LibriVox: The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood

April 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Set in the Canadian wilderness, The Wendigo, one of the two very highly regarded Algernon Blackwood novellas (the other being The Willows). This story is credited as being the first major fictional work to introduce the titular creature into the public consciousness.

Having heard this audiobook version I think it would make an incredibly affective audio drama. According to my researches there actually was one, recorded for CBC Radio’s 1970s radio drama series Theatre 10:30, but I’ve not been able to track down a copy.

The audiobook narrator, Amy Gramour, does a very serviceable job telling the tale – though to my ear some of her pronunciation sounds a bit off. But, that may be simply the regional accent as Gramour reports her accent as being “Mainly a South of Boston Massachusetts accent with a Northern Maine influence.”

Here’s a turly choice line, from near the end of the story:

“The legend is picturesque enough,” observed the doctor after one of the longer pauses, speaking to break it rather than because he had anything to say, “for the Wendigo is simply the Call of the Wild personified, which some natures hear to their own destruction.”

The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood
An amazingly potent tale... H.P. Lovecraft

The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood - from Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1944

The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood - from Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1944

The above illustrations come from the June 1944 issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries.

LibriVoxThe Wendigo
By Algernon Blackwood; Read by Amy Gramour
3 Zipped MP3 Files – Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 11, 2011
A hunting party, in the Canadian wilderness, separates to track moose, and one member is abducted by the Wendigo of legend. First published in the 1910 collection The Lost Valley And Other Stories.

Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3| Part 3 |MP3|

Podcast feed:

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[Thanks also to WYSIWYG and TriciaG]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Tantor Media: FREE AUDIOBOOK: Vanishing Act by Thomas Perry

April 17, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Tantor MediaTantor Media is currently offering a FREE MP3 audiobook download of Thomas Perry’s Vanishing Act!

All you’ll need to get it is a Tantor account, which itself is completely free. If you already have one you’re three or four clicks away from getting the zipped folder full of MP3s.

There’s no information on how long this promotion will last, based on similar past freebies I’m betting it’ll be gone by month’s end, so grab it while you can.

TANTOR MEDIA - Vanishing Act by Thomas Perry

Vanishing Act (Book 1 in the Jane Whitefield series)
By Thomas Perry; Read by Joyce Bean
MP3 Download – Approx. 10 Hours 7 Minutes[UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: October 28, 2009
Vanishing Act introduces Thomas Perry’s popular heroine Jane Whitefield, a Native American guide who secretly provides sanctuary to fugitives seeking new identities. In assisting the mysterious former cop John Felker, Jane is drawn into a trap that will take all of her cunning and the knowledge of her ancestors to escape.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Spark #156 – Canada’s Lawful Access Legistlation and Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One

October 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

CBC Radio - SparkMy taxes pay for CBC Radio One’s Spark. I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. Spark is an intelligent and informative radio show that brings me snappy interviews with clever folks who talk about technology and internet-related issues. I also really appreciate that CBC, the manufacturer, doesn’t try to control my sharing my purchase with my friends. Take the latest show, Spark #156, it features an informative discussion of Canada’s upcoming “Lawful Access Legislation” as well as an interview with Ernest Cline, the author of Ready Player One. I know people who care about both topics. And thanks to Spark‘s use of creative commons those segments are available individually, with no EULA, age verification or terms of use garbage to get in the way. Spark just works.

Here’s the complete show:

And here are the two segments I mentioned:
Lawful Access |MP3| Approx. 20 Minutes
Ernest Cline |MP3| Approx. 13 Minutes

Podcast feed:

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

P.S. Sadly, CBC still hasn’t delivered on my purchase of the J. Michael Straczynski radio drama that I paid for! Pay up CBC!

The SFFaudio Podcast #067

July 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #067 – Scott and Jesse talk to Dan Carlin, of the Hardcore History and Common Sense podcasts!

Talked about on today’s show:
Hardcore History, Common Sense, the Rashomon effect, Gilligan’s Island, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, defensive reporting, nuance vs. talking points, BBC, NPR, PBS, Wikileaks, Common Sense Show #179 – GenX Journalism, the Martian political position, comics, What If…, Niall Ferguson, “counterfactual history“, “how different would voting be if there were no money impacting the political system at all?”, the toothless United Nations, the Canadian political system vs. the U.S. political system, the Congress Of Vienna, WWI, WWII, the Napoleonic Wars, the Rwandan Genocide, the Korean War, the Gaza flotilla incident, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq War, unilateral action, Panama, NATO, imagine if the United Nations wasn’t toothless, Wikileaks’ “Collateral Murder” video, Grenada, a “muscular” foreign policy, “air on the side of reality”, Julian Assange, unreleased Abu Ghraib prison video, podcasting, “how cool is it to have an international program?”, Pierre Trudeau, “we live in reaction to you”, U.S. foreign policy, Barack Obama, first contact in Science Fiction, first contact in history, Despoilers Of The Golden Empire by Randall Garrett, Fransisco Pissaro, United States expedition to Korea, “Korea is a dagger, in the hand of China, pointed at the heart of Japan”, Globalization Unto Death, “the hermit kingdom”, Magellan expedition, Steppe Stories, an island off the coast of India, Commodore Perry‘s expedition to Japan, Sid Meier’s Civilization, Civilization (board game), Sparta, the freedom of podcasting.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Mister Ron’s Basement: My Financial Career by Stephen Leacock

July 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

This 100 year old story of a very Canadian bank heist, authored by Canada’s greatest literary humorist, could encapsulate a good part of that elusive Canadian culture we say were always looking for.

