LibriVox: The City At World’s End by Edmond Hamilton

March 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Produced for SFFaudio Challenge #6, The City At World’s End is terrific audiobook. Part of that’s because Mark Nelson’s narration is super-listenable and the other part is because the novel itself is very keen Science Fiction.

If you’re a Superman fan the plot may remind you of a particular issue of Action Comics (#300) – that’s the one in which Superman travels to the distant future of Earth only discover it emptied of life and with a giant red Sun in its sky. Indeed, the similarities between the two tales would be very eerie were it not for the fact that both were written by Edmond Hamilton!

I’m halfway through The City At World’s End and am really enjoying it. The prejudices, assumptions, and attitudes of the townsfolk are all vintage 1950, but the idea quotient is very high. Hamilton has thought through a lot of the problems he makes his characters face. If you’re familiar with Robert A. Heinlein’s Farnham’s Freehold, in which a family is transported into Earth’s future, you’ll find The City At World’s End to be a kind of macroscopic version of that – and both novels start with a really big, and highly unnatural, bang.

Or, if you’re looking more contemporaneously, you could think of The City At World’s End as a kind of highly inverse version of Terra Nova (because they go forward in time not back, and what was bad on TV is actually good in the audiobook). I highly recommend you give The City At World’s End a listen!

Galaxy Novel - City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton

The City At World’s End
By Edmond Hamilton; Read by Mark Nelson
21 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 7 Hours 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: March 20, 2012
The pleasant little American city of Middletown is the first target in an atomic war – but instead of blowing Middletown to smithereens, the super-hydrogen bomb blows it right off the map – to somewhere else! First there is the new thin coldness of the air, the blazing corona and dullness of the sun, the visibility of the stars in high daylight. Then comes the inhabitant’s terrifying discovery that Middletown is a twentieth-century oasis of paved streets and houses in a desolate brown world without trees, without water, apparently without life, in the unimaginably far-distant future.

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/6121

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Here’s the |PDF|.

And for people like me I’ve also made a single giant 7 hour |MP3| version – which you can download from our server. It’ll be especially useful for iPod users as it has art, is tagged “Audiobook”, and is also checked with “remember playback position.” Even better it has been volume adjusted. Let me know if you like it!

Cover and illustrations from the appearance of The City At World’s End in Startling Stories, July 1950:

Startling Stories, July1950 COVER - The City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton

Startling Stories, July 1950 Table Of Contents (includes The City At World's End)

The City At World's End - from Startling Stories, July 1950 - Page 11

The City At World's End - from Startling Stories, July 1950 - Page 13 and 14 combined

The City At World's End - from Startling Stories, July 1950 - Page 13 and 14 combined

More covers:

Fells - City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton

Fawcett - City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton

CREST - City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton

Ballantine - City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton

And one more image, from the cover of Urania:

Urania #386

[Thanks also to DaveC, Barry Eads, and Gerard Arthus]

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Mr. Wicker’s Window by Carley Dawson

August 11, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxHere’s the promotional description for a gorgeous juvenile, fantasy, pirate, time travel, airship novel (all this and less than 59,000 words). It’s public domain and from 1952. It’s called Mister Wicker’s Window:

When twelve-year-old Chris entered Mr. Wicker’s shop to inquire about a job for his friend, something about old Mr. Wicker forced him to take the job himself. Chris found himself the pupil of Mr. Wicker, not the old man he first saw, but a powerful man in his forties—a magician. Chris learned how to turn himself into a fish, a bird, a fly, and with a magic rope he learned to make a boat or even an elephant.

Chris had been chosen to sail to China on a mysterious mission. Long before he sailed, Chris met the enemies who would try and stop him—evil Claggett Chew, the dandy Osterbridge Hawsey, the treacherous old beggar Simon Gosler. With a Nubian boy Chris brought to life with magic, he set out on his hazardous voyage.

Carley Dawson writes beautifully, combining fact and fantasy with skill. Her characters are lifelike and vivid, and the plot of this, her first book, is fantastically exciting and exceptionally outstanding. With power and imagination Lynd Ward has illustrated the book with over eighty drawings in two colors.

It was precisely those drawings that drew me in!

