Nova Star Hunters

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

SFFaudio Online Audio

Nova Star HuntersRik O’Neill, from Nova Star Hunters, sez:

Hi Jesse,

I came across your site today and am having a read through now! I wanted to let you know about a show I’ve been producing – the show is called ‘Nova Star Hunters.’ I’d love to get your thoughts on it. My inspiration in creating the show were the Saturday morning cartoons I watched as a kid (Transformers, He-Man!) Where a paper-thin plot provides an excuse for action. My idea was to create a similarly ‘fun show’ but with characters who go on a journey and have some depth.

Here is my response:

“Hi Rik,

First let me say your name is spelled very coolly. If I were ever to name one of my hypothetical children ‘Rick’ I’d drop that lame ‘C’ too. Rik. It looks cool, it sounds cool.

I too enjoyed the 1980s Transformers cartoon, but I’m afraid I thought He-Man was complete crap.

Re: Nova Star Hunters. Just from the title it even sounds like a 1980s TV show. I can almost picture a Dirk Benedict-like hero in a shiny tin-foil spacesuit.

After listening to the first episode I would almost guess Nova Star Hunters was more inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy or Red Dwarf than from Transformers. Here are my thoughts:

-I like the idea of an actor creating a character voice by pinching her nose. That’s fun stuff! And a talking cat, that sounds like a cat – nice one.

-The title song is also fun, very 80s.

-Many audio dramatists seem to think having an omniscient narrator is a big no-no. It may be unfashionable, but I like what you’ve done with it!

-The first episode produced about five full laugh out louds, several broad smiles, and about two-dozen smirks. That’s a very good score.

To sum up, I think you’ve a good chance of achieving your goal. I’m posting this to SFFaudio now.”

Podcast feed:
http://feeds2.feedburner.com/novastarhunters

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

AudioFile Magazine’s December 2009 / January 2010 issue is readable online

December 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

AudioFile MagazineAudioFile Magazine, a print publication about audiobooks of all kinds, has released their December 2009/January 2010 issue via Mygazines.net. It’s kind of a PDF-style browser readable version of the paper magazine. The primary difference being the ads are all clickable.

Have a look |HERE|

Reading through it I see plenty of goodness. But like any paper magazine I’d like to have it actually in hand. Shouldn’t my local library stock AudioFile magazine?

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: Robert E. Howard, Jack McDevitt, Joe Abercrombie, Michael Rubens, Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin

December 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: New Releases 

New Releases

Tantor MediaTantor Media has released about sixty Science Fiction and Fantasy audiobooks in the last six months.

That’s a staggering figure.

When we started SFFaudio, back in 2003, there were fewer than sixty SFF audiobooks released in an entire year from all the audiobook publishers combined!

Here are just a few 2009 and 2010 Tantor titles that are both previously unposted and personally interesting to me…

Tantor Media - Kull: Exile Of Atlantis by Robert E. HowardKull: Exile Of Atlantis
By Robert E. Howard; Read by Todd McLaren
10 CDs – Approx. 12 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: December 2009
ISBN: 9781400112272
In a meteoric career that spanned a mere twelve years, Robert E. Howard single-handedly invented the genre that came to be called sword and sorcery. From his fertile imagination sprang some of fiction’s most enduring heroes. Yet while Conan the Cimmerian is indisputably Howard’s greatest creation, it was in his earlier sequence of tales featuring Kull, a fearless warrior with the brooding intellect of a philosopher, that Howard began to develop the distinctive themes and the richly evocative blend of history and mythology that would distinguish his later tales of the Hyborian Age. Much more than simply the prototype for Conan, Kull is a fascinating character in his own right: an exile from fabled Atlantis who wins the crown of Valusia, only to find it as much a burden as a prize. This groundbreaking collection brings together all of Howard’s stories featuring Kull: Exile of Atlantis, The Shadow Kingdom, The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune, The Cat And The Skull, The Screaming Skull Of Silence, The Striking Of The Gong, The Altar and the Scorpion, The Curse of the Golden Skull, By This Axe I Rule!, Swords Of The Purple Kingdom, The King And The Oak, and Kings Of The Night

Tantor Media - The Savage Tales Of Solomon Kane by Robert E. HowardThe Savage Tales Of Solomon Kane
By Robert E. Howard; Read by Paul Boehmer
10 CDs – Approx. 12.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: January 2010
ISBN: 9781400112289
With Conan the Cimmerian, Robert E. Howard created more than the greatest action hero of the twentieth century — he also launched a genre that came to be known as sword and sorcery. But Conan was not the first archetypal adventurer to spring from Howard’s fertile imagination. He was…a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, and more than a touch of the pagan…. A hunger in his soul drove him on and on, an urge to right all wrongs, protect all weaker things…. Wayward and restless as the wind, he was consistent in only one respect—he was true to his ideals of justice and right. Such was Solomon Kane. Collected in this volume are all of the stories that make up the thrilling saga of the dour and deadly Puritan: Skulls In The Stars, The Right Hand Of Doom, Red Shadows, Rattle Of Bones, The Castle Of The Devil, Death’s Black Riders, The Moon Of Skulls, The One Black Stain, The Blue Flame Of Vengeance, The Hills Of The Dead, Hawk Of Basti, The Return Of Sir Richard Grenville, Wings In The Night, The Footfalls Within, The Children Of Asshur, and Solomon Kane’s Homecoming.

