The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe

October 31, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe - illustration by Corben

A double Halloween treat, my favourite Edgar Allan Poe short story, a Gothic Horror tale as narrated by two of my favourite people.

First up, as narrated by Julie Davis of Forgotten Classics and A Good Story Is Hard To Find podcasts.

The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan PoeThe Oval Portrait
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Julie Davis
1 |MP3| Approx. 10 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
The injured narrator finds, upon the pillow of a bed in an abandoned castle in the Appenines, a book describing the many paintings that adorn the room he lies in.
First published in Graham’s Magazine, April 1842.

The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe - illustrated by Jesse

And from the voice of Lovecraft and his WeirdAudiobooks.com, the great Wayne June!

The Oval Portrait - LEGOized by Jesse

And here’s an illustrated |PDF| version!

The Oval Portrait (from a French printing)

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Golgotha Dancers by Manly Wade Wellman

July 3, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Here’s a spooky tale that’s set, in part, in an art museum. It’s read by our old friend Gregg Margarite.

LibriVoxThe Golgotha Dancers
By Manly Wade Wellman; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 24 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: August 8, 2010
A curious and terrifying story about an artist who sold his soul that he might paint a living picture. First published in Weird Tales, October 1937.
|ETEXT|

Here’s a |PDF| made from the publication in Weird Tales.

Here is the description of Arnold Böcklin’s The Isle Of The Dead, the painting conspicuous for its absence in the story:

“I started down, relishing in advance the impression Böcklin’s picture would make with its high brown rocks and black poplars, its midnight sky and gloomy film of sea, its single white figure erect in the bow of the beach-nosing skiff.”

And here is the image itself:

The Isle Of The Dead by Arnold Böcklin

Posted by Jesse Willis

LAMLradio (a podcast about LEGO)

January 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Me with a simple MOC LEGO race-car:
Jesse with Lego sculpture

A LEGO Classic Space Wafer Fighter:
Lego Classic Space - Wafer Fighter

My students with an afternoon of swooshable LEGO creations:
Jesse's students with an afternoon of LEGO creations

LAMLradio LEGO Talk PodcastLAMLradio is a podcast about LEGO! As you can see by the images above I’m a big LEGO fan. I still have all (or almost all) of my LEGO back from when I was a kid. LEGO is a great toy because it allows you to build your own toys. But it’s more than a toy. In fact when I was talking to a professional artist last fall I was trying to convince him that it was a form of art. I’m not sure what art is, but I am sure that LEGO is a medium for sculpture.

If you’re not convinced check out this interview with one such LEGO artist known for his Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000 LEGO creations (a style of kitbash art from Japan begun in the 1980s and inspired by WWI, WWII, the American space program, Star Wars, Blade Runner and The Road Warrior).

LAMLradio #103 – An interview with .Tromas of Prince George, BC (about Ma.K LEGO creations) |MP3|

Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/lamlradio

Selected LEGO jargon:

Classic Space – LEGO with a space theme produced between 1978 and 1987.

Diorama – A large LEGO scene or a LEGO scene built on an irregular base.

Vignette – A small LEGO scene, usually built on a base 8 studs long by 8 studs wide.

MOC – (an acronym, My Own Creation) – Any LEGO creation designed and built by a LEGO fan without instructions. Pronounced “mock.”

Swooshable – A quality that allows a LEGO creation to be picked up and flown around a room as the builder makes flying noises.

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: iambik audio

July 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, New Releases 

Aural Noir: New Releases

Iambik AudiobooksHere’s the latest crime collection from iambik audio. And while imabik offers excellent DRM free versions of their titles on their easy to use website you may also be interested to know that more than thirty titles are now available through Audible.com too.

