Protecting Project Pulp: The Opener Of The Way by Robert Bloch

September 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Opener Of The Way by Robert Bloch - Illustration by Virgil Finlay

Here’s a creepy tale by a then young disciple and contemporary of H.P. Lovecraft. Taking Egyptian mythology as his starting point Robert Bloch delivers a pretty good tale in the style of the master.

Protecting Project PulpProtecting Project Pulp No. 59 – The Opener Of The Way
By Robert Bloch; Read by Simon Hildebrandt.
1 |MP3| – Approx. 42 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Protecting Project Pulp
Podcast: September 9, 2013
A tremendous tale about the dread doom that overtook an archeologist in that forgotten tomb beneath the desert sands of Egypt. First published in Weird Tales, October 1936.

The titular appellation “The Opener Of The Way” has also recently turned attached to a monster named “Allabar” in the Dungeons & Dragons: Monster Manual 3 (which recommends you use it as a “climactic villain”). The TV Tropes entry “D&D Nightmare Fuel” describes this “monster” thusly:

And then there is Allabar, Opener of the Way, the first 4th Edition living star … instead of a face, imagine dozens upon dozens of unblinking eyes, as well as hundreds of rope-like “growths” around its “body.” Think the moon, when it’s nice and big and clear, so you can see all of the faultlines, valleys and craters. Now imagine every faultline and valley is a huge, thrashing tentacle, and every crater, from the biggest to the smallest, is a never-blinking eye. Imagine that floating in the sky above you at night. Staring at you. Hating you.

Allabar, The Opener Of The Way

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Destiny Of Special Agent Ace Galaksi

June 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Destiny Of Special Agent Ace GalaksiMaissa Bessada’s The Destiny Of Special Agent Ace Galaksi is very hard to tell you about. It’d be easy to say the show is just bonkers, but that’d give you the idea that it doesn’t work on a certain level that it really does. The plot is nonsensical, in the way that some of Philip K. Dick’s are. But If I said it was like a Philip K. Dick plot that’d give you absolutely the wrong idea. The Destiny Of Special Agent Ace Galaksi is far more like the Goon Show than PKD.

The Destiny Of Special Agent Ace Galaksi is naive, sharp, amateurish, polished, bizarre, insightful, childish, wise, ridiculous, and hilarious. I’ve been listening to the six half hour episodes over and over for the last three weeks and I still honestly don’t know exactly what to make of it or how even to really describe it – other than to say I like it a whole lot and I want Maissa Bessada to be my friend.

We may have to look at The Destiny Of Special Agent Ace Galaksi as a kind of work of genius, something to marvel at, something to experience. There’s a kind of damn the torpedoes specificity to the details of this show that make it an impossible project to imagine got made. And yet here it is, like a very weird dream come alive, The Destiny Of Special Agent Ace Galaksi seems to have come from an alternative universe.

But I don’t want to scare you off, it a weird experimental audio drama, in fact it’s pretty conventional, and first and foremost it’s a comedy. So let me invite you in.

Think of the great comedic audio dramas: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, The Scarifyers, Steve, The First or Dick Dynamo: The Fifth Dimensional Man.

You’d say yeah, it’s a comedy like those. But then I’d say to you that, unlike Hitchhiker’s, this one’s really zany! Zany on multiple levels. And that, unlike Scarifyers, this one’s a Science Fiction comedy, that it’s really not very much interested in how things are, as much as how they could be! There’s no periodicity to it. And that, unlike Steve, this one, though totally and utterly Canadian, is full of international flavouring! And unlike Dynamo, the titular character is the straight-man to the off-the-rails flowing crazy funny world.

The Destiny Of Special Agent Ace Galaksi is crazier than a patchwork quilt of all of those shows gliding through puffs of time and space.

And although they are really completely and wholly different in every possible way The Destiny Of Special Agent Ace Galaksi reminded me most of was The Adventures of Sexton Blake. It’s not the word play, nor the lunatic pacing, it’s more the characters. And yet, the comparison still falls completely apart.

Indeed, the ears you need to appreciate The Destiny Of Special Agent Ace Galaksi require you to throw out your basic assumptions. They require a paradigmatic shift within you, an unencumbered embrace of the unfamiliar and hilarious, a removal of expectations, an open mind.

The Destiny Of Special Agent Ace Galaksi is an audio drama that cares most about the weird story that it is weirdly telling. It’s really, really fun.

