New Audio Drama Review podcast

June 30, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Looking for reviews of your favorite Audio Dramas? Recently started, is Audio Cinema Review! Besides just reviews of Audio Drama, we also have round tables with people who are in the Audio Drama scene, and panels from different con’s across the country.

You can subscribe to the show by telling your favorite podcatcher to subscribe to: http://feeds.feedburner.com/AudioCinemaReview

Posted by Chris Moody

LibriVox: The Diamond Master by Jacques Futrelle

June 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

LibriVoxJacques Futrelle was a mystery writer best known for his creation, a rival to Sherlock Holmes, a detective named Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen, (aka “The Thinking Machine“)! Futrelle’s career was tragically, and famously, cut short whilst traveling aboard the titanic:

“[He] steadfastly refused to accept a chance to enter a lifeboat when he knew that the Titanic was sinking under him.”

This story, a novella, was actually adapted to film in a pair of 1920s movie serials. Sadly they no longer exist. But, Futrelle lives on, in this audiobook, and as the protagonist of The Titanic Murders by Max Allan Collins, which is a murder mystery set aboard the Titanic on its final voyage .

LIBRIVOX - The Diamond Master by Jacques FutrelleThe Diamond Master
By Jaques Futrelle; Read by Dawn Larsen
17 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 3 Hours 15 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 23, 2010
A perfect diamond worth millions is mailed, in a plain package, to a diamond dealer. Then he finds that identical diamonds were delivered to other diamond dealers. Where did the gems come from? Who sent them? And why?

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/4161

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[Thanks also to Annise]

Posted by Jesse Willis

FREE @ Audible.com: Any one of 50 Audiobooks (for NEW MEMBERS ONLY)

June 29, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Audible.com: Summer Free Audiobook Giveaway

It seems I posted the last post a bit too quickly. Audible.com is offering any one of FIFTY audiobooks to NEW Audible.com MEMBERS. Here’s the text:

“Welcome to Audible.com’s Summer FREE Audiobook Giveaway! We’re offering some of the season’s top titles, along with a number of our best-sellers, absolutely free with no strings attached. This is your best opportunity to try an audiobook absolutely free and kick-start your summer with a great book. Choose 1 FREE audiobook on us. There is no credit card required to participate. This event ends July 2, 2010, at 11:59 PM EST.”

Titles of interest include:
METAtropolis |READ OUR REVIEW|
The Lost Fleet: Dauntless by Jack Campbell
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
On Basilisk Station by David Weber |READ OUR REVIEW|
Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian
The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
I Am Legend: Free Version by Richard Matheson |READ OUR REVIEW|
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
The Lion’s Game by Nelson DeMille

There are plenty of others available too. Check it out |HERE|.

There is a limit of 1 audiobook per customer. Some audiobooks may not be available outside the United States and Canada.

Addendum: If you already have an existing account you probably won’t be eligible for this deal. Click on through to find out.

Posted by Jesse Willis

FREE @ Audible.com: The Sacrifice by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

June 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

FREE, right now, to Audible.com account holders, the first book in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s “The Fey” series!

Audible Frontiers - The Sacrifice by Kristine Kathryn RuschThe Sacrifice: The Fey, Book 1
By Kristine Kathryn Rusch; Read by David DeSantos
Audible Download – Approx. 26 Hours 14 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: June 22, 2010
Legendary for their bloodlust, sorcery, and fierce, dark beauty, the Fey have swept across three continents and never face defeat. But now, in defiance of their Black King, the warrior-prince Rugar and his fearless daughter, Jewel, have marshaled an invasion farce to meet its ultimate challenge: Blue Isle, glistening beyond impregnable rocks and raging waters. A people of simplicity and faith, untainted by intrigue, enchantment, or war, the Blue Islanders have never before been invaded. But their young prince, Nicholas, dreams of battle and will rally his countrymen against the onslaught of the Fey, even as the Islanders discover a deadly, undreamed-of power of their own. So begins a conflict that must ultimately destroy one race or the other – or both.

[via Audible’s Twitter feed]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #064 – READALONG: The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

June 28, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #064 – Scott and Jesse talk with Julie Davis and Luke Burrage about The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester!

Talked about on today’s show:
Forgotten Classics, Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, Richard K. Morgan’s The Steel Remains, The Invisible Man, Robert Sheckley’s The Status Civilization, exploding volcanoes, Gulliver Foyle, jaunting as teleporting, BAMF, The Uncanny X-Men, Jumper by Steven Gould, Charles Fort Jaunte (is a reference to Charles Fort), Fortean Times, The Tyger by William Blake,Tā moko (Maori facial tattoo), religion, swearing, tabernac, future swearing, Louis Wu in Larry Niven’s Ringworld, the frivolity of the wealthy, satire, sailing as conspicuous consumption, telepathy, Paul Williams, The Stars My Destination as a “pyrotechnic novel”, the power of the narrative imagery, the audiobook (a Library of Congress Book for the Blind version), the heirs of Alfred Bester are fighting over the rights, transformation, Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, “Most scientific!”, Alfred Bester’s years writing comics, WWII, the Wikipedia entry for The Stars My Destination, synesthesia, the long forgotten histories of synesthesia, Of Time, And Gully Foyle by Neil Gaiman, cyberpunk, a hard-boiled Philip K. Dick novel, passive schlubs, The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Pyrenees, the induction scene in William Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew, a shotgun approach to transformation, The Stars My Destination as meta book, Peter F. Hamilton, the renaissance man, Classics Illustrated #3 The Count Of Monte Cristo, Fourmyle of Ceres, PyrE, (the inspiration for Pyr Books?), Napoleon Bonaparte, thought turning into action, our overcrowded future, Second Life, Surrogates, only in a cyberpunk future, retroactive foreshadowing, the 1991 BBC Radio Drama version of Alfred Bester’s Tiger Tiger, the old language, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Pyrene, cyborgs, wired nerves, bullet time, you can’t spoil a book like this.

