August 08, 2014

A Human Echoes Top Ten

Today marks the release of the hundredth episode of the Human Echoes Podcast. For a hundred weeks straight, Tony Southcotte and AlbertBerg have reviewed horror films and weird fiction while talking about everything from AJ and Bodybuilding Ninjas to Yarn-bombing and Zombies.

I came to the podcast late, around Episode 60, thanks to an announcement for one of their flash fiction contests at Horror Tree. With the old writer's saying in mind, "Know your audience," I listened to an episode or two.

I got hooked.

There's something purely delightful about the back-and-forth between the two hosts, and I've been introduced to a world of movies and books that I wouldn't know without the podcast. Listen to HEP and you start to feel like you're a good friend of people you've never met. (For the record, and in interests of full disclosure, I also won that contest...)

Human Echoes has really become more than just a podcast. There's The Writers Arena they founded, where two writers duke it out via a weekly short story contest. But even more, there's a whole community of fans who regularly talk via social media. I wouldn't have been able to compile the following top ten list without their help.

A special thanks to the incredible Jon Jones, who nominated most of the episodes. I also want to give a shout-out to everyone who responded to my Twitter call for nominations and the ensuing conversation: Rich Alix, Danny Brophy, Joseph Devon, Ellie Ann, Jen, Caleb Newell and Hannah-Elizabeth Thompson. My apologies if I missed anyone.

And of course thanks to Tony and Al for making it all possible.

The ranking is all my own doing. If you disagree on the episodes and their ranking or want to suggest other episodes, please comment or let me know.

10) Episode 83, with Hannah-Elizabeth
This episode is a rare one without Tony, but features the HEP superfan, Hannah-Elizabeth. It introduced me to the awesome Timmy Failure, but even more it highlights the fan community the podcast has created.

9) Episode 89, Review of Maximum Overdrive
Nobody is better at creating a great review of a bad movie than Tony and Al. This is an excellent case in point, Stephen King's directorial debut.

8) Episode 43, Review of Rubber
And then there are hidden gems that I at least wouldn't know about if it weren't for the guys. From the teaser on the HEP webpage: "In this episode Tony and Al take a ride with Rubber, a movie about a cold-hearted serial killer named Robert who goes around exploding people’s heads with his psychokinetic powers; also he is a tire."

A movie about a homicidal tire. And it works!

7) Episode 35: Review of The Orphanage
Another great movie that I wouldn't know about without Tony and Al. A haunting movie about ghosts that are scary without being (Mike Myers pinky raise) evil...

6) Episode 32, First interview with Joseph Devon
There are a lot of interviews on this list. I think because, as I've already mentioned, the guys are all about community. About creating a place where creative people are appreciated. This interview with the author of Probability Angels is the first case in point.

Plus you get all the DEV-un versus de-VONN fun.

5) Episode 44, Interview with Ellie Ann
Speaking of great interviews with great authors, you can't miss the interview with the queen of trans-media, Ellie Ann. It's about her novel The Silver Sickle, and so much more.

4) Episode 68, Review of Krampus the Yule Lord
This is probably my favorite review episode. And what's not to like about Krampus? (He may come to get you if you don't like this episode.)

3) Episode 64, Interview with Eric Luke
The guys reviewed the author-read audio novel Interference in Episode 61, and the review was great. A free audio book about a Lovecraftian horror entering the world through audiobooks? Metafiction and horror. What's not to like?

And then came the interview, and Mr. Luke is so gracious and charming. It's a pure delight to hear him talk about his craft. If you haven't heard the interview, go check it out. Now.

2) Episode 81, Second interview with Bill Oberst Jr.
The guys have interviewed the actor Bill Oberst Jr. twice. Best known for his work in horror films, Mr. Oberst is the hardest working man in Hollywood. Seriously. Check out his IMDB page.

The guys talk with Mr. Oberst about his work on the movie Children of Sorrow. And then he talks about why he chooses the sorts of roles he does. Awesome. Just awesome. As a person of faith who writes horror, I find this episode so inspiring. I've listened to it at least four times and keep it permanently on my ipod.

I know, I know. It's weird to put this here, especially since I haven't heard the episode. But I have it on very good authority that the episode is awesome. I plan on listening to it at least twice this weekend.

But I also put Episode 100 here to make a point. The Human Echoes Podcast keeps getting better and better. So mathematically, Episode 100 must be at least a hundred times better than Episode 1, right?

More seriously, I know that with Tony and Al, the best is always yet to come. I hope that this list inspires them to keep doing what they do, because they sure inspire us.

Congrats, guys! Keep the awesomeness coming!

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