March 09, 2008

X Minus One

I've stumbled across something remarkable on this electronic manna known as "the internet". In an innocuous archive, there is a treasure trove of episodes from a mid-century radio program called "X Minus One". This is a fantastic science fiction show that I just cannot get enough of. Most of the episodes are adapted from a publication called "Galaxy", and it includes stories by Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and a bevy of other trailblazing authors. The tone of the show reminds me a lot of the Rod Serling "Twilight Zone", with stories ranging from tongue-in-cheek funny, to soul-trappingly horrifying. There are of course, a few clunkers (the one about a blinded spaceship worker who sings in spaceports was a bit blah) but the better part of the series is awesome. My favorites so far are "The Cave of Night", "Skulking Permit", and "A Thousand Dollars A Plate" . Go check 'em out!

Now, for those who have never bothered with old-time radio (or OTR, as the cool kids say) this is an entertainment experience that nothing today can compare with. There such an intimacy with radio- even after half a century these programs seem spontaneous and personal. I really recommend you give them a chance.

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