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

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 42 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.

    Episode 563-With Andrea Hairston

    Episode 563-With Andrea Hairston

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome back Andrea Hairston, author of WILL DO MAGIC FOR SMALL CHANGE.

    About WILL DO MAGIC FOR SMALL CHANGE: Cinnamon Jones dreams of stepping on stage and acting her heart out like her famous grandparents, Redwood and Wildfire. But she’s always been theatrically challenged. That won’t necessarily stop her! But her family life is a tangle of mysteries and secrets, and nobody is telling her the whole truth.

    Before her brother died, he gave Cinnamon The Chronicles of the Great Wanderer—a tale of a Dahomean warrior woman and an alien from another dimension who perform at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. They are a story of magic or alien science, but the connection to Cinnamon’s past is unmistakable.

    When an act of violence wounds her family, Cinnamon and her theatre squad determine to solve the mysteries and bring her worlds crashing together.

    About Andrea Hairston: Andrea Hairston is a novelist, playwright, and scholar. Aqueduct Press published: Will Do Magic For Small Change, a New York Times Editor’s pick and finalist for the Mythopoeic, Lambda, and Otherwise Awards; Mindscape, winner of the Carl Brandon Award; and Lonely Stardust, a collection of essays and plays. Her play, Thunderbird at the Next World Theatre, appears in Geek Theater. A novelette, “Saltwater Railroad,” was published by Lightspeed Magazine. “Dumb House,” a short story appears in New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl. Andrea received the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts Distinguished Scholarship Award in 2011 and has gotten grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her latest novel, Master of Poisons, came out from Tordotcom Publishing and is on the Kirkus Review’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2020. “Seven Generations Algorithm,” a short story is in Trouble the Waters edited by Sheree Renee Thomas, and Pan Morigan. Redwood and Wildfire, winner of the Otherwise and Carl Brandon Awards, will be out February 1, 2022 from Tordotcom. In her spare time, Andrea is the Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Africana Studies at Smith College and the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre.

    This week’s picks:



    * Andrea: Ballad & Dagger (An Outlaw Saints Novel) by Daniel José Older

    * Tracy: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

    * Patrick: Unsolved Mysteries Volume 3 (Netflix)



    Links:



    * Andrea Hairston on Twitter

    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2022 Patrick Hester

    • 40 min
    Episode 562-With Chuck Wendig

    Episode 562-With Chuck Wendig

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Chuck Wendig, author of WAYWARD.

    About WAYWARD: Five years ago, ordinary Americans fell under the grip of a strange new malady that caused them to sleepwalk across the country to a destination only they knew. They were followed on their quest by the shepherds: friends and family who gave up everything to protect them.

    Their secret destination: Ouray, a small town in Colorado that would become one of the last outposts of civilization. Because the sleepwalking epidemic was only the first in a chain of events that led to the end of the world—and the birth of a new one.

    The survivors, sleepwalkers and shepherds alike, have a dream of rebuilding human society. Among them are Benji, the scientist struggling through grief to lead the town; Marcy, the former police officer who wants only to look after the people she loves; and Shana, the teenage girl who became the first shepherd—and an unlikely hero whose courage will be needed again.

    Because the people of Ouray are not the only survivors, and the world they are building is fragile. The forces of cruelty and brutality are amassing under the leadership of self-proclaimed president Ed Creel. And in the very heart of Ouray, the most powerful survivor of all is plotting its own vision for the new world: Black Swan, the A.I. who imagined the apocalypse.

    Against these threats, Benji, Marcy, Shana, and the rest have only one hope: one another. Because the only way to survive the end of the world is together.

    About Chuck Wendig: Chuck Wendig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath, as well as the Miriam Black thrillers, the Atlanta Burns books, Zer0es/Invasive, Wanderers, and the upcoming Book of Accidents (July 2021). He’s also worked in a variety of other formats, including comics, games, film, and television. A finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the cowriter of the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus, he is also known for his books about writing. He lives in Pennsyltucky with his family.

