The SFFaudio Podcast #264 – READALONG: The Martian by Andy Weir

May 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #264 – Jesse, Jenny, Tam, Julie, Bryan, and Mike discuss The Martian by Andy Weir.

Talked about in this episode:
Dust on Mars is too thin to allow for sandstorms; terpkristin says NASA would never build a faulty antenna; and we finally introduce the book; is The Martian science fiction?; the one-way Mars mission Mars One; reminiscent of Heinlein’s Farmer in the Sky; Mike tracks Watney’s journey through Google Mars; why NASA picks boring locations to land their first missions; Andy Weir on Science Friday; the most far-fetched element of the book is its lack of budgetary concerns; Bradley Cooper in the film adaptation?; The Martian and Gravity have depressing implications; the novel’s (Heinleinian?) lack of character development; Mark Watney is in “full on Macgeyver mode”; most pilots are boring; many LOLs in the book; Andy Weir’s webcomic Casey and Andy; strong language in the novel; stoichiometry; feasibility of plot points; engineer-as-hero motif pitted against bureaucracy; Martian Odyssey by Stanley G. Weinbaum; Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe; Robinson Crusoe on Mars starring Adam West; The Makeshift Rocket by Poul Anderson, a spaceship powered by beer; From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and First Man on the Moon by H.G. Wells; Robinsoniad; Thunder and Lightning series by John Varley; Rocket Ship Galileo by Heinlein, featuring Nazis on the Moon!; the United States falling behind in the Space Race; Stephen Hawking on the dangers of artificial intelligence; Mars Attacks!; the novel’s lack of Earth focus makes it literally escapist; Heinlein’s prophetic Destination Moon; send more potatoes to space; pop culture references; “I’m a space pirate.”; The Case for Mars by Bob Zubrin, a non-fiction proposal for reaching the Red Planet; Red Mars and other Kim Stanley Robinson novels; Marooned starring Gregory Peck; GravityApollo 18, a found-footage horror film; Falling Skies; Bruce Campbell and Martin Koenig in MoontrapPrincess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs; A Walk in the Sun by Geoffrey Landis; Transit of Earth by Arthur C. Clarke bears a strong resemblance to The Martian; new party game: “You an astronaut on Mars. What’s the last music you listen to before you die?”; We Who Are About To by Joanna Russ; hope in fantasy and science fiction; Jesse hopes they don’t make a sequel; locked-room scenarios; Portal; would Earth really expend so many resources to save a single human being?; Ascent by Jed Mercurio; T-Minus: The Race to the MoonLimit by Frank Schätzing; PlanetesThe Souther Reach by Jeff VanderMeer for more botanist action; The Apollo Quartet by Ian Sales; Voyage by Stephen Baxter, dramatized by BBC Radio.

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir (Mars Itinerary)

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #199 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #199 – Scott, Jesse, Tamahome, and Jenny talk about NEW RELEASES and RECENT ARRIVALS (audiobooks).

Talked about on today’s show:
Recent arrivals first, here’s Jenny’s list, Harry Harrison’s Deathworld, Speculative! Brilliance audiobooks (from public domain works), “he’s super clear”, author of Make Room! Make Room! (aka Soylent Green), Planet Of The Damned, “nice font”, Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Telling is in the Hanish Cycle, the out of print Harlan Ellison version of A Wizard of Earthsea, The Lathe Of Heaven and the PBS TV-movie with Bruce Davidson (trailer), Work Of The Devil by Katherine Amt Hanna, “the devil has no time for long novels”, Joe Hill’s Horns and In The Tall Grass (with Stephen King), Philip K. Dick’s Vulcan’s Hammer, similar to Colossus: The Forbin Project (film), “goes Skynet on your ass”, The Game-Players Of Titan has slug aliens, good names for bands, Time Out Of Joint, Tears In Rain by Rosa Montera is inspired by Blade Runner (it has a female Rutger Hauer), translated from Spanish, The Woodcutter by Kate Danley has fairy tale characters, Beowulf, Jeff Wheeler’s Legends Of Muirwood series released all at once, House Of Cards is a great British show, Dead Spots by Scarlett Bernard sounds like one of those Lifetime movies, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke has a disturbing android romance, ewww!, Tam knows who Steven Erikson is (Forge Of Darkness), re-read of the Malazan series, we need urban fantasy and military SF people, Tenth Of December by George Saunders, prefers short stories, on Colbert, Vampires In The Lemon Grove by Karen Russell, her novel Swamplandia has been optioned by HBO, New releases start, Poe Must Die by Marc Olden, Ben Bova’s Farside comes out soon (hard SF), narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, Stefan’s Fantastic Imaginings, where’s James P. Hogan’s Inherit The Earth?, the movie Frequency didn’t star Kevin Bacon, the entire X Minus One radio drama run, short story audio collections having chapters and a table of contents, Star Wars audiobooks with enhanced sound, Bryce’s review of Star Wars: Scoundrels, more Star Trek novel audio books, more classic sf, Leigh Brackett, Jerry Pournelle, Harlan Ellison, Arthur C. Clarke, George R.R. Martin, “you’re welcome, Audible”, The Mad Scientist’s Guide To World Domination by John Joseph Adams, short fiction is back, Olaf Stapelton, like a science fiction The Silmarillion, SF Crossing The Gulf podcast will discuss Olaf Stapledon and others, Mary Doria Russell, where’s the audio version of Karen Lord’s The Best Of All Possible Worlds? (actually it came out the same day as the print version), Jenny loved it, what is the Candide connection Karen?, indie Scifi Arizona author Michael McCollum on Audible (Steve Gibson approved), the Audible Feb2013 Win-Win $4.95 sale, get the first in a series cheap, Sharon Shinn’s Archangel Samaria series, Image Comics’s first issue sale, The Red Panda audio drama becomes a comic (cover), John Scalzi’s The Human Division serial, wish science fiction authors in TV series, George R.R. Martin to develop more shows for HBO, football jerseys vs Star Trek uniforms.