My Financial Career by Stephen Leacock, Art by GordRaymer (found in SENSE AND FEELING)

Mister Ron's BasementMy Financial Career
By Stephen Leacock; Read by Mister Ron
1 |MP3| – Approx. 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Mister Ron’s Basement
Podcast: 2005

My Financial Career by Stephen Leacock

When I go into a bank I get rattled. The clerks rattle me; the wickets rattle me; the sight of the money rattles me; everything rattles me.

The moment I cross the threshold of a bank and attempt to transact business there, I become an irresponsible idiot.

I knew this beforehand, but my salary had been raised to fifty dollars a month, and I felt that the bank was the only place for it.

So I shambled in and looked timidly round at the clerks. I had an idea that a person about to open an account must needs consult the manager.

I went up to a wicket marked “Accountant.” The accountant was a tall, cool devil. The very sight of him rattled me. My voice was sepulchral.

“Can I see the manager?” I said, and added solemnly, “alone.” I don’t know why I said “alone.”

“Certainly,” said the accountant, and fetched him.

The manager was a grave, calm man. I held my fifty-six dollars clutched in a crumpled ball in my pocket.

“Are you the manager?” I said. God knows I didn’t doubt it.

“Yes,” he said.

“Can I see you,” I asked, “alone?” I didn’t want to say “alone” again, but without it the thing seemed self-evident.

The manager looked at me in some alarm. He felt that I had an awful secret to reveal.

“Come in here,” he said, and led the way to a private room. He turned the key in the lock.

“We are safe from interruption here,” he said; “sit down.”

We both sat down and looked at each other. I found no voice to speak.

“You are one of Pinkerton’s men, I presume,” he said.

He had gathered from my mysterious manner that I was a detective. I knew what he was thinking, and it made me worse.

“No, not from Pinkerton’s,” I said, seeming to imply that I came from a rival agency.

“To tell the truth,” I went on, as if I had been prompted to lie about it, “I am not a detective at all. I have come to open an account. I intend to keep all my money in this bank.”

The manager looked relieved, but still serious; he concluded now that I was a son of Baron Rothschild or a young Gould.

“A large account, I suppose,” he said.

“Fairly large,” I whispered. “I propose to deposit fifty-six dollars now and fifty dollars a month regularly.”

The manager got up and opened the door. He called to the accountant.

“Mr. Montgomery,” he said unkindly loud, “this gentleman is opening an account. He will deposit fifty-six dollars. Good morning.”

I rose.

A big iron door stood open at the side of the room.

“Good morning,” I said, and stepped into the safe.

“Come out,” said the manager coldly, and showed me the other way.

I went up to the accountant’s wicket and poked the ball of money at him with a quick, convulsive movement, as if I were doing a conjuring trick.

My face was ghastly pale.

“Here,” I said, “deposit it.” The tone of the words seemed to mean, “Let us do this painful thing while the fit is on us.”

He took the money and gave it to another clerk.

He made me write the sum on a slip and sign my name in a book. I no longer knew what I was doing. The bank swam before my eyes.

“Is it deposited?” I asked in a hollow, vibrating voice.

“It is,” said the accountant.

“Then I want to draw a cheque.”

My idea was to draw out six dollars of it for present use. Someone gave me a cheque book through a wicket and someone else began telling me how to write it out. The people in the bank had the impression that I was an invalid millionaire. I wrote something on the cheque and thrust it in at the clerk. He looked at it.

“What! are you drawing it all out again?” he asked in surprise. Then I realized that I had written fifty-six instead of six. I was too far gone to reason now. I had a feeling that it was impossible to explain the thing. All the clerks had stopped writing to look at me. Reckless with misery, I made a plunge.

“Yes, the whole thing.”

“You withdraw your money from the bank?”

“Every cent of it.”

“Are you not going to deposit any more?” said the clerk, astonished.


An idiot hope struck me that they might think something had insulted me while I was writing the cheque, and that I had changed my mind. I made a wretched attempt to look like a man with a fearfully quick temper.

The clerk prepared to pay the money.

“How will you have it?” he said.


“How will you have it?”

“Oh”—I caught his meaning and answered without even trying to think—”in fifties.”

He gave me a fifty-dollar bill.

“And the six?” he asked dryly.

“In sixes,” I said.

He gave it me and I rushed out.

As the big door swung behind me I caught the echo of a roar of laughter that went up to the ceiling of the bank. Since then I bank no more. I keep my money in cash in my trousers pocket and my savings in silver dollars in a sock.

And here is the 1962 National Film Board adaptation:

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #020

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


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

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