My Destiny, The Stars: A 1969 South African radio drama about Wernher von Braun

November 24, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

In researching for another post, on an obscure Science Fiction radio drama called SF’68, I discovered a cool website about a South African radio station called “Springbok Radio” and one of its other programmes: The Challenge Of Space!

Here’spart of their description of The Challenge Of Space:

“Sponsored by Carling Black Label Beer, this series examined man’s early ventures into space. The space race of the 1950’s and 1960’s spawned this series, especially the Apollo missions to the moon in the late 1960’s. … recorded at the AFS Studios in Johannesburg… Many of the stories were dramatisations of true events and also included futuristic tales of space exploration of the future.”

Reading that, I was excited to hear the only extant episode, the second one broadcast, which is about Wernher von Braun!

After hearing the episode I am reminded of one of the few movies I’ve been waiting more than a decade to see, a 1960 biographical film about von Braun called I Aim At The Stars. I was convinced it sounded like a fun film when one comedian pointed out that it should have been subtitled “But Sometimes I Hit London.” Have a listen to My Destiny, The Stars.

Springbok Radio - The Challenge Of SpaceThe Challenge Of Space – My Destiny, The Stars
By June Dixon; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: Springbok Radio
Broadcast: May 26, 1969
Cast:
Donald Monat as Charles B. Ryan
Clive Parnell
George Korelin
Kerry Jordann
Hal Orlandini
Diane Wilson

After hearing this episode I am reminded of one of the few movies I’ve been waiting more than a decade to see, a 1960 biographical film about von Braun called I Aim At The Stars. I was convinced it sounded like a fun film when one satirist noted that I Aim At The Stars should be subtitled “But Sometimes I Hit London.”

Posted by Jesse Willis

CBC Spark: Nora Young interviews David Fewer about Bill C-32

November 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

CBC Radio - SparkYep, it’s another post on Bill C-32, Canada’s upcoming copyright legislation. Perhaps you are already aware that C-32, as currently written, exists to enshrine legal punishments for the circumvention of “technological protection measures [TPMs].” TPM, by the way, is a less sullied acronym for the widely opposed DRM (Digital Rights Management) – which is another word, in turn, for copy protection. Here is CBC’s Nora Young interviewing David Fewer, the director of The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, for an upcoming Spark radio broadcast (and podcast).

The Canadian government is taking another crack at reforming our nation’s extremely outdated copyright laws. Two previous bills died when Parliament dissolved. But Bill C-32 is bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and before committee. How necessary are these changes? The current legislation includes mention of Beta Max machines. Meanwhile, Bill C-32 would finally make it legal to record a program on your VCR to watch at a later time. Yes – a practice that is technically illegal in Canada.

|MP3|

Or, as one of my friends put it, “It has to be simple Jesse”. Maybe this simple…

Related posts: Bill C-32 |HERE|, copyfight |HERE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

P.S. find an unrelated protest HERE.

The SFFaudio Podcast #083

November 22, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #083 – Jesse talks with Jeremy Keith of HuffDuffer.com about his website. HuffDuffer can turn any MP3 file on the web into a podcast! HuffDuffer lets you make your own curated podcasts and share them with the world.

Talked about on today’s show:
HuffDuffer.com, turning loose mp3 files on the web into podcasts, “the benefit of the website happens when you’re not at the website”, maybe planning ahead just isn’t popular?, the HuffDuffer extension for Firefox, Mozilla Firefox vs. Google Chrome, Bookmarklet, “HuffDuffer is the perfectly developed website”, website design, “all software evolves until it becomes an email client” (or Facebook), interacting with iTunes, “it just works”, you can HuffDuff any audio extension (no video thanks very much), audio vs. video, the stigma of audio (and radio), adactio.com (Jeremy Keith’s website), SalterCane.com, BBC, CBC, tagging your podcasts, the Science Fiction tag on HuffDuffer, Sage an RSS catcher for Firefox, the HuffDuffer people page, the HuffDuffer tag cloud page, the use of machine tags, flickr.com, the Philip K. Dick tag, each tag makes its own feed, the Orson Scott Card Selects podcast feed, get satisfaction from HuffDuffer, HuffDuffing computer voiced MP3 files (please don’t), exploring HuffDuffer as a social network, ClearLeft.com and Jeremy Keith’s profile there, the philosophy of website design, how to design a website for every browser, designing SFFaudio’s design, inertia of website design and designers, “website development is the most hostile environments”, three things have changed the internet for me: 1. podcasting 2. HuffDuffer 3. RSS readers, consuming the content the way you want, the Readability bookmarklet, Safari 5, sustainable business models, Dark Roasted Blend, why isn’t HuffDuffer HUGE?, you aren’t competing on the web, niche websites are empowering, what happens if Jeremy Keith gets hit by a bus?, the demise of websites, is Wikipedia too big to fail?, the further demise of websites, “feature creep“, you don’t buy a domain name (you rent it), the Seeing Ear Theatre story, Archive.org, the Science Fiction mindset, The Wayback Machine, the death of Geocities was a tragedy for the future archaeologists of the web, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr., Anathem by Neal Stephenson, The Long Now Foundation, we need servers on the moon, bury archive.org under the Sea Of Tranquility, Carl Sagan, the Voyager record (it’s the longest of the LPs), reconstructing the phonograph 10,000 years down the road, does Science Fiction make you smarter? Jeremy Keith’s answer: “Only Science Fiction fans can be smart.”

