Icebox Radio: Halloween (audio drama) lasts 24 hours

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

SFFaudio Online Audio

Icebox Radio TheatreIcebox Radio, is featuring “24 Hours of Terror”, a solid day of horror lasting the 24 hours that is Halloween 2009.

Here’s the schedule:

Midnight – Oct 31, 2009
Atlanta Radio Theater Company: Brides Of Dracula 1
Atlanta Radio Theater Company: Brides of Dracula 2

Atlanta Radio Theater Company: Brides of Dracula 3
Union Signal: Dead Man’s Hole

Darker Projects: Man in the Chair
The Grist Mill: The Homecoming
Imagination-X: Background

Chatterbox Audio: The Dead Girl

Chatterbox Audio: The Dead Girl

19 Nocturne Blvd.: Dracula Dot Com
Imagination-X: Up on the Rooftops

Sound Effects: Haunted Sounds
Disney: Thrilling Chilling Haunted House

Disney: The Haunted Mansion
19 Nocturne Blvd.: For Art’s Sake

Darker Projects: Byron Chronicles: The Taint
Darker Projects: The Man in the Chair
Imagination-X: Mandible Hill

BrokenSea Audio Productions: Kolchak

BrokenSea Audio Productions: Kolchak
Ice Box Radio Theatre: 3 Skeleton Key
Disney: Thrilling Chilling Haunted House 01

Willamette Radio: Murder of Crows
Darker Projects: Zombie Pumpkinheads From Outerspace
Haunted Sounds: House Labratory 05

Atlanta Radio Theater Company: Shadow Over Innsmouth

Atlanta Radio Theater Company: Shadow Over Innsmouth
19 Nocturne Blvd: Thrice Tolled Bell

Bells In The Batfry: The Spectre Bride
Ice Box Radio Theatre: Revolt of the Worms
Haunted Sounds: Entering the Haunted House 01

19 Nocturne Blvd.: The Temple
OTR: The Thing On The Fourbleboard

Ice Box Radio Theatre: Pickaxe Hill
Ice Box Radio Theatre: The Bats
Haunted Sounds: Gathering Storm 03

The Grist Mill: If You Take My Hand My Son |READ OUR REVIEW|
Ice Box Radio Theatre: The Thing On The Ice

Final Rune‘s Halloween Show: LIVE

Final Rune’s Halloween Show: LIVE

OTR: War Of The Worlds (WKBW-Buffalo)

OTR: War Of The Worlds (WKBW-Buffalo)
19 Nocturne Blvd.: Force Majeure (Premiere!)
Imagination-X: The House In The Woods

The Grist Mill: God Of The Razor |READ OUR REVIEW|
Ice Box Radio Theatre: The Thing On the Ice

Imagination-X: Family Radio
Darker Projects: And God Looked

[Thanks Bill!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Five Free Favourites #11

October 30, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

My name is Gregg Margarite and I make free audio books for As a member of LibriVox I have decided to pick my Five Free Favorites from the LibriVox Catalog, which as of this writing contains about 2,400 free audio books, including over 300 short SF recordings and dozens of novels and novellas.

To me everything is connected to everything else. That may make it easier to understand a quantum field, but it’s a hindrance to defining classifications. So when it comes time to identify Science Fiction and Fantasy I tend to have a wide view. That having been said here are…

Five Free Favourites

LibriVox Science Fiction - Flatland: A Romance Of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. AbbottFlatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
By Edwin A. Abbott; Read by Ruth Golding
9 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – [UNABRIDGED]
Published: October 12th 2008
This story from 1884 is a wonderful satire and a great introduction to dimensional math. A sphere convinces a square of the existence of up. But will the hierarchy of the two dimensional society accept it? The 2D world is an analog of Victorian society but there are plenty of timeless parallels that continue to resonate today. Read by Ruth Golding who’s intimate, warm delivery is as comforting as a nice cup of tea… with a dash of brandy. Ruth has made over 500 recordings for LibriVox.

Podcast feed:

Badge Of Infamy by Lester del ReyBadge Of Infamy
By Lester del Rey; Read by Steven H. Wilson
15 Zipped MP3 files or Podcast – Approx. 3 Hours 19 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: January 17, 2007
Political lobbyists band together and take over the world swelling the size of government (a ludicrous idea eh?). Our physician protagonist violates his duties by providing emergency services outside the system and escapes to Mars where he can practice medicine without a license. There he discovers something that threatens not only the lobbyists but all of humanity. Read by Steven H. Wilson with a crisp natural style.

