New Releases

January 29, 2008 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: New Releases 

New Releases

O’ audiobook, you of your flowing tears, you make me covetous…

Science Fiction audiobook - Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. DickFlow My Tears, The Policeman Said
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Scott Brick
7 Cassettes, 7 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published: January 2008
ISBN: 1433211232 (cassettes), 1433211249 (cds), 1433211256 (mp3-cd)
Pop star Jason Taverner is the product of a top-secret government experiment that produced a selection of genetically enhanced people forty years ago. Unusually bright and beautiful, he’s a television idol beloved by millions—until one day, all records of his identity inexplicably disappear. Overnight, he has gone from being a celebrity to a being a man whom no one seems to recognize. And in a police state, having no proof of his existence is enough to put his life in danger.

This Asaro novel isn’t in the Skolian Empire series, but its tech will be familiar to those who’ve read them…

Science Fiction audiobook - Sunrise Alley by Catherine AsaroSunrise Alley
By Catherine Asaro; Read by Hillary Huber
11 Cassettes, 12 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published:December 2007
ISBN: 1433212994 (cassettes), 1433213007 (cds), 1433213014 (mp3-cd)
When a shipwrecked stranger washed up on the beach near research scientist Samantha Bryton’s home, she was unaware that he was something more than human. He said his name was Turner Pascal—but Pascal was dead, killed in a car wreck. This man only held the remainder of Pascal’s consciousness in a technologically-enhanced humanoid body. He was, in fact, an experiment by the notorious criminal Charon, a practitioner of illegal robotics and android research. Charon has been secretly copying human minds into android brains, with plans to make his own army of slaves. On the run from this most ruthless criminal, Samatha and Turner seek help from Sunrise Alley, an underground organization of AIs and androids that have gone rogue. But these cybernetic outlaws are rumored to have their own hidden agenda.

Below is the third audiobook version of The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, the first being a very abridged reading by Robert Vaughn, the second, released through Recorded Books in 1999, was read by George Wilson.

Science Fiction audiobook - The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert A. HeinleinThe Cat Who Walks Through Walls
By Robert A. Heinlein; Read by Tom Weiner
9 Cassettes, 10 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published: December 2007
ISBN: 1433212901 (cassettes), 1433212918 (cds), 1433212925 (mp3-cd)
When a stranger attempting to deliver a cryptic message is shot dead at his dinner table, Ames is thrown headfirst into danger, intrigue, and other dimensions where Lazarus Long still thrives, where Jubal Harshaw lives surrounded by beautiful women, and where a daring plot to rescue the sentient computer called Mike can change the direction of all human history.

“Swashbuckling adventure, science fiction, betrayal and a bit of romance… no leprechauns and no fairies, and absolutely no apprentice wizards.” – Check out the trailer for this novel on Eoin Colfer’s website

Airman by Eoin ColferAirman
By Eoin Colfer; Read by John Keating
CDs – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: December 26, 2007
ISBN: 0739359746
In the 1890s Conor and his family live on the sovereign Saltee Islands, off the Irish coast. Conor spends his days studying the science of flight with his tutor and exploring the castle with the king’s daughter, Princess Isabella. But the boy’s idyllic life changes forever the day he discovers a deadly conspiracy against the king. When Conor tries to intervene, he is branded a traitor and thrown into jail on the prison island of Little Saltee. There, he has to fight for his life, as he and the other prisoners are forced to mine for diamonds in inhumane conditions. There is only one way to escape Little Saltee, and that is to fly. So Conor passes the solitary months by scratching drawings of flying machines on the prison walls. The months turn into years; but eventually the day comes when Conor must find the courage to trust his revolutionary designs and take to the skies.

This 1983 Koontz novel has elements from John Carpenter’s version of The Thing, and the “shoggoths” envisioned in the works of H.P. Lovecraft…

Phantoms by Dean KoontzPhantoms
By Dean Koontz; Read by Buck Schirner
12 CDs – 15 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: January 2008
ISBN: 9781423339267
They found the town silent, apparently abandoned. Then they found the first body strangely swollen and still warm. One hundred fifty were dead, 350 missing. But the terror had only begun in the tiny mountain town of Snowfield, California. At first they thought it was the work of a maniac. Or terrorists. Or toxic contamination. Or a bizarre new disease. But then they found the truth. And they saw it in the flesh. And it was worse than anything any of them had ever imagined…

The King of modern horror, Stephen King, writes again…

Duma Key by Stephen KingDuma Key
By Stephen King; Read by John Slattery
18 CDs – 23 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publisher: January 2008
A terrible accident takes Edgar Freemantle’s right arm and scrambles his memory and his mind, leaving him with little but rage as he begins the ordeal of rehabilitation. When his marriage suddenly ends, Edgar begins to wish he hadn’t survived his injuries. He wants out. His psychologist suggests a new life distant from the Twin Cities, along with something else…

Somehow we missed this classic in the fall releases…

Cat's Cradle by Kurt VonnegutCat’s Cradle
By Kurt Vonnegut; Read by Tony Roberts
6 CDs – 7 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: HarperAudio
Published: November 2007
ISBN: 9780061135200
Cat’s Cradle is Vonnegut’s satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet’s ultimate fate, it features a midget as the protagonist; a complete, original theology created by a calypso singer; and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and hilariously funny.

