The SFFaudio Podcast #238 – AUDIOBOOK: The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

November 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Podcast

H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #238 – The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, read by Cathy Barratt (for LibriVox.org).

This audiobook, 4 hours 35 minutes, is complete and unabridged.

Griffin, a scientist, devoted himself to research into optics – he invented a chemical that could change his body’s refractive index to that of air – he absorbs no light, he reflects no light – he is completely invisible.

First published in Pearson’s Magazine, June 12, 1897.

The Invisible Man - illustration by Dino Castrillo and Rudy Mesina

The Invisible Man arrives - illustration by Val Mayerik and Dan Atkins

The Invisible Man - illustration by Val Mayerik and Dan Atkins

And Now Do You See What I Am, Idiots?

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells - POCKET CLASSICS

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

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

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If I had to name the one story that’s influenced my reading, and thinking, most in last couple of years I’d name The Horla by Guy de Maupassant. It possesses my mind like a dark and deep tunnel running through my imaginative landscape – if you haven’t heard it yet you should. Below you’ll find my preferred version, but there are more readings, and adaptations HERE – and we did a whole podcast about it, that’s HERE.

One new thing though is this |PDF| which I made from a scan of an issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries – it features the 1911 George Allan England translation.

LibriVoxThe Horla
By Guy de Maupassant; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 57 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 11, 2009
First published in Gil Blas; Oct 26, 1886.

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: What Was It? by Fitz-James O’Brien

May 2, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

I’ve posted about this story before. It’s worth posting about again and again. What’s new now is this reading, which is PUBLIC DOMAIN, and therefore extremely handy. Included also, for the first time, is some really stunning art!

I’ve also added a PDF, for handy printing!

What Was It? by Fitz-James O'Brien

"In Five Minutes We Had A Plaster Mold Of The Creature"

What Was It? by Fitz-James O'Brien - illustration from Famous Fantastic Mysteries, December 1949

What Was It? by Fitz-James O'Brien - from A Stable For Nightmares, 1896

LibriVoxWhat Was It?
By Fitz-James O’Brien; Read by Peter Yearsley
1 |MP3| – Approx. 35 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: May 2006
|ETEXT|
One of the earliest known examples of invisibility in fiction is What Was It? by Fitz-James O’Brien – He’s been called “the most important figure after Poe and before Lovecraft” and this story serves as a kind of a bridge between the supernatural and the scientific, between the likes of de Maupassant’s The Horla and Wells’ The Invisible Man.
First published in Harper’s Magazine, March 1859.

Here’s a |PDF| complied from the Famous Fantastic Mysteries, December 1949 publication.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Shadow And The Flash by Jack London

April 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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The Shadow And The Flash by Jack London

Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1948 COVER - The Shadow And The Flash by Jack London

Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1948 - The Shadow And The Flash by Jack London

Here’s one of Gregg Margarite’s earliest narrations for LibriVox. Because it was so early it sounds like one of his more amateur recordings – mostly because Gregg reads it too fast. But one thing that didn’t really change, that needed no refinement, his skill at picking stories to record. This Jack London short story is fun Science Fiction. It’s about a pair of nearly identical, ferociously competitive, brothers. The tale was written in 1902, five years after The Invisible Man, by H.G. Wells, was published as a novel.

Indeed, the plot is rather … how shall I put this ? … familiar ? … with the The Invisible Man. But that’s okay as there’s a line aknowledging it by one of the brothers. At least it’s a hat-tip in that direction. But instead of one mad scientist as in Well’s novel, we have two in The Shadow And The Flash – in fact were they a pair of superheroes (or supervillains) that’d be each of their names (The Shadow and The Flash) as they get their powers from the way they approached the problem of invisibility – that is to say from opposite ends, as it were.

It was at about seven minutes in before the story really took off – here’s the part that grabbed me:

Lloyd warmed to the talk in his nervous, jerky fashion, and was soon interrogating the physical properties and possibilities of invisibility. A perfectly black object, he contended, would elude and defy the acutest vision.

“Color is a sensation,” he was saying. “It has no objective reality. Without light, we can see neither colors nor objects themselves. All objects are black in the dark, and in the dark it is impossible to see them. If no light strikes upon them, then no light is flung back from them to the eye, and so we have no vision-evidence of their being.”

“But we see black objects in daylight,” I objected.

“Very true,” he went on warmly. “And that is because they are not perfectly black. Were they perfectly black, absolutely black, as it were, we could not see them—ay, not in the blaze of a thousand suns could we see them! And so I say, with the right pigments, properly compounded, an absolutely black paint could be produced which would render invisible whatever it was applied to.”

“It would be a remarkable discovery,” I said non-committally, for the whole thing seemed too fantastic for aught but speculative purposes.

LibriVoxThe Shadow And The Flash
By Jack London; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: March 12, 2009
A tale about two brothers who take different routes to achieving invisibility, as narrated by their best friend. First published in The Bookman, June 1903. Later published in The Windsor Magazine, October 1904, and in Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1948, Leoplan #502 (May 18, 1955).

Here’s The Windsor Magazine edition |PDF|, here’s the Famous Fantastic Mysteries edition |PDF|, and here’s a Spanish translation from Argentina’s Leoplan |PDF|.