Podcast feed:

LibriVox - Penguin Island by Anatole FrancePenguin Island
By Anatole France; Read by Michael Sirois
62 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 9 Hours 5 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 30, 2007
This satirical fantasy from 1908 involves an aged priest with poor eyesight who mistakes a flock of penguins for a congregation. His baptism gives them souls which naturally compel them to form a civilization. Will they handle their problems as we have? Read by Michael Sirois with a robust melodic tone that carries you along with the story.

Podcast feed:

LibriVox - The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose FarmerThe Green Odyssey
By Philip Jose Farmer; Read by Mark Nelson
10 zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 6 Hours 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: December 17, 2006
A slave among barbarians longs to return to Earth. Presently he learns of two Earth astronauts held captive in a far off kingdom and sets off to rescue them so they can rescue him. But first he must reach them and therein hangs a tale. Read quite professionally by Mark Nelson who is responsible for a many of the best Science Fiction novels in the LibriVox catalog.

Podcast feed:

LibiVox - Candide by VoltaireCandide (LibriVox version #2)
By Voltaire; Read by Ted Delorme
31 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 4 Hours 5 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: January 31, 2007
While Voltaire’s “Micromegas” can rightly be referred to as Science Fiction, I believe this story qualifies as fantasy since it deals with the best of all possible worlds. Join Candide and his girlfriend Cunegonde as they learn how to interpret their adventures through the eyes of their sanguine teacher Dr. Pangloss. Read by Ted Delorme a LibriVox veteran who narrates with a smooth, friendly voice that makes modern listeners at ease with a text written 250 years ago.

Podcast feed:

Posted by Gregg Margarite

Review of The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

October 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews, SFFaudio essential 

SFFaudio Review

Blackstone Audio - The Martian Chronicles by Ray BradburySFFaudio EssentialThe Martian Chronicles
By Ray Bradbury; Read by Stephen Hoye
8 CDs – 9.3 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781433293498
Themes: / Science Fiction / Mars / Mythology / Colonization / Aliens /

All right, then, what is Chronicles? Is it King Tut out of the tomb when I was three? Norse Eddas when I was six? And Roman/Greek gods that romanced me when I was ten? Pure myth. If it had been practical, technologically efficient science fiction, it would have long since fallen to rust by the road.

-Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles

I’ve never been a big reader of science fiction, largely because, rightly or wrongly, my perception is that SF worships at the altar of technology, and is fixated upon cold, clinical subject matter for which I have little interest. But if the SF genre contained more books like Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, I might view it a lot differently.

The Martian Chronicles tells the story of mankind’s colonization of the red planet. Driven by curiosity and the impending destruction of a worldwide atomic war, men send rocket expeditions to Mars in hopes of settling the planet and finding a place to carry on their civilization. It’s not a traditional novel, but a collection of short stories originally published in Planet Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, and a handful of other defunct SF magazines, which Bradbury ties together with a series of vignettes.

The Martian Chronicles was first published in 1950 and Bradbury set the first story, “Rocket Summer,” in a fictional (and then-distant) 1999; this latter printing advances the timeline to 2030. The Martian Chronicles certainly has some SF surface trappings, and the tale “There Will Come Soft Rains” (a haunting story about the aftermath of an atomic war) probably fits that category. But it’s certainly not hard SF. Bradbury doesn’t dwell on the Martian technology nor describe how it works. What little there is described in Bradbury’s inimitable short strokes of brilliant, poetic color: Houses with tables of silver lava for cooking bits of meat, pillars of rain that can be summoned for washing, metal books that sing their stories, like a fine instrument under the stroke of a hand.

In the introduction to the 2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc., production of the book, Bradbury says that the larger themes and deeper meanings of his work were buried in his subconscious as he wrote. It wasn’t until he saw an onstage production of The Martian Chronicles, juxtaposed with a viewing of a traveling Tutankhamun exhibit at the Las Angeles Art Museum, that he made the leap—he had written a myth, not a science fiction story:

“Moving back and forth from Tut to theatre, theatre to Tut, my jaw dropped. ‘My God,’ I said, gazing at Tutankhamun’s golden mask. ‘That’s Mars. My God,’ I said, watching my Martians on stage, ‘That’s Egypt, with Tutankhamun’s ghosts.’ So before my eyes and mixed in my mind, old myths were renewed, new myths were bandaged in papyrus and lidded with bright masks. Without knowing, I had been Tut’s child all the while, writing the red world’s hieroglyphics, thinking I thrived futures even in dust-rinsed pasts… Science and machines can kill each other off or be replaced. Myth, seen in mirrors, incapable of being touched, stays on. If it is not immortal, it almost seems such.”