Art from MR. VICKER'S WINDOW

Art from MR. VICKER'S WINDOW

Art from MR. VICKER'S WINDOW

Art from MR. VICKER'S WINDOW

Lynd Ward, the artist, drew dozens of gorgeous illustrations just like the ones above. They kind of remind me of Darwyn Cooke and, oddly, Doctor Seuss. Every single one of them accompanies the Gutenberg etext edition. After seeing them I was absolutely compelled to seek out the audiobook. I badly wanted someone to read me the story, if only so I could spend that much more time staring at the gorgeous images. I looked on LibriVox, and achieved a double success.

But… the first version, recorded in 2009 is a multi-reader relay-style edition (SIGH). And, Arthur Piantadosi, the narrator on Version 2 of LibriVox’s public domain audiobook, is not my ideal reader either. His recording is a little hollow sounding (oh well), he stumbles over words (not good) and he makes the occasional sound effect (ARGGGH!!).

We can’t have this. No we can’t.

This sounds like a job for WILLIAM COON!

Until Bill, you can take your pick…

LIBRIVOX - Mr. Wicker's Window by Carley DawsonMr. Wicker’s Window
By Carley Dawson; Read by various
36 Zipped MP3 Files – Approx. 5 Hours 53 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: November 10, 2009
Ebook: Gutenberg.org
Printable CD Booklet: |PDF|
When twelve-year-old Chris entered Mr. Wicker’s shop to inquire about a job for his friend, something about old Mr. Wicker forced him to take the job himself. Chris found himself the pupil of Mr. Wicker, not the old man he first saw, but a powerful man in his forties–a magician. Chris learned how to turn himself into a fish, a bird, a fly, and with a magic rope he learned to make a boat or even an elephant. Chris had been chosen to sail to China on a mysterious mission. Long before he sailed, Chris met the enemies who would try and stop him–evil Claggett Chew, the dandy Osterbridge Hawsey, the treacherous old beggar Simon Gosler. With a Nubian boy Chris brought to life with magic, he set out on his hazardous voyage.

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/mr-wickers-window-by-carley-dawson.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

LIBRIVOX - Mr. Wicker's Window by Carley DawsonMr. Wicker’s Window (VERSION 2)
By Carley Dawson; Read by Arthur Piantadosi
36 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 5 Hours 49 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: March 2, 2010
Ebook: Gutenberg.org
Printable CD Booklet: |PDF|
When Christopher Mason walked into Mr. Wicker’s antique shop, he had no idea he would soon be embarking on a marvellous journey to China to find a wonderful tree made of jewels. He had no idea that Mr. Wicker was a magician and could travel through time. And that the tree was sought by others, not least among them the murderous Claggett Chew, a merchant in port and a pirate on the high seas, who also had knowledge of magic. But before Chris succeeded in quest, he would know of all these things and more. And of Mr. Wicker’s friends, the sailor Ned Cilley, Becky Boozer, and the African boy Amos, changed from wood to flesh. And Christopher Mason would never be same, after.

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/4062

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[Thanks also to Patti Cunningham, Diana Majlinger, J.M. Smallheer and Annise]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #022

January 26, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #022 – Jesse and Scott are guestless so they decide to talk about themselves and audio in the third person.

Talked about on today’s show:
LibriVox’s releases 1, 2, Wonder Audio, Mark Douglas Nelson, Audible.com’s “first book in a series” offer, Mike Resnick’s Starship Mutiny, Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon, Robert J. Sawyer’s Hominids, the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, Robert J. Sawyer, Wake, Golden Fleece, multiple voice recordings, Dune, Ted Chiang (“best short story writer ever”), Exhalation, Nightshade Books, Eclipse Two, British Science Fiction Awards, Tony Smith’s StarShipSofa, The Merchant And The Alchemist’s Gate by Ted Chiang; read by James Campanella |MP3|, Gene Wolfe, The Tree Is My Hat |MP3|, Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th birthday, Wayne June‘s readings of Poe Into That Darkness Peering Vol. 1 |READ OUR REVIEW|, Mars, Usher II by Ray Bradbury, Leonard Nimoy, Tommorow’s Crimes by Donald E. Westlake, Anarchaos, Drukin Hayes, Nackles, Santa’s Twin by Dean Koontz, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert A. Heinlein, By His Bootstraps, The Green Hills Of Earth, Gentlemen Be Seated, psychedelic William Shatner readings, Mimsy Were The Borogroves, Star Trek: New Voyages (aka Phase II), Star Trek audiobooks, Star Wars: Millennium Falcon by James Luceno; read by Mark Thompson, Star Wars: Splinter In The Minds’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster, Jonathan Davis, radio drama: Slipsteam by Simon Bovey, WWII, Fallout 3, The Adventures Of Herbert Daring Dashwood, 1950s, The Republic of Dave, Agatha’s song.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #020