Here’s the official premise:

After a comet of unknown origin crashes through one of God’s recycling piles, a new planet, Traa Laa Laa, forms in the aftermath. Created from a little bit of this and a little bit of that, the beings on that planet have the ability to change shape. It is CSIS special agent Ace Galaksi’s destiny to discover that those shape-changing extraterrestrials have been visiting Earth since time immemorial – and that some of those visitors left artifacts behind. One of those artifacts is as small as a seventy million year old tennis ball, another as big as the great pyramid of Giza. Certain peculiarities about the artifacts lead Ace to some startling discoveries about the very nature of existence. Unfortunately Ace Galaksi’s destiny is unclear as to whether or not he’ll be able to stay ahead of world government plots to ensure he keeps his findings to himself – permanently.

Sez scripter Maissa Bessada:

“After completing the novel version of Ace Galaksi, I realized the work had great potential as an audio play. I re-wrote it as a series of scripts, hired several talented, highly versatile actors and a Juno award winning, retired CBC producer. The show was complete. Fantastic! For about a split – or as those of us with a sci-fi bent would have it – nano-second. Then I realized that having an entertaining, thought-provoking show online wasn’t the end of my work, it was only the beginning. The next challenge was finding an audience for it.

A few weeks ago I was introduced to your podcast. In one episode Scott said in passing, ‘The best audio drama is better than a movie.’ I stopped in my tracks. (I was listening while walking the dog) and told the dog and whatever squirrels and trees that would pay attention, ‘The best audio drama is better than a movie – I couldn’t agree more!’

I’d love for you guys to listen to my show. People that choose to enjoy sci-fi in an audio format – I feel like a stranger in a strange land who has finally found home.”

Teaser |MP3|

Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3| Part 3 |MP3| Part 4 |MP3| Part 5 |MP3| Part 6 |MP3|

Podcast feed:

http://acegalaksi.libsyn.com/rss

Leave a comment, tell me what you think of this show.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #169

July 16, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #169 – Jesse and Luke Burrage (from the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast) talk to audiobook narrator Jonathan Davis.

Talked about on today’s show:
Not the Jonathan Davis of Korn, favourite audiobook narrators, Luke’s real job (juggling), how to become an audiobook narrator (or a professional juggler), acting, theatrical acting, voice over, New York, Testament by John Grisham, Brazil, Portuguese vs. Brazilian Portuguese, Gone For Soldiers by Jeff Shaara, long form narration, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, urban samurais and Aleutian assassins, binaural recording, The Shadow Of The Torturer by Gene Wolfe, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, London, Paris, Iowa City, Thailand, genetic engineering, Japan, accessory dogs, GMO food, graphic sex scenes in mid-juggle, Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis, Zoolander, American Psycho, a 12 page sex scene, Star Wars, Genghis Khan And The Making Of The Modern World by Jack Weatherford, straight readings vs. impersonations, Yoda, Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Luke re-edits Star Wars, alien languages, Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer, When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger, Ian Mcdonald, North Africa, Egypt, Arab Spring, Bedouin, narration styles, straight narration vs. theatrical performance vs. cinematic narration, Michael Caine, scalpel vs. laser, Mike Resnick’s Starship series, voice based books, Star Trek, David Copperfield, Oliver Sacks, The Watchers by Jon Steele, Kirinyaga, The Scar by Sergey Dyachenko and Marina Dyachenko, Starship: Mutiny, Elinor Huntington, existential resonance, Harry Potter, conspiracy, dystopia, Ray Bradbury, Cool Air by H.P. Lovecraft, Starship: Rebel, no research, just fun, language, audiobooks as a collaboration between an author, a narrator and a listener, Walking Dead by Greg Rucka, espionage, comics, Neil Gaiman, Catch And Release by Lawrence Block, Hex Appeal, Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files, studio time, The Book Of The New Sun, “do your homework”, “suddenly revealed to be a Texan”, an Aleutian Rastafarian, Hiro Protagonist, Minding Tomorrow, revealing voices, American Gods, George Guidall, “the perfect audiobook experience”, Woden (aka Odin aka Mr. Wednesday), The Stand by Stephen King, reading with your ears, preferred narration styles, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin, racism, Dune, Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, Johannesburg, South Africa, fantasy fiction shouldn’t have an American accent, Luke’s SFBRP review of The Scar, House Of Suns by Alastair Reynolds, an Arkansas accent, inner monologue vs. dialogue, the Sling Blade voice, Casaundra Freeman, audiobook narration is difficult, learning the characters over a series, George R.R. Martin, A.J. Hartley, Act Of Will, Will Power, working with authors, Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh, Book Of The Road, male and female narration, Gabra Zackman, Jonathan is the infodumper, Full Cast Audio, a one man show vs. theatrical collaboration, Scott Brick, Feyd-Rautha, a Jamaican brogue?, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, do you like computer games?, Max Payne 3, Tron, “that’s my neck fat”, Vladamir Lem, Armando Becker.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #146 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG – Eight O’Clock In The Morning by Ray Nelson

February 6, 2012 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #146 – Eight O’Clock In The Morning by Ray Nelson, read by Gregg Margarite. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (16 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it with Jesse, Gregg Margarite and Ray Nelson himself!

