The SFFaudio Podcast #034 – READALONG: The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan

August 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #034 – Jesse and Scott have invited a roster of internet celebrities on for this podcast to talk about Richard K. Morgan‘s novel The Steel Remains. Listen in as…

Brian Murphy (of The Silver Key blog and The Cimmerian),

Gregg Margarite ( narrator and book coordinator),

and Luke Burrage (professional juggler and host of the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast) discuss…

The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan [AN UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK from TANTOR MEDIA]!

Talked about on today’s show:
The Cimmerian blog, Deathworld by Harry Harrison @, The Real Fantastic Stuff an essay by Richard K. Morgan, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord Of The Rings, noir, Sci-Fi Dimensions interview with Richard K. Morgan (not Dark Horizons), homosexuality, nihilism, anti-hero, the Takeshi Kovacs novels (Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, Woken Furies), Morgan’s Thirteen (aka Black Man), Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, Adam Robert’s letter to Hugo fans (about the Hugo nominees), Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, the Hugo Awards, Morgan’s Market Forces, Lord Valentine’s Castle by Robert Silverberg, George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire, David Eddings, Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson, Terry Brooks, the Dragonlance series, magic, Tolkien’s use of magic, Morgan’s use of magic in The Steel Remains, characterization in The Steel Remains, recurring themes in Morgan’s novels, Robert E. Howard‘s Conan, what is Ringil Eskiath’s motivation?, what does everyone think of The Steel Remains?, what is the nature maps in Fantasy novels?, The Darkness That Comes Before by Scott Bakker. Next week we’ll talk about more audiobooks with these guys too.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Spider Robinson reads two Theodore Sturgeon SF stories

August 29, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Spider On The Web - Spider Robinson’s podcastSpider Robinson‘s latest podcast features what he calls a “a suicide prevention kit” of an episode. The kit‘s contents includes more of Spider’s favorite music, and TWO unabridged readings of short Science Fiction stories about suicide from the pen of Theodore Sturgeon! The first of the two is A Saucer Of Loneliness. It was first published in Galaxy Magazine’s February 1953 issue. It was adapted into a radio drama for X-Minus One in 1957. Was again adapted, for television this time, into a segment of one episode of The Twilight Zone in 1986. Finally in 2004 it received a ‘Retro Hugo’ award. A well deserved honor for this very solid story. The second, Suicide, was first published in 1970 in Adam Bedside Reader (this same issue included Harlan Ellison’s Wanted In Surgery).

Galaxy Science Fiction - February 1953Adam Bedside Reader - June 1970 [Number 43]A Saucer of Loneliness” and “Suicide
By Theodore Sturgeon; Read by Spider Robinson
1 |MP3| – Approx. 79 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Spider On The Web
Podcast: August 22, 2009

Podcast feed:

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[via Quasar Dragon]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Canadian Copyright Consultations – now with Robert E. Howard’s CONAN

August 28, 2009 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Tony Clement (Minister Of Industry) and James Moore (Minister of Heritage) announcing copyright consultation

As you’re aware I’ve been following the Canadian Copyright Consultations run by Industry Minster Tony Clement and Heritage Minster James Moore. The most recent one, held in Toronto yesterday, was the most vehement of them all. The participants were heavily weighted towards music industry executives and lawyers (I counted at least 19 of them). They told us how badly their industry has been suffering and how their lawyers don’t have the legislation they need to deal with it. Execs from Sony Music Canada, Warner Music Canada and Universal Music Canada all spoke. Nearly all of them asked the minister to pass the ten year old WIPO treaties that make the breaking of DRM a copyright crime.

Several other non-music industry attendees brought up some non-music related points too. Most of these were not concerned about propping up a dying business model, but rather with how to prevent making criminals out of Canadians or how a new copyright law can address the new industries that technology allows. The librarians, for example, had some very serious concerns about the ability to provide services to patrons with any law that protects digital locks and lists statutory damages for their violation. A few others pointed out the problem of Crown Copyright [why don’t we just replace it with creative commons?]. Others insisted that the new copyright law, whatever its content, must be crystal clear and easy to understand – ‘spend some money on education’ – they said [this too is a great idea]. Several folks thought any new legislation should definitely address the problem of “fair dealing” [that we have no parody exemption in Canada is nuts]. A web commenter also suggested that because of the long response time, the current standard of getting permission from a copyright holder, was not-feasible for photocopied materials used in classrooms [this needs to be addressed by any new copyright bill]. And one of the smartest points was from a software guy who pointed out that a ‘retroactive term extensions doesn’t ‘encourage dead artist to create more work.’ It really needed to be said.

