[audio drama] Review of Brad Lansky and the Rogue Era

April 29, 2015 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama 

SFFaudio Review

Audio Drama - Brad Lansky and the Rogue EraBrad Lansky and the Rogue Era
1 hour 25 minutes – [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Protophonic
Published: 2015
Themes: / Audio Drama / Science Fiction / artificial intelligence / biological life / augmented humans / artificial life / rogue planets /

I’m running out of adjectives to describe Protophonic’s Brad Lansky series of lush science fiction audio drama. The latest episode is Brad Lansky and the Rogue Era, and it’s another gem.

I admire the Brad Lansky series for a couple of reasons. First and most obvious is the sound. This production is a rich soundscape that invites a listener to settle in, eyes closed. Again, J.D. Venne (writer) and Dieter Zimmermann (producer) inspire the listener’s imagination by using aural cues instead of description to provide the setting for the story.

Second, the Brad Lansky stories are genuine hard science fiction. Brad Lansky and the Rogue Era opens with a speech given by Dr. Brinn Diaz, an augmented human. She discusses artificial life (a-life) and biological life (b-life). “B-life has been losing the race since the singularity a millennium ago,” she says. She is both “project and project architect”, having changed her body in various ways, including raising the number of brains on board to three.

Brad Lansky and Dr. Diaz play an important role in an encounter with an invisible world that hurtles toward Earth, threatening to eliminate b-life for good.

I highly recommend this episode and the whole series. It’s great fun and wonderfully rich unique audio.

Enjoy a sample: Brad Lansky and the Rogue Era Trailer

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

[audio drama] The Left Hand of Darkness

April 13, 2015 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Fantasy Audio Drama - The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin - BBC4


Available to stream for the next 29 days at BBC Radio 4 is the first part of a new audio drama adapted from Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1969 novel, The Left Hand of Darkness. Part 2 arrives Saturday!

Also wonderful is a half hour programme called Ursula K. Le Guin at 85: Naomi Alderman talks to leading novelist Ursula Le Guin about her life and work and hears from literary fans including David Mitchell and Neil Gaiman.

Ursula K. Le Guin


Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Review of Brad Lansky and the Alien at Planet X

May 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audio Drama - Brad Lansky and the Alien at Planet XBrad Lansky and the Alien at Planet X
(Brad Lansky, Episode 1)
1 hour 16 minutes – [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Protophonic
Published: 2014
Themes: / Audio Drama / Science Fiction / artificial intelligence / Space Travel / cybernetics / aliens /

It’s difficult to believe that Protophonic is ten years old. I know it is because there’s a notice on their website that says so, and, in celebration, they are giving away this remake of the first installment of the Brad Lansky series for free – for a short time. I urge you to go check it out.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. At Protophonic, the sound is the thing. Each track Protophonic produces is a rich soundscape that needs to be enjoyed using a pair of good headphones. I also recommend that you give it your full attention – turn everything off, and let this audio work magic.

As each track starts, the sound sets the scene. More than once, I was surprised by the images in my mind. How easily they appeared in reaction to the sound, and how vivid the scenes were in my imagination. Much to the credit of Protophonic, no time at all is spent in dialogue establishing the setting. Actors never say things like, “My, just look at this blue spaceport!” The rich audio in cooperation with my imagination provided the setting. Indeed, Protophonic has trusted the listener with more than a typical audio drama would, and I found it an exhilarating experience. I enjoy the feeling of collaboration, and I like knowing that my mental picture of this story is sure to be different from another listener’s. It’s also wonderful that the story both depends on and works with whatever the listener brings to the table.

This first Brad Lansky production opens with a Ship AI (called Echolocator) telling co-pilot Dieter Rothman news of a distress call. Dieter and Captain Sandy Larkin meet at the main control console to discuss the situation, and things get tense quickly. Soon after, at Shanghai Spaceport, Brad Lansky and co-pilot Alex John meet with Zara, a life-form scientist, who tells them that Sandy Larkin is missing. Lansky and John immediately start searching. What follows includes alien life, artificial intelligences, cybernetic persons, and space travel.

