The Diamond Lens by Fitz James O’Brien

October 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

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The Diamond Lens by Fitz James O'Brien - illustration uncredited - December 1926 issue of Amazing Stories

I’ve created a |PDF| from the printing in the December 1926 issue of Amazing Stories.

Introduction to the October 1933 issue of Amazing in which The Diamond Lens was published

The Diamond Lens - Illustration by Morrey

I’ve created a |PDF| from the printing in the October 1933 issue of Amazing Stories.

In his introductory essay “Expanding The Lens“, found in to the story in The Road To Science Fiction: From Gilgamesh To Wells, editor James Gunn writes:

“[The Diamond Lens] is the first known story in which another world is perceived through a microscope… [this story] opened up another world, not just for readers, but for writers as well.” Gunn goes on to praise O’Brien’s “realistic treatment of the fantastic” and says that “‘The Diamond Lens‘” may be the first modern science-fiction story.”

LibriVox narrator Corrina Schultz describes The Diamond Lens this way:

“This story has a bit of everything – obsessive scientist, psychic medium contacting the dead, clever murder cover-up, racism, creepy stalker, college student shirking his studies, the painful results of pursuing forbidden knowledge, the noble savage…”

Atop those words I myself can heap a few other attractors:

1. The Diamond Lens is bizarre in both plot and focus, with episodic like writing <-Weird for a short story. 2. It has the sensibility of a foreign culture <-The 19th century attitude toward seances is pretty fucking foreign! 3. The protagonist is a mad microscopist. <-Perhaps he was demented by the illicit lure of science? 4. The story features a brutal killing. <-With a whackjob of added racism to complicate matters! 5. It has a noir ending. <-My favourite kind. As you may have guessed I quite enjoyed The Diamond Lens.

Stories like Harl Vincent’s Microcosmic Buccaneers (1929), Theodore Sturgeon’s Microcosmic God (1941) and both Sunken Universe (1942) and Surface Tension (1952) by James Blish all stem from the microscopic pioneering of The Diamond Lens. Whereas the theme, of an alien female object of adoration in an unreachable land, also brings to mind a mighty parallel with Jack Williamson’s The Green Girl (1930). And one final note, a quick read of the Wikipedia entry for Fitz James O’Brien makes me think some of the tale is autobiographical!

LibriVoxThe Diamond Lens
By Fitz James O’Brien; Read by Corinna Schultz
1 |MP3| – Approx. 57 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox
Published: FORTHCOMING
A scientist, having invented a powerful microscope, discovers a beautiful female living in a microscopic world inside a drop of water. First published in the January 1858 issue of The Atlantic Monthly.

The Weird CircleThe Diamond Lens
Based on the story by Fitz-James O’Brien; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 25 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 31, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Arthur C. Clarke describes The Diamond Lens (from an article in Playboy)

Posted by Jesse Willis

Hypnobobs: What Was It? by Fitz James O’Brien

September 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Mr. Jim Moon, a recent guest on SFFaudio Podcast #126, has recorded another story you just have to hear! It’s an old one, it’s wonderful, it’s obscure and it’s been recorded with an amateur’s enthusiasm and a professional’s sound. Mr. Moon, who I’m coming to realize is something of an expert in weird fiction, tracked down the complete text – apparently nearly all modern editions have used a slightly condensed version – cleanly narrated it (without any added sound effects or annoying bed music), then complimented the reading with what I can only describe as a very thoughtful commentary of an impassioned researcher.

Honestly, how could anyone ask for more than that?

My figurative hat is off to you Mr. Jim Moon. You are what makes the internet a wonderful place to visit.

What Was It? by Fritz James O'BrienWhat Was It?
By Fitz James O’Brien; Read by Jim Moon
1 |MP3| – Approx. 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Hypnobobs
Podcast: September 18, 2011
One of the earliest known examples of invisibility in fiction is What Was It? by Fitz James O’Brien – He’s been called “the most important figure after Poe and before Lovecraft” and this story serves as a kind of a bridge between the supernatural and the scientific, between the likes of de Maupassant’s The Horla and Wells’ The Invisible Man.

Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Hypnobobs

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Weird Circle

September 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while. The problem was that even though I’ve spent a considerable amount of time working on it, it has been slow going. I figured it will be years more before I finished it at that rate. If you’ve got some ideas about the authors I haven’t been able to discover please drop a comment. In the meantime here’s what I’ve got:

The Weird CircleThe Weird Circle was a 1940s half hour radio drama series that ran 78 episodes in syndication from 1943 to 1945 in the USA.

One story I suggest fans of SF check out is What Was It? by Fitz-James O’Brien, this 1859 story, starts off with all the proto-typical mumbo jumbo about seances and haunted houses and then takes a more Science Fictiony turn. It’s also, according to Wikipedia, one of the earliest modern stories about invisibility. The show’s producers primarily drew upon early and mid-19th century gothic fiction stories for their adaptations.

The final story in this series, The Black Parchment, seems something like a French version of The Monkey’s Paw.

Episodes:

The Fall Of The House Of Usher
Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: August 29, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

The House And The Brain
Based on the story by Edward Bulwer-Lytton; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 5, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

The Vendetta
Based on the novel by Honoré de Balzac; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 12, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym
Based on a novel by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 19, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

Declared Insane
Based on a story by Honoré de Balzac; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 26, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
Based on the story Interdiction by Honoré de Balzac

A Terribly Strange Bed
Based on the story by Wilkie Collins; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 3, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

What Was It?
Based on a story by Fitz-James O’Brien; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 10, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

The Knightsbridge Mystery
Based on the story by Charles Reade; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 17, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
First published in Life in 1882, later republished in Argosy (UK) Jul 1931.

The Horla
Based on the story by Guy de Maupassant; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 24, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

William Wilson
Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 31, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
First published in October 1839.

Passion In The Desert
Based on the story by Honoré de Balzac; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 7, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
Turned into a film.

Mateo Falcone
Based on a story by Prosper Mérimée; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 14, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1829.
Turned into an opera.

The Man Without A Country
Based on Edward Everett Hale; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 21, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
First published in Atlantic Monthly December 1863.

Dr. Manette’s Manuscript
Based on a story by Charles Dickens; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 28, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
Adapted from the novel A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

The Great Plague
By Thomas Hood (?); Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 5, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
Adapted from the short story A Tale Of The Great Plague by Thomas Hood.

Expectations Of An Heir
Based on a story by Samuel Johnson; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 12, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
Adapted from The Lingering Expectation Of An Heir

The Hand
Based on a story by Guy de Maupassant (?); Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 19, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

Jane Eyre
Based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 26, 1943
Provider: Archive.org

The Murders In The Rue Morgue
Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 2, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Lifted Veil
Based on a novella by George Eliot; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 9, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
The Lifted Veil was first published in 1859.

The 4:15 Express
Based on the story by Amelia B. Edwards; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| -Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 16, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

A Terrible Night
Based on a story by Fitz James O’Brien; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| -Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 23, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Tell Tale Heart
Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| -Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 30, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Niche Of Doom
Based on a story by Honoré de Balzac; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| -Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 6, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
Based on the story La Grande Breteche by Honoré de Balzac.

The Heart Of Ethan Brand
Based on a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| -Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 13, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
Based on the story Ethan Brand by Nathaniel Hawthorne. First published in .

Frankenstein
Based on the novel by Mary Shelley; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 20, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Feast Of The Red Gauntlet
Based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 27, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
Based on the novel Redgauntlet.

Murder Of The Little Pig
Based on a story by Émile Gaboriau; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 5, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Specter Of Tappington
Based on the story by Richard Harris Barham; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 12, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1837. Lieutenant Charles Seaforth is back from India, and will stay in “the oak room” a notoriously haunted room in Tappington manor. But when a skeletal specter steals Seaforth’s pants in the night he’s forced to wear his tropical shorts to breakfast!