The pick of the bunch, just going by the descriptions, appears to be The Vaults by Toby Ball. And based on the reviews of the print edition, which came out last September, it seems this debut novel is rather well regarded!

iambik audio - Hard Cold Whisper by Michael HemmingsonHard Cold Whisper
By Michael Hemmingson; Read by Adam Verner
MP3 Download – Approx. 2 Hours 56 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: July 15, 2011
Sample |MP3|
David Kellgren is a process server, a job where everyone wants to kill the messenger and things can get a little bit dangerous and out of hand. David is attacked when trying to serve legal papers to a gang member and an angel comes to his rescue: nineteen-year-old Gabriella Amaya, trapped in a large dilapidated house, caring for her dying aunt. This elderly aunt has money, diamonds, and real estate, promised to Gabriella when the aunt dies. Is there any way the sultry caregiver can get her crafty hands on that wealth sooner? And share it with her new lover, the unsuspecting process server who starts to wonder if he’s become a patsy in an elaborate murder plot, or if he simply cannot allow himself to truest any woman who says, “I love you.” Set in San Diego, Chula Vista, and Tijuana, Hard Cold Whisper is Michael Hemmingson at his finest, most terse and torqued prose in the crime genre. — Hemmingson wrote Hard Cold Whisper as an experiment during the 2010 3 Day Novel Challenge during Labor Day Weekend, a concerted event where writers all over the world participate. The method here pays homage to hardboiled noir master Gil Brewer, who wrote many of his finest Fawcett Gold Medal titles in a possessed, white hot flash fury of several days or a week. Hard Cold Whisper is Hemmingson’s nod to the feel and atmosphere of the Gold Medal paperback.

iambik audio - Listen To The Dead by Randall PefferListen To The Dead
By Randall Peffer; Read by Art Carlson
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 7 Hours 27 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: July 15, 2011
Sample |MP3|
Inspired by one of the largest unsolved cases of serial killings in the United States, the New Bedford Serial Killings of 1988. Harbormaster Corby Church finds the bones of a human body on Bird Island off Cape Cod. As brassy, young police detective Yemanjá Colón struggles with the case, she realizes that Church may know more than he’s letting on, and a trip he took to the Bahamas in the ’80s may prove the key.

iambik audio - Richmond Noir by variousRichmond Noir
Edited by Andrew Blossom, Brian Castleberry and Tom De Haven; Read by Charles Bice
MP3 or M4B – Approx. 7 Hours 51 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher iambik audio
Published: July 15, 2011
Sample |MP3|
Collection edited by Andrew Blossom, Brian Castleberry and Tom De Haven. “In The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, Henry Miller tosses off a hard-bitten assessment of the City on the James: ‘I would rather die in Richmond somehow,’ he writes, ‘though God knows Richmond has little enough to offer.’ As editors, we like the dying part, and might point out that in its long history, Richmond, Virginia has offered up many of the disparate elements crucial to meaty noir. The city was born amid deception, conspiracy, and violence…

imabik audio - The Painted Messiah by Craig SmithThe Painted Messiah
By Craig Smith; Read by Clive Catterall
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 9 Hours 54 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: July 15, 2011
Sample |MP3|
The Painted Messiah combines a blistering action thriller set in the streets of Zurich and on the lakes and wooded slopes of Switzerland with a compulsive and convincing account of first century Romano-Judaean politics and the real reason for Pontius Pilate’s condemnation and execution of Christ. A legend persists that, after the ‘scourging’, Pilate commanded that his victim be painted from life. Somewhere, the painting survives, the only true image of Christ, granting the gift of everlasting life to whoever possesses it. Kate Kenyon, the wealthy young widow of an English aristocrat killed on a Swiss mountain, has an addiction to mortal risk. She feeds it by engaging in the armed robbery of priceless artefacts with her accomplice and lover Ethan Brand, a Tennessean who owns a bookshop in Zurich. Their latest target is a priceless ‘Byzantine’ icon hidden in the tower of a chateau by Lake Lucerne. So far they have never had to shoot anyone. This time will be different.

