The Raven a FREE illustrated audiobook app from vNovel Interactive (for iOS devices)

August 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio News

vNovel - The Raven by Edgar Allan PoeThere’s a terrific illustrated, and partially animated, audiobook app available free in the Apple App store. Made by vNovel Interactive The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe features a solid reading (by Domien de Groot), some unnecessary sound effects (rapping, tapping, creaking, and cawing), and some of the most gorgeous illustrations (by Vladimir Rikowski) of the poem that I’ve ever seen.

There’s an iPad version too, it’s HERE.

Experience “The Raven”, as it comes to life, like you’ve never seen it before: an innovative double play mode interactive book, featuring a world-class audio performance of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic poem.

Go back to the place where it all began, in the midst of a dreary night – the kind, the ghosts of our past (that come back to haunt us) find irresistible. Relive this poetic, frightening and sad tale of love and soul forever lost, in a charming new light.

With a powerful original musical score, that resonates deep within, and contemporary original art, that rivals some of the most expressive illustrations of the past – this is an experience you will never forget.

App trailer:

Musical score composed by Zoltan Csordas:

Incidentally, the app isn’t fully featured, there’s no rewind feature, only a pause. If you want to restart, or return to the main menu, shake your iOS device.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrivals: The Cold Beneath by Tonia Brown

August 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Written in the narrative form of DeMille’s A Strange Manuscript Found In A Copper Cylinder or Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym Of Nantucket Tonia Brown’s The Cold Beneath is a new “steampunk horror” audiobook.

The Cold Beneath by Tonia Brown

The Cold Beneath
By Tonia Brown; Read by Chris Barnes
Download – Approx. 6 Hours 53 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Dynamic Ram Audio Productions
Published: 2012
In the race to the North Pole, who will become the victor, and who will fall to the ravages of the Cold Beneath? Phillip Syntax is the world’s best biomechanic with a checkered past of betrayal and lost love. When given a chance at redemption by the celebrated soldier Gideon Lightbridge, how can he refuse? This ill-fated expedition turns from daring to disastrous when their airship, the Northern Fancy, crashes in the far and frozen north, leaving the crew stranded without hope. But that isn’t the worst of it. One by one the dead crew members arise from the cold ashes to seek the warmth of the living, and it becomes every man for himself in an effort not to join the ranks of the revenants.

Sample |MP3|

I’ve been listening to the novel, and find it to be punky, flowery and straightforward. The writing itself seems breezy, without pretense or subterfuge. The first few minutes of the audiobook introduces some very steampunkily named characters (“Mr. Syntax” and “Mr. Lightbridge”) – both voiced by the narrator Chris Barnes. Barnes seems to have a natural Scottish accent but as the characters are English and American he creditably voices them as such.

Writing this now, as I approach the first hour mark of the audiobook, I find The Cold Beneath to be a wholly improbable bit of fun, a brummagem amalgam of ahistorical realities, a sepia toned breccia of impossible ideas held in their interstices by a sticky cement of amiable frivolousness.

In other words, The Cold Beneath promises to be nothing more than a distracting steampuk adventure, set aboard an airship, with one of the characters sporting clockwork robotic legs, and, by looking at the cover, perhaps later, some scary frozen zombies.

If you liked the writing energy of Tee Morris’ Billibub Baddings And The Case Of The Singing Sword |READ OUR REVIEW| or the airship adventures of Jay Lake’s Mainspring |READ OUR REVIEW| then Tonia Brown’s The Cold Beneath might be your cup of brown joy.

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: Eloquent Voice: A World Of Talent and Other Stories by Philip K. Dick

August 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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New Releases

Here’s William Coon’s fourth collection of Philip K. Dick short stories and novellas. It’s available via Amazon, Audible, Audiobooks Online, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, BooksOnBoard, Read Without Paper, Waterstone’s.

These stories are Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

And three of the five stories have never been audiobooked before!

“A novelist carries with him constantly what most women carry in large purses: much that is useless, a few absolutely essential items, and then, for good measure, a great number of things that fall in between. But the novelist does not transport them physically because his trove of possessions is mental. Now and then he adds a new and entirely useless idea; now and then he reluctantly cleans out the trash – the obviously worthless ideas – and with a few sentimental tears sheds them. Once in a great while, however, he happens by chance onto a thoroughly stunning idea new to him that he hopes will turn out to be new to everyone else. It is this final category that dignifies his existence. But such truly priceless ideas… perhaps during his entire lifetime he may, at best, acquire only a meager few. But that is enough; he has, through them, justified his existence to himself and to his God.”
– Philip K. Dick, 1977

ELOQUENT VOICE - A World Of Talent and Other Stories by Philip K. Dick

A World of Talent and Other Stories
By Philip K. Dick; Read by William Coon
Audible Download – Approx. 4 Hours 14 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Eloquent Voice, LLC
Published: August 17, 2012
In this collection of five stories, all first published in the 1950s, Dick justified his existence by exploring a number of truly interesting ideas. In “Small Town” a man creates a perfect scale model of his own town, as a means of escaping his unbearable reality. In “Human Is” the wife of a scientist notices that her husband has returned from a scientific expedition a changed man, but she’s not complaining. In “Foster, You’re Dead” a father’s unwillingness to participate in his country’s preparations for a war that never happens, leads to unexpected consequences for his family. In “The Hanging Stranger” a man is unable to convince his fellow townspeople that something terribly wrong is happening to them all. Finally, in “A World of Talent“, society’s reactions against those who have unusual talents have pushed the situation to the brink of interplanetary war.