Below is a chronological sampling of some of the less representative comments (I’ve included just a few of the many music industry execs and lawyers who spoke). And, I’ve included one commenter’s speeches in full; Jonathan Dry’s words will really hit home with some of our readers in particular. I thought his comments were absolutely terrific.

Jamie Kidd @ Approx. 5:21
Jamie Kidd (jazz musician) – “my new album won’t be marketed in Canada”

Martha Rans @ approx. 5:27
Martha Rans (outreach lawyer) – “return to Vancouver and hold a town hall”

Sophie Milman @ approx. 5:30
Sophie Milman (jazz artist) – “extend the copying levy to iPods”

Dan Glover @ approx. 5:35
Dan Glover (lawyer) – “I make my living by copyright”

Steve Kane @ approx. 5:38Steve Kane (President of Warner Music Canada since 2004) “When I began my tenure as President of President of Warner Music Canada we had about 180 employees. We currently have 85.” [woots from the crowd]

Sylvana (WEB COMMENTER) @ approx. 5:41
Sylvana (from the web) – “I’m appalled that Canada was recently placed on the U.S. piracy list along with such countries as China, Russia…” [Sylvana is likely referring to this article. I wonder if she read the follow up article by the same author that debunks it?]

Leslie Weir @ approx. 5:50
Leslie Weir (librarian @ University Of Ottawa) – “copyright law must not make it illegal to circumvent a digital lock”

Rob Bolton @ approx. 5:54
Rob Bolton (digital marketing manager @ Warner Music Canada) – “what we have in this country is truly a lawless society and it’s very difficult to build legitimate businesses here”

Paul Vett @ approx. 5:54
Paul Vett (BlackBerry software developer) – “it’d be nice to drop some of the rhetoric and focus on the nuances because it’s quite complicated”

Brian P. Isaac @ approx. 6:03
Brian Isaac (chairman of Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, lawyer @ Smart & Biggar) – “I make my living enforcing intellectual property”

Jonathan Dry @ approx. 5:20
Jonathan Dry – (Mechanical Designer) –“I’m a mechanical designer from Mississauga. I don’t work in the entertainment industry. [audience claps] I believe we are in this situation because of eternal copyright laws. I’ll start by saying that copyright is meant to foster a broad and diverse culture of creation and derivative works in a country. And we don’t have that now. The eternal copyright has created a vacuum and pulled away the culture of the people from the general populace. I grew up in the 1990s, that was how it was then. In its place was placed a load of mass produced rubbish… music… you could turn on the TV any time [and hear it?]. It’s pretty much the same nowadays and this damages the youth. It takes away a formative decade, the teenage years. Instead of creating a culture of production and of personal achievement we’re given self destructive teenage rebellion. We’ve put all the power to create culture into the hands of a few corporations with eternal copyright. They just buy it up and that’s the end of it.

If we’re going to reform the system… [looks at the timer] three minutes… Okay. As far as the public domain goes we need shorter copyright terms. [points to the timer] Thank you. [moderator offers an apology]

This book [holds up Blood Of The Gods and Other Stories] is published in Mississauga, Ontario. It is by Robert E. Howard. His work is falling into the public domain. [holds up The Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian] He is most known as the creator of Conan The Barbarian. If you like books about screaming barbarians and monsters it’s great stuff. There’s a publishing boom going on, of his work, right now. Del Rey [has] his stuff with annotations, scholarship, letters, all sorts of other stuff – because everything else, the original stories, are now in the public domain. And guys like these guys in Mississauga [indicates Blood Of The Gods] are publishing it. It’s being driven by the entrance of his work into the public domain.

What we need is shorter copyright terms. This is going to drive innovation. Canada could attract a large number of publishers and artists from all over the world if we reduce copyright terms. We are sitting on a gold mine people. It’s being withheld from the general public by a small amount of copyright holders. If we were to loosen that up there would be a cultural explosion and industrial explosion in that industry. I would ask that the Conservative government to go back to your entrepreneurial roots. We have a small publisher in Mississauga making money from the public domain, it’s also driving big ones in the states.

