WIKISOURCE: Adjustment Team by Philip K. Dick – MANUAL AUDIOBOOK EDITION (you have to read it aloud yourself)

September 30, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

WIKISOURCEWikisource, the “Free Library of source texts which are in the public domain or legally available for free redistribution” (a sister project of Wikipedia) has a now completely OCRd edition The Adjustment Team by Philip K. Dick.

The complete text, including images from its first publication, is now up and ready for your reading pleasure. |GET IT HERE|

Since the public domain audiobook version isn’t available anymore (due to the threat of a lawsuit) you can’t read-along.

If you’re civil minded, and a PKD fan, why not go and protest the threat, support the common good, and read the text aloud to a friend?

I’ve done it myself, it’s really fun, but I would actually recommend you print up a couple of copies and read it aloud with that friend!

Take turns, enjoy yourselves.

I don’t know if you’d want to record the audio, LibriVox is still under threat. But maybe you could even make a YouTube (or other) video out of it!

If you do I’ll embed the video below.

Adjustment Team was first published in Orbit Science Fiction’s Sept-Oct 1954 (No.4) issue.

Illustrations by Faragasso:

Adjustment Team by Philip K. Dick

Adjustment Team by Philip K. Dick

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC R4 + Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye RADIO DRAMA

September 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Radio Times review of The Long GoodbyeBBC Radio 4RadioArchives.ccJust in case you hadn’t noticed that is back up, it is!


And now that it is I’ll be sure to be watching for the complete torrent for this great sounding new BBC Radio 4 production of The Long Goodbye (it begins tomorrow)!

BBC Radio 4 - The Long GoodbyeThe Saturday Play – The Long Goodbye
Adapted from the novel by Raymond Chandler; Performed by a full cast
4 Parts – Approx. [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: October 1, 2011 – 14:30-16:00
Toby Stephens is back as Raymond Chandler’s fast-talking private eye Philip Marlowe. This is California in the 50’s, as beautiful as a ripe fruit and rotten to the core, reflecting all the tarnished glitter of the American Dream. Outside a club on Sunset Boulevard Marlowe meets a drunk named Terry Lennox, a man with scars on one side of his face. They forge an uneasy friendship but everything changes when Lennox shows up late one night, asking for a favour.

Philip Marlowe…Toby Stephens
Terry Lennox…..Trevor White
Eileen Wade…Saskia Reeves
Roger Wade…Peter Polycarpou
Howard Spencer…James Lailey
Candy…Simon Bubb
Menendez…Alun Raglan

Dramatised by Stephen Wyatt
Directed by Claire Grove

Check out Stuart Manning’s glowing review (left). It appeared in the latest The Radio Times.

[Thanks Roy!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

NPR: Mark Haddon on The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time

September 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

NPR Weekend EditionI’m both intrigued and excited about the prospects of talking about The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. From the very first chapter, Chapter 2 (!), the narration grabbed me. The main character, Christopher, is awesomely neurodivergent and the story he’s telling is absolutely compelling. I love that it has such stunningly low stakes.

Here’s an NPR interview with author Mark Haddon from 2003.

Martha Woodroof of member station WMRA profiles author Mark Haddon, whose novel The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time features a 15-year-old math whiz with Asperger’s Syndrome who tries to discover who killed a dog with a garden fork.


Posted by Jesse Willis

Hypnobobs: What Was It? by Fitz James O’Brien

September 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Mr. Jim Moon, a recent guest on SFFaudio Podcast #126, has recorded another story you just have to hear! It’s an old one, it’s wonderful, it’s obscure and it’s been recorded with an amateur’s enthusiasm and a professional’s sound. Mr. Moon, who I’m coming to realize is something of an expert in weird fiction, tracked down the complete text – apparently nearly all modern editions have used a slightly condensed version – cleanly narrated it (without any added sound effects or annoying bed music), then complimented the reading with what I can only describe as a very thoughtful commentary of an impassioned researcher.

Honestly, how could anyone ask for more than that?

My figurative hat is off to you Mr. Jim Moon. You are what makes the internet a wonderful place to visit.

