SFBRP #134 – A Science Fiction Book Review Podcast Review Podcast

August 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast Our friend Luke Burrage, of the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, has a new episode up (SFBRP #134) that features a discussion of other book reviewing podcasts. Writes Luke:

“This episode I invited Jesse and Tamahome from the SFFaudio Podcast to review other podcasts that review, or at least talk about, science fiction and fantasy novels and other literature. This was inspired by an overcrowded and shallow look at podcasts on a recent episode of the SF Signal podcast that Jesse took part in, and we all agreed we had more to say on the subject.”

Have a listen |MP3|

Podcast feed: http://www.sfbrp.com/?feed=podcast

Here’s what we talked about:
Luke’s been busy, reviewing podcasts about science fiction book reviews, Tamahome comes from Fushigi Yûgi, The SFFaudio Podcast, writing a blog is slower than talking on a podcast, SFFaudio readalongs are like a book club, talking with authors, TOPIC episodes, FOOD in Science Fiction, STUPIDITY AND INTELLIGENCE in SF, chatting about SFF literature, Luke is not much on comics, TV, or movies, Tamahome adds colour, “a three-body problem”, Robert J. Sawyer, rape, Hominids, “copious shownotes”, a movie is a footnote to the book, When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger, Children Of Men by P.D. James, I Am Legend, pretending there is no movie, Luke doesn’t totally agree with his own argument, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, “it’s The Matrix problem” (sequels), Blade Runner, destroying the sense of wonder, this is why religions eventually collapse too (drilling down), lot’s of hippies having a rave doesn’t interest Luke (or me), gnosticism shouldn’t or can’t be known, sequel-itis or sequel fatigue, it seems as if the only books on store shelves today are series, SFBRP reviews are about just one book per episode and only books, Luke get’s great feedback, Goodreads.com, Amazon.com, SFBRP community is self serving but with wonderful externalities, Luke’s Creative Podcast, A Good Story Is Hard To Find, Scott D. Danielson, Julie Davis, Eifelheim, Catholicism, spoilers, A Good Story Is Hard To Find may be the best podcast out there, SFBRP is irregular, Serenity, Stories Of Your Life by Ted Chiang, Black Cherry Blues by James Lee Burke, East Of Eden, The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey, historical fiction, Fantasy, mystery, Quiz Show, “the traces of one reality”, the Writing Excuses guys are three Mormons?, SFSignal Podcast #70 with Jesse, podcast lists with no discussion (and no women), The Geek’s Guide To The Galaxy podcast #42 (an interview with Eoin Colfer), [**Eoin should be pronounced “Oh-Ehn”**], the purpose of sequels is to milk the back catalogue, Isabel Allende, the Douglas Adams estate, The Dirk Gently TV series (trailer), John Joseph Adams, David Barr Kirtley is pretty damn good, philosophy, bring the interviewee into the discussion, sycophantic interviews, Jack Womack, Requires Only That You Hate, The Sword And Laser Podcast is a book club podcast, a casual book club, The Jane Austen Book Club, Rim and Scott, The Geek Nights Book Club, board games and computer games, comics and manga, World War Z, The Lies Of Loch Lamora, The Prince Of Nothing, the Geek Nights forum, “speller and gramming”, Rim and Scott (and Luke) are frequent guests on the Friday Night Party Line podcast, Beyond The Door, The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick, Fair Game by Philip K. Dick and The Garden Of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges, the Lightspeed podcast (has spoiler introductions), Jack McDevitt, “he doesn’t want you to worry”, Minding Tomorrow by Luke Burrage, time travel, Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds, The Things (Sffaudio post) by Peter Watts, Courtney Brown of Emory University, the Science Fiction And Politics podcast, Foundation by Isaac Asimov, “all I’m here to do is make you guys argue”, Janelle Monáe, Darwin’s Radio by Gregg Bear, Dan Simmons (Tam was thinking of Darwin’s Blade), Snow Crash, bringing a different spin, The Kick Ass-Mystic Ninjas, Harry Harrison, spoilers don’t necessarily really spoil anything, medieval Germany, when walking a tight-rope Luke strikes a balance, the Gweek podcast, Mark Frauenfelder has a genuine enthusiasm that’s infectious, Ready Player One, Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing format is broken for me, the Paul The Book Guy podcast, it’s a panel show with sound effects and jingles, the segments are way too brief, “books, audiobooks, audio drama”, “a series of commercials” it’s overproduced, The Skiffy And Fanty Show, John DeNardo, Geek Night’s competition for the worst podcast on the internet, War Of The Worlds 2, “Torture Cinema”, Shaun Duke and Jen Zink, “book mountain”, “this podcast is all about me and my slurpee”, picking crappy movies on purpose, “a little bit shallow”, having a barrier to entry, there aren’t as many podcasts about books as one would hope, SFBRP is highly placed on iTunes, The Dragon Page podcast, Arizona, Web Genie, Adventures In Scifi Publishing, podcasts about publishing don’t interest Jesse, stop sending Luke books to review, the many TWiT podcasts, claims of “we’re not shilling” = shilling, do you need to compromise your art for $50?, professional podcasters provide a service, Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft made a product that is free, great, and works?, Leo Laporte is has a genuine personality, Jeff Jarvis, Audible ad segments on TWiT have value (and should be compiled), Andy Ihnatko, Macbreak Weekly, the SFBRP:RP, (Tam forgot to mention Coode Street/Galactic Suburbia)