Tantor Media - Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevittTime Travelers Never Die
By Jack McDevitt; Read by Paul Boehmer
12 CDs – Approx. 14.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
ISBN: 9781400114337
Publisher: Tantor Media
Publsihed: January 2010
When physicist Michael Shelborne mysteriously vanishes, his son Shel discovers that he had constructed a time travel device. Fearing his father may be stranded in time—or worse—Shel enlists Dave Dryden, a linguist, to accompany him on the rescue mission. Their journey through history takes them from the Enlightenment of Renaissance Italy through the American Wild West to the civil rights upheavals of the twentieth century. Along the way, they encounter a diverse cast of historical greats, sometimes in unexpected situations. Yet the elder Shelborne remains elusive. And then Shel violates his agreement with Dave not to visit the future. There he makes a devastating discovery that sends him fleeing back through the ages and changes his life forever.

Tantor Media - Best Served Cold by Joe AbercrombieBest Served Cold
By Joe Abercrombie; Read by Michael Page
22 CDs – 27.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: December 2009
ISBN: 9781400113279
Springtime in Styria. And that means war. There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll, and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests, and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king. War may be hell, but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Duke Orso’s employ, it’s a damn good way of making money too. Her victories have made her popular—a shade too popular for her employer’s taste. Betrayed, thrown down a mountain, and left for dead, Murcatto’s reward is a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance. Whatever the cost, seven men must die. Her allies include Styria’s least reliable drunkard, Styria’s most treacherous poisoner, a mass murderer obsessed with numbers, and a barbarian who just wants to do the right thing. Her enemies number the better half of the nation. And that’s all before the most dangerous man in the world is dispatched to hunt her down and finish the job Duke Orso started. Springtime in Styria. And that means revenge.

Tantor Media - The Sheriff Of Yrnameer by Michael RubensThe Sheriff of Yrnameer
By Michael Rubens; Read by William Dufris
8 CDs – Approx. 9.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: August 2009
ISBN: 9781400113255
Meet Cole: hapless space rogue, part-time smuggler, on a path to being full-time dead. His sidekick just stole his girlfriend. The galaxy’s most hideous and feared bounty hunter wants to lay eggs in his brain. And the luxury space yacht Cole just hijacked turns out of be filled with interstellar do-gooders, one especially loathsome stowaway, and a cargo of freeze-dried orphans. Reluctantly compelled to deliver these defenseless, fluidless children to safety, Cole gathers a misfit crew for a desperate journey to the far reaches of the galaxy. Their destination: the mysterious world of Yrnameer, the very last of the your-name-heres—planets without corporate sponsors. But little does Cole know that this legendary utopia is home to a murderous band of outlaws bent on destroying the planet’s tiny, peaceful community. Follow Cole’s adventures through a delightfully absurd science-fiction universe, where the artificial intelligence is stupid, dust motes carry branding messages, and middle-management zombies have overrun a corporate training satellite. In the spirit of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, The Sheriff of Yrnameer is sci-fi comedy at its best—mordant, raucously funny, and a thrilling must-listen.

TANTOR MEDIA - The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan KollinThe Unincorporated Man
By Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin; Read by Todd McLaren
19 CDs – Approx. 24.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: May 2009
ISBN: 9781400111725
The Unincorporated Man is a provocative social/political/economic novel that takes place in the future, after civilization has fallen into complete economic collapse. This reborn civilization is one in which every individual is incorporated at birth and spends many years trying to attain control over his or her own life by getting a majority of his or her own shares. Life extension has made life very long indeed. Now the incredible has happened: a billionaire businessman from our time, frozen in secret in the early twenty-first century, is discovered and resurrected, given health and a vigorous younger body. Justin Cord is the only unincorporated man in the world, a true stranger in this strange land. Justin survived because he is tough and smart. He cannot accept only part ownership of himself, even if that places him in conflict with a civilization that extends outside the solar system to the Oort Cloud. People will be arguing about this novel and this world for decades.

Which of the other SFF titles from 2009 (and forthcoming in 2010) from Tantor are of interest to you folks? Click HERE to check out the list. Then post your list below.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Winterfair Gifts by Lois McMaster Bujold

December 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Winterfair Gifts by Lis McMaster BujoldWinterfair Gifts
By Lois McMaster Bujold; Read by Grover Gardner
2 CDs – 2.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2008
ISBN: 9781433250170
Themes: / Science Fiction / Romance / Genetic Engineering / Crime /

This Hugo-nominated novella adds a delightful extra chapter to Bujold’s Vorkosigan series, describing the wedding of Miles and Ekaterin and events leading up to it. In the festive season of Winterfair on the planet Barrayar, Lord Miles Vorkosigan is making elaborate preparations for his wedding. The long-awaited event stirs up romance and intrigue among his eccentric family and friends, particularly for bioengineered space mercenary Sergeant Taura and shy, diffident Armsman Roic. But Miles also has an enemy who is plotting to turn the romantic ceremony into a festival of death.

