100 episodes

Functional Nerds is the weekly podcast from author/blogger Patrick Hester and Author/Teacher Tracy Townsend focusing on science fiction and fantasy media: television, film, comics, and new media such as fan films, audio dramas, online animated comics and more, technology, gadgets and all things Apple as well as music and the occasional video game.

The Functional Nerds Podcast The Functional Nerds

    • Books
    • 4.7 • 40 Ratings

Functional Nerds is the weekly podcast from author/blogger Patrick Hester and Author/Teacher Tracy Townsend focusing on science fiction and fantasy media: television, film, comics, and new media such as fan films, audio dramas, online animated comics and more, technology, gadgets and all things Apple as well as music and the occasional video game.

    Just Us, Grief, Guilt and Death

    Just Us, Grief, Guilt and Death

    In a very special Just Us episode, Patrick and Tracy are talking about the weeks where Patrick has been absent, his mother’s long illness, and her recent passing. They also touch on grief, guilt, Catholic guilt, and all the baggage that comes with them.

    Links:



    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2021 Patrick Hester

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Episode 486-With Elly Bangs

    Episode 486-With Elly Bangs

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Elly Bangs, author of UNITY!

    About Unity: Danae is not only herself. She is concealing a connection to a grieving collective inside of her body. But while she labors as a tech servant in the dangerous underwater enclave of Bloom City, her fractured self cannot mend. In a desperate escape, Danae and her lover Naoto hire the enigmatic ex-mercenary Alexei to guide them out of the imploding city.

    But for Danae to reunify, the three new fugitives will have to flee across the otherworldly beauty of the postapocalyptic Southwest. Meanwhile, Danae’s warlord enemy, the Duke, and a strange new foe, the Borrower, already seek them at any price.

    About Elly Bangs: Elly Bangs is a queer trans woman who was raised in a new-age cult, had six wisdom teeth, and once rode her bicycle alone from Seattle to the Panama Canal. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine, Beneath Ceasless Skies, Escape Pod, Fireside Quarterly, and elsewhere — and her debut apocalyptic cyberpunk novel, Unity, is coming in Spring 2021. She’s a SFWA member and a 2017 graduate of Clarion West.

    This week’s picks:



    * Elly: Yerbe Mate

    * Tracy: Crio Bru



    Links:



    * Elly Bangs on Twitter

    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2021 Patrick Hester

    • 39 min
    Episode 485-With Marina Lostetter

    Episode 485-With Marina Lostetter

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Marina Lostetter, author of THE HELM OF MIDIGHT!

    About THE HELM OF MIDIGHT: In a daring and deadly heist, thieves have made away with an artifact of terrible power?the death mask of Louis Charbon. Made by a master craftsman, it is imbued with the spirit of a monster from history, a serial murderer who terrorized the city.

    Now Charbon is loose once more, killing from beyond the grave. But these murders are different from before, not simply random but the work of a deliberate mind probing for answers to a sinister question.

    It is up to Krona Hirvath and her fellow Regulators to enter the mind of madness to stop this insatiable killer while facing the terrible truths left in his wake.

    About Marina Lostetter: The open skies and dense forests of the Pacific Northwest are ideal for growing speculative fiction authors–or, at least, Marina would like to think so. Originally from Oregon, she now resides in Arkansas with her spouse, Alex. In her spare time she enjoys globetrotting, board games, and all things art-related. Her original short fiction has appeared in venues such as Lightspeed, Uncanny, and Shimmer Magazine. Her debut novel, NOUMENON, and its sequels, NOUMENON INFINITY and NOUMENON ULTRA, are available from Harper Voyager. Her first fantasy novel, THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT, is forthcoming from Tor. In addition, she has written tie-in materials for Star Citizen and the Aliens franchise. She is represented by DongWon Song of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency, and she tweets as @MarinaLostetter.

    This week’s picks:



    * Marina: Mysterium – Board Game

    * Tracy: Gloom – Card Game



    Links:



    * Marina Lostetter on Twitter

    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2021 Patrick Hester

    • 42 min
    Episode 484-With Allison Epstein

    Episode 484-With Allison Epstein

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Allison Epstein, author of A TIP FOR THE HANGMAN!

    About A TIP FOR THE HANGMAN: England, 1585. In Kit Marlowe’s last year at Cambridge, he receives an unexpected visitor: Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, who has come with an unorthodox career opportunity. Her Majesty’s spies are in need of new recruits, and Kit’s flexible moral compass has drawn their attention. Kit, a scholarship student without money or prospects, accepts the offer, and after his training the game is on. Kit is dispatched to the chilly manor where Mary, Queen of Scots is under house arrest, to act as a servant in her household and keep his ear to the ground for a Catholic plot to put Mary on the throne.

    While observing Mary, Kit learns more than he bargained for. The ripple effects of his service to the Crown are far-reaching and leave Kit a changed man. But there are benefits as well. The salary he earns through his spywork allows him to mount his first play, and over the following years, he becomes the toast of London’s raucous theater scene. But when Kit finds himself reluctantly drawn back into the uncertain world of espionage, conspiracy, and high treason, he realizes everything he’s worked so hard to attain–including the trust of the man he loves–could vanish before his very eyes.

    Pairing modern language with period detail, Allison Epstein brings Elizabeth’s privy council, Marlowe’s lovable theater troupe, and the squalor of sixteenth-century London to vivid, teeming life as Kit wends his way behind the scenes of some of Tudor history’s most memorable moments. At the center of the action is Kit himself–an irrepressible, irreverent force of nature. Thrillingly written, full of poetry and danger, A Tip for the Hangman brings an unforgettable protagonist to new life, and makes a centuries-old story feel utterly contemporary.