Talked about on today’s show:
This story was suggested by a listener [thanks], Eight O’Clock In The Morning, a terse procedural aspect of the text, Ray is a fan of bare bones writing, alien forks and knives, inspired by flies, a new adaptation of Eight O’Clock In The Morning (on IMDB), John Carpenter’s They Live, occupy wall street, the 1% aren’t just mean, one of the best short story adaptations, Nada = nothing, a traitless character, a modern fable, The Twilight Zone, sowing a distrust of television, “Work Eight Hours, Play Eight Hours, Sleep Eight Hours”, Ray co-wrote The Ganymede Takeover with Philip K. Dick, Gregg likes it, The Ganymede Takeover has been translated 15 times, Ray and Phil are a hit in France, Edgar Allan Poe owes his classical status to Baudelaire, the short story form itself, Again, Dangerous Visions, Hillside School in Berkley, CA, Ray went to school with Philip K. Dick and Ursula K. Le Guin, France, 1950s, Harlan Ellison, Jean Paul Sarte, book smuggling, Henry Miller, Ray gave Phil acid twice, Philip K. Dick’s acid trips (and flashbacks), answers vs. questions, public and private realities, Ray loves radio theatre, the new audio drama, Tim Heffernan, The Drama Pod, The Cosmic Circle on KPFA, live broadcast, live TV, Saturday Night Live, Your Show Of Shows, Mel Brooks, Woody Allan, Larry Gelbart, the last unsafe TV show was Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, anthology series, The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror, Carleton E. Morris, radio drama in Canada, Carleton E. Morris, Prairie Home Companion, appointment radio, X Minus One, Dimension X, Escape, Suspense, I Love A Mystery, BrokenSea’s OTR Swag Cast, The Temple Of The Vampires, Bill Hollweg, The Quantum Door, Gregg gets to be Rod Serling, Jake Sampson: Monster Hunter, Egypt, Texas, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, paperbook publishing is tough, we want ebook and audiobook editions of , iambik.com, $0.30, William Blake, Laser Books, pseudonyms, RayNelson.com, cartoonism, American Window Cleaner Magazine, “Inflate my girl James … the Viagra is kicking in.”, the propeller beanie, Flying Down To Rio, the 1939 Worlds Fair, The World Of Tomorrow, Elektro the smoking robot, Treasure Island, Hitler’s swastika farm at the world’s fair, The Old Beatnik, Herb Caen, how the beatniks got their name, Jack Kerouac, a synchronistic view of the universe, theology, the University Of Chicago, my Edgar Allan Poe drawing, why don’t people draw more often?, every little kid knows how to draw, essay writing, the death of newspapers, the smell of a used bookstore, How To Fuck Like The Stars aka How To Do It, drawing, writing and smuggling pornography, the Wikipedia entry on Ray Nelson, “Push where it gives”, singing black spirituals in a cowboy suit in Paris, Ray “Tex” Nelson aka Tex The Singing Cowboy, Jeffrey Lord’s Richard Blade, Harlequin Books, Slave Of Sarma by Jeffrey Lord (read by Lloyd James), California Ray, Allen Ginsberg, “I wrote verse. I wrote verse and verse as I went along.”, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Howl, the San Fransisco Renaissance, Sex Happy Hippie, Robert Silverberg, Lawrence Block, Donald E. Westlake, Marion Zimmer Bradley, I, Lesbian by Lee Chapman (aka Ray Nelson and Marion Zimmer Bradley), copyright, fanzines, the smell of a mimeograph machine, Ray Bradbury, Clark Ashton Smith, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Weird Tales, H.P. Lovecraft is more like a blogger than a 1950s writer, Farnsworth Wright, Astounding Stories, Pickman’s Model by H.P. Lovecraft, extraterrestrial monsters, cosmic horror, L. Sprague de Camp, H.P. Lovecraft in a dress, flipped his lid, the Fascinators are fascinating, the adaptation of They Live, Frank Armitage, scripting They Live, the sunglasses, the venetian blind glasses, Blade Runner, Total Recall, John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Thing From Another Planet, John W. Campbell, John Carpenter’s music, Roddy Piper doesn’t look like an everyman, the five minute fight scene works great!, Keith David, Seeing Ear Theatre, Tales From The Crypt |READ OUR REVIEW|, Eight O’Clock In The Morning is a kind of Lovecraftian tale, The Lurking Fear, “anything includes everything.”

