The SFFaudio Podcast #245 – It’s our -The Best of 2013! episode. For it we invited SFFaudio fans, SFFaudio reviewers, and SFFaudio participants to share their listening highlights of 2013. We asked folks to tell us about their favourite audiobook or podcast episode.
If you don’t see your favourites listed below, feel free to add them as a comment. And remember, it needn’t be a podcast or audiobook from 2013, only one you heard in 2013.
And if you leave a comment in the first week (and a way to contact you) you’ll also be eligible for a a FREE PRIZE audiobook mailed to your home (anywhere in the whole universe*)!
- The Stand by Stephen King, Read by Grover Gardner (Random House Audio)
- The Magicians and The Magician King by Lev Grossman, Narrated by Mark Bramhall (Penguin Audio)
- Hard Magic by Larry Correira, read by Bronson Pinchot (Brilliance Audio)
- Boy and Going Solo by Roald Dahl; Read by Dan Stevens (Penguin Audio)
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, Read by Neil Gaiman (Harper Audio)
- The SFF Audio Podcast #222 - Jesse, Jenny, Paul Weimer and Bryan Alexander discuss Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.
- The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, Read by George Guidall (Harper Audio)
- Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal, Read by Mary Robinette Kowal (Macmillan)
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Read by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne (Random House Audio)
- The SFFaudio Podcast #232 – Scott, Jesse, Jenny, and Tamahome talk about The Prestige by Christopher Priest
- The SFFaudio Podcast #233 – Scott, Luke Burrage, and Jenny talk about Oryx And Crake by Margaret Atwood
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, dramatized by Dirk Maggs, BBC Radio 4
- World War Z by Max Brooks, multiple readers (Random House Audio)
- The Prestige by Christopher Priest, Read by Simon Vance (Blackstone Audio)
Posted by Jenny Colvin
*Mirror universe inhabitants need not apply
Harper Audio was founded in 1952 under the name “Caedmon.” Harper Audio still occasionally publishes under its Caedmon label but its real heyday was in the late 1970s. Uniquely, the back of each album featured unique liner notes typically written specifically for the LP. Witness this vintage magazine ad (from Unearth, Spring 1978):
Posted by Jesse Willis
Downpour.com, Blackstone Audio’s online audiobook store, is a genuine competitor to Audible.com.
It offers audiobook downloads of titles, from Blackstone Audio’s extensive catalogue, and also those from many other audiobook publishers like Recorded Books, Harper Audio, Penguin Audio, Hachette Audio, and AudioGo.
Their subscription service is almost identically priced to Audible’s, each offers one credit per month for about $15. And, like an Audible credit Audible.com, a Downpour credit almost always gets you one audiobook.
I signed up for Downpour when they started late last Summer. And so far, I really, really like it.
I’ve had an account with Audible.com since 2001. But Audbile.com has always caused one giant problem for me: DRM.
DRM is actually designed to prevent you sharing your audiobook with your friends and family.
But worse, it can also make it difficult for you, the owner of the audiobook that you bought, to actually listen to what you have paid for.
Over the years I’ve spent countless hours trying to make an audiobook, that I bought, play on my audiobook players.
Every single time I’ve bought a new computer, iPod, iPad, or iPhone I’ve spent time authorizing and deauthorizing my devices. Sometimes it just takes a couple of minutes, sometimes hours.
Audible’s DRM makes you have to authorize your iTunes account, and your computer, and your iPhone, and your iPad, and your iPod. And you have to deauthorize your old devices to make the new devices work. You can’t have all of your devices authorized if you have more than three.
I just want my audiobooks to work like regular books, I want them to open up and give me their ideas. DRM cripples your ability to do that.
Downpour.com has no DRM at all. It just works.
In fact it works absolutely perfectly.
You make a purchase, it shows up in your online library, and then it downloads and delivers itself to your devices.
It is smoother than any audiobook service I’ve ever seen. It’s even smoother than Tantor Media’s excellent DRM-FREE download service.
If you use an iOS device for an audiobook, like I do, I’m betting Downpour.com is will work for you.
If you use a different audiobook player Downpour offers MP3s, which work with every audio player.
Posted by Jesse Willis
Derived from an incident in which he and a friend were dangerously tailgated by a large truck on the same day as the Kennedy assassination, Duel is emblematic of Richard Matheson’s queer existential fiction. It was first published in the April 1971 of Playboy.
