New Releases: Martin, Mezrich, Dick, Poe, Stark, Block, and Aaronovitch

July 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, New Releases 

New Releases

Hey! Got a couple a weeks to kill this Summer? Narrator Roy Dotrice returns to the series that nobody can stop waiting for…

RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO - A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. MartinA Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five)
By George R.R. Martin; Read by Roy Dotrice
38 CDs – Approx. 49 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: July 12, 2011
ISBN: 9780739375976
Sample |MP3|
In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance—beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind. Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys’s claim to Westeros forever. Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone—a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice. From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.

And in the new releases in non-fiction department comes a story that that sounds like fiction…

RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO - Sex On The Moon by Ben MezrichSex On The Moon
By Ben Mezrich; Read by Casey Affleck
7 CDs – Approx. 8 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: July 2011
ISBN: 9780307750761
Sample |MP3|
Thad Roberts, a fellow in NASA’s prestigious Neutral Bouyancy Laboratory, had an idea. A romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally. Somehow he convinced his girlfriend, also a NASA fellow, and another female accomplice, to break into an impregnable laboratory at NASA’s headquarters and help him steal the most precious objects in the world: the moon rocks. To get to the lunar vault, Thad and his accomplices would have to go through the high-security entrance of Building 31, the most protected structure at the Johnson Space Center, wind their way past a half dozen additional checkpoints until they came to an electronically-locked steel door with cipher security codes, monitored by a camera-lined hallway. And then there was the safe where the moon rocks were stored. Labeled “Trash,” this vault was something out of a Swiss Bank, three-feet-thick, made out of steel, and with an enormous combination wheel that took at least two people to turn. Against all odds, the team made a clean get-away (at 5 mph no less, the compound’s inflexible speed limit). But what does one do with an item so valuable that it’s illegal even to own. And was Thad Roberts — undeniably gifted, picked for one of the most competitive scientific posts imaginable, a potential astronaut — really what he seemed. From the author of the New York Times bestselling Accidental Billionaires comes this strange but true story of genius, love, and duplicity, centered around an Ocean’s Eleven style heist that reads like a Hollywood thrill-ride.

Never before available as an audiobook? How, exactly, did we miss this?

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - Radio Free Albemuth by Philip K. DickRadio Free Albemuth
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Tom Weiner
6 CDs – Approx. 6.8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: November 2009
ISBN: 9781433291647
Philip K. Dick’s impassioned final novel is a wild and visionary alternate history of the United States. It is 1969, and a paranoid president has convulsed America in a vicious war against imaginary internal enemies. As the country slides into fascism, a struggling science fiction writer named Philip K. Dick is trying to keep from becoming one of that war’s casualties. Meanwhile, Dick’s best friend, a record executive named Nicholas Brady, is receiving transmissions from a God-like extraterrestrial intelligence, which he dubs Valis, who apparently wants him to overthrow the president. Agonizingly suspenseful, darkly hilarious, and filled with enough conspiracy theories to thrill the most hardened paranoid, Radio Free Albemuth is proof of Dick’s stature as our century’s greatest science-fiction writer.

Cory Doctorow had good things to say about this new collection of Edgar Allan Poe tales.

AUDIO GO - Poe's Detectives by Edgar Allan PoePoe’s Detective: The Dupin Stories
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Bronson Pinchot
4 CDs – Approx. [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Go / BBC Audiobooks America
Published: March 15, 2011
ISBN: 9781609981624
Edgar Allan Poe is the undisputed originator of the Detective story. His brilliant, imaginative sleuth C. Auguste Dupin set the stage for eccentric, logic wielding investigators like Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. This audio collection of Poe’s three Dupin stories also includes one non-Dupin detective tale, Thou Art the Man. It features celebrity narrator Bronson Pinchot. The story titles are: “The Murders in the Rue Morgue“; “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt“; “The Purloined Letter“; and “Thou Art the Man.”

The first of a batch of new Richard Stark audiobook releases…

AUDIO GO - The Hunter by Richard StarkThe Hunter (Book 1 in the Parker series)
By Richard Stark; Read by John Chancer
5 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours 1 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Go / BBC Audiobooks America
Published: January 18, 2011
ISBN: 9781609981068
You probably haven’t noticed them. But they’ve noticed you. They notice everything. That’s their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers’ work habits. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brinks truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door at the racetrack. They’re heisters. They’re pros, and Parker is far and away the best of them. In The Hunter, the first volume in the series, Parker roars into New York City, seeking revenge on the woman who betrayed him and on the man who took his money, stealing and scamming his way to redemption.