Rather than explaining the hows and whys of rocket travel, or the describe the atmospheric conditions of the red planet, Bradbury uses The Martian Chronicles to explore the age-old problems of colonization/colonialism, our fears of the unknown, our longing for simpler times, and the limitations of science and technology. It’s intensely elegiac, an ode to the quiet towns and neighborhoods of the 1920s and 30s, before the sprawl of cities and suburbs and the opening of the Pandora’s Box of atomic power.

The heart of the book is the short story, “And the Moon be Still as Bright,” which concerns a fourth rocket expedition to the red planet. The first three missions have failed. Mars is empty, its cities ghostly and vacant. The Martians have been hit hard by chicken pox, infected by the crew of one of the previous expeditions. When several crewmembers of the latest expedition get drunk and vandalize a beautiful Martian city of glass spires, one of the crewmen, Jeff Spender, turns on them in a murderous rampage.

Later, atop a hill, Captain Wilder approaches Spender in an effort to get him to surrender. Spender, who initially seems crazy, is revealed as the man with the clearest vision. He knows what modern man is like, a professional cynic who wants to tear down and rebuild in his own image, citing Cortez’s mission to Mexico (which wiped out nearly all traces of the Aztec Empire). Spender has read the Martians’ books and seen the relics of their culture, and discovers that it is a perfect balance of science and religion, nature and man (Martian) in harmony, with neither side dominant. Says Spender:

“[The Martians] quit trying too hard to destroy everything, to humble everything. They blended religion and art and science because, at base, science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle. They never let science crush the aesthetic and the beautiful. It’s all simply a matter of degree. An Earth Man thinks: ‘In that picture, color does not exist, really. A scientist can prove that color is only the way the cells are placed in a certain material to reflect light. Therefore, color is not really an actual part of things I happen to see.’ A Martian, far cleverer, would say: ‘This is a fine picture. It came from the hand and the mind of a man inspired. Its idea and its color are from life. This thing is good.’”

It’s interesting to note that the Martians are not perfect, and in striving for balance they may have lost something. In “Ylla,” the second story/chapter of the book, a Martian woman upsets her husband to the point of murder. As the Martians are telepathic, Ylla is able to “speak” to the astronauts as they draw near in their silver rocket. She learns their burning desires and their strange songs. Despite the harmonious, tranquil, idyllic environment all around her, the brown-skinned, golden-eyed Ylla wants to be swept away to earth, crushed in the embrace of the white-skinned, dark-haired, blue-eyed Nathaniel York. For all its piggishness and destructiveness, the race of men is passionate, burning with the desire to live and explore.

As with all of Bradbury’s tales, The Martian Chronicles contains its share of humor, terror, heartbreak, and hope, and is written in Bradbury’s beautiful, one-of-a-kind style. It holds a deserved place as science fiction classic, even as it transcends the genre and defies our attempts to categorize it.

Posted by Brian Murphy CBC Radio Vancouver – The Kraken Wakes based on the novel by John Wyndham

October 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Someone has posted a 1965 CBC Radio dramatization of the “apocalyptic science fiction novel” by John Wyndham’s novel The Kraken Wakes to Unlike a lot of OTR (old time radio) this is very likely not in the public domain (as claimed on the site), but does qualify as the audio drama equivalent of abandonware (as CBC never rebroadcast it or made it commercially available) – either way if you’re going to hear it it’d be wise to be quick about it.

CBC Radio Vancouver - The Kraken Wakes based on the novel by John WyndhamThe Kraken Wakes
Based on the novel by John Wyndham; Adapted by Eric Cameron; Performed by a full cast
5 Zipped MP3 Files – Approx. 2.5 Hours [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio Vancouver
Broadcast: 1965
At first, the fireballs seemed to be nothing more than a dazzling display of lights in the sky, plunging into the deepest oceans and disappearing without trace. But when ships started sinking inexplicably and the sea-lanes became impassable it seemed that the world was facing a threat of unprecedented proportions. Recorded at CBC Radio Vancouver.

