And now a bit of bad news for Science Fiction audi…

January 31, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, News 

SFFaudio News

And now a bit of bad news for Science Fiction audio drama fans. CBC Radio One’s potential summer replacement series “FASTER THAN LIGHT” has been nixed. Creator and developer Joe Mahoney reports that after three pilots (only one was ever broadcast) the potential series has been officially canceled.

But the news isn’t all bad. Mahoney reports that he’s involved with another CBC Radio project with the title “EMANATIONS” and that it has been greenlit! Mahoney calls it “a more of a straight up dramatic science fiction show” an anthology series. It is being written by Robert J. Sawyer and Michael Lennick and produced by Joe Mahoney. Production is scheduled for March 2005. The first half hour episode is entitled “Birth”. We’ll be sure to let you know when we have a broadcast date.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Bubba Ho-Tep by Joe R. Lansdale

January 27, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobook - Bubba Ho-Tep by Joe R. LansdaleBubba Ho-tep
By Joe R. Lansdale; Read by Joe R. Lansdale
DVDVideo Special Feature – 7 Minutes 56 Seconds
[UNABRIDGED EXCERPT]
Publisher: MGM
Published: 2003
UPC: 027616906533
Themes: / Fantasy / Horror / Humor / Magic /

Elvis Aaron Presley is living in a Texas rest home. See, he really isn’t dead because he’d switched identities with an Elvis impersonator years before his so called “death”. Also occupying this old folks home is an elderly black man, call him Jack, who claims to be former President John F. Kennedy. When a lurking evil in the form of a soul sucking Egyptian mummy starts killing the residents its up to JFK and Elvis to take it out. Good thing it’s 3000 years old because Elvis’ hip is out and he still hasn’t gotten the hang of his walker.

Wait a second, we don’t review DVDs here! That’s right we don’t – normally. But this DVD has a special feature, an audio excerpt of Bubba Ho-tep, the original novella as read by the author Joe R. Lansdale. This phenomenon of special features on DVDs has yielded a few radio dramas in collector’s editions of old movies before – but this is a recent film so I was juiced to see that it included the original story
as an extra. Too bad Lansdale reads only the first chapter of his Bram Stoker Award nominated novella.

What little is there is ribald and crude and pretty funny. The reading is accompanied by still images from the film. Too bad it’s just the first chapter. With all the useless making of special features out there you’d think they could at least give us the full story.

Posted by Jesse Willis

ABC Radio Australia – The World’s Worst Science Fiction Writer

January 24, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Science Fiction Radio - ABC AustraliaABC Radio Australia – The World’s Worst Science

Fiction Writer


Red Symons of ABC Radio Austalia interviewed Michelle Hefner on Thrusday July 22nd 2004 – she’d just won The World’s Worst Science Fiction Writer Award. Red reads

the winning entry in it’s entirety. Michelle entered the San Jose State University’s 23rd BulwerLytton Fiction Contest and she was so bad – she won! Red spoke with her about her prestigious award and about how she feels to be known globally as the worlds worst Science Fiction writer.

Audio in RealPlayer format – 5 Minutes 33 Seconds

LINK: http://www.abc.net.au/melbourne/stories/m918836.ram

ABC Radio Australia – Sci-fans congregate for Conflux

Presenter Joel Rheinberger visited the 2004 Australian National Science Fiction Convention (Conflux) held in Canberra, Australia.

This link shows a few pictures from the convention that tie in with the audio.

Audio 1 – RealPlayer format

LINK: http://www.abc.net.au/canberra/stories/m871984.ram

Audio 2 – RealPlayer format

LINK: http://www.abc.net.au/canberra/stories/m871985.ram

Posted by Jesse Willis

One of the most enjoyable SF Radio shows out there…

January 24, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Science Fiction Radio - SciFi OverdriveOne of the most enjoyable SF Radio shows out there is moving up a bit in the world. After two years on an early EARLY Monday morning timeslot on the Business Talk Radio Network, Sci-Fi OVerdrive has a new home on the Lifestyle Talk Radio Network, with a better timeslot. It will run now on Friday Nights from 12am-2am Eastern Time, which is 9pm-11pm Pacific starting Friday, January 28. They will also re-run early Monday morning at 1am.

If you haven’t heard this show, I urge you to visit their website and listen to one of their archived shows. The Sci-Fi Overdrive crew is very entertaining and informative.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Review of A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

January 21, 2005 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

Fantasy Audiobooks - A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuinA Wizard of Earthsea
By Ursula K. LeGuin; Read by Harlan Ellison and Ursula K. LeGuin
Audio Download – 6 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Fantastic Audio (downloaded from Audible.com)
Published: 2003
ISBN: 1574535587 (Audio CD version)
Themes: / Fantasy / Series / Magic / Dragons / Wizards /

Just minutes into this audio book, the Kargs are attacking the village of Ten Alders, confused by a fog a young wizard has woven into an impenetrable shield, harried by invisible weapons and diaphanous shapes in the mist, and headed for certain destruction. You realize, as Harlan Ellison’s already non-standard voice rises in pitch and his words pile up against one another as he charges faster and faster through the narrative, pausing only to slurp back the fevered spittle he has worked up, that this is not your average narrator. His voice doesn’t resound with the Stradivarius polish of most professional performers, and his characterizations are neither entirely distinct nor consistent, but you can’t help yourself. He has you spellbound. And why? Because his is the authentic voice of a reader, one so caught up in the story that you can’t resist being pulled along with him on his journey.