I generally like most of the things I read. This is probably because I pick what I’m going to read fairly carefully. It’s rare when I sit down with an a book and it isn’t something I’ve already read something about. One of the things that tends to keep me away from a book is an excessive length. I find far too much of today’s fiction overly wordy. I want the ideas in the book, the experiences, I don’t need to see it hit a certain pagecount. The style of the moment is to go long. Often this leads to entirely pointless writing within a story. It’s like I’m Paul Newman in Fat Man And Little Boy. My mantra is: “Just give it to me.” Give me the story – don’t flower it up or string it out. Just give me the bloody story!

Lois McMaster Bujold doesn’t bloat out her stories. This audiobook, a novella, is a good example of that economy. Sure it’s part of a series, but it can and does stand alone. The story is slowly paced, but not slow to read. Readers, like me, who haven’t been oh-so-carefully following the Miles Vorkosigan adventures can still follow the story of any particular novel (or novella) and enjoy it for what it is – a good read. Those who have been following along carefully, and who pick up on some of the timeline and character clues, will probably get an extra bit of enjoyment out of it.

Bujold is one of the few female SF authors I have no problem reading. This is despite her coming at SF from what I see as a very female point of view. Emotion, humor and romance are key for Bujold. Character, something I usually don’t care that much about, is also one of Bujold’s major strengths. In this novella, we get two minor Vorkosigan players meeting and working together for the first time. Its mostly a character piece – with the mechanics of the crime and the science fictional elements taking a serious back seat to a budding romance. It’s the same sort of work/romance thing you get in Bones and Moonlighting. Nobody enjoys those stories for the groundbreaking writing. Now that may sound like I’m damning Winterfair Gifts with faint praise. I’m really not. Winterfair Gifts is fun, skillful storytelling set in an SF universe. This is a gentle romance with a bittersweet twist. A romance story dudes can enjoy. Bujold is a fine writer and Winterfair Gifts is a damn fine audiobook. Consider this fresh series as an alternative to the increasingly devalued Dune series.

Sergeant Taura and Armsman Roic, two trusted members of the extended Vorkosigan security services (and everyone else in this book) are voiced by veteran narrator Grover Gardner. Gardner is one of the old school narrators who long time audiobook fans just love to listen to. His voice is rather odd, almost sounding artificial – but not at all in a bad way. Audiofile Magazine has a quote describing his voice as “sandpaper and velvet” – which really doesn’t tell you much – unless you’ve heard his voice. He’s a skilled narrator and is well chosen for the Vorkosigan saga.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Wander Radio reviews BSAP’s Jake Sampson: Monster Hunter

December 25, 2009 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Wander Radio #47Wander Radio #47 has a review of BrokenSea Audio‘s Jake Sampson: Monster Hunter! Jake Sampson is a show I’ve enjoyed for a long time now. Wander Radio, on the other hand, is a new show to me. It mixes music with audio drama, podiobook promos and reviews. Have a listen to Alexa Chipman’s review of Jake Sampson |MP3| (it starts at about 37 minutes in).

Podcast feed: http://wanderradio.com/audio-drama-releases/

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: Blake’s 7 The Early Years – Jenna – The Dust Run / The Trial (Vol. 1.5)

December 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, New Releases 

New Releases

Blake's 7 - The Early Years - Jenna: The Dust Run / The TrialBlake’s 7 The Early Years – Jenna – The Dust Run / The Trial (Vol. 1.5)
By Simon Guerrier; Performed by a full cast
1 CD – Approx. 70 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: B7 Productions
Published: November 30, 2009
ISBN: 9781906577087
The Dust Run – Jenna Stannis has grown up as a spacer, where the normal rules don’t apply. No school, no police, no public imperatives – that’s still all to come. But the situation on Earth is changing and the effects are slowly being felt throughout the Vega system. It’s going to mean trouble for a brash boy called Townsend – who Jenna doesn’t fancy at all. Soon Jenna and Townsend are competing in the Dust Run – racing shuttles through an asteroid field without using computers, making the complex calculations in their heads. It’s dangerous, fool-hardy and really good fun. But they’re playing for the highest of stakes…

The Trial – The election is going to change everything. A man called Roj Blake promises the voters new hope, an end to years of corruption. There are those who can’t let him be heard. But Jenna Stannis is determined to get his message out to the colonies. It’s been years since the Dust Run, and Jenna’s a changed woman. She’s left the Vega system far behind, using her exceptional piloting skills to carve out a life as a smuggler. Blake’s message could earn her a fortune – or cost her, her life.

The trailer for this set and PayPal ordering of the CD are HERE. Also, take note: This isn’t yet available on Audible.com, but eight other B7 productions by the same team are!

Posted by Jesse Willis

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