The SFFaudio Podcast #267 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

June 2, 2014 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: New Releases, Podcasts, Recent Arrivals 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #267 – Jesse, Jenny, Tamahome, and Seth talk about NEW RELEASES and RECENT ARRIVALS.

Follow this link for a list of our latest arrivals. Note that not all books listed are discussed in the podcast.

Talked about on today’s show: Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson, “minotaurpunk”; the Thirty Years War; 1634 by David Weber and Eric Flint; The New Food by Stephen Leacock; LEGOs!; “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!”; we love narrator Jonathan Davis; Runcible spoon and vorpel sword; intentionality of names in Philip K. Dick’s work; place names in Sussex and Middle Earth; class structure from Plato to Huxley; Beyond Lies the Wub, Philip K. Dick’s first published short story; Screamers film based on Dick’s Second Variety; Jenny would like to be a rutabaga; American Gods and rereading books; The Status Civilization and Mindswap by Robert Sheckley; Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy; Metro 2033 became a video game; Aristotelian unity of time, place, and action in post-apocalyptic genre; non-Western tropes take us off the beaten path; The Queen of Air and Darkness by T.H. White; tattoos make urban fantasy; prevalence of science fiction and fantasy in YA; the rule of three in fiction and humor; books about books; Sex Criminals comic by Matt Fraction; the Comics Squee podcast discussed it; the singular strengths of the comics medium; The Prestige; mirroring in fiction; The Prisoner of Zenda; Lovecraft writing Houdini; Pinkerton and Blackwater; Second Hand by Rajan Khanna featured in Lightspeed podcast; Felix Gilman’s The Half-Made World; Robert Bloch’s Hellbound Train; Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country; space operas are repurposed westerns; westerns don’t feature enough women; Star Trek; westerns on Mars; The Audiobookaneers blog might drive us out of business; Jenny looks to the future of bleakness and paranoia; Best of all Possible Worlds by Karen Lord; Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross, reviewed by Jesse.

Sex Criminals Volume One

Posted by Jesse Willis

Pulp Crazy: Panels from the first World Fantasy Convention, 1975

October 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Pulp CrazyJason Aiken’s Pulp Crazy is a video (and audio) podcast, and blog “dedicated to spreading the word on classic pulp literature.” It mostly features brief reviews of pulp stories and characters, but a recent show pointed me to some previously unknown material!

This |MP3|, podcast on September 27, features a pair of panels recorded at the first World Fantasy Convention in 1975.

Podcast feed: http://pulpcrazy.com/podcast/rss.xml

Here’s the official description:

This video features two panel discussions recorded at the First World Fantasy Convention, held in Providence, Rhode Island (home of the late H.P. Lovecraft) in 1975. The first panel features fantasy & horror authors speaking about how they came to write fantasy and supernatural fiction. Moderated by cartoonist Gahan Wilson, authors include Joseph Payne Brennan, Robert Bloch, Frank Belknap Long and Manly Wade Wellman (speaking in that order). All authors on this panel were published by Arkham House.

The second panel discussion is about fantasy and supernatural horror publishing. It is again moderated by artist & cartoonist Gahan Wilson, the speakers include publisher Donald A. Wollheim and author Robert Bloch.

The audio was recorded in October 1975 by and for Myrddin Press, which published the fanzine Myrddin. The recordings were made with a Sony monophonic cassette recorder, and parts of it appeared on a paper-thin flexible vinyl disc that came with the third issue of Myrddin. The three files uploaded here contain the clearest and most interesting portions from the tapes. Much of the rest is inaudible.

Panel discussion on how authors got their start |MP3|
Publishing and writing discussion, with emphasis on the business end |MP3|
Fantasy publishing discussion, part 2 |MP3|

Myrddin Three edited by Lawson W. Hill

Posted by Jesse Willis

Alternate World Recordings

October 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Alternate World Recordings was a record company releasing spoken word vinyl LP albums and cassettes, featuring SFF authors reading (or interpreting) mostly their own works. Here’s a magazine ad from a mag published in late 1977 (Unearth, Winter 1978):

Alternate World Recordings ad from Unearth, Winter 1978

Posted by Jesse Willis

Protecting Project Pulp: The Opener Of The Way by Robert Bloch

September 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Opener Of The Way by Robert Bloch - Illustration by Virgil Finlay

Here’s a creepy tale by a then young disciple and contemporary of H.P. Lovecraft. Taking Egyptian mythology as his starting point Robert Bloch delivers a pretty good tale in the style of the master.

Protecting Project PulpProtecting Project Pulp No. 59 – The Opener Of The Way
By Robert Bloch; Read by Simon Hildebrandt.
1 |MP3| – Approx. 42 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Protecting Project Pulp
Podcast: September 9, 2013
A tremendous tale about the dread doom that overtook an archeologist in that forgotten tomb beneath the desert sands of Egypt. First published in Weird Tales, October 1936.