Eight O'Clock In The Morning by Ray Nelson

They Live - based upon The Story Eight O'Clock In The Morning by Ray Nelson

Got A Light Buddy?
The Children

They Live - Indian poster art

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #139 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Pyramid Of Amirah by James Patrick Kelly

December 19, 2011 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #139 – The Pyramid Of Amirah by James Patrick Kelly, read by James Patrick Kelly. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the short story (16 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it (by Jesse, Tamahome, and James Patrick Kelly himself). Here’s the ETEXT.

Talked about on today’s show:
Call him Jim!, James Patrick Kelly’s FREE READS podcast, “a gift story”, PBS, Mayan temples, ancient Mayan empire, Copán (Honduras), “time passes”, “2,000 words of nothing happening and 200 words of everything changes”, is it Science Fiction or Fantasy?, David G. Hartwell, Katherine Cramer Year’s Best Fantasy 3, 3D TV, the Earstone is the iPod Nano’s successor, Catholicism, religion, it’s a Horror story, sacrificial victims who volunteer, is Amirah hallucinating?, David Hume on miracles, take a miracle and make it a recipe, Memphis (Egypt), is religion a fantasy?, what is slipstream?, proto-slipstream, “Kelly Link is a goddess”, Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel, cognitive dissonance, slipstream encourages cognitive dissonance, “for every religion there is an equal and opposite religion”, “making the familiar strange and the strange familiar”, horror, comedy, Fantasy, The Lord Of The Rings, Science Fiction, Nine Billion Names Of God by Arthur C. Clarke, The Crawling Chaos, James Patrick Kelly doesn’t fully understand The Pyramid Of Amirah, is the Dalai Lama happy?, stay in your god tombs, The Girl Detective, Karen Joy Fowler, Carol Emshwiller, Franz Kafka, readers are happier when they’re really really surprised, most readers don’t re-reread stories, slipstream is a balcony on the house of fiction, behind the push of science is the turbulence of religion and the fantastic, Bruce Sterling, Ted Chiang is slipstream?, J.R.R. Tolkien, some short stories are Rorschach tests, Bruce Coville’s Full Cast Audio, Robert A. Heinlein’s juvenile novels, the love hate relationship with Heinlein, Heinlein’s villains are all straw men, Starship Troopers, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Heinlein’s sexy mother, Heinlein’s late career needed editing, Stranger In A Strange Land, stories in dialogue with other stories, Think Like A Dinosaur is in dialogue with The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin (and the controversy about it), The New York Review Of Science Fiction, not all problems are institutional problems (you are going to die), institutional facts vs. brute facts, John W. Campbell, was Campbell a terrible editor?, “all stories must have telepathy”, the story that must not be named (in Galaxy SF April 1975), Jim Baen, religious Science Fiction, Death Therapy by James Patrick Kelly, Terry Carr, The Best Science Fiction of the Year #8, collaborations, John Kessel, Jonathan Lethem, Robert Frazier, ISFDB, The Omega Egg, Mike Resnick, Kafkaesque: Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka, Tachyon Publications, The Secret History Of Science Fiction, The Drowned Giant by J.G. Ballard, The Lottery Of Babylon by Jorge Luis Borges, Max Brod, Joe Hill, Heart Shaped Box, You Will Hear The Locust Sing by Joe Hill, T.C. Boyle, Michael Chabon, Carter Scholz, Don DeLillo, Lucius Shepard, The Nine Billion Names Of God by Carter Scholz, A Recursion In Metastories by Arthur C. Clarke, post-cyberpunk stories, what is post-cyberpunk?, Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology, Cheap Truth, the way technology changes the way we are, Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross, a new cyberpunk anthology is in the works, is there pre-cyberpunk?, Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick isn’t really cyberpunky, steampunk has a vision, what is the ethos of a steampunk story?, alternate history, goggles and zeppelins vs. computer hacking and mirror-shades, Pavane by Keith Roberts, William Gibson, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, Bernardo’s House is an iconically Jim Kelly short story, Isaac Asimov, robots, a post-cyberpunk character, a prim and proper sex doll, There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury, Mary Robinette Kowal, puppets, a stage adaptation of There Will Come Soft Rains.

