The Amber Spyglass

January 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7 The Amber Spyglass
His Dark Materials – 3 of 3
By Phillip Pullman
Dramatized by Lavinia Murray
Saturday January 10
9am, 8pm and 3am GMT

Full cast audioplay: Philip Pullman‘s award winning epic trilogy concludes. Will must find Lyra, so that together they can protect the future! Stars Ray Fearon.

BBC7 | The Amber Spyglass | Schedules (stays online for 6 days)

Posted by RC of Radio Tales of the Strange & Fantastic

Review of The Hemingway Hoax by Joe Haldeman

May 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

The Hemingway Hoax by Joe HaldemanThe Hemingway Hoax
By Joe Haldeman; Read by Eric Michael Summerer
Audible Download – 4 Hours 31 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: April 2008
Themes: / Science Fiction / Earnest Hemingway / Time Travel / Alternate Universe / Parallel Worlds /
The hoax proposed to John Baird by a two-bit con man in a seedy Key West bar was shady but potentially profitable. With little left to lose, the struggling, middle-aged Hemingway scholar agreed to forge a manuscript and pass it off as Papa’s lost masterpiece. But Baird never realized his actions would shatter the history of his own Earth – and others. And now the unsuspecting academic is trapped out of time – propelled through a series of grim parallel worlds and pursued by an interdimensional hitman with a literary license to kill.

This here is our first review of an Audible Frontiers title, Audible Frontiers is a new imprint of Audible.com, bringing hard to find and never before recorded SF audiobooks to their website and iTunes exclusively. The Hemingway Hoax is a strong beginning too, this is a Hugo and Nebula Award winning novella/short novel that interweaves historical fact and SF elements into an exotic elixir not unlike absinthe. In very real literary history, 1921 Paris to be precise, Earnest Hemingway’s wife lost a bag containing all the manuscripts and carbon copies for Hemingway’s first novel and several short stories. Seventy-five years later, in a 1996 Key West storyland, a Hemingway scholar named John Baird meets a conman named Castle who wants Baird to forge copies of Hemingway’s “lost” manuscripts. With his younger wife all for it, and with some major interest in the logistics of the project himself, Baird sets out to commit the fraud only to find himself face to face with an ethereal version of Hemingway himself! This being, who turns out to be from outside of time – or wherever, tells Baird that he ‘must not perpetrate the hoax, upon pain of death.’ But even the threat of death, and death itself won’t stop Baird, as the Hemingway Hoax is on!

I can see why this tale won a Hugo, this has all the Haldeman touches, intelligent and literate fiction, easy humor and good storytelling. Time travel and parallel worlds are about the oldest tropes of SF, but Haldeman staked out some ground in both domains, and they pay-off. I’ve read a few Hemingway stories, and the pastiche that appears here and there in the novella sound just like Hemingway to me. This, coupled with the candid BONUS AUDIO of Joe Haldeman talking about the inspiration for the novel that precedes the audiobook proper makes The Hemingway Hoax definitely worth checking out. Baird is a stand-in for Haldeman, both are professors of literature at New England universities, both served in Vietnam, both are intrigued by Hemingway and his lost papers. This makes for the most Philip K. Dickian Haldeman tale I’ve ever read. In terms of the production itself, this is a straight reading, with some light music added over the opening sentences and the final paragraphs. Other than a couple of very minor pronunciation errors Eric Michael Summerer (a new voice in audiobooks) narrated beautifully. He voiced five major characters, three male and two female, and they all sounded naturalistic and different. Audible Frontiers should use Eric Michael Summerer again.

Update (here are the illustrations from the publication is Asimov’s):
Asimov's 1990-04 - Cover illustration by Wayne Barlowe
Asimov's 1990-04 - interior illustration by Terry Lee
Asimov's 1990-04 - interior illustration by Terry Lee
Asimov's 1990-04 - interior illustration by Terry Lee

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana by Tee Morris

June 27, 2005 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobooks - Morevi by Tee MorrisMorevi: The Chronicles Of Rafe and Askana
By Lisa Lee and Tee Morris; Read by Tee Morris
22 MP3 Files – Approx. 16 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: TeeMorris.com / Podiobooks.com
Published: 2005
Themes: / Fantasy / Sailing / Magic / Court Intrigue / Alternate Worlds /

Across a mysterious rift in the space-time continuum exists a world called Naruihm. In this world is a realm called Morevi, a landlocked kingdom ruled by Askana Moldarin, crowned “First Queen” following a swift and bloody rise to the Throne of a Thousand Suns. Yet hidden traitors are already at work to destroy everything that she has won. Enter Rafe Rafton, privateer captain of the Defiant. Arrogant. Overconfident. Dangerous and cunning enough to pillage the Queen’s own ships and survive. As a man, he is the embodiment of everything she has fought against, and the perfect instrument in a last desperate bid to save her kingdom. With the sum agreed upon, Rafe and Askana embark on an epic adventure spanning the kingdoms of
Naruihm and King Henry VIII’s England. Two souls, drawn together in the battle for a kingdom.

On January 21st 2005 Tee Morris started podcasting the fantasy novel Morevi: The Chronicles Of Rafe and Askana which he previously co-authored as a published paperbook. Given away free as a promotion of the sequel Morevi was one of the very first podcast novels serialized and is the very first to be completed (22 MP3 files made up of a prologue, twenty chapters and an epilogue). The final installment was completed on schedule and posted June 17th 2005 timed to coincide with the gala premier of the paperbook sequel Legacy of Morevi at Westercon 58 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on July 1st – 4th 2005.

Morevi is a richly imagined whirlwind adventure which plays out like a cross between an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign in the Oriental Adventures world and James Clavell’s historical novel Shogun. Swashbuckling action takes the main and heart-rending romance builds slowly culminating right at the end. Exotic spices pepper the scenes like the a complex and subtle poison, labyrinthine court intrigue and black magic thrown in to enrich the flavour all the more. But though it might sound it Morevi: The Chronicles Of Rafe and Askana isn’t a traditional fantasy novel, it is daring-do adventure set in a world that would fit well on a shelf next to Eric Flint’s “1632verse” alternate history series. High fantasy purists hearing this may have some difficulty with the occasional clich├ęd line of dialogue, anachronistic phrasing or they may be tempted to reject the novel out of hand because it balances both an historical setting and an alternate universe. This would be a mistake. Lisa Lee and Tee Morris’ words flow easily and I was never confused as to what was going on or as to who was speaking. My only real regret is that this is an abridged version of the novel. What we miss can of course be found in the print version, and I know that many listeners to the podcast couldn’t wait for the serialization to finish before snapping up the paperbook, but I would have preferred a complete unabridged reading. Tee Morris reads the book himself, and though he has no previous audiobook narration under his belt his professional acting background explains why he does such a good job. Morris does accents, voice changes and has edited the production himself. The editing is particularly interesting too as Morris has cut the reading in such a way as to talk over himself – when the
characters talk over each other. The use of punctuating music, voice effects and the occasional sound effect fully illustrates the recording. I’m not sure that all the sound effects were necessary, I’m happy enough with straight readings, but it certainly didn’t hurt the podcasts. As it is I plan on burning a CD-R MP3 for my own use as I’m sure I will want to listen to it again! Click here to find all the files.

Highly recommended!

*Also, Tee Morris has recorded the prologue for the sequel, Legacy Of Morevi and that’s available now HERE.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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