The Seismograph Adventure by Arthur B. Reeve

December 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

The Seismograph Adventure - illustrated by Winter

Professor Craig Kennedy, a scientific detective similar to Sherlock Holmes, uses his knowledge of chemistry, psychoanalysis, and the scientific method to solve mysteries. In this adventure he foresees “potentialities and possibilities unrecognized by ordinary minds, and with his profound knowledge of applied sciences, is able to approach the enormous tasks confronting him from a new and scientific angle.”

And according to Hugo Gernsback The Seismograph Adventure is “one of the finest, as well as scientific, of Arthur B. Reeve’s stories.”

LibriVoxThe Seismograph Adventure
By Arthur B. Reeve; Read by Elliott Miller
1 |MP3| – Approx. 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: 2010
“Can ghosts walk? And if they do, can their footsteps be recorded on a machine? And are the spirits of the phantom world subject to the same physical phenomena as our human bodies? These are tantalizing questions which arise during the thrilling and complex mystery into which Craig Kennedy and Jameson are plunged without warning.” First published in Cosmopolitan, April 1911.

And here’s a 10 page |PDF| made from its republication in Scientific Detective Monthly, March 1930.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Star by H.G. Wells

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

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Star by H.G. Wells

The Star by H.G. Wells - illustration by L. Marold from The Graphic, December 1897

Here’s a portion of the Wikipedia entry for The Star:

“[The Star] can be credited with having created a Science Fiction sub-genre depicting a planet or star colliding, or near-colliding with Earth – such as the 1933 novel When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer, (made into a film in 1951), Fritz Leiber’s The Wanderer (1965), and Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (1977).”

Here is the editorial introduction (presumably by Hugo Gernsback himself) to the story as found in the Amazing Stories, June 1926 printing:

“Here is an impressive story based on the inter-action of planetary bodies and of the sun ipon them. A great star is seen approaching the earth. At first it is only an object of interest to the general public, but there is an astronomer on the earth who is watching each phase and making mathematical calculations, for he knows the intimate relation of gravitation between bodies and the effect on rotating bodies of the same force from an outside source. He fears all sorts of wreckage on our earth. He arns the people, but they as usual, discount all he says and label him mad. But he was not mad. H.G. Wells, in his own way, gives us a picturesque description of the approach of the new body through long days adn nights – he tells how the earth and natural phenomena of the earth will re-act. Though this star never touches our sphere, the devastation and destruction wrought bu it are complete and horrible. The story is correct in its astronomical aspects.”

Without a significant viewpoint character H.G. Wells’ The Star relates, with elegiac cosmicism, of the destruction of Earth and its inhabitants. There is in this story a dispassionate reverence for both the blind omnipotence of nature and mortal humanity’s perception of its place within it.

365 Days Of AstronomyThe Star
By H.G. Wells; Read by Pamela Quevillon
1 |MP3| – Approx. 35 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: 365 Days Of Astronomy
Podcast: October 20, 2013
Astronomers discover a bright new star in the heavens rushing headlong towards the Earth on a collision course. First published in The Graphic, December 1897.

LibriVoxThe Star
By H.G. Wells; Read by Heather Phillips
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: 2010
Astronomers discover a bright new star in the heavens rushing headlong towards the Earth on a collision course. First published in The Graphic, December 1897.

LibriVoxThe Star
By H.G. Wells; Read by Linda Dodge
1 |MP3| – Approx. 32 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: 2009
Astronomers discover a bright new star in the heavens rushing headlong towards the Earth on a collision course. First published in The Graphic, December 1897.

PeopletalkThe Star
By H.G. Wells; Read by Jenny Rowe
1 |MP3| or |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Peopletalk
Podcast: September 18, 2006
Astronomers discover a bright new star in the heavens rushing headlong towards the Earth on a collision course. First published in The Graphic, December 1897.

Here is a |PDF| made from the publication in Amazing Stories, June 1926.

Here’s an easy reading version, suitable for printing |PDF|.

And, here’s a Spanish language translation |PDF| that’s beautifully illustrated.

The Star by H.G. Wells - illustration from Amazing Stories, June 1926

The Star by H.G. Wells - illustrated by Oscar Palacios

The Star by H.G. Wells - illustrated by Oscar Palacios

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Coming Of The Ice by G. Peyton Wertenbaker

July 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Coming Of The Ice - illustrated by Frank R. Paul

I posted about this story, as part of a larger LibriVox collection, back in 2009. Then, I described it thusly:

The Coming Of The Ice explains the strange and sad fate of a man who undergoes an operation to make him immortal (and sterile).

