After talking about it on the last SFFaudio Podcast NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS episode, I decided we really needed to know exactly which classic stories were being ripped-off in the new Audible Frontiers collection entitled Rip-Off!.
I’ve also made a note of the narrator for each story. And, while I’m at it I should tell you that nearly every story is an hour long. Every story with the exception of James Patrick Kelly’s (which runs about 90 minutes) and Tad Williams’ (which runs just over 26 minutes).
Edited by Gardner Dozois; Read by various readers
Audible Download – Approx. 12 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: December 18, 2012
In Rip-Off!, 13 of today’s best and most honored writers of speculative fiction face a challenge even they would be hard-pressed to conceive: Pick your favorite opening line from a classic piece of fiction (or even non-fiction) – then use it as the first sentence of an entirely original short story. In the world of Rip-Off!, Call me Ishmael introduces a tough-as-nails private eye – who carries a harpoon; The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz inspires the tale of an aging female astronaut who’s being treated by a doctor named Dorothy Gale; and Huckleberry Finn leads to a wild ride with a foul-mouthed riverboat captain who plies the waters of Hell. Once you listen to Rip-Off! you’ll agree: If Shakespeare or Dickens were alive today, they’d be ripping off the authors in this great collection. As a bonus, the authors introduce their stories, explaining what they ripped-off – and why. Rip-Off! was produced in partnership with SFWA – Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Gardner Dozois served as project editor.
Annotated table of contents:
Introduction by John Scalzi, read by Scalzi
Fireborn by Robert Charles Wilson – Introduction by Wilson, inspired by a “Rootabaga” story by Carl Sandburg – Read by Khristine Hvam
The Evening Line by Mike Resnick – Introduction by Resnick, inspired by Pride And Prejudice by – Read by L.J. Ganser
No Decent Patrimony by Elizabeth Bear – Introduction by Bear, inspired by Edward II by Christopher Marlowe – Read by Scott Brick
The Big Whale by Allen M. Steele – Introduction by Steele, inspired by Moby Dick by Herman Melville – Read by Christian Rummell
Begone by Daryl Gregory – Introduction by Gregory, inspired by David Copperfield by Charles Dickens – Read by Jonathan Davis
The Red Menace by Lavie Tidhar – Introduction by Tidhar, inspired by The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx – Read by Stefan Rudnicki
Muse Of Fire by John Scalzi – Introduction by Scalzi, inspired by Henry V by William Shakespeare – Read by Wil Wheaton
Writer’s Block by Nancy Kress – Introduction by Kress, inspired by Paul Clifford by Edward Bulwer-Lytton – Read by David Marantz
Highland Reel by Jack Campbell – Introduction by Campbell, inspired by Macbeth by William Shakespeare – Read by Nicola Barber
‘Karin Coxswain’ Or ‘Death As She Is Truly Lived’ by Paul Di Filippo – Introduction by Di Filippo, inspired by Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – Read by Dina Pearlman
The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal – Introduction by Kowal, inspired by The Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baum – Read by Allyson Johnson
Every Fuzzy Beast of the Earth, Every Pink Fowl of the Air by Tad Williams – Introduction by Williams, inspired by the Book of Genesis by anonymous – Read by Marc Vietor
Declaration by James Patrick Kelly – Introduction by Kelly, inspired by The Declaration Of Independence by Thomas Jefferson – Read by Ilyana Kadushin
Posted by Jesse Willis
Talked about on today’s show:
