Hi! I'm Bijan Stephen, and I've been working in and around the internet for the last decade. (You may have seen my work if you like Blockbuster or read The Verge in the last few years.) Over the last decade I've done everything from TV for VICE on HBO to editing at 100-year-old literary magazines. More recently I've been a music critic at The Nation, a video game columnist at The Believer, and a player on a tabletop roleplaying podcast called Fun City.

My latest project is Eclipsed: a narrative podcast about stories that got overlooked because of other, bigger events. So far this season we've covered Australian singers in Vietnam, lakes disappearing in Louisiana, and British sailors crying because they lost their daily rum rations. Ask me anything!

PROOF: https://i.redd.it/mqv64xp7txa81.png

Comments: 83 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

pigeon_bird25 karma

which story has been your favorite to work on?

EclipsedPod41 karma

i love all of my children equally.

that said: i had a blast working on the lake peigneur eps! the story was fascinating, for one thing, and for another i was geeking out over working with lenval brown (who is a sweetie, confirmed)

jhawth10 karma

Are you doing any video game history? If so, what games?

EclipsedPod13 karma

excellent question. the answer is yes! we've got something in the pipeline about the sumerian game, so get excited

jhawth3 karma

Cool, how do you make a podcast about video games? How do cover a very visual subject?

EclipsedPod14 karma

very carefully

Objective-Youth-3398 karma

Are there any new stories that have come up recently that were overshadowed that you plan or want to cover on your show?

EclipsedPod8 karma

great question! we're definitely open to doing recent stories (and if you have something in mind shoot us an email!!!). but for now we don't have anything more recent than, say, 2001

electricdidact7 karma

I really like Eclipsed! What inspired the show/how did it come about?

EclipsedPod9 karma

hey that's great to hear! thanks for listening.

the idea for the show was something that campside had been kicking around for a while, but it really solidified after i came on as host. and we took it in a different direction! so i can say that the show is a reflection of the team's tastes. also we just love these kinds of stories!

Captain_Trigg6 karma

If you could choose anybody working today to play T.K. in a TV adaptation of Fun City, who would you choose?

(My friends and I frame-story our occasional Shadowrun game as a low-budget, constantly-on-the-edge-of-cancellation cult classic, and we “cast” the PCs and NPCs accordingly.)

EclipsedPod6 karma

ok so this may be obvious but

mahershala ali

my man has ALL of the range. float and fun city both

DCsAvengers6 karma

Omg we went to the same high school! Did being in East Texas have any lasting impact on your outlook/worldview?

EclipsedPod4 karma

lolol wait WHO IS THIS (email me or whatever im around???)

the answer is yes absolutely. the longer answer is email me and we can talk it out

Automatic_Tip_22084 karma

why do you think media publications always gravitate towards the newest shiny toy (blogs, social media, video, now, podcast) instead of sticking to a medium and making the most of it ? do you think that a podcast episode is the best way to tell a compelling story really ?

EclipsedPod9 karma

the simple answer is the obvious one: money!

that is to say: i think publications gravitate to the new because it's another chance to reach and develop new audiences. creating media is expensive!

as for your second question: i think every story has its own shape. some stories fit best in a magazine; others fit way better as a podcast episode. so the answer is yes, but it's not one size fits all

7rj38ej3 karma

Do you plan to write about what is going on in retail pharmacies right now? Seems like a good match based on your previous writing. Ellen Gabler wrote a peice for the New York Times last year that got a lot of attention, but there have been a lot of new developments since then.

EclipsedPod3 karma

i hadn't considered it because honestly it wasn't something on my radar, but maybe? probably not though because this podcast work is all consuming. i don't want to rule anything out!

carltheawesome3 karma

What would you most like to tell us that no one ever asks about?

EclipsedPod14 karma

the fact that 9/11 was a huge day for new music (everyone from bob dylan to nickelback put out an album), and that the people who had #1 records on those days had the best and worst day of their lives

Aphorism1033 karma

As a fellow Persian from Afghanistan, I have to ask: are you Persian?

EclipsedPod11 karma

i am not! my caribbean parents just liked the name

Rabogliatti2 karma

Do you have an interesting event in your personal life that was eclipsed? Much love for Fun/Float City btw!

EclipsedPod4 karma

that is a fascinating question! and i think the answer is yes and no? because yes obviously things have been wild in the world, but also no because my job for a long time has been to cover those wild things


AdlPadl9702 karma

What's your favorite way to eat a potato? French fry form? Or whole baked potatoes? Mashed perhaps? Back to the fries, there's so many variants of those alone out there - there's Steak Fries, Waffle Fries, Curly Fries...you must have a favorite.

EclipsedPod4 karma

fantastic question. i think the fry form is my favorite (portability). i'm a big fan of waffle fries and curly fries. i think more study is needed though. a good baked potato can break your heart

AdlPadl9702 karma

Thanks! I don't want tater tots, the little rounds, or hashbrowns to feel left out either though. Waffle and curly are both great fries

EclipsedPod4 karma

you really can't go wrong with a potato imo

Itchy_Release86172 karma

The stories so far have really been all over the place, in terms of chronology. How did you choose which parts of history to focus on and which to leave alone?

EclipsedPod4 karma

for the episodes we've been working on in this season, we sorta just went with stories that we found interesting — hence why we've jumped around a lot. turns out there's a lot of history in history!

CatMilliams1 karma

What advice do you have for early career journalists trying to break into national magazines and titles?

EclipsedPod5 karma

hm! this one is tough. i'd say pick one place you really want to work with, get very familiar with their stuff, and start pitching.

BUT, in the meantime, publish work elsewhere that you think is good. it's useful to have really good stuff you can show to other people! it's also useful to build relationships with editors, no matter where they are, because you never know where people are going to end up. i think your goal should always just be to write a good story — better for it to be out than just sitting in a doc somewhere. because you never know when an editor for a national pub is gonna email you out of the blue about that great piece you just did!

CatMilliams1 karma

I appreciate the response! Looking forward to checking out the podcast.

EclipsedPod2 karma

you got it! good luck out there

hng1356621 karma

wow you’ve done so many cool things! How do you manage to create these different life paths? (Do you worry about paying rent in these fields that aren’t known for being generous with pay?) asking from a place of admiration! I wish my life were this cool.

EclipsedPod2 karma

hello! the short answer is that i just kept working -- i said yes to just about everything. (i do not necessarily recommend doing that.) but i was lucky! the jobs i did actually paid me enough to live on. which is not always the case in journalism / writing / creative fields.

i also just do a lot of stuff simultaneously -- like my criticism at the nation and my columns at the believer are jobs i do in addition to the job that pay my rent. like i said, i've been lucky!

bionicapplesauce1 karma

Off the top of your head, is there anything that you think might be getting overlooked recently? I guess it might be tough to say while it's happening.

EclipsedPod1 karma

ok that's a great question! basically i think yes, but i think the stuff that are overlooked are things like streaming -- stuff that's esoteric but super popular among a certain set

ZeroExost1 karma

Where can one listen to your podcast? Also, didn't you stream on Twitch too?

EclipsedPod2 karma

you can listen to eclipsed literally anywhere you get your podcasts

also yes. i stream on twitch. in fact im streaming right now

rcc7371 karma

Game of pretend.

Let's say you come across some information that shakes your moral foundation (doesn't matter what it is, use your imagination). Do you publish the information or ignore it and hope it never comes to light?

EclipsedPod6 karma

lol ok so i think it matters what it is! if you have information that hurts other people that they don't have, i think you're morally obligated to publish it!

dingusfisherr1 karma

How do you market your podcast ? It doesn't fall under a particular sub genre . And more so it finds very niche stories . What is your marketing strategy ? And do you have assistants to work with you ?

EclipsedPod0 karma

this is kind of a hard question to answer! we do marketing, but it's mostly cross promotion on other podcasts. and yes, i work with a lot of other really great people! it's a team effort to make this show, and i think that shows

BooyahSquad1 karma

As a teacher at Terminally Online University, what's in your Memes 101 curriculum? Bonus points for Meme 400 curriculum too.

EclipsedPod10 karma

the only meme i know about these days is this one.

OThatSean1 karma

I haven’t listened to your podcasts but I plan to check them out. Are there any other podcasts you can recommend? What podcasts have you been subscribed to for the longest?

EclipsedPod2 karma

i can recommend a ton actually! i love fun city (the other podcast i do lol), rude tales of magic, the content mines, icymi, the insert credit show, how to do it, etc etc etc

the one i've been subbed to for the longest, though, is fun city (because again, that's another podcast i do)

BoyMayorOfSecondLife0 karma

hoob2 reunion tour when???

EclipsedPod0 karma

hoob2 reunion tour when we get paid reunion tour

tmronin0 karma

what's your thoughts on moonshine as a party beverage?

hey Bij!
fuckin' rockstar, you are.
miss your face.


EclipsedPod4 karma

moonshine is for partying exclusively and explicitly

penguin_master690 karma

Where's your first name from? I have a friend of mine with the same name, he's from Tajikistan among other countries

EclipsedPod0 karma

it's persian!

PresentzAdvance-10 karma

Do you pronounce that as "BITCH-ANNE" ?

EclipsedPod3 karma