January 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #020 – Today Jesse and Scott talk with James Powell, a terrific Mystery, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Crime writer. He was first published in April 1966 and has approximately 140 published short stories in such magazines as Playboy and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. But most of his tales, including his most famous have been published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine! His tales are relentlessly logical, often hilarious, and swift. He is an absolute master of the short story. Powell is what’s known in the business as a “Pussycat writer” which means he doesn’t put sex and violence on the page, it all happens off-stage. Look for his latest tale, Clowntown Pajamas in the February 2009 issue of EQMM.

Talked about on today’s show:
A Cozy For The Jack-O-Lanterns, A Dirge For Clowntown, Clowntown Pajamas, Monaco, France, Crippen & Landru, The Friends Of Hector Jouvet |READ IT|, Peter Sellers, A Murder Coming, the review in which I first mention A Dirge For Clowntown rules for what Powell calls “Elf Economics”, The Theft Of The Valuable Bird, Midnight Pumpkins (Cinderella as Hard Fantasy), Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock style stories, Clowntown Pajamas, the hidden but clear rules of clown and mine behavior, Toronto, 1940s, QUESTION: Who does James Powell read? ANSWER: Charles Dickens, Jorge Luis Borges, J.R.R. Tolkien, and lately Michael Swanwick‘s The Edge Of The World, as wells as A Passage To India, E.M. Forster, Bouchercon, Frederic Dannay, Santa’s Way, The Tamerlane Crutch (a takeoff on the Maltese Falcon and A Christmas Carol), Lawrence Block, Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine, The Quest For Creeping Charlie, 1950s, George Orwell, Winter Hiatus, Iced: The New Noir Anthology of Cold, Hard Fiction edited by Peter Sellers, The Dawn Of Captain Sunset (a superhero champion of the elderly), round robin style short stories, The Best Fantasy Stories Of The Year: 1989 edited by Orson Scott Card and Martin H. Greenberg (ISBN: 1556561431), the difficulty of writing a Science Fiction Mystery story, John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, of A Dirge For Clowntown Scott says: “[it is] one of the finest mysteries I’ve ever read set in a different world,” Dercum Audio, Durkin Hayes, The Book Of Lies, Brad Meltzer, A Murder Coming edited by Peter Sellers (ISBN: 0886466377), calling all publishers: COLLECT JAMES POWELL!

Posted by Jesse Willis

UK Radio Programme Welcome To Mars available as a podcast

April 13, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

Online Audio

Welcome To Mars (1947-1959)Welcome To Mars (1947-1959) is a fascinating collection of non-fiction oddments about the fantastic futuristic world of the fifties. Presenter Ken Hollings in a live twelve-part series reflects on the “fantasy of science” in the early years of the American Century.

“Between 1947 and 1959, the future was written about, discussed and analysed with such confidence that it became a tangible presence. This is a story of weird science, strange events and even stranger beliefs, set in an age when the possibilities for human development seemed almost limitless.”

The show is broadcast live on Wednesdays at 3.30pm GMT on Resonance FM (104.4 FM) in the UK and podcast to the world via XML feed:

http://www.simonsound.co.uk/podcasts/marspodcast.xml

Episodes released so far:

Part 1: 1947: Rebuilding Lemuria |MP3|
Part 2: 1948-49: Flying Saucers over America |MP3|
Part 3: 1950: Cheapness and Splendour |MP3|
Part 4: 1951: Absolute Elsewhere |MP3|
Part 5: 1952: Red Planet |MP3|
Part 6: 1953: Other Tongues, Other Flesh |MP3|
Part 7: 1954: Meet The Monsters |MP3|
Part 8:
Part 9:
Part 10:
Part 11:
Part 12:

posted by Jesse Willis

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