We have some genuine Science Fiction!, The Year’s Top Ten Tales Of Science Fiction Vol. 3 edited by Alan Kaster, Damien Broderick, Robert Reed, Steve Rasnic Tem, Ian R. Macleod, Luke Burrage, The Mars Phoenix has Science Fiction (2008), John W. Cambell, The Things by Peter Watts, 8 Miles should be title 12.1 Kilometers, the metric system can’t be sold politically in the U.S.A., florescent lightbulbs are unamerican, Corner Gas, Larry Niven, Harvest Of Stars by Poul Anderson, totalitarianism, Jerry Pournelle, The Boat Of A Million Years by Poul Anderson, immortality, utopia, Blackstone Audio, the French meter stick (is actually made of platinum and iridium not silver), Charles Stross, Free Apocalypse Al, Where are all the Ted Chiang audiobooks?, Steal Across The Sky by , The Astounding, The Amazing, And The Unknown by Paul Malmont, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, L. Ron Hubbard, The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, Lester Dent, Doc Savage, H.P. Lovecraft, remixing pulp era authors with pulp era stories, Edgar Allan Poe, the boring cover of The Astounding, The Amazing, And The Unknown, Shadow On The Sun by Richard Matheson (a western that’s also supernatural horror), I Am Legend, Gatherer Of Clouds by Sean Russell, Vancouver Island, Dragon’s Time by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey, Brian Herbert, Citadel Of The Lost by Tracy Hickman, is Harriest Klausner a robot?, Phil Gigante, SFSignal.com’s podcast interview with Tracy Hickman, Patrick Hester, Titus Awakes by Maeve Gilmore, Mervyn Peake, Simon Vance’s YouTube videos, Gormenghast (TV series), The Hitch-hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, grotesque, fantasy with no magic and no intelligent species other than humans, “a fantasy of manners”, “a comedy of manners”, metaphors are not spoilers, The Iron Druid Chronicles: Hammered by Kevin Hearne, viking vampires, “someone give that dog a bacon latte”, Very Bad Men by Harry Dolan, Stories Of Your Life And Other Stories by Ted Chiang, Tower Of Babylon, Story Of Your Life, Hell Is The Absence Of God, The Prophecy, Christopher Walken, Viggo Mortensen, Elias Koteas, Combat Hospital (kind of a dramatic remake of MASH), Keanu Reeves, Blair Butler, comics, Northlanders Vol. 5: Metal And Other Stories, non-vampiric vikings, Brian Wood, Blade Vs. The Avengers, Marvel Zombies, Iron Man has a blonde twin brother, The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, George R.R. Martin, Dust by Joan Frances Turner |READ OUR REVIEW|, Rule 34 by Charles Stross, A Colder War, Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross |READ OUR REVIEW|, Friday by Robert A. Heinlein, interstellar sex, I Will Fear No Evil by Robert A. Heinlein, the meaning of “Rule 34″, “Space Porn – that’s one sexy nebula”, Luke Burrage’s review of Halting State, Choose Your Own Adventure, “turn to page 61 for the acidic death bath”, Infocom, Lesiure Suit Larry, Heaven’s Shadow by David S. Goyer, William Coon, Resume With Monsters by William Browning Spencer, “just added” vs. “new releases” on Audible.com, Steven Gould audiobooks, Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson, iambik audio, Open Your Eyes by Paul Jessup, Flashback by Dan Simmons, a brand new UNABRIDGED release of Neuromancer by William Gibson, Penguin Audio, American Gods by Neil Gaiman (multi-narrator), George Guidall’s reading of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods |READ OUR REVIEW|, American Gods as a TV series, Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman |READ OUR REVIEW|, Odd And The Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman |READ OUR REVIEW| (even though it is too expensive), Deathworld by Harry Harrison is available on LibriVox narrated by Gregg Margarite, The City And The City by China Meiville, Embassytown, Hexed by Alan Steele, A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin, NPR’s On Point podcast interview with George R.R. Martin, Sandkings, Nighflyers, A Song For Lya, Dreamsongs, Roy Dotrice, drones (unmanned aerial vehicles), Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman will be the subject for an upcoming podcast readalong, Upon The Dull Earth by Philip K. Dick will be the next SFFaudio readalong, what contest should we hold to give away The Selected Stories Of Philip K. Dick Volume 1 (and 2)?, rural fantasy, A Good Story Is Hard To Find podcast #009 The Mystery Of Grace by Charles de Lint, The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth.