iambik audio - Thought You Were Dead by Terry GriggsThought You Were Dead
By Terry Griggs; Read by Gregg Margarite
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 7 Hours 42 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: July 15, 2011
Sample |MP3|
Meet the Perfect Man… no, no he’s not the hero of Thought You Were Dead. That would be Chellis Beith, literary researcher, slacker, reluctant detective, and a man bedeviled by every woman in his life. There’s his lost love, Elaine Champion, a now happily married inventor who uses him for market research, his best friend’s dotty ex-wife, Moe, his two vanished mothers, and his menacing boss, Athena Havlock, a celebrated writer who herself becomes embroiled in the dark side of fiction. The humour is wild, the language a thrill, the mystery within marvelously deft and daft. And as for the Perfect Man… well, nothing is as it seems. Is it? Thought You Were Dead is the most unconventional of all murder mysteries, turning the genre completely on its head, by bludgeoning flat language and Puritanical sensibilities with evident glee. This is further evidence that Terry Griggs is sui generis: an original and completely inimitable literary voice, with an eye for the cinematic.

iambik audio - The Vaults by Toby BallThe Vaults
By Toby Ball; Read by Michael Agostini
MP3 or M4B Download – Approx. 9 Hours 5 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: iambik audio
Published: July 15, 2011
Sample |MP3|
In a dystopian 1930s America, a chilling series of events leads three men down a path to uncover their city’s darkest secret. At the height of the most corrupt administration in the City’s history, a mysterious duplicate file is discovered deep within the Vaults—a cavernous hall containing all of the municipal criminal justice records of the last seventy years. From here, the story follows: Arthur Puskis, the Vault’s sole, hermit-like archivist with an almost mystical faith in a system to which he has devoted his life; Frank Frings, a high-profile investigative journalist with a self-medicating reefer habit; and Ethan Poole, a socialist private eye with a penchant for blackmail. All three men will undertake their own investigations into the dark past and uncertain future of the City—calling into question whether their most basic beliefs can be maintained in a climate of overwhelming corruption and conspiracy.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #076 – READALONG: Mindswap by Robert Sheckley

September 27, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #076 – Jesse talks with Gregg Margarite, Julie Davis and Luke Burrage about Robert Sheckley’s 1966 novel Mindswap.

Talked about on today’s show:
Blackstone Audiobooks audiobook edition of Mindswap by Robert Sheckley, The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley, Rick Jackson’s Wonder Audio version of The Status Civilization, Marvin, existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre, Søren Kierkegaard and Martin Heidegger, Mars, swapping minds vs. swapping bodies, xenophiles, “metaphoric deformation”, one of the greatest scenes of comedy ever in a novel, mind vs. body, mind vs. brain, consciousnesses and memories, Mindswap is “a subversive ontological satire,” Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, extracting sunlight from a cucumber, “theory of searches”, existentialism for a Science Fiction audience, Voltaire’s Candide, Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, balance is superfluous, “contemplation is the most direct form of involvement (and so it is avoided by everyone)”, Bertrand Russell, New York, solipsism, cognitive dissonance, Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, Future Shock by Alvin Toffler, Chekhov’s gun, comedic soliloquies, speaking with a lisp, the twisted world, the interventionist fallacy, the authorial sting, “the ripe greenness of her ovipositors”, Luke defends the honour of the name Kathy, Marvin The Paranoid Android vs. Marvin The Martian, Roland Barthes, absurdity is funny, a pseudo-Gulliver’s Travels, the mechanics of the humor, Gregg’s top five written objects, Laputa, “the pinnacle of satire”, A Modest Proposal, “everything is bullshit”, Dr. Jeykll And Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (our next readalong), Dracula, Lair Of The White Worm, Ken Russell, Gothic, On The Buses, Africa, “Africa? Where do you mean in Africa?”, Namibia vs. South Africa, Kilimanjaro vs. Everest, a set can’t be a member of itself, “it’s all a big giant steaming pile of absurdity” vs. “the glory and excitement of being alive”, monsignors vs. bishops, “you’re just not in our target market”, “I don’t believe what someone believes has to be true or not”, spiritual experiences vs. explanations of them, there’s a helmet for that (spiritual experiences), the charismatic formula, true vs. honest, Luke’s blog post on spiritual experiences and atheism, Thomas Aquinas, “truth is relative”, Gregg has big sets!, Julie is completely talk-able, Margaret Atwood history denier, the Apollo missions, making stupid easier, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is a great aggregator , Glenn Beck’s snakedance, smart people are making the universe complex, “the enemy of nuance” vs. “the enemy of history”, rejecting reality, why they argued with Jefferson, their totally alienable, “this is why I watch 30 Rock“, Kids In The Hall, you have the potential of niche markets, ‘the United States is the greatest country in the world (with the greatest failures and great achievements)’, nobody cares about Africa (or South America), not knowing the Prime Minister of Canada vs. not knowing the Governor of Guam, Peter F. Hamilton’s latest book, a bunch of fun loving existentialists, Sheckley’s short stories, City by Clifford D. Simak (it has conflict), Sheckley at his best is Voltaire and soda (or Voltaire and tonic), Flannery O’Connor, the keyword game, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, art and craft are the same thing, craftsmen aren’t artists, I Hate Music, “I’m NOT tone deaf!”, Charlie Parker, iTunes=music, mp3=music, “it’s like I’m gay and I’m the only one”, This Is Your Brain On Music, Gregg is too emphatic (?), “I – do not – sound – like – William Shatner.”, Weird Al Yankovic, “my guitar is the best girlfriend I ever had.”