The titular appellation “The Opener Of The Way” has also recently turned attached to a monster named “Allabar” in the Dungeons & Dragons: Monster Manual 3 (which recommends you use it as a “climactic villain”). The TV Tropes entry “D&D Nightmare Fuel” describes this “monster” thusly:

And then there is Allabar, Opener of the Way, the first 4th Edition living star … instead of a face, imagine dozens upon dozens of unblinking eyes, as well as hundreds of rope-like “growths” around its “body.” Think the moon, when it’s nice and big and clear, so you can see all of the faultlines, valleys and craters. Now imagine every faultline and valley is a huge, thrashing tentacle, and every crater, from the biggest to the smallest, is a never-blinking eye. Imagine that floating in the sky above you at night. Staring at you. Hating you.

Allabar, The Opener Of The Way

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #200 – READALONG: Mars Needs Books! by Gary Lovisi

February 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #200 – Jesse, Mirko, and Gary Lovisi discuss the Science Fiction novel Mars Needs Books! by Gary Lovisi.

Talked about on today’s show:
the great description, Audible.com, it’s a prison novel, it’s a dystopian science fiction novel, it’s a book collector’s novel, Philip K. Dick, a reality dysfunction, The Man In The High Castle, 1984 by George Orwell, “retconning“, Stalin, airbrushing history, a new Science Fiction idea!, Amazon’s Kindle, Mark Twain, “The Department Of Control”, J. Edgar Hoover, Simon is the most evil character ever, oddball individualists, a straw man gulag, one way of keeping the population in control is to send troublemakers away, another is to give them someone to hate, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein, the Attica Prison riot (1971), Arabella Rashid, entertainment media, when you can’t tell what the truth is anymore it’s very easy to control people, maybe it’s an allegory for our times, Paperback Parade, SF writers were wrong about what our times are like, Mars, crime novels, Science Fiction as a metaphor, people are scared of reading, “I like good writing”, Richard Stark’s Parker novels, getting the word out about Mars Needs Books!, Gargoyle Nights, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Jack Vance, horror, fantasy, nice and short, short books pack a punch (and don’t waste your time), Stephen King, Patrick O’Brian, ideas, paperback novels from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, customers want thick books, Winter In Maine by Gerard Donovan, were looking at a different readership today, James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, there’s nothing that doesn’t add to the story, “Lawrence Block is scary good”, Donald E. Westlake, Robert Bloch, Eight Million Ways To Die, A Pair Of Recycled Jeans by Lawrence Block, Evan Hunter (Ed McBain), Charles Ardai (was on SFFaudio Podcast #090), book-collectors, Murder Of A Bookman by Gary Lovisi (is also on Audible.com), collectable glassware, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, cool dialogue, Driving Hell’s Highway by Gary Lovisi (also on Audible.com), That Hell-bound Train by Robert Bloch, noir, Violence Is The Only Solution by Gary Lovisi (paperback), hard-boiled, revenge, betrayal, personality disorder, Sherlock Holmes, westerns, “if there’s one truth in the universe that I know it’s that Germans love westerns”, which frontier are you talking about?, The Wild Bunch, a western with tommyguns, Akira Kurosawa, Outland (is High Noon in space), Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, hard-boiled, violence, the Martian national anthem, Prometheus Award, libertarian motifs, world-building, GryphonBooks.com, Hurricane Sandy, Wildside Press, POD Books, eBooks, fire and water, that paperback is still in readable condition in 150 years?, fanzines, Jack Vance, The Dying Earth, Robert Silverberg, Dell Mapbacks, paperbacks were disposable, used bookstores, sex books.

Audible - Mars Needs Books! by Gary Livosi

Posted by Jesse Willis

Dimension X: Almost Human adapted from a story by Robert Bloch

February 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Almost Human illustrated by Rod Ruth

This is a truly terrible story, by someone who is normally perceived to be a great author, Robert Bloch. I suspect Bloch chose the pseudonym for this one because it is so bad. Indeed, I suspect this is precisely the kind of story Isaac Asimov was trying to defeat with his Three Laws of Robotics. But beyond the dangerous robot trope it also features, at least to my ears, the most creepily lascivious robot ever!

Junior is oily, immoral, and oversexed.

Ewww!

Dimension XDimension X – Almost Human
Adapted from the story by Robert Bloch; Adapted by George Lefferts; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 29 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: NBC
Broadcast: May 13, 1950
A gun moll answers an ad to be a nursemaid to a baby robot, things are fine until her boyfriend, a professional thief, shows up and teaches the robot a few things. First published in Fantastic Adventures, June 1943.

UPDATE:
Here’s Robert Bloch’s introductory essay to Almost Human (as written for My Best Science Fiction Story a 1949 anthology edited by Leo Margulies and Oscar J. Friend):

Robert Bloch - "My Best Science Fiction Story" - Almost Human

Posted by Jesse Willis

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