Monkey Brain Comics - Mask Of The Red Panda

Posted by Tamahome

The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. Clarke

October 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. Clarke

The Forgotten Enemy - from Avon Science Fiction And Fantasy Reader, January 1953 - Illustration by John Giunta

This is the third time I’ve posted about this wonderful podcast episode. The last time was just last year. But I’ve just come across another wonderful illustration, this time from a reprinting in an issue of Avon Science Fiction And Fantasy Reader, so I’ve just had top post about it again. It’s highly recommended listening.

The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. ClarkeA Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou – The Forgotten Enemy
By Arthur C. Clarke; Read by Elisha Sessions
1 |MP3| – Approx. 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars A slug Of Time And Thou
Podcast: 2008
In a bleak snow and ice covered London, a lone survivor faces isolation, polar bears and loneliness. But even his one hope, the idea that a rescue team is crossing the Atlantic ice sheet isn’t enough to stave off The Forgotten Enemy. First published in December 1948, in an issue of King’s College Review.

First broadcast in 2008 on Resonance FM 104.4 FM in London, U.K, The Forgotten Enemy is an excellent Arthur C. Clarke tale. Set in London, it tells of solitary man waiting for rescue. He can almost hear the helicopters. Yes, the helicopters. The slow, loud, helicopters coming inevitably from the north. But what of the terrible white menace that threatens his lonely existence? Can he survive?

One aspect of the tale may remind you of 28 Weeks Later, another may remind you of The Day After Tomorrow. But fear not, this story pays far greater dividends than either of those.

In the discussion that follows the story is described as a “cozy calamity” and it’s compared to Who Goes There? and A Pail Of Air. It is a wonderful podcast – all around!

Here’s the accompanying art, by Clothier, from the New Worlds printing:

The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. Clarke

Posted by Jesse Willis

Universe adapted from the story by Robert A. Heinlein [RADIO DRAMA]

September 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

I bet most folks think that the closest Robert A. Heinlein came to tackling the topic of religion was Stranger In A Strange Land. But I think that novel has got too much other stuff going on in it. To get a better idea, check out his terrific 1941 short story Universe (later combined with another short story for the fix-up novel entitled Orphans Of The Sky).

Astounding, May 1941 - Universe by Robert A. Heinlein

The people of Universe live under an oppressive theocracy, with the death penalty given for heretical ideas. In the script for the radio dramatizations one character describes it as a society of “regimented slaves.”

Universe offers many, many sparky ideas – all of which are centered around religion and cosmology.

When asked about heaven the main character says this:

“The peasants believe [in] it literally but many of the younger scientists, like myself, know that it is figurative, symbolic.”

Turns that he’s wrong, that the foundations of his religion are based in a real history, that his god was once alive, and that the belief he scoffs at (and others kill in the name of), are based facts about their universe. It’s absolutely thought provoking soft sf bounded by a hard SF that only someone like Robert A. Heinlein could pull off.

And, unlike the original short story, which is rather hopeful, the end of the radio dramatization is deeply noir.

Dimension XDimension X – Universe
Adapted by George Lefferts; Adapted from the story by Robert A. Heinlein; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: NBC
Broadcast: November 26, 1950
Provider: Archive.org

X-Minus OneX-Minus One – Universe
Adapted by George Lefferts; Adapted from the story by Robert A. Heinlein; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: NBC
Broadcast: May 15, 1955
Provider: Archive.org

Illustrations of strong>Universe by Hubert Rogers and Charles Schneeman from the May 1941 of Astounding:
Universe by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Hubert Rogers
Universe by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Hubert Rogers
Universe by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Hubert Rogers
Universe by Robert A. Heinlein  illustrated by Charles Schneeman
Universe by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Hubert Rogers

[Thanks to Bill Hollweg and Bob!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #170 – READALONG: The Fountains Of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

July 23, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #170 – Jesse, Tamahome, and Jenny discuss the Brilliance Audio audiobook of The Fountains Of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke.

