Science Channel: Prophets Of Science Fiction: Philip K. Dick (video docu/bio/futurology something)

January 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Paul Verhoeven (filmmaker), Ridley Scott (filmmaker), Roberto Orchi (filmmaker), Kim Stanley Robinson (writer), Matt Fraction (writer), Gregg Rickman (biographer), Michio Kaku (purveyor of futuorology), André Fenton (neuroscientist), David Brin (“Futurist”), and Brad Barker (surveillance corporate guy) are consulted for the Science Channel’s Prophets Of Science Fiction: Philip K. Dick episode. The narration tying all the interview snippets together is performed by Jonathan Adams.

I disliked this program very much. Now the 1994 BBC Arena documentary wasn’t spectacular either, but at least it focused on talking to the people who knew Dick and the man’s ideas. The Science Channel consults with some of the folks who knew Dick or wrote about him, but in trying to make the case that Dick was predicting (or prophesying) the future they’ve made crap. I don’t even know what to call it. Is this a docudrama? A biographical video? Some bit of video retro-futurology?

Philip K. Dick stories aren’t about virtual reality or surveillance, not any of the one’s I’ve read anyway. What they do seem to be is epistemological, ethical, and metaphysical explorations of our relationship to the world around us. Dick’s tales certainly have used fictional technologies to conduct their thought experiments, but the question of whether these technologies are plausible or not is of no importantance to their plots. The Man In The High Castle isn’t about string theory, it’s a look at history and the way human reality is formed by it. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? isn’t about prophesying human looking robots, it’s about what our responsibilities to the being around us that themselves can feel. At least that’s closer to Dick’s point.

One line of the narration goes:

“Dick’s work explores technology’s impact of on human consciousness.”

I haven’t read that Dick story. Have you?

The technologies Dick employs in his stories are for exploring what’s already going on in us, not what will go on when we develop such-and-such a technology.

I see that Prophets Of Science Fiction has also done a show on Arthur C. Clarke, I suspect that that one will fit the title better.

Oh, and the beard on the actor playing the adult Dick was shit.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #130 – READALONG: Human Man’s Burden by Robert Sheckley

October 17, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #130 – Scott, Jesse, Tamahome and Jenny discuss Human Man’s Burden by Robert Sheckley.

Talked about on today’s show:
uppity damn robots, hilarious characterization, soulless robots, Galaxy Magazine September 1956, Star Trek, Harry Mudd, Sears Roebuck catalogues, freeze dried vs. flash frozen, Kiln People by David Brin, The Twilight Zone episode “The Lonely“, robot wives, manufactured fingernails, center of gravity, “could she have been a robot?”, Gunga Sam the foreman robot, duenna is Portuguese for chaperone, Gunga Din, the Writing Excuses podcast with Lou Anders, HuffDuffer, John Scalzi, Casablanca, The Dark Knight, Edward Flaswell, “Sure pal. Sure.”, Frontier Bride, mail order bride, freeze dried preacher, programmed by “a human supremacist of the most rabid sort”, was Flaswell talked into feeling bad, what is the Human Man’s Burden?, is it all a marketing ploy?, The Mote In God’s Eye, the Gold Rush, why is the combustion god?, “Him strong him good, believe me brothers, it is even as I say.”, Rudyard Kipling poem’s The White Man’s Burden, the justification for empire, satire, the page 99 illustration, labeling people, ultra deluxe model bride, “oil glistened on their honest faces”, Tama can prove the robots are having sex, “in their carefree robot fashion”, a series of robots on the moon ordering from Sears Roebuck catalogues (15 F&SF covers by Mel Hunter), Charles van Doren, face-parts, “the robot frontier”, Asteroids in fiction (Wikipedia entry), TZ ep.: “Two“, Dumb Martian by John Wyndham, TZ ep.: “The Lateness Of The Hour“, android vs. gynoid, Firefly, Gunga Sam knows best, Sheila was down-selling herself, this is a feminist story?, Human Man’s Burden could be a cartoon, Kindles/Xboxes/Wiis/PS3s are sold as cheaply as possible because of the profit being in the media they play, iTouch vs. iPhone, free robots in our homes selling moon makers and solidovisions, nesting dolls, Human Man’s Burden probably isn’t public domain, Psycho by Robert Bloch, The Status Civilization, Seventh Victim, Mindswap, Warrior Race, The Space Merchants, Blackstone Audio, Charles Stross, Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan.

