X-Minus One: The Lifeboat Mutiny by Robert Sheckley

May 25, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Lifeboat Mutiny is a part of Robert Sheckley’s “AAA Ace Series.” The series has eight stories, each involving two partners in the far future encountering various unusual problems. One fan on LibraryThing described the series as being about “two of the unluckiest fellas who ever set out to make a fortune” – I’m still exploring the series, but I note that some non-AAA Ace Sheckley stories also seem to fit into that category – stories like Warrior Race and Untouched By Human Hands!

I find X-Minus One’s shows to be very hit or miss, but this Robert Sheckley story completely works. In fact, I’ve used the script for The Lifeboat Mutiny in school. Kids love it, adults love it. My only nit-pick with this adaptation is that the actor playing the lifeboat is not nearly emotional enough – he totally underplays the scripted dialogue – when I do this part, I always play the lifeboat as highly emotional.

X-Minus OneX-Minus One – The Lifeboat Mutiny
Based on the story by Robert Sheckley; Adapted by Ernest Kinoy; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: NBC Radio
Broadcast: September 11, 1956
Provider: Archive.org
Two planetary surveyors purchase a second-hand lifeboat to survey a water planet not knowing that the ship contains an artificial intelligence created for a war five hundred years in the past.

First published in Galaxy Science Fiction’s 1955 issue with an illustration by Kossin:

Galaxy Magazine - April 1955 - The Lifeboat Mutiny by Robert Sheckley

Galaxy April 1955 - The Lifeboat Mutiny - Illustration by Kossin

Here’s The Middlebury Radio Theater‘s recording of the script too:

The Middlebury Radio Theater Of Thrills And SuspenseThe Lifeboat Mutiny
Based on the story by Robert Sheckley; Adapted by Ernest Kinoy; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: The Middlebury Radio Theater Of Thrills And Suspense
Podcast: February 5, 2011

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: King Of The Khyber Rifles by Talbot Mundy

May 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxKing Of The Khyber Rifles is an war and espionage novel by one of Robert E. Howard’s favourite writers. Described as “fantastic” (in the literary sense), perhaps because of the inclusion of a fair amount of Theosophy amongst all it’s action and intrigue.

I kind of like Brett W. Downey’s narration too. His rendering of the text sounds very 1920s to me and his voice seems designed to say stuff like: “the kid’s got a lot of moxie I tell you.”

LIBRIVOX - King Of The Khyber Rifles by Talbot MundyThe King Of The Khyber Rifles
By Talbot Mundy; Read by Brett W. Downey
18 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 9 Hours 57 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: May 12, 2010
Athelstan King is a British Secret Agent stationed in India at the beginning of WWI. He is attached to the Khyber Rifles regiment as a cover, but his real job is to prevent a holy war. “To stop a holy war single-handed would be rather like stopping the wind–possibly easy enough, if one knew the way.” King is ordered to work with a mysterious and powerful Eastern woman, Yasmini. Can King afford to trust her? Can he afford not to? First published in Everybody’s Magazine May 1916 to January 1917.

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/4127

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Here’s the Talbot Mundy biography from the Classics Illustrated edition of King Of The Khyber Rifles:

Classics Illustrated's Talbot Mundy biography

[via TriciaG and Annise]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Thing On The Roof by Robert E. Howard

May 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Thing On The Roof by Robert E. Howard

Robert E. Howard sold The Thing On The Roof, a thirteen page horror story, to Weird Tales for $40. It is one of his Cthulhu Mythos Tales. As such it is set within the universe created by H.P. Lovecraft. I think I first encountered it in David Drake’s 1986 Baen Book Cthulhu: The Mythos And Kindred Horrors. But, after looking through my Robert E. Howard paperbacks collection I note that it was also hidden within my 1976 Zebra edition of Pigeons From Hell, edited by Glenn Lord . Can you believe The Thing On The Roof wasn’t listed on the table of contents?!?!

Was that supposed to be funny? An easter egg?

Strangely, The Thing On The Roof features a book collector who’s after a book that doesn’t have all of its contents either. Or maybe this mystery is indicative of something just a little more sinister. I’m seeing more odd parallels here. See, my avocation has been book collecting ever since I visited the Yucatan! And there’s a creepy stone object I got while down in Mexico – maybe it’s cursed?

