East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

KaravanCast, or how I became a podcaster

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The KaravanCast is doing fine with its Episode 0, and as promised, here’s a little more about this new strange adventure of mine.


I started planning a podcast to go with Karavansara one year ago – thinking it would be a fun thing to do in the long hot summer nights.
I started reading on the subject and I started putting together what I needed – the software, the hardware, the courage. I also started pestering my brother, that has some experience in managing online radios, for suggestions and help.
Then, as we know, things took a different turn – but the idea remained.
I only had one major problem – what the heck should my podcast cover?

Then, in the last month or so, a few things clicked together, and I finally got an idea – doing sa few retro reviews, like the gentlemen on Black Gate do, using the digital archives of The Pulp Magazines Project.
The wide variety of titles and years of publication provides ample choice, so I won’t get bored, and my listeners neither, hopefully.
From there, the idea of doing segments with a sort of common theme came into being.
And then, the first test run.

xplugin-audio-mixcloud-png-pagespeed-ic-8cm0dn4qsyI am using the Mixcloud platform for two main reasons: it is free and it allows me, if needed, to include copyrighted material in my programs.

The downside is that you can’t subscribe with your usual podcast client – but you can download the Mixcloud app, and stream my ugly voice and my terrible accent at leisure, using your smartphone or other mobile device.

And it works like a dream.

Right now, I’m working on the first episode, that will air in February and inaugurate thus the 5th year of Karavansara.
The general program beingadventure

  • Introduction and blah blah – my early stats tell me that if I don’t grab you guys in the first 2 minutes you are not going to listen through
  • Retro Review – the February 1911 issue of Adventure magazine
  • Celluloid Books – the Raiders of the Lost Ark novelization by Campbell Black and the massive moviemaking tome, The Making of Indiana Jones
  • Pulp History – To Lhasa in Disguise, William Montgomery McGovern’s (true) Tibetan adventure
  • … and talking about Doctor McGovern, we might listen to a clip from his niece Maureen McGovern, who sang on the soundtrack of the original Superman movie (See? Everything fits)
  • Silver shadows in the dark – a retro review of Secret of the Incas, a 1954 movie in which Charlton Heston plays … well, a treasure-hunting guy in a leather jacket and a fedora.
  • and finally a good serving of odds & ends.

The thing should clock at 35/40 minutes – and I wonder if I should take a hint from the first comment received today, and split the episode in two parts.
Mixcloud won’t accept programs shorter than 12 minutes, but doing a two-parter, with 15/20 minutes chapters, would really make it easier for me to upload the files.

It’s also been suggested that I do a YouTube version, to leverage the popularity of that platform.


We’ll see.
For sure, it’s a great fun – and a lot of work – putting these things together.
But now I can legitimately add podcaster to my somewhat mixed set of skills.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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