Ray Bradbury Tribute Song, Sort Of

August 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

On a double dog dare, I’ve decided to post this very funny and controversial video by Rachel Bloom. The controversy isn’t on the prominent use of the F-Bomb, but whether Ray Bradbury is the best Science Fiction writer in history. I hope we can agree that he is a great writer of fantasy/science fiction. More of a fantasist with the tropes of the science fiction genre.

What a great video to encourage teenagers (and adults too) to read. ;) The chorus is catchy. Be sure not to be singing out loud at grandma’s dinner table. Unless, of course, she’s an old Bradbury fan … and then perhaps she did f*ck Ray Bradbury.

[via BoingBoing.net]

Posted by Rick of the Brain Plucker Blog.

Review of Heist Society by Ally Carter

August 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, Reviews 

Aural Noir: Review

BRILLIANCE AUDIO - Heist Society by Ally CarterHeist Society
By Ally Carter; Read by Angela Dawe
5 CDs, 1 MP3-CD or Audible Download – Approx. 6 Hours 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: February 9, 2010
ISBN: 1441826734 (cd), 9781441826756 (mp3-cd)
Themes: / Crime / Caper / Heist / Grifting / Art / Europe / Romance /
SAMPLE |MP3|

Since she can remember, Katarina’s relatives have been grooming her for the family business – thieving. But when Kat tries to go straight and leave the “Life” for a normal life, she’s promptly kicked out of her new school for stealing the headmaster’s car and mounting it on the school fountain. Although she could have done it without breaking a sweat, ironically, this time, she’s innocent. In fact, she was framed – by another highly skilled thief. Her friend and brother-in-trade Hale, with his mischievous smile and limitless bank account, has appeared out of nowhere to bring her back to the Life, back to the family Kat tried so hard to escape. Hale has a good reason: A powerful mobster has just been robbed of his priceless art collection, and he wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have cracked this vault, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he IS the list. Now, caught between Interpol and a far more deadly predator, Kat’s dad needs her help. For Kat, a consummate thief in her own right, the solution is simple: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and maybe just enough misguided pride to pull off the biggest heist in history – or at least in her family’s (very crooked) history.

I can’t say there’s much more to this novel than the very detailed premise outlined above. It’s theme is as old as YA. A smart kid must save his or her parent from something. Mayhaps it’s not the most exicting theme ever, but it’s far more interesting than:

“Love conquers all, or love is the strongest force or something. Something about love being so strong to overcome anything.”

And as I value my time, and try to be pragmatic about these things, I find it hard not to recommend Heist Society as a breezy listen! It’s easily picked up, and just as easily dropped. I listened to it over the course of about four months – between more serious audiobooks and a forced reading of part of Twilight. Now, being a fan of practically every grifter/heist movie ever made, I can’t say I learned a single new trick or wrinkle while listening to Heist Society. But then again I didn’t really expect to. That isn’t to say, though, that I wouldn’t have liked to. And while all this probably doesn’t sound like a particularly ringing endorsement I’d much rather hand a copy of Heist Society to practically any kid than something far more popular with far more vapidity (like say something with a sparkly vampire and the teen who pines after him). See, the negatives with Heist Society aren’t particularly egregious. Sure Katarina’s and Hale are a pair of kids who act variously cynical and cool, innocent and dastardly, all while lusting (ever so gently) towards each other – but they do so in a slightly more realistic world, talking about slightly more realistic subjects, with slightly more interest in history, art and a lot more of the taking-charge-of-shit and a lot less of the lying-around-and-wishing-that a handsome-prince-whose-been-in-high-school-for-ninety-years would stare at her while she sleeps.

Bitter? Noooo, I’m not bitter.

Anyway, Ally Carter’s writing style is brisk, unobtrusive, and not wholly unsophisticated. It delivers a soft boiled tale that seems far more inspired by the Oceans 11, 12, 13, Entrapment, The Maiden Heist end of the spectrum than the The Silent Partner, The Great Train Robbery, Thief end. And if you’re an adult, in the mood for a YA novel that doesn’t have a single brooding vampire anywhere in sight (not even in the castles), this might just fill a few empty hours.

Narrator Angela Dawe performs Kat well enough, perhaps sounding a bit too adult. Dawe is not, however, quite able to fully sell me on the male characters. Her voice range isn’t particularly vast. Thankfully, as most scenes aren’t full of multiple characters, there isn’t much of a chance of confusing any of them. She’s certainly good enough for this novel.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Incomparable Podcast

August 23, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The IncomparableHere is the first episode |MP3| of The Incomparable Podcast. It appears to be all about SFF books! Huzzah! Here’s the description:

Climb in your Zeppelin, grab a self-burning book, and prepare for the first Incomparable Podcast, in which we discuss “The City and The City,” “The Windup Girl,” “For The Win,” and more. Plus we mispronounce the names of writers.

The Incomparable Participants: Glenn Fleishman, Scott McNulty, Dan Moren, and Jason Snell. The Incomparable Theme Song composed by Christopher Breen.