Long out of print in audio, back in print in time for the latest novel, and totally missing from the publisher’s website…

AUDIOGO -The Sins Of The Fathers by Lawrence BlockThe Sins Of The Fathers (Book 1 in the Matthew Scudder series)
By Lawrence Block; Read by Alan Sklar
4 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours 2 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Go
Published: March 8, 2011
ISBN: 9781609982683
The pretty young prostitute is dead. Her alleged murderer–a minister’s son–hanged himself in his jail cell. The case is closed. But the dead girl’s father has come to Matthew Scudder for answers, sending the unlicensed private investigator in search of terrible truths about a life that was lived and lost in a sordid world of perversion and pleasures.The hooker was young, pretty…and dead, butchered in a Greenwich Village apartment. The prime suspect, a minister’s son, was also dead, the victim of a jailhouse suicide. The case is closed, as far as the NYPD is concerned. Now the murdered prostitute’s father wants it opened again–that’s where Matthew Scudder comes in. But this assignment carries the unmistakable stench of sleaze and perversion, luring Scudder into a sordid world of phony religion and murderous lust where children must die for their parents’ most unspeakable sins.

And finally, Ben Aaronovitch has noted that audiobook version of Moon Over London, the follow up to Rivers Of London, “will be available for download from the 21st of July.” It’ll be up on Audible with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith reprising the narrating duties. Though I should note that the first book is not available, bizarrely, in all regions.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #106

May 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #106 – Jesse and Tamahome talk about audiobooks, books, comic books, movies and technology.

Talked about on today’s show:
Scott is away, Warrior Race by Robert Sheckley, the guilt tactic, Robert Sheckley’s The Victim From Space, M. Night Shamylan, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Star Trek: The Next Generation, the limits of sympathy and empathy, Lethal Weapon, civil disobedience, Ghandi, Ahisma, Gregg Margarite, Lauren Bacall, the future of self-published ebooks and curation, SFsignal’s anthology reviews, novels vs short stories, LibriVox, rating systems, Gil T. Wilson, SFSite, Avatar, Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman’s narration, William Gibson, Where is the Neuromancer audiobook?, The Matrix, What is noir in film or books?, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Memento, a podcast about noir films (Noircast.net), Limitless aka (The Dark Fields) movie vs book, director Neil Berger, The Illusionist, The Prestige, Christopher Priest, Existenz, WWW: Wake, WWW: Wonder, Robert J. Sawyer, many spoilers in this podcast, Sawyer’s next novel is Triggers, research then write, the Webmind, Jesse doesn’t like series (usually), the ‘talking Dinosaur’ series (the Quintaglio Ascension series), is the WWW series YA?, Cory Doctorow, characters, Golden Fleece is a murder mystery in space, more dino, would anyone make the dinosaur series into a 3D animated film?, Robert J. Sawyer’s Rollback was on CBC Radio One’s Between The Covers podcast, Galileo’s Dream, Red Mars, Michio Kaku, futurism, climate change, Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson, can a domestic story be thrilling?, Austin Powers, “one million dollars!”, the trap of inflating the stakes, Tim Pratt on Dragon Page podcast (7½ minutes in), the ‘speech thriller’, what’s in the suitcase?, Kiss Me Deadly, “make each sentence do two things”, Midnight Riot (aka Rivers Of London), British lingo, “snog”, series and trends at bookstores, Peter Watts‘s openness, Flashforward TV show, The Gong Show, bring back the hook, Crysis 2: Legion the novel and the game, the economics of hard covers vs ebooks, Kindle openness, the VLC app was removed from the iTunes App store, the Android OS, Embedded, ROM person, the Comics Code Authority repealed!, Mark Millar, Nemesis, The Ultimates, Ex Machina, Chronicles Of Wormwood, Garth Ennis, Howard The Duck, death of superheroes, Superman left America (Action Comics #900), “truth, justice, and the American way”, Superman: Red Son, Battlefields, The Boys, The Punisher with the guy from Hung (Thomas Jane), Warren Ellis wrote a novel (Crooked Little Vein), can we make Peter Watts audiobooks?, synthesized voices on archive.org, Linux for all e-readers, Philip K. Dick, The Electric Ant comic, Tom Merritt, Sword and Laser, TWIT, Munchcast.

far seer

Archie Comics with and without the Comics Code Authority

Posted by Tamahome

New Releases: Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch

April 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: New Releases 

New Releases

I talked to Ben Aaronovitch about his paperbook novel, Rivers Of London, back in SFFaudio Podcast #086. The audiobook, exclusive to Audible, is now available!

