The Roads Must Roll by Robert A. Heinlein

October 24, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

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The Roads Must Roll by Robert A. Heinlein - illustrated by Charles Schneeman

Robert A. Heinlein’s short story The Roads Must Roll features a future in which a small union of engineers seize control of the nation’s vital infrastructure. This replacement for the highway and railroad systems is a series of massive conveyor belts allowing for the flow of goods and people around the country.

Here’s the synopsis from ISFDB:

Set in a future where the automobile has been replaced by The Roads, a gigantic set of parallel conveyor belts. The belts run at different speeds allowing a pedestrian to enter the Road at slow speed, and make his way to the center, where speeds are in excess of 100 MPH. Follows the exploits of Gaines, the Transport Commissioner, as he tries to put down a strike by the Rolling Roads Guild.

Dimension XDimension X – The Roads Must Roll
Adapted from the novelette by Robert A. Heinlein; Script by Ernest Kinoy; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: NBC
Broadcast: September 1, 1950
The more complex, the more integrated a civilization is, the more fragile it becomes to – sabotage! First published in Astounding, June 1940.

X-Minus OneX-Minus One – The Roads Must Roll
Adapted from the novelette by Robert A. Heinleinl; Script by Ernest Kinoy; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: NBC
Broadcast: January 4, 1956
The more complex, the more integrated a civilization is, the more fragile it becomes to – sabotage! First published in Astounding, June 1940.

Posted by Jesse Willis

X-Minus One: The Lifeboat Mutiny by Robert Sheckley

May 25, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

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The Lifeboat Mutiny is a part of Robert Sheckley’s “AAA Ace Series.” The series has eight stories, each involving two partners in the far future encountering various unusual problems. One fan on LibraryThing described the series as being about “two of the unluckiest fellas who ever set out to make a fortune” – I’m still exploring the series, but I note that some non-AAA Ace Sheckley stories also seem to fit into that category – stories like Warrior Race and Untouched By Human Hands!

I find X-Minus One’s shows to be very hit or miss, but this Robert Sheckley story completely works. In fact, I’ve used the script for The Lifeboat Mutiny in school. Kids love it, adults love it. My only nit-pick with this adaptation is that the actor playing the lifeboat is not nearly emotional enough – he totally underplays the scripted dialogue – when I do this part, I always play the lifeboat as highly emotional.

X-Minus OneX-Minus One – The Lifeboat Mutiny
Based on the story by Robert Sheckley; Adapted by Ernest Kinoy; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: NBC Radio
Broadcast: September 11, 1956
Provider: Archive.org
Two planetary surveyors purchase a second-hand lifeboat to survey a water planet not knowing that the ship contains an artificial intelligence created for a war five hundred years in the past.

First published in Galaxy Science Fiction’s 1955 issue with an illustration by Kossin:

Galaxy Magazine - April 1955 - The Lifeboat Mutiny by Robert Sheckley

Galaxy April 1955 - The Lifeboat Mutiny - Illustration by Kossin

Here’s The Middlebury Radio Theater‘s recording of the script too:

The Middlebury Radio Theater Of Thrills And SuspenseThe Lifeboat Mutiny
Based on the story by Robert Sheckley; Adapted by Ernest Kinoy; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: The Middlebury Radio Theater Of Thrills And Suspense
Podcast: February 5, 2011

Posted by Jesse Willis

Robert Sheckley’s Seventh Victim

April 14, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

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Seventh Victim by Robert SheckleyGoing in, and liking Robert Sheckley, I was surprised how much I didn’t respond to his most famous short story Seventh Victim. Upon first reading it I didn’t think of it as terrific story. Nor did I think of it as having much in the way of intellectual heft. But, upon reflection, particularly after watching the film adaptation I am coming around a bit. Indeed, plenty of folks, it seems, think of Seventh Victim as an academic story. It’s been used in both introductory psychology and philosophy textbooks. It has been reprinted more than a dozen times in different anthologies or collections. The 1965 film adaptation, called The Tenth Victim (La Decima Vittima), prompted Sheckley to expand the short story into a novel under the same name (which spawned more novel sequels Victim Prime and Hunter / Victim.

Robert Sheckley’s short story Seventh Victim is the tale of a future earth in which men and women engage in a voluntary game of assassination. Upon its first publication Galaxy magazine’s editor, H.L. Gold, abstrusely compared it to Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game. I see that. But I was more struck by its closer resemblance to the game played in the opening scenes of the 1985 film Gotcha!. That film was likely inspired by a 1982 movie, Tag: The Assassination Game – which itself certainly nodded towards The Most Dangerous Game (the name of the first victim in the film is Connally). And that movie, in turn, was likely inspired by a real game of fake murder played on university campuses at the time (it looks like it is still played today too). While the story itself isn’t available as an audiobook there are a couple of audio dramatizations (both use the same script):

Future TenseFuture Tense – The Seventh Victim
Adapted from a short story by Robert Sheckley; Adapted by Ernest Kinoy; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 27 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: WMUK Special Projects
Broadcast: May 20th, 1974
Provider: Rimworlds.com
“The most dangerous game, said one writer, is Man. But there is another still more deadly!” First published in the April 1953 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction.

X-Minus OneX-Minus One – The Seventh Victim
Adapted from a short story by Robert Sheckley; Adapted by Ernest Kinoy; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: NBC
Broadcast: March 6, 1957
Provider: Archive.org
“Tonight we go forward in time to the days when war has been outlawed – and in its place there is a system of carefully controlled legalized murder.” First published in the April 1953 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction.

Cast:
Lawson Zerbe …. Freeline
Terri Keane …. Janet
Frank Maxwell … Emanuel Gale
Ian Martin ….
Arthur Hughes …. Jerry
Fred Collins …. Announcer

[via Archive.org and Rimworlds]

Posted by Jesse Willis