It’s hard to believe that Chronscast has been going for a year now – it seems only a few days ago that Christopher and I started a recording session with Stephen Palmer to talk about Northern Lights, when in actual fact it was November 2021. I’m very proud and grateful that our team – Bean, Brian Sexton and The Judge – have managed to keep creating new content throughout the year, and have kept us going and growing.
We are planning on doing a proper review episode of 2022 early in the New Year, alongside our January episode, so I won’t put down everything we’ll likely talk about here, but there are a few things I wanted to say, and a few people to thank.
Firstly, when Bean and I began sketching out what this podcast could like like about eighteen months ago, he was adamant that it ought to be reflective of our community here on Chrons, which is longstanding and features a lot of loyal members. So we hoped to cater for the readers as well as the writers who reside here, and in the new year we’ll have more and more for the movie buffs and maybe even the gamers out there. SFFH isn’t confined just to the page.
So, onto thanks. Firstly, we have to thank the Chronsfather, Brian G Turner, who gave us the permission to run with this idea, with complete creative freedom. Apart from anything else it’s an act of astonishing generosity, and I’m always grateful, which is why he gets a special mention in the credits of each episode.
I must thank our guests, who took a punt on us when we really were an unknown quantity! And all the Chronners who won 75 and 300-word challenges and entered into the spirit of things by recording their entries and allowing us to broadcast them on the show. Special thanks to Christine Wheelwright, who won twice throughout the year.
Next I have to thank the team. Damaris Browne hopefully won’t mind me saying she was pretty apprehensive about doing this to begin with, but as the months have gone on she’s become a key part of the show. She’s always been professional and meticulous, and just recently we’re starting to hear more of her personality and wit come through in her talks. She has a wealth of knowledge, and it really gives our show a point of difference.
What can I say about Brian Sexton and his mad box of Irish and American frogs? I didn’t invite him on, neither Bean nor I had any idea that our show could have a comedy element, but when he PM’d me and offered his services, I figured what the hell? Little did we realise that the change of tone was exactly what we needed – sometimes the book analysis can be academic and themes can be serious. Slicing through that with some Martian radio is the genius move that again sets our show apart. And President Obama channelling Roy Batty building a home extension that leads to the Orion Belt will live long in the memory. Plus, those of you who’ve listened to episode 12 will see how he’s raising the bar for recordings of 75-word challenge winning entries…
While I might be reasonably described as the brains behind the operation (what little brains are on display) Bean really is the heart of it – he always tries to tie what we’re doing back to Chrons, back to that sense of community, and thinking about new things, styles and tones we can try. I’ll be the first to admit that my style can be quite academic at times, and while at the beginning I took the lion’s share of the conversations, it was Christopher’s intuition that helped spot that we needed to bring more of our natural voices out, which I think we’ve really started to do in the last few episodes. While he’s a grumpy so-and-so sometimes and won’t admit it, I really couldn’t do it without him. I certainly couldn’t improve without him.
Lastly, thanks to everyone who’s dipped into the show and give it a listen. At the end of the day for it to be any kind of success we need ears. Obviously we want the engagement from the Chrons community to be as big as it can be, so if you haven’t listened yet, please give it a try, and bump it around the boards wherever you can.
On that note, a few stats:
– We’ve published 1190 minutes of content in 2022; that’s comfortably in the top 5% of all books podcasts. It shows that even though we only publish monthly episodes, because of the long-form nature of the show, we’ve still produced a huge amount of stuff.
– We’ve been listened to in 30 countries including Vietnam, Thailand, Iraq and Malta!
– We’ve had just over a thousand listeners, and over 1,300 listens throughout the year. An average listen of over 100 listens per episode is, I’m told, pretty decent for a startup with no advertising clout.
– Despite that we’ve only had a tiny handful of star ratings (I think 3 on Spotify) – so please do leave us a star rating wherever you listen!
Our next episode will be in January, on John Carpenter’s The Thing. We also have ambitions to record our first live episode in 2023, an SFFH quiz, new regular contributors, and maybe even some music, so watch this space. We’ll also have new guests lined up, and a couple of old friends returning.
Here’s to 2023!