Telling Atwood’s Tale

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

SFFaudio Commentary

Offered here, with small commentary, is a complete listing of the audio editions and adaptations of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale. A note from the Wikipedia entry:

“The [paperbook version of the] novel concludes with a metafictional epilogue that explains that the events of the novel occurred shortly after the beginning of what is called ‘the Gilead Period.’ The epilogue itself is a ‘transcription of a Symposium on Gileadean Studies written some time in the distant future (2195),’ and according to the symposium’s ‘keynote speaker’ Professor Pieixoto, he and ‘a colleague’, Professor Knotly Wade, discovered Offred’s narrative recorded onto thirty cassette tapes. They created a ‘probable order’ for these tapes and transcribed them, calling them collectively ‘the handmaid’s tale’.”

Enotes.com offers a critical analysis of Offred’s experiences in the Republic of Gilead; There, you’ll find an assertion that the novel’s title title – arguing that it’s – a “sexist pun on the word tale/tail” playing off the association with Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and the role that handmaids are forced to play in Gileadean society.

BBC Radio:

BBC RADIO COLLECTION - The Handmaid's Tale [RADIO DRAMA]The Handmaid’s Tale
3 Broadcasts (2 Cassettes) – Approx. 3 Hours [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: 2000
ISBN: 0563553561
Recorded on location in and around New York.

BBC World ServiceOff The Shelf – The Handmaid’s Tale
By Margaret Atwood; Read by Jocelyn Cunningham
fifiteen 15 Minute Episodes – Approx. 3 Hours 45 Minutes [ABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: BBC World Service / Off The Shelf
Broadcast: May-June 1993


BBC Radio 4Book At Bedtime? – The Handmaid’s Tale
By Margaret Atwood; Read by Buffy Davis
10x 30mins or 10x 15mins [ABRIDGED?]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4 / BBC Radio 7?
Broadcast: 1995 / December 2007?


BBC Radio 3English National Opera – The Handmaid’s Tale*
Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood;
1 Broadcast – Approx. 2 Hours 45 Minutes [OPERA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 3
Broadcast: 2003
*Performed for the first time in Copenhagen in 2000.

CBC Radio:

BTC AUDIO - The Handmaids Tale - CBC RADIO DRAMAThe Handmaid’s Tale
Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood; Adpated by Michael O’Brien; Performed by a full cast
2 Broadcasts, 2 CDs – Approx. 1 Hour 43 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio / Sunday Showcase
Broadcast: August 11 and 18, 2002
Publisher: BTC Audiobooks
Published: 2004
ISBN: 0864923414
Cast:
Janey Amos … Cora
Greg Bryk … Guardian
Alex Bulmer … Ofglen #2, Woman being chased
Emma Campbell … Offred
Kim Campbell … Aunt Elizabeth
Richard Clarkin … Nick
John Cleland … Guardian, TV announcer
William B. Davis … The Commander
Shirley Douglas … Aunt Lydia
Michelle Fisk … Rita
Catherine Fitch … Oflgen #1
Donna Goodhand … Serena Joy
Juliana Hayden-Nygren … Daughter
William Johnston … Guide, Guardian, TV announcer
Kim Kuhteubl … Ofjohn, Woman
Richard Lee … Cashier, Tourist, Man who dies, Guardian
Hardee T. Lineham … Doctor
Juno Mills-Cockell … Ofwarren
Rahnuma Pathaky … Woman in gym, Woman, Woman in washroom
Andrew Tarbet … Luke, Guardian
Kristen Thomson … Moira
Diana Tso … Tourist, Woman, Woman greeting
Terry Tweed … Mother

Dramatized by Michael O’Brien
Directed and produced by Ann Jansen
Recording Engineer Joe Mahoney
sound Effects by Wayne Richards and Matthew Wilcott
Mastered by Lloyd Hanson
Introduction by Robbie O’Neill
Original music by Michael White

Audiobooks:

CHIVERS AUDIO - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale
By Margaret Atwood; Read by Joanna David
8 Cassettes – Approx. 10 Hours 15 Minutes Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Chivers Audio
Published: 1985
ISBN: 0745168086
Near the end of the 20th century, birth control and the effects of nuclear fallout have caused fewer births, so the Biblical story of Rachel is invoked to handle the declining birth rate.