[points to audience member] – no interruptions please. Okay?

We need to go back and allow these entrepreneurial companies, these small startups, to grow big. To exist! Because, right now, they can’t.”

Denis McGrath @ approx. 6:26Denis McGrath (TV writer and blogger) – “as an artist I want my work to be seen by as many people as possible”

Daniel Seyer @ approx. 6:55Daniel Seyer (student at University Of Ontario Institute of Technology)- “hello music industry” [audience laughs] I’m a student… [audience member says something] “Hello entertainment industry I guess. It’s nice for everyone to be here” – “keep the playing field open and let the market decide” – “extend tariffs [levies] to hard drives and blank media” – “put a tax on bandwidth” – “don’t do anything that the Americans are doing” [audience laughs]

Simon Shaw @ approx. 7:05Simon Shaw [movie pirate wearing a Fair Copyright For Canada t-shirt] – “I operate six terabyte servers of movies that I share freely with my friends all around the world. Most of your works are on my servers”

speaker #143 -m @ approx. 7:10
Speaker #143 (anonymous lawyer) – “The previous speaker mentioned this was ‘not a debate about two extremes’ I take offense to that. … On the one hand we continue to be the laughing stock of the world through our outdated copyright laws, and continue to be a cesspool for online pirates such as the last speaker [woots and claps from the audience] or we update the copyright act as the rest of the modernized world has done to protect creator’s rights.”

Speaker number 43? or 93? @ approx. 7:16
Speaker #43? or #93? (anonymous speaker) – [approaches the microphone] “…kinda funny how there’s so many people from the music industry here – not many normal people.” “The corporations are trying to extend copyright… [something someone in the audience flusters this speaker] …any Cinar executives here? – Ya? You guys never steal.”

The honorable Minister of Indusrty Tony Clement @ approx. 7:18
Tony Clement (Minister Of Industry) – “we got through it all in one piece. It has not degenerated into a U.S. health care town hall meeting”

Watch the whole video for yourself in the (very lame) |WMV| format.


Posted by Jesse Willis

Cory Doctorow’s review of Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

August 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Brilliance Audio - Sandman Slim by Richard KadreyCory Doctorow is singing the praises of a cool sounding audiobook by Richard Kadrey called Sandman Slim. It’s available now from Brilliance Audio

“I’ve just finished listening to the unabridged, 10-hour audiobook of Sandman Slim, which is available on a single MP3 CD without DRM from Brilliance Audio. The reading is performed by Macleod Andrews, who does the narration in a perfect whiskey voice that’s 80 percent Tom Waits, 20 percent Clint Eastwood. The performance and production are marvellous, a great interpretive reading that really brought the novel to life for me. I also love that I could get it without having to suffer through either DRM through one of the audiobook download stores or through ripping ten CDs’ worth of material, which is how I normally get my audiobooks onto my computer.”

[via BoingBoing]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Giants of the Frost

August 28, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Giants of the Frost by Kim WilkinsGiants of the Frost
By Kim Wilkins; Read by Edwina Wren
13 CDs – 15 hrs 18 min [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Bolinda Audio
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9781740939676
Themes: / Fantasy / Norse gods / Weather science /

Fleeing a failed engagement and mother who makes life decisions based on a psychic’s predictions, skeptic Victoria Scott joins a weather team on a Scandinavian island. Harassed by insomnia and her unpredictable boss, she writes off her dreams of a breath-sucking hag and forest creature made of twigs as nightmares. Eventually, however, she discovers that these creatures are real and possibly the least of those she may encounter.

The island is actually Midgard, a gate between our world and that of the old Nordic god, Asgard. The book alternately tells Victoria’s story and that of Vidar, a son of Odin, who has been waiting a thousand years for Victoria to be born. In Vidar’s world we meet, among others, his bondmaid Aud, who tells much of the story, and his cousin Loki, trickster god of the Norse pantheon.

At first, Victoria is extremely shallow and self-absorbed, especially in her constant worries that any kind man has designs upon her. However, as the story unfolds and mythological elements gradually are incorporated, this feeling is lessened. My foreboding that this story was simply a typical romance was relieved completely when Aud’s and Vidar’s voices began to be heard. At that point the story became more intricate and took on weight and depth. By the last third of the book, I was on the edge of my seat wondering how the destiny of the two star-crossed lovers could possibly have the happy ending that I desired. Although such questions drive the story forward, much of the story’s true strength comes from Wilkins’ almost poetic incorporation of accurate Norse mythology and weather science.