Gray Morrow‘s illustrations of Mindswap from the June 1965 of Galaxy:

Galaxy June 1965 - MINDSWAP by Robert Sheckley - Cover

Galaxy June 1965 - MINDSWAP by Robert Sheckley - Page 7

Galaxy June 1965 - MINDSWAP - Page 9

Galaxy June 1965 - MINDSWAP by Robert Sheckley - Page 27

Galaxy June 1965 - MINDSWAP by Robert Sheckley - Page 53

Galaxy June 1965 - MINDSWAP by Robert Sheckley - Pages 67 and 85

DELL - Mindswap by Robert Sheckley

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #073

August 30, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #073 – Jesse talks with Luke Burrage and Gregg Margarite about the Audible Frontiers/Brilliance Audio audiobook of Earth Abides by George R. Stewart!

Talked about on today’s show:
Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, New York City, Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, the best post-apocalyptic novel, a lost classic, a calm method of exposition, a student of history, Isherwood Williams, very vivid and deeply imagined, how do you define Science Fiction?, Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes, philosophical nuts and bolts, the central crisis is left unexplained, the science in Earth Abides, “I understand people better after reading this book”, breeding cycles, Hard Biological Science Fiction, the disappearance of lice, overpopulation of the Earth, is it the author speaking or is it the main character?, ecology, there was no will to power, only a will to live, Baruch Spinoza, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, I can’t believe how long it took the guy to get to the library!, “how to render game”, “there’s lots of library love in this book”, “we’re not going to be the people that we were”, “the characters had to be ignorant out of laziness”, 1947, going to university, mediocrity is well loved, “why is dumb so cool?”, only people who are intelligent enough to ask the question…, does genius beget genius?, is intelligence particularly related to genetics?, nature/nurture, eugenics, is intelligence a particular interest rather than something in the brain?, superior interest vs. superior brainpower, Evie, finding the test, the IQ test, the observer’s position in the universe, “do you think what the government did to Alan Turing was wrong?”, the Apple logo inspired by Alan Turning’s suicide?, snopes.com, I knew I wanted to be friends with Gregg Margarite, LibriVox.org, the San Fransisco tribe, you cannot spoil this book, WWII, cargo cults, “would you ever be a member of a cargo cult?”, Montezuma and Quetzalcoatl, The Gods Must Be Crazy, religion, superstition, pinch your God, if God lived on earth people would break his windows, tribal sociological phenomena, the role of chiefs, the most interesting book about pinching I’ve ever read, “heartwarming pinching”, reading, despondence and acceptance, what does it really matter if humanity is dead?, The Star by Arthur C. Clarke, intellectual arguments vs. emotional arguments, it’s very rare to be emotionally affected (to tears) by a book, narrator Jonathan Davis, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, one of the best narrations that I’ve heard, Mike Resnick‘s Starship series, Star Wars, Connie Willis‘ introduction to Earth Abides, Deep Six by Jack McDevitt, “always skip over the introduction”, where does Isherwood’s name come from?, forgetting your own name, the character of Jack, I don’t read for characters, Isherwood thinks he’s an intellectual, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe, The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss, “I would have taken out Electromechanical Engineering“, Emm and