The SFFaudio Podcast #158 – READALONG: The Syndic by C.M. Kornbluth

April 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #158 – Last week’s podcast was an unabridged reading of The Syndic by C.M. Kornbluth. This week Jesse discusses it with the narrator, Mark Douglas Nelson!

Talked about on today’s show:
SciPodBooks.com, the SciPodCast, The Syndic by C.M. Kornbluth, The City At World’s End by Edmond Hamilton, the virtues of democracy, Oath Of Fealty by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, H. Beam Piper, Space Viking, a wealth of ideas, Frederik Pohl, the story as a straw man, Robert A. Heinlein, telepathy, witches, dystopia, utopia, polo played with jeeps (mounted with 50 caliber machine guns), the syndicate vs. the mob, Ireland, Iceland, libertarianism, the Prometheus Unbound review of The Syndic, polyandry, an economy run on alcohol, sex, and gambling, laissez faire capitalism, monopolies, robber barons, taxes vs. shakedowns, “a real mess of a book”, should a society compromise its ideals to save itself?, is the joke on us?, a velvet gloved invisible hand, The High Crusade by Poul Anderson, the children’s crusade, WWII, rule by mob vs. rule by mobsters, Ron Paul, the sustainability of a war based economy need not much concern the arms manufacturer, Isaac Asimov, The City At World’s End has a real plot, disaster stories, new ideas trump big flaws, “writing by the seat of your pants”, space opera, E.E. “Doc” Smith, respect for science and scientists, Farnham’s Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein, The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer, LibriVox.org, Riverworld series, rolling ships, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, the problem of endless series, StarShipSofa, The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman, A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Voyage To Arcturus by David Lindsay, “philosophy, philosophy, philosophy”, it starts with a séance, C.S. Lewis, Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse, Jeeves And Wooster, Leave It To Jeeves, LibriVox’s new funding (from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Orson Scott Card, Harlan Ellison, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, Gregg Margarite, Lone Star Planet by H. Beam Piper, Kevin J. Anderson, Principles Of Economics, iambik audio, Wonder Audio, All Or Nothing by Preston L. Allen, The Tattoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi, Toshiro Mifune, Akira Kurosawa, High And Low, Netflix, Sweet And Lowdown, One O’Clock Jump by Lise McClendon, A Is For Alibi by Sue Grafton, Talents Incorporated by Murray Leinster, goofy, the William Woodsworth Microphone Showdown, do expensive mics make great narrators?

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The City At World’s End by Edmond Hamilton

March 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Produced for SFFaudio Challenge #6, The City At World’s End is terrific audiobook. Part of that’s because Mark Nelson’s narration is super-listenable and the other part is because the novel itself is very keen Science Fiction.

If you’re a Superman fan the plot may remind you of a particular issue of Action Comics (#300) – that’s the one in which Superman travels to the distant future of Earth only discover it emptied of life and with a giant red Sun in its sky. Indeed, the similarities between the two tales would be very eerie were it not for the fact that both were written by Edmond Hamilton!

I’m halfway through The City At World’s End and am really enjoying it. The prejudices, assumptions, and attitudes of the townsfolk are all vintage 1950, but the idea quotient is very high. Hamilton has thought through a lot of the problems he makes his characters face. If you’re familiar with Robert A. Heinlein’s Farnham’s Freehold, in which a family is transported into Earth’s future, you’ll find The City At World’s End to be a kind of macroscopic version of that – and both novels start with a really big, and highly unnatural, bang.

Or, if you’re looking more contemporaneously, you could think of The City At World’s End as a kind of highly inverse version of Terra Nova (because they go forward in time not back, and what was bad on TV is actually good in the audiobook). I highly recommend you give The City At World’s End a listen!

Galaxy Novel - City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton

The City At World’s End
By Edmond Hamilton; Read by Mark Nelson
21 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 7 Hours 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: March 20, 2012
The pleasant little American city of Middletown is the first target in an atomic war – but instead of blowing Middletown to smithereens, the super-hydrogen bomb blows it right off the map – to somewhere else! First there is the new thin coldness of the air, the blazing corona and dullness of the sun, the visibility of the stars in high daylight. Then comes the inhabitant’s terrifying discovery that Middletown is a twentieth-century oasis of paved streets and houses in a desolate brown world without trees, without water, apparently without life, in the unimaginably far-distant future.

