New Release – The Adaptive Ultimate by Stanley G. Weinbaum

August 31, 2008 by · 1 Comment
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New Releases

Stanley G. Weinbaum was a SF sensation when his first story, A Martian Odyssey, appeared in 1934.  In less than two years though, he died of throat cancer.  But he still managed to leave numerous classics and near-classics to posterity.

The Adaptive UltimateThe Adaptive Ultimate
By Stanley G. Weinbaum; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
1 hr. – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audio
Availiable at Audible and iTunes

Dr. Daniel Scott, through experimentation with lab animals, has invented a serum that enables an organism to adapt itself to overcome injuries and disease. He gets his chance to try his experimental drug on a dying tubercular patient named Kyra Zelas.

Scott and his colleague, Dr. Herman Bach, are amazed when the girl recovers, but she soon begins to exhibit strange actions. Her physical appearance can change to hide her abhorrent behavior. She appears to adapt herself emotionally to save herself. But can she love?

Kyra Zelas has become the Adaptive Ultimate. How she adapts to survive may be to the detriment of the human race.

The Adaptive Ultimate originally appeared in the November 1935 issue of Astounding Stories under the pseudonym John Jessel.

Review of Pellucidar by Edgar Rice Burroughs

August 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

LibriVox Science Fiction Audiobook - Pellucidar by Edgar Rice BurroughsPellucidar (2nd in the Pellucidar series)
By Edgar Rice Burroughs; Read by Ralph Snelson
16 Zipped MP3s or Podcast – Approx. 6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: August 2008
Themes: / Science Fiction / Hollow Earth / Adventure / Prehistoric Beasts / Exploration / Nautical /

Pellucidar is a difficult audiobook to review because it is quite dependent on the listener being reasonably familiar with its predecessor, At the Earth’s Core. Unfortunately, the LibriVox version of At the Earth’s Core is still in its very early stages, though there is a nice looking commercial version by Tantor available.

Taking the above into account, the LibriVox Pellucidar is an enjoyable listen with plenty of adventure, a grand odyssey, new characters, and one of the coolest “dogs” (hyenadons) ever imagined. Its only flaw, a rather minor one, is its rather abrupt/summarized ending.

Pellucidar continues the adventures of David Innes, and too a lesser extent Abner Perry, in the Hollow Earth land of Pellucidar, after the surprise, cliffhanger ending of its precursor. David treks across much of Pellucidar in search of his lost love, Dian the Beautiful (It must be such a burden going through life with that epithet). Overall a fun adventure story with a few clever twists.

Ralph Snelson does a very straight, non-interpretive, reading of the story with little excess of emotion or dramatization. It is a simple, pleasant reading without bells and whistles. This is another good reading that proves the value of LibriVox’s free audiobooks.

An enjoyable audiobook, but only for those who have heard or read its predecessor (The movie would help a little, but not as much)

Posted by David Tackett

Five Free Favourites #7

August 29, 2008 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

As the host of the weekly audio drama podcast, Radio Drama Revival, I get the opportunity to listen to a lot of great new stories, most of it free, some of it not so free. I love a good story, and especially admire the producers who are building their audience through sheer iron will and new technology, ignoring the dismal state of radio and professional audio drama distribution in their passion to explore the art. Cutting this list down to five was a challenge, but give you give your ears the privilege of listening to any of these if you haven’t already — you can’t go wrong.

Five Free Favourites

1.
Podcast Audio Drama - Wormwood: A Serial MysteryWormwood: A Serialized Mystery
Among the most ambitious audio drama series and one of the most well executed, Wormwood tells the story of Xander Crowe and the bizarre events that follow his arrival in the backwoods town of Wormwood, California. The series is unabashed in its tribute to Twin Peaks, and packs enough twists to break your neck in every ~20 minute episode (don’t worry, you’ll be revived as a zombie soon afterwards). Episode 2 is now well underway, so start listening now and get your occult fiction fix.