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Space Dog Podcast

November 19, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Space Dog PodcastHey folks! If you remember the wonderful The Time Traveler Show podcast you’ll be thrilled to hear it’s host, and my friend, Rick Jackson has a brand new Science Fiction podcast! It’s called The Space Dog Podcast and it is being presented by the SCIENCE FICTION ORAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION (a non-profit organization dedicated to the recorded history of Science Fiction.). After listening to the first episode I just know you’re gonna really Laika it too! Here’s the description:

The first audio episode is from 1976 and features Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Lester del Rey, Frederik Pohl, and Gordon R. Dickson. Yes, we pulled out the big guns for this one. They are all featured in a one hour show called The Ballantine Science Fiction Hour.

|MP3|

Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/spacedogpodcast/feed2

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Speaking of Soviet space dogs, check out this awesome image of Belka and Strelka:

By V. Vizu (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Blood Groove by Alex Bledsoe

November 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Blood Groove by Alex BledsoeBlood Groove
By Alex Bledsoe; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
7 CDs – Approx. 8.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781433243880
Themes: / Fantasy / Urban Fantasy / Vampires / Revenge / Love / 1970s / 1910s / Memphis / Wales /

When centuries-old vampire Baron Rudolfo Zginski was staked in Wales in 1915, the last thing he expected was to reawaken in Memphis, Tennessee, sixty years later. Reborn into a new world of simmering racial tensions, he must adapt quickly if he is to survive. Hoping to learn how his kind copes with this bizarre new era, Zginski tracks down a nest of teenage vampires, who have little knowledge of their true nature, having learned most of what they know from movies like Blacula. Forming an uneasy alliance with the young vampires, Zginski begins to teach them the truth about their powers. They must learn quickly for there’s a new drug on the street created to specifically target and destroy vampires. As Zginski and his allies track the drug to its source, they may unwittingly be stepping into a trap that can destroy them all.

The vampire is the Mr. Potato Head of Fantasy fiction. It’s an old and worn out monster, fully mythologized with more than 100 interchangeable preternatural powers and weaknesses from which to assemble a fully customized vampire. For what might be a complete list of them check out the terrific website TVTropes.org. It cites a wonderfully cynical list of vampire tropes under the title: “Our Vampires Are Different.” So then the question is: If there is nothing really new under the sunless skies of vampire fiction why do we pick up them up? It’s a good question and one worth pondering. I picked up Blood Groove in large part because of the title. I liked the pun, figuring it referred to a blood groove (or fuller) on a sword and/or the idea of groovy 1970s vampires and/or the dado in a forensic pathologist’s slab. And before I picked up Blood Groove I noticed other Bledsoe books (probably a pun to be made there too) had cute titles like: The Sword-Edged Blonde and Burn Me Deadly.

Alex Bledsoe doesn’t give any new power to the vampire that he hasn’t had before, but he does add a new figurative kryptonite (like sunlight and garlic and crosses) to the mix. In fact, it’s creation and dissemination is central to the plot of Blood Groove. Along the way we also get an historical setting (1975), a virtual tour of parts of Memphis, Tennessee, some trivia about Elvis Presley and a relatively unpredictable story.

One of the elements that surprised me was not knowing who the protagonist of Blood Groove was. The vampires seemed the focus, and yet there was almost nothing that could make them sympathetic in a heroic or anti-heroic way. We’d meet one, he’d be killed, and then I thought “Okay…and?” but the story wouldn’t explain – which was a nice move actually. So for a good chunk of the novel the characters, all well fleshed out, appeared in scenes, died or were killed, only to be replaced by new characters with new agendas and new back-stories. The period shifted too. First we are in 1975 Memphis, then 1915 Wales. Eventually it settles down and we’re given fresh references, almost devotionals actually, to two early 1970s movies Blacula and Vanishing Point. As with many an urban fantasy novel these days there’s a mixing up of sex and love. Blood Groove doesn’t feel particularly paranormal romancy – but it’s probably not too far from the edges of curve.

Narrator Stefan Rudnicki gives voice to about a dozen characters of mixed gender, ethnicity and accent. Most obviously the East European vampire Baron Rudolfo Zginski has a suitably Bela Lugosi type accent. As with every Rudnicki read audiobook I’ve heard his rich voiced narration in Blood Groove is always in service to the text. One reviewer on Amazon.com put it well: “[Reading Blood Groove] was like eating a brownie with nuts when you don’t like the nuts.”

The trailer for Vanishing Point:

The trailer for Blacula:

Posted by Jesse Willis

METAtropolis: Cascadia – The Narrators

November 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

The producers of METAtropolis: Cascadia have placed a selection of video interviews with the narrators on YouTube. Here they are:

Creating Distinctive Voices:

Check out that awesome bookshelf full of audiobooks behind Wil Wheaton!

Environmental Themes:

Acting vs. Narrating:

Posted by Jesse Willis

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