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Starshipsofa logo.png
Blast Off with the StarShipSofa
Hosted by Tony C. Smith
Genre Science Fiction
Updates Weekly
Debut July 2006

StarShipSofa is a science fiction podcast from the United Kingdom hosted and edited by Tony C. Smith and Jeremy Szal. It was the first ever podcast to be both nominated for and to win a Hugo Award for Best Fanzine. StarShipSofa was also nominated for Best Fan Podcast in the 2007 Parsec Awards.[1] StarShipSofa is free directly from the web site and is available for subscription and automatic download through iTunes.


The show was first broadcast in July 2006 by Smith and Ciaran O'Carrol with an episode focusing on Alfred Bester.[2] The next 70 episodes ran weekly and featured commentary on such subjects as Harlan Ellison, Samuel R. Delany, Charles Stross, and other well-known science fiction authors. StarShipSofa also covered subjects such as films and specific themes such as religion in science fiction.[3]

In 2010 many of these original podcasts were transcribed and published in book form as StarShipSofa: The Captain's Logs.[4]

At the end of this initial run O'Carrol left StarShipSofa and the podcast began to transition to an audio fiction magazine, with narrated fiction mixed with commentary and essays.[5] Now calling itself StarShipSofa - The Audio Science Fiction Magazine, in October 2007 StarShipSofa began podcasting Hugo Award winning audio stories for free. In March 2008, for the first time ever, all five of the short stories that had been shortlisted for the BSFA Award for Best Short Story were made available on the StarShipSofa in audio narrated format.[6]

Hugo Award[edit]

On 4 April 2010, StarShipSofa became the first podcast to ever be included on the Hugo Awards ballot. It was nominated in the category Best Fanzine. On 5 September 2010 StarShipSofa went on to become the first podcast to win a Hugo Award.[7] The award was presented at Aussiecon 4 in Melbourne, Australia.

As a result, the 2011 business meeting of the Worldcon voted to create a new category for "Best Fancast", so that podcasts would no longer be deemed a fanzine or be eligible for a fanzine Hugo.[8]

District of Wonders[edit]

In January 2012 StarShipSofa launched its first spin-off, a horror podcast hosted by Lawrence Santoro called Tales to Terrify. This was followed in July 2012 by two more spin-offs - the crime-themed Crime City Central hosted by Jack Calverley, and the pulp-themed Protecting Project Pulp hosted by Dave Robison. The four are now united under the District of Wonders banner.

StarShipSofa Stories[edit]

To celebrate the 100th episode of StarShipSofa's audio fiction magazine, an anthology of stories titled StarShipSofa Stories, Volume 1 was published, featuring fiction by Michael Moorcock, Gene Wolfe, Peter Watts, Elizabeth Bear, and others.[9] The second volume of stories was published in October 2010 and contains fiction by Neil Gaiman, China Miéville, Mary Rosenblum, and others.

Notable Authors[edit]

Notable authors published in the magazine include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "StarShipSofa Podcast: science fiction". Archived from the original on 2008-01-29. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  2. ^ StarShipSofa EP> #1, Alfred Bester, Transcribed by Craig Webster, StarShipSofa: The Captain's Logs, edited by Tony C. Smith, published by StarShipSofa, page 8.
  3. ^ "Update on StarShipSofa – in case you missed our first rave.". Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  4. ^ "StarShip Sofa Announces Publication of The Captain's Logs," by John DeNardo,, 17 June 2010.
  5. ^ Afterword by Tony C. Smith, StarShipSofa: The Captain's Logs, edited by Tony C. Smith, published by StarShipSofa, page 327.
  6. ^ "Podcast of all the BSFA Award shortlisted short stories". Retrieved 2008-03-10. [dead link]
  7. ^ 2010 Hugo Award winners, The Hugo Awards, accessed 5 September 2010.
  8. ^ Glyer, Mike. "Business Meeting Votes Hugo Zine Category Changes" File 770 20 August 2011
  9. ^ TOC: StarShipSofa Stories, Volume 1 edited by Tony C. Smith by John DeNardo,, 6 September 2009.

External links[edit]