The SFFaudio Podcast #247 – READALONG: On The Beach by Nevil Shute; read by Simon Prebble. Jesse fends off illness to lead us in an intriguing discussion about Nevil Shute’s apocalyptic novel. This podcast features Jesse, Jenny, Seth, and Paul.
Talked about on today’s show:
Reversed seasons in Southern Hemisphere; novel originally serialized in London weekly periodical The Sunday Graphic; “on the beach” as naval phrase meaning “retired from service”; the novel almost universally acclaimed by critics and readers alike; what is the ideal time frame for an end-of-the-world scenario?; On The Beach as bleak existential novel; the author’s avoidance of political or religious polemic; 1959 movie starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, and Anthony Perkins; Australia as a secular nation; Earth Abides by George R. Stewart; Endgame by Samuel Becket; the novel as a metaphor for terminal cancer patients; The Star by Arthur C. Clarke; abstract sterile end-of-world mechanics, a “cosy catastrophe“; 2008 BBC radio adaptation; 2000 TV movie starring Bryan Brown, modernized and featuring a much more optimistic tone; Roland Emmerich’s disaster flick 2012; could the novel’s characters done more to ensure the continued survival of humanity?; fallout shelters, “duck and cover!”; Chernobyl; rampant alcoholism; euthanasia; attitudes toward media–were newspapers responsible for the war?; regression of technology in the novel; The Waveries by Fredric Brown; we wish the Cosy Catastrophe genre would supplant Paranormal Romance; reflection of a pre-WWI era arms race; 1959 movie version tackles Cold War paranoia; U.S. government’s criticism of the novel; Five Years by David Bowie; faced with the end of the world, our panel would evidently read Marcel Proust; needless revisions in film adaptations; much action takes place “off the page” in the novel; lookism; The Scarlet Plague by Jack London; Simon Prebble’s excellent audio narration; George Orwell’s 1984; Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and logotherapy; Jay Lake and his bout with cancer; Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, adapted by Alfred Hitchcock, and how we’re haunted by the people who are no longer with us; the novel’s three-dimensional characters; Nevil Shute employs typical British understatement; Lord of the Rings‘s Denethor and the idea of hopelessness; Egyptian tomb goods and attitudes towards death; Jesse plans his funeral rites.
Posted by Seth Wilson
Written in the narrative form of DeMille’s A Strange Manuscript Found In A Copper Cylinder or Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym Of Nantucket Tonia Brown’s The Cold Beneath is a new “steampunk horror” audiobook.
The Cold Beneath
By Tonia Brown; Read by Chris Barnes
Download – Approx. 6 Hours 53 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Dynamic Ram Audio Productions
In the race to the North Pole, who will become the victor, and who will fall to the ravages of the Cold Beneath? Phillip Syntax is the world’s best biomechanic with a checkered past of betrayal and lost love. When given a chance at redemption by the celebrated soldier Gideon Lightbridge, how can he refuse? This ill-fated expedition turns from daring to disastrous when their airship, the Northern Fancy, crashes in the far and frozen north, leaving the crew stranded without hope. But that isn’t the worst of it. One by one the dead crew members arise from the cold ashes to seek the warmth of the living, and it becomes every man for himself in an effort not to join the ranks of the revenants.
I’ve been listening to the novel, and find it to be punky, flowery and straightforward. The writing itself seems breezy, without pretense or subterfuge. The first few minutes of the audiobook introduces some very steampunkily named characters (“Mr. Syntax” and “Mr. Lightbridge”) – both voiced by the narrator Chris Barnes. Barnes seems to have a natural Scottish accent but as the characters are English and American he creditably voices them as such.
Writing this now, as I approach the first hour mark of the audiobook, I find The Cold Beneath to be a wholly improbable bit of fun, a brummagem amalgam of ahistorical realities, a sepia toned breccia of impossible ideas held in their interstices by a sticky cement of amiable frivolousness.
In other words, The Cold Beneath promises to be nothing more than a distracting steampuk adventure, set aboard an airship, with one of the characters sporting clockwork robotic legs, and, by looking at the cover, perhaps later, some scary frozen zombies.
If you liked the writing energy of Tee Morris’ Billibub Baddings And The Case Of The Singing Sword |READ OUR REVIEW| or the airship adventures of Jay Lake’s Mainspring |READ OUR REVIEW| then Tonia Brown’s The Cold Beneath might be your cup of brown joy.
Posted by Jesse Willis
The provocative sequel to the Hugo and Audie Award-nominated METAtropolis features interconnected stories by today’s top speculative fiction writers, performed by a galaxy of Star Trek ® stars.
