The SFFaudio Podcast #231

September 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #231 – Jesse and Luke Burrage (from the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast) talk to audiobook narrator Simon Vance.

Talked about on today’s show:
Jonathan Davis, Pat Fraley, Scott Brick is the Brad Pitt of audiobooks and Simon Vance is the George Clooney of audiobooks, how Simon Vance got started, reel to reel tape recorder, Winnie The Pooh, BBC Radio 4, 1980s, Brighton, RNIB, Grover Gardner, George Guidall, The Book At Bedtime, Margaret Thatcher, California, San Francisco, Christian and devotional audiobooks, “we sound more intelligent (but we’re not)”, Stieg Larsson, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Audiofile Magazine, Earphone Awards, England, Sweden, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the apprenticeship, Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan, a classic dystopia, Thirteen (aka Black Man), The Steel Remains, The Cold Commands, artfulness and in-artfulness of narration, Doctor Who, overwhelming music -> overwhelming emotion, The Lord Of The Rings, the good narrators do the unexpected, “boo”, Dune by Frank Herbert (the full-cast audiobook), Goodreads.com, Simon Prebble, V For Vendetta by Steve Moore, the comic + the movie + Simon Vance = great audiboook, Natalie Portman was awesome, Stephen Rea, most novelizations are terrible, Hugo Weaving, James Bond, Ian Fleming, AudioGo, Blackstone Audio, the Green Knowe books, Listen And Live, Kate Fleming, The Prestige by Christopher Priest, a complicated book, a second chance, The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast review of The Prestige (episode #177), the movie of The Prestige, a final trick, one of the best Science Fiction movies of the last ten years, a thinking man’s book (and movie), The Illusionist, stage magic vs. CGI magic, The Magic Circle, Left for Dead: The Untold Story Of The Tragic 1979 Fastnet Race by Nick Ward and Sinead O’Brien, survival, Antarctica, fiction vs. non-fiction, a cabinet of heads, WWII, the Patrick O’Brian books (the Aubrey–Maturin series), Master And Commander, the incomplete book 21, Robert Hardy and Tim Piggot-Smith, what SFF Simon Vance book should we check out?, The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough, The Exodus Towers, The Plague Forge, zombie apocalypse, aliens, “good honest adventure”, Pan Books Of Horror, c, Rama, Rama II, The Man In The High Castle, Philip K. Dick, Mark Twain, Anthony Trollope, Charles Dickens, a PDF listing Simon Vance’s audiobooks, out of print audiobooks, Audible.com, Christopher Priest’s other audiobooks are done by other audiobook narrators, Peter Ganim, Robert J. Sawyer, The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks, rights issues, keep your audiobooks.

V For Vendetta read by Simon Vance

Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan - read by Simon Vance

Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan - read by Simon Vance

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #228 – READALONG: Last And First Men by Olaf Stapledon

September 2, 2013 by · 1 Comment
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Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #228 – Jesse and Jenny talk about the Last And First Men by Olaf Stapledon.

Talked about on today’s show:
the near and far future, not a novel, an imagined planetary history, the scope, Penguin Books, philosophy, the introduction, The Iron Heel by Jack London, a future history, human civilizations, two thousand million years (two billion years), universes => galaxy, man is a small part of the universe, Starmaker by Olaf Stapledon, Doctor Who, 2001: A Space Odyssey, what the plot would look like if there was one, the eighteen periods of man, evolution and construction, it’s set in 1930, is there ever an end to humanity?, Last Men In London by Olaf Stapledon, Last And First Men was popular in its day, Stapledon served in the ambulance service in WWI, plotlessness, period themes, the flying theme, the depletion of fossil fuels, The Mote In God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Venus, Mars, Neptune, the Martians, the Venusians, the genocide on Venus, Luke Burrage (the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast), racism, a Science Fiction mythology, the poetic musical ending, deep time, to the end of the Earth and beyond, Stapledon as an historian, civilizations always fall, there’s no one thing that ends civilizations, humanity as a symphony, the returns to savagery, establishing the pattern, Arthur C. Clarke, The House On The Borderlands by William Hope Hodgson, The Night Lands, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, H.P. Lovecraft and cosmicism, the Wikipedia entry for Last And First Men, Fritz Leiber, Forrest Ackerman, scientificion, matchless poignancy, S. Fowler Wright, Lovecraft’s love of the stars (astronomy), one of the species of man is a monkey, another a rabbit, no jokes but perhaps humour, a cosmic joke, monkeys have made human their slaves, Planet Of The Apes, an ability to hear at the subatomic level, intelligence, a fourteen foot brain supported by ferroconcrete, obsession with gold, obsession with diamonds, pulping people, it’s written like a history textbook or essays, the Patagonia explosion, the upstart volcanoes, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, The Scarlet Plague by Jack London, chiseling knowledge into granite, Olaf loved coming up with different sexual relationships, the 20 year pregnancy, suicide, euthanasia, an unparalleled imagination, groupthink, telepathy, oversimplification, we must press on, the baboon-like submen, the seal-like Submen, the divergence of man into other ecological niches, the number of ants in New York, ecosystems, nuclear weapons, robots are missing, where is the robot man?, the over-emphasis on fossil fuels as the only source of energy, if you could see us now, post-humans, ultimately a love letter to humanity, not aww but awwww!, Starmaker as a masterpiece, Sirius, uplifting a dog, a fantasy of love and discord, dog existentialism, who am I and where is my bone?, Olaf Stapledon in the PUBLIC DOMAIN, influential vs. famous, a very different read.