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/6121

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Here’s the |PDF|.

And for people like me I’ve also made a single giant 7 hour |MP3| version – which you can download from our server. It’ll be especially useful for iPod users as it has art, is tagged “Audiobook”, and is also checked with “remember playback position.” Even better it has been volume adjusted. Let me know if you like it!

Cover and illustrations from the appearance of The City At World’s End in Startling Stories, July 1950:

Startling Stories, July1950 COVER - The City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton

Startling Stories, July 1950 Table Of Contents (includes The City At World's End)

The City At World's End - from Startling Stories, July 1950 - Page 11

The City At World's End - from Startling Stories, July 1950 - Page 13 and 14 combined

The City At World's End - from Startling Stories, July 1950 - Page 13 and 14 combined

More covers:

Fells - City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton

Fawcett - City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton

CREST - City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton

Ballantine - City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton

And one more image, from the cover of Urania:

Urania #386

[Thanks also to DaveC, Barry Eads, and Gerard Arthus]

Posted by Jesse Willis

SFFaudio Challenge #6

November 11, 2011 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

The SFFaudio Challenge Number SixTHE CHALLENGE:
This is our 6th Annual SFFaudio Challenge. Every November 11th, for the last six years, we’ve offered the following challenge to SFFaudio readers:

“We’ll give you an audiobook if you make one for everyone else.”

That deal still holds. We’ll get you an audiobook if you make make an audiobook out of one of the public domain etexts we suggest. All you’ll need to do is claim a title (by email), record the audiobook, using your own human voice (sorry no robots), and follow the rules (see the first comment of this post for the rules). Some titles will not be public domain in all countries, but this is a global challenge. We’ve also added, for the very first time, a French language title!

Still feeling a little unclear on how it all works? Then have a look at our past SFFaudio CHALLENGES:

|OUR FIRST CHALLENGE|
|OUR SECOND CHALLENGE|
|OUR THIRD CHALLENGE|
|OUR FOURTH CHALLENGE|
|OUR FIFTH CHALLENGE|

PRIZES:
Tantor MediaThis year we’re doing something a bit different with prizes, something better. Instead of offering those unwieldy physical copies we’ve got DRM-FREE MP3 downloads for you! This not only saves us on postage it also allows for a much greater selection of audiobooks! For each audiobook you complete, you can choose one of more than 1,300 titles available! All prizes this year come courtesy of Tantor Media.

CHALLENGE TITLES:
The Friendly Demon (aka The Devil Frolics With A Butler) by Daniel Defoe |HORRORMASTERS|PDF| (short story)

Seventh Victim by Robert Sheckley |PDF| (short story)*

CLAIMED BY CAINE DORR NOVEMBER 12, 2011

Untouched By Human Hands (aka One Man’s Poison) by Robert Sheckley |PDF| (short story)*

Writing Class by Robert Sheckley |RTF| (short story)*

CLAIMED AND COMPLETED BY WILLIAM COON (of Elquoent Voice) ON NOVEMBER 13, 2011

The Purple Cloud by M.P. Shiel |GUTENBERG| (novel)

City At World’s End by Edmond Hamilton |ARCHIVE.ORG| (novel)

The Common Man by Mack Reynolds |GUTENBERG| (short story)

The Ship Of Ishtar by A. Merritt |GUTENBERG AUSTRALIA| (novel)

Supernatural Horror In Literature by H.P. Lovecraft |WIKISOURCE|GUTENBERG AUSTRALIA| (essay)

Almuric by Robert E. Howard |WIKILIVRES|GUTENBERG AUSTRALIA| (novel)

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell |GUTENBERG AUSTRALIA| (novel)

Animal Farm by George Orwell |GUTENBERG AUSTRALIA| (novel)

Empire by Clifford D. Simak |GUTENBERG| (novel)**

CLAIMED BY BILL KIRBY ON JANUARY 3, 2012

The Great Potlatch Riots by Allen Kim Lang |GUTENEBERG| (short story)

