The SFFaudio Podcast #200 – Jesse, Mirko, and Gary Lovisi discuss the Science Fiction novel Mars Needs Books! by Gary Lovisi.
Talked about on today’s show:
the great description, Audible.com, it’s a prison novel, it’s a dystopian science fiction novel, it’s a book collector’s novel, Philip K. Dick, a reality dysfunction, The Man In The High Castle, 1984 by George Orwell, “retconning“, Stalin, airbrushing history, a new Science Fiction idea!, Amazon’s Kindle, Mark Twain, “The Department Of Control”, J. Edgar Hoover, Simon is the most evil character ever, oddball individualists, a straw man gulag, one way of keeping the population in control is to send troublemakers away, another is to give them someone to hate, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein, the Attica Prison riot (1971), Arabella Rashid, entertainment media, when you can’t tell what the truth is anymore it’s very easy to control people, maybe it’s an allegory for our times, Paperback Parade, SF writers were wrong about what our times are like, Mars, crime novels, Science Fiction as a metaphor, people are scared of reading, “I like good writing”, Richard Stark’s Parker novels, getting the word out about Mars Needs Books!, Gargoyle Nights, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Jack Vance, horror, fantasy, nice and short, short books pack a punch (and don’t waste your time), Stephen King, Patrick O’Brian, ideas, paperback novels from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, customers want thick books, Winter In Maine by Gerard Donovan, were looking at a different readership today, James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, there’s nothing that doesn’t add to the story, “Lawrence Block is scary good”, Donald E. Westlake, Robert Bloch, Eight Million Ways To Die, A Pair Of Recycled Jeans by Lawrence Block, Evan Hunter (Ed McBain), Charles Ardai (was on SFFaudio Podcast #090), book-collectors, Murder Of A Bookman by Gary Lovisi (is also on Audible.com), collectable glassware, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, cool dialogue, Driving Hell’s Highway by Gary Lovisi (also on Audible.com), That Hell-bound Train by Robert Bloch, noir, Violence Is The Only Solution by Gary Lovisi (paperback), hard-boiled, revenge, betrayal, personality disorder, Sherlock Holmes, westerns, “if there’s one truth in the universe that I know it’s that Germans love westerns”, which frontier are you talking about?, The Wild Bunch, a western with tommyguns, Akira Kurosawa, Outland (is High Noon in space), Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, hard-boiled, violence, the Martian national anthem, Prometheus Award, libertarian motifs, world-building, GryphonBooks.com, Hurricane Sandy, Wildside Press, POD Books, eBooks, fire and water, that paperback is still in readable condition in 150 years?, fanzines, Jack Vance, The Dying Earth, Robert Silverberg, Dell Mapbacks, paperbacks were disposable, used bookstores, sex books.
Posted by Jesse Willis
There’s a terrific radio drama series available via torrent over on RadioArchive.cc.
Broadcast late last year on BBC Radio 4, December 17 – 21, 2012, Modesty Blaise: A Taste For Death is truly lovely listening!
I listened to the entire five part serial two or three times. That’s something I rarely do. Yet even after multiple listens this program has left me wanting more.
Blaise, as voiced by Daphne Alexander, is a confident, mysterious, and thoughtful secret agent. The supporting cast is top shelf, as is the sound design, editing, and music. This show is unmissably great.
In tone it’s probably not what you expect, being more of a cozy version of The Sandbaggers than a feminized James Bond. Not campy, exactly, as it is far too reverent for that.
Indeed, this particular adventure features far more than just 007 style espionage, romance, and action – it features friendship, teamwork, kindness, thoughtfulness, and a light-handed touch.
Best of all the producers aren’t at all above teasing the audience – the very first sounds from episode one are a total tease!
I love it.
Also cool, Modesty Blaise: A Taste For Death seems to be set in the period the novel of the same name was written (1969). Blaise, a child escapee from a WWII era displaced person camp, drives a “Jensen” (in my mind it’s a Jensen Interceptor).
Here’s the description from RA.cc:
She’s glamorous, intelligent, rich and very, very cool. Modesty Blaise has been called the female James Bond but she’s much more interesting than that. With her expertise in martial arts and unusual weapons, the ability to speak several languages and her liking for fast cars, twenty-something Modesty became a female icon long before the likes of Emma Peel, Lara Croft, or Buffy.
In Stef Penney’s brand new radio adaptation of Peter O’Donnell’s novel, Sir Gerald Tarrant, Head of a secret British agency, tempts Modesty out of retirement and into a job involving a young woman with extra sensory powers, an exotic desert location, and a larger than life public school villain, intent on murdering his way to a vast fortune. With its perfect cocktail of glamorous settings, hidden treasure, a twisting turning plot, and characters to root for, A Taste for Death is an action packed treat – and a guilty pleasure.
With an original score by Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory, arranged by Ian Gardiner, and performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Ben Foster.