Rivers Of London by Ben AaronovitchRivers of London
By Ben Aaronovitch; Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Audible Download – Approx. 9 Hours 58 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Limited
Published: April 8, 2011
Provider: Audible.com
Sample |MP3|
My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – we do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly valuable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden… and there’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair. The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos – or die trying.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Midnight Riot (Rivers of London) by Ben Aaronovitch: The Trailer

February 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Ben Aaronovitch, guest from The SFFaudio Podcast #086 , has been getting plenty of positive reviews for his new novel Midnight Riot (aka Rivers Of London). Here’s the trailer:

Sadly, there’s still no audiobook edition in sight.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #086

December 13, 2010 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #086 – Jesse talks to Ben Aaronovitch. Aaronovitch is an SFF author, a former Doctor Who scriptwriter, and the lead writer of the Blake’s 7 audio drama series.

Talked about on today’s show:
the original Doctor Who, how to break into TV (in the mid 1980s), Andrew Cartmel, the price of VCRs in 1985, Caroline Aulton, Remembrance Of The Daleks, big budget BBC, Geoffrey Palmer, do it again with 40% more fear, Ben Aaronovitch’s blog Temporarily Significant entitled: I shall eviscerate you, Daleks and An Unearthly Child, racism, The Hand Of Omega, two sets of Daleks, proto-U.N.I.T., Battlefield, what killed the original Doctor Who?, the BBC!, the fetishization of the writer, Russel T. Davies, Queer As Folk, “a Doctor Who shaped whole in the British psyche”, Jon Pertwee, KVOS-TV, the abortive FOX Doctor Who reboot, Doctor Who as an episode of The X-Files, Paul McGann, The New Adventures of Doctor Who:Transit by Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch (aka Midnight Riot), Moon Over Soho, Whispers Underground, Peter F. Hamilton, “extruded fantasy product”, Michael Moorcock, Charlaine Harris, Diana Gabaldon, Harry Potter meets The Sweeney (the British version of Kojak), The Dresden Files (is “Gandalf noir”), reviews of Rivers Of London (aka Midnight Riot), Midnight Riot on GoodReads.com, negative reviews are very helpful, The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan, Morgan’s screed against J.R.R. Tolkien, Joe Abercrombie and China Miéville are good because they are good not because they are grim, the Blake’s 7 audio dramas started on The Sci-Fi Channel UK, Andrew Sewell, Rebel, Traitor, Liberator is an SFFaudio Essential |READ OUR REVIEW|, “Star Trek: British or Robin Hood in space”, Terry Nation, Chris Boucher, Avon’s one liners, Firefly, Farscape, the Blake’s 7 prequel series, Cally: Blood & Earth and Flag & Flame |READ OUR REVIEW|, Alistair Lock, the quality of the actors on Blake’s 7, Colin Salmon, Michael Praed, B7 is real Science Fiction ideas in a space opera setting, the internet is a huge echo chamber, the effect of torrents on Blake’s 7, B7 is on Audible.com (and Audible.co.uk), Bernice Summerfield, Big Finish, Blake’s 7: The Early Years: Zen: Escape Velocity (Volume 2.1), Series 2 of Blake’s 7 is already written, the rebooting of Battlestar Galactica, the Pegasus episode of BSG, landing a Battlestar was badly though through, Ronald D. Moore‘s Cylons didn’t have a plan, Lost, J. Michael Straczynski, television is like life, Dexter, detective shows can run longer, The Mentalist, Law & Order, why Doctor Who need never die, the Pertwee years, Doctor Who as the “universal television format”, Frankenstien = The Brain Of Morbius, Greek myth = The Myth Makers, there’s no end-game in Doctor Who, writers are used as a crutch by British TV executives, the credit given to writers by UK television, USA TV vs. UK TV, the writer’s room is very attractive, the homogeneous end product, Castle is beautifully written fluff, the psychic episode of Castle was soul-deadening, HBO, True Blood, Downton Abbey is kind of like Upstairs Downstairs, the problems of USA and UK TV, DaVinci’s Inquest, Intelligence, Downton Abbey, Highlander, Seacouver, The 4400 lake (is Buntzen Lake), “Caprica city is decaying”.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Update:

Here’s a photo I took of Buntzen Lake this morning.

