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
    • 4.7 • 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.

    Episode 490-With Nino Cipri

    Episode 490-With Nino Cipri

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Nino Cipri, author of Finna.

    About Finna: When an elderly customer at a Swedish big box furniture store ? but not that one ? slips through a portal to another dimension, it’s up to two minimum-wage employees to track her across the multiverse and protect their company’s bottom line. Multi-dimensional swashbuckling would be hard enough, but those two unfortunate souls broke up a week ago.

    To find the missing granny, Ava and Jules will brave carnivorous furniture, swarms of identical furniture spokespeople, and the deep resentment simmering between them. Can friendship blossom from the ashes of their relationship? In infinite dimensions, all things are possible.

    About Nino Cipri: Nino Cipri is a queer and trans/nonbinary writer, editor, and educator. A graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop, and University of Kansas’s MFA, Nino’s fiction has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson, World Fantasy, Lambda, Nebula, and Hugo Awards. A multidisciplinary artist, Nino has also written plays, screenplays, and radio features; performed as a dancer, actor, and puppeteer; and worked as a stagehand, bookseller, bike mechanic, and labor organizer.

    This week’s picks:



    * Nino #1: Unity by Elly Bangs

    * Nino #2: Erased (Netflix)

    * Tracy: Trial by Trolley (Card Game)

    * Patrick: The Irregulars (Netflix)



    Links:



    * Nino Cipri on Twitter

    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2021 Patrick Hester

    • 54 min
    Episode 489-With Cassandra Khaw, Genevieve Gornichec and Caitlin Starling

    Episode 489-With Cassandra Khaw, Genevieve Gornichec and Caitlin Starling

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome not one, not two, but THREE authors – Cassandra Khaw, Genevieve Gornichec and Caitlin Starling, who have combined forces in a new collection of stories set in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe called Walk Among Us.

    About Walk Among Us: One of the most popular role-playing properties in the world gets new life with this trio of horror novellas set in Vampire: The Masquerade’s World of Darkness by three brilliant talents: Genevieve Gornichec, Cassandra Khaw, and Caitlin Starling

    The subtle horror and infernal politics of the World of Darkness are shown in a new light in Vampire: The Masquerade: Walk Among Us, an audio-first collection of three novellas that show the terror, hunger, and power of the Kindred as you’ve never seen them before.

    In Genevieve Gornichec’s A SHEEP AMONG WOLVES, depression and radicalization go hand-in-hand as a young woman finds companionship in the darkness…

    In Cassandra Khaw’s FINE PRINT, an arrogant tech bro learns the importance of reading the fine print in the contract for immortality…

    And in Caitlin Starling’s THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY, ideals and ethics bump heads with appetite on a blood farm.

    Three very different stories from three amazing, distinct voices, but all with one thing in common: the hunger never stops, and for someone to experience power, many others are going to have to feel pain.

    About Cassandra Khaw: Cassandra Khaw is an award-winning game writer, whose fiction work has been nominated for several awards. You can find their fiction in places like F&SF, Year’s Best of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Tor.com. Their next book Nothing But Blackened Teeth is coming out in 2021.

    About Genevieve Gornichec: Genevieve Gornichec earned her degree in history from The Ohio State University, but she got as close to majoring in Vikings as she possibly could, and her study of the Norse myths and Icelandic sagas became her writing inspiration. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio. The Witch’s Heart is her debut novel.

    About Caitlin Starling: Caitlin Starling writes horror-tinged speculative fiction of all flavors. Her first novel, The Luminous Dead, won the LOHF Best Debut Award and was nominated for both the Bram Stoker and Locus Awards. She has two gothic horror tales forthcoming: Yellow Jessamine (novella, Neon Hemlock 2020) and The Death of Jane Lawrence (novel, St Martin’s Press 2021), as well as a novella in the Vampire: The Masquerade audio collection, Walk Among Us. Her nonfiction has appeared in Nightmare and Uncanny. Caitlin also works in narrative design, and has been paid to invent body parts. She’s always on the lookout for new ways to inflict insomnia.

    Links:



    * Cassandra Khaw on Twitter

    * Genevieve Gornichec on Twitter

    * Caitlin Starling on Twitter

    * a href="https://twitter.

    • 51 min
    Episode 488-With S.B. Divya

    Episode 488-With S.B. Divya

    This week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Hugo and Nebula nominated author S.B. Divya, whose book, Machinehood, is available now!

    About Machinehood Welga Ramirez, executive bodyguard and ex-special forces, is about to retire early when her client is killed in front of her. It’s 2095 and people don’t usually die from violence. Humanity is entirely dependent on pills that not only help them stay alive, but allow them to compete with artificial intelligence in an increasingly competitive gig economy. Daily doses protect against designer diseases, flow enhances focus, zips and buffs enhance physical strength and speed, and juvers speed the healing process.

    All that changes when Welga’s client is killed by The Machinehood, a new and mysterious terrorist group that has simultaneously attacked several major pill funders. The Machinehood operatives seem to be part human, part machine, something the world has never seen. They issue an ultimatum: stop all pill production in one week.

    Global panic ensues as pill production slows and many become ill. Thousands destroy their bots in fear of a strong AI takeover. But the US government believes the Machinehood is a cover for an old enemy. One that Welga is uniquely qualified to fight.

    Welga, determined to take down the Machinehood, is pulled back into intelligence work by the government that betrayed her. But who are the Machinehood and what do they really want?

    About S.B. Divya S.B. Divya is a lover of science, math, fiction, and the Oxford comma. She is the Hugo and Nebula nominated author of Machinehood (Saga), Runtime (tordotcom), and the short story collection, Contingency Plans For the Apocalypse and Other Possible Situations (Hachette India). Divya is the co-editor of the weekly science fiction podcast Escape Pod, with Mur Lafferty. She holds degrees in Computational Neuroscience and Signal Processing and worked for twenty years as an electrical engineer before becoming an author.

    This week’s picks:



    * S.B. Divya: His Dark Materias (HBO)

    * Tracy: John Wiswell

    * Patrick: Rebel (ABC)



    Links:



    * S.B. Divya on Twitter

    * Tracy Townsend on Twitter

    * Patrick Hester on Twitter

    * The Functional Nerds Patreon Page



    © 2021 Patrick Hester

    • 53 min
    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

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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