Modesty Blaise ….. Daphne Alexander
Willie Garvin ….. Carl Prekopp
Sir Gerald Tarrant ….. Alun Armstrong
Simon Delicata ….. Sam Dale
Steve Collier ….. Geoffrey Streatfeild
Dinah Pilgrim ….. Samantha Dakin
McWhirter ….. Alex Fearns
Skeet Lowry ….. Jeff Mash
Sir Howard Presteign ….. Nigel Anthony
Produced and Directed by Kate McAll
Modesty Blaise’s comics origin:
And here’s the movie trailer, yikes!
Posted by Jesse Willis
Everett F. Bleiler, in Science Fiction, The Early Years, described The Diamond Maker as a tale of “science fiction by implication” – but there’s another way of looking at it too. You could argue that it’s just the story of an unsuccessful heel grifter, with a tall tale and a gaffed prop, who puts on the Send.
I like it either way.
The Diamond Maker
By H.G. Wells; Read by Jerome Lawsen
1 |MP3| – Approx. 17 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: July 25, 2008
First published in the Pall Mall Budget, August 16, 1894.
The Diamond Maker
By H.G. Wells; Read by Sean Puckett
1 |MP3| – Approx. 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Voices In The Dark
After a long day’s work, our narrator meets a beggar while contemplating the peacefulness of the river embankment. First published in the Pall Mall Budget, August 16, 1894.
Here’s a |PDF| made from the story’s appearance in Science Wonder Stories, June 1929.
And here’s a short film noir style adaptation:
Posted by Jesse Willis
Posted by Jenny Colvin
Filed under: Audio Drama, Aural Noir, Recent Arrivals
I had an exciting Friday a few months back. I’m calling the events of June 1st, 2012 The Adventure Of The Mysterious Sherlock Holmes Audio Dramas In The Thrift Store
The story begins with me visiting a thrift store. I first found this vintage 1975 box of Lego (with the original Woolco price tag still on the box) – I got it for just $4. Then I picked up a $2 game called Isaac Asimov Presents Waddington’s SUPERQUIZ.
Then, in the audiobook section I spotted three two-cassette collections for $4 each.
And they turned out to be the big winner.
Entitled simply “The Sherlock Homes Collection“, at first I thought they were audiobooks, something I’ve seen many times before. But the price stickers obscured the details. Then was a shock, an instant of recognition for the actor pictured on the back covers was none other than Roy Marsden of The Sandbaggers fame – I covertly peeled back one of the stickers and investigated further.
They were audio dramas!
According to Grant Eustace’s website (he adapted them) only 6 of the 24 dramatizations produced were broadcast (on BBC World Service). But that may not mean they were no well received as it appears that they were actually produced for British Airways in-flight audio entertainment. One thing seems clear, I didn’t know they had even existed before that Friday, and I think that probably meant they wer’e not very well known.
I got “Collection Three” (ISBN: 0773305033) which features adaptations of:
The Red Headed League
The Solitary Cyclist
A Scandal In Bohemia
The Blue Carbuncle
“Collection Four” (ISBN: 0773305041) which features adaptations of:
The Speckled Band
The Golden Prince-Nez
The Man With The Twisted Lip
And “Collection Six” (ISBN: 0773305068) which features adaptations of:
The Devil’s Foot
The Bruce Partington Plans
The Cardboard Box
There are two different companies credited with publication, BFS Audio (and BFS Entertainment is still in business) and Talking Tape Company (which I have no data on). The tapes themselves all have the BFS Audio logo on them.
Here are the details:
Cover of Collection Three:
Interior details from Collection Three:
Cover of Collection Four:
Interior details from Collection Four:
Cover of Collection Six:
Interior details from Collection Six:
Now, after listening to the twelve dramas over the last few months I can happily report that these are really excellent productions. Very swift, but dialogue driven, with uniformly excellent acting.
If you’ve got a source that has the other three collections please let me, and everyone else, know by commenting. This series should be much better known.
Posted by Jesse Willis
My buddy Trent, of the Violent World Of Parker blog, has been closely following the developments surrounding the latest Donald E. Westlake (aka Richard Stark) related film. Here’s the trailer for Parker:
Trent points out, in his post, that the movie’s plot looks like it closely follows that of Flashfire, one of the better books from near the end of the long running series. Now Flashfire was released by Books On Tape in 2001, but it is now available on Audible.com HERE. If you listen to the sample there you can compare it to the trailer.
In a Midwestern city, Parker calmly tosses a firebomb through a plate-glass window, while some newfound partners in crime take down a nearby bank. Making their getaway in the confusion, the bank robbers tell him two things: that this heist was only seed money for a much gaudier one, and that Parker has to loan them his share of the take. Now Parker is rampaging through the American South, taking on a new identity as he goes, and planning his own assault on his former partners’ next target, a spectacular jewelry heist in Palm Beach. But Parker didn’t count on one unfortunate detail. A very bad and very stupid man knows his true identity, and wants him dead.
Posted by Jesse Willis