Podcast Review: Toasted Cake with Tina Connolly

This post first appeared on my previous blog, now defunct, and is reproduced here with minor edits. Toasted Cake stopped in May 2015, but Connolly promises to bring it back in May 2016 if her new podcast project falls through. Either way, I look forward to hearing more from her.

Toasted Cake with Tina Connolly features science fiction and fantasy flash fiction. The podcast episodes are really short, usually running approximately 9 minutes (ranging from about 7 minutes to around 15 minutes), so you aren’t going to be able to fill your commute with them, but they’re definitely worth adding to your list.

I first heard Tina Connolly on one of the Escape Artists, Inc. podcasts (Escape Pod, Pseudopod, and PodCastle, which do sci-fi, horror, and fantasy short fiction, respectively), and I really loved her voice. She quickly became one of my favorite narrators. In addition to hosting the show, Tina narrates most of the stories on Toasted Cake herself, although she does have guest narrators from time to time.

The first story I listed to was Join Our Team of Time Travel Professionals by Sarah Pinsker, and it’s probably still my favorite. I will almost always be really into a piece about time travel, and I keep a list of my favorite stories on the subject here.

In addition to the stories, Tina usually ends the podcast with a recipe or book or movie review. The stories themselves are short, so the extra content is welcome. The reviews are of things I certainly might check out, and although I don’t think any of her recipes have necessarily been vegan, most could easily be made vegan.

I’m a big fan of women producing and hosting sci-fi/fantasy podcasts, and roughly half of the stories featured appear to be written by women. Between the authors and the guest narrators, there is an international bent, although the stories are still primarily Ameri- and Eurocentric.

The content of the stories is pretty varied, and there is some constructive social commentary. Episode 107 can easily be read as containing a critique of capitalism, and Episode 100, Thirty-Six Interrogatories Propounded by the Human-Powered Plasma Bomb in the Moments Before Her Imminent Detonation, by Erica L. Satifka, by the title alone is a pretty obvious comment on the tragedy of war.

On the whole, I would highly recommend listening to this podcast if you enjoy science fiction, fantasy, or audio fiction. Try an episode or two. They’re short and sweet. The brevity makes it worth the risk that you won’t like it, but I wouldn’t worry. You’ll like it.

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