Ezra, Charlie, George (the carpenter/plumber), “even his dog (Princess)”, a friend’s quiz, people are not just what they know or what they read, The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, “society is all the different bits and humanity is all the different bits”, adopting leaves as a currency, maybe the whole of Douglas Adams should be treated like a religious text, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is a book about itself, Doctor Who, the dish of the day, other themes in Earth Abides, racism in Lucifer’s Hammer, what race is Emma?, does it matter?, the last American, people who are racist are people talk about race, race is a sociological idea, race is something – but it is not science, “I don’t live the history”, “they need to have somebody who are below them on the ladder”, Fox News, ideological reasons for watching TV, Glenn Beck is Mormon, Mormons believe that the Constitution of the United States was “divinely inspired”, his country is part of his ideology, the reason Orson Scott Card hates gays is because of his belief system, newspapers still have an Astrology section, there is no hegemony in Earth Abides, individuals interacting with one another, “people abide”, are you born of another?, matriarchy vs. patriarchy, “Is it a talisman? a totem? It’s single jack!”, “the power to destroy and drive in a nail”, a genius accident, the word “jack” means “doer”, Jack Bauer, semiotics, Jesus freaks vs. religious freaks, separating the voice of the author from the voice of the main character, The Last Man On Earth, The Last Man On Earth Blog, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, Life After People, George R. Stewart wrote a biography of Bret Harte, Harte is far more complex than Louis L’Amour, Oakland, Mark Twain, recording for LibriVox.org, 2BOR02B by Kurt Vonnegut, we all know that Science Fiction has been carrying this burden, iambik audio, recording a 600 page book on the road, $1000 microphone, The Secret Of Kralitz by Henry Kuttner, The Ego Machine by Henry Kuttner, the Del Rey “best of” books, The Best Of Jack Williamson, Frederick Pohl, Luke rates Earth Abides 4.5 out of 5 stars, “it’s good because it’s not very good in this way”, did it achieve what it set out to accomplish, The Incredible Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson, we are thoroughly impressed, Earth Abides is 13 CDs 15 Hours, time passing, the loss of reading, is literacy in and of itself a good?, giving the book away, separating technique from practical skills, bull dodging, Make Room, Make Room by Harry Harrison, Soylent Green, get Charlton Heston out of your head but keep Edward G. Robinson, The Omega Man, potential upcoming SFFaudio Readalongs, Ubik by Philip K. Dick, The Man In The High Castle, Do Andoids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, Valis, The Transmigration Of Timothy Archer and The Divine Invasion, Leo Tolstoy, the philosophy of art, “the only true art is folk art”, art is an abbreviation of the word artifact, a nuclear bomb is art to me, labor intensive art, venus figures, craft vs. art, I don’t think art has a place in this book?, I’m pretty sure something is going on about art in this book, I see similarities between petroglyphs and Pollock, maybe I was wrong, are we post structuralist, Duchamp, Aristotle’s Poetics, Seven Samurai, Rashomon, David Lynch’s Dune, Laurel and Hardy, Gilligan and the Skipper, Akira Kurosawa, George R. Stewart basically invented the disaster novel, Ordeal By Hunger by George R. Stewart (available from Blackstone Audio).

Posted by Jesse Willis

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