Posted by Jesse Willis
In the last Macmillan Audio press release the biggest item is the relaunch of the long running “Wheel Of Time” series.Winter’s Heart is “book nine of the addicting Audie Award-winning series.” Also of note, but little more than a curiosity, is that a general fiction title (an abridged Jackie Collins novel) is being given the “full cast” treatment!
Most interesting, to me, are the smaller titles, books like the Keigo Higashino novel The Devotion Of Suspect X and Robert Charles Wilson’s Vortex. And of course there is also The Elephant To Hollywood, Michael Caine’s newly updated autobiography.
Here’s the full Macmillan Audio Winter 2011 Catalog |PDF|.
Here’s a list of the SFF and Aural Noir titles it includes:
Halo: Cryptum by Greg Bear; narrators TBA; 1/4/11
The Devotion Of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino; read by David Pittu ; 2/1/11
First Grave On The Right by Darynda Jones; read by Lorelei King; 2/1/11
Though Not Dead by Dana Stabenow; read by Marguerite Gavin; 2/1/11
A Heartbeat Away by Michael Palmer; read by Robert Petkoff; 2/15/11
Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan; read by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading; 3/1/11
Hellhole by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson; read by Scott Brick; 3/15/11
The Trinity Sixby Charles Cumming; narrator TBA; 3/15/11
False Impression by Jeffrey Archer; read by Byron Jennings; 4/12/11
Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson; narrator TBA; 4/12/11 – DIGITAL DOWNLOAD ONLY
And while we’re at it, here’s the Macmillan Young Listener’s Winter 2011 catalogue |PDF|
In it Enclave (formerly “Razorland”) is probably the most interesting. It’s a title well positioned to capitalize on the vacuum in The Hunger Games market:
“Ann Aguirre’s highly anticipated YA debut, [introduces] listeners to 15 year-old Deuce and the apocalyptic New York City she lives in, set decades into the future. The city has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20′s. Part City Of Ember; part I Am legend; part Hunger Games; Aguirre’s compelling plot will capture those beyond the young adult audience and is certain to keep listeners glued to their earphones until the end.”
The rest of the big SFF titles are here:
Awakened by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast; read by Caitlin Davies; 1/4/11
Doctor De Soto by William Steig; read by Stanley Tucci; 1/4/11 (ONLY 32 PAGES LONG)
Death Cloud: Young Sherlock Holmes by Andrew Lane RECEIVED
Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon; read by Holter Graham; 3/22/11
Enclave by Ann Aguirre; read by Emily Bauer; 4/12/11 (formerly titled “RAZORLAND“)
Posted by Jesse Willis
Talked about on today’s show:
Recent arrivals, Penguin Audio, The Books Of Elsewhere: The Shadows by Jacqueline West, The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, TheBooksOfElsewhere.com, inherited books, The Green Knowe series, kids love series, Nelson DeMille’s The Lion, Lion’s Game, Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, The Gospel According To Mark by Jorge Luis Borges, Gene Wolfe, George Guidall, Anne McCaffery’s Dragonriders Of Pern: Dragon Girl by Todd McCaffrey, Mexico, Mexico City, “turista”, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, the thread threat, the Honor Harrington series, Mission Of Honor by David Weber, Paul W. Campbell, On Basilisk Station by David Weber |READ OUR REVIEW|, Lois McMaster Bujold, Full Cast Audio, The Unicorn Chronicles: Book 4: The Last Hunt by Bruce Coville, Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo, Mobile Infantry vs. the immobile infantry, re-write Starship Troopers as Warehouse Troopers, Water Steps by A. LaFaye, Sense And Sensibility And Sea Monsters for kids, Spaceship Rat, baby rat trauma, capybara, Brilliance Audio, The Deed Of Paksenarrion: Book 2: Divided Allegiance by Elizabeth Moon, The Sad Tale Of The Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bulington, The Vampire Earth: Valentine’s Rising by E.E. Knight, space vampires, Graphic Audio, The Immortals: Book 4: The Realms Of The Gods by Tamora Peirce, More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon (read by Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison), gestalt, fix-up, Baby Is Three by Theodore Sturgeon, Caedmon, H.G. Wells, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold (read by Grover Gardner), The Reader’s Chair, Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold |READ OUR REVIEW|, Paul Is Undead by Alan Goldsher (as read by Simon Vance), zombies, has the public domain classics remixed with supernatural horror jumped the shark?, A Picture Of Dorian’s Gray, Quirk Books, “paranormal romance has got completely out of hand”, Dark