The most accessible version of this classic story is this one, put out by Harper Audio in 2009:
Duel (from Road Rage)
By Richard Matheson; Read by Stephen Lang
1 |MP3| – Approx. 63 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: February 2009
“Driving to San Francisco, a businessman finds himself the victim of a deadly game being played by the driver of a huge, mysterious truck. Later to become Steven Spielberg’s classic 1971 film.”
But, back in 2006 BBC Radio 7 (now BBC Radio 4 Extra) did a special broadcast in honour of Richard Matheson’s 80th birthday. Along with a specially recorded interview there was also an unabridged reading of Duel. That version is available via torrent over on RadioArchive.cc:
By Richard Matheson; Read by Nathan Osgood
2 MP3s via TORRENT – Approx. 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 7
Broadcast: February 18, 2006
“A huge truck plays deadly games with an innocent motorist.”
Blackstone Audio’s collection, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, released in 2009 also includes it:
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
By Richard Matheson; Read by Various
10.5 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
And while the movie version is currently available, in its entirety, on YouTube this short film version, recut from Spielberg’s TV-Movie is perhaps even better:
Posted by Jesse Willis
Received in the mail, the Harper Collins / Voyager “SEASONAL PUBLICATION SCHEDULE 2011/12″ it includes paper, ebook and audiobook titles by the likes of George R.R. Martin, Stephen Hunt, Blake Charlton, Kylie Chan, Clive Barker, Cinda Willams Chima, Janny Wurts, Sara Douglass and Drew Magry. This is the U.K. based imprint of Harper Collins.
And here’s the complete |PDF| made from the scanned catalogue.
Posted by Jesse Willis
Talked about on today’s show:
Blackstone Audio, Ashland, Oregon, The Story Of Civilization by Will Durant and Ariel Durant, the Miles Vorkosigan saga, Lois McMaster Bujold, Cryoburn, space opera, the Library Of Congress’ talking book program, Tiger Beat, Alexander Scourby, George Guidall, Displaced Persons, YA, WWII, Flo Gibson, Brilliance Audio, Recorded Books, the early audiobook industry, James Patterson, Books On Tape, Michael Kramer, Barret Whitener, Kate Reading, Bernadette Dunn, Jonathan Marosz, Tanya Perez, Oregon Shakespeare Theatre Festival, Southern Oregon University, Ringworld by Larry Niven |READ OUR REVIEW|, recording audiobooks under pseudonyms (Tom Parker, Alexander Adams), Star Wars, Anthony Heald, the Young Jedi series, Jonathan Davis, recording an abridged novel with sound effects (Star Wars), “hard abridgments”, “in the age of mega companies that shall remain nameless”, do bad books turned into audiobooks harm the audiobook market?, casting an audiobook narrator slightly against the book, digitizing older audiobooks, history, narrating non-fiction, Ross Macdonald‘s Lew Archer series, The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell |READ OUR REVIEW|, Tai Simmons, using an iPad to read scripts, Blackstone Audio maintains an in-house pronunciation guide database, The Tin Drum by Günter Grass, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, Simon Vance, Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick, Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick |READ OUR REVIEW|, Tom Weiner loves science fiction, Brain Wave by Poul Anderson, a new recording of a Robert Sheckley book is coming, Random House still does abridgments, Shelby Foote, Donald Westlake, Grover Gardner’s blog post on Ross Macdonald, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald wrote psychological mystery novels about families (he lets all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out), The Wycherley Woman, The Chill, John D. MacDonald, The Moving Target, The Galton Case, Black Money, the Travis McGee series, Darren McGavin, biography as a genre, Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw, Gildan Media, the Wallander series, The Return Of The Dancing Master by Henning Mankell, Haila Williams, Grover Gardner loved narrating Elmore Leonard audiobook, Patrick Obrien’s, Bernard Cornwell, Maximum Bob by Elmore Leonard, “a slightly square guy”, Harper Audio, Pronto by Elmore Leonard, Justified, the Inspector Montalbano series is “enormously entertaining”, Andrea Camilleri, the Toby Peters series, Stuart M. Kaminsky, keeping track of the character voices (by visualization), “I lived those books”, Fools Die by Mario Puzo, Kristoffer Tabori, what is Grover Gardner’s favourite book?, The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell (it’s Grover Gardner’s masterwork).
Posted by Jesse Willis