DURKIN HAYES - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaids Tale
By Margaret Atwood; Read by Julie Christie
2 Cassettes – Approx. 3 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Listen For Pleasure / Durkin Hayes Audio / dhAudio
Published: 1987 / 1988
ISBN: 0886462142
“A dystopian novel of a world ruled by militaristic fundamentalism in which sexual pleasure is forbidden.”

RECORDED BOOKS - The Handmaids Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale
By Margaret Atwood; Read by Betty Harris
8 Cassetes or 10 CDs – Approx. 11 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: 9781556902161 (cassette), 9781436179850 (cd)
ISBN: 2002
This novel has been described as “a women’s 1984.” As with Orwell’s futuristic thriller, The Handmaid’s Tale is well-written, politically astute, and contains enough reality mixed in with the fantastic to compel and horrify. Although the novel has a feminist perspective, it addresses the universal issues of individual autonomy and freedom.

Posted by Jesse Willis

CBC Radio’s The Mystery Project: Midnight Cab by James W. Nichol

April 28, 2010 by · 13 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Midnight Cab

The 1990s was full of mystery in Canada. Weekday broadcasts on CBC Radio featured more than a dozen detectives in fully dramatized mysteries. This was a result of The Mystery Project. Perhaps the most listened to series under this banner was Midnight Cab, a half-hour mystery show about a 19 year old Toronto cab driver named Walker Devereaux. Here’s what Thrilling Detective has to say about Midnight Cab:

One of the best series airing as part of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s The Mystery Project is Midnight Cab, which was aired in three runs of 13 episodes, 9 episodes, and 13 episodes (making a total of 35 episodes for the series).

The show starred David Ferry as WALKER DEVEREAUX, a young man, rather gullible and naive, from Bear River (north of Lake Superior) who comes to Toronto in order to become an author and winds up driving a cab on the midnight shift. From the start, he keeps running into problems (such as that body that someone left in the trunk of his cab), and he solves the mysteries with the help of his girlfriend, wheelchair-bound Krista Papadopoulos (who dispatches cabs), Alfonso Piatelli (his boss), and Metro Police Inspector Wilfred Kiss (a friendly homicide cop). Each episode is fairly self-contained, but the series builds on its past episodes as well, so we see Walker’s developing relationship with Krista, his coming to terms with the big city, etc.

Here’s the entire run…

Season 1:

DH Audio - PAPERBACK AUDIO - Midnight Cab - The Mystery Of The Blue-Eyed ManSeason 1 – Episode 01 – The Mystery Of The Blue-Eyed Man
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: November 14, 1992
Publisher: DH Audio / Paperback Audio
Published: March 1997
ISBN: 0886469295
Provider: Radio Mensa
On his way to pick up his first fare, Walker finds a body in the trunk of his car.

Season 1 – Episode 02 – The Mystery Of 22 Crier Drive
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: November 21, 1992
Provider: Radio Mensa
Walker Devereaux, a 19-year-old aspiring writer, takes a job driving a cab. Lovable and intelligent by naïve, he stumbles on a succession of mysteries while working the graveyard shift. Unfortunately he is an amateur detective who can’t stop stumbling into trouble on Toronto’s dark side.

PAPERBACK AUDIO - The Mystery Of The Horse-Faced ManSeason 1 – Episode 03 – The Mystery Of The Horse-Faced Man
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: November 28, 1992
Provider: Radio Mensa
Publisher: DH Audio / Paperback Audio
Published: December 1999
ISBN: 0886469856
A street freak gives Devereaux a present that stirs up Alphonso’s past. Where is he hiding out?