2.
Union SignalUnion Signal
This website is nearly off the map but an utter gem. Doug Bost first turned me on to their Whistler-inspired haunting highway horror “Roadkill” and I’ve been hooked ever since. Bost and his buddy Jeff Ward have been producing their stories in WBAI NYC for years, with quirky and thrilling tales ranging from truly spooky horror to wacky NPR spoofs and even some far flung Philip K. Dick’esque sci-fi.

3.
Final Rune ProductionsFinalRune
Well, here’s a little bit of shamless self-promotion. I’ve been writing and producing my own stories under the “FinalRune” moniker for 2+ years, and in fact founded Radio Drama Revival! as a way of helping get my own work out there (and promote everything else in the medium in the process). You’ll find horror, fantasy, comedy, drama and weirder tales, all free, as well as some background information and articles on the craft.

4.
Icebox Radio Theatre
Icebox Radio Theater
Jeff Adams has been doing a hell of a good job creating a community radio troupe in International Falls, Minnesota. The quality can sometimes be, well, “community,” but the stories are always fun, as if Garrison Keillor walked through a portal into a warped alternate universe. Also be sure to check out Adams’ work in the “ImaginationX” series of Twilight Zone-ish sci-fi/horror.

5.
The Wireless Theatre CompanyWireless Radio Theatre
A little over a year old, The Wireless Radio Theatre Company has done an astonishing job establishing themselves as a premier source of free, high-quality, original audio theater. Cheekily dubbed a “BBC with more guts,” their stories range from speculative philoso-drama to “hard” theater, poetry and classic British comedy.

Honorable Mentions:
I could keep this list going for a while, but I’ve got to mention Roger Gregg’s Crazy Dog Audio Theater, which isn’t free — at least through the website — but if you sniff around the web, you’ll see that many people have played his work elsewhere (including myself on Radio Drama Revival!). I’ve also recently tuned in to Chatterbox Audio Theater, who have a good (and expanding) list of varied audio drama pieces including adaptations of classics and originals.

Keep your mind, and your ears, open!

Posted by Frederick Greenhalgh of Radio Drama Revival and Final Rune

$5 off at ScottBrick.com

August 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Scott Brick PresentsScott Brick is offering a limited time $5-off coupon good for any Brick By Brick Audiobooks product! Here’s the skinny:

I’m offering anyone who wants it a coupon for $5 off the purchase price of each volume in the Thomas Covenant saga thus far from my website, said coupon code valid for a week after the close of the event. When you click through to the purchase page from scottbrickpresents.com, plug in the code “dragoncon2008,” all one word and lowercase, and you’ll see your purchase price discounted. Just my way of saying thank you for the constant support I’ve received from my brethren in science fiction/fantasy fandom. Hope you all enjoy it.

The coupon should be live now!

And what are you going to use it on? Well, the first two audiobooks from Scott’s own audiobook company are available now: LORD FOUL’S BANE and FATAL REVENANT, are the first and latest books in Stephen R. Donaldson’s acclaimed fantasy series Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Get them HERE.

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: Clarke and Pohl

August 29, 2008 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: New Releases 

New Releases

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Last Theorem by Arthur C. Clarke and Frederick PohlThe Last Theorem
By Arthur C. Clarke and Frederick Pohl; Read by Mark Bramhall
10 CDs – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Books On Tape / Random House Audio
Published: August 5, 2008
ISBN: 9780739376959

In 1637, the French mathematician Pierre de Fermat scrawled a note in the margin of a book about an enigmatic theorem: “I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.” He also neglected to record his proof elsewhere. Thus began a search for the Holy Grail of mathematics–a search that didn’t end until 1994, when Andrew Wiles published a 150-page proof. But the proof was burdensome, overlong, and utilized mathematical techniques undreamed of in Fermat’s time, and so it left many critics unsatisfied–including young Ranjit Subramanian, a Sri Lankan with a special gift for mathematics and a passion for the famous “Last Theorem.” When Ranjit writes a three-page proof of the theorem that relies exclusively on knowledge available to Fermat, his achievement is hailed as a work of genius, bringing him fame and fortune. But it also brings him to the attention of the National Security Agency and a shadowy United Nations outfit called Pax per Fidem, or Peace Through Transparency, whose secretive workings belie its name. Suddenly Ranjit–together with his wife, Myra de Soyza, an expert in artificial intelligence, and their burgeoning family–finds himself swept up in world-shaking events, his genius for abstract mathematical thought put to uses that are both concrete and potentially deadly. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to anyone on Earth, an alien fleet is approaching the planet at a significant percentage of the speed of light. Their mission: to exterminate the dangerous species of primates known as homo sapiens.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrivals from Blackstone Audio

August 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Heinlein! de Lint! Dick! And a novel, translated from French, by Maurice G. Dentac.