Strange Judgement
; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 19, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Wuthering Heights
Based on the novel by Emily Brontë; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 26, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1847.

Curse Of The Mantle
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 2, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Cask Of Amontillado
Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 9, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

A Rope Of Hair
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 16, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Falkland
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 23, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Trial For Murder
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 30, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Werewolf
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 7, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Old Nurse’s Story
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 14th, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Middle Toe Of The Right Foot
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 28, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Dream Woman
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 3, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Phantom Picture
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 10, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Ghost’s Touch
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 17, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Bell Tower
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: September 24, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Evil Eye
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 1, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Mark Of The Plague
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 8, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Queer Client
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 15, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Burial Of Roger Melvin
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 22, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Fatal Love Potion
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: October 29, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

Mad Monkton
Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 5, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Returned
Based on a story by Neville Brand (?); Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 12, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Executioner
Based on the story by Honoré de Balzac; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 19, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1830.

Rappaccini’s Daughter
Based on the story by Nathaniel Hawthorne; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: November 26, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1844.

The Wooden Ghost
Based on a story by Sheridan Le Fanu; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 3, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
Adapted from Schalken The Painter by Sheridan Le Fanu. First published in 1839.

The Last Days Of A Condemned Man
Based on the novel by Victor Hugo; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 10, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1829.

The Warning
????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 17, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Doll
????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 24, 1944
Provider: Archive.org

The Diamond Lens
Based on the story by Fitz-James O’Brien; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: December 31, 1944
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1858 in The Atlantic Monthly.

The History Of Dr. John Faust
Based on a story by anonymous; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 7, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on a chapbook story Historia von D. Johann Fausten first published in 1587.

Duel Without Honor
????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 14, 1945
Provider: Archive.org

The Spectre Bride
Based on a story by William Harrison Ainsworth; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 21, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1822.

The Tapestry Horse
????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: January 28, 1945
Provider: Archive.org

The River Man
????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 4 1945
Provider: Archive.org

Ancient Mariner
Based on a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 11 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. First published in 1798.

The Oblong Box
Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 18 1945
Provider: Archive.org

The Mysterious Bride
Based on a story by James Hogg; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: February 25, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1830.

The Thing In The Tunnel
Based on a story by Charles Dickens; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 4, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens. Later adapted as an audio drama for Hall of Fantasy (1950), Suspense (1956), Nightfall (1982) and Seeing Ear Theatre (1998?). A spectral figure in a dark railway tunnel has a message

The Moonstone
Based on the novel by Wilkie Collins; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 11, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on the novel The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. First published in 1868.

The Pistol Shot
Based on a story by Alexander Pushkin (?); Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 18, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on the short story The Shot by Alexander Pushkin. First published in 1830.

The Possessive Dead
????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: March 25, 1945
Provider: Archive.org

The Goblet
Based on the story by Ludwig Tieck; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 1, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Translated from German into English in 1827. Donaldo is the governor of an Italian island. He chooses a woman of low birth as his bride to be and gives her a series of engagment gifts, a silver ring, a silver pendant, and a silver goblet. The problem is, Francesca, his intened, has falllen in love with the silversmith!

The Case Of Monsieur Valdemar
Based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 8, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe. First published in 1845.

The Shadow
Based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 15, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Based on The Shadow. First published in 1847. Classified as a “fairy tale.” A man’s shadow becomes another person and tries to control his life.

Bride Of Death
By ????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 22, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
A beautiful woman is fated to marry a dead man.

Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
Based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: April 29, 1945
Provider: Archive.org

The Red Hand
By ????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 6, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
A money hungry husband bent on murder chases his wife across France.

The Haunted Hotel
Based on a story by Wilkie Collins; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 13, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
First published in 1878. Set in Venice.