A Recursion In Metastories by Arthur C. Clarke (Galaxy SF, October 1966 - Page 78)

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #133 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Beyond The Black River by Robert E. Howard

November 7, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #133 – Beyond The Black River by Robert E. Howard, read by Todd McLaren (courtesy of Tantor Media’s The Conquering Sword Of Conan). This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novelette (2 Hours 29 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it (by Jesse and Tamahome).

Talked about on today’s show:
Todd McLaren, Conan’s voice is confident, Balthus is the Jimmy Olsen to Conan’s Superman, Robert E. Howard’s avatar in Beyond The Black River is Balthus, “the damnedest bastard who ever lived”, “buckets of mead”, a noble death, a prominently displayed dog, barbarism vs. civilization, Red Nails, “the viking hat”, The Savage Sword Of Conan, Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Tam is a Conan novice, The Last Of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, western, “alabaster skin”, the triumph of Barbarism (is the coda for the story), Texas, would the 1% agree with Howard?, Picts, the world of Hyboria, Cimmeria was a real place, history, historical romance, physical display, don’t overblow the homo-eroticism, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.P. Lovecraft, autodidacts, Margaret Atwood’s interview on CBC’s Q, “occasionals”?, Walt Whitman and Henry James, The Turn Of The Screw, sword and sorcery, did Howard invent the barbarian as a character?, Genghis Khan, forbidden knowledge, Howard and Jack London, The Call Of The Wild, California, Alaska, Yukon, slavery, civilization to barbarism, “a Conan dog”, atavism, Zogar Sag is the Jesus to Jhebbal Sag’s God, secret language magic, secret symbols, Conan The Barbarian, Conan is at the height of his power, atavistic magic, “what was I missing”, chatty Conan, Brian Wood’s new Conan comic (adapting Queen Of The Black Coast), Barry Windsor Smith, “he’s busy getting revenge”, a distillation of what’s in the stories, Conan and the philosophers, Oliver Stone and John Milius, Conan The Destroyer, sword vs. sorcery, Berserk (manga), “if you were in the Hyborian age which god would you worship?”, “a Klingon god”, “who is the good guy in Beyond The Black River?”, why does Conan side with the Aquilonians?, “swarthy white men”, Conan is bronzed by the sun not swarthy, end the Jersey Shore references, “this is a war story”, Conan doesn’t believe in an external valuation, why is there only one Devil?, Gullah the Gorilla God – the hairy one who lives on the moon, Africa, Aquilonia is France, Hyboria is Europe, Hyperborea (boreal + hyper = far north), Stygia = Egypt, Texas history, the Picts are the Comanche in this story, Julius Caesar, degenerating white men, Kull, Brule The Spearslayer, “noble savage”, a “symphony of racism”, Bran Mak Morn: The Last King by Robert E. Howard, Kings In The Night, The Whole Wide World, The One Who Walks Alone by Novalyne Price Ellis, Vincent D’Onofrio as Robert E. Howard channeling Conan, photographs of Robert E. Howard, Howard was a LARPer, “Howard was a rough-hewn intellectual”, boxing, gun culture vs. cat culture, WWII, Lidice, “even a white man’s dog is worth more than seven Picts”, Bill Hollweg’s Queen Of The Black Coast audio drama, would Beyond The Black River make a good audio drama?, Lou Anders’ Hollywood Formula doesn’t work here, philosophy of the woods, audiobooks and comics are better than movies, SSOC #26 & #27, Dark Horse’s Savage Sword Of Conan, Volume 3, ostrich feathers tell a story, a frontier story, Weird Tales covers by Margaret Brundage, the Hulk, supple, Red Nails would be a good readalong, laser beams and dinosaurs.

TANTOR MEDIA - The Conquering Sword Of Conan by Robert E. Howard

Weird Tales - Beyond The Black River by Robert E. Howard - illustration by Hugh Rankin

Weird Tales - Beyond The Black River by Robert E. Howard - illustration by Hugh Rankin - "Fierce joy surged through him."

Beyond The Black River - illustrated by John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala

Beyond The Black River - illustrated by John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala

Beyond The Black River - illustrated by John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala

Beyond The Black River - illustrated by John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala

Posted by Jesse Willis

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