Sam Paine
Shirley Broderick
Michael Irwin
Derek Walston
Allan Routon
John White
Ivar Harries
Greg Barnes
Peter Brockington
Otto Lowy
Roland Hunter
Sound effects by Lars Eastholm
Produced and directed by Norman Euton
Technical operations by Ian Stephens

Incidently there is a BBC radio drama version of The Kraken Wakes that’s commercially available.

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: Acoustic Learning – The Edgar Allan Poe Collection #10: Deus et Machina

October 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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New Releases

More Poe, from a different company, a different narrator and with some very rare stories…

Acoustic Learning - The Edgar Allan Poe Collection #10: Deus et MachinaThe Edgar Allan Poe Collection #10: Deus et Machina
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Christopher Aruffo
4 CDs – 4 hours 38 minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Acoustic Learning
Published: September 2009
ISBN: 9780980058161
Edgar Allan Poe witnessed the Industrial Revolution as it roared into full gear, and he was fascinated by its possibilities. In this collection, Poe writes both factually and satirically of new technological advances in weaponry, transportation, biology, aeronautics, and more. Poe foretells how Anastatic Printing will revolutionize the writer’s craft, and creates the alchemical hoax Von Kempelen and His Discovery to unnerve the would-be prospectors of the upcoming California Gold Rush. The Deus et Machina collection also encompasses Poe’s philosophical explorations into the afterlife. At the threshold of death, we learn The Facts In the Case of M Valdemar and experience Mesmeric Revelation; in the cosmic halls of the life beyond, we eavesdrop on The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion, The Power of Words, and The Colloquy of Monos and Una, each discussion revealing a new and fascinating perspective of the spiritual universe.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Naxos Audiobooks: The Fall Of The House Of Usher, The Pit And The Pendulum & Other Tales Of Mystery And Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe

October 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

In lecture #4 of The Teaching Company’s Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind: Literature’s Most Fantastic Works professor Eric S. Rabkin argues:

“The writing of Edgar Allan Poe has too often been dismissed for reasons that do not hold up under scrutiny. … The idea that he was an alcoholic is supported by the fact that he was found lying unconscious in an alley by a bar in his relatively young adulthood, in his 40s, and ultimately, a few days later died. In fact modern evidence that Richard Thompson at Purdue University has uncovered suggest that it is quite possible that Poe was allergic to alcohol, rather than an alcoholic. We have no evidence that he actually drank a lot. But even if he were an alcoholic claiming that his writing is nothing but the outpourings, as it were, of an alcoholic, is clearly foolish because if drinking alcohol made one a great and lasting writer the world would be full of them.

The idea that he was a pervert is based on the fact that he married his first cousin, who was only thirteen at the time, and that he never married again after her early death. It’s important to know that this first cousin, Virginia Clem, was of legal age when he married her, that marrying first cousins was not only legal but somewhat common at the time. His marriage was public, it was blessed by her mother. It was legal. It was devoted and it ended only with her death in 1847. They married in 1836, but in 1842, that is six years into the marriage, but five before her death, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis. And so for half of his marriage he lived in fear, in the knowledge, that his bride would come to an early demise. This does not sound to me like a pervert, it sounds to me like a deeply saddened man.”

On a happier note, Naxos Audiobooks, in cooperation with Audiofile magazine, are giving away an audiobook full of melancholy Poey goodness. It’s only available until midnight on October 31, 2009 (when the link will presumably turn into a 404 pumpkin) so get downloading!!

Naxos Audiobooks - The Fall Of The House Of Usher, The Pit And The Pendulum & Other Tales Of Mystery And Imagination by Edgar Allan PoeThe Fall Of The House Of Usher, The Pit And The Pendulum & Other Tales Of Mystery And Imagination
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by William Roberts
45 Zipped MP3 Files – Approx. 4 Hours 52 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks
Published: 2003
ISBN: 9789626342831
The horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, with its dungeon of death, and the overhanging gloom on the House of Usher demonstrate unforgettably the unique imagination of Edgar Allan Poe. Unerringly, he touches upon some of our greatest nightmares – premature burial, ghostly transformation and words from beyond the grave. Written in the 1840s, they have retained their power to shock and frighten even now.

Stories included:
The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, Ligeia, The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Black Cat, The Premature Burial, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar

Posted by Jesse Willis

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