The Dominion In 1983 by Ralph Centennius |GUTENBERG| (30 pages)

Ten From Infinity by Paul W. Fairman |GUTENBERG| (novel)

CLAIMED BY KAREN SAVAGE ON NOVEMBER 11, 2011

No Great Magic by Fritz Leiber |GUTENBERG| (short story)

CLAIMED BY DANIEL GURZYNSKI ON NOVEMBER 21, 2011

The Syndic by C.M. Kornbluth |RTF| (novel)*

CLAIMED BY MARK NELSON ON NOVEMBER 13, 2011

Our first French audiobook:

La Vie Électrique by Albert Robida |GUTENBERG| (novel)

So, who wants to sign up?

[*With special thanks to Rick Jackson of Wonder Publishing for selection advice **This etext was part of SFFaudio Challenge #2, but wasn’t completed]

Posted by Jesse Willis

A 1975 interview with Leigh Brackett

March 12, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

I’ve updated our LEIGH BRACKETT page to include a few new finds – including this cool 1975 interview…

TonyMaklin.NetA 1975 Interview With Leigh Brackett
Interviewer Tony Macklin
1 |MP3| – Approx. 70 Minutes [INTERVIEW]
Provider: TonyMacklin.net
Posted: June 2009
“My interview with author Leigh Brackett took place in Kinsman, Ohio. I drove with my young daughter on a hot, humid, blazing July 1975 day to Leigh’s rural farm house. She was a gracious hostess and introduced us to her husband, fellow science fiction author Edward [sic] Hamilton. A lot of heady imagination was born in that rural locale. I vividly remember Leigh’s making us lemonade to help cool us — it was pure sugar. My teeth still cringe when I think of it. On the way home we stopped in the woods by a lake and took a refreshing dip in the warm water. The whole trip was like a trip to an alien world, where we were welcomed by a fairy godmother.”

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Short Science Fiction Collection 026

February 14, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

He Walked Around The Horses is a kind of story I really like. It’s based on an historical mystery. It follows the logic of the events, if accurate, to their natural, but very exceptional, conclusion. Pleasant Journey is the story of a carnival ride manufacturer’s latest product, which is a kind of virtual reality machine! It’s notable, if only for it’s 1963 vintage.

LibriVox - Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 026Short Science Fiction Collection 026
By various; Read by various
10 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 5 Hours 49 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
Science Fiction is speculative literature that generally explores the consequences of ideas which are roughly consistent with nature and scientific method, but are not facts of the author’s contemporary world. The stories often represent philosophical thought experiments presented in entertaining ways. Protagonists typically “think” rather than “shoot” their way out of problems, but the definition is flexible because there are no limits on an author’s imagination. The reader-selected stories presented here were written prior to 1962 and became US public domain texts when their copyrights expired.

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/short-science-fiction-collection-026.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

LibriVox - The Adventurer by C.M. KornbluthThe Adventurer
By C.M. Kornbluth; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 31 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
For every evil under the sun, there’s an answer. It may be a simple, direct answer; it may be one that takes years, and seems unrelated to the problem. But there’s an answer—of a kind… From Space Science Fiction May 1953.

LibriVox - Death Of A Spaceman by Walter M. Miller Jr.Death of a Spaceman
By Walter M. Miller, Jr; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 38 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
The manner in which a man has lived is often the key to the way he will die. Take old man Donegal, for example. Most of his adult life was spent in digging a hole through space to learn what was on the other side. Would he go out the same way? From Amazing Stories March 1954.

LIBRIVOX Science Fiction - Earthmen Bearing Gifts by Frederic BrownEarthmen Bearing Gifts
By Fredric Brown; Read by Jody Bly
1 |MP3| – Approx. 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
“Mars had gifts to offer and Earth had much in return—if delivery could be arranged!” First published in the June 1960 issue of Galaxy magazine.

LibriVox - The End Of Time by Wallace WestThe End Of Time
By Wallace West; Read by Megan Argo
1 |MP3| – Approx. 55 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
By millions of millions the creatures of earth slow and drop when their time-sense is mysteriously paralyzed. From Astounding Stories March 1933.

