MonsterTalk, a podcast co-hosted by myself, Blake Smith and Karen Stollznow, won a Parsec, a national podcasting award. The Parsecs are annual awards created to recognize excellence in science fiction podcasts and podcast novels. MonsterTalk won in the “Best Fact Behind the Fiction” category, for podcasts that “explore the facts that influence the fictions—the science, history, culture, and mythology that inspire these stories.”
The award was presented September 1, 2012, at Dragon*Con, the world’s largest science fiction and fantasy conference, held in Atlanta, Georgia, over Labor Day weekend.
No bones about it, Monster Talk is one of my favorite podcasts on my favorite subject. I was very pleased to be at Dragon Con to attend their live podcast directly after the Parsec win. Well deserved. Blake, Ben and Karen do something no other podcast does – talk sciencey about monsters. It’s high quality content is FAR superior to the other Bigfoot and pararnomal themed podcasts out there. If you like monsters, you should be listening to this podcast.
But… what I think is curious is that I rarely see mention or promotion of this top notch content promoted by many pop cryptozoologists. I wonder why many tend to never engage (or poorly engage) with the skeptic/science community. This Dragon*Con, I went to “monster” themed events on three different tracts – the skeptic track, the comics track and the paranormal track. The paranormal track was the poor one. A presentation on the “American werewolf” was nothing but stories. Interestingly, a pair of women sitting in front of me mumbled skeptically to themselves after one asked a question about suitability of habitat and food sources for this alleged top predator. The speaker claimed it was a coverup. Once you cross that line, you’ve lost all credibility. After I asked questions about REAL wolves (as opposed to hypothetical beasties), it was clear there was some suitable doubt in the room. Many people want the real story, not rampant speculation.
Cryptozoology as a field is generally lacking in scholarly rigor. There is a SHORT list of experts who do the research and know their stuff. There is an even shorter list of academics involved. Monster Talk brings the best of the bunch to talk about monsters. It even once featured yours truly to talk about the news.
And for all those monster hunters out there… are YOU checking it out? Shine some science on the stories for a change.