Stone Object From Mexico

Wait, who is that clomping on my apartment door? I better finish this post before I answer it.

To sum up, The Thing On The Roof is available, complete and unabridged, over on the Cthulhu Podcast. It is read by FNH, who also recorded The Insidious Doctor Fu Manchu awhile back. Highly recommended:

Cthulhu PodcastThe Thing On The Roof
By Robert E. Howard; Read by FNH
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Cthulhu Podcast
Podcast: May 15, 2011
|ETEXT|
An archaeologists, and book collector, is asked by an old rival to find a copy of the obscure first edition of Friedrich Wilheim von Junzt’s Nameless Cults. He may live to regret the favour. First published in the February 1932 issue of Weird Tales.

Podcast feed:

http://feeds2.feedburner.com/cthulhupodcast

Also, check out the excellent Roy Thomas adaptation done for Marvel Comics’ Chamber Of Chills issue #3 back in 1972 (available at the Diversions Of The Groovy Kind blog):

Chamber Of Chills #3 - The Thing On The Roof adapted by Roy Thomas and Frank Brunner

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #109 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick

May 23, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #109 – a complete and unabridged reading of The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick. First up, the complete story from Wonder Audio, followed by a discussion of it with Jesse, Scott, and Tamahome.

Talked about on today’s show:
Wonder Audio, Philip K. Dick, The Twilight Zone, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein, what is the Philip K. Dick way, empathy, a lack of empathy, paranoia, Science Fiction or Fantasy?, definitely a horror story, not a lot of technology, aliens, other dimensions, Lovecraftian!, who is the titular stranger?, Byron Sonne, Bradley Manning, The Invasion, what’s the purpose of controlling the humans?, Passengers by Robert Silverberg, The Hidden, Men In Black, gods, scary picture of Beelzebub, The Walking Dead, third person – deep penetration vs. omniscient, Fair Game by Philip K. Dick (SFFaudio Podcast #097), To Serve Man by Damon Knight, honeypot, would be cool: a TV series with a new PKD story every week, The Ray Bradbury Theater, H.G. Wells, The Star by H.G. Wells, next week: Dream Park by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, Next A Good Story Is Hard To Find podcast: Stories Of Your Life by Ted Chiang, Fallen is brown!, Elias Koteas

Science Fiction Adventures December 1953 - COVER

Science Fiction Adventures - December 1953 - Table Of Contents

The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick

The Hanging Stranger - illustration by Smith

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The Black Star by Johnston McCulley

May 20, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

LibriVoxToday Johnston McCulley is probably best known as the creator of Zorro. But in his own day McCulley had several success in pulp fiction. The Black Star was among his first repeating characters – the titular character being a masked burglar with a massive ego and a five pointed signautre.

Proof listener “Betty M.” says that the titular Black Star reminds her of “the Scarlet Pimpernel, only the Black Star is a scoundrel” – after listening to the first chapter he sounds like a demented supervillain to me – he breaks-in to private residences and pastes black stars all over people’s headboards and dressing tables!!?!?!

The Wikipedia entry on Black Star describes him thusly:

Black Star was what was once termed a “gentleman criminal”, in that he does not commit murder, nor does he permit any of his gang to kill anyone, not even the police or his arch enemy Roger Verbeck. He does not threaten women, always keeps his word, and is invariably courteous, nor does he deal with narcotics in any of his stories. He is always seen in a black cloak and a black hood on which is embossed a jet black star. The Black Star and his gang used “vapor bombs” and “vapor guns” which rendered their victims instantly unconscious, a technique which pre-dated the Green Hornet’s gas gun by several decades.

That still sounds a lot more Lex Luthor, than Raffles, to me.

LIBRIVOX - The Black Star by Johnston McCulleyThe Black Star
By Johnston McCulley; Read by Roger Melin
36 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 8 Hours 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: May 17, 2011
The Black Star was a master criminal who took great care to never be identifiable, always wore a mask so nobody knew what he looked like, rarely spoke to keep his voice from being recognized, and the only mark left at the scenes of the crimes which he and his gang committed were small black stars which were tacked as a sign of their presence, and an occasional sarcastic note to signify his presence and responsibility. Even those who worked for him knew nothing of him, all of which were making his crimes virtually unsolvable. The police were at a complete loss as to his identity and at a method of stopping his criminal activities. He seemed to have the perfect strategic setup and all advantages were in his favor. He even somehow knew where the wealthy kept their jewels and money, and knew when they would remove valuable items from their safes and deposit boxes. Thus Roger Verbeck decided to take on the case of the Black Star using his own methodology. The Black Star will keep you guessing from beginning to end, just as he kept the police and Verbeck guessing.

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/5440

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[Thanks also to Betty M. and David Lawrence]

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: iambik audio’s Science Fiction & Fantasy Collection

May 18, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: New Releases 

New Releases

Iambik AudiobooksIambik Audiobooks has just released its first Science Fiction & Fantasy Collection! Individual books are $6.99, and you can get the whole collection of nine titles for $43.99.

Use the code “sff-audio-25” and get a 25% discount on your order.

Number one on my to listen list is this classic David Gerrold novel…

IAMBIK AUDIO - The Man Who Folded Himself by David GerroldThe Man Who Folded Himself
By David Gerrold; Read by Charles Bice
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 4 Hours 28 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: May 2011
ISBN: 9781926673400
The Man Who Folded Himself, written in 1973 (and reissued by BenBella in 2003) is a classic science fiction novel by award-winning author David Gerrold. This work was nominated for both Hugo and Nebula awards and is considered by some critics to be the finest time travel novel ever written.

IAMBIK AUDIO - An Occupation Of Angels by Lavie TidharAn Occupation Of Angels
By Lavie Tidhar; Read by Elizabeth Klett
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 3 Hours 23 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: May 2011
After Archangels materialise over the bloodbaths of WWII, they take up residence in most of the world’s major cities. But what would happen if, more than quarter of a century later, something somehow managed to kill these supreme beings? Killarney knows and, as an agent working for the Bureau, a British agency that’s so secret it doesn’t officially exist, she finds herself embroiled in the consequences as, one by one, the Archangels die. Assigned to trace a missing cryptographer thought to have information on the murders, she travels from England, through France, heading for the frozen wastes of the USSR. But there’s an unknown third party intent on stopping her, and there’s God, who also has an agenda. Not knowing who is friend and who is foe, and with only a brief glimpse of a swastika on angel wings as solid information, Killarney struggles to remain alive long enough to glean sufficient information to put together the pieces of the puzzle and complete what is, without them, an impossible mission.

IAMBIK AUDIO - Ben And The Book Of Prophecies by Kristy RiddifordBen And The Book Of Prophesies
By Kirsty Riddiford; Read by Ruth Golding
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 9 Hours 25 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: May 2011
ISBN: 9781926673431
Ben and the Book of Prophecies is the first book of the Prophecies of Ballitor. Ben is the youngest and most successful thief in the royal city of Quadrivium, but an unexpected encounter with Bella, the queen’s mother, changes his life forever. In return for a substantial reward Ben agrees to track down the Book of Prophecies which disappeared from the palace library many years before. It is believed that the Book contains a prophecy which will save the kingdom from an impending war with the rebels. Yet Bella also has an ulterior motive, to find her son who went missing whilst searching for the same book. Ben finds himself catapulted into an unfamiliar world of magic and intrigue where talking eagles and mythical creatures help him on his quest. During his travels he unearths dark secrets as lives are put in peril and an unforeseen reunion surfaces. But not everyone wants the book to be found

IAMBIK AUDIO - Open Your Eyes by Paul JessupOpen Your Eyes
By Paul Jessup; Read by Tadgh Hynes
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 3 Hours 23 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: May 2011
ISBN: 9781926673196
Her lover was a supernova who took worlds with him when he died, and as a new world grows within Ekhi, savage lives rage and love on a small ship in the outer reaches of space. A ship with an agenda of its own. Critically acclaimed author of weird fiction Paul Jessup sends puppets to speak and fight for their masters while a linguistic virus eats through the minds of a group of scavengers in Open Your Eyes, a surrealist space opera of haunting beauty and infinite darkness.

IAMBIK AUDIO - Fall From Earth by Matthew JohnsonFall From Earth
By Matthew Johnson; Read by Emma Newman
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 9 Hours 3 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: May 2011
ISBN: 9781926673332
Shi Jin is a rebel, the latest in a long line of those who have challenged the Borderless Empire and failed. Dropped with a crew of convicts on an uninhabited planet, Shi Jin – and mankind- encounter alien life forms for the first time. She discovers that she is part of a much bigger game…one that will force her to decide between her desire to defeat the Empire and the future of humanity.