ISFDB publication history for Human Man’s Burden HERE.

Human Man's Burden by Robert Sheckley - Page 95 - Galaxy Science Fiction magazine, September 1956

Human Man's Burden by Robert Sheckley - ilustration by Weiss

Sears Roebuck Ordering Robot - Art by Mel Hunter

Posted by Jesse Willis

Lightspeed Magazine: Bubbles by David Brin (narrated by Harlan Ellison)

September 13, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Lightspeed MagazineThe September 2011 issue of Lightspeed Magazine (issue #16) features a reading by one of the finest narrators around, Harlan Ellison! There’s also a text interview with the author, David Brin |HERE|. Asked what inspired the story Brin sez:

“Most of the universe is the regions between galaxies, yet no stories are ever set in that vast emptiness. I like a challenge.”

And based on this you might suspect, rightly, that the plot tries to answer a problem in physics.

Lightspeed Magazine - Issue 16 - September 2011Bubbles
By David Brin; Read by Harlan Ellison
1 |MP3| – Approx. 37 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Lightspeed Magazine
Podcast: September 2011
“Most of the universe is the regions between galaxies, yet no stories are ever set in that vast emptiness. In “Bubbles” by David Brin, we get to know Serena, a lonely entity traveling the space between galaxies.” First published in a 1987 anthology, The Universe edited by Byron Preiss.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #060

May 31, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts, Recent Arrivals 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #060 – Jesse and Scott talk about recently arrived audiobooks!

Talked about on today’s show:
Roger Ebert’s review of The Human Centipede, BoingBoing, World Horror Convention 2008, Salt Lake City, how the horror genre has changed, Hater by David Moody |READ OUR REVIEW|, anti-Americanism, Your Movie Sucks by Roger Ebert, Awake In The Dark by Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert’s review of Reservoir Dogs, recent arrivals, Tantor Media, The Horror Stories Of Robert E. Howard, Pigeons From Hell, Worms Of The Earth, The Cairn On The Headland, I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells, Dexter as a teenager, Columbine by Dave Cullen |READ OUR REVIEW|, the Writing Excuses Podcast, LUTE Brigham Young University, Mr. Monster by Dan Wells, The Eerie Silence by Paul Davies, science, SETI, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: Goodreads.com, social networking that works, Beowulf by Anonymous, Seamus Heaney‘s translation, The Epic Of Gilgamesh BBC Audio Drama, RadioArchive.cc, City Of Dragons by Kelli Stanley, the Bish’s Beat blog, private investigation, San Fransisco, The Spanish Civil War, Brilliance Audio, High Deryni by Katherine Kurtz, The Tales Of Dying Earth, Rhialto the Marvelous by Jack Vance, Seeing Ear Theatre, The Moon Moth by Jack Vance |READ OUR REVIEW|, social science fiction, Tale Of The Thunderbolt by E.E. Knight, vampires, alien invasion, The Space Vampires by Colin Wilson, Lifeforce, Vampires by John Steakley, what Steakley is doing with his novels (examining one small aspect of violence), The Guns Of August by Barbara Tuchman, Heist Society by Ally Carter, Luke Burrage’s review of Robert J. Sawyer’s Calculating God on the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, WWW: Watch by Robert J. Sawyer, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, the Nebula awards, reading the Hugo nominees, Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast by Eugie Foster |READ OUR REVIEW|, Lawrence Santoro, Eros Philia Agape by Rachel Swirsky, Blackstone Audio, Enchantment by Orson Scott Card, Stefan Rudnicki, Sleeping Beauty, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: Snow Glass Apples by Neil Gaiman, Snow White And the Seven Dwarfs, Bebe Neuwirth, The Dreaming blog, Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman, Nadya by Pat Murphy, werewolves, Poland, California, 19th century, Rachel In Love by Pat Murphy, Vampire Zero by David Wellington, civil war, The Bradbury Report by Steven Polansky, The Island, did Ray Bradbury write a cloning story?, what’s the best cloning novel you’ve ever read?, cloning doesn’t really live in fiction, Surrogates, Kiln People by David Brin, Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh, Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm, Mimic by Donald A. Wollheim, Red Dwarf is a great hard Science Fiction series!, “what’s the best cloning novel?”, Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth, Bronson Pinchot, “shadowy conspiracy” = “secret secret”, The Bradbury 13 by Ray Bradbury, radio drama, The Hitch-hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy isn’t audio drama’s best exemplar (The Bradbury 13 is), City Of Truth by James Morrow, satire, religion, The Invention Of Lying, This Is The Way the World Ends by James Morrow, PaperbackSwap.com, Dan Carlin’s Common Sense podcast, oligarchy, talking points, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Obamacare, “-gate” is not a suffix meaning scandal, the difference between English and French, words map the world, words are the magic in our world, ZBS Foundation, Dinotopia: The World Beneath (audio drama), Yuri Rasovsky, a kid who doesn’t like dinosaurs?, Blake’s 7: The Early Years: Zen: Escape Velocity, Robin Hood, Zen and the Liberator is like Blake’s Sherwood Forest! Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski’s City Of Dreams.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #057

