Mike Hodel's Hour 25

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Here's a quick introduction to Hour 25 for our new listeners and some information that will help you find your way around the Hour 25 Site.



An Introduction to Hour 25

Welcome to Hour 25. We're a radio show about anything and everything that's of interest to people who enjoy science fiction. We've been on the air for over 28 years, for most of that time on a non-commercial radio station in Los Angeles, but recently we've made the show available to people all over the world by moving ourselves onto the Internet.

Originally called Hour 25 because the show started at midnight, i.e. the 25th hour of the day, you can now think of Hour 25 as the hour that stretches time and space to bring you the worlds of science and science fiction wherever you live and whenever you want to listen.

If you're a new listener, welcome to our show. You'll find interviews with all manner of people from the worlds of science fiction, science, space, films, TV, computers and who knows what else. You'll also find news about the science and technology that's shaping the future we live in, along with news about things happening in the science fiction world, links to interesting things found out on the 'net and information about books, movies, software and just about anything else we think might be of interest to you.

If you're someone who had listened to us on the radio and just found us on the net, we're still the show you've been enjoying for the last 28 years.

If you're someone who once lived in Los Angeles and moved away, welcome back. You can now hear us just like before.

A Bit of History

Hour 25 was started in 1973 by Mike Hodel, Mitchell Harding, Catherine Kalkin and Terry Hodel. It aired at midnight on a non-commercial radio station and quickly became a place where people from the world of science fiction gathered to talk about everything under the sun. In 1986 Mike died of cancer and Harlan Ellison took over the show's hosting duties. At that time the show was given the name "Mike Hodel's Hour 25" as a way of honoring the memory of the man who had started the show.

Harlan hosted the show for a couple of years and then left and turned the reins over to screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski. In 1990 the show transitioned to a format where different people would host the show on different weeks. This team of hosts included J. Michael Straczynski, Larry Ditillio, Stephen Barnes, Arthur Byron Cover and myself - Warren W. James. At that time Suzanne Gibson became the show's Associate Producer. The multiple host format went on until 1992 when J. Michael Straczynski and others left to pursue different creative activities. (In J. Michael's case he left so he could devote all of his creative energy to doing his TV show Babylon 5.)

Stephen Barnes continued to host one show each month while I hosting the remaining shows. A few years later Stephen moved to the Pacific Northwest to pursue his writing and I continued hosting the show by myself, occasionally joined by Jeff Laube, Nick Smith and Sandy Rymer. Terry Hodel continued as the Executive Producer of the show until her death in March of 1999, at which time Suzanne Gibson took over all of Terry's producing duties.

Hour 25 continued to be broadcast on the radio until the fall of 2000, when we left the radio station so we could have the freedom to do Hour 25 on the Internet.

Who We Are

Burt Handelsman has been the engineer on Hour 25 for more than twenty years and continues to handle the audio for the show. He put together the audio gear that we use for doing the show and handles the board work for our more complicated shows.

Suzanne Gibson puts together the weekly calendar and is our Producer. She keeps track of all the details that have to be handled for doing the show, such as booking guests, doing research and making sure that everything comes together when it should. Suzanne also works with me on editing the shows and preparing them for the 'net.

I get the easy part. I get to chat with a parade of interesting guests and edit the shows as well as create and maintain the web site.

When Burt isn't working on the show he keeps busy by working on computers. By day Suzanne works as an Art Director and Producer for commercial photography and commercials. And when not doing the show I work on trajectory design and orbital mechanics for the Lockheed-Martin VentureStar Single Stage to Orbit Launch vehicle. (Yes, I really am a rocket scientist.) In my copious free time I'm also the one-man science and math department at Columbia College Hollywood, a local film school, where I teach classes in astronomy, geology, space science & technology, math, computers and science fiction. And when I can find the spare time I write a bit of science fiction.

Hour 25 on the 'Net

Hour 25 on the 'net is the same show as it has always been, except that now we have escaped the confines imposed by the medium of radio.

The interviews are no longer restricted to a limited time; they can be whatever length they need to be to allow the guest to tell his or her story. The show's length is likewise unconstrained and we don't need to force each show to be the same length.

The shows can go up any time and we have the flexibility to add special editions any time we desire.

Since the show is provided in an audio on demand format over the Internet the listeners can log on and hear the show whenever it is convenient for them no matter where they live, as opposed to having to tune in at a specific time to hear the show on a specific radio station that was only available in one specific geographic locale.

We can provide links to other places 'net as a source of additional information about the topics we are discussing.

