Commentary: My letter to Gottfrid Svartholm Warg (co-founder of The Pirate Bay)

December 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Commentary

In response to a post on the front page of The Pirate Bay this morning…

TPB, Call for letters

…I’ve just written a letter to Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, the co-founder of the torrent site The Pirate Bay. Gottfrid, who is at this moment languishing and incarcerated in a Swedish prison, is to me a prisoner of censorship (though the traditional word for it is probably political prisoner).

Among other things my letter relates of the good TPB has done for me, and countless other downloaders. I specifically point out an audio drama that was unjustifiably trampled by an evil corporation that claimed a violation of their trademark.

I wanted Gottfrid to know that his efforts to make TPB were appreciated. In my letter I also compare TPB to my public library, tell him about some of my current projects, and express my frustration with the current copyright climate.

Letter to Gottfrid Svartholm Warg

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #192 – READALONG: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

December 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #192 – Jesse, Jenny, and Professor Eric S. Rabkin discuss the Tantor Media audiobook of We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.

Talked about on today’s show:
written in 1921, is it a ‘Russian’ novel?, H.G. Wells, Synchronicity and Arthur Koestler, Industrialism, the struggle to be a good citizen, the Guardians and Plato’s Republic, the numbers in character names (ah hah!), lips and poet Pushkin, don’t eat the prolefeed, sexual hour, review of We by George Orwell, character development, the Integral ship name, more on numbers in names, biblical references?, why it pays to have Eric, THX 1138 (trailer), Zilboorg vs Ginsburg translation, mathematics, Randall and Brown translations, imaginary numbers, the green wall and glass, Logan’s Run and the outside, the number ’40’, Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil, is the novel hopeful at the end?, lying, Caesar and hair, The Space Merchants, how science fiction and We get respect, ranking We among dystopian fiction, Jenny is Ms. Dystopia, eutopias and outopias and autopias, Childhood’s End, this podcast is perfect, Scriabin piano music is passionate, ayre (music)

Tantor Media - We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Posted by Tamahome

Review of Tales of the Red Panda: The Crime Cabal

December 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Review

Tales of the Red Panda The Crime Cabal by Gregg Taylor

Tales of the Red Panda: The Crime Cabal
By Gregg Taylor; Read by Gregg Taylor
Publisher: Audible
Release Date: October 17, 2012
ISBN: 9780986856334
Playing time: 5 hours 53 minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Themes: pulp / heroes / depression era / gangs / zombies / bombs / hypnotism / secret identities / roof tops / grapnel guns

Depression-era Toronto is the setting for Gregg Taylor’s pulp hero The Red Panda and his sidekick The Flying Squirrel. The novel opens with the last of the big gangs in the city being brought to Justice; Police Chief O’Mally railing against the masked vigilantes at loose in his city. While the Press love the hero: defender of the weak, the poor and the downtrodden of society.

Out from the ashes of the many gangs that our hero’s have crushed rises a new gang, The Crime Cabal. This new gang knows that for them to flourish, they must deal with The Red Panda once and for all. But there is more behind the Cabal than a simple gang. When the hulking enforcers of the gang turn out to be zombies it’s clear that this is no ordinary gang.

The Tales of the Red Panda: The Crime Cabal is the first novel set within the same setting as the podcast audio dramas, also written and produced by Gregg Taylor under the Decoder Ring Theatre banner. There is continuity between the podcast and the novel, but the novel does stand on it’s own, even providing an origin story for one of the long running supporting characters. The setting and characters are all introduced with enough background and flare to be fully formed within the novel alone.

Gregg Taylor does a commendable job with the narration and the characters. Of note are the character voices especially as I’ve listened to the audio dramas for some years. Taylor captures the essence of the voices of the characters as they have been portrayed by other actors. For several years in some cases. So, even if you have listened to the podcasts you won’t be disappointed by the the portrayal of familiar characters, and if you haven’t then they come out fully formed characterizations.

My only niggle is that in the first few chapters the narration feels just a little rushed in places, but this passes.

