HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY TO SFFAUDIO! SFFAUDIO was bo…

March 31, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY TO SFFAUDIO!

SFFAUDIO was born on March 31st 2003 at 12:09PM, and today is our first birthday. Now, we’re still wearing diapers and making the occasional mess in them – but on the bright side people say we’re “as cute as a button” and that we still have that “new baby smell.” Over our first year we had some teething difficulties and they may continue into our second, but we expect to be doing more than just goo-ing and gaa-ing by March 31st 2005!

Happy Birthday to us, and thanks for visiting!

Posted by Jesse and Scott

Fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series will be…

March 31, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 


Fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series will be pleased to hear that a six part adaptation of Pratchett’s 8th novel in the series, titled “Guards! Guards!” will be airing on BBC7’s The 7th Dimension starting April 5th 2004.

This coincides with BBC7’s Audio On Demand service, which allows listeners around the world to download streaming content archived for five days from the BBC7 website!

If you’re even half as excited as we are at the prospect of CBC Radio picking up FASTER THAN LIGHT, a new Science Fiction & Fantasy radio show, that will be available through streaming audio around the world, you now have a way to show your support for the idea. Send a quick email to CBC Audience Relations at: cbc.input@toronto.cbc.ca. You can also call CBC Audience Relations, use this number (416) 205-3700. I know I will!

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Twilight Zone No. 2 – Walking Distance by Rod Serling

March 30, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobooks - The Twilight Zone No 2The Twilight Zone No. 2 – Walking Distance
By Rod Serling; Read by Cliff Robertson
1 Cassette – 75 minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: 1992 – (OUT OF PRINT)
ISBN: 1559946601
Themes: / Fantasy / Time-travel / Small Town / 1930’s / Depression Era / Human Condition /

The signpost up ahead. You’ve just crossed into… The Twilight Zone.

“Walking Distance” is the second in the series of stories based on actual episodes from the original The Twilight Zone television series. Martin Sloan is a 36-year-old businessman who longs for the carefree days of his youth. Martin wants to return to his hometown, but when his car breaks down, just walking distance from his destination, he decides to walk the rest of the way. Upon entering Homewood, Martin is taken aback by the sameness of the place, chocolate sodas still only cost a dime and people drive obsolete automobiles. Gradually, Martin begins to realize that the town has not changed at all in the twenty years since he’s left: In fact, his parents are still alive, and there’s a young boy running around who is the living image of 10-year-old Martin Sloan.

Cliff Robertson’s range isn’t all it could be, but he reads the story with enough vigor and emotion to instill a nostalgia for the 1930’s in me! “Walking Distance” doesn’t have many of the typical conceits of a science fiction time travel story, but its definitely a Twilight Zone story. And it has the requisite and almost comforting Twilight Zone Twist at the end. Presented just like an actual episode of the television series, there’s the haunting Twilight Zone music at the beginning and the end and an introduction just like Serling used to make. A good second installment in this six part series.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Callahan Chronicals by Spider Robinson

March 28, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobooks - The Callahan Chronicals by Spider RobinsonThe Callahan Chronicals
By Spider Robinson; read by Barrett Whitener
12 cassettes – 18 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2003
ISBN: 0786124601
Themes: / Science Fiction / Telepathy / Empathy / Callahan’s Place / Extraterrestrials / Time Travel

There is nothing which has been contrived by man by which so much happiness has been produced as by a good tavern or inn. — Samuel Johnson

With that quote begins Spider Robinson’s omnibus collection of short stories entitled The Callahan Chronicals. Included in this audiobook are the collections Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon, Time Travelers Strictly Cash, and Callahan’s Secret. Time Travelers is not included complete – in the original paperback, some non-Callahan stories appeared that are not collected here.

The stories center around a bunch of very good folks that spend quite a bit of time at Callahan’s Place, a bar owned and tended by Mike Callahan. In the author’s words, Callahan’s is “an environment in which shared pain is lessened, shared joy is increased, and the puns really suck.” It’s a place that a person can bring his or her troubles, and find people that are willing to listen – and believe. A typical story finds the patrons enjoying each other’s company (often tossing horrible puns at each other) when someone enters and tells his or her story. This person is changed by the experience of sharing his or her troubles.