Talked about on today’s show:
Skyhooks and space elevators, Sri Lanka, “my first space elevator book”, Robert A. Heinlein, Friday, “it feels like a novel”, “the fictional accounting of a real construction project”, history, Colombo, afterwords, sources and acknowledgements, “what a rip-off”, Sigiriya’s Lion Paws Gate, King Kashyapa I, “past, present, and future”, engineering fiction vs. science fiction, Taprobane, Paradise Regained by John Milton, Jo Walton’s review of The Fountains Of Paradise, religion, “Heinlein in a dress”, an idea book, to think interesting Science Fictional thoughts, hard SF, Clarke’s Laws, space probe, a game changer, Gregg Margarite, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, The Nine Billion Names Of God, Sigmund Freud, growing out of religion?, Thomas Aquinas, symbolic logic, Bertrand Russell, satellites and their uses, unseen benefits to giant engineering projects and science, Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, Burj Khalifa, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, “this is what we’re meant to do”, the space age, the 1970s, Jenny gets depressed, Terpkristin‘s visit to French Guiana (PICS!), will we have a Chinese moonbase by 2022?, innovation vs. exploration, Jerry O’Neil, good reasons to go to space, we ought to do things that we can do, Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, the daily life challenges of a space born population, The Island Worlds by Eric Kotani and John Maddox Roberts, the probe is a person, The Geek’s Guide To The Galaxy #64: John Scalzi, (Star Trek holds us back), “the God Particle”, “you’re going to die soon”, can we empathize with a character that isn’t a human being?, a complimentary cosmonaut, 2001: A Space Odyssey, one day in Jerusalem, the transhuman future in the end of The Fountains Of Paradise, Starglider/Starholme, a well developed solar society, the Wikipedia entry for The Fountains Of Paradise, The Last Theorem, The City And The Stars, a non-off putting post-human story, Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Ted Chiang, Charles Stross, sequels and science, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Alastair Reynolds, Kim Stanley Robinson, in SF ideas build can on one another whereas others books are more parasitizing upon those ideas, why does it have to be a new book?, ‘these were the stepping stones to today’, a balance of both a good story and good ideas, William Gibson, Embassytown by China Miéville, The City And The City, “garbage, garbage, garbage”, 2312, Playboy’s serialization of The Fountains Of Paradise, Buckminster Fuller, why did Sir Arthur C. Clarke live in Sri Lanka?, Milton is literature, Dante’s Inferno, Lucifer’s fall from heaven, Brilliance Audio, A Fall Of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke, BBC Radio dramatization of A Fall Of Moondust, Crisis On Conshelf Ten by Monica Hughes, “best book ever”, The Abyss, Tom Swift, Aquaman vs. The Sub-Mariner, Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds, The Prefect, Ray Of Light by Brad Torgeson, “Alien sun mirror block deepwater living daughter Glimmer Club surface discovery.”, the Mars tangent, Phobos and Deimos, John Scalzi, “I liked that he didn’t explain it.”, “we don’t build em that way”, “I want it to be hard”, Phobos interference would be a feature not a bug, “wiggle the thread”, atmospheric density and windspeed, carbon nano-tubes vs. buckminsterfullerene, Roald Dahl, Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator, horror, The BFG, Jack McDevitt, a waking dream, in the shadow of Vesuvius, the Prime Directive, Doctor Who, Fantasy vs. Science Fiction, Inferno (Doctor Who episode), Sliders, Doorways by George R.R. Martin, Tom Baker.

BRILLIANCE AUDIO - The Fountains Of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

Caedmon - Arthur C. Clarke reads Fountains Of Paradise

Del Rey paperback - The Fountains Of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

Playboy, January 1979 - The Fountains Of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke - illustration by Ignacio Gomez

Playboy, February 1979 - The Fountains Of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke - illustration by Ignacio Gomez

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Brad Lansky and the 4D-Verse

March 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audio Drama - Brad Lansky and the 4D-VerseBrad Lansky and the 4D-Verse
By J.D. Venne; Performed by a full cast
1.5 Hours – [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Protophonic.net
Published: 2012
Themes: / Science Fiction / Hard SF / Audio Drama / Dimensional space / Quantum entanglement / Artificial Intelligence /

Taking up where the previous Brad Lansky title ended, this drama has Brad and Alex exploring the 4D-Verse. They get split up while searching for MAMAI (an artificial intelligence), with Alex moving to a higher dimension while Brad figures how to get him back.

In a previous review I compared a Brad Lansky audio to Meatball Fulton’s Ruby series. This one comes from the same mold. It’s a aural feast from start to finish; among the richest audio you’ll hear. Another comparison leapt to mind this time: the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Not only is the subject matter similar (hard SF involving alien beings), but the tone is similar. Just like Kubrick lingered on shots to allow the viewer time to experience awe, Dieter Zimmerman and crew linger with sound that creates images in the listener’s mind. This is very much a cooperative experience. Break out your best headphones and be prepared to provide imagination.

Lansky: I can’t wait to check out these places!
Alex: What? Are you crazy?
Lansky: No, just an explorer who doesn’t run away when he finds something interesting!

Dieter Zimmerman, one of the creative people behind the Brad Lansky series, was recently interviewed on Fred Greenhalgh’s Radio Drama Revival podcast. Find that episode |HERE|.

All of the Brad Lansky titles can be purchased at Protophonic.net!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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