What Was It? by Fritz James O'BrienWhat Was It?
By Fitz James O’Brien; Read by Jim Moon
1 |MP3| – Approx. 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Hypnobobs
Podcast: September 18, 2011
One of the earliest known examples of invisibility in fiction is What Was It? by Fitz James O’Brien – He’s been called “the most important figure after Poe and before Lovecraft” and this story serves as a kind of a bridge between the supernatural and the scientific, between the likes of de Maupassant’s The Horla and Wells’ The Invisible Man.

Podcast feed:

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #127 – READALONG: Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

September 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #127 – Jesse, Scott, Tamahome, and Prof. Eric S. Rabkin discuss Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End (no apostrophe).

Talked about on today’s show:
“Welcome to our belief circle”, pronouncing “Vinge”, why Eric picked the book, how to appreciate it, Jesse: “I’m not super impressed”, the Neuromancer connection, Robert Gu (the grouchy poet), The Rabbit, mind control, “affiliances”, this book is happy, “it’s a noir book (Neuromancer)”, the nature of Rabbit, the book is told in free indirect style (vs 3rd person limited vs 3rd person omniscient) (I guess “3rd person limited omniscient” is a contradiction), Sherlock Holmes, POV of Rabbit, a missing MacGuffin, we spoil both Neuromancer and Rainbows End, the book’s other inspirations, Alice In Wonderland, projected realities (belief circles), Vinge: “a very mellow extrapolation”, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress (huh?), Mike the computer, the Jewish doxie of shim sung, Jesse: “I’m liking it more”, the original novella Fast Times At Fairmont High, Bob And Carol And Ted And Alice (sexy!), The Bear Came Over The Mountain by Alice Munro, nursing homes, “a proto-typical mainstream story”, no one likes Robert Gu, Rollback by Robert Sawyer, Vinge’s writing strengths, “big steaming mounds of infodump”, Faulkner’s Light In August, Away From Her (film of Munro story), let’s hear it for Canada, Dune, “The Doomsday Machine” (Star Trek), Saberhagen’s Berserkers, “destruction of the past for the future”, libraryoem = human genome, “tempest in a teapot”, the Geisel Library is named after Dr. Seuss, biological vs technical, “visceral”, The Space Merchants, Terry Pratchett, “DRM’d to the bone”, is it a dystopia?, reach out and touch someone, the word “apostrophe” in poetry, “that’s an extra cuteness”, the absent transitive like “do you ride?”, How do you write good science fiction?, Robert A. Heinlein, Virtual Light, Google Goggles app, Layers app, A Christmas Carol, The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain, “the snake of knowledge”, Eric takes notes when he reads, taking notes in an audio book (the Audible app can, Eric), ebook vs paper book, search skills,, Eric’s computer has all the answers, The Diamond Age, politics, Winston Blount, Miri, growth, Xiu Xiang, “Rainbows End is a pot of gold”, a heavenly minefield, rebirth, The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke.

doomsday machine

Posted by Tamahome

Commentary: The Ethics Of Torrents

September 24, 2011 by · 13 Comments
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

Look at this screenshot. Just look at it!

The Pirate Bay - Ethics

It’s screenshot of a torrent for an audiobook about ethics. The audiobook in question (one from Recorded Books’ The Modern Scholar series) is entitled Ethics, A History Of Moral Thought. It’s a course by Peter Kreeft, a professor of philosophy at Boston College and the uploader is listed as “anonymous”.

Why did he or she upload it?

Why did he or she do so anonymously?

Was uploading it wrong?

Am I wrong to download it?

Am I wrong to even point it out?

You may have answers to these questions. If you do they’re probably swirling around somewhere inside of you – but if they are of the sort of answers that are ready to latch on to just about any reasonable sounding analogy, the kind of analogy that matches the conclusion you want to come to, I’m betting they are the wrong answers.

If your answers to those questions don’t originate in your brain (figuratively) as much as they do your gut (again figuratively) we’d probably call those answers moral answers.

If, on the other hand, your answers have a structure to them, are logically argued towards (rather than just intuitively felt) and have some basis in experience we’d probably call those ethical answers.