Some of the stories are marginally science fiction, but most involve some kind of science fiction idea engendered in one of the characters. Telepaths, time travellers, extra-terrestrials, and even Spider Robinson himself are among the bar’s visitors. Robinson is able to reach an emotional depth not often seen in science fiction. Each story is touching in its own way, and they often reach peaks of joy and depths of pain, all within minutes of audio. In short, these stories pack an emotional punch. I found them difficult to listen to one after the other, as a person can only feel so much. They would be better heard individually, with a bit of time to digest and reflect in-between. I plan to revisit them in this way – they are worth listening to again, and are worth the pause.

Barrett Whitener is exceptional here. He understands the material and adds just the right touch in nearly every story. No easy task with these touching stories. A job very well done.

At the beginning of the audio, there are three introductions. The first is titled “Backward”, written by Spider Robinson for the entire volume. Next is “Spider Robinson: The SF Writer as Empath” by Ben Bova, which provides a look into the life of an editor as he describes Spider’s first sale to Analog. Then comes a forward written by Robinson for the original version of Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon. All of them were interesting, and I’m glad Blackstone left them in there.

I was disappointed only by the fact that there are no breaks between these stories. The final sentence of a story is read, immediately followed by the title of the next, and straight on till morning. I would have appreciated some kind of break there.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Good news everyone! BBC7, the current king of Sci…

March 26, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 


Good news everyone! BBC7, the current king of Science Fiction and Fantasy radio broadcasting, will be implementing an “Audio On Demand” (AOD) service starting Monday, April 5, 2004. BBC7’s The 7th Dimension has a minimum of 30 minutes of Science Fiction and Fantasy content every day of the week. This means that if you live outside the UK you’ll be able to tune into programs at your convienience – each program will be available through the AOD service for five days following the scheduled broadcast. Keep checking with SFFAudio for specific program announcements and links.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Twilight Zone No. 1 – The Mighty Casey by Rod Serling

March 23, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobooks - The Twilight Zone No 1The Twilight Zone No. 1 – The Mighty Casey
By Rod Serling; Read by Fritz Weaver
1 cassette – 75 minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: 1992 – Out Of Print
ISBN: 1559946598
Themes: / Fantasy / Baseball / Robots / Humor /

Submitted for your approval…

Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone is revived for audio in the form of unabridged short stories by Rod Serling. All the stories in this series were previously adapted for the original Twilight Zone television series. This is the first in a series of six single cassette adaptations read by stars of the original series. In this case, Fritz Weaver spins the tale of “The Mighty Casey”, an almost mythical player for that near-mythical sport of baseball. The Brooklyn Dodgers were down in the dumps until tryouts turned up a talented left hander with a pitch like nobody’s business. Casey, the pitcher “with an exceptional left hand”, inspires the tired old players to new glory. They become the team to beat. Everything was swell until Casey gets beaned by a ball. A doctor is summoned and pronounces that Casey is alright, but then the doctor has trouble finding a pulse. It’s soon discovered that Casey is actually a robot and as such does not have a heart!

When thinking of baseball, most people probably associate the name Casey with the Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s 1888 poem “Casey At The Bat”. It’s clear to me that Rod Serling tapped into it for inspiration. “The Mighty Casey” is a very funny story. The dialogue is humorous and the situation is funny too, but it also has a lot of pathos. The story is entertaining but also has that most important of Twilight Zone elements, a twist with a satisfying ending. Fritz Weaver has great fun playing the characters, especially Mouth McGarry, the comic manager of the Dodgers, a character full of deep anxiety and deeper ignorance. This is pretty light material for The Twilight Zone, which often deals with the darker elements of the Human condition. Presented like an actual episode of the television series, there’s the haunting Twilight Zone music and an introduction just like Serling used to make. I actually listened to the tale twice, and I enjoyed it even more the second time around. Overall its a very good start to the series.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Next Page »