StarShipSofa

January 31, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

StarShipSofa presents:

 

The Sofanaut Awards

 

Listen to the show here mp3!

Well, this is it folks… the numbers have been counted and the winners are:

Well, before that, can I just say a big thank you to one and all who have help/contributed/listened/complained/smiled and cried over the first 52 shows of StarShipSofa’s Aural Delights. Thank you. And a big thanks to Mark Bormann

So the winners are:

Best Flash Fiction: Spider Robinson – “In The Olden Days”

Best Main Fiction: Ted Chiang – “The Merchant & the Alchemists Gate”

Best Poetry Contributor: Laurel Winter

Best Fact Article Contributor: Amy H Sturgis

Best Narrator: Spider Robinson

Subscribe to the podcast via this feed:

http://www.starshipsofa.com/rss

Posted by Tony C. Smith

ABC Radio National: Watch by Stephen Dedman

January 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Online Audio

ABC Radio National, Australia’s public radio broadcaster will be airing (but sadly not podcasting) a story from the paperbook Year’s Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy Volume 2 collection (2006). It airs at 08:30 in the SUNDAY STORY slot.

Watch
By Stephen Dedman; Read by Matthew O’Sullivan
1 Broadcast – [ABRIDGED?]
Broadcaster: ABC Radio National
Broadcast: February 1st 2009
A modern retelling of King Lear with a supernatural twist.

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC7: Terry Pratchett’s The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

January 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7I’ve listened to this production a couple of times and it’s terrific.

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents
By Terry Pratchett; Performed by a full cast
90 Minutes – [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 7
Broadcast: Sat. Jan 31 at 12pm and 1am GMT
Stays online for 6 days thereafter
A talking cat and rat’s scam falls apart. Terry Pratchett’s inspired twist on the Pied Piper story. Starring David Tennant.

Posted by RC of Radio Tales of the Strange and Fantastic

Recent Arrivals from Brilliance Audio

January 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

The Dolphins of Pern by Anne McCaffreyThe Dolphins of Pern
By Anne McCaffrey; Read by Mel Foster
9 CD’s – 11 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781423357421

When the first humans came to settle the planet Pern, they did not come alone: intelligence-enhanced dolphins also crossed the stars to colonize Pern’s oceans while their human partners settled the vast continents. But then disaster struck. The deadly silver spores called Thread fell like rain from the sky, and as human colonists’ dreams of a new, idyllic life shattered into a desperate struggle for survival, the dolphins were forgotten.

Now, centuries later, as the dragonriders of Pern prepare to complete the momentus task of ridding their world of Thread forever, T’lion, a young bronze rider, and his friend Readis, son of the Lord Holder of Paradise River Hold, make contact with the legendary “shipfish.” And as the dragonriders grapple with the end of an era, T’lion, Readis, and the dolphins face the start of a new one: reviving the bond between land- and ocean-dwellers – and resurrecting the dreams of the first colonists of Pern.
 
 
DoOon Mode by Piers AnthonyDoOon Mode
By Piers Anthony; Read by Natalie Ross
11 CD’s – 14 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781423376941

Beyond the world we know there is a multiverse of Modes where many strange realities interlock in an infinitely intricate pattern, and a perverse and deranged Emperor plays a deadly multidimensional game with human pawns as his slaves.

Now in DoOon Mode, Piers Anthony delivers the breathtaking climax to this awesome saga. Fearing the heroine Coleen’s dawning power, the depraved Emperor Ddwng dispatches a terrible Mind Monster to assault her soul and bend her to his will. To protect herself, and those she loves, Coleen must journey back through many worlds to her own home on Earth, face her deepest and darkest fears, and draw the strength for a final confrontation to save the multiverse from tyranny and domination.
 
 
Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts by Laura BenedictCalling Mr. Lonely Hearts
By Laura Benedict; Read by Emily Durante
9 CD’s – 11 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781423334408

Growing up, Roxanne, Del, and Alice tested the limits of their friendship with cruel, and often dangerous, games – but they always knew they would be bound together forever. Now, Alice’s marriage is over, and her husband is having a child with another woman. Roxanne, an artist consumed by her work, is losing touch with her friends – and perhaps with reality. And Del is desperate to be a perfect wife and adoring stepmother, but her friends see that her careful facade is crumbling.

The instrument of their destruction is a single enigmatic man – Varick. He seems to be a lonely woman’s dream come true, but where has he come from? And what does he want? As he seduces the women in turn, their lives become unrecognizable to them. Varick’s secret lies buried in their shared past. One simple, childish act has brought them, all these years later, to a place where not only their lives but also their souls are at risk. For once upon a time, the three of them agreed to tell a lie – one that ruined the life of a young priest. Defrocked, destitute, and ruined, he hoped with the whole of his shattered heart that he would get revenge. And in that hope he shook hands with the one who promised it. The devil himself. Now they all must live with the consequences.