PAPERBACK AUDIO - The Mystery Of The Horse-Faced ManSeason 1 – Episode 04 – The Mystery Of The Motherless Child
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: December 5, 1992
Provider: Radio Mensa
Publisher: DH Audio / Paperback Audio
Published: December 1999
ISBN: 0886469856
Julie Swenson comes to Toronto in search of her birth mother, but feels strange about her when they meet. Walker wants to help Julie, but it always seems to be too late.

Season 1 – Episode 05 – The Mystery Of The Falling Man
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: December 12, 1992
Provider: Radio Mensa
Walker Devereaux, a 19-year-old aspiring writer, takes a job driving a cab. Lovable and intelligent but naïve, he stumbles on a succession of mysteries while working the graveyard shift. Unfortunately he is an amateur detective who can’t stop stumbling into trouble on Toronto’s dark side.

Season 1 – Episode 06 – The Mystery Of The Face In The Window
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: December 19, 1992
Provider: Radio Mensa
A strange note appears in the glass donation ball of a mall Santa Claus. Cabbie Walker Devereaux, caught up by more than the spirit of the season, searches for the child who wrote the message and uncovers a much larger mystery.

Season 1 – Episode 07 – The Mystery Of The Child Holding A Dove
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: December 26, 1992
Provider: Radio Mensa
A beaten woman stays over at Devereaux’s. She’s evasive because of an art theft and murder.

Season 1 – Episode 08 – The Mystery Of The Outdoorsman
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 2, 1993
Provider: Radio Mensa
Back in Big River, a chance meeting leads to the truth about Devereaux’s father’s death.

Season 1 – Episode 09 – The Mystery Of The Screaming Woman
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 9, 1993
Provider: Radio Mensa

Season 1 – Episode 10 – The Mystery Of The Drowning Man
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 16, 1993
Provider: Radio Mensa

Season 1 – Episode 11 – The Mystery Of The Friendless Man
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 23, 1993
Provider: Radio Mensa

Season 1 – Episode 12 – The Mystery Of The Vanishing Cab
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 30, 1993
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 1 – Episode 13 – The Mystery Of The Great Escape
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: February 6, 1993
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 2:

Season 2 – Episode 01 – The Mystery Of The Silver Rings
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: December 8, 1993
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

DH Audio - PAPERBACK AUDIO - Midnight Cab - The Mystery Of The Great ManSeason 2 – Episode 02 – The Mystery Of The Great Man
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: December 15, 1993
Publisher: DH Audio / Paperback Audio
Published: January 2000
ISBN: 0886469945
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

DH Audio - PAPERBACK AUDIO - Midnight Cab - The Mystery Of The Great ManSeason 2 – Episode 03 – The Mystery Of The Locked Room
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 5, 1994
Publisher: DH Audio / Paperback Audio
Published: January 2000
ISBN: 0886469945
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 2 – Episode 04 – The Mystery Of The Screaming Kettle
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 12, 1994
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 2 – Episode 05 – The Mystery Of The Lost Child
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 19, 1994
Released: 2009
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com
This time a passenger takes Devereaux for a ride – into murder. A brutal kidnapping went wrong years ago, so two screwups try again on a bone-chilling night in Toronto.

Season 2 – Episode 06 – The Mystery Of The Family Portrait
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3|- Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 26, 1994
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 2 – Episode 07 – The Mystery Of The Red-Headed Man
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: February 2, 1994
Released: 2009
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com
Devereaux’s best friend hooks up with a woman on the run. Can he uncover her dirty, deadly secrets fast enough to stop a killer?

