The Live Drop


Berlin Author Bernd von Kostka Duels in the Dark with Cold War History

Ep. 62

Bernd von Koska is the curator of the Allied Museum in Berlin and co-author of Capital of Spies. For almost half a century, From summer 1945 until 1990, NATO and the Warsaw Pact fought an ongoing duel in the dark. Espionage was part of everyday life in both East and West Berlin with spies of numerous nationalities and loyalties. In this conversation Bernd describes the highlights of his book and intelligence activities in Berlin: the success, failures, famous and the infamous to include: the Crash of the YAK28P, The Spy Tunnel, The Meister and James Hall, James Carney, a visit from Marcus Wolf, Benno Ohnes shooting, Dean Reed, Rosenholtz Files and the Berlin Airlift. Capital of Spies (co-authored with Sven Felix Kellerhoff) is a great starter reference to the important intelligence events in Cold War Berlin. Bernd is a Berliner and no stranger to the spy world. Aside from his work at the museum, he’s recently helped produce British drama Spy City on AMC with author William Boyd.  

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Alma Katsu is Creating a Novel Spy Franchise

Ep. 63
Alma Katsu is an accomplished writer and intelligence professional with an extensive career spanning over 35 years. She has held senior analyst positions at various federal agencies, providing policy advice to military and government officials on national security issues. Additionally, she has worked as a senior technology policy analyst for the RAND Corporation and operates as an independent consultant and technology futurist, providing expert guidance to clients in both government and private industry.In addition to her contributions to the fields of intelligence and technology, Katsu is also a celebrated author of historical fiction horror and short stories. Her spy novels RED WIDOW and RED LONDON , have garnered praise from intelligence professionals for their well crafted plot lines and engaging characters. Katsu draws inspiration for her characters from her extensive professional background, creating complex and believable personas that reflect the nuances of real-life intelligence operatives.My conversation with Katsu delves into various topics, including artificial intelligence, her writing process, and what sets her books apart from others in the genre. Her unique perspective as an intelligence professional provides valuable insights into the intersection of technology and national security, making her work both entertaining and intellectually stimulating. For those interested in exploring Katsu's work in greater detail, she hosts a podcast called Damned History, which provides historical context for her stories.More information about Katsu and her writing can be found at summary was written with help from ChatGBT