Sample |MP3|

Posted by Jesse Willis

Hard Core History: Ghosts Of The Ostfront by Dan Carlin

August 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio News

Available HERE for $6.

Posted by Jesse Willis

George R.R. Martin on Fantasy (“Everything That Is Wrong With Commercial Fantasy In A Single Quote”)

August 27, 2012 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Brian Murphy, of the Silver Key blog, has posted about something interesting he found on another blog (Everything Is Nice). It’s about this poetic description of Fantasy written and read by George R.R. Martin (that sums up “Everything That Is Wrong With Commercial Fantasy In A Single Quote”):

Myself, when I think of Fantasy I think of The Twilight Zone, of Philip K. Dick’s Beyond The Door, of James Powell’s A Dirge For Clowntown, of Homer’s The Iliad, of Jorge Luis Borges and his Garden Of Forking Paths.

To me fantasy is not an endless adventures in a magical medieval Europe, nor a tattooed vampire with a sword in one hand and a laser blaster in the other.

To me Fantasy is countless tiny worlds – many like our own – many radically different – some entirely impossible, but all of them firmly found within my world.

Fantasy, to me, exist within the books themselves, and in my memory of them, and in my consciousness when I think of them, all as a part of the larger world I live in.

Fantasy is not a place of escape, nor a world separate from mine in which I wish to live.

I don’t view Fantasy literature as a form of escapism.

To me Fantasy is something to enjoy, like a fine meal. Something to inspire an attitude, not a way to understand the world, nor as a consolation or a substitute for a harsh reality I’d rather not think about.

But commercial fantasy, the endless book series that take up larger and larger section of the bookstore shelves, is, to me, a very small and uninteresting part of Fantasy literature. It is the part that gets the most attention. But it shouldn’t.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #175 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft

August 27, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #175 – The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft, read by Wayne June. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (19 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Julie Hoverson and Fred Godsmark of Audio Realms.

Talked about on today’s show:
the greatest audiobook narrator of H.P. Lovecraft stories ever (Wayne June), you fall in love with this story in high school, it blew Julie’s mind, Fred read The Outsider early, Algernon Blackwood, horror, re-read or re-listen, Julie’s oblique audio drama adaptation, is the main character female?, we’re all outsiders, filming The Outsider, The View From Within, The Lovecraft Five (includes Richard Pickman and C. Auguste Dupin), born and raised in a tomb, zombie or revenant or disfigured person, he’s a rotty person in need of love, Edgar Allan Poe, how could you film it?, The Sixth Sense, the wonderful ambiguity, The Temple by H.P. Lovecraft, “Castle Arrgh”, The Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft, Volume 3, The Horror At Red Hook, Herbert West: Re-Animator, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, the comedic musical stage play of Herbert West: Re-Animator, Evil Dead: The Musical, Evil Dead 2, Wayne June is a treasure, Michael Moorcock, Blood Memories, Gene Simmons, The Dunwich Horror and The Call Of Cthulhu, Johnny Winter, Ghoul by Brian Keene, AudioRealms.com, Castaways, The Rising, Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Gathering Of Crows, Roanoke, “CROATOAN”, the incredibly reader Jenny Colvin, long staircases in The Outsider go up and the The Rats In The Walls they go down, a metaphorical reading, The Crawling Chaos, The Evil Clergyman (aka The Wicked Clergyman), engagement with the imagination, T.E.D. Klein, S.T. Joshi, we’re not in the know, 4 track recorder, Fred fell into the audio business, amateur vs. professional, reverb diaper pail, toilet echo, spoken word LPs, Caedmon, David McCallum, growing up vs. growing old, YouTube is incredible, Julie’s adaptation of The Temple, paranormal romance, The Dunwich Horror, Dean Stockwell, Lavinia’s not crazy, fathering the child of an elder god may or may not drive you crazy, “oh no I’ve discovered I’m related to fish-men”, The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society adaptation of The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Robert E. Howard, Lair Of The White Worm by Bram Stoker, The Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft, Volume 1 is a consistent best seller, The Double Shadow by Clark Ashton Smith, The Empty House, The Whisperer In Darkness, August Derleth, People Of The Dark, The Haunter Of The Ring, DarkRealmsAudio.com, Twitter, an hour per minute of finished audio, recording in your living-room, Dracula, Donald Pickering, Jack London, adding hiss, room tone, put noise in?, The Yellow Wallpaper.

The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft - from Famous Fantastic Mysteries

The Outsider - illustrated by Alva Rogers from The Acolyte, Issue11, Summer 1945

Posted by Jesse Willis

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