[**Thanks also to Kate O’Hanlon**]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #111

June 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #111 – Scott and Jesse talk with Luke Burrage and Tamahome about the latest releases.

Talked about on today’s show:

name order??, James Powell’s Last Laugh In Flugal Park, Greg Bear’s Halo: Cryptum book, game tie-ins with popular authors, Tobias Buckell’s The Cole Protocol (Halo, #6), Peter Watts Crysis: Legion, Larry Niven’s Ringworld, Hull Zero Three, “in spaaace”, Tim Powers’s The Stress Of Her Regard, “short books”, towel on Luke’s head, George Alec Effinger’s When Gravity Fails, no ebook to speak of, published in 198x?, the game Circuits Edge, Infocom, Beneath A Steel Sky, “comic book look”, comic book artist Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), more game tie-ins, Terry (Monty Python) Jones’s Douglas Adams’s Starship Titanic, Jeff Vandermeer’s Halo story Mona Lisa, from the Halo: Evolutions anthology, motion comic adaption, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter’s First Born (A Time Odyssey, #3), Civilization/Evolution, The Light Of Other Days, Bob Shaw, loss of privacy, “slow glass”, spoiler alert!, Poul Anderson’s Broken Sword, Yggrdsil (hear it pronounced), contemporary of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship Of The Ring, Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies, the audiobook cover, David Friedman on Luke’s new podcast, “everything comes back to zombies”, Alden Bell’s The Reapers Are The Angels discussed on Scott and Julie’s podcast, Luke’s feedback, “email you when I’m dead”, Daniel Suarez’s Daemon, Mark Russinovich’s Zero Day, Edward Wellen’s Mind Slash Matter, |OUR REVIEW|, P.D. James’s Children Of Men, |READ OUR REVIEW|, Fred Hoyle’s The Black Cloud, “sciency”, John Brunner’s The Crucible Of Time, M.P. Shiel’s The Purple Cloud, it’s not about Prince, the Songbird audiodrama from the Radio Repertory Company of America, Harlan Ellison’s The Voice From The Edge #4 & #5 on sale, includes this year’s award winner How Interesting A Tiny Man, John Scalzi’s Fuzzy Nation, H. Beam Piper’s Little Fuzzy, a 2-fer, Old Man’s War, which 1/3 do you like?, “I’m a sucker for new bodies”, Albert Brooks’s 2030: The Real Story Of What Happens To America, the film Defending Your Life, Will McIntosh’s Soft Apocalypse, George R. Stewart’s Earth Abides is also soft, Brent Weeks’s short Perfect Shadow is on Graphicaudio too, Valley Of The Dead: The Truth Behind Dante’s Inferno by Kim Paffenroth, Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven’s Inferno — sf writer tries to explain hell, the remix generation, Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines, “I Am Legend with superheroes”, A. Lee Martinez’s oeuvre, Sleeper: Season One the comic book, Mark Millar’s Trouble, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “the estate works for their money”, Luke talks to a comic book artist, SF Keyword Bingo

DARK HORSE PRESENTS - How Interesting A Tiny Man by Harlan Ellison

Posted by Tamahome

Commentary: SFSignal Mind Meld on favourite audiobooks (and audio drama) of all time

January 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

SFSignal.comJohn DeNardo, of the magnificent SFSignal blog, recently asked me to participate in another “Mind Meld.”

Here’s the topic:

“What are your favorite SF/F/H audiobooks and/or audio fiction stories of all time?”

Here’s what I wrote:

As one of the people behind SFFaudio, a website devoted to SFF in the audio format, this is about the hardest question you could possibly ask me. I can’t even begin to start ranking all the gloriously wonderful audio I’ve had the honor of listening to over the last 20 years (unless you count SFFaudio as exactly that). But, I can throw out some titles that are absolutely terrific!

Since I began listening in earnest (around 1991), and to make it manageable, I’ll limit myself to just one audiobook (or audio drama) per year (sorted by publication date). To make it even easier, I’ll list only commercial productions – we have plenty of love for podcasts and other amateur audio on SFFaudio.com. For starters check out our series called Five Free Favourites.