Shadows, soap operas, Soap, M*A*S*H, Three’s Company, Bosom Buddies, Blackstone Audio, the Newford series, Widdershins by Charles De Lint, urban fantasy alert, Mindswap by Robert Sheckley, Tom Weiner, Altered Carbon, A Galaxy Trilogy: Volume 3, Giants Of Eternity by Manly Wade Wellman, The War Of The Worlds, “standing on the shoulder of giants”, The Girls With Games Of Blood by Alex Bledsoe, The Return: Book IV of Voyagers by Ben Bova, “sensawunda”, first contact, the Grand Tour series, the Asteroid Wars series, the 2006 Harlan Ellison interview, City Of Darkness by Ben Bova |READ OUR REVIEW|, Neil Gaiman, Around The World In Eighty Days by Jules Verne (as read by Jim Dale), Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: Live In Concert, Footfall by Larry Niven by Jerry Pournelle, Audible Frontiers, Police Your Planet by Lester Del Rey, Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp, The Sword Of Shannara, The Elfstones Of Shannara, Neal Stephenson, Anathem, Boneshaker, The City And The City, Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson |READ OUR REVIEW|, Palimpsest, WWW: Wake, The Windup Girl, ebooks, Fictionwise, PaperbackDigital, Kelli Stanley, The Functional Nerds Podcast interview of Mike Resnick, Pump Six and Other Stories by Paulo Bacigalupi, The Alchemist And The Executioness by Tobias S. Buckell and Paulo Bacigalupi, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: Despicable Me, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: Police Your Planet by Lester Del Rey, Zombie Astronaut, The Frequency Of Fear, The Frequency Lite.
Posted by Jesse Willis
The SFFaudio Podcast #037 – Jesse and Scott talk about the latest audiobook releases, audiobook narrators and plenty more. It’s a show full of “stage-actory goodness” in which we learn the ultimate truth:
“the monster frozen in the ice is definitely alive”
Talked about on today’s show:
Scott is living the sequel to High Plains Drifter, Hercules by Geraldine McCaughrean, Full Cast Audio, Who was the greatest Greek hero?, Perseus, Odysseus by Geraldine McCaughrean, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Achilles, Guest Law by John C. Wright, Infinivox, Aliens Rule edited by Allan Kaster, “How Music Begins” by James Van Pelt, Listening Library, the Becka Cooper series, Terrier by Tamora Peirce, Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce, Random House Audio, The Year Of The Flood by Margaret Atwood, Audible addiction, Audible Frontiers, The Wind Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, Jonathan Davis, Infinivox’s The Fluted Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, Recorded Books, Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross, Wild Voices Audio, The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, Blind Lake, Bridge Of Years, Darwinia, Spin by Robert Charles Wilson, Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson, Hachette Audio, Transition by Iain M. Banks (UNABRIDGED), also the podcast version, Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks, Dune: House Atredies by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Blackstone Audio, Treason by Orson Scott Card, Audible.com’s latest sale includes: Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, Ringworld by Larry Niven, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, Stalking The Vampire by Mike Resnick, Waystation by Clifford Simak, Grover Gardner, Born Standing Up by Steve Martin, The Jerk, Macmillan Audio, The Box: Uncanny Stories by Richard Matheson, The Twilight Zone (1985), “Button Button” by Richard Matheson, (the collection also includes: Girl Of My Dreams, Dying Room Only, A Flourish Of Strumpets, No Such Thing As A Vampire, Pattern For Survival, Mute, Creeping Terror, Shock Wave, Clothes Make The Man, The Jazz Machine, ‘Tis The Season To Be Jelly, The Mystery Of Grace by Charles de Lint, Slings & Arrows – Series 1, Podkayne Of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein, Armor by John Steakley, John Carpenter’s Vampires
FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer, Star Trek by Alan Dean Foster, FlashForward (the TV series), revealing or realizing the solution to a mystery in fiction, Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child, Zachary Quinto, The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, Shed Skin by Robert J. Sawyer, Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe, Sword Edged Blond, Blood Groove, Escape From Hell by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Mote In God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, first contact, gender, feminism, The Gripping Hand by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, iPhone, audiobook functionality, CBC Radio and NPR apps.