I had somehow forgotten about it. But, as I heard someone describe it recently I was reminded of it, tracked it down again, and enjoyed it wholly afresh today.

The Coming Of The Ice deserves to be far better known. Not only is it a really terrific story, but the narration, by Giles Baker, is absolutely outstanding too!

Sam Moskowitz, in his introduction to the 1961 reprint of The Coming Of The Ice wrote the following about it:

One of the gravest editorial problems faced by the editors of AMAZING STORIES when they launched its first issue, dated April, 1926, was the problem of finding or developing authors who could write the type of story they needed. As a stop-gap, the first two issues of AMAZING STORIES were devoted entirely to reprints. But reprints were to constitute a declining portion of the publication’s contents for the following four years. The first new story the magazine bought was Coming Of The Ice, by G. Peyton Wertenbaker, which appeared in its third issue. Wertenbaker was not technically a newcomer to science fiction, since he had sold his first story to Gernsback’s SCIENCE AND INVENTION, The Man From the Atom, in 1923 when he was only 16! Now, at the ripe old age of 19, he was appearing in the world’s first truely complete science fiction magazine. The scope of his imagination was truly impressive and, despite the author’s youth, Coming of
the Ice
builds to a climax of considerable power.

Back in 1926 the editorial introduction, presumably by Hugo Gernsback himself, said this about The Coming Of The Ice:

This powerful and tragic story by the author of “The Man From The Atom” tells of a man who acquired terrestrial immortality – tells of a world many centuries hence – a time when everything is changed. This one man remains as a relic of the 20th century, He is alone with strangely developed human beings, the product of ages of evolution. Climactic changes are taking place. The world begins to grow cold. New York is almost in the Arctic region and Italy is covered with snow all the year around. In spite of their enormous intellectual development, all human beings must perish. Our hero alone can withstand the intense cold. He wanted eternal life – and he got it – eternal life, purely intellectual. What does he do with all his years? And how does he enjoy them?, Read this powerful story.

LibriVoxThe Coming Of The Ice
By G. Peyton Wertenbaker; Read by Giles Baker
1 |MP3| – Approx. 40 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 4, 2009
“Strange men, these creatures of the hundredth century, men with huge brains and tiny, shriveled bodies, atrophied limbs, and slow, ponderous movements on their little conveyances … it was then that I was forced to produced my tattered old paper, proving my identity and my story.” First published in Amazing Stories, June 1926.

|ETEXT|

Here are two PDF versions:

Amazing Stories, June 1926 |PDF|
Amazing Stories, July 1961 |PDF|

[Thanks also to David T. and Carlo!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Damon Knight discusses early Science Fiction

February 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

James Gunn filmed this interview with Damon Knight sometime in the 1960s, it features Knight discussing Science Fiction from a time when there was no name for it. He begins with stories of of moon voyages (Lucian, Cyrano de Bergerac) and moves on to 19th century authors Edgar Allan Poe and Jules Verne.

H.G. Wells, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, Rudyard Kipling, Hugo Gernsback, Jack Williamson, Edmund Hamilton, Olaf Stapeldon, E.E. Smith, and J.R.R. Tolkien are the focus for this second half…

[via AboutSF]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Country Of The Blind by H.G. Wells

December 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

TITLE - The Country O fThe Blind by H.G. Wells

Here’s the editorial introduction to The Country Of The Blind from Amazing Stories, December 1927:

We take many things for granted in this world. We accept many preconceived notions about an amazing large number of things, which, like as not prove to be amazingly wrong. If any story ever proved this point, The Country Of The Blind certainly is that one. The author exploits the well-known saying , “In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king.” Indeed that statement is most easy to believe and all logic should point that way. In reading this interesting story, you will soon find out how far wrong even seemingly good logic can be.

The above, presumably written by Hugo Gernsback himself, ably covers most of what I thought to say about this story. But that didn’t quite stop me.

This audiobook was my first time reading this story. I’m starting to think that H.G. Wells always wrote allegory and fable. The main character in this piece, and all Wellsian fiction, is completely unlikeable. The society he creates is unlikeable too. What does it say about me that I appreciated the story, even if I didn’t like it? What does it say about modern SF that stories with unlikeable protagonists in unlikeable societies are so few?

