Cornbread Road – An amateur radio podcast with a difference

Around a year ago I discovered an Amateur Radio podcast like I’d never heard before.  I don’t recall how I found it but suffice it to say that I did.

It was called Cornbread Road and it was a story read (and written) by Jeff, KE9V.  I subscribed to the podcast and eagerly waited for each episode but sadly they stopped before the story was completed at episode #9.  I emailed Jeff who told me that he’d been approached by a publisher and had removed the podcasts because his story had been sold and was going to be made into a book.  I was really disappointed by this but I left the podcast feed in iTunes in the vague hope that perhaps one day it would resume.   Somewhere along the while the feed must have either timed out or I unsubscribed because it dropped to being inactive.

A few days ago I thought of Cornbread Road and clicked the button to resubscribe to the iTunes feed and was really surprised and excited when it updated and 10 episodes dropped into the list and started downloading.

A quick look on Jeff’s site explained what happend and I’ll reproduce Jeff’s words here:

I wrote the original story a few years ago and it was novel-length. I shopped that around to a number of publishers and no one was interested. So last year I chopped the main story up and turned it into a series of short audio episodes – really as an experiment to see how well that might go over. Somewhere along the way, one of the publishers (who I had shopped the book to) decided to buy the original story. They told me first that key elements of the story would be used in another book and later they said it would possibly be used in a made for TV movie. I sold the rights and took the podcast down – with the agreement that if it wasn’t published within 12 months, the agreement begins to unwind – which is why I was able to put the original podcast back online recently.

Though I was paid a nice advance, I haven’t heard from that publisher in several months and can only guess that they have had a change of heart…

73, Jeff KE9V

So what is Cornbread Road all about?  Here’s the blurb, again lifted directly from Jeff’s site.

Life seems tranquil and easy in the farmlands of East Central Indiana. The weather is good, the rain is plentiful and the Earth seems pleased to yield its goodness in acre after acre of corn and beans. It’s an ideal location for a radio amateur – flat land, wide open spaces and no antenna restrictions for hundreds of square miles.

But things aren’t quite what they seem just outside the limits of Paradise Valley on a slab of blacktop known to the locals as Cornbread Road.

The mystery unfolds in thirteen episodic adventures and it’s completely unlike any ham radio podcast you’ve ever heard…

Jeff is a master storyteller, these podcasts are perfect and the cliff-hanger at the end of each one is enough to make you want to listen to more.  I suggest to my fifteen year old son today that he listens to them and jokingly told him that I’d bet real money that he couldn’t listen to just one episode.  He asked how much money!  The thing was that he would have lost the bet as an hour and a half later he came back to me saying that he needed to listen to more of it as he’d just listened to all the episodes one after another.  At the time of writing there are still another three episodes to be published to complete the story and I’m really keen to hear them.

If you want to listen to these episodes there’s an RSS feed here which works perfectly if you subscribe via iTunes.  Alternatively you can just download each episode in mp3 format directly from Jeff’s website by clicking here.

If you’re interested in amateur radio I really can recommend this story (it’s a great tale even if you’re not interested in amateur radio).  Even if you don’t normally download podcasts, please make the effort to listen to the first episode and I’ll be very surprised if you don’t want to download the second one after that!

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