In short: Brad Lansky and the Alien at Planet X is a very enjoyable work of science fiction, highly recommended for superior audio presentation. This is a remake of the first installment, and there are currently four other episodes to enjoy. The last two (episodes 4 and 5) are winners of the Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Production of the Year.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

New RRCA Audio Drama: Richmond Smokes a Joint

March 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama 

SFFaudio News

Science Fiction Audio Drama - Richmond Smokes a JointA new release from Angelo Panetta and the good folks at the Radio Repertory Company of America!

If you like your action with a hint of humor and a soupçon of sex, then “Richmond Smokes a Joint” will make you stand up and cheer. Bursting forth from the popular “Anne Manx” series, that felonious firebrand, Jean Richmond (Patricia Tallman, “Babylon 5”, “Night of the Living Dead 1990”) is back, and taking the spotlight in her own cosmically wild adventure!

L. Sid Knee (Kris Holden-Ried, “The Tudors”, “Lost Girl”) has a secret. He knows the location of the mythical Sacred Plate of Marange. When he approaches Richmond’s ne’er-do-well boyfriend Herm (Jerry Robbins, “Powder River”, “Beacon Hill”) about obtaining the plate, the treacherous trio take-off on an intergalactic free-for-all filled with colorful crewmen, mysterious murders, dangerous double-crosses, and mommy talk.

Through its memorable characters, immersive sound design, and an original score, “Richmond Smokes a Joint” zips you from a secret safe to the caverns of Marange… where not even Richmond’s considerable wiles and cunning might be enough to make her come out alive and on top. So, strap yourself in for a dizzying science-fiction adventure so clever, even the title itself is a double entendre!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The Reading Envy Podcast

February 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio, Podcasts 

SFFaudio Online Audio

ReadingEnvyIntroducing The Reading Envy Podcast!

Jenny Colvin and I (Scott Danielson) were talking about books one day, and decided there was room for another podcast. We decided that the podcast would come out once a month, and that we’d talk about what whatever we read the month prior. To limit the length of the podcast, we decided that picking three books each would be reasonable.

We also decided that the podcast needed to include guests, and that we’d go for a light conversation like you’d have in a cafe or a pub with friends. All books are fair game.

The latest episode (#2) is posted, and our guest is Bryan Alexander. Give it a listen! We hope you enjoy it.

READING ENVY 002: RETURN OF THE EUTHANIZED BOOK

Bryan brought three books along for discussion:

Scott talked about:

And Jenny focused on:

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 002: Return of the Euthanized Book

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner

Or subscribe via iTunes by clicking: Subscribe.

Posted by Scott

Review of Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

November 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

TITLEMidnight in Austenland
By Shannon Hale; Read by Stina Nielsen
9 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: 2012
Themes: / Fantasy / Jane Austen / Romance / Reading /

I am a huge fan of Shannon Hale’s books. I love her style and her characters. I loved “Austenland,” which is not necessarily a prequel but is set in the same location.

Midnight in Austenland is about a woman who is recently divorced. She has two kids, her own business and an ex-husband who makes her feel like a loser. Her friends try to set her up on dates, but they all fail. No one wants a 30-something divorced mother of two. So, she decides to take a vacation. Her travel agent suggests she try Austenland. A stay in a regal manner house and live for two weeks as if she were in the time of Jane Austen’s books.

She arrives unsure of what to expect and is both captivated and amused by the other guests. One is an entrepreneur and the other a rock star. Along the way the husband of the woman who runs Austenland is murdered and the guests and actors must find out what happened, keep anyone else from dying and manage to stay in character.

The story is part Jane Austen and part Agatha Christie and entirely charming. Murder, romance, intrigue. I loved it. You will, too. A light, clean romance.

Posted by Charlene Harmon

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