1991: The Best Fantasy Stories Of The Year 1989 (Dercum Audio – ISBN: 1556561431)
1992: The Wind From A Burning Woman by Greg Bear (Recorded Books) |READ OUR REVIEW|
1993: The Children Of Men by P.D. James (Recorded Books) |READ OUR REVIEW|
1994: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (Time Warner – ISBN: 9781570420528)
1995: Mind Slash Matter by Edward Wellen (Durkin Hayes) |READ OUR REVIEW|
1996: Friday by Robert A. Heinlein (Blackstone Audio – ISBN: 0786110546)
1997: Sci-Fi Private Eye ed. Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg (Dercum Audio) |READ OUR REVIEW|
1998: Martian Time Slip by Philip K. Dick (Blackstone Audio) |READ OUR REVIEW|
1999: Ringworld by Larry Niven |READ OUR REVIEW|
2000: The Reel Stuff edited by Brian Thomsen and Martin H. Greenberg |READ OUR REVIEW|
2001: Minority Report And Other Stories by Philip K. Dick |READ OUR REVIEW|
2002: Two Plays For Voices by Neil Gaiman (Seeing Ear Theatre / Harper Audio) |READ OUR REVIEW|
2003: The Terminal Experiment by Robert J. Sawyer |READ OUR REVIEW|
2004: Ender’s Game (25th Anniversary Edition) by Orson Scott Card |READ OUR REVIEW|
2005: The Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft Volume 1 by H.P. Lovecraft (Audio Realms) |READ OUR REVIEW|
2006: The Chief Designer by Andy Duncan (Infinivox) |READ OUR REVIEW|
2007: Blake’s 7 – Audio Adventures (Trilogy Box Set) (B7 Media) |READ OUR REVIEW|
2008: The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman (Recorded Books) |READ OUR REVIEW|
2009: Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (Audible Frontiers/Brilliance Audio ) |SFFaudio Podcast #073|
2010: The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison |READ OUR REVIEW|

Posted by Jesse Willis

Sience News Update: Bisphenol A

November 21, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Uvula AudioStarShipSofa’s Aural Delights podcast features terrific fiction, funny poems and fantastic scholarly research in nearly every episode. Once a month the podcast features a segment by James J. Campanella. Besides being an excellent audiobook narrator, he’s a university professor (of Biology and Molecular Biology) and a genuine Ph’D scientist. His segment is called “Science News Update.” In each episode Campanella talks about the latest research that’s hitting the journals, explains the cool implications of each, and he answers listeners questions. In a recent show, for example, Campanella discussed a cool experiment that demonstrates a previously unknown taste receptor – we can taste the flavour of carbonation! More on that later.

But, it’s something else in the most recent two segments (the October and November 2009 shows) that I really want to draw your attention to. See Jim answered one of my questions. I’d been wondering about the ‘BPA and plastics threat’ that I’d be hearing about (from my mom).

In his answer to my query Campanella discussed the endocrine disruptor Bisphenol A (BPA), and its distribution in the human ecosystem.

It seems that BPA does pose a threat, a kind of bodily pollution that threatens to ‘impurify our precious bodily fluids!’ Or as Jim put it in his email to me:

“This stuff just scares the hell out of me– all I can think of is that book and movie The Children Of Men.”

Yikes! Is it truly possible that in all the H1N1 hysteria that a more insidious threat can be found in the likes of household plastics and store receipts?

Campanella thinks so. He refers, in the November show, to some research conducted by Bruce Lanphear, a Health Sciences Professor at Simon Fraser University (my old school).

Because of this research Canada has banned plastics containing BPA from use in baby products. But there’s not yet been a ban imposed on BPA lined cash register receipts or number 7 (and some number 3) recyclable plastics. Other plastics, containing other non-Bishpenol A plastics may or may not pose a risk. But given the known leech-rate of glass containers (virtually nil) I’d be willing to stick with glass were it available for reasonable prices (which it mostly isn’t, damn it).

Campanella also reports that not only are some plastics embedded with this dangerous endocrine disruptor but that a larger threat may be looming in the form of the receipt I got when I bought all that plastic crap! Sez Campanella:

carbonless copy paper credit card and store receipts have a reported average of 50-100mg of free BPA. That is receipts using this bisphenol A technology have a loose coating of unbound BPA ready for uptake on the fingers or even possibly through direct skin absorption!’

So, mom, I guess you were right? Except that it’s not so much the plastics now that I’m worried about!

Listen to the October |MP3| and November |MP3| Science News Update shows.