As the mid-21st century approaches, the Pacific Northwest has been transformed — politically, economically, and ecologically — into the new reality of Cascadia. Conspiracies and secrets threaten the tenuous threads of society. The End of Days seems nearer than ever. And the legend of the mysterious Tygre Tygre looms large.
METAtropolis: Cascadia is the creation of Hugo and World Fantasy Award nominee Jay Lake; Mary Robinette Kowal, winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; New York Times best-selling author Tobias S. Buckell; Hugo Award winner Elizabeth Bear; Aurora Award winner Karl Schroeder; and critically-acclaimed author Ken Scholes.
The team of narrators is any sci-fi fan’s dream: Star Trek’s Rene Auberjonois (“Odo”), Kate Mulgrew (“Capt. Kathryn Janeway”), Wil Wheaton (“Wesley Crusher”), Gates McFadden (“Dr. Beverly Crusher”), Jonathan Frakes (“Cmdr. William Riker”), and LeVar Burton (“Geordi La Forge”). Jay Lake, who also served as Project Editor, introduces this stunning sequel, written and produced exclusively for digital audio.
Posted by Scott D. Danielson
The SFFaudio Podcast #069 – Jesse and Scott are joined Allan Kaster, the editor of Infinivox’s new audiobook anthology: The Year’s Top Ten Tales Of Science Fiction 2.
Talked about on today’s show:
Infinivox, Summer, the first time we had Allan Kaster on the podcast, The Year’s Top Ten Tales Of Science Fiction, Great Science Fiction Stories, Audible.com, Cibola by Connie Willis is going out of print, modern audiobook contracts, Kindle eBooks, The Year’s Top Ten Tales Of Science Fiction 2, the influence of Audible.com’s credit system, the influence of podcasts, the FREE On The Human Plan by Jay Lake MP3, Ted Chiang, transformation, The Island Of Doctor Moreau, Clarkesworld, Subterranean Online, Lightspeed Magazine, Jim Baen’s Universe, Tor.com, what makes Infinivox a different audiobook company, Aliens Rule edited by Allan Kaster, We Robots edited by Allan Kaster, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, Thunder And Roses by Theodore Sturgeon, The Fluted Girl by Paulo Bacigalupi, Pump Six by Paulo Bacigalupi, investing in authors, A Colder War by Charles Stross, Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette, the “inspired by Lovecraft” sub-genre, A Walk In The Sun by Geoffrey Landis, Rammer by Larry Niven, the possibility of a Ted Chiang short story collection, BoingBoing’s interview with Ted Chiang, Infinivox is all Science Fiction all the time, Fantasy, A Song Of Ice And Fire, George R.R. Martin, Scattered Suns by Kevin J. Anderson, Saga Of The Seven Suns, the pronunciation of saga, Vanessa Hart, a cross between Homicide: Life On The Street and Frederick Pohl’s Heechee, the proper pronunciation of “Lagrange“, ZZ-Top, “feral”, Erosion by Ian Creasey, Ian Creasey, Mongoose by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette, Boojum Universe, upcoming from Infinivox: Starship Vectors edited by Allan Kaster, Boojum, Nancy Kress, Charles Coleman Finlay, Stephen Baxter, what “Boojum” means (it comes from Lewis Carroll), H.P. Lovecraft, plush Cthulhu, remixing Lovecraft, A Story With Beans by Steven Gould, As Women Fight by Sara Genge, feminist Science Fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin, post-singularity stories, body switching stories, Mindswap by Robert Sheckley, Passengers by Robert Silverberg, Peter Watts, “the Earth is dying”, dying earth, Shine: An Anthology Of Optimistic Science Fiction edited by Jetse de Vries, dystopia, the Jackaroo sequence, The City Of The Dead, the return of the fix-up novel, Jack Vance, Ian McDonald, River Of Gods by Ian McDonald, Cyberabad Days, ebooks, “I like Audible much more than I want to”, Amazon’s announcement about Kindle sales exceeding hardcover sales, Fictionwise.com, getting used to the digital universe, from scrolls to books, clay tablets to scrolls, “download it to your brainstem.”
Posted by Jesse Willis
The SFFaudio Podcast #065 – Scott and Jesse and Luke Burrage talk about the latest audiobook releases!