Markheim
Based on the story by Robert Louis Stevenson; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 25 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 20, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
This is a radical adaptation, set in a contemporary (to 1945) setting, and providing much of the presumed back-story (stuff that isn’t actually in the text of Stevenson’s original tale). First published in 1885 |ETEXT|.

The Black Parchment
By ????; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 27, 1945
Provider: Archive.org
Raphael Roland, a degenerate Parisian gambler intent on suicide, saves a drowning man in the Seine. In response he’s given a certain black parchment, written is Sanskrit, that grants wishes to the bearer. But, as an owner’s wishes are granted the parchment gets smaller and smaller and its owner gets older and older.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Commentary: The History and Fiction of Invisibility

January 18, 2010 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

Feathers

SFFaudio MetaAfter three recent podcasts (two for SFBRP, one for the SFFaudio Podcast) I’ve prepared a listening list of the topic of INVISIBILITY. Invisibility is, I argue, ultimately not a scientific phenomenon but rather a literary one. When we use the word “visible” we are referring to something that is either seen or see-able. I can say something is more (or less) visible than something else and be correct. This concept of gradations of visibility is quite legitimate, and doesn’t often lead to any conceptual difficulty. But, we also have a tradition of negating concepts that we think we understand well – and then expecting that negation to exist too.

For instance. First consider the concept of pressure. Then consider these two sentences:

“This bottle is pressurized.” <-(Looks ok) "That bottle is unpressurized.” <-(Looks ok) Now consider the concept of visibility. And consider two more sentences: "This feather is visible." <-(Looks ok) "That feather is invisible.” <-(Looks... no wait! It's not ok.) So what's the difference between these two concepts and their respective negations? First, there is the problem of a conceptual equivocation in the concepts. The adjectives "pressurized" and "unpressurized" actually refer to the contents (or lack thereof) in the bottle, and not the bottle itself. Whereas in the second pair the adjectives “visible” and “invisible” refer only to the feather.

No matter, as you might be thinking, is 100% transparent. This is not completely obvious. Air seems invisible to us, but in reality even air isn’t actually 100% transparent. One strange, if incomplete, definition of MATTER might be “that which cannot be invisible.” Invisibility, therefore, can be only properly attributed to the absence of something. A perfect vacuum would be perfectly transparent, but as you are probably now realizing a vacuum is not actually a thing. It is the absence of anything.

To be sure there can be, and certainly are: unseen feathers (a black feather in an unoccupied cave), feathers that are hidden (behind something else), or even a feather that is camouflaged to look like something else. And that is the extent of feathers and their non-visibleness. The only further kind of feather we could imagine that is actually invisible must therefore be a wholly fictional feather.

So when we say things like “a glass cup is invisible in water” we can only be speaking metaphorically.

What we really mean is that the glass cup is hidden from us, it is camouflaged. This kind of invisibility is no more persuasive than saying a large city is invisible to a blind man. The city is of course visible, it is just not visible to him. And likewise the cup is visible, just not to our eyes in that medium. So the question then becomes, is it ever conceivably possible to make a man non-visible in the medium of air?

And that’s when we come to my answer.

Only in fiction.

The best expression of this is probably in the movie Mystery Men (1999). Wherein the Invisible Boy is “able to turn invisible, but only when no one is looking at him.”

So here finally, in chronological order of imagination, are just a few of the many uses of the fictional concept of invisibility:

LIBRIVOX - The Republic by PlatoThe Ring Of Gyges (extracted from Book II Part I of The Republic)
By Plato; Read by Sibella Denton
1 |MP3| – Approx. 31 Minutes [PHILOSOPHY]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 22, 2009
Gyges, a shepherd in the service of the king of Lydia, discovers a gold ring that can make him invisible. It, along with his covetous nature are the means by which he murdered the King and won the affection of the Queen.
Written 360 B.C..

