podcast in 2018!
  • PodCastle is the first podcast nominated for the World Fantasy Special Award – Non-Professional category

Plus, podcast stories have featured in multiple ‘best of’ anthologies and other prestigious awards. For example, Nino Cipri’s Opals and Clay (originally published as PodCastle episode 402) was a 2016 Finalist in the James Tiptree Jr. award.

True – 2000 and counting. But every episode is someone’s first, just like every issue of a magazine you pick up might be your first introduction to that market.

Each of our shows publish a new listener’s guide if you want to start with the editors’ favorites, and each has extensive submissions guidelines to help you understand what they’re looking for.

Try loading up the latest (free!) episode or and starting there, or head to our forum to read how others commented on a particular episode.

Alasdair Stuart is the co-owner of EA, along with Marguerite Kenner.

Best Fan Writer Hugo Finalist Alasdair Stuart is a genre fiction writer and pop culture analyst. His nonfiction has been published by Tor.com , Uncanny Magazine, and Barnes & Noble.

His game writing includes ENie nominated work on the Doctor Who RPG and the upcoming After The War from Genesis of Legend.

He co-owns the Escape Artists Podcast Network and hosts their horror show, PseudoPod. His most recent publication is The PseudoPod Tapes Volume 2: Approach with Caution, the second collection of expanded essays from PseudoPod available from Fox Spirit Books.

A frequent awards judge including the Kitschies, Brave New Words and the BFS awards, he blogs at www.alasdairstuart.com, has a pop culture newsletter at The Full Lid and is on social media at @AlasdairStuart.

Marguerite Kenner is the co-owner of EA, along with Alasdair Stuart. She also edits Cast of Wonders.

Marguerite Kenner is a native Californian who has forsaken sunny paradise to live with her partner, Alasdair Stuart, in a UK city named after her favorite pastime but pronounced differently.

She’s an experienced multi-tasker, managing her time between being co-owner of Escape Artists, editing Cast of Wonders, lecturing, being a commercial lawyer, and studying popular culture (i.e. going to movies, playing video games, and curling up with a really good book).

You can follow her adventures on Twitter.

Please don’t do that.

Alasdair is EA’s owner and publisher, but he’s not on any editorial teams.

His job involves helping the shows do awesome things, steering EA towards the future, being involved with the genre fiction community, and hosting both PseudoPod and at Escape Pod. He’s a frequent guest on other podcasts, appears regularly at conventions, and works with many different genre award organizations and associations.

In other words, his roles don’t involve selecting individual stories. Sending him your story won’t have any impact on whether or not it gets published.

We’ve been donation driven since 2005 with the generous support of our listeners and fans.

Mothership Zeta‘s issues are available for sale – check them out on Amazon or directly from EA via PayHip.

Or pick up PseudoPod’s 10th anniversary anthology, For Mortal Things Unsung.

Yeah! Absolutely it is!

We’re a donation-funded company that gives away its content and publishes boundary-challenging genre fiction in a period of political and cultural turmoil. You bet it’s precarious.

The one part of our job we hate is that we’re always strapped for cash. But you can help us. Check out our donation options to the right, including Patreon, PayPal and Dwolla.

Great question! The short version is either: each method has about the same cost to us.

  • If you prefer an interactive donor experience, and want to receive regular news and behind-the-scenes bonus content, head to Patreon. You’ll get access to a personal RSS feed of non-fiction Zero Episodes by Alasdair Stuart and Karen Bovenmyer.
  • If you’d rather set up a monthly or annual subscription that will take care of itself, PayPal is your best bet. Pick one of the drop-down options to the right. If none of them are quite right for you, choose the ‘Donate via Credit/Debit’ to go to PayPal and enter your own (just be sure to tick the ‘Make this a monthly donation’ box). Need help, just drop us a line.
  • If a one-off donation is what you’re after, hit the ‘Donate via Credit/Debit’ button.

Thank you for your support!

Special thanks to donor Paul Cahill-Britton for this addition!