We can provide images and other audio files to give you more information about the guest we are interviewing. {This is especially useful when we are interviewing an artist or some other person whose work is visually oriented.}

And since we are no longer broadcasting on a non-commercial radio station, we don't have to periodically dump the show's content so we can beg for money during the Pledge Drive. {In and of itself that was reason enough to ditch the radio station and move onto the Internet!}

The show's audio is presented as a series of mp3 files that will play without your having to wait for the entire file to be downloaded. Most any audio player - such as the Windows Media Player, the Real Player, Winamp or others - will play these files. The audio files are presented in a mono format that only requires 16K of bandwidth in order to minimize the connection speed needed for your computer. {You don't need a cable modem or DSL to listen to Hour 25. People have been able to listen to the show without interruptions using nothing more than an old computer and a 33K modem.} And the low bandwidth requirements for the show's audio means that you can listen to the show while you are doing other things, including surfing other web sites. Another benefit of the format used for the audio files is that they only take up a small amount of space on our web server and so we can afford to keep many months worth of shows on our Web Site.

New editions of Hour 25 are uploaded to the 'net every week on Friday evenings - give or take a few hours - but Special Editions of Hour 25 will be uploaded as soon as they are available. Previous shows will be kept up on the 'net for as long as possible.

We also have a free Hour 25 Newsletter that is sent out by email to let the listeners know when new shows have been uploaded and to tell them about any late breaking news.

What's Where

Here's a brief overview of the things you will find at the Hour 25 Web Site.

The Home Page that you arrive at when you log onto hour25online.com is your point of entry to the Hour 25 universe. Here you will find our show for the current week, information about upcoming shows and various other elements from the show. Near the top of the page is a navigation region with a series of links to the other parts of our web site. This navigation region is replicated on all of the show's web pages so you can easily find your way around the site.

The audio files for the current show are on the main page next to the flashing radio antenna and can be listened to by simply clicking on the appropriate links. You can listen to the entire show by clicking on the link that says "Click here to listen to this week's show", or you can listen to specific parts of the show by clicking on the links that are labeled for those parts of the show.

While you are listening to an audio file you can use the controls on your audio player to pause the output or even back up the audio and relisten to parts of the file. While the show is playing you will see a list of all the files that are cued up for playing and you can move ahead to those files by selecting them from your playlist.

Below the show's audio segment will be a number of links that will take you to other Internet resources relating to things that we spoke about on the show.

Below that is information about our show for the next week and links to our previous shows and the Hour 25 audio index. {More about these last two items in a few minutes.}

A little farther down the page are the links for our calendar items. Hour 25 has always presented news about science fiction 'goings on' in the Los Angeles area and now we can present information about events in other parts of the world. Our Calendar pages give you listings of things happening in the Los Angeles are, such as; signings, lectures, conventions and special film showings. {Our Calendar pages include listings for things happening this month as well as things from the previous month. We also have a listing of on-going events that happen each month.} Our Conventions page gives you more information about upcoming conventions - local and national- and our Authors on Tour page tells you about author signings all over the country. Our page with Book Stores, Hobby Shops and more gives you information about stores in the Los Angeles area that sell books and other things that would be of interest to people who enjoy science fiction. In the future we would like to expand this resource list to include stores in other parts of the country and even the world. We're currently getting that information together.

Farther down the main page you'll find more information about Hour 25 along with links to web pages with more information about matters dealing with science fiction and other topics. Below that is our collection of links and information about the Hour 25 newsletter.

The Previous Shows pages are where we keep the shows from previous weeks. The first previous shows page contains the shows from the last few months. In order to keep the Previous Shows page from getting too large, older shows go onto pages that hold three months of shows. The shows on the Previous Shows page are preserved with all of the show bits as well as the links that were provided for those shows. As the shows get older we will keep the interviews up on the site, but will retire the news and other bits since those elements deal with more topical issues.

The Audio Index page maintains a listing of who has been on the show and includes links to take you directly to those interviews. We have a huge archive of shows that were aired on the radio and most of those do not appear here, although we expect to some day put up our old shows so our new listeners can hear them.

The What's New page keeps a running account of changes and additions to this Web Site and lets you know what new things have been added here.

The best way to get familiar with what we have to offer is by browsing our site. Let us know what you'd like to hear and we'll do our best to provide it for you.

Contacting Us

You can easily contact us by sending an email to me at wwjames@earthlink.net.

Closing Comments

Hour 25 has been a part of the science fiction scene for almost 30 years now. Moving the show up to the 'net has been our way of making sure that Hour 25 will be around for another 30 years or more. So log onto Hour 25 wherever and whenever you happen to be and listen to our guests from the worlds of science and science fiction. The past has been an interesting ride, but the future is going to be even more interesting.

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Unless otherwise noted the entire content of this web site is Copyright © Warren W. James, 2000.
All rights reserved.