Talked about on today’s show:
The Year’s Top Ten Tales Of Science Fiction – Volume 2 edited by Allan Kaster, Infinivox, On The Human Plan by Jay Lake, Tarnsman Of Gor by John Norman, Gorean subculture, The Chronicles Of Counter-Earth, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Boris Vallejo, Brilliance Audio, Dog Blood by David Moody, Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League, Hater by David Moody |READ OUR REVIEW|, David J. Williams, editing your novel, Gerard Doyle, Guillermo del Toro, Borders Of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold, The Reader’s Chair, Grover Gardner, Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold |READ OUR REVIEW|, Penguin Audio, The Left Hand Of God by Paul Hoffman, Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfus, A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire, Rosemary And Rue by Seanan McGuire, “urban fantasy warning”, fey vs. fairy, Audio Realms, Double Shadow by Clark Ashton Smith, H.P. Lovecraft, Weird Tales, William F. Nolan, Michael Bishop, F. Marion Crawford, Wayne June, The Empty House And Other Ghost Stories by Algernon Blackwood, Robert E. Howard, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, The Things That Are Not There by C.J. Henderson, naming your weapons, Happiness Is a Warm Gun, Gonji: Red Blade From The East by T.C. Rypel, the anti-Marco Polo, Hunt: Through The Cradle Of Fear by Gabriel Hunt, The Hunt For Adventure series, Charles Ardai, Hard Case Crime, manly adventure, Christa Faust, Money Shot by Christa Faust, the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, Nancy Drew, James Reasoner, People Of The Dark: The Weird Works Of Robert E. Howard – Volume 2, CONAN, Queen Of The Black Coast, Castaways by Brian Greene, A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Disney edition (John Carter Of Mars), chain-mail bikini, Chicks In Chainmail, hauberk and coif, Gust Front: Legacy of the Aldenata by John Ringo, the Legacy of the Aldenata series, “military science fiction warning”, Flag In Exile (Book 5 In The Honor Harrington Series) by David Weber, “there is no happily ever after in a series”, Mass Effect, Steam, the wikipedia entry for Elder Race, big dumb objects, xenoarchaology, uplifting as a god replacement, Sid Meier, Babylon 5, Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds, Heechee vs. XeeLee, lamp-shading the foam forehead, GoodReads.com, Smoke by Donald E. Westlake, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, House Of Suns by Alastair Reynolds, Century Rain, Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds, The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, Audible.com, Audible Frontiers, Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Oath Of Fealty by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Fallen Angels by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn, Eifelheim by Michael Flynn, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, Steve Feldberg, Ubik by Philip K. Dick, Science Fiction And Politics podcast, Lost, Geek Nights podcast, The Darkness That Comes Before, The Lies Of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch |READ OUR REVIEW|, middle grade vs. young adult vs. vampire romance, The Books Of Elsewhere: The Shadows by Jacqueline West, Penguin Audio, Song Of The Dragon by Tracy Hickman, Brilliance Audio, fantasy, Harriet Klausner, Tracy And Laura Hickman’s Eventide, Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing, Medal Of Honor (pre-order), Dragonlance, 23 Hours by David Wellington, vampires, comics, Classics Illustrated #3: The Count Of Monte Cristo, Epic Illustrated, The Rook, Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction, Behold The Man by Michael Moorcock, Conan: Black Colossus, Garth Ennis’ The Boys, Herogasm, the video review of Herogasm, The Guns Of August by Barbara Tuchman, GraphicAudio, Batman: Inferno by Alex Irvine, “I’m Batman”, Elantris, Writing Excuses, Cory Doctorow, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson, Anathem by Neal Stephenson, The Way Of Kings, A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Luke’s Pick Of The Week: The Writing Excuses Podcast, “stories have to have an end”, Epic Fantasy’s appeal is that it has no end, The Lord Of The Rings vs. A Game Of Thrones, Eric S. Rabkin, I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: GraphicAudio’s Batman: Inferno by Alex Irvine, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: The Sandbaggers, BFS Entertainment, Ian Mackintosh, James Bond, espionage, Queen & Country by Gregg Rucka,
Posted by Jesse Willis
From Infinivox, a free story from their Year’s Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction 2!
“On the Human Plan” by Jay Lake
I am called Dog the Digger. I am not mighty, neither am I fearsome. Should you require bravos, there are muscle-boys aplenty among the rat-bars of any lowtown on this raddled world. If it is a wizard you want, follow the powder-trails of crushed silicon and wolf’s blood to their dark and winking lairs. Scholars can be found in their libraries, taikonauts in their launch bunkers and ship foundries, priests amid the tallow-gleaming depths of their bone-ribbed cathedrals.
Here’s a direct link to the |MP3|
Posted by Scott D. Danielson