The Weird CircleWhat Was It?
Based on a story by Fitz-James O’Brien; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: Syndicated to radio stations including
Broadcast: October 10, 1943
Provider: Archive.org
The story upon which this radio play was based was first published in 1859. The Weird Circle was a 1940s half hour radio drama series that ran 78 episodes in syndication from 1943 to 1945 in the USA.

LibriVox - The Invisible Man by H.G. WellsThe Invisible Man
By H.G. Wells; Read by Alex Foster
13 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 4 Hours 54 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: 2006
The Invisible Man (1897) is one of the most famous science fiction novels of all time. Written by H.G. Wells (1866-1946), it tells the story of a scientist who discovers the secret of invisibility and uses it on himself. The story begins as the Invisible Man, with a bandaged face and a heavy coat and gloves, takes a train to lodge in a country inn whilst he tries to discover the antidote and make himself visible again. The book inspired several films and is notable for its vivid descriptions of the invisible man–no mean feat, given that you can’t see him!

Podcast Feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/invisible-man-by-h-g-wells.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

LibriVox - Miss Pim's Camouflage by Lady StanleyMiss Pim’s Camouflage
By Lady Stanley; Read by Grant Hurlock
31 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 7 Hours 49 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 28, 2009
Mid-WWI, staid Englishwoman Miss Perdita Pim suffers a sunstroke gardening and gains the power of invisibility. She becomes a super-secret agent, going behind German lines, sometimes visible, sometimes not, witnessing atrocities & gleaning valuable war information

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/miss-pims-camouflage-by-dorothy-stanley.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Have a really visible day folks!

More Feathers

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Nightmares on Congress Street, Part 5

December 9, 2005 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Nightmares on Congress Street 5Nightmares on Congress Street – Part 5
By Rocky Coast Radio Theatre; Performed by a Full Cast
2 CD’s – 2 hours [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Rocky Coast Radio Theatre
Published: 2005
Themes: / Horror / Science Fiction / Murder / Government / Spirits /

Here’s another top-notch title from Rocky Coast Radio Theatre out of Maine. It contains seven dramatized horror tales:

The Demon of the Gibbet by Fitz-James O’Brien
A horror poem, very nicely rendered.

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe, adapted by Patrick Bradley
A modern adaptation of Poe’s classic story. Nightmares on Congress Street, Part IV contained Poe’s “A Cask of Amontillado” presented traditionally – this one is also excellent, but the script updates the story to a modern setting.

Retroactive Anti-Terror by Alex Irvine, adapted by William Dufris
This science fiction story portrays a different type of horror – a future where people are prosecuted for what they might do. Alex Irvine’s original story appeared in Salon.com in 2004. The story makes a clear political statement which people from all viewpoints would benefit from hearing.

Much A-Zoo About Nothing written and performed by Michael Duffy
A humorous song in which a guy goes to a zoo and encounters “ten green men with super suits on”.

The Wind by Ray Bradbury, adapted by William Dufris
It starts when Alan calls Herb on the phone obviously very nervous. After a little prodding by Herb, Alan reveals that it’s the wind he’s so worried about, and the tense story takes off from there. Bradbury probably has more stories available as audio drama than any other author, and this wonderful adaptation has me hunting for more.

The Door Below by Hugh B. Cave, adapted by William Dufris
Another good horror story that takes place mostly in a lighthouse… ghosts, anyone?

The Statement of Randolph Carter by H.P. Lovecraft, adapted by William Dufris
This is my favorite of the collection. Dufris and crew perfectly capture the creepy horror of Lovecraft’s original story.

Nightmares on Congress Street V is the second title I’ve heard from Rocky Coast, and I’m convinced that they are one of the top current producers of audio drama. With first-rate acting, the careful placing of sound effects, very good music, and fantastic scripts, these stories capture and hold tight. I can’t recommend this title highly enough for fans of audio drama and horror.

You can get this title from Paperback Digital, Tantor Media, Amazon, and Audible.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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