LibriVox - He Walked Around The Horses by H. Beam PiperHe Walked Around The Horses
By H. Beam Piper; Read by tabithat
1 |MP3| – Approx. 44 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
This tale is based on an authenticated, documented fact. A man vanished—right out of this world. In November 1809, an Englishman named Benjamin Bathurst vanished, inexplicably and utterly.He was en route to Hamburg from Vienna, where he had been serving as his government’s envoy to the court of what Napoleon had left of the Austrian Empire. At an inn in Perleburg, in Prussia, while examining a change of horses for his coach, he casually stepped out of sight of his secretary and his valet. He was not seen to leave the inn yard. He was not seen again, ever. At least, not in this continuum… From Astounding Science Fiction, April 1948.

LibriVox - History Repeats by George O. SmithHistory Repeats
By George O. Smith; Read by Ric F
1 |MP3| – Approx. 26 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
There are—and very probably will always be—some Terrestrials who can’t, and for that matter don’t want, to call their souls their own… From Astounding Science Fiction May 1959.

LibriVox - The Last Evolution by John W. Campbell Jr.The Last Evolution
By John W. Campbell Jr.; Read by Timo B.
1 |MP3| – Approx. 59 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
First published in AMAZING STORIES, August, 1932. Reprinted in Amazing Stories March 1961.


LibriVox - Pleasant Journey by Richard F. ThiemePleasant Journey
By Richard F. Thieme; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| – Approx. 14 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
It’s nice to go on a pleasant journey. There is, however, a very difficult question concerning the other half of the ticket… From Analog Science Fact & Fiction November 1963.

LibriVox - The Second Satellite by Edmond HamiltonThe Second Satellite
By Edmond Hamilton; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 59 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
Earth-men war on frog-vampires for the emancipation of the human cows of Earth’s second satellite. (A Novelet.) From Astounding Stories of Super-Science, August 1930.

LibriVox Science Fiction - Solander's Radio Tomb by Ellis Parker ButlerSolander’s Radio Tomb
By Ellis Parker Butler; Read by Stephen Phillips
1 |MP3| – Approx. 18 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 13, 2009
“I first met Mr. Remington Solander shortly after I installed my first radio set. I was going in to New York on the 8:15 A.M. train and was sitting with my friend Murchison and, as a matter of course, we were talking radio.” First published in Amazing Stories June 1927, later in Amazing’s April 1956 issue.

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Short Science Fiction Stories Vol. 19

July 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxIt seems LibriVox has started adding a few more credits to its collections starting with this volume. Besides the narrators, this collection was created by the following LibriVox volunteers:

Book Coordinator: Gregg Margarite
Dedicated Proof-Listener: julicarter
Meta-Coordinator/Cataloging: Lucy Burgoyne

Stories new to this collection include:

Stopover by William Gerken. This is a well written but annoying story. It is one of better parapsychology short stories, but that isn’t saying much. John W. Campbell was absolutely obsessed with paraspychological ESP bunk – it makes for very repetitive reading. This story’s setting, in a post-apocalyptic USA, is vivid – and the characters are emotionally realistic -too bad about the ESP crap. Bellona Times, the narrator, has a few missteps in this one – including the reading “psi talents” as “pee-ess-eye talents.”

Something Will Turn Up by David Mason. The beatnik/hippy repairman, and his dialogue, in this tale are a real hoot. It’s more a Fantasy tale than an SF one, but its got a beatnik TV repairman so I’m still happy. Read by Bellona Times again without any serious flaws but with a few little ones here and there. Times snaps his fingers and whistles – which to me is a narrator double no-no. There’s also a word or two improperly read, notably “reversed” read as “reverse.”

The Sargasso Of Space by Edmond Hamilton. This is a fast paced space opera (and mystery) about an interplanetary spacecraft that’s run out of gas. Gregg Margarite continues to kick ass as a narrator. He’s no vocal chameleon but he’s just a few tweaks away from being a pro sounding narrator. He seems to choose some of the better stories too. I think he’s super cool. Maybe he’ll be my friend? That’d be cool.

