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 Escape Pod; we publish them.

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.

While to date we aren’t aware of an original audio publication being a Hugo finalist, 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 – 1900 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 owner of EA.

When he’s not hosting PseudoPod or running EA he’s professionally enthusiastic about genre fiction on the Internet at places like Tor.com, Uncanny MagazineThe Guardian, MyMBuzz, and SciFi Now. He’s an ENie-nominated tabletop RPG writer for his work on Doctor Who: Adventures In Time And Space. His other RPG writing includes Star TrekThe Laundry FilesPrimeval, VictorianaAll Flesh Must Be EatenN.E.W., and Chill, meaning he’s got a playbook for any variety of invasion you can name.

Alasdair’s first collection of expanded podcast essays, PseudoPod Tapes, is available from Fox Spirit Books with volume 2, Approach With Caution, forthcoming in early 2018. Among other places, his short stories can be found in the Fox Pockets anthology series from Fox Spirit.

He lives in the UK with the love of his life and their ever expanding herd of microphones. Follow him on Twitter as @AlasdairStuart, or at his blog, The Man of Words.

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 PseudoPod. He’s a frequent guest on other podcasts, appears regularly at conventions, and works with different genre award organizations.

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.

Unfortunately, PayPal requires you to cancel your existing subscription and set up a new one. We haven’t heard of a way a subscriber can edit the subscription without cancelling it.

Check the links to the right  to set up a new 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 aren’t able to 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 ways you can support us:

  • Request us on Spotify – we’d love to join their podcast listings!
  • Leave us a review and rate us on iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.
  • 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 our listeners might be interested in? 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? Get in touch!

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

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.

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.