    This week’s picks:



    * Chuck #1: An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Ed Yong

    * Chuck #2: NY Times Apple Crumble recipe

    * Chuck #3: The Suncrisp Apple

    * Tracy: Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach

    * Patrick: All The California Class Ships on Star Trek: Lower Decks



    Links:



    * Chuck Wendig on Twitter

    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2022 Patrick Hester

    • 55 min
    Episode 561-With Clay Harmon

    Episode 561-With Clay Harmon

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Clay Harmon, author of FLAMES OF MIRA.

    About FLAMES OF MIRA: Among boiling volcanoes under Mira’s frozen lands, people like Ig are forced to undergo life-threatening trials that bind chemical elements to the human body. One of Mira’s most powerful elementals, Ig serves as an enforcer for Magnate Sorrelo Adriann, but is cursed with flesh binding magic that will kill him at the first sign of disobedience.

    When Sorrelo is overthrown, Ig quickly learns he can do far worse than what has been asked of him so far. If he can’t escape the flesh binding in time, he will have to kill friend and foe alike to stop his master reclaiming the throne, or sacrifice himself trying.

    About Clay Harmon: Clay Harmon grew up in the town of Oakhurst, located in the foothills of California’s Yosemite National Park. As a kid, his love for writing started on Star Wars fanfiction forums, then graduated to writing novels during his second semester at college. He earned his degree in Marketing from California State University, Fresno.

    Writing isn’t his only love. He lives with his wife in Saratoga Springs, Utah, and works at a local software company. He’s an adamant gym-goer and plays video games more than he’s willing to admit.

    This week’s picks:



    * Clay: World of Warcraft

    * Tracy: The Floor is Lava Season 3 (Netflix)

    * Patrick: Tales of the Jedi (Disney+)



    Links:



    * Clay Harmon on Twitter

    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2022 Patrick Hester

    • 47 min
    Episode 560-With Wendy and Richard Pini

    Episode 560-With Wendy and Richard Pini

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Wendy and Richard Pini, co-creators of ElfQuest.

    About The ElfQuest Audio Movie: When a fierce tribe of woodland elves – the Wolfriders – are burned from their homes by hostile humans, their chief, Cutter, must tap every reserve of strength and will to lead his people to safety.

    Barely surviving brutal setbacks, the Wolfriders discover to their astonishment other elves – the Sun Folk – who exist in the world they thought was theirs alone.

    Now refugees, the hardship of losing their forest home proves small compared to the spirit-twisting trials that follow when Cutter experiences an unexpected soul-to-soul bond with the healer of the Sun Folk, Leetah.

    Join us as the Wolfriders confront danger, death, and desperate flight as they wrestle with deep mysteries of identity and love.

    Welcome, as Realm presents the epic saga ElfQuest from comic book creators Wendy and Richard Pini in this richly layered audio movie, directed by Fred Greenhalgh. Starring Cree Summer, Alejandro Saab, Osric Chau, Amber Benson, Aaron Douglas, Clare Kramer, Will Friedle, Zehra Fazal, Robert Picardo, Tim Russ, Ray Porter, and a full cast.

    Produced by Dagaz Media, Bluejay Atlantic, Wolfrider Productions, in association with The Fantasy Network.

    About Wendy and Richard Pini: Born in San Francisco in 1951, Wendy Pini grew up in Gilroy, CA. Largely self taught, her artistic talents were influenced by turn-of-the-century illustrators, film and TV animation, Shakespeare, Japanese history, fairy tales, myths and modern fantasy. Wendy began exhibiting her artwork at sci-fi conventions in the mid 1960s, garnering awards and recognition.

    In 1972 she married Richard Pini, and in 1974 began her professional career as an illustrator for SF magazines such as “Galaxy” and “Worlds of If.” Through the mid-1970s, Wendy also trod the boards at comic conventions as actress/dancer in “The Red Sonja and the Wizard Show.” This led to her first professional comics work, writing an issue of “Red Sonja” for Marvel Comics.

    In 1977 Wendy and Richard co-founded Warp Graphics, and the following year ELFQUEST was born. Widely regarded as the “first American manga,” ElfQuest continues to be a publishing phenomenon as well as an inspiration to its readers. Tens of millions of copies of comics, graphic novels, books, calendars and other merchandise have been sold worldwide.