Podcast feed:

http://www.uvulaaudio.com/Podcasts/Podcasts.xml


My solutions BTW:

-Avoid plastics (especially number 7 and number 3)

-Avoid receipts

-And given the news about carbonation and plastics, I’ll try to be more like this guy…

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Children of Men by P.D. James

June 4, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Audiobook Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Children Of Men by P.D. JamesThe Children Of Men
By P.D. James; Performed by John Franklyn-Robbins
9 CDs – 10.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: 1993
ISBN: 1419323431
Themes: / Science Fiction / Infertility / Dystopia / Sociology / Politics / Terrorism / England /

“O’ merciful God and heavenly Father, who hast taught us in thy holy Word that thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men, look with pity, we beseech thee, upon the sorrows of thy servant for whom our prayers are desired. In thy wisdom thou hast seen fit to visit him with trouble, and to bring distress upon him. Remember him O Lord in mercy; sanctify thy fatherly correction to him; endue his soul with patience under his affliction, and with resignation to thy blessed will; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; lift up thy countenance upon him, and give him peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

-English Book of Common Prayer

Set in 2021, The Children Of Men posits a future in which not a single human child has been born for more than two decades. In the year Omega, the last year for babies, there began a frantic search for the inexplicable cause of human infertility. Twenty years later they’ve all but given up. The “Omegas,” as the youngest generation are being called, are spoiled, egotistical and violent. The middle-aged who’ve appear to have lost their purpose are all either visiting the state sponsored sex-shops or raising animal proxies as their children (kitten baptisms is all the rage in London these days). The elderly teetering on the edge of a social system increasingly disinterested in them are encouraged to suicide at the slightest hint of infirmity. Leading Britain through this crisis is the long time “Warden” of England, a man named Xan Lyppiatt. Xan is an all-but-dictator who has the confidence of the people. Xan’s cousin is Theo Faron, an Oxford history professor who lives under a cloud of self-recrimination for the death of his son. Into Theo’s life comes a woman named Julian, who on behalf of herself and her underground movement wants Theo to take a message to the Warden. Sadly, the message falls upon deaf ears and Theo expects never to see Julian again. But he does when in an unprecedented revelation Theo is given conclusive proof that the impossible has happened, Julian is pregnant.

The Children Of Men is a ponderous and elegant rumination on topics rarely tackled in Science Fiction. Though P.D. James does nothing to conclusively indicate an overt idea behind the novel’s premise, we can’t help but wonder. Is this fact of the infertility and the fact of a pregnant woman not a contradiction? Are we to conclude this was a freak mammalian parthenogenesis? What else could cause such a pregnancy? James undercuts this line of argument with one plot point and with another she reinforces it. But it wasn’t just the living men who are infertile. Oh no, for what are we to make of the fact that in James’ future even the healthy sperm, frozen well before the “Omega Year,” has been rendered impotent? Clearly the lone pregnancy, as it is laid out, bears some resemblances to the biblical story of the Virgin Mary. But James downplays it. Perhaps we are to conclude both from the books title that the infertility crisis is something akin to a modern day world-wide-flood event. Should we be wondering if the society in The Children Of Men is being punished for something? If we are to take this what-if and run with it, we must then ask what the famous Scottish skeptic-philosopher David Hume demanded, and wonder if uniformity has been violated? Irregardless, the questions themselves are valuable, and the environment in which the are asked is possibly unique and certainly interesting. For some, The Children Of Men‘s ending may make them see it as a hopeful novel, but I believe the ending is more in the tradition of what you see is in it is what you bring to it. For the deliberately childless, what changes? Perhaps nothing, perhaps something.

Narrator John Franklyn-Robbins is asked to shift between first and third-person narration. He does so, with characterization all but non-existent. This is what old-school audiobook aficionados like to call a “straight” reading. His accent is the prime attraction, and casts the entire novel is a completely different direction than the 2006 film version. Listeners should persevere through the slow start as they will be well rewarded later on. Recorded Books does not showcase it’s original art on its website so the arrival of the actual audiobook is always a surprise. This one’s got their older style line art which I’ve always appreciated.

Posted by Jesse Willis

CBC Radio One’s Writers & Company interviews P.D. James

January 15, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

CBC Radio One Writers & CompanyCBC Radio One‘s excellent author focused show Writers & Company had a timely and in-depth interview with P.D. James on Sunday. Best known as a crime writer, James is getting some deserved attention for her novel The Children Of Men because of the current film version.

Writers & Company is hosted by the always insightful Eleanor Wachtel. I’m still dismayed that Writers & Company and Wachtel’s other progamme (The Arts Tonight) still aren’t podcast.

You can listen to this interview via RealAudio HERE (skip ahead to the 38 minute mark).

While I really appreciate that CBC is podcasting, I love it in fact, I am less than thrilled it isn’t podcasting enough. ABC Radio Australia, with a total of budget just short of $100 million, currently has more than 120 different podcasts. CBC has fewer than two dozen English language podcast programmes but has a $1.3 billion budget. Australia, with two-thirds the population of Canada, has 5 times as many podcast from their national public radio service. That’s a wonky disparity. CBC, streaming audio is passé – time for more podcasts!