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markk

markk

Currently reading

War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865
James M. McPherson
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That old-time radio

Last night I had the house to myself for the first time in months, This is an opportunity to indulge myself with some bingeing, only instead of binge-viewing or binge-reading, I decided to do some binge-listening of X Minus One.

X Minus One was a science fiction radio drama that was broadcast on NBC network from 1955 until 1958. It was the revival of an older series, Dimension X, which ran more briefly from 1950 until 1951. The episodes were approximately a half-hour in length, and were all adaptations of short stories by contemporary authors. A list of them reads like a "who's who" of the giants of golden age sci-fi, and includes names like Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Frederick Pohl, and Clifford Simak. It even has two stories by Philip K. Dick, which just amazes me as I always thought of him as spending his life outside the mainstream.

 

I first stumbled across the series while listening to the Radio Classics channel on Sirius XM, and hearing it in the rare times when I had access to satellite radio was a real treat. More recently I discovered that most, if not all, of the episodes are available for streaming online (here, here, and here, among other places), though it wasn't until last week that I decided to start streaming them when I could. With a young son this can be challenging, so the opportunity to binge listen was one I appreciated greatly.

 

Last night I enjoyed five episodes: Murray Leinster's "Sam, This is You" and "First Contact," Philip Dick's "Colony," Fritz Leiber's "Appointment in Tomorrow," and Frederick Pohl's "Target One." Dick's was the best, but they were all enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to listening to more of them over the course of the weekend.