Last And First Men by Olaf Stapledon

Olaf Stapledon illustration by Neil Austin

Posted by Jesse Willis

David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev’s Peter And The Wolf

July 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Online Audio

David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev's Peter And The Wolf

I must have had this as a kid, it is super-familiar. There’s a Wikipedia entry for it HERE.

Each character in the story has a particular instrument and a musical theme:

Bird: flute
Duck: oboe
Cat: clarinet
Grandfather: bassoon
Wolf: French horns
Hunters: woodwind theme, with gunshots on timpani and bass drum
Peter: string instruments

[via That's Swell]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Dishonored: The Drunken Whaler

June 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Online Audio

Having sampled a fair amount of steampunk fiction I’d pretty much concluded it was a genre best relegated to photography or film, not text. But there may be another place steampunkery may be successful – computer games. The BioShock series looks promising, but perhaps even more promising is the 2012 game Dishonored. Here is the trailer:

And here is the soundtrack to it, based upon an early 19th century sea chanty:

|MP3| (right click to download (it doesn’t HuffDuff properly)

[via Bethesda's Blog]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Flying Cuspidors by V.R. Francis

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Online Audio

My friend Julie Hoverson described this story as “Runyonesque” (I had to look it up). Having now heard it I can see why she read it. Julie is an absolute ham for certain quirky American accents and she nails this one beautifully. Of the story itself she said it featured a jazz style band, made up of some suitably jazzy types. The plot, such as it is, is kind of beside the point. It’s a kind of a fish out of water story in which the band, though seemingly born in the future, still finds themselves sounding very much like a set of 1950s characters. Indeed, they find themselves stuck in a Science Fiction future but with 1950s problems.

At the time of publication of The Flying Cuspidors, August 1958, the author, one V.R. Francis, was said to have been a 21 year old Californian, who had “previously appeared in men’s magazines.” But whether that was as a model, or an author, is unfortunately lost to history.

This is the only known story by V.R. Francis

The Flying Cuspidors by V.R. FrancisThe Flying Cuspidors
By V.R. Francis; Read by Julie Hoverson
1 |MP3| – Approx. 23 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Provider: Julie Hoverson
Provided: May 2013
This was love, and what could be done about it? It’s been happening to guys for a long time, now. First published in Fantastic Universe August 1958.

Here’s a |PDF|, and Gutenberg has |ETEXT| versions.

Posted by Jesse Willis

R(oom) by Holt McCarley

February 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Online Audio

Holt McCarleyWe talk so much about spoken-word audio at SFF Audio that I thought I’d take a second to feature a musical work inspired by two works of fiction, one literary and one zombie.

From the composer’s post:

Two summers ago, before my sophomore year, I read two novels: one featuring a protagonist named “R,” the other entitled “Room.” R is a grown man trapped in apocalyptic America who can’t even remember his whole name. His outlook on the world crumbling around him is deeply profound, but almost from the perspective of an innocent child.

In the novel “Room,” John is a 5 year-old boy born and raised in a small garden shed, unable to leave, but ignorant of any other world apart from the one that has been created for him. When he escapes, he is suddenly surrounded by the world – and he doesn’t know what to think of it. My piece R(oom) is a compilation of these two conflicting ideas: a man who sees the world through the eyes of a child, and a child who sees the world of man for the first time.

Inspired by Room (by Emma Donaghue) and Warm Bodies (by Isaac Marion), composer Holt McCarley wrote R(oom).  You can listen to it and some of his other works by going to his SoundCloud account.  I saw it performed live last fall at Furman University, where the composer is a undergraduate student. It has been on my mind lately since the film version of Warm Bodies recently released in theaters.

Posted by Jenny Colvin

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