The SFFaudio Podcast #170 – READALONG: The Fountains Of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

July 23, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #170 – Jesse, Tamahome, and Jenny discuss the Brilliance Audio audiobook of The Fountains Of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke.

Talked about on today’s show:
Skyhooks and space elevators, Sri Lanka, “my first space elevator book”, Robert A. Heinlein, Friday, “it feels like a novel”, “the fictional accounting of a real construction project”, history, Colombo, afterwords, sources and acknowledgements, “what a rip-off”, Sigiriya’s Lion Paws Gate, King Kashyapa I, “past, present, and future”, engineering fiction vs. science fiction, Taprobane, Paradise Regained by John Milton, Jo Walton’s review of The Fountains Of Paradise, religion, “Heinlein in a dress”, an idea book, to think interesting Science Fictional thoughts, hard SF, Clarke’s Laws, space probe, a game changer, Gregg Margarite, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, The Nine Billion Names Of God, Sigmund Freud, growing out of religion?, Thomas Aquinas, symbolic logic, Bertrand Russell, satellites and their uses, unseen benefits to giant engineering projects and science, Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, Burj Khalifa, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, “this is what we’re meant to do”, the space age, the 1970s, Jenny gets depressed, Terpkristin‘s visit to French Guiana (PICS!), will we have a Chinese moonbase by 2022?, innovation vs. exploration, Jerry O’Neil, good reasons to go to space, we ought to do things that we can do, Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, the daily life challenges of a space born population, The Island Worlds by Eric Kotani and John Maddox Roberts, the probe is a person, The Geek’s Guide To The Galaxy #64: John Scalzi, (Star Trek holds us back), “the God Particle”, “you’re going to die soon”, can we empathize with a character that isn’t a human being?, a complimentary cosmonaut, 2001: A Space Odyssey, one day in Jerusalem, the transhuman future in the end of The Fountains Of Paradise, Starglider/Starholme, a well developed solar society, the Wikipedia entry for The Fountains Of Paradise, The Last Theorem, The City And The Stars, a non-off putting post-human story, Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Ted Chiang, Charles Stross, sequels and science, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Alastair Reynolds, Kim Stanley Robinson, in SF ideas build can on one another whereas others books are more parasitizing upon those ideas, why does it have to be a new book?, ‘these were the stepping stones to today’, a balance of both a good story and good ideas, William Gibson, Embassytown by China Miéville, The City And The City, “garbage, garbage, garbage”, 2312, Playboy’s serialization of The Fountains Of Paradise, Buckminster Fuller, why did Sir Arthur C. Clarke live in Sri Lanka?, Milton is literature, Dante’s Inferno, Lucifer’s fall from heaven, Brilliance Audio, A Fall Of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke, BBC Radio dramatization of A Fall Of Moondust, Crisis On Conshelf Ten by Monica Hughes, “best book ever”, The Abyss, Tom Swift, Aquaman vs. The Sub-Mariner, Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds, The Prefect, Ray Of Light by Brad Torgeson, “Alien sun mirror block deepwater living daughter Glimmer Club surface discovery.”, the Mars tangent, Phobos and Deimos, John Scalzi, “I liked that he didn’t explain it.”, “we don’t build em that way”, “I want it to be hard”, Phobos interference would be a feature not a bug, “wiggle the thread”, atmospheric density and windspeed, carbon nano-tubes vs. buckminsterfullerene, Roald Dahl, Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator, horror, The BFG, Jack McDevitt, a waking dream, in the shadow of Vesuvius, the Prime Directive, Doctor Who, Fantasy vs. Science Fiction, Inferno (Doctor Who episode), Sliders, Doorways by George R.R. Martin, Tom Baker.

BRILLIANCE AUDIO - The Fountains Of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

Caedmon - Arthur C. Clarke reads Fountains Of Paradise

Del Rey paperback - The Fountains Of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

Playboy, January 1979 - The Fountains Of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke - illustration by Ignacio Gomez

Playboy, February 1979 - The Fountains Of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke - illustration by Ignacio Gomez

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Brad Lansky and the 4D-Verse

March 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audio Drama - Brad Lansky and the 4D-VerseBrad Lansky and the 4D-Verse
By J.D. Venne; Performed by a full cast
1.5 Hours – [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Protophonic.net
Published: 2012
Themes: / Science Fiction / Hard SF / Audio Drama / Dimensional space / Quantum entanglement / Artificial Intelligence /

Taking up where the previous Brad Lansky title ended, this drama has Brad and Alex exploring the 4D-Verse. They get split up while searching for MAMAI (an artificial intelligence), with Alex moving to a higher dimension while Brad figures how to get him back.