Posted by Jesse Willis
By Robert Charles Wilson; Read by Scott Brick
Audible Download – 17 Hours and 33 Minutes – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Themes: / Science Fiction / Hard SF / Medicine / Time / Space / Physics /
This Hugo Award winning novel (2006) is a novel of two parts in my mind. The first, which involves the covering of the entire Earth with a complex membrane, is some of the most exciting hard science fiction I’ve read in a long time. Picture yourself lying on a lawn, looking up at the stars… and they go out. As awe-inspiring as a Clarke novel, Wilson tells us what the world’s scientists come up with as they try to answer the big questions. What is happening? Why is it happening? Is there a “who” behind it? An outline of this book could be written that would look like a knotted string, each knot being an important and sometimes jaw-dropping idea. “The Spin”, as the phenomenon is called by the characters, grips the Earth tightly and apparently permanently. Initial discoveries find that the membrane has created a time difference between life on Earth and life in the rest of the universe. A minute passes here while years pass out there. A few days of time here, and empires would rise and fall outside, if they existed. Do they?
The second part of this novel is the connecting material, or the rest of the string. I didn’t find this as interesting as the Big Idea stuff while I was listening. In retrospect, I do appreciate what Wilson illustrated with his characters, but the plot won’t be what I remember when I talk about this novel in the future. Frankly, about halfway through the novel, I wanted to skim the sections that focused on the characters, not because they were poorly written, but because I simply couldn’t wait for what was really interesting me about the novel – more info about “The Spin”. Of course, I can’t skim an audiobook, so I dealt with the suspense and just kept listening. (Note to self: Add “lack of ability to skim” to the list of plusses for audiobooks. If I had read this book in print I would have skimmed – this way I got the whole novel.)
The story is about three main characters. Jason and Diane Lawton are the twin children of an entrepreneur. Tyler Dupree, the first person narrator, is a close friend. The three, as children, witness the beginning of “The Spin” together, lying on a lawn at a party attended by their parents. The event alters their lives, and the lives of all humans, but time marches on, the kids grow up, and, though each one lets “The Spin” define their lives, they each deal with the new reality in a completely different way. It is there that my appreciation for this aspect of the novel lies; how different we all are, and how different our reactions to the very same event. Some turn to religion, some turn to science, some to their business, and some to help their fellow man.
I’m not a person who dislikes a good character driven story. If I’m reading a piece of fiction that’s not genre, I’m likely to be reading something from the general fiction section of the bookstore, as opposed to mysteries or military thrillers. But still, I found it difficult to focus on parts of this novel, probably because I was listening to a story largely about people reacting to “The Spin”, rather than a story about the people that were actively trying to figure it out. Though one of the three main characters is indeed a scientist that is deeply involved, I wasn’t hearing a story about those scientists and exactly what they were doing. In other words, a lot of really interesting stuff is happening off stage while the novel was focused elsewhere.
Scott Brick narrates, always a plus from my perspective, and is a great match with this book. He does very well with science “ooo wow” moments, and there are plenty here. A quibble for the accuracy department: a mispronounced word that unfortunately is used often during a portion of the book. “Oort cloud”.
All in all – another fine audiobook from Macmillan Audio – it is available exclusively as a download from Audible and iTunes.
Posted by Scott D. Danielson