Review of Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

June 21, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Alien Voices - Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules VerneJourney to the Center of the Earth
By Jules Verne, performed by a full cast
2 Tapes, Approx. 2 hours – [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Published: 1998
ISBN: 0671872281
Themes: / Science fiction / Adventure / Exploration / Geology /

One should not drink from the same well of audio books in rapid succession. I recently listened to Alien Voices’ The First Men in the Moon, and found this one just a little too similar for my liking. The main characters in both consist of a crusty professor and a younger, more energetic helper; in both cases the professor is voiced by Leonard Nimoy and the younger man by John DeLancie; and in both cases the two men go off to explore some unknown world and discover amazing adventures.

This book suffers in the comparison not just because it came second, but because it isn’t quite as good. The plot involves a wild trip, but one that brings the characters into contact with only monsters and forces of nature, not other intelligences; whereas The First Men in the Moon brings us into an alien society that has chilling implications for our own. The soundscapes of this book are neither as rich nor as immediately immersive as the first, and the characters are not played that distinctly different. Leonard Nimoy is good, but he’s just so darned good-natured that his character only seems foul tempered by others’ report. His heart isn’t really in it, and Herr Doktor Liedenbrock comes off no less pleasant than the buzzing Professor Caver. And John DeLancie’s true talent comes in portraying morally suspect characters. Here, his sweet Axel, the Doctor’s nephew, never quite rings true.

Not to say either man does a bad job, or that the sound isn’t excellent, or even that the adaptation doesn’t rip right along and offer plenty of adventure, quaint as the concepts are. But it just doesn’t grab you in the gut, it doesn’t feel inevitable, and it doesn’t offer any fresh insight into the human condition. In short, it doesn’t bring a classic story from the dawn of science fiction into our living presence, and as such, it really isn’t worth the time. Based on my previous exposure, I think it would be a mistake to write off other Alien Voices titles, but I wouldn’t break any bones rushing out to get hold of this one.

Posted by Kurt Dietz

Everybody’s talking about podcasting these days, e…

May 9, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Everybody’s talking about podcasting these days, either that or starting their own and then talking about it. We’ve collected some resources for the Science Fiction and Fantasy audio fan who is finally ready for the MP3 experimentation to begin…

The Dragon Page
A long running Arizona radio show has transitioned from mere frequency and amplitude modulations to the exciting world of Podcasting! But in a disturbing turn it has started to multiply at a truly alarming rate! The Dragon Page has spawned three, count em three, podcasts and a number of spin-off serial novels. Will they become the Walmart of SF & F podcasting? Tune in and see…

Cover to Cover
A podcast with a literary science fiction and fantasy bent, authors are interviewed frequently, hosted by Michael R. Mennenga and Evo Terra.
http://dragonpage.com/

Slice of Sci Fi
A podcast with a spec fic media and Star Trek bent, hosted by Michael R. Mennenga and Evo Terra.
http://www.sliceofscifi.com/

Wingin’ It
Two bent SF & F geeks, Michael R. Mennenga and Evo Terra, podcasting without a net.
http://dragonpage.com/

Evo Terra came up with the term, “Podiobooks”, for serially podcast audiobooks and he’s built a site showcasing four spec fic novels that are doing just that, the first three were associated with The Dragon Page prior to the the creation of the Podiobooks site, but they’ve generously included a fourth independent author’s “podiobook” there too:

MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana
Tee Morris and Lisa Lee’s paperbook novel Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana gets serially podcast with Tee Morris reading and engineering.
http://www.teemorris.com/podcast

Earthcore, Scott Sigler’s geology and mining centered novel is being serially podcast. It plays out like a technothriller in the vein of a Lincoln Child novel only far, far angrier. Sigler reads it himself.
http://www.scottsigler.net/earthcore/

The Pocket and the Pendant, Mark Jeffrey’s young adult fantasy novel being serially podcast.
http://markjeffrey.typepad.com/

Tom Corven is a tale being written and read by Paul Story. Story (a pseudonym) originally hails from Scotland but he’s writing it in Split, Croatia and podcasting it serially from a cybercafe there.
http://www.dreamwords.com/TomCorven.htm

Rev Up Review
British blogger and SF author Paul Jenkins’ new podcast sounds very promising indeed. His second podcast carefully surveys what’s available in the speculative fiction podcast field and what of it is worth listening to. He’s also reading his short story “The Journey of Jonathan Cave”, but part one starts with his first “experimental” podcast so be sure to check that one out first.
http://www.rev-up-review.co.uk/

The Seanachai
Thanks to Paul S. Jenkins for finding this one. The Seanachai is a “weekly(ish)” podcast of dramatic storytelling and commentary by Patrick E. McLean.
Funny fantasy so far!
http://www.goodwordsrightorder.com/

Nuketown Radio Active
Speculative fiction reviews from “a geek dad”. Includes movie, book, game, comic book, web site and podcasts reviews.
http://www.nuketown.com/music/archive.php?type=74

The Comic Geeks
A podcast about comic books, toys, memorabilia, science fiction and more.
http://www.thecomicgeeks.com/

SFSite.com Podcasts
MP3 reviews of audiobooks!
http://www.sfsite.com/depts/podcast.xml

Matamea Rising
“A fictional serialized radio show”. Despite that description this radio style serial actually exists!
http://www.matamea.org/podcast/

“Next, I Hem a Cyclic Door”
A project using “podcasting”, comic book panels and video to tell an episodic science-fiction story across different mediums. A collaboration between comic book artist Tim Dedman and Code Owl Productions founder Gabriel Walsh. Dedman and Walsh exchange scripts and execute each other’s idea.
http://www.codeowl.com/nextihemacyclicdoor/

Have we missed a podcast? Let us know!

Posted by Jesse Willis

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