Babylon Babies by Maurice G. DantecBabylon Babies
(Now the Fox Motion Picture Babylon A.D..)
By Maurice G. Dantec; Read by Joe Barrett
16 CDs – 20 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2008
ISBN: 9781433211904

Set in the hidden breeding grounds of the first cyborg communities, Dantec’s science fiction thriller mixes metaphysics with cyberpunk post-humanism in the spirit of Philip K. Dick.

Toorop, a hard-boiled leatherneck veteran, has been assigned to escort a young woman from Russia to Canada. But Marie is no ordinary girl. A schizophrenic and a possible carrier of a new artificial virus, Marie is bearing a mutant embryo created by an American cult, which dreams of producing a genetically modified messiah that will end all human life as we know it. Moving at breakneck speed, Toorop risks his life to save Marie as her brain, linking to the neuromatrix, surpasses all limits to become the universe itself.

Exploring the symbiosis between organic matter and computer power to spin new forms of consciousness, Babylon Babies rides Nietzsche’s prophecy: “Man is something to be overcome.”
 
 
Moonheart by Charles de LintMoonheart
By Charles de Lint; Read by Paul Michael Garcia
16 CDs – 20 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2008
ISBN: 9781433230707

When Sara and Jamie discovered the artifacts, they sensed the pull of a dim, distant place, a world of misty forests, ancient magics, mythical beings, ageless bards, and restless evil.

Now, with their friends and enemies alike—Blue, the biker; Keiran, the folk musician; the Inspector from the RCMP; and the mysterious Tom Hengyr—Sara and Jamie are drawn into this enchanted land through the portals of a sprawling downtown edifice that straddles two worlds.

From ancient Wales to the streets of Ottawa today, Moonheart entrances listeners with its tale of this world and the other one at the very edge of sight. A tale of music, motorcycles, and fey folk beyond the shadows of the moon, Moonheart is pure magic.
 
 
Starman Jones by robert A. HeinleinStarman Jones
By Robert A. Heinlein; Read by Paul Michael Garcia
7 CDs – 8.5 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2008
ISBN: 9781433230387

It was a desperate time, when one’s next meal and the comforts of home couldn’t be taken for granted. Max Jones, a practical, hard-working young man, found his escape in his beloved astronomy books. When reality comes crashing in and his troubled home life forces him out on the road, Max finds himself adrift in a downtrodden land. Until an unexpected, ultimate adventure carries him away as a stowaway aboard an intergalactic spaceship—but to where? And when? And how could he ever get back? With the ship’s pilot dead and his charts and tables all destroyed, Max must call upon all of his untested knowledge and skills in order to survive.
 
 
Ubik by Philip K. DickUbik
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Anthony Heald
6 CDs – 7 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2008
ISBN: 9781433228148

Glen Runciter is dead. Or is everybody else?

Chip works for Glen Runciter’s anti-psi security agency, which hires out its talents to block telepathic and paranormal crimes. But when its special team tackles a big job on the moon, something goes terribly wrong, and Runciter is seemingly killed. Now, his mourning employees are receiving bewildering messages from their boss—on toilet walls, traffic tickets, product labels, and even U.S. coins. And the world around them is warping in ways that suggest that their own time is running out—or already has.

Philip K. Dick’s searing metaphysical comedy of death and salvation is a tour de force of panoramic menace and unfettered slapstick, in which the departed give business advice, shop for their next incarnation, and run the continual risk of dying yet again.
 
 
Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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