    About Allison Epstein: Allison Epstein earned her M.F.A. in fiction from Northwestern University and a B.A. in creative writing and Renaissance literature from the University of Michigan. A Michigan native, she now lives in Chicago, where she works as a copywriter. When not writing, she enjoys good theater, bad puns, and fancy jackets. A Tip for the Hangman is her first novel.

    This week’s picks:



    * Allison: The Witches Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

    * Tracy: The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities by Paul Anthony Jones



    Links:



    * Allison Epstein on Twitter

    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2021 Patrick Hester

    • 34 min
    Episode 483-With Nicky Drayden

    Episode 483-With Nicky Drayden

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Nicky Drayden, author of ESCAPING EXODUS!

    About ESCAPING EXODUS: Earth is a distant memory. Habitable extrasolar planets are still out of reach. For generations, humanity has been clinging to survival by establishing colonies within enormous vacuum-breathing space beasts and mining their resources to the point of depletion.

    Rash, dreamy, and unconventional, Seske Kaleigh should be preparing for her future role as clan leader, but her people have just culled their latest beast, and she’s eager to find the cause of the violent tremors plaguing their new home. Defying social barriers, Seske teams up with her best friend, a beast worker, and ventures into restricted areas for answers to end the mounting fear and rumors. Instead, they discover grim truths about the price of life in the void.

    Then, Seske is unexpectedly thrust into the role of clan matriarch, responsible for thousands of lives in a harsh universe where a single mistake can be fatal. Her claim to the throne is challenged by a rival determined to overthrow her and take control—her intelligent, cunning, and confident sister.

    Seske may not be a born leader like her sister, yet her unorthodox outlook and incorruptible idealism may be what the clan needs to save themselves and their world.

    About Nicky Drayden: Nicky Drayden is a Systems Analyst who dabbles in prose when she’s not buried in code. She resides in Austin, Texas where being weird is highly encouraged, if not required. Her award-winning novel THE PREY OF GODS is set in a futuristic South Africa brimming with demigods, robots, and hallucinogenic hijinks, and with her new novel ESCAPING EXODUS, she’ll be taking her weirdness off-world to a civilization living inside the gut of moon-sized space beast. See more of her work at http://www.nickydrayden.com or catch her on twitter @nickydrayden.

    This week’s picks:



    * Nicky: Hand Writing Letters to Friends + Journaling / Passion Planners

    * Tracy: Knox (Serial Box)



    Links:



    * Nicky Drayden on Twitter

    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2021 Patrick Hester

    • 34 min
    Episode 482-With Travis Heermann

    Episode 482-With Travis Heermann

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Travis Heermann, whose novel Tokyo Blood Magic is out now!

    About Tokyo Blood Magic: When Django Wong, a modern-day ninja turned sorcerer, takes a job to track down a newly Awakened witch, he discovers that his target is not only his lost love, but now she’s an enforcer for the Black Lotus Clan, a ruthless yakuza syndicate.

    But time can change a person. Is she the girl who used to love him, a yakuza slave, or a deadly black witch?

    With a smart-mouthed magical house cat as his ally, Django must protect her from other Hunter-Seekers sent to kill her until he can learn the truth of her allegiance. And not only that, if he can’t stop her from stealing a powerful magical relic, the Black Lotus Clan will launch a bloodbath in Shinjuku’s streets.

    About Travis Heermann: Freelance writer, novelist, award-winning screenwriter, editor, poker player, poet, biker, roustabout, Travis Heermann is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and the author of Tokyo Blood Magic, The Hammer Falls, The Ronin Trilogy, and co-author of Death Wind, plus short fiction pieces in anthologies and magazines such as Straight Outta Deadwood, Apex Magazine, Alembical, the Fiction River anthology series, Historical Lovecraft, and Cemetery Dance’s Shivers VII. As a freelance writer, he has produced a metric ton of role-playing game work both in print and online, including the Firefly Roleplaying Game, Battletech, Legend of Five Rings, d20 System, and the MMORPG, EVE Online.

    He has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, a Master of Arts in English, and teaches science fiction literature at the University of Nebraska Omaha. He has presented workshops on writing and publishing at the Odyssey Writing Workshop, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Pike’s Peak Writers Conference, and Colorado Gold Writers Conference, and regularly appears at conventions across the U.S.

    He enjoys cycling, martial arts, torturing young minds with otherworldly ideas, and monsters of every flavor, especially those with a soft, creamy center. He has three long-cherished dreams: a produced screenplay, a NYT best-seller, and a seat in the World Series of Poker.

    This week’s picks:



    * Travis: What The Hell Did I Just Read by David Wong

    * Tracy: Batman: Hush (Graphic Novel)



    Links:



    * Travis Heermann on Twitter

    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2021 Patrick Hester

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

Paul23213 ,

The perfect length podcast of SFF interviews

I just really like the interviews these guys do.

audiofilly ,

RIP Functional Nerds

Used to be good, sometimes great.

Now?

The kind-hearted and mannerly John has been replaced by a person named Tracy or Tracey. Once in a while, possibly after a light dose of arsenic, Tracy/Tracey’s smug bigotry might seem amusing.

What? You say you never drop a little arsenic? In that case, don’t bother with this podcast.

I wish there were a way to bestow 0 stars.

Clifton Hill ,

When ya need a drink...of Nerdom

I don't have a lot of cohorts in my life to speak nerdly culture with, and for the few that I do, time is limited. When my need to wax philosophic on Star Wars, or to pine for the next installment of The Song of Ice and Fire has reached dire limits, Functional Nerds is there.

The highlights:
-Consistent, every week, sometimes more
-Patrick will take every opportunity possible to derail John
-John will outtalk the guest like a locomotive on full steam when the topic has grabbed him around the neck.

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