In a previous review I compared a Brad Lansky audio to Meatball Fulton’s Ruby series. This one comes from the same mold. It’s a aural feast from start to finish; among the richest audio you’ll hear. Another comparison leapt to mind this time: the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Not only is the subject matter similar (hard SF involving alien beings), but the tone is similar. Just like Kubrick lingered on shots to allow the viewer time to experience awe, Dieter Zimmerman and crew linger with sound that creates images in the listener’s mind. This is very much a cooperative experience. Break out your best headphones and be prepared to provide imagination.

Lansky: I can’t wait to check out these places!
Alex: What? Are you crazy?
Lansky: No, just an explorer who doesn’t run away when he finds something interesting!

Dieter Zimmerman, one of the creative people behind the Brad Lansky series, was recently interviewed on Fred Greenhalgh’s Radio Drama Revival podcast. Find that episode |HERE|.

All of the Brad Lansky titles can be purchased at Protophonic.net!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

TWIT’s Security Now podcast science fiction episode

February 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Usually the Security Now podcast covers the latest stress-inducing security holes in Windows, Flash, Acrobat, and Java.  But at the end of last December in episode 333 Steve Gibson devoted an episode to his favorite science fiction.  He started with some movies:  This Island Earth, Forbidden Planet, and The Day The Earth Stood Still.  But most of the episode covered books, and Steve has good taste and likes Hard SF.  He started with Asimov’s Robot mystery novels, beginning with The Caves Of Steel.  His favorite Larry Niven is Protector, but The Mote In God’s Eye was ok too.  He also enjoyed Fred Saberhagen’s Berserker series.

And I actually learned about Peter F. Hamilton from him: the Mandel Series, the Night’s Dawn series (huge), Fallen Dragon (standalone novel), and the Pandora’s Star/Judas Unchained duology.

Next came an independent author who sells from his own site, Michael McCollum at scifi-az.com.  Michael has the Antares series and the Gibralter series.  Someone told me to check out his 1st 2 books from the 80’s.  There’s also The Sails Of Tau Ceti.  Some free short stories are available.  There’s no audiobooks unfortunately (an opportunity for someone?), unless you count some computer generated audio files.

Steve also mentioned Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, Graham Sharp Paul’s Helfort’s War series, David Weber’s Honor Harrington series, Greg Bear’s Eon, and Gregory Benford’s Galactic Center saga.

Feed:  http://leo.am/podcasts/sn

MP3: http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/aolradio.podcast.aol.com/sn/sn0333.mp3

Posted by Tamahome

Review of Venus by Ben Bova

July 16, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science fiction Audiobook - Venus by Ben BovaVenus (The Grand Tour Series)
By Ben Bova; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
10 CDs – Approx. 11.7 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781441775726
Themes: / Science Fiction / Hard SF / Near future / Space travel / Planets /

The surface of Venus is the most hellish place in the solar system, its ground hot enough to melt aluminum, its air pressure high enough to crush spacecraft landers like tin cans, its atmosphere a choking mix of poisonous gases. This is where the frail young Van Humphries must go—or die trying. Years before, Van’s older brother perished in the first attempt to land a man on Venus. Van’s father has always hated him for being the one to survive. Now, his father is offering a ten-billion-dollar prize to the first person who lands on Venus and returns his oldest son’s remains. To everyone’s surprise, Van takes up the offer. But what Van Humphries will find on Venus will change everything—our understanding of Venus, of global warming on Earth, and his knowledge of who he is.

Venus by Ben Bova was first released on audio in abridged format in 2002. I reviewed in it 2004, and from what I wrote there I liked it just fine. This unabridged version (no surprise) was a different and better experience.

I am a fan of Ben Bova’s didactic Grand Tour novels. I like how I come away from each of these novels with a better understanding of how space travel works at our current level of knowledge. I also like how Bova uses what we know about the planets before he starts speculating.