Here’s a podiobook that sound promising…

Beautiful Red by M. Darusha Wehm Beautiful Red
By M. Darusha Wehm; Read by M. Darusha Wehm
23 MP3 Files (Podcast) – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Podiobooks.com
Published: 2007 – 2008
The future is boring. Technology has solved the world’s most pressing problems, leaving people with tedious work and mundane play. Jack is a Security Officer Class 5, which sounds important, but isn’t. However, her banal life as a cubicle worker by day and tinkerer by night is interrupted when she discovers that her employer’s computer system has been invaded.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Three MP3s of panels from The 59th World Science Fiction Convention

January 6, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Millennium Philcon (the 2001 World Science Fiction Convention)The Millennium PhilCon (the 2001 World Science Fiction Convention) ran from August 30, 2001 – September 3, 2001 in Philadelphia, PA. The Millennium PhilCon was “an interesting, fun, five days of panels, dialogues, game shows, readings and a few surprises along the way.” If you missed it you can still attend a few panels via these MP3 archives:

The Science We Don’t Understand
Panelists: Catherine Asaro, John Ashmead, John G. Cramer (M), Howard Davidson, Dave Kratz
|MP3| – 50 minutes [CONVENTION PANEL]
CONVENTION: WorldCon #59
HELD: Saturday September 1st 2001 – 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Science usually focuses on new discoveries and new understanding. But what have we left out? Where are the holes in our knowledge? What are the things we DON’T understand in physics, astronomy, biology, and mathematics?

So What Happened to Clavius Base? Why 2001 Is Nothing Like 2001
Panelists: Stephen Baxter, Michael F. Flynn, Daniel Hatch, Tim Kyger (M), Geoffrey A. Landis
|MP3| – 60 minutes [CONVENTION PANEL]
CONVENTION: WorldCon #59
HELD: Saturday September 1st 2001 – 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Panel discussion of the lack of 2001: A Space Odyssey in the actual year 2001.

The Phlogiston Belt: Changing Science And The Hard SF Writer
Panelists: Stephen Baxter, Jack McDevitt (M), Derryl Murphy, Larry Niven, Stanley Schmidt
|MP3| – 50 minutes [CONVENTION PANEL]
CONVENTION: WorldCon #59
HELD: Sunday September 2nd 2001 – 2:00pm -3:00pm
Hard SF writers discuss the troubles and challenges of seeing real science invalidate their stories. Of particular focus are stories about the Solar System and atomic physics.

New Releases: A Century of Science Fiction, an unabridged narrat…

November 15, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: New Releases 

New Releases

A Century of Science Fiction, an unabridged narrated history of science fiction film and television, Request Audiobooks
This looks interesting… from the description: “Here are the details of some of the most well known science fiction films and television series ever created: A Trip To The Moon, The Day The Earth Stood Still, The War of The Worlds, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes, Aliens, Star Wars, Star Trek, and many more. Listen to the recapitulations of sci-fi voyages from the men and women who realized these fantasies. With interviews and sound bites from their films, William Shatner, Samuel L. Jackson, Stephen Spielberg, and Kevin Costner, along with Liam Neeson, Denzel Washington, Raquel Welch, Orson Welles, just to name a few, speak of their excursions into strange, new worlds…”

Eye for Eye by Orson Scott Card, read by Stefan Rudnicki, Unabridged, Request Audiobooks
Here’s an audio version of Orson Scott Card’s Hugo Award-winning novella Eye for Eye.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, read by Christopher Hurt, Unabridged, Blackstone Audio
Ray Bradbury’s classic novel about a fireman whose job it is to burn books. Click here for an audio sample.

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin, read by John Lee, Unabridged, Random House Audio
Book 4 in the A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series by George R.R. Martin. Been waiting for this one… It’s also available at Books on Tape in library binding. Yay! Listen to excerpt oneListen to excerpt two.

The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells, read by Jonathan Kent, Unabridged, Tantor Media
A classic H.G. Wells novel from Tantor Media, the fine folks who brought us Edgar Rice Burroughs on audio.

King Kong by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper, read by Stefan Rudnicki, Unabridged, Blackstone Audio
This is a novelization of the original King Kong script, and includes commentary by Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, Orson Scott Card, Harlan Ellison, Larry Niven, Catherine Asaro, Jack Williamson, and Marc Zicree. Click here for an audio sample.

March Upcountry by David Weber and John Ringo, read by Stefan Rudnicki, Unabridged, Blackstone Audio
A novel by two masters of military SF – click here for an audio sample.

Master of Dragons by Margaret Weis, read by Suzanne Toren, Unabridged, Audio Renaissance
This is the third novel in a trilogy written by Margaret Weis, who is half of the Weis-Hickman team that wrote many popular epic fantasy novels in the Dragonlance series. Click here for an audio sample.

Run for the Stars by Harlan Ellison, read by the Author, Unabridged, Request Audiobooks
A new (to audio) story by Harlan Ellison. That alone makes it a must-have!