Narrator Edwina Wren delivers the story in either English or Scandinavian accents as the story requires. Her performance is compelling, especially when depicting Aud and Vidar. Transitions from one section to another are indicated with music which is welcome in helping the listener make the necessary mental switch in a book that has many points of view. This is an extremely pleasing audio book overall and Wren is a narrator to seek out in the future.

I had never heard of Kim Wilkins’ before but this book was a great treat. Definitely recommended. I will be looking forward to future works from both her, hopefully featuring a variety of cultural mythologies which I found one of the most interesting aspects of the book. As well, kudos to this audio label which put together such a good listening experience.

Posted by Julie D.

SFOHA: The Science Fiction Oral History Association

August 27, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Science Fiction Oral History Association
The Science Fiction Oral History Association, has a new blog (that’s also soon to be a podcast). SFOHA is currently presided over by el presidente Rick Jackson. Rick is a former reviews editor for SFFaudio. The site is just getting started – but it’s a terrific start with several cool convention panels Rick recorded at Penguicon 2009 (a combination Science Fiction and open source software convention) and CONfusion 2009.

Penguicon 2009:

Copywhat Copyrights! Open Source Licensing in Literature |MP3|
Panel: Rick Jackson,

Creating a Wikinomic Online Community |MP3| Panel: Rick Jackson, Sarah Elkins

Legal Issues and Podcasting |MP3|
Panel: Rick Jackson, Steve Eley

Selling Your Soul – Marketing Your Work on a Limited Budget |MP3|
Panel: Rick Jackson, Jim C. Hines

Cyptic CONfusion 2009:

What Turns Great Ideas Into Short Stories Or Novels?
Panelists: Kelley Armstrong, Violette Malan [M], Paul Melko, Catherine Shaffer and Sandee Rodriguez
1 |MP3| – Approx. 46 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Recorded: Saturday January 24, 2009 10am
We all know where ideas come from, don’t we? But what are we supposed to do with them after that? How do we translate those ideas into successful stories and novels? Come and find out!

Did Captain Kirk Own A Wallet?
Panelists: Cory Doctorow, Tobias Buckell [M], Philip Edward Kaldon, Paul Melko and Matthew Stewart-Fulton
1 |MP3| – Approx. 52 Minutes [CONVENTION PANEL]
Recorded: Recorded: Saturday January 24, 2009 11am
Economics and SF how has science fiction has portrayed economics of the future over the years how have things changed, what are some of the enduring themes?

Setting: Haven’t I been here before?
Panelists: Violette Malan [M], Karl Schroeder, Catherine Shaffer, Doselle Young and Jim Frenkel
1 |MP3| – Approx. 46 Minutes [CONVENTION PANEL]
Recorded: Recorded: Saturday January 24, 2009 12pm
How important is setting to a reader’s understanding and enjoyment of the story? Is setting the real difference between S and SF? Are we overusing the settings we have, and are there any new ones?

Meet the New Boss: Young Adult SF
Panelists: Cory Doctorow, Kelley Armstrong, Anne Harris [M], Jim Frenkel, Doselle Young, Steven Harper Piziks
1 |MP3| – Approx. 56 Minutes [CONVENTION PANEL]
Recorded: Saturday January 24, 2009 1pm
How it is the same and different from adult SF and how it has evolved over the years and where it is going. Will it overtake Paranormal Romance and become the next big thing?

Big Brother Is Watching You!
Panelists: Cory Doctorow, David Rozian, Steve Buchheit, Karl Schroeder [M], Catherine Shaffer
1 |MP3| – Approx. 58 Minutes [CONVENTION PANEL]
Recorded: Saturday January 24, 2009 3pm
Personal privacy in the electronic age we now have or will have chips on everything we own including pets, where is this all going? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Podcasting — the future of it
Panelists: Cat Rambo, Matthew Stewart-Fulton, Alexander Bouchard, and Rick Jackson
1 |MP3| – Approx. 45 Minutes [CONVENTION PANEL]
Recorded: Sunday January 25, 2009 12pm

Posted by Jesse Willis

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