Commentary: SFSignal Mind Meld on the best of 2010

December 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Commentary, SFFaudio essential 

SFFaudio Commentary

SFSignal.comJP Frantz, of the wonderful SFSignal blog, recently asked me to participate in their annual year end “Mind Meld.”

Here’s the topic:

Q: What were the best genre-related books, movies and/or shows you consumed in 2010?

Here was my answer:

Audiobooks in 2010:
The year isn’t over yet, and I’m really enjoying the new Brilliance Audio (Audible Frontiers) reading of The Speed Of Dark by Elizabeth Moon. Of the audiobooks I’ve reviewed this year I’m pleased to report the first audiobook released in the Gabriel Hunt series, Hunt: Through The Cradle Of Fear |READ OUR REVIEW|, and it’s bonus short story “Nor Idolatry Blind the Eye” have really scratched the Fantasy Adventure itch that I occasionally get. Another pair of novels released by Blackstone Audio, written by the recently deceased John Steakley, were designated SFFaudio Essentials. As read by the powerful Tom Weiner Armor |READ OUR REVIEW| and Vampire$ |READ OUR REVIEW| make for a very interesting pair of novels – they have multiple character names in common and yet one is Science Fiction (in the tradition of Starship Troopers) and the other is Fantasy (with vampires). Similarly, Full Cast Audio’s unabridged reading of Robert A. Heinlein’s Red Planet is, in my mind, now the definitive telling of the novel. It features a full cast of actors performing the entirety of the novel’s text (minus attributions). This brings the story to life in a way no TV or movie adaptation ever could – it doesn’t change a single golden word. Finally, George R. Stewart’s Earth Abides, available through Audible.com and Brilliance Audio, was perhaps the highlight of my audiobook year. Earth Abides had me reconsidering much of my outlook on life – that’s a powerful piece of SF.

Audio Drama in 2010:
In the audio drama department BrokenSea‘s expansive adaptation of Escape From New York |READ OUR REVIEW| blew my socks off! It’s a hardcore retelling of the movie of the same name with enhancements and inspiration from the novelization of the script. And, as always, the ever dependable Red Panda Adventures |READ OUR REVIEW|, now in it’s fifth season, is ramping up to a wonderful World War II arc – turning Toronto superheroes against the baddest baddies of them all – those evil Nazi scum. 2010 was a very good year for audiobooks and audio drama.

In the 2010 comics department:
I’ve been swept up in Eric Shanower’s epic quest to retell the entirety of the Trojan War in his Age Of Bronze series of graphic novels. I am also currently reading The Walking Dead and enjoying it very much. But I am not yet ready to admit that either The Walking Dead comics or on the TV show are even half as great as the zombie freaky awesomeness in the Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows series Crossed (which I read in the spring). Crossed is one scary good comic. I also thoroughly enjoyed Logicomix: An Epic Search For Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou. It’s kind of about Bertrand Russell and kind of about the only part of philosophy that I am really bad at, natural deductive logic.

Movies and TV in 2010:
The only movies that I’ve seen, worthy of the designation Science Fiction, in 2010, were Moon and Inception. If you made me pick which was superior I’d take Moon over Inception and not just because I root for the underdog. In TV, Spartacus: Blood and Sand turned out to be well worth wading through – it’s 300-style green screen visual effects nearly drowned me, but I stuck with it, and the story and acting paid-off supremely.

You can read it |HERE| along with a bunch of other folk’s own lists.

And, I participated in the 2009 Mind Meld on the same topic too!

Posted by Jesse Willis