LibriVox - Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 019Short Science Fiction Stories Vol. 19
By various; Read by various
10 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 4 Hours 41 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 23, 2009
Science Fiction is speculative literature that generally explores the consequences of ideas which are roughly consistent with nature and scientific method, but are not facts of the author’s contemporary world. The stories often represent philosophical thought experiments presented in entertaining ways. Protagonists typically “think” rather than “shoot” their way out of problems, but the definition is flexible because there are no limits on an author’s imagination. The reader-selected stories presented here were written prior to 1962 and became US public domain texts when their copyrights expired.

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/short-science-fiction-collection-19.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Fantastic Universe August/September 1953All Cats are Gray
By Andre Norton; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 23, 2009
An odd story, made up of oddly assorted elements that include a man, a woman, a black cat, a treasure—and an invisible being that had to be seen to be believed. – Under normal conditions a whole person has a decided advantage over a handicapped one. But out in deep space the normal may be reversed—for humans at any rate. First published using Norton’s Andrew North pseudonym in Fantastic Universe Science Fiction, August–September 1953.

LibriVox - Beyond Lies The Wub by Philip K. DickBeyond Lies The Wub
By Phillip K. Dick; Read by Tom Hackett
1 |MP3| – Approx. 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 23, 2009
The slovenly wub might well have said: Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools. From Planet Stories July 1952.

LibriVox - The Gallery by Rog PhillipsThe Gallery
By Rog Phillips; Read by Ted Ryan
– [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 23, 2009
Wherever he went Arthur felt the power behind the lens. – Aunt Matilda needed him desperately, but when he arrived she did not want him and neither did anyone else in his home town. From Amazing Stories January 1959.

LibriVox - The Happy Unfortunate by Robert SilverbergThe Happy Unfortunate
By Robert Silverberg; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 39 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 23, 2009
Dekker, back from space, found great physical changes in the people of Earth; changes that would have horrified him five years before. But now, he wanted to be like the rest—even if he had to lose an eye and both ears to do it. From Amazing Stories December 1957.

LibriVox - The Man Who Saw The Future by Edmond HamiltonThe Man Who Saw The Future
By Edmond Hamilton; Read by Xanderphilips
1 |MP3| – Approx. [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 23, 2009
“Jean de Marselait, Inquisitor Extraordinary of the King of France, raised his head from the parchments that littered the crude desk at which he sat. His glance shifted along the long stone-walled, torchlit room to the file of mail-clad soldiers who stood like steel statues by its door. A word from him and two of them sprang forward.” First published in Amazing Stories, October 1930. Later reprinted in the February 1961 issue of Amazing Stories.

LibriVox - A Matter Of Proportion by Anne WalkerA Matter Of Proportion
By Anne Walker; Read by Dale A. Bade
1 |MP3| – Approx. 37 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 23, 2009
In order to make a man stop, you must convince him that it’s impossible to go on. Some people, though, just can’t be convinced. From Astounding Science Fiction August 1959.

Astounding Stories September 1931Sargasso Of Space
By Edmond Hamilton; Read by Greg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 23, 2009
She was floating along the wreck-pack’s edge. Helpless, doomed, into the graveyard of space floats the wrecked freighter Pallas. From Astounding Stories September 1931.


LibriVox - Something Will Turn Up by David MasonSomething Will Turn Up
By David Mason; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| – Approx. 17 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 23, 2009
Err … maybe it had to do with this being a non-Parity universe, perhaps? Some things can’t be simply inverted, after all… From Analog February 1963.


Fantastic Universe September 1957Stopover
By William Gerken; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| – Approx. 23 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 23, 2009
What will the world be like, the day after Tomorrow, for the lonely ones who will have talents that others will half fear, half envy? William Gerken describes this strange world in which young and old will have to find new values and pursue new dreams, as they search for the answer… From Fantastic Universe September 1957.

LibriVox - Toy Shop by Harry HarrisonToy Shop
By Harry Harrison; Read by Xanderphillips
1 |MP3| – Approx. 10 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 23, 2009
The gadget was strictly, beyond any question, a toy. Not a real, workable device. Except for the way it could work under a man’s mental skin… From Analog April 1962.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Next Page »