Check out this great 10 minute long documentary on…

October 30, 2003 by · Leave a Comment
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Check out this great 10 minute long documentary on Science Fiction and SF fandom done by Joe Mahoney for broadcast on CBC Radio One‘s The Current. Authors interviewed include: John Scalzi, Cory Doctorow, John Clute, Robert J. Sawyer, and Margaret Atwood.

Listen to the Documentary here:

Joe Mahoney’s Documentary

Note: To hear the documentary, click and drag the time bar to about the fifteen minute mark.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The CBC has just made a series of samples avaiable…

October 24, 2003 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

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The CBC has just made a series of samples avaiable that will be sure whet your appetite for the proposed CBC Radio One series FASTER THAN LIGHT! Spanning the years 1978-1998 these samples of previous Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror stories illustrate what is possible on radio. Enjoy!

Nightfall: “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” (1983)

One of the most disturbing radio series ever produced. The show ignited complaints from many listeners that it was too frightening, prompting some stations to drop the series from their programming.

99 half-hour episodes (1980 to 1983) – Listen to Real Audio clip

Vanishing Point: “The Man Who Dreamed in Djemma El Fna” (1991)

This series specialized in experimental dramas in the genres of sci-fi, supernatural, classics, pro-environment, and spiritual journeys. Its defining characteristic is extensive “on location” sound effects, with about half the performances done in a whisper. About half the shows are done in a familiar, straight-forward, manner and the other half are dreamy psychological journeys. The series incorporated several ‘sub-series’ over the course of its long run.

205 half-hour episodes (1984 to 1991) – Listen to Real Audio clip

Alice in Cyberspace: episode 1 – “Down the Data Stream”

Twelve-year old Alice and her adventures beyond the computer monitor as she meets the White Rabbit, the Music Master, and her PET (Personal Electronics Telecommunicator). Late one night, the White Rabbit shows up on Alice’s computer as a screen saver. Next thing Alice knows, she’s tumbling down the data stream. Alice’s knowledge of history, geography, math, science, the arts and good old-fashioned common sense are put to the test. For children ages 8 and up.

Fifteen 11-minute episodes – Listen to Real Audio clip

The Skid, episode 6

John Raven, former God of Chariot Drivers and erstwhile lesser deity, is back for one last kick at the terrestrial can. In this six-part series from writer Thomas Lackey, Raven is dispatched from Heaven by his reluctant colleague The Controller to avert a Millennial disaster. It seems that downsizing fever has hit the Celestial Spheres, and since soul revenue from Earth is way down, the powers Up the Mountain are considering terminating the whole terrestrial operation as unprofitable. Raven and the Controller, fearing for their own jobs, hit upon a scheme to avert catastrophe by performing a few modest miracles for select individuals. True to form, Raven botches the job and the fun begins.

6 half-hour episodes (1998) – Listen to Real Audio clip

Johnny Chase, Secret Agent of Space: episode 2

This over-the-top sci-fi series features misfit secret agent, Johnny Chase, who confronts the various threats to our expansion through the spaceways, and is set in a future in which mankind has expanded it’s empire to 200 light years across. The first season consisted of stand-alone anthology stories. The second season was a 26-part serial that was one long 26-part story, during which the Earth’s sun gets destroyed and the remnants of humanity, aboard a rag-tag assortment of spaceships, search for a new home. The series is part spoof, part serious space opera, with rocket ships, ray guns, clones, and space battles, and sprinklings of sorcery, mysticism, and even Dracula.

Approximately 79 half-hour episodes (1978 to 1979, 1981) – Listen to Real Audio clip

The Arabian Nights: Part 1

Terrible djinnis and subtle sorcerers, wretched fisherman and haughty emperors whirl through this fantastical dramatization of the famous, magical tales of the Arabian Nights. Stories spirl into other stories in a rich weave: parables rub alongside bawdy jokes, fantasies merge into hair-raising adventures, and plots of intricate revenge meet melodies of unlikely love. The transformations are created by an astonishing collection of actors.

8 half-hour episodes (1993) – Listen to Real Audio clip

Posted by Jesse Willis

CBC Radio One’s pop culture media show Definitely …

October 21, 2003 by · Leave a Comment
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CBC Radio One‘s pop culture media show Definitely Not the Opera has just done a delightful and lighthearted interview with Robert J. Sawyer. Here’s the link: DNTO Oct 18th 2003.

And

CBC Radio One‘s science program Quirks & Quarks has also archived a panel discussion of interest, it was first broadcast March 9, 2002 and is called First Contact: What If E.T. Calls US?

Here are the links:

| Listen to MP3 of Part 1 | Listen to MP3 of Part 2 |

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

October 16, 2003 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobooks - Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Stefan Rudnicki, Gabrielle De Cuir, David Birney and others
10 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Fantastic Audio
Published: 2002
ISBN: 1574535145 (Cassette) – 1574535366 (Audio CD)
Themes: Science Fiction / Military / Space / Youth / Politics / Alien races /

In the not too distant past, the Earth survived a war with the Buggers, an insect-like alien race. One military man, Mazer Rackham, was able to make the difference in the war for humanity, but it is widely feared that the Buggers will be back. To prepare, the government has taken to monitoring the Earth for the next military genius. Everyone who is considered a candidate is taken from their families at a young age and placed into an orbital Battle School. Ender Wiggin, at 6 years old, is considered to be the best candidate – Ender’s Game is his story.

Ender’s brother (Peter) and sister (Valentine) also play a large role. They are both older than Ender, and both extremely intelligent. They also were both passed over for Battle School, one for being too dangerous and one for being too compassionate. They have their own way of influencing the events of the world, even though they are no longer considered for the military.

The Battle School is centered on a game in which teams (armies) of kids fight each other in a zero-g environment. They carry guns that shoot low power lasers and wear suits that react to those lasers by freezing wherever they are hit. By playing the game, the students are training in three dimensional combat, and the competition aboard the Battle Station is fierce.

Ender not only deals with the other students in this competition, but also the teachers of the School as they place him in more and more difficult circumstances. The story has much to say about means and ends, both personal and political.

Even though I had read it three times over the past 14 years, I was glued to this audio version as if I didn’t know what was going to happen. The audio is a treat. Stefan Rudnicki performs the main narrator duties, while a number of others perform the conversations amongst the adults, which occur at the beginning of each chapter. Orson Scott Card also recorded a postscript in which he discusses the origins of Ender’s Game as a novel. First-rate.

Philip K. Dick is dead, but his stories are more p…

October 4, 2003 by · 1 Comment
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Philip K. Dick is dead, but his stories are more popular than ever. Linked below is a fascinating interview of Philip K. Dick, first broadcast on KPFK-FM in North Hollywood, California. The interview was recorded on June 26, 1976, and the interviewer is Mike Hodel of Hour 25.

Hour 25 Interview with Philip K. Dick – Part 1 (42:03)

Hour 25 Interview with Philip K. Dick – Part 2 (20:12)

Hour 25 Interview with Philip K. Dick – Part 3 (13:06)

Posted by Jesse Willis