Star Wars: Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno, read by Jonathan Davis, Abridged, Random House Audio
Star Wars! I continue to be impressed with the richness of the Star Wars line of audio novels. Jonathan Davis is the perfect reader, and the production quality is first rate.

The Unnameable: Four Tales by H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft, Read by David Cade, with music by Paolo Barzini, Unabridged, Tales of Orpheus
Contains: “The Book”, “The Music of Erich Zann”, “The Cats of Ulthar”, and “The Unnameable”

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, read by Maxwell Caulfield, Unabridged, Request Audiobooks
The original War of the Worlds novel.

And from Escape Pod in the past month:
“The Death Trap of Dr. Nefario” by Benjamin Rosenbaum, read by Chris Miller with Stephen Eley
“The Great Old Pumpkin” by John Aegard, read by Stephen Eley
“Iron Bars and the Glass Jaw” by Jeffrey R. DeRego, read by Jonathan Sullivan
“The Ludes” by Lisa M. Bradley, read by Stephen Eley
“Mount Dragon” by Vera Nazarian, read by Stephen Eley

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Review of The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro

November 9, 2005 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobooks - The Quantum Rose by Catherine AsaroThe Quantum Rose
By Catherine Asaro, read by Anna Fields
1 CD (MP3) – 13 ½ hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published: 2004
ISBN: 0786186232
Themes: / Science fiction / Fantasy / Romance / Space opera / Telepathy /

I’ve always been a big fan of math. I like the chumminess of commuting, associating, and distributing; the edginess of integrating by parts; and the sharp antiseptic sting of differentiating exponentials. In The Quantum Rose, Catherine Asaro brings the robust methodology of a table of cosines to romantic space opera. Like a seasoned mathematics professor, she begins by defining the variables: A fantastically beautiful heroine; her strong, handsome but brutish betrothed; and a mysterious stranger who takes a sudden interest in the heroine. She then lays out the equations for us: fear, mutual need, and strange loyalty between her and the betrothed; fear, mistrust, sexual attraction, and a hidden wound that must be healed between her and the stranger. From there, she manipulates the terms using standard algebraic operations such as nudity, well-meaning ignorance, revenge, treachery, self-sacrifice for the greater good, declarations of undying love, and first time sex so amazing it humbles those of us with decades of experience.

Asaro’s story-solving skills are honed to such an atom-splitting edge that only halfway through the book, she derives the main quantity of interest: True love. Not satisfied with so straightforward a proof, however, she dashes diligently on to lead us through a desperate, if leisurely (and admirably bloodless), rescue of an exiled royal family halfway across the galaxy. It’s all quite rigorous.

Never does Asaro skip a step. In fact, for the elucidation of the reader, she will often review a step several times to ensure we’ve understood each point before moving on to the next. She also provides enlightening chapter headings, which contain both a plain English title and a subtitle composed from quasi-quantum mechanical terms (for those hopelessly muddled by such clever cryptology, I’ll provide a clue: Substitute the word “person” for “particle” in these subtitles, and you’ll crack the code for over half of them). Thus, we are duly apprised of all developments well before they occur in the text. As a final touch, Asaro has defined most of the significant variables to be empaths or telepaths, which means we are never in doubt of what anyone in the story is thinking or feeling unless some misunderstanding is required by the plot.

Anna Fields adds to the proceedings by reading the text out loud for us. As an intriguing counterpoint to Asaro’s linear clarity, Fields adds a note of mystery by using female character voices that are quite similar to one another and by occasionally using the voice of one lead male to deliver the dialog spoken by another. The drunken mutter she maintains for the most prominent male throughout the entire length of the book also tends to soften the hard edges of understanding that sometimes seem too prominent for comfort.

The most exciting aspect of this audio book, however, is the medium it is recorded on. That MP3 technology allows nearly 14 hours of spoken text to be recorded on a single, handy CD is like a divine response to listeners’ prayers. There is only one nicely packaged jewel box to open–no snarling tapes nor floppy CD sleeves that produce obligingly but accept only grudgingly, the sound quality is excellent, and the production is clean. Maybe someday I will have the opportunity to actually enjoy an audio book in this format.

Posted by Kurt Dietz

Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction

June 27, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

I just stumbled across a very nice resource – Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction is a television show based in Arlington, VA. They have interviewed a number of science fiction authors, and they have archives going back to 2003 so you can listen to (or watch – each interview is available in MP3 audio format or compressed video format) at your leisure.

The following interviews are currently available: Orson Scott Card, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis, Neil Gaiman, Patricia Wrede, Elizabeth Massie, Laura Anne Gilman, Susanna Clarke, Jasper Fforde, China Miéville, Cortney Skinner, Kim Stanley Robinson, Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, Tamora Pierce, Nalo Hopkinson, Jack Williamson, Terry Pratchett, Karl Kofoed, Margaret Weis, Laurell K. Hamilton, Garth Nix, Roger MacBride Allen, Donna Andrews, Catherine Asaro, Robert Jordan, Will Ludwigsen, and Mindy Klasky.

Click here for their archives!

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