Patreon does collect VAT on donations made by Patrons subject to the scheme. Patreon collects this tax on top of the stated donation amount, and reports it on our behalf.

So for example, if you’re a UK supporter at the $10/month level, Patreon would charge you 20% VAT as well, and collect $12. We receive $10, before Patreon takes its percentage.

This article gives more detail if you’re interested.

From PayPal’s Help Center (April 2019):

Here’s how to change the way you pay for automatic payments:

  1. Login to PayPal.
  2. Click the Settings icon.
  3. Click Payments.
  4. Click Manage automatic payments under “Automatic payments.”
  5. Click the name of the merchant for the agreement you want to change.
  6. Under “Payment method,” click Change next to the funding source you’re looking to change.

If you have a balance with PayPal, then it is always the first payment method we use to pay a Billing Agreement.

If that doesn’t work, check the links to the right to set up a new PayPal subscription at your desired level (and thank you!). Make sure to tick the ‘Make this a monthly donation’ box if you’re not using the drop-down options. Then, log into your PayPal account and cancel the old subscription (we can’t cancel it from our end).

No worries! We happily accept checks if that’s easier for you. You can mail them to the following address:

Escape Artists Inc.
Post Office Box 83
Woodstock, Georgia 30188
USA

If you have another method you prefer, drop us a line.

And thank you!

Thank you for asking! There are lots of other ways you can support us:

  • Leave us a review and rate us on iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.
  • Review For Mortal Things Unsung, the PseudoPod anthology, on Amazon or Smashwords.
  • Share our episodes with your friends and family, and on social media. All of our shows are on Twitter and Facebook. Signal boosts are always appreciated, both by us and our authors!
  • Do you organize a convention or fiction event, have a book coming out, or a product that might interest our listeners? Consider advertising with us.
  • Consider our shows and the stories they publish for awards, and include them in award eligibility and consideration resources. This benefits our authors as well – everyone wins!
  • Want to volunteer, or have a skill set you think would help? Let us know!

Just click on the magnifying glass icon, underneath the social media buttons, in the top right corner of each site:

All the episodes in our back catalog are available to stream or download from our website, and always will be.

Podcatchers (like iTunes) only go backwards so far, due to their own space limitations. It’s usually around 40 episodes.

Escape Pod: http://feeds.escapeartists.net/escapepod/

PseudoPod: http://feeds.escapeartists.net/pseudopod/

PodCastle: http://feeds.escapeartists.net/podcastle/

Cast of Wonders: http://feeds.escapeartists.net/castofwonders/

If you use something like podget or mashpodder that is based on wget, this might solve the problems.

Modify the –user-agent parameter for wget to be blank or a specific agent. For example: –user-agent=”” or –user-agent=”Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2125.111 Safari/537.36″

Huge thanks to the EA forum community for providing this solution.

If you use something like podget or mashpodder that is based on wget, this might solve the problems:

Modify the –user-agent parameter for wget to be blank or a specific agent. For example: –user-agent=”” or –user-agent=”Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2125.111 Safari/537.36″

Huge thanks to the EA forum community for providing this solution.

Currently, there’s no easy way to get past episodes in bulk. We don’t have a torrent, and the podcast feeds contain only the most recent 40 or 50 episodes due to the space limitations imposed by syndicators.

But watch this space – we’re working on a way to make our back catalog a whole lot more accessible to our listeners.

EA marks several impressive achievements reached by its staff, authors and narrators. They are:

  • Escapologist – an author whose first SFWA-qualifying genre fiction sale was with an EA market
  • Prestidigitator – a Flash Fiction Contest winner
  • Worldwalker – an author published on all four podcasts (formerly called a Hat Trick)
  • Storyteller – someone who has narrated for all four podcasts
  • Cicerone – someone who has hosted episodes on all four podcasts

And finally, the Virtuoso (formerly the Grand Slam) – this polymath has been published by, narrated for, and hosted episodes at each and every EA podcast.