    Wendy has worked for nearly all the major comics publishers such as Marvel, First Comics, Comico, DC Comics and, most recently, Dark Horse Comics. She wrote and painted two critically acclaimed graphic novels based on the hit TV series “Beauty and the Beast,” and supplied the text and illustrations for “Law and Chaos,” an art book inspired by the writings of Michael Moorcock.

    In 1997 Wendy had the privilege of designing the elfin mascot and mission patch for NASA’s Enclosed Laminar Flames (ELF) investigation, an experiment performed in space by members of the crew of Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-87).

    From 2007 to 2010, Wendy took a walk on the dark side to produce her adults-only graphic novel based on the classic Edgar Allan Poe horror story “Masque of the Red Death.” Her animated web comic received millions of views, and the book is currently available as a limited edition, 400 page hardcover volume from Warp Graphics.

    In 2012, Wendy and Richard donated her entire body of work to the Comic Book and Graphic Novel archive at Columbia University, New York City. Her artwork and writings will be permanently available to students and the public for study.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Episode 559-With Veronica Roth

    Episode 559-With Veronica Roth

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Veronica Roth, author of POSTER GIRL.

    About POSTER GIRL: WHAT’S RIGHT IS RIGHT. Sonya Kantor knows this slogan—she lived by it for most of her life. For decades, everyone in the Seattle-Portland megalopolis lived under it, as well as constant surveillance in the form of the Insight, an ocular implant that tracked every word and every action, rewarding or punishing by a rigid moral code set forth by the Delegation.

    About Veronica Roth: VERONICA ROTH is the New York Times best-selling author of Chosen Ones, the short story collection The End and Other Beginnings, the Divergent series, and the Carve the Mark duology. She is also the guest editor of the most recent The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

    This week’s picks:



    * Veronica: The Stars Undying by Emery Robin

    * Tracy: Cult of the Lamb (Video Game)

    * Patrick #1: Marvel’s Werewolf by Night (Disney+)

    * Patrick #2: DC’s League of Superpets (HBOMax)



    Links:



    * Veronica Roth on Instagram

    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2022 Patrick Hester

    • 42 min
    Episode 558-With Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

    Episode 558-With Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, author of Glorious Fiends and Where You Linger.

    About Glorious Fiends: When infamous hot mess vampire Roxanne resurrects her deceased best friends, she’s confronted by a dream-dwelling Guardian of the Underworld, who demands that she replace them in his afterlife with three equally nefarious creatures—or he’ll drag her there instead.

    Reunited with Medusa and Mx. Hyde, Roxanne and her macabre girl gang must become monster hunters themselves and fight for the future of their friendship.

    About Where You Linger: Bones of extinct species wander a campground, stalking a group of friends in love with the same woman. The object of their affection seeks solace with a couple in a world with rain that kills. A woman moves away from her repressed home town, only to transform into a man-eating monster when she returns. A robot assassin avenges women ruined by capitalism.

    Journey to the liminal space with acclaimed author Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam where interconnected stories span from past to future among the dead and the living.

    About Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam: Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s fiction has appeared in over 90 magazines and anthologies. She’s been nominated for a Nebula Award, and her debut novella and story collection released in 2022.

    This week’s picks:



    * Bonnie #1: Don’t Worry Darling

    * Bonnie #2: Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure – (Video Game)

    * Tracy: Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

    * Patrick #1: Lou (Netflix)

    * Patrick #2: The Sound of 007 (Prime)



    Links:



    * Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam on Twitter

    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2022 Patrick Hester

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

Prairie_Dog ,

Geekdoom’s Dynamic Duo!

Patrick Hester and Tracy Townsend do a great job of interviewing some of the greatest authors in speculative fiction. The podcast covers all sorts of speculative fiction media, including movies, books, television, and more. I find it very informative and entertaining, and I think you will too! Patrick has vast experience in podcasting, and this shows in the high production values. Audio is excellent quality and clear.

malfoxley ,

Great show!

Patrick and Tracy, host of the Fuctional Nerds podcast, highlights all aspects of science fiction, fantasy and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

Paul23213 ,

The perfect length podcast of SFF interviews

I just really like the interviews these guys do.

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