May 3, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #057 – Jesse and Scott talk about the recently arrived audiobooks

Talked about on today’s show:
Penguin Audio, Stephen King, Brian Murphy of The Silver Key blog, The Dark Half, The Tommyknockers, Christine, It, reading all of Stephen King’s books, Brilliance Audio, Directive 51 by John Barnes, The Stand, Hater by David Moody, “the worst sin that any book can commit”, Angelology by Danielle Trussoni, reading out loud vs. reading in your head, Lost Fleet: Victorious by Jack Campbell, Audible Frontiers, Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks, The Player Of Games, RadioArchive.cc, audio drama, State Of The Art, the GoodReads.com HARD SF group, Hard SF, space opera, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman |READ OUR REVIEW|, the phenomenon of characters named “Jack“, Jack Bauer from 24, Armor by John Steakley, “Jack Crow”, recycling the names of characters, Vampire$ by John Steakley, the hidden history of Jack, why people like 24, Jane Slayre by Charlotte Brontë and Sherri Browning Erwin, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the trend of remixing public domain classics with modern monsters, Dancing On The Head Of A Pin by Thomas E. Sniegoski, “magic sword book, with angels”, The Invention Of Lying, WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Dying Earth: Cugel’s Saga by Jack Vance, The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, The Android In The Iron Mask, Andre Norton, Web Of The Witch World, Year Of The Unicorn, Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein, what is YA (young adult) fiction?, is YA is for adults too?, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow |READ OUR REVIEW|, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Harry Potter, Paul Bishop of the Bish’s Beat blog loves YA books!, would Dirty Harry read YA?, the ability to affect the world, The Science Of Harry Potter, riding on the coattails of another book, the Open Court Presents podcast, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale, Firefly‘s philosophy episode Objects In Space, Hitchcock And Philosophy, Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rope, Anne Is A Man, the Catholic Stuff You Should Know podcast, Dan Carlin’s HardCore History “Show 33 – (BLITZ) Old School Toughness”, Murdoch Mysteries, Corner Gas, Dog River, Saskatchewan, Connie Willis wrote a whole book about bells, Bellwether by Connie Willis, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: Blackout by Connie Willis, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, To Say Nothing Of The Dog by Connie Willis, time travel, Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, reading about books (in books), Castle, fictional fictional characters (a great wikipedia entry), Bones, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy by Hawthorne Abendsen, is Hawthorne Abendsen supposed to be an alternate universe Robert A. Heinlein?, Colorado, “deeply nested fiction”, Ellery Queen, Dr. John Watson, Swords And Deviltry by Fritz Leiber, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Sword Of Sorcery, Blackstone Audio, The Musashi Flex by Steve Perry, Peter David, the Audio Drama Review blog, James Snowe’s review of The Zombie Astronaut’s Frequency Of Fear, W. Ralph Walters, awards, Startide Rising by David Brin |READ OUR REVIEW|, Kiln People by David Brin, Surrogates is “a big-old-fashioned-clunky-80s-action-movie”, Halfway To The Grave by Jeaniene Frost, The Twilight Zone Companion, 2nd Edition by Marc Scott Zicree, King Kong |READ OUR REVIEW|, Orson Scott Card, Dercum Audio, A Dirge For Clowntown by James Powell, Dreamsongs Vol. 1 by George R.R. Martin |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Road To Science Fiction, Science Fiction 101 (aka Worlds Of Wonder) edited by Robert Silverberg, Home Is The Hunter by Henry Kuttner, Honest Roger Belamy, New York, The Monsters by Robert Sheckley, Wonder Audio, Fondly Fahrenheit, Scanners Live In Vain by Cordwainer Smith, Little Black Bag by C.M. Kornbluth, Day Million by Frederik Pohl, perhaps the first ever singularity story, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: Pride Of Baghdad, the second Gulf War, anthropomorphic fiction, Baghdad.