And what a journey it is! A Wizard of Earthsea is brilliant, a notable gem even among the manifold wonders of such an accomplished author as LeGuin. It is the origin story of Ged, one of the most famous sorcerers in the world of Earthsea and a lesson in both the imprisoning power of our own dark deeds and the redemption that comes through facing them. It follows Ged from his home village of Ten Alders to the City of Gont, from there on to the great school for wizards on the central island of Roke, and then on a fearful, bold chase across the whole of Earthsea. Most island settings fairly drip with the damp richness of the Pacific Northwest, and the characters span a veritable rainbow of colors and cultures. This is epic fantasy in the European tradition, but with a distinctively American flavor.

As in so many of LeGuin’s works, truth is of paramount importance on Earthsea. The old language of Earthsea, like the psychic language that unites the planets in her science fictional Hainish universe, is a language in which men cannot lie. It is also the language in which the true names of all things are recorded, which makes it the basis of all magic on Earthsea. But this latter property also gives the old language of Earthsea Platonic overtones of ideal forms lurking behind every imperfect manifestation in nature, and lends A Wizard of Earthsea a palpable sense of great truth buried just below the surface of what we see. Thus, LeGuin subtly exhorts us to explore beyond the level of the richly imagined fantasy action. And what she has placed there is well worth spending the time to think about.

There are only two off-key notes in this work and its production. The first is that, though LeGuin is given co-narration credits, she only reads a very brief poetic prologue and an only slightly less brief prose epilogue. If you’re looking to experience the author interpreting a major work with her own voice, you’re not going to find that here. The second is that, though LeGuin is noted for her progressive, feminist opinions, some of what we see in this story seems almost misogynistic. There is only one female character who seems not to harbor outright selfishness, evil, or temptation; and female magic is given an unrepentant indictment in several places. I’m new to the series, so maybe these issues are redeemed in the later books. I certainly hope so.

In any case, this production of Ursula K. LeGuin’s A Wizard of Earthsea offers a dark, compelling glimpse at the forces behind the turning of the world as told in the raw, earnest voice of Harlan Ellison. My recommendation: Skip the TV miniseries—which LeGuin apparently hated—and spend your time marveling at the wonders of this quirky, enthralling audio book.

Posted by Kurt Dietz

Review of A Walk in the Sun By Geoffrey A. Landis

January 19, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobooks - A Walk in the Sun by Geoffrey LandisA Walk In The Sun
By Geoffrey A. Landis; Read by Amy Bruce
1 CD – 51 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Infinivox
Published: 2004
ISBN: 1884612318
Themes: / Science Fiction / Hard SF / The Moon / Survival /

A haunting piano melody cascades into the shimmering electronic signature music of Infinivox’s “Great Science Fiction Stories” series. IT IS EPIC… and deservedly so. This Hugo Award winning short story is a poignant and ingenious tale of a stranded Astronaut on the moon. Theoretically Trish Mulligan’s smashed spaceship’s contains everything she needs to survive; maps, food, water and her solar-powered spacesuit. She manages to broadcast a distress signal to Earth, but to survive until they arrive she’ll also need to outrun the sunset. If the sun sets, her suit’s automated life support system will stop working and she’ll die on the moon….. So, she’ll have to race the sun. On Earth it would be an interminable marathon pace but at least there she wouldn’t be alone. Though author Geoffrey Landis is only a part time science fiction writer, he works for NASA as his day job; you wouldn’t know it by this story. A Walk In The Sun reads like it was written by a Grandmaster! I really enjoyed this problem-solving story, I can see why it won the Hugo award!

This is a relatively unadorned production, but there are voice effects, echoing, static etc., but they don’t hurt the story at all. Sound quality on this CD release is 100% perfect – with a pair of headphones on you’ll be right there in the moment. Musical interludes are used now and again throughout the reading to effectively suggest the passage of time.

While narrator Amy Bruce is no vocal chameleon, her range is limited, the emotional investment she gives her reading delivers the goods. This Infinivox re-release (the original was published on cassette in 1998) is a threefold improvement on the same production. Packaging. This CD comes in an ingenious slimline case that securely sandwiches the disc – but allowing you to see it at the same time. The cover art for the audiobook is the disc itself! This saves space, stores easier and safer and costs less. What is not to love? Even better, in celebration of these new CD format, Infinivox has placed all their titles (cassette and CD both) on sale for 50% off. At that price I couldn’t resist, I bought one of each, even though I already owned most of them on cassette! Also of note is the attention to fixing problems – Infinivox staff have corrected an error in the packaging copy for these CD releases – the original cassette edition mistakenly stated A Walk In The Sun was a “Nebula Winner”, when it was in fact a “Hugo Winner”. Better sound quality, better packaging, lower price, an AWESOME story, what is not to love?

Posted by Jesse Willis

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