Review of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

February 28, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Review

Fantasy Audiobook - A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'EngleA Wrinkle in Time
By Madeleine L’Engle; Read by Madeleine L’Engle
5 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours 17 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House/Listening Library
Published: 2005
ISBN: 0307243230< Themes: / Fantasy / Space travel / Family / YA / Psychic Abilities / Newberry / The elementary school I attended as a kid had a big poster in the library showing the covers of all the Newberry Medal award winners. I remember A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle jumping off of the poster; the cover featured an almost photo-realistic mother-of-pearl centaur that was pretty damn cool looking to a ten year-old. I checked the book out, read it, and loved it, but my recent listen of the new audio edition of A Wrinkle in Time (Listening Library, 2005) made me wonder how much of the book I really understood as a kid. I’ve often thought that they should just come right out and say that books win the Newberry Medal not because they are outstanding children’s books, but rather outstanding children’s books for adults. A Wrinkle in Time definitely falls within this category. The fast-moving story and sympathetic characters definitely make it appealing to kids, but, like Philip Pullman’s stuff , there are thematic elements that are very mature, and maybe even a little subversive. If the book were any less intelligently or subtly written, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it show up on banned-book lists.

L’Engle reads the book herself, and does a fine job. She obviously has an intimate understanding of the material, and her expressive voice lets her keep the story flowing without having to use different voices to distinguish the characters. L’Engle apparently suffered a cerebral stroke in 2002, the effects of which are obvious in her voice; it’s slurred a lot like Johnny Cash’s on his later albums. The only criticism I have of this production is of the decision to use an echo effect for the dialogue of Ms. Which. In the book all of this character’s dialogue appeared in italics, but the in the audio book, the effect comes off as a little cheap.

The audiobook starts off with an introduction explaining how L’Engle read the story to her children as she was writing it. Those were some lucky kids. Hop in bed with A Wrinkle in Time, some cocoa and some good headphones and you’ll probably come pretty close to recreating that experience.

A few readers have emailed asking where I got th…

February 27, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
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news

A few readers have emailed asking where I got the cool 2-CD set of John Boonstra interviewing Philip K. Dick. You know the one I reviewed last fall? I got it from Zack Wood, proprietor of ThePhilDickian.com who also has a few other rare PKD gems for sale on audio as well. Wood actually sells 3 different audio interviews with Philip K. Dick and 2 other related audio Dickiana products:

Philip K Dick Interview Conducted by John Boonstra1. The one I reviewed last fall is called Philip K. Dick Telephone Interviews and was conducted by John Bonnstra. This one was thrilling, like you’d tapped into a conversation between PKD and a big fan. The closest thing to being in the room with the man himself. Definitely a must listen for any fan.

Philip K. Dick interview PIPER IN THE WOODS conducted by Gregg Rickman2. Another is entitled Piper In The Woods (taking its name from a PKD story) which was conducted by Gregg Rickman. I haven’t heard this one myself but am hoping, maybe someday. Hint hint.

Philip K Dick Interview Conducted by Paul Williams3. The one by Paul Williams of Rolling Stone magazine. This one was used by Williams to do the amazing Rolling Stone article on PKD back in the 1970s. That article was probably the biggest boost to Dick’s forunes after his Hugo win for The Man In The High Castle up to that point. This cassette was actually an issue of the Philip K. Dick society fanzine back in the 1980s. Cool huh?

X Minus One's two Philip K. Dick adaptations of COLONY and THE DEFENDERS4.Wood also sells the two X-Minus One 1950s radio dramas based on PKD short stories (both of which are now in the public domain) one’s called Colony and the other is The Defenders. I beleive the Spaceship Radio podcast has released one of these, and the Sci-Fi Friday podcast has released them both. Definitely worth a listen, nicely adapted though as usual the stories themselves work even better. Neither is available on audio in any other form at this time though.

VALIS The Opera5. And lastly he’s got VALIS: The Opera a 2 CD set created by Tod Machover. This is music inspired by Dick’s V.ast A.lien L.iving I.ntelligence S.ystem and the novel of the same name (VALIS). I haven’t heard it but somebody out there seems to like it. Anybody heard it?

Hey kids, Dragon Page Cover To Cover, the weekly…

February 27, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

Online Audio

Dragon Page Cover To Cover LogoHey kids, Dragon Page Cover To Cover, the weekly podcast that talks to Science Fiction and Fantasy authors has an AWESOME guest this week! Hosts Michael and Evo are talking with Grandmaster of Science Fiction Larry Niven who’s got a new book out, The Draco Tavern, also up for discussion are Lucifer’s Hammer, the Ringworld series and plenty more! Click HERE to download Show #207 directly. Or subscribe to the show’s XML feed:

http://www.dragonpage.com/podcastC2C.xml

Octavia Butler 1947-2006 Science fiction has lost…

February 27, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: News 

Octavia Butler 1947-2006

Science fiction has lost one of its most precious voices this weekend. Octavia Butler’s body of work is outstanding, and she will be missed.

On audio, Recorded Books has three of her best titles; Kindred, Parable of the Sower, and Parable of the Talents.

An obituary can be found at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. From that obit: “Butler’s work wasn’t preoccupied with robots and ray guns, Howle said, but used the genre’s artistic freedom to explore race, poverty, politics, religion, and human nature.”

Congrats to Telltale Weekly for 2 excellent years!…

February 27, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
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Telltale Weekly LogoCongrats to Telltale Weekly for 2 excellent years! To celebrate, they are giving away an audio version of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe for 24 hours only. The offer expires at midnight tonight, so run over there and grab one!

We wish Telltale Weekly many more years of success!

Star Wars Fanworks

February 26, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
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Online Audio

Star Wars Fanworks LogoHey, are you’re a fan of the Dragon Page Wingin’ It‘s TD-0013? If so be sure to make quick Bantha tracks over to the hard-slogginest audio fan fic site on the net – Star Wars Fanworks. This is probably a site you’ve never heard of before, and that’s understandable, SWF’s focus is quite targetted, it exists for one purpose – the promotion and admiration of fan created Star Wars audio.

In many ways StarWarsFanworks.com is to Star Wars what SFFaudio.com is to Science Fiction and Fantasy audio literature in general. Both sites are passionately dedicated to an obscure branch of audio goodness. Our younger brother was created in June of 2003 (SFFaudio was birthed in March of 2003) since then they’ve been gathering together every fan created Star Wars dramatization the net’s got. It is clearly a labour only achievable by mastery of The Force – by clicking on over you’ll find links to fan created audio of nearly every kind – there are parodies, straight audio dramas, and non-fiction Star Wars audio too – heck they even have terrific details on the officially licenced Star Wars audio dramas. Check them out!

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