New Releases: Dick, van Cauwelaert, Preston/Child, Harrison, Bradbury, Homer, Arkin, Fulton, Abercrombie, More

March 6, 2011
Filed under: Audio Drama, New Releases 

New Releases

The Wikipedia entry notes that this story is in the public domain!

BRILLIANCE AUDIO - The Adjustment Bureau by Philip K. DickThe Adjustment Bureau (aka Adjustment Team)
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Phil Gigante
1 CD – Approx. 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: March 4, 2011
ISBN: 9781441894694
Sample |MP3|
The Adjustment Bureau is a major motion picture based on Philip K. Dick’s classic paranoid story, The Adjustment Team. This is the short story, The Adjustment Team, which asks the question – Do we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? Ed Fletcher is a real estate agent with a normal life, until one day he leaves the house for work a few minutes later than he should have. He arrives at a terrifying, grey, ash world. Ed rushes home and tells his wife, Ruth, who goes back to the office with him. When they return, everything is normal. But he soon realizes people and objects have subtly changed. Panic-stricken, he runs to a public phone to warn the police, only to have the phone booth ascend heavenward with Fletcher inside…

Trade in Liam Neeson and the movie for Bronson Pinchot and the audiobook…

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - Unknown by Dider van CauwelaertUnknown (A Special Edition of Out of My Head)
By Didier van Cauwelaert; Translated by Mark Polizzotti; Read by Bronson Pinchot
4 CDs – Approx. 4 Hours 21 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: December 2010
ISBN: 9781441759788
This fast-paced thriller is the basis for the February 2011 film Unknown, starring Liam Neeson, Frank Langella, Diane Kruger, and Aidan Quinn. Martin Harris returns home after a short absence to find that his wife doesn’t know him, another man is living in his house under his name, and the neighbors think he’s a raving lunatic. Worse, not a single person — family, colleague, or doctor — can vouch for him. Worse still, the impostor shares all of Martin’s memories, experiences, and knowledge, down to the last detail. He is, in fact, a more convincing Martin than Martin himself. Is it a conspiracy? Amnesia? Is Martin the victim of an elaborate hoax, or of his own paranoid delusion? In his high-powered new novel, Didier van Cauwelaert, the award-winning author of One-Way, explores the illusory nature of identity and the instability of the things we take for granted. Dispossessed of his job, his family, his name, and his very past, Martin Harris is an Everyman caught in an absurd and yet disturbingly convincing nightmare, one that seems to have no exit and that resists every explanation. Part moral fable, part Robert Ludlum-style thriller, Unknown is a fast-paced tale of one man’s desperate attempt to reclaim his existence — even at the cost of his own life.

HACHETTE AUDIO - Gideon's Sword by Douglas Preston and Lincoln ChildGideon’s Sword
By Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child; Read by John Glover
9 CDs – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Published: February 22, 2011
ISBN: 9781600249976
Introducing Gideon Crew: trickster, prodigy, master thief GIDEON’S SWORD At twelve, Gideon Crew witnessed his father, a world-class mathematician, accused of treason and gunned down. At twenty-four, summoned to his dying mother’s bedside, Gideon learned the truth: His father was framed and deliberately slaughtered. With her last breath, she begged her son to avenge him. Now, with a new purpose in his life, Gideon crafts a one-time mission of vengeance, aimed at the perpetrator of his father’s destruction. His plan is meticulous, spectacular, and successful. But from the shadows, someone is watching. A very powerful someone, who is impressed by Gideon’s special skills. Someone who has need of just such a renegade. For Gideon, this operation may be only the beginning…

Here’s a public domain, single narrator, audiobook that’s caught my eye…

Planet Of The Damned by Harry HarrisonPlanet of the Damned
By Harry Harrison; Read by Jim Roberts
Audible Download – Approx. 6 Hours 11 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Jimcin Recordings (through Audible.com)
Published: June 10, 2010
In Planet of the Damned, Brion Brandd, the winner of “The Twenties”, a kind of planet-wide Olympics of both mind and body, barely has time to savor his victory when he is called away by a previous winner to help save Dis, a planet that seems intent on its own destruction and the destruction of it’s neighbor. When Brion and his friend Lea arrive on Dis, they are confronted by baffling questions. What planetary evolution has caused such a difference in the inhabitants? Why are one set of people deeply connected with the planet and one totally unconnected to anything but dominance and destruction? He must find the answersto these questions and find the link essential to saving both worlds while racing against a doomsday clock. It will take all their skill, courage, and empathy to do this.