Prominently mentioned in this Incomparable episode:

* “The City & The City” by China Miéville
* “The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi
* “For the Win” by Cory Doctorow

Also mentioned:

* “Perdido Street Station” by China Miéville
* “Little Brother” by Cory Doctorow
* “Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom” by Cory Doctorow
* “Boneshaker” by Cherie Priest
* “The Gone-Away World” by Nick Harkaway
* “Ship Breaker” by Paolo Bacigalupi
* “Tongues Of Serpents” by Naomi Novik
* “The Dream Of Perpetual Motion” by Dexter Palmer
* “A Storm Of Swords” by George R.R. Martin
* “Oryx And Crake” by Margaret Atwood
* “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union” by Michael Chabon
* “Bitter Seeds” by Ian Tregillis
* “The Adamantine Palace” by Stephen Deas
* “Shades Of Grey” by Jasper Fforde
* “Fables” by Bill Willingham and Lan Medina

Podcast feed:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/incomparablepodcast

[via Jeremy Keith of Huffduffer.com]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Seeing Ear Theatre: Tripping Astral

August 23, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

One very kind person has added an early (perhaps the first) Seeing Ear Theatre production to the Internet Archive! It’s called Tripping Astral and it’s described thusly:

When a matter transfer experiment goes wrong, a scientist finds himself stranded on a alien planet.

I am, of course, adding it to our popular Seeing Ear Theatre post and will add any credits if and when we can find them.

SEEING EAR THEATRE - Tripping AstralTripping Astral
By Brian Smith?; Performed by a full cast
7 Zipped MP3 Files – Approx. 1 Hour 37 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Seeing Ear Theatre
Published: 1997
Provider: Archive.org
“An illustrated audio adventure, about Jack Torn, a research scientist on the moon, a possible–or probable?–alien invasion, and a stunning new invention that might just save the world, or end it… So kick back, but bring a bit of your mind, welcome to the theater of the imagination…
PLEASE NOTE: Tripping Astral was originally an illustrated audio production (with “synchronized, streaming pictures and animations”) they are not available at this time.

Episode 1 “Pilot” |MP3|
Episode 2 “Oh Holy Night” |MP3|
Episode 3 “Cavescapes” |MP3|
Episode 4 “Hello Again” |MP3|
Episode 5 “Wanting Wings” |MP3|
Episode 6 “The Fall” |MP3|
Episode 7 “Brooklyn Bridges” |MP3|

[Thanks MSA!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #072 – READALONG: Assam And Darjeeling by T.M. Camp

August 23, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #072 – Jesse and Scott talk with Julie Davis, of the Forgotten Classics podcast about Assam And Darjeeling by T.M. Camp |READ OUR REVIEW|.

Talked about on today’s show:
Assam & Darjeeling by T.M. Camp, Podiobooks.com, iTunes, serialized fiction, entertaining copyright notices, where do you do your podcast listening?, I’ve got my hands full of car, the volume on Assam And Darjeeling is way too low!, remastering Assam And Darjeeling for audiobook, listening to podcasts at double speed (only on iTouch and iPhone), the premise of Assam And Darjeeling, Hades, the underworld, Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle |READ OUR REVIEW|, Escape From Hell by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle , The Divine Comedy: The Inferno by Dante Alighieri, Virgil’s The Aeneid, Ovid, the Brothers Grimm, witches, Greek Mythology, Edgar, no one can be as cruel as a kid, Joss Whedon, in the hands of a skillful author, Matters Of Mortology by T.M. Camp, Kij Johnson‘s The Fox Woman, the Black Gate blog, foxes in mythology, Aesop’s Fable The Fox And The Grapes, Cernunnos, Herne the Hunter, making the switch from comedy to horror and horror to comedy, the Shaggy Man (in the Oz series), Tom Bombadil, he has psychic powers too?, page 18, masterly dialogue put into the mouths of young children, the PDF version of Assam And Darjeeling, What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson, life after death, Inception, Edgar Alan Poe should go into the underworld to get his wife Virginia, The Memory Palace episode about Edgar Allan Poe’s death (Episode 20 strong>This Ungainly Fowl), This American Life is really bleak, WNYC’s Radiolab isn’t, general fiction is generally bleak, A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O’Connor, Science Fiction vs. general fiction, Social Science Fiction, Science Fiction has a second layer, it’s not all style, The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin, Staggerford by Jon Hassler, there are ways to tell powerful stories, A Man In Full by Tom Wolfe, Bangsian Fantasy, Fantasy, re-reading The Lord Of The Rings, the more I think about it the more I think I don’t like Fantasy, SFSite.com, derivative Fantasy, romance novels, Jane Austen, John Thorne, The Long Walk by Stephen King (Richard Bachman), The Stand, It, Salem’s Lot, The Shining, Under The Dome, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, long vs. short, The Cell by Stephen King, 28 Days Later, Desperation by Stephen King, The Rapture, if you were a character in this book who would you be?, the rule that makes any book better: talk about food, Lawrence Block, the economy of the afterworld, lampshading, I’m done with sequels, Mike Resnick’s Starship series, Jim Butcher’s Dresden series, The Fall Of Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Make Room, Make Room by Harry Harrison, Soylent Green, Adventures by Mike Resnick, mammoths vs. mastodons, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The New York Times Book Review Podcast: YA Literature

August 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The New York Times Book Review PodcastThe August 6th episode of The New York Times Book Review podcast has a segment on Young Adult literature:

This week: Francine Prose on the novels of Hans Keilson; Pamela Paul on adults who read Y.A. novels; Mary Roach on her new book, “Packing for Mars”; Julie Bosman with notes from the field; and Jennifer Schuessler with best-seller news. Sam Tanenhaus is the host.

Have a listen |MP3| (the YA segment starts at about 13 minutes in).

Podcast feed:

http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/podcasts/bookupdate.xml

There’s also an accompanying text article HERE.

[via ElaineTM of the Audible Yahoo! Group]

Posted by Jesse Willis

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