In Venus, eccentric billionaire Martin Humphries summons his son, Van Humpries, to the moon. Prior to the story, Martin’s oldest son Alex had crashed on Venus and was presumed dead. Martin tells Van that he’s offering $10 billion to the person who can retrieve Alex’s remains and that he’s paying for it by cutting Van off financially. Van surprises his father by taking up the challenge himself. There is one other taker, so two teams vie for the prize. Two ships, separately designed and built to withstand the extreme conditions on Venus, race to snag human remains off the surface.

The plot is interesting and satisfying (though with a bit of clunky foreshadowing), but the star of the story is Venus. Bova’s characters reach Venus quickly, so the bulk of the novel is spent floating in their ships. It’s incredibly hot, and the atmosphere thick and roiling. Both ships were designed as dirigibles. Once the crafts reached the atmosphere, they floated like airships through the currents, sinking slowly toward the surface. Of course, it’s not that easy. There are plenty of surprises.

Stefan Rudnicki narrates, and yet again I enjoyed him. He’s one of the best narrators we have. I’m always pleased to hear him perform a good piece of science fiction.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou: The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. Clarke

March 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou - a Resonance FM podcastIt isn’t often I recycle an old posts. Why would I? They’re all still there! And if there’s something new about one I’ll typically just update the original rather than repost it. But, I’m confident that there are enough people out there, reading this blog now, that never saw our original 2008 coverage of the wonderful podcast/radio series called A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou. Because of that, and the fact that you’d be really missing out, this post can be one of the exceptions – a reminder that there’s a tonne of great old stuff in our archives, and out there on the internet.

First broadcast in 2008 on Resonance FM 104.4 FM in London, U.K, The Forgotten Enemy is an excellent Arthur C. Clarke tale. Set in London, it tells of solitary man waiting for rescue. He can almost hear the helicopters. Yes, the helicopters. The slow, loud, helicopters coming inevitably from the north. But what of the terrible white menace that threatens his lonely existence? Can he survive?

One aspect of the tale may remind you of 28 Weeks Later, another may remind you of The Day After Tomorrow. But fear not, this story pays far greater dividends than either of those.

In the discussion that follows the story is described as a “cozy calamity” and it’s compared to Who Goes There? and A Pail Of Air. It is a wonderful podcast – all around!

The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. ClarkeA Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou – The Forgotten Enemy
By Arthur C. Clarke; Read by Elisha Sessions
1 |MP3| – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: 2008
In a bleak snow and ice covered London, a lone survivor faces isolation, polar bears and loneliness. But even his one hope, the idea that a rescue team is crossing the Atlantic ice sheet isn’t enough to stave off The Forgotten Enemy. First published in December 1948, in an issue of King’s College Review, later republished in New Worlds.

Podcast feed: http://freakytrigger.co.uk/slugoftime-podcast/feed/

Here’s the accompanying art from the new worlds publication:

The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. Clarke

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Brad Lansky and the Anti-Starc by J.D. Venne

October 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Brad Lansky and the Anti-StarcBrad Lansky and the Anti-Starc
By J.D. Venne; Performed by a full cast
1 Hour 44 Minutes – [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Protophonic
Published: 2010
Themes: / Science Fiction / Hard SF / Audio Drama / Starships / Stars / Artificial Intelligence / Life /

These are troubled times. MARA, the mighty blue supergiant of the Torvus Iubar system is dying, as are the other thirteen ambistars that make up the Ambistar Collective. Billions of lives are in peril. What conceivable force could cause the simultaneous death of fourteen ambistars thousands of light-years apart?

Attention Audiofiles: here is something to sink your ears into. Superior audio design is the hallmark of J.D. Venne’s Brad Lansky audio series, and this latest title (Brad Lansky and the Anti-Starc, the 4th installment) is the best yet. Through rich audio, Venne tells the continuing story of Brad Lansky and his crew, who this time are in search for the cause of the impending destruction of an amazing network of stars.

This audio drama is not your typical fare. The effects, music, and actors combine for an audio experience that reminds me a bit of Meatball Fulton’s Ruby series. Not in subject matter, but in presentation: there and here, the audio is the thing. The sound is as interesting as the story, and Venne’s story is pure hard science fiction. Be sure to use a good set of headphones, and enjoy the ride!

For more info, including samples and purchase data, visit protophonic.net!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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