Commentary: Renting audiobooks

April 2, 2003
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

Renting audiobooks is a cost-effective way of getting your hands on some very good stuff. How does it work? With most of the companies listed here, you select a book or two that is sent to you in a self-addressed stamped box. Usually you keep the book for 30 days, after which you put the book back in the box, tape it closed, then drop it in a mailbox. There’s no need to add postage, because it’s already paid.

Some of these companies allow you to set ship dates for the books you select so that you can order several at a time, and have them arrive every two weeks or so.

Blackstone Audio

Blackstone Audio has been doing more and more science fiction and fantasy lately. The narrators are generally good. Some of their latest include Jack Williamson’s The Humanoids and a collection of short stories by Robert Silverberg. They also carry some audio drama, including an adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey that I’m eager to hear.

Books on Tape

Books on Tape has an unabridged science fiction collection that’s highlighted by Isaac Asimov’s entire Foundation series and by Frank Herbert’s Dune series (including unabridged versions of the recent prequels written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson). There are a few short story collections here as well.

Recorded Books, Inc.

Recorded Books has the biggest collection of quality science fiction and fantasy, it’s getting even larger. Their narrators are the best, including Frank Muller, George Guidall, Rob Inglis, and Richard Ferrone, among many others. They’ve got some great titles, too. To name a few: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, several Robert A. Heinlein titles, Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality series, and Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the TalentsDoomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis are also here, along with many other good titles.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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