DH Audio - PAPERBACK AUDIO - Midnight Cab - The Mystery Of The Perfect DaughterSeason 2 – Episode 08 – The Mystery Of The Perfect Daughter
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: February 12, 1994
Publisher: DH Audio / Paperback Audio
Published: December 1999
ISBN: 155204629X
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

DH Audio - PAPERBACK AUDIO - Midnight Cab - The Mystery Of The Perfect DaughterSeason 2 – Episode 09 – The Mystery Of The Unsolicited Manuscript
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: February 19, 1994
Publisher: DH Audio / Paperback Audio
Published: December 1999
ISBN: 155204629X
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3:

Season 3 – Episode 01 – The Mystery Of The White-Eyed Cat
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 6, 1996
Publisher: DH Audio / Paperback Audio
Published: July 2000
ISBN: 1552046443
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3 – Episode 02 – The Mystery Of The Unfit Mother
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 13, 1996
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3 – Episode 03 – The Mystery Of The Secret Letters
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 20, 1996
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3 – Episode 04 – The Mystery Of The Long Lost Brother
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: January 27, 1996
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3 – Episode 05 – The Mystery Of The Back Door Key
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: February 3, 1996
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3 – Episode 06 – The Mystery Of The Hidden Man
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: February 10, 1996
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3 – Episode 07 – The Mystery Of The Olde Tyme Piano
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: February 17, 1996
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3 – Episode 08 – The Mystery Of The Angry Son
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: February 24, 1996
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3 – Episode 09 – The Mystery Of The Desperate Man
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: March 2, 1996
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3 – Episode 10 – The Mystery Of The Woman in Black
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: March 9, 1996
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3 – Episode 11 – The Mystery Of The Wounded Poem
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: March 16, 1996
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3 – Episode 12 – The Mystery Of The Laughing Clock
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: March 23, 1996
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Season 3 – Episode 13 – The Mystery Of The Soft-Hearted Man
By James W. Nichol; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: March 30, 1996
Provider: EnteringTheMindsEye.com

Midnight Cab, the novel:

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - Midnight Cab by James W. NicholMidnight Cab
By James W. Nichol; Read by Scott Brick
9 CDs, 8 Cassettes or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 11.7 hrs [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 2005
ISBN: 9780786179923 (cd), 0786130121 (cassette), 0786182016 (mp3-cd)
In what serves as a sort of prequel to the series, Walker arrives in Toronto, intent on tracking down the parents who abandoned him. At the cab company where he works, Walker befriends the night dispatcher, Krista, a pretty, brave young woman. Wheelchair bound but resourceful, she helps him crack the code of his parents’ identity. But the quest to discover his mother’s whereabouts swiftly becomes perilous as Walker finds himself within the deadly grasp of Bobby, a young sociopath who has matured from early cruelty to murderous pleasure.

[via Radio Mensa and EnteringTheMindsEye.com]

Posted by Jesse Willis

P.S. CBC is still sitting on J. Michael Straczynski’s only radio drama series!

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (as read by Nicol Williamson)

January 1, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Here’s an auspicious first post for 2010!

There are several audiobook editions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The most recent production would be the unabridged version for Recorded Books. It’s narrated by Rob Inglis. Prior to that, there was also an abridged DH Audio (Durkin Hayes) production featuring narrator Martin Shaw. It was released in the 1990s. Tolkien recorded a few segments himself, released through Caedmon records and later Harper Audio. The earliest actual audiobook version is also very highly regarded. That’s this one, narrated by Nicol Williamson. It never saw North American distribution. Williamson is going to be familiar to fans of John Boorman’s masterpiece Excalibur (he played Merlin).

ARGO RECORDS - The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Hobbit
By J.R.R. Tolkien; Read by Nicol Williamson
Four 33 1/3 LPs – Approx. 3.5 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Conifer Records / Argo Productions
Published: 1973, 1974
Includes a 7 page booklet. The reading Includes some musical additions.

This is all apropos of some dude uploading it to Youtube (of all places).

Here is Part 1

The rest of the recording is available on a Nicol Williamson fansite |HERE| and |HERE|. For those more inclined to listen to their audio away from their computers, the entire audiobook (in two zipped downloads) is available in the MP3 format |HERE|.