Let’s go through the old argument:

1. Theft is wrong.
2. Using torrents is stealing.
3. Therefore torrents are wrong.

This argument sounds good. It is simple and has a morally satisfying conclusion.

But if the premises have something wrong with them, we must reject the conclusion.

The problem is with premise #2 .

Torrents are/is a technology, like podcasts and email. Technology doesn’t usually come in only one flavour, just good or wholly evil. Torrents are the same. Copyright owners torrent their own material – that isn’t wrong. Public domain material is torrented – that isn’t wrong. So torrents themselves aren’t the problem. Even if we associate 99% of all torrenting with wrongful behavior that doesn’t make the technology wrong. Etc. Etc.

So what is wrong exactly? Is it that copying is theft?

Let’s go through that argument:

1. Theft removes a thing from someone’s use.
2. Digital copying does not destroy the original.
3. Therefore digital copying is not stealing.

Makes sense right? So theft, at least the precise meaning of it isn’t the problem. How about this argument:

1. Harm is wrong.
2. To infringe upon copyrighting causes harm.
4. Therefore copyrights shouldn’t be violated.

I like this one. I think a lot of other people like it to. My only problem is with premise #2. What does it mean exactly?

Does it mean that someone is physically wounded? Clearly not. I’m betting this isn’t a physical thing at all. Maybe it is something else, or maybe it’s purely financial.

Is there a financial harm?


Let’s have a look at that one such argument:

1. Copyright generates revenue for copyright holders.
2. Infringing on copyright subverts copyright.
3. Therefore not infringing copyright helps copyright holders financially.

And if you believe #1 I’ll happily lease this post for 1ยข per day (minimum 100 days please). Premise #1 in the above argument just isn’t true. It can be true, but it sure doesn’t make for as compelling an argument:

1. Copyright can generate revenue for copyright holders.
2. Infringing on copyright subverts copyright.
3. Therefore not infringing copyright could help copyright holders financially.

That’s enough to start with.

If you would definitely not have paid for Ethics, A History Of Moral Thought would it have helped the copyright holder?

If you definitely would have paid for Ethics, A History Of Moral Thought, then why haven’t you?

If you once considered it, but didn’t buy it, I’m betting it is either price or convenience that’s prevented you.

Both can influence ethical arguments, but often don’t because they complicate matters.

$49.95 + shipping used CD on Amazon (no DRM but slightly inconvenient format) – copyright remuneration $0.00
$38.95 on Audible (with DRM) – copyright remuneration UNKNOWN
$30.36 + shipping used on cassette (no DRM but inconvenient format) – copyright remuneration $0.00
FREE on Audible for first time customers (with DRM) – copyright remuneration UNKNOWN
FREE on (with no DRM and no inconvenience) – copyright remuneration $0.00
FREE at your public library (variable formats and convienience) – copyright remuneration UNKNOWN

What we end up with is a lot of question marks. And if you suspect that the answers to the three UNKNOWNS above aren’t likely to be equal I agree with you. But what I find more interesting is that two of those $0.00 answers actually don’t generate any moral disgust in most people and I think that may be where our answer lies.

Yeah, I said it. The used versions of books are neither immoral nor unethical!

And why is it exactly that the arguments in favour of making the purchase of used books unethical have all failed to change our minds?

Now weigh those variable UNKNOWNS against these knowns:

Negatives regarding download of copyrighted material via torrent:

1. Copyright holders do not directly benefit monetarily.
2. You may be, depending on jurisdiction, in violation of a law – which may be scary.
3. You may feel guilty.

Positives regarding download of copyrighted material via torrent:

1. Convenience – torrents are fast and easy, they are often better labelled versions of the content, they lack DRM.
2. Price – torrents are free.
3. Intangibles – sharing makes you feel good, other torrent users benefit, copyright holders may benefit indirectly.

If our reasoning happens inside a big bag of blackness our reasoning is going to be poor. Ethics is hard. I’d like to hear some arguments.

What’s your answer to these questions?

Posted by Jesse Willis

Next Page »