IAMBIK AUDIO - In The Shadow Of Swords by Val GunnIn The Shadow Of Swords
By Val Gunn; Read by Clive Catterall
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 10 Hours 15 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: May 2011
ISBN: 9781926673424
When the assassin Ciris Sarn, murders Hiril Altaïr, he unwittingly leaves behind the legendary Books of Promise. They come into the hands of Hiril’s vengeful widow, Marin, and she becomes a target even as she hunts for her husband’s murderer. Meanwhile, Fajeer Dassai, a brutal kingmaker, plots to retrieve the fabled treasure to make himself wealthy beyond imagination. His only obstacle is Pavanan Munif, a capable, but drug-addicted tracker. Soon assassins, sheikhs, spies, and viziers are all embroiled in a potentially world-shattering conspiracy racing to an inevitable showdown where violence and murder is the only path to true redemption.

IAMBIK AUDIO - Space Captain Smith by Toby FrostSpace Captain Smith
By Toby Frost; Read by Clive Catterall (Myrmidon)
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 7 Hours 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: May 2011
ISBN: 9781926673417
Space Captain Smith is the first book of the Chronicles of Isambard Smith. It’s the 25th Century and the British Space Empire faces the gathering menace of the evil ant-soldiers of the Ghast hive, hell bent on galactic domination and the extermination of all humanoid life forms. Captain Isambard Smith is the square-jawed, courageous and somewhat asinine new commander of the clapped out freighter John Pym, destined to take on the alien threat because nobody else is available. Together with his bold crew- a skull-collecting alien lunatic, an android pilot who is actually a fugitive sex toy and a hamster called Gerald- he must collect new-age herbalist Rhianna Mitchell from the New Francisco orbiter and bring her back to the Empire in safety. Straightforward enough – except the Ghasts want her too and, in addition to a whole fleet of Ghast warships, Smith has to confront void sharks, a universe-weary android assassin and John Gilead, psychopathic naval officer from the fanatically religious Republic of Eden before facing his greatest enemy: a ruthless alien warlord with a very large behind…

IAMBIK AUDIO - The Golden Casket And The Spectres Of Light by Katie PatersonThe Golden Casket And The Specters Of Light
By Katie Paterson; Read by Karen Savage
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 8 Hours 44 Minutes Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: May 2011
ISBN: 9781926673448
The Golden Casket And The Specters Of Light is the second book of the Chronicles of Valonia. Three years after Rachel and Gareth’s lives had returned to normal, they are forced to revisit Valonia, after receiving an unsettling phone call. The Golden Casket And The Specters Of Light pursue them back into the heart of danger, this time to face an even greater threat, as they attempt to unravel a mysterious disappearance. The twins find themselves in a race against time beside a trio of evil sorcery.

IAMBIK AUDIO - The Jewels Of Valonia by Katie PatersonThe Jewels Of Valonia
By Katie Paterson; Read by Karen Savage
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 7 Hours 43 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: May 2011
ISBN: 9781926673394
The Jewels Of Valonia is the first book of the Chronicles of Valonia. It follows 12-year-old twins, Gareth and Rachel, as they embark on a mystical adventure after travelling to the remote village of Valonia, where everything is far from what it seems. An encounter with a stranger leads them into a world of sorcery and danger. As they pass through the realms of time, the twins realise that their destiny lies within powers that they have yet to understand and control.

IAMBIK AUDIO - Science Fiction And Fantasy Collection No. 1Complete Science-Fiction & Fantasy Collection 1
By various; Read by various
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 62 Hours 53 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: May 2011
This collection includes all the titles in Iambik’s first release of Science-Fiction and Fantasy books.

Titles in the collection:
Ben And The Book Of Prophecies by Kirsty Riddiford
Fall From Earth by Matthew Johnson
In The Shadow Of Swords by Val Gunn
The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold
An Occupation Of Angels by Lavie Tidhar
Open Your Eyes by Paul Jessup
Space Captain Smith by Craig Smith
The Jewels of Valonia by Katie Paterson
The Golden Casket And The Spectres Of Light by Katie Paterson

Posted by Jesse Willis

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