Posted by Paul [W] Campbell

Review of The Fat Man; A Tale of North Pole Noir

December 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Review

The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir

The Fat Man; A Tale of North Pole Noir
By Ken Harmon; Read by Johnny Heller
1 MP3 CD / 5 CDs – 5.5 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: 2010

Themes: / Fantasy / Christmas / Elves / Santa / Noir / Murder / Reindeer / It’s a Wonderful Life /

If you’re looking for a holiday story that’s not yet another retelling of The Christmas Carol, then pick up Ken Harmon’s The Fat Man. Gumdrop Coal is framed for murder after being ousted from the Coal Patrol and he’s out to clear his name.

Fired from his longtime job as captain of the Coal Patrol, two-foot-three inch 1,300-year-old elf Gumdrop Coal is angry. He’s one of Santa’s original elves, inspired by the fat man’s vision to bring joy to children on that one special day each year. But somewhere along the way things went sour for Gumdrop. Maybe it was delivering one too many lumps of coal for the Naughty List. Maybe it’s the conspiracy against Christmas that he’s starting to sense down every chimney.

Take all the Christmas references your sweet tooth can stand and keep going, add in an embittered and betrayed Elf from the Coal Patrol, Reindeer with the panache of top gun fighter pilots, and a spunky girl reporter, Buttercup Snitch, who either only has eyes for Gumdrop or is in on the frame job.

The story is told by Gumdrop Coal, leader and founder of the Coal Patrol, in a wonderful hard bitten noir style. Gumdrop is used to dealing with some nasty customers (children). The Coal Patrol are the guys who work from the Naughty List. After it’s been checked, twice.

Set in Kringle Town with Santa and the Elves. Filled with characters you will have heard from assorted Christmas Fairy. But they aren’t all as you might expect.

It isn’t all candy and Christmas trees; there is also a dark side to Kringle Town. The other side of the tracks: Potterville. If you’ve ever watched It’s a Wonderful Life you should recognise that name.

Gumdrop doesn’t believe Naughty Boys and Girls should be treated the same as their well behaved siblings. That smothering all children in gifts regardless of merit lessens both the gift and the child.

Johnny Heller tells it in a wonderful straight-up noir-style, even when doing the high pitched elves.

Posted by Paul [W] Campbell

Recent Arrivals from Penguin Audio and Brilliance Audio

December 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Please watch the video below for a brief overview of these recently arrived audiobooks:

Posted by Jenny Colvin

Review of Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig

December 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Mockingbird by Chuck WendigMockingbird (Miriam Black #2)
By Chuck Wendig; Read by Emily Beresford
Publisher: Angry Robot on Brilliance Audio
Published: 2012
Length: 9 hours [UNABRIDGED]
ISBN: 978-1-4692-0889-3

Themes: / fantasy / urban fantasy / psychic / powers / death /

Publisher Summary:

This whole “settling down thing” that Louis has going for her just isn’t working out. Still, she’s keeping her psychic ability – to see when and how someone is going to die just by touching them – in check. But even that feels wrong, somehow. Like she’s keeping a tornado stoppered up in a tiny bottle.

Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds was my favorite read of 2012, introducing the character Miriam Black and promising of further adventures. The book trailer featuring narration by Dan O’Shea really intrigued my interest as to the powerful oratory nature of the book’s narrative and convinced me that I should continue the series via the audiobook route. The audiobooks are narrated by Emily Beresford and at first the very pleasant tone defied expectations, but given the book’s initial divergent nature from the first volume I ended up finding the narration to serve quite well. I am sure if I had started this series on audiobook, I would have enjoyed the first installment equally.

Just one touch and Miriam Black can see the specific details of one’s death including the date and all the potentially gory details. Blackbirds introduces Miriam as a transient wandering from one death scene to another and exploiting her abilities for financial gain. After all, any attempts to intervene with the fate yield disastrous outcomes so why not profit from her ability? Without spoiling the details, the end of that book leads Miriam desperately trying to circumvent another future that has been written in stone, or at least written in her journal she keeps of all her deadly visions.

The outcome of this first novel leads Miriam to settle down and try to make it without the use of her powers at the onset of Mockingbird. Needless to say, events quickly transpire and she is called to use her powers and once again finds herself going head to head with fate and even an apparent serial killer joins the mix as well. The novel builds and expands on concepts and characters introduced in the first novel and I highly recommend to anyone who enjoyed the first installment. I did miss having an author’s afterword as in the first novel which serves as a bridge between the two novels. I hope that the afterword’s promise of many more potential Miriam Black novels is fulfilled.

Book Trailer for Blackbird and Mockingird:

Review by Dan VK

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