CBC: Nazi Eyes On Canada

January 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Relic RadioThere’s one segment of Nazi Eyes On Canada, episode 5 “Alameda” (Saskatchewan), available via Relic Radio’s Orson Welles: On The Air podcast.


This is one of the strangest and oldest alternate history radio programs I’ve ever heard |READ OUR REVIEW|.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Shepherd by Fredrick Forsyth; Read by Alan Maitland

January 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

If you were to take a stab at guessing the favourite audiobook of Canadians you’d be well to guess a Christmas story that includes a vampire, a ghost, and a mosquito.

Produced for CBC Radio this classic reading of Frederick Forsyth’s The Shepherd is superbly read by Alan Maitland (aka Frontporch Al, aka Fireside Al, aka Graveside Al).

Bonus: A CBC interview with Frederick Forsyth about the story, the interviewer is Barbara Budd!



Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Dragon Factory by Jonathan Mayberry

January 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Fantasy Audiobook - The Dragon Factory by Jonathan MayberryThe Dragon Factory: A Joe Ledger Novel
By Jonathan Maberry; Read by Ray Porter
16 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio via Audible.com
Published: 2011
Themes: / Science Fiction / Cloning / Genetics / Mayhem /
“Detective Ledger?” he said, and held out an ID case. “NSA.”

“How do you spell that?”

Joe Ledger’s back.

In Patient Zero, (SFFaudio review here) he saved the world from a zombie apocalypse and Muslim terrorists. Almost single handed.

How will he do on the island of Dr. Moreau?

In The Dragon Factory Joe is evading government agents trying to shut down the DMS, is the only man alive to have defeated genetically engineered super warriors, and is romancing his beautiful fellow agent Grace Courtland.

And that’s just in the first few chapters.

Once again, Jonathan Maberry weaves a threat we know with a threat from fiction. A mad scientist (Cyrus) is using genetic experiments to mold the world in a way that will have horrific results for the population at large. Did I mention he’s German? And enjoys cloning as a light pastime?

Meanwhile, a pair of amoral, super intelligent, albino twins are mixing and matching genetics to create creatures of myth and monsters from your worst nightmares.

Joe’s got to find and stop all of them before the “Extinction Wave” doomsday program counts down to zero and releases havoc on the world. With a little help from Top, Bunny, Grace, and the enigmatic Mr. Church, of course.

I enjoy the way that Maberry mashes up several genres, with tongue in cheek, and produces a pulp fiction style, action-packed roller coaster ride that keeps me on the edge of my seat.

This book tells a good portion of the story from the crazed villains’ point of view, to good effect. I really love the dysfunctional family of super-villains where the children have disappointed the father by not having enough “vision” and the kids have giant “daddy” issues.

Maberry also dug just a bit deeper than I expected by contrasting the villainous family with Eighty-Two the clone who Cyrus loves most but who fails every psych test in being “acceptable” (as his henchman, Otto, puts it). I didn’t stop to think about what that meant when filtered through the horrific mindsets that Otto and Cyrus have, but the result was an interesting surprise that led to some interesting musing about free will versus evil and nature versus nurture. It isn’t that deep but I still found its inclusion refreshing in a book of this sort.

As in Patient Zero, Ray Porter’s narration was spot on, voicing Joe Ledger as if he were the man himself, with slight variations applied to other characters to make them come alive equally well. I’d rather hear these books narrated than read them myself just for the sheer enjoyment of Porter’s style and emphasis.

Make no mistake, The Dragon Factory is a straight-up thriller without a lot of twists and turns in plot. You read it for the hunt, for the action, for the adventure. You also read it for the twists of humor, the pulp fiction style, and the monsters. Especially for the monsters.

It’s a good time at high speed. What more can you ask?

Posted by Julie D.

Commentary: MP3-CD Audiobooks (old and new)

January 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

The video below is a quick exploration of the MP3-CD audiobook format. It’s my favourite format for physical audiobooks. The packaging is small, the files are ready to be used, and they are cheaper audiobooks than their regular CD equivalent. The only disadvantage to the MP3-CD format is they don’t play on all CD players, and the ones they do play on may limit the volume output.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Commentary: How (and why) I make ebooks out of paperbooks

January 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

When you’ve got an old paperback book that’s coming apart at the spine, with pages falling out all over the place it’s time to consider making it immortal. In order to do that, in a reasonable period of time, you must kill the book. That’s the hardest part of the process. The actual transformation is pretty easy.

To do it I use a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 which came with Adobe Acrobat Standard 9. Here are three videos I put together that show the process of turning a paperback into an ebook:

And here’s a PDF |SAMPLE| of the result.

John writes in to say:

I read your recent post about digitizing print books with interest. I wondered if you might be able to expand on your process a bit, as it seemed to me like a few steps were missing from your video.

Indeed, here are my answers to some specific questions:

How do you actually sever all the pages from the book?

Most of the time this can be done just with your hands, at least with paperbacks and old magazines. The only tools I’ve ever needed to use are flathead screwdriver, to pry up staples found in some mags from the 1960s and 1970s, and scissors which I’ve used to trim out glued edges. If you’re doing a hardcover with sewn binding you’d probably be able to do it with just an X-Acto knife.

When you run the pages through the scanner, does it scan both sides of the page simultaneously? Or do you have to scan them all twice?

The Fujitsu ScanSnap is not only superfast, it’s also supersmart, it scans both sides at the same time (technically the term is “duplex”).

If so, how do you collate them so the pages are all in the right order?

The bundled software, called ScanSnap Manager, allows you to customize the named output files. I usually have them just come out as 001, 002, 003, etc..

How long does it take you to digitize a single book?

Lets see I’ve just scanned the February 1976 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction which has 128 pages (64 leaves). In the scanning itself I set a stopwatch. It took 1 minute 30 seconds to scan the entire mag. The software took another 45 seconds of processing. And I spent about 30 seconds correcting orientation on a few pages. So under three minutes for 128 pages

Have you tried this on hardcovers as well, or just paperbacks?

I don’t think I’ve done more than a couple of hardcovers, they were really easy though as they were essentially unbound already.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Change of physical mailing address for stuff sent to SFFaudio.com (Canada)

January 23, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

SFFaudio MetaAfter six years of faithful service I’m closing the SFFaudio.com P.O. Box in Port Moody, British Columbia.

Anybody and everyone who sends physical stuff to it please make a note. Those who normally only send me psychic messages need make no change. My astral plane address will remain identical.

The new mailing address for physical stuff sent directly to me is:

SFFaudio.com (Jesse Willis)
#102-2978 Burlington Dr.
Coquitlam, BC
V3B 7S6

This info will also be stored on our ABOUT page.

One less key on my keyring! Huzzah!

Posted by Jesse Willis

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