The Stars My Destination (Mediascene No. 36) 1979

The Revenge Of The Cosmonaut by Alfred Bester

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Edgar Allan Poe Collection, Volumes 9 and 10

June 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Horror Audiobook - Deus Et Machina by Edgar Allan PoeDeus Et Machina
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Christopher Aruffo
4 CDs – 4.5 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Acoustic Learning
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9780980058161
 
 
Horror Audiobook - The Pioneers by Edgar Allan PoeThe Pioneers
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Christopher Aruffo
6 CDs – 7.5 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Acoustic Learning
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9780980058154
 
 
Themes: / Horror / Science fiction / Travelogue / Angels / Space Travel / Hot Air Balloons / Alchemy /

We don’t know Poe. The mad success of his weird fiction, combined with the myth of his erratic lifestyle, supply more than 90% of what we think we know about Edgar Allan. But was he really erratic, obsessed and disturbed? And even if he was, is that the whole story?

The folks at poeaudio.com are attempting to tell something close to the whole story of Poe with a series called the Edgar Allan Poe Audiobook Collection. In multiple volumes, the greats of the Poe prose oeuvre—your Rue Morgues, your House of Ushers and your Masques of the Red Death—are read with histrionic flair by actor Christopher Aruffo. Here, however, we review volumes 9 (The Pioneers) and 10 (Deus et Machina) which contain lesser-known works.

These two volumes bring out into the fresh air some of the more musty trunks from the attics of Poe’s cobwebbed mind. They will be of thrilling interest to Poe fans and scholars with completest proclivities. For the rest of us, they are of mixed interest. I’ll let you know which tracks are worth a listen.

Vol. 9, The Pioneers gathers together writings about travel. Some pieces are journalistic descriptions of underappreciated natural scenery in the United States; these are of mild interest. “The Journal of Julius Rodman” purports to be the journal of an explorer who became the first white man to cross the Rocky Mountains; this hoax, written by Poe, is a rather dull read to anyone not fooled by its true origin. (And worse, it stands unfinished.)

“The Balloon-Hoax” does a better job of passing its truth-in-labeling test, and describes the crossing of the Atlantic by a famous aeronaut which never happened. (What’s with all these hoaxes? Orson Wells, eat your heart out.) Again, the lack of any suspense on the part of the present-day audience renders this story uncompelling. Better read the history of these two stories than the stories themselves.

The one really interesting work of volume 9 is “The Unparalleled Adventure of Hans Pfaal”, an novella about a balloon ride—no kidding—from the Earth to the Moon. What shocks me is Poe’s attempt here, before the genre had even been invented, to create a work of hard (yes, I mean it, hard) science fiction. He goes to some length to marshal scientific evidence for the possibility of at least some atmosphere in deep space, based on the existence of zodiacal light, the faint glow that Poe assumed was atmospheric haze, but is scattered by space dust in the ecliptic.

This, and other tech-y details, such as the description of the balloon flipping over when the moon’s gravity becomes predominant, reveals Poe’s endearingly quaint attempt at scientific rigor. He seems to understand that his scenario goes too far, however, because he ends with a plot device meant to give him deniability regarding the seriousness of the story. (It’s that hoax thing again!) “Hans Pfaal” is the one work of this volume I strongly recommend.

Vol. 10, Deus et Machina (that’s a pun in the title, not a typo) focuses on metaphysics and technological advances. This latter emphasis is a real eye-opener. It turns out Poe was a tech geek! I would have never guessed–it’s the one big revelation of the audiobook. If he were alive today, he’d be writing articles for Seed Magazine. Poe loves to report especially on the latest in printing techniques, and, oddly enough, street paving. These articles are short, and very revealing of Poe’s psyche. I recommend them.

His big hobby horse is the advantage of wooden streets, which he seems to prefer especially because they make the urban environment quieter. (Here, he is entirely consistent with our myth of him as the high-strung, hyper-sensitive genius.) Discussing the main objection to using wood as paving material—it rots—he takes seriously concerns about unhealthy “miasmas” rising from the decay, yet he reacts with eye-rolling prose to fears that mercury-based preservatives might have any health impact.

The two headliners of this volume, “The Facts in the case of M. Valdemar” and “Von Kempelen and His Discovery,” are diverting but not especially compelling. “Valdemar” is an exploration of mesmerism interacting with what I can only call the death process. It posits a state of suspended animation which was meant to creep us out, but falls flat. Dude: mesmerism is so over. “Von Kempelen” is less original, and no more plausible: a slight account of the discovery of the laboratory of a successful alchemist. Leave these stories to the serious Poe fans.

Least interesting of all are Poe’s metaphysical musings in the form of angelic dialogs. These are some of the most difficult audio narration I’ve ever heard. (Or tried to hear. Multiple listening left me asking myself: what the heck was that about? What did he just say?)

The one gem in this metaphysical manure pile is The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion. It’s is another angel dialog, but it explores a speculative concept that merges apocalypse (in the Biblical, as well as more modern, sense) with science fiction in a way that must have been very advanced in its time. The surprise ending really shocks, and gives a taste of that old Poe horror we know and love. This one has aged very gracefully and is highly recommended.

Posted by the Fredösphere

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