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases

May 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

New Releases

Smoky Mountain Horrors by Weston OchseSmoky Mountain Horrors
By Weston Ochse; Read by Weston Ochse
Audible Download – 4 Hours 47 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Kanigit Media / Audible.com
Published: May 11, 2009
Set mostly in Appalachian country, backwood characters will leave you laughing in pain and gasping in horror. You will learn something new about Weston’s horrific mountain tales every time you listen. They are not for the feint of heart. A collection of short horror stories. Two of the stories available for free HERE.

Tantor - The Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian by Robert E. HowardThe Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian (Book One in the Conan of Cimmeria Series)
By Robert E. Howard; Read by Todd McLaren
14 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – 16 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: June 11th, 2009
ISBN: 9781400112234 (cd) , 9781400162239 (mp3-cd)
Thirteen of Robert E. Howard’s legendary stories starring Conan the barbarian, a swordsman who cuts a swath across the lands of the Hyborian Age, facing powerful sorcerers, deadly creatures, and ruthless armies of thieves and reavers.

Haze
By L.E. Modesitt, Jr.; Read by William Dufris
10 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 11 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: June 25th, 2009
ISBN: 9781400112913 (cd), 9781400162918 (mp3-cd)
A war is about to start between planets in this new science fiction novel by the bestselling author of the Recluce series.

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Book 2 of the Gentleman Bastard series)
By Scott Lynch; Read by Michael Page
20 CDs or 3 MP3-CDs – 25 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: June 4th, 2009
ISBN: 9781400110520 (cd), 9781400160525 (mp3-cd)
In The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch took us on an adrenaline-fueled adventure with con artist extraordinaire Locke Lamora. Now Lynch brings back his outrageous hero for a caper so death-defying, nothing short of a miracle will pull it off.

From Recorded Books’ SCI-FI AUDIO imprint (First quarter 2009 new releases on CD)…

Rollback
By Robert J. Sawyer; Read by George K.Wilson
9 CDs – 10 Hours 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781436186506
Dr. Sarah Halifax earned worldwide fame for deciphering the first alien message received on Earth. Now nearing the end of her days, she learns that, at long last, the reply has come.

Shaman’s Crossing (Book One of The Soldier Son Trilogy)
By Robin Hobb; Read by
16 CDs – 18.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-7968-3
Nevare Burvelle was born to be a
soldier in the Gernian army. But as Nevare’s career takes off, his worldview alters considerably. Corruption and nepotism reign, and now Nevare questions his own ideals, wondering why he continues fighting for the empire.

Fifty Degrees Below
By Kim Stanley Robinson; Read by Richard Ferrone
15 CDs – 18 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-8634-6
When the Gulf Stream stalls, dangerously low temperatures grip the Eastern Seaboard and Western Europe. While multinational corporations attempt to exploit the disaster, humankind’s only hope may be a desperate move to dump millions of tons of salt into the ocean.