I love that Tantor Media is releasing a short story collection AND listing the contents disc by disc…

TANTOR MEDIA - Long After Midnight by Ray BradburyLong After Midnight
By Ray Bradbury; Read by Michael Prichard
8 CDs – Approx. 9 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Piblished: July 26, 2010
In twenty-two stories of amazing range and variety, Ray Bradbury once again works his special magic, sounding out life’s mysteries in the past, present, and the future. Two drifters caught in the backwash of space wander from city to dead city, sifting the rubble for the fabled Blue Bottle of Mars—and find in it two different, equally entrancing, dooms… A young boy in Green Town, Illinois, does not marry—yet marries—his beloved eighth-grade teacher… In the hell of a Manhattan July night, Will Morgan is offered a possibly Mephistophelean proposal by which he might gain a perfect love and a magical immunity… A jealous husband who orders an exact replica of his unfaithful wife from an android manufacturing company (purpose: murder) runs afoul of the compassionate new “live robot” law… At forty-eight, seized with an overwhelming desire to settle an old score, a man journeys back into the past under the spell of his “utterly perfect, incredibly delightful idea,” only to recoil in stunned disbelief when he confronts, at last, his former tormentor… Bradbury’s imaginative field is boundless. In this book, his stories carry us from the cozy familiarity of the small-town America we lived in in Dandelion Wine to the frozen desert and double moon that have been part of our interior landscape since The Martian Chronicles. His characters range from the “ordinary”—a rookie cop, an unhappy wife on vacation in Mexico, an old parish priest hearing confession—to the quite extraordinary: the parrot to whom Ernest Hemingway confided the plot of his last, greatest, never-put-down-on-paper novel, and a woman who, in New York City in the summer of 1974, hangs out a sign reading “Melissa Toad, Witch.” Fantastic or conventional, chillingly suspenseful or hauntingly nostalgic, each of these stories has that aura of the unexpected combined with the special ring of absolute rightness that is brilliantly, uniquely Bradbury.

Track List for Long After Midnight:

Disc 1
“The Blue Bottle”—Track 1
“One Timeless Spring”—Track 10
“The Parrot Who Met Papa”—Track 16
Disc 2
“The Burning Man”—Track 2
“A Piece of Wood”—Track 9
“The Messiah”—Track 13
“G.B.S.—Mark V”—Track 21
Disc 3
“The Utterly Perfect Murder”—Track 3
“Punishment Without Crime”—Track 11
“Getting Through Sunday Somehow”—Track 19
Disc 4
“Drink Entire: Against the Madness of Crowds”—Track 1
“Interval in Sunlight”—Track 11
Disc 5
“A Story of Love”—Track 9
“The Wish”—Track 17
Disc 6
“Forever and the Earth”—Track 2
“The Better Part of Wisdom”—Track 17
Disc 7
“Darling Adolf”—Track 4
“The Miracles of Jamie”—Track 17
Disc 8
“The October Game”—Track 1
“The Pumpernickel”—Track 8
“Long After Midnight”—Track 11
“Have I Got a Chocolate Bar for You!”—Track 16
Not exactly new, but definitely worth highlighting…

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - The Odyssey Of HomerThe Odyssey of Homer
Based on the epic poem by Homer; Performed by a full cast
8 CDs – Approx. 9.3 Hours [RADIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: April 2003
ISBN: 0786192836
When this groundbreaking serialized dramatization premiered on radio, critics were unanimous in their praise, calling it “a feast for the ears” and “a magnificent blend of scholarship and showmanship.” It won numerous honors including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Pulitzer Prize of broadcasting. Now, twenty years after its first airing, Blackstone Audio is pleased to present this outstanding production, dramatized here with intermittent discussions by classical scholars. The 2,600-year-old poem tells of a man, a hero of cunning rather than brawn, who inhabits three worlds: the world of his own reality, the world of the gods and demigods, and the world of magic and monsters. The interweaving of these three worlds contributes significantly to the delight that The Odyssey has inspired throughout the ages.

