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The Past Goes Back Further Than Life on Mars

Illustration for article titled The Past Goes Back Further Than Life on Mars

As a budding fan of old radio broadcasts, one of my favorite places to hide on the internet is Counter Clock, a blog highlighting the golden age of the medium. The site features the entire broadcast of Washington D.C. station CBS station WJSV on September 21th, 1939, including a moving oratory by FDR and all the soaps you can shake an antenna at. The real highlight of Counter Clock, however, are the archives of sci fi series Dimension X and X Minus 1. Sit back and relax as we guide you through the old-timey radio jungle.You'll find larger archives of the two series in a number of places online, but the problem is the quality of the broadcasts:

While tens of thousands mp3's of OTR radio shows exist out there on the internet, more than half of them are unlistenable. X-Minus 1 has some of the poorer audio quality of the any of the series that circulate. Unfortunate, as it is one of the best [shows].


If you can brave the occasionally shoddy audio, there's much to love about the Internet Archive's index of X Minus 1 broadcasts. If you're going to start someplace, a good starting point might be Robert Heinlein's "The Roads Must Roll," which was awarded a retrospective Nebula Award in 1970 and has the perfect structure for radio (It's also about a world without cars, if you want to start getting used to that ahead of time).

Illustration for article titled The Past Goes Back Further Than Life on Mars

The archives of Dimension X and X Minus 1 also feature a number of astonishing Philip K. Dick stories, including "The Defenders." There's also an insanely worthwhile, if melodramatic, adaptation of Isaac Asimov's Nightfall that you'll want to throw on your iPod right about now. Sadly, Counter Clock hasn't updated in awhile, but there's enough in the archives to satisfy your earholes for some time. Counter Clock []

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I've been enjoying X Minus One on XM's Old Time Radio channel for a couple of years now. Apparently they also play Dimension X, but I've never actually caught it. I think it might be a recent addition to the channel, so I look forward to catching it.