Mean Streets
By various; Read by various
9 CDs – 9.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-9217-0
Featuring New York Times best-selling authors Jim Butcher and Simon R. Green, and national best-selling authors Kat Richardson and Thomas E. Sniegoski, Mean Streets offers four novellas from the hottest names in contemporary paranormal suspense. Running the gamut from demons and werewolves to zombies and black magic, these whodunits crackle with otherworldly secrets, making for a noir collection with an extra set of fangs.

Fool’s Experiment
By Edward M. Lerner; Read by George K.Wilson
10 CDs – 11.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781436164849
As a NASA engineer, critically acclaimed author Edward M. Lerner developed a background in science and technology perfectly suited to his fast-paced SF thrillers. In Fools’ Experiments, the military-industrial complex unwittingly unleashes a devastating threat to humanity after government programmers experiment with viruses and worms. But what escapes is no ordinary computer virus, and when the deadly artificial life-form reaches the Internet, humanity’s very existence is at stake.

From Recorded Books’ SCI-FI AUDIO imprint (Second quarter 2009 new releases on CD)…

Forest Mage (Book Two of the Soldier Son Trilogy)
By Robin Hobb; Read by John Keating
22 CDs – 19 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781436179706
Nevare Burvelle has survived major combat and is making a quick recovery from a disease plaguing his fellows in the King’s army. He also believes he is free from the Speck magic that held him under its sway. Now traveling home to rendezvous with his fiancée, Nevare suffers haunting visions and soon realizes that malicious magic still resides within him—and is intent on destroying everything he holds dear.

Brightness Reef
By David Brin; Read by George K.Wilson
20 CDs – 17 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781436179744
Persecuted refugees from six separate alien races have migrated to the idyllic planet Jijo. And despite their incredible diversity, the inhabitants live together in blissful harmony. However, settlement on Jijo is illegal—and it’s only a matter of time before the residents of this forbidden paradise are discovered by the galactic powers-that-be.

Iron Sunrise
By Charles Stross; Read by George Guidall
11 CDs – 13 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781440710575
PlanetMoscow is vaporized by an unnatural star explosion, prompting those who escaped to counterattack the likely culprit—planet New Dresden of the neighboring system.
But New Dresden wasn’t to blame, and as worlds go to war, an unseen enemy labors to destroy the universe itself.

Counting Heads
By David Marusek; Read by Kevin R. Free
13 CDs – 14 Hours 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-8640-7
The debut novel from highly regarded short-story author David Marusek, Counting Heads pushes the limits of the genre. Life in the year 2134 is nearly perfect, with nanotechnology and medical science granting people near immortality. But when Sam Harger is flagged as a terrorist, his powerful wife dies in a plane crash, and his daughter’s cryogenically frozen head becomes a sought-after prize, Sam must fight to save the human race from a secret cabal.

The Fabulous Riverboat (Riverworld Saga, Book 2)
By Philip José Farmer; Read by
10 CDs – 12 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-8636-0
The Fabulous Riverboat tells of a world where all of humanity has been mysteriously resurrected on the banks of one mighty river. Samuel Clemens (a.k.a.MarkTwain) is tasked with finding a fallen meteorite and using its ore to build a massive riverboat. But in order to succeed, he’ll have to outwit some of history’s most nefarious villains.

Into Looking Glass
By John Ringo; Read by L.J. Ganser
10 CDs – 12 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781440710612
When a subatomic physics experiment causes a massive explosion, interdimensional gateways open in Florida—and aliens pour out. Some intend to bring Earth to its knees. Others seem willing to help, but will annihilate the planet if Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Robert Miller can’t stop the menace from spreading.

And from Recorded Books’ new “Mystery” imprint…

The Somnambulist
By Jonathan Barnes; Read by John Curless
9 CDs – 11 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books Mystery
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978143618066-5
Set amidst Victorian London’s seamy, fog-shrouded underworld. Meet Edward Moon, an illusionist and detective who operates solely with the aid of his hulking, mute sidekick.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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