Illustrations from The Windsor Magazine publication:
The Shadow And The Flash - illustration from The Windsor Magazine
The Shadow And The Flash - illustration from The Windsor Magazine
The Shadow And The Flash - illustration from The Windsor Magazine
The Shadow And The Flash - illustration from The Windsor Magazine

Virgil Finlay’s illustration from Famous Fantastic Mysteries:
Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1948 - The Shadow And The Flash illustration by Virgil Finlay

Raul Valencia’s illustrations from LeoPlan 502:
The Shadow And The Flash - illustration by Raul Valencia
The Shadow And The Flash - illustration by Raul Valencia

Posted by Jesse Willis

Hypnobobs: What Was It? by Fitz James O’Brien

September 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Online Audio

Mr. Jim Moon, a recent guest on SFFaudio Podcast #126, has recorded another story you just have to hear! It’s an old one, it’s wonderful, it’s obscure and it’s been recorded with an amateur’s enthusiasm and a professional’s sound. Mr. Moon, who I’m coming to realize is something of an expert in weird fiction, tracked down the complete text – apparently nearly all modern editions have used a slightly condensed version – cleanly narrated it (without any added sound effects or annoying bed music), then complimented the reading with what I can only describe as a very thoughtful commentary of an impassioned researcher.

Honestly, how could anyone ask for more than that?

My figurative hat is off to you Mr. Jim Moon. You are what makes the internet a wonderful place to visit.

What Was It? by Fritz James O'BrienWhat Was It?
By Fitz James O’Brien; Read by Jim Moon
1 |MP3| – Approx. 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Hypnobobs
Podcast: September 18, 2011
One of the earliest known examples of invisibility in fiction is What Was It? by Fitz James O’Brien – He’s been called “the most important figure after Poe and before Lovecraft” and this story serves as a kind of a bridge between the supernatural and the scientific, between the likes of de Maupassant’s The Horla and Wells’ The Invisible Man.

Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Hypnobobs

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #125 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

September 12, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #125 – The Horla by Guy de Maupassant, read by Gregg Margarite (of LibriVox), followed by a discussion of the story – participants include Jesse, Tamahome and Jenny Colvin (of the Reading Envy blog).

Talked about on today’s show:
“c’est magnifique!”, is this Jesse’s favourite story from the 19th century?, H.G. Wells, is The Horla Science Fiction, aliens, ghosts, Guy de Maupassant is crafting our feeling on how the story should be interpreted, Mont Saint-Michel, Ladyhawke, Second Life, Normandy, Paris, France, ghosts, goats with human faces, biblical stories of possessed pigs, metaphor of the wind, the wind as a telekinetic force, invisibility, personal experience vs. faith, succubi, vampires, Jim Moon’s Hypnobobs podcast (reading of The Horla and Dairy Of A Madman), was Guy de Maupassant interested in science?, his prolific output, Sigmund Freud, is this a psychological drama?, the character in the movie vs. the short story, sleep paralysis and depression, is the unnamed protagonist of The Horla bioplar?, syphilis, H.P. Lovecraft, Benjamin Franklin, the character has a Science Fiction attitude (a disposition towards science), a story of possession (like in The Exorcist), glowing eyes, Rouen, “excuse my French”, external confirmation, diagnose yourself, São Paulo, Brazil, The Horla means “the beyond”, what lives beyond the Earth?, Jenny wasn’t thinking aliens at all, creatures from other dimensions, the Predator’s cloaking device, is the horla really Santa Claus?, hypnotism and hypnotists, post-hypnotic suggestion, confabulation, its a quasi-phenomenon, why can’t everyone be hypnotized?, Hamlet, did he burn down his house or did the horla do it?, noir, movies demand the defeat of evil, “Son Of The Horla and Spawn Of The Horla“, science and skepticism, who broke all the drinking glasses?, the Futurama version of a Twilight Zone episode,

“The vulture has eaten the dove, and the wolf has eaten the lamb; the lion has devoured the sharp-horned buffalo, and man has killed the lion with arrow, sword and gun; but the Horla is going to make of man what we have made of the horse and the ox: his chattel, his servant and his food, by the mere exercise of his will. Woe to us.”

Tamahome should read some H.P. Lovecraft, here’s H.P. Lovecraft’s description of The Horla:

“Relating the advent in France of an invisible being who lives on water and milk, sways the minds of others, and seems to be the vanguard of a horde of extra-terrestrial organisms arrived on earth to subjugate and overwhelm mankind, this tense narrative is perhaps without peer in its particular department.”

Lovecraft is using deep time to scare us instead of the supernatural, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, sorry I cant talk right now I’m being digested, Cthulhu’s guest appearance on South Park, the elements, space butterfly,

“We are so weak, so powerless, so ignorant, so small — we who live on this particle of mud which revolves in liquid air.”

a cosmic view, the Carl Sagan view, evil is everywhere, an allegory for science, Frankenstein, “men ought not meddle in affairs normally deemed to women”, the Frankensteinian monster, a warning against science vs. science is our only way of understanding the universe, we have one place to look and that is to science, the propaganda he’s pushing, “there are things we can’t explain”, gentlemen did science back then, Library Of The World’s Best Mystery And Detective Stories on Wikisource, the case of my body being haunted, Edgar Allan Poe, Diary Of A Madman, turn us into batteries, “this is a looking glass”, the main character holding a photograph of himself, foreshadowing, out of body experience, Tama fails the quiz of the lesson earlier, when we don’t know – don’t conclude, we ought not conclude anything from this scene, we are not supposed to know we know the answer, Harvey Keitel’s appearance on Inside the Actor’s Studio, becoming comfortable with the unknown, The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jesse proceeds to recount the entire plot of The Necklace, like a really sad O. Henry story, Somerset Maugham, Henry James, A String Of Beads, “Mais oui.”

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant - illustration by Julian-Damazy

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant - illustration by Julian-Damazy

Posted by Jesse Willis

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