Buntzen Lake, the morning of December 13, 2010

Review of Blake’s 7 – Cally: Blood & Earth / Flag & Flame (Vol. 1.4)

November 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Reviews, SFFaudio essential 

SFFaudio Review

Blake's 7 - Blood And Earth and Flag And FlameBlake’s 7 – Cally: Blood & Earth / Flag & Flame (Vol. 1.4)
By Ben Aaronovitch and Marc Platt; Directed by Dominic Devine; Performed by a full cast
1 CD – Approx. 60 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: B7 Productions
Published: August 24, 2009
ISBN: 9781906577070
Themes: / Science Fiction / Space Opera / Telepathy / Survival / Noir / War /

Blake’s 7 – Cally contains two plays on one CD. I am reviewing them individually and in the order they appear on the disc.

Blood & Earth
On Auron, every clone lives in a world buoyed by the constant murmur of telepathic support, gossip and opinions. When Ariane Cally’s plane crashes in the middle of a wilderness park she finds herself cut off not only from rescue, but the voices that have sustained her all her life. Her only hope is the mysterious Aunty, the single voice she can still hear, a woman who claims to have been the second Cally ever to be born on Auron. From Aunty she will learn the true and secret history of her people, but only if the wilderness doesn’t kill her first.

You’d think that any audio drama featuring four characters, three with the same and similar voices there’d be some difficulty in following the story of who’s talking to who, what’s happening and to whom. No such problems exist in Blood & Earth and neither does the story suffer in the telling. Jan Chappell, who was the original Cally from the TV series Blake’s 7, takes on a new role as a new Cally – one of the original clones of the Auron colony. In this adventure she’s mentoring one of her sister clones who has crash landed in a wet and remote jungle. Meanwhile, another Cally is on a search and rescue mission high above the jungle looking for the crashed Cally any other survivors. The theme of telepathy is a hard one to convey very successfully in an audiobook – but the Blake’s 7 producers have done a terrific job with it in this audio drama. In between the action we get a good sense of the culture of Auron – how a few early decision in the colony’s history have determined the colony’s present and how they may determine its future.

Cast:
Jan Chappell AUNTY
Amy Humphreys ARIANE CALLY
Barbara Joslyn JORDEN CALLY
Julian Wadham COMMISSIONER VAN REICH

Flag & Flame
Twins are special; Auronar clone twins doubly so. They’re grown that way. Pilot Skate Cally and Operative Merrin Cally are a Flight Team on the Auronar cruiser Flag of Hope. They’ve been in each other’s heads, living each other’s lives, the same feelings, differences, orders and taste buds, since they were first poured out of a vat. But after High Command sends Skate on a one-way mission investigating Federation incursions in the Dancer Cluster, Merrin faces a bleak new future on her own, uncovering the dark half of the sister she thought she knew.

In this play, somewhat reminiscent of an episode of the new Battlestar Galactica, clone sisters Merrin Cally and Skate Cally are teamed up for a top secret scouting mission that needs to operate under a strict radio silence. Skate Cally, having had her uniform ‘sanitized,’ is placed into a space fighter that has also been stripped of insignia and identifying numbers. Meanwhile, Merrin Cally is taken to the bridge of Auron’s carrier flagship. She’s there to communicate everything Skate sees in the mysterious Dancer Cluster, their target. This is an excellent setup for an audio drama, we get both sides of the conversation, vivid description and ripe storytelling. Robert A. Heinlein’s 1957 novel Time For The Stars utilizes this same meme (genetically identical siblings sharing a telepathic bond) and so similar tensions apply – but unlike Heinlein’s adventure, Flag & Flame delivers a message of moral ambiguity. The cast does great work with the tight script, both Callys have distinct voices, and a subtle telepathic modulation tells us which viewpoint we’re in. After hearing this second dramatization set on Auron I have plenty of questions. Presumably these will be filled in with future B7 installments (when one Cally joins up with Blake and the Liberator’s crew).

Cast:
Susannah Doyle SKATE CALLY
Natalie Walter MERRIN CALLY
Michael Cochrane COMMANDER GRESHAM

Posted by Jesse Willis