Dark and provocative, Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts will keep listeners in its terrifying grip long after the chilling conclusion.
 
Posted by Scott D. Danielson

National Endowment for the Arts: Big Read – Fahrenheit 451

January 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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National Endowment for the Arts: Big ReadSFFaudio contributor and podcaster Julie Davis sez:

I stumbled across this in the new podcasts … the NEA’s The Big Read. First up, looking at Fahrenheit 451. Many good reminiscences from Ray Bradbury with comments from Orson Scott Card and others. Really good.

I know I’m going to have a listen |MP3|!

Subscribe via the feed:

http://feeds2.feedburner.com/neabigread

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of A Case Of Conscience by James Blish

January 29, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Reviews, SFFaudio essential 

SFFaudio Review

Audible Frontiers - A Case of Conscience by James BlishSFFaudio EssentialA Case Of Conscience
By James Blish; Read by Jay Snyder
Audible Download – 7 Hours 55 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: November 2008
Themes: / Science Fiction / Religion / Catholicism / Aliens / Biology / Evolution /

Father Ruiz-Sanchez is a dedicated man – a priest who is also a scientist, and a scientist who is also a human being. He has found no insoluble conflicts in his beliefs or his ethics…until he is sent to Lithia. There he comes upon a race of aliens who are admirable in every way except for their total reliance on cold reason; they are incapable of faith or belief. Confronted with a profound scientific riddle and ethical quandary, Father Ruiz-Sanchez soon finds himself torn between the teachings of his faith, the teachings of his science, and the inner promptings of his humanity. There is only one solution: He must accept an ancient and unforgivable heresy -and risk the futures of both worlds…

A Peruvian priest is a strange enough protagonist for Science Fiction. Add in an essentially bloodless tale of alien human interaction, a token female, and a bowlful of Catholicism on every page, the fact that it’s clearly inspired, at least in part, by James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, and what you get is a classic SF novel? Yup! A Case Of Conscience is not quite the greatest SF novel of its era, but it holds up quite well. Blish put a good deal of thought into the original novella, and that pays off mid way through the novel (which is really two novellas put-together). The first half of the book is set on Lithia, a recently discovered alien planet teeming with unusual alien life. Lithia and its intelligent inhabitants are being considered for full human contact. There, judging the planet, are Father Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez a Jesuit biologist, Cleaver, a physicist, Michelis, a chemist, and Agronski, a geologist. Curiously Father Ramon seems to have strong reasons for opposing the opening of Litihia despite the fact that he has befriended one of the intelligent aliens. The fact that the Lithians seem to have an ideal society free of crime, conflict, ignorance and want also seems to worry Ramon. It all comes down to one question: Do the Lithians have souls? Despite his suspicions about the answer, the priest seems to only hold a deep affection for the Lithians.

I was highly impressed with the revelations that Ruiz-Sanchez (and Blish) give for it all. This is excellent idea driven SF. Blish seems to have taken the idea of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) very much to heart in writing the novel. These are/were the priests that were trained to take on the hardest tasks confronting the Catholic church. Blish has done them proud. But, that’s not the end of it. The turning point of the novel comes when the humans leave Lithia carrying with them a fertilized egg of one of the Litihians, an alien child to be raised on Earth and learn the ways of humans. This is where the second half of the novel begins. Earth is a “shelter society” (everyone lives in massive underground fallout shelters – you can see how it was written in the 1950s). There we follow our protagonist, a few other folks including the requisite token female named “Louella” (but called “Lou”) and the alien baby-cum-juvenile alien (who acts rather unlike his species normally does back on Lithia). Highlights here come when Ruiz-Sanchez is requested for a Papal audience! Again, some clever revelations occur in this second half, though they are generally weaker than the first. But, all together, and with the ending quite well done as it is, it’s very solid.

Included in the audiobook edition is the six page appendix, which is a ‘special preliminary report on the planet Lithia’ by Ruiz-Sanchez. As far as I can tell the narrator, Jay Snyder, has completely followed Blish’s own pronunciation guide for the book (which is not actually included in the audiobook). I’ve done a little comparing of the written text in the paperbook with the way Snyder says the alien names in the audiobook. It all sounds pretty accurate to me. Kudos to Audible Frontiers for carefully audiobooking this Hugo Award novel (and Retro Hugo Award winning novella). A Case Of Conscience is an SF classic!

Posted by Jesse Willis

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