Fiction podcast: "Is There Anybody Out There?"

I’m pleased to present my first short story podcast, a post-apocalyptic tale which I call “Is There Anybody Out There?” I’m hesitant to say it’s a zombie story (whoops! too late), because that’s going to make some people switch off and others perk their ears up with anticipation (the zombie sub-genre does have its undying fans). What I will say in my defense is that you haven’t seen this plot in any zombie movie (well, to be honest, there are hundreds of them, and I sure haven’t seen them all). This is not another story about barricading yourself in or battling against hordes of flesh-eating corpses; this one’s different.

I want to give a special plug to my friend Mike Andrews, who kindly allowed me to use his music in the podcast. Carefully chosen snippets from Mike’s songs provided atmospheric transitions between scenes. If you’re impressed (and you will be), check out his commercial tracks at the iTunes Music Store.

By the way, that’s me in the photo. Make-up courtesy of Andrew Harrison. This zombie was originally part of a teaser trailer for a film we were hoping to produce called Shadow of the Dead. There’s no official green light, but there’s a good chance it will end up being Midnight Pictures’ next production.

In the meantime, here’s another zombie fix that I hope you’ll enjoy …

[ Download Podcast ]

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24 thoughts on “Fiction podcast: "Is There Anybody Out There?"

  1. Adam says:

    Great story Darryl keep it up

  2. Darryl Sloan says:

    Thanks, Adam. Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Eddie Mullan says:

    great stuff- you should add this to itunes and burnfeeder etc.

  4. Eddie Mullan says:

    i think the music too 🙂

  5. Eddie Mullan says:

    i meant, i like the music too- gives it a good atmosphere. Well read too.

  6. Darryl Sloan says:

    Thanks, Eddie. I’ll have to look into the whole feedburner thing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I just listened to “Is Anybody Out There”. Terrific. I got into downloading podcasts of my favorite blues shows a few months ago and love them. It was great to have your story to listen to in my car on the way to work.

    I have been fortunate enough to have some of my original blues tunes played on a number of podcasts around the world including the UK’s own Raven N Blues podcast. I am officially a podcast junkie. Keep em coming.

    Tom Malafarina

  8. Darryl Sloan says:

    Thanks, Tom! There’ll be a podcast excerpt from Chion within the next month.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Amazing. I loved it very much. Will there be more? Is the story available for reading or just podcast?

  10. Darryl Sloan says:

    Thanks. The story’s only available as a podcast at the moment. I originally wanted to submit it to the Undead 2 anthology, but missed the deadline by a few days.

    I’ve got a larger zombie project on the horizon called Shadow of the Dead, which may see light as a movie or a novel.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Excellent stuff!! Nicely written, nicely read and nice dark ending 🙂

    How many attempts did it take to read it? Ie: You must have made mistakes all over the place and had to redo bits?

    Is this available in written form by the way?

    Neil

  12. Darryl Sloan says:

    Thanks, Neil.

    Oh, there were plenty of out-takes. Every time I made a blunder, I immediately repeated the sentence and kept going. Then I had to spend a considerable amount of time after recording it all, trimming out my mistakes.

    Not available in written form at this time.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I just got a chance to listen to your story, and I really enjoyed it. I’ll link to it on my forum so my readers can check it out. Thanks for sending it my way.

    Regards,
    Dave Wellington (author of Monster Island)

  14. Darryl Sloan says:

    Thanks for your support, Dave. Your novel, Monster Island, looks cool. I’m intending to start reading it soon.

    You ever consider posting it a podcast serialisation instead of text? I’d love that.

  15. PRAEst76 says:

    “…Midnight Pictures’ next production.”

    It’s nice to hear there will be such a thing. I was getting a bit worried… but “never say die”, as they say.

    The mp3 is on my flash drive, I’ll listen to it as soon as I get to kee my earphones in for longer than 1.5 minutes.

  16. Darryl Sloan says:

    Hell, it’s only been a year since we made a movie. Can’t a guy have any rest? 😉 Hope you enjoy the story, Peter.

  17. Eddie Mullan says:

    great listening late at night by the way…

  18. Darryl Sloan says:

    Cool. Although if I heard that comment from my sarcky mate Earl, I’d take it to mean, “The story’s so boring it helps me nod off.” 🙂

  19. Anonymous says:

    Stumbled across your website via Homepage of the Dead, I downloaded your short story “Is there anybody out there”. Wanted to say that I thought it was fantastic, you have a quality passion for writing and telling stories and the zombie genre is great. You cant beat a good zombie apocalypse.

    Keep up the good work,
    Phil

  20. Darryl Sloan says:

    Thank you very much, Phil!

  21. James Maxon says:

    Why does “Pink Floyd” come to mind with your title 😉

    Anyway, I was able to listen to your story. I have to say, it is written well. It’s clean, clear and keeps the reader’s interest. Good job! The one thing I would recommend is with the recording quality. I liked the music, but in my car the narration sounds a bit hallow or echo like. It might be a setting with your recording equipment. Also I suggest giving it some bass, it was a bit flat outside of headphones, but I know that was the intended usage. Still, you read it well and it was enjoyable to listen to.

    Keep up the good work!

  22. Darryl Sloan says:

    Pink Floyd comes to my mind, too, James. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the story.

    I’m an old veteran with music & MIDI, but when it comes to recording vocals, I’m just learning. Basically, what I did was borrow Andy’s camcorder, attach his external condenser mic, and narrate the whole think onto DV tape. Then I captured it into the computer, just like normal video capture (except the lens cap was on). I stripped off the video track and voila. Did a little bit of processing, in order to remove background noise. I’ll find the right balance, in time.

    Check out the new podcast, The End of the World and Beyond. This time I plugged the mic directly into the computer’s mic input. Quite different results. The recording came out quite low, had to be boosted, which in turn boosted the background noise, which I craftily covered with ambient music. I actually think it’s nicer sounding than the story podcast. See what you think.

  23. James Maxon says:

    Sorry for being so slow at getting back to you.

    The video capture method sounds like way too much work! Ha! Recording direct to computer is the way to go. I think if you just buy a mic that has padding – it will remove a lot of the background noise. I have a cheap mic that has padding and when I recorded it worked well. I suggest using http://audacity.sourceforge.net/, it’s free and works well for editing and direct recording to the computer. It has lots of filters too so you can work the audio. I’ll be sure to check out, “The End of the World and Beyond”, sounds interesting.

  24. Darryl Sloan says:

    Hi, James.

    Apparently it’s best to buy a condenser mic, and one that has phantom power. Andy’s external mic is a condenser mic, but it’s weird. If I plug it into the camcorder and record, the sound is lovely and loud, but if I plug it into the PC and record, the sound is very low. I end up having to boost it in software, which also makes the background hiss a lot more audible. The same is true if I boost the recording level. I’m looking into buying an MXL DRK (Desktop Recording Kit).

    The software I use currently is Sound Forge for editing and a video editing app called Serif Movie Plus for adding music, etc.

    Hope you enjoy the story!

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