It’s always exciting when a Science Fiction author writes his own biography (or memoir). Yes, in case you don’t believe it, Alan Arkin is really an SF author!

Blackstone Audio - An Improvised Life by Alan ArkinAn Improvised Life: A Memoir
By Alan Arkin; Read by Alan Arkin
4 CDs – Approx. 4.3 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: March 2011
ISBN: 9781441782274
In this insightful memoir, Oscar-winning actor Alan Arkin reflects back on finding his place as an actor and what theater—specifically the improvisational sort—has taught him about the craft and life. Alan Arkin knew he was going to be an actor from the age of five. From this early age, he recognized that “every film I saw, every play, every piece of music fed an unquenchable need to turn myself into something other than what I was.” An Improvised Life is Arkin’s wise and unpretentious recollection of the process, artistic and personal, of becoming an actor and a revealing look into the creative mind of one of the best practitioners on the stage and screen. Arkin, in a manner that is direct, down-to-earth, accessible, and articulate, reveals not just insights about himself but truths for the rest of us about our sense of self, our work, and our relationships with others.

The cover has a flying car. That seems unlikely. Flying trucks and or trains would be my guess.

RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO - PHYSICS OF THE FUTURE  by Michio KakuPhysics Of The Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny And Our Daily Lives By The Year 2100
By Michio Kaku; Read by Feodor Chin
13 CDs – Approx. 16 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: 3/15/2011
ISBN: 9780307877055
In stunningly lucid fashion, award-winning theoretical physicist Michio Kaku synthesizes a vast amount of information to present an exciting roadmap of the century ahead, showing us just what life will be like in 2100. Discussing how science and technology will change our lives over the coming century, Michio Kaku calls on his own expertise and his phenomenal contacts to construct a fascinating and detailed look at the future. He discusses computer technology, artificial intelligence, medicine, nanotechnology, space travel, energy production, and the economy. Combining his own research with that of a myriad of experts, he forecasts a century of earthshaking advances in technology that make even the last centuries’ leaps and bounds seem insignificant. By 2100, the world will have changed dramatically: -Computers, as we know them, will likely cease to exist. Instead chips implanted in contact lenses will project your email, the front page of the newspaper, and in fact anything you currently see on a monitor directly onto your retina, and the cutting edge computer technology will be quantum computers which calculate using subatomic particles. -Life expectancy will probably reach 150 years. Our clothing will constantly monitor our vital signs and alert us to danger, and nanobots will continually scan our cells for signs of cancer. -We will be able to build entire buildings–atom by atom–using nanotechnology. -Most of our energy will come from non-polluting fusion reactors. -Cars will drive themselves with the help of GPS and an intricate network that monitors traffic patterns. The car will not have wheels but instead it will float on a cushion of air using cheap superconductors to create powerful magnetic fields which use up almost no energy. -Although we will probably have permanent manned-bases in space, the most far-reaching exploration will be conducted by millions of needle-sized space ships shot at near the speed of light to distant stars. And as remarkable as this all seems, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Michio’s vision is both optimistic and exuberant, but he also takes us through a step-by-step progression of likely achievements to show just why his forecast is realistic and, in many cases, inevitable. He also has a keen sense for the types of technologies we, as a species, are predisposed to actively pursue and therefore can separate what things we are likely to accomplish from those that will be relegated to the scrap heap of technology. In the end, he looks at how these developments will affect the way we work, the way we play and in fact, the very society in which we live in 2100.Like Physics of the Impossible and Visions before it, The Physics of the Future is an exhilarating ride through the next hundred years of breathtaking scientific revolutions.

In case you were wondering: Henning, Laurie and Robin are all dudes.

RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO - The Troubled Man by Henning MankellThe Troubled Man
By Henning Mankell; Translated by Laurie Thompson; Read by Robin Sachs
14 CDs – Approx. 17 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: 3/29/2011
ISBN: 9780307877963
On a winter’s day in 2008, Hakan von Enke, a retired high-ranking naval officer, disappears during his daily walk in a forest near Stockholm . The investigation into his disappearance falls under the jurisdiction of the Stockholm police, but Wallander is personally affected: Enke is his beloved daughter Linda’s father-in-law. Before long, in his inimitable way, Wallander is interfering in matters that are not his responsibility, making promises he has no intention of keeping, telling lies when it suits him, paying little attention to normal procedure (including the law)–and, unlike the other detectives on the case, getting results. But the results seem to be pointing to elaborate Cold War espionage activities that confound even this master detective and grow more confounding the more he uncovers.The “troubled man” of the title is not just Enke, but also Wallander himself. The delighted grandfather of Linda’s newborn daughter, he is nonetheless obsessed with his physical and mental deterioration, negligent of his health and certain that at age 60, he’s on the threshold of senility. Haunted by his past, desperate to live up to the hope that his granddaughter presents him with, facing the future with profound uncertainty, Wallander will be forced to come face to face with his most intractable adversary: himself. Suspenseful, darkly atmospheric, psychologically gripping, THE TROUBLED MAN is Henning Mankell at his mesmerizing best.

To promote The Heroes, Joe Abercrombie went on the new Orbit Books podcast. Abercrombie was ok, but the host, Jack Womack, sounded like he’d bet every cent he owned on the novel being a bestseller. He’s not exactly obsequious, but the hyperbolic doesn’t do it for me. Have a listen |MP3|, judge for yourself.

TANTOR MEDIA - The Heroes by Joe AbercrombieThe Heroes
By Joe Abercrombie; Read By Michael Page
18 CDs – Approx. 22 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: March 2011
ISBN: 9781400118472
They say Black Dow has killed more men than winter and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbor, is not about to stand by smiling while Black Dow claws his way any higher. The orders have been given, and the armies are toiling through the northern mud. Thousands of men are converging on a forgotten ring of stones, on a worthless hill, in an unimportant valley, and they’ve brought a lot of sharpened metal with them. Bremer dan Gorst, disgraced master swordsman, has sworn to reclaim his stolen honor on the battlefield. Obsessed with redemption and addicted to violence, he’s far past caring how much blood gets spilled in the attempt. Even if it’s his own. Prince Calder isn’t interested in honor, and still less in getting himself killed. All he wants is power, and he’ll tell any lie, use any trick, and betray any friend to get it. Just as long as he doesn’t have to fight for it himself. Curnden Craw, the last honest man in the North, has gained nothing from a life of warfare but swollen knees and frayed nerves. He hardly even cares who wins anymore; he just wants to do the right thing. But can he even tell what that is with the world burning down around him? Over three bloody days of battle, the fate of the North will be decided. But with both sides riddled by intrigues, follies, feuds, and petty jealousies, it is unlikely to be the noblest hearts or even the strongest arms that prevail. Three men. One battle. No Heroes.

I read this in my teens, along with a number of other classics, I should probably revisit.

TANTOR MEDIA - Utopia by Sir Thomas MoreUtopia
By Sir Thomas More; Translated by Bishop Gilbert Burnet; Read by Simon Prebble
4 CDs – Approx. 4 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: February 23, 2011
ISBN: 9781452601212
Sir Thomas More’s Utopia has spurred debate, reflection, and critical thinking since its original publication in the sixteenth century. More’s fictional island of Utopia provides an exploration of issues that shook him and his contemporaries and that continue to be problematic in the modern day. The details of More’s utopian society, such as the permissibility of euthanasia and comments on chastity in the priesthood, combine with proposals of coexisting varied religions to put forth a work that incorporates the totality of More’s religious, sociological, and philosophical talents.

A steampunk spoof with zombies from Meatball Fulton (aka Thomas Lopez)…

ZBS Foundation - Lady Windermere's Brass Fantabulous - Part TwoLady Windermere’s Brass Fantabulous, Part 2
By Meatball Fulton; Performed by a full cast
1 CD or MP3 Download – Approx. 75 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: ZBS Foundation
Published: January 28, 2011
The Zombies were created to fight the Not-So-Great-War. The Krauts have been using zeppelins to drop canisters of synthetic Zombie gas on various villages in hopes of creating a ravenous fighting force. Our hero, Butterfield-Smith, was flying low over the Rhineland when patriotic Prussian peasants pelted his plane with tomatoes and cauliflowers. The Prussian’s ground artillery, seeing a pilot and biplane appearing to be splattered with blood and bits of brain, believed the English had created a Zombie Flying Corp!

Posted by Jesse Willis

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