I guess I appreciated The Country Of The Blind because there’s a very deep skepticism to it, about human nature, about society but most importantly about the claim of wisdom. Man is a foolish, foolish beast. His only guide to the future is what has come before. But we’re always tempted to take some distilled bit of wisdom and use it that to do our thinking for us. What does it say for us when for every proverb we use to rationalize a decsion there is another proverb that could have supported an alternate?

Better, perhaps, to reject proverb entirely.

LibriVoxThe Country Of The Blind
By H.G. Wells; Read by llite (aka George Cooney)
1 |MP3| – Approx. 61 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: January 17, 2010
While attempting to summit the unconquered crest of Parascotopetl, a mountaineer named Nunez slips and falls down the far side of the mountain. At the end of his descent, down a snow-slope in the mountain’s shadow, he finds a valley, cut off from the rest of the world on all sides by steep precipices. Nunez has discovered the fabled Country of the Blind. The valley had been a haven for settlers fleeing the tyranny of Spanish rulers until an earthquake reshaped the surrounding mountains and cut it off forever from future explorers. The isolated community prospered over the years despite a disease that struck them all blind. As the blindness slowly spread over the generations and the last sighted villager had died, the community had fully adapted to life without vision. First published in the April 1904 issue of the Strand Magazine.

The Country Of The Blind - illustrated by Frank R. Paul

Included below are all the audio drama adaptations I could find. I recommend the episode of Escape with Paul Frees.

EscapeEscape – The Country Of The Blind
Based on the story by H.G. Wells; Adapted by John Dunkel; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 29 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: November 26, 1947
produced/directed by William N. Robson
Cast:
William Conrad … Ibarra
Paul Frees … Nunez
Produced/directed by William N. Robson

EscapeEscape – The Country Of The Blind
Based on the story by H.G. Wells; Adapted by John Dunkel; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: June 20, 1948
Cast:
Berry Kroeger … Ibarra
Paul Frees … Nunez

EscapeEscape – The Country Of The Blind
Based on the story by H.G. Wells; Adapted by John Dunkel; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: March 20, 1949.
Cast:
Berry Kroeger … Ibarra
Edmund O’Brien … Nunez
Produced/directed by Norman MacDonnell

SuspenseSuspense – The Country Of The Blind
Based on the story by H.G. Wells; Adapted by John Dunkel and William N. Robson; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 19 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: October 27, 1957
Cast:
Raymond Burr

SuspenseSuspense – The Country Of The Blind
Based on the story by H.G. Wells; Adapted by John Dunkel and William N. Robson; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 24 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: December 13, 1959
Cast:
Bernard Grant
Produced/directed by Paul Roberts

Favorite Story Favorite Story – Strange Valley
Based on The Country Of The Blind by H.G. Wells; Adapted by ???; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 27 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: KFI
Broadcast: April 23, 1949
Cast:
Ronald Coleman … Nunez

[via Escape-Suspense.com]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Thousand-And-Second Tale Of Scheherazade by Edgar Allan Poe

October 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade by Edgar Allan Poe - illustration by Frank R. Paul

Here’s the uncredited editorial introduction, presumably by Hugo Gernsback himself, to The Thousand-And-Second Tale Of Scheherazade as it appeared in the May 1928 issue of Amazing Stories:

“When we realize that this story was written nearly 100 years ago, we must marvel at the extraordinary fertile imagination of Poe. Poe was probably the inventor of “Scientifiction” as we know it today, and just because the story was written almost a century ago, certainly does not make it less valuable. On the contrary, it becomes more valuable as time passes. It is just as applicable to the modern man, who is mostly in the fog about what goes on around him in science today, as his predecessors were a century ago.”

Indeed, if you read it straight through, without pausing to read the footnotes, you’ll probably only get a vague sense of what’s going on in this story. And though I think I tumbled to the idea pretty early on, I still found myself in many places echoing the king’s many harrumphs. I’m not one to use the term “genius” lightly, but if anyone is worthy of the term, it is certainly Edgar Allan Poe. Even in his lesser works, like The Thousand-And-Second Tale Of Scheherazade, there is a wry brilliance that may be entirely matchless.

LibriVoxThe Thousand-And-Second Tale Of Scheherazade
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 55 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox
Published: October 1, 2009
First published in the February 1845 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

And here’s the matching |PDF|.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Next Page »