[via The Silver Key, The Cimmerian and If I Only Had blogs]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Reel Stuff edited by Brian Thomsen and Martin H. Greenberg

July 13, 2004 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

The Reel Stuff
Edited by Brian Thomsen and Martin H. Greenberg
Read by Various
6 Cassettes – 9 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
ISBN: 0886465745
Publisher: dhAudio
Published: 2000 [OUT OF PRINT]
Themes: / Science Fiction / Horror / Computers / Memory / Aliens / Urban Legend / Space Travel / Time Travel /

The Reel Stuff is a collection of stories that have been adapted into films. They are all great stories, and this collection has the added attraction of comparing these stories to the films. dhAudio really did a fabulous job with this one. The stories:

Johnny Mnemonic by William Gibson, read by Christopher Graybill
FILM: Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Johnny Mnemonic was published in 1981, a few years before Gibson’s Hugo and Nebula-award winning Neuromancer hit the scene, illuminating the whole Cyberpunk sub-genre. This story is a clear view of that sub-genre as it has all the elements; human/computer interfaces, plenty of violence, and quick-witted characters. In this story, the title character holds a piece of data in his brain that is wanted by some powerful folks who are willing to do plenty to get it. Christopher Graybill does a great job with it.

Amanda and the Alien by Robert Silverberg, read by Colleen Delany
FILM: Amanda and the Alien (1995 – TV)
This tale, by the great Robert Silverberg, is humourous and sexy. The main character is a ditzy teenage girl named Amanda who takes an alien who can morph into anyone it eats under her wing. Definitely a B-movie kind of story, but purposefully so. Colleen Delany performs well, capturing the Amanda character perfectly.

Mimic by Donald A. Wollheim, read by Terence Aselford
FILM: Mimic (1997)
Mimic is a very short tale that reads almost like a documentary about the peculiar ways in which animals hide from other animals. This is then extrapolated in a very spooky way to humans. Terence Aselford didn’t have a heck of a lot to work with here, but he kept it interesting.

The Forbidden by Clive Barker, read by Vanessa Maroney
FILM: Candyman (1992)
Clive Barker drums up some modern mythology here as a female professor explores urban legend among the lower class in London. The story is effective and chilling in the hands of Vanessa Maroney, who navigates Barker’s weirdness as if it were really happening.

We Can Remember It For You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick, read by Terence Aselford
FILM: Total Recall (1990)
Terence Aselford gets another chance in this collection, reading this reality-bender by Philip K. Dick. The main character wants to go to Mars in the worst way, but can’t afford it. The solution? Take a virtual vacation! Have memories implanted so you can “have gone” to Mars. But here, things get complicated when the implantee’s supressed memories surface during the procedure. Dick again manages to leave me wondering what the heck is really real – where exactly is the immovable bedrock? Nothing is sacred in Philip K. Dick’s hands.

Nightflyers by George R.R. Martin, read by Christopher Graybill
FILM: Nightflyers (1987)
Martin here spins a science fiction horror story. Think Psycho meets Lost in Space and maybe you’ll have a feel… a group of people ride on a ship that is controlled by a mystery man who never leaves the cockpit. Christopher Graybill again is impressive in his reading.

Air Raid John Varley, read by Nannette Savard
FILM: Millenium (1989)
Nannette Savard reads a very strange, very affecting story about Earth’s future. In it, humans have evolved just a bit, but the Earth’s biosphere has been destroyed, its people diseased. Varley’s descriptions are vivid and graphic – these people are in a bad way. To keep the species going, they go back in time to retrieve healthy airline passengers, mid-flight, since history shows they are on the verge of fiery death. These passengers become humanity’s hope. Varley is a very affecting writer, and through the main character we experience much. Savard does a great job conveying this to the listener.

Sandkings by George R.R. Martin, read by Richard Rohan
FILM: The Outer Limits: Sandkings (1995)
Simon Kress wants a pet, but something interesting… something out of the ordinary. He finds what he’s looking for when he purchases a group or creatures called sandkings which live in a large terrarium with plenty of sand lining the bottom. They build castles and fight battles. They even worship. And they are endlessly fascinating. Well, they were. Perhaps a little prodding from Kress will end the monotony… This one is my favorite of this excellent collection. Sandkings is original and fascinating, both as a character study of a man with too much comfort and as an exploration of an alien animal species.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson