The SFFaudio Podcast #119

August 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #119 – Scott, Jesse and Tamahome talk to author Paul Malmont about his novel The Astounding, The Amazing, And The Unknown.

Talked about on today’s show:
The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, Jack London In Paradise, Hawaii, The Iron Heel by Jack London, the rise of the oligarchy, The Washington Post review of The Astounding, The Amazing, And The Unknown, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, L. Ron Hubbard, the Philadelphia Experiment, the movie The Philadelphia Experiment, “a psuedo-historical event” vs. “a cultural phenomena”, legend, John W. Campbell, Astounding Science Fiction, Unknown (magazine), Kamikaze pilots vs. the Kamikaze group, L. Sprague de Camp, chemistry, Orange Nehi, the Tunguska event, Nikola Tesla, the Wardenclyffe Tower, historical fiction, meta-science fiction, Walter B. Gibson, Lester Dent, H.P. Lovecraft, the “hero pulps” vs. science fiction pulps, The Shadow, Doc Savage, L. Ron Hubbard as a tragic hero, Dianetics, an atomic age religion, Virginia Heinlein, Janet Asimov, Gertrude Asimov, “The robot felt…”, using social networks to promote a novel, Frank Herbert, Aleutian Islands, the Manhattan Project, Cleve Cartmill and the atomic bomb, The Green Hills Of Earth, Tim Powers, “twenty weird true things”, Murdoch Mysteries, the AC DC wars, remixing modern historical fiction, Iain M. Banks, mash-ups, The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril has zombies, the TVO interview with Walter B. Gibson, magic, In Search Of….

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #107

May 9, 2011 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Aural Noir, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #107 – Scott, and Jesse talk about new audiobooks, recent arrivals, new releases, the theatre and and comics too!

Talked about on today’s show:
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott, Pride And Prejudice, Charlie’s Aunt, 1776, John Hancock, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, David McCullough, Penguin Audio, Across The Universe by Beth Revis, generation ship, murder, “earth is nowhere new the final frontier”?, Hamlet, A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness, “he loves yoga and he’s a vampire?”, history, wine, the multiple meanings of discovery, Christopher Columbus DID (in a sense) discover North America, uncover vs. discovery, WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer |READ OUR REVIEW|, “mining the same ideas” in a trilogy, Seth Wilson, Spirit Blade a christian audio drama, Pilgrim’s Progress |READ OUR REVIEW|, comicbookjesus.com’s review, An Accidental Adventure: We Are Not Eaten By Yaks by C. Alexander London, Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz, GoodReads.com, Ranger’s Apprentice: Book 10 – The Emperor Of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan, the Ranger’s Apprentice Wiki, The Lord Of The Rings, Blackstone Audio, Sweep: The Coven by Cate Tiernan, Dreamhouse Kings: Book 6 – Frenzy by Robert Liparulo, Aural Noir, Silent Mercy by Linda Fairstein, the Alex Cooper series, series Crime/Mystery vs. series Fantasy/Science Fiction, Sue Grafton, Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, SFSignal.com’s Which SciFi Series Should You Watch on NetFlix? This Handy Flowchart Will Help You Decide!, Night Vision by Randy Wayne White, the extremely negative reviews on Amazon.com, When The Thrill Is Gone by Walter Mosley, Blue Light, Futureland, John DeNardo’s review of Blue Light, Bell Air Dead by Stuart Woods, Strategic Moves by Stuart Woods, “Stuart Woods is a writing machine”, Richard Ferrone, Tamahome got bogged down in the Martian sand (of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars), Buried Prey by John Sanford, kidnapping, “this dude has other dudes as well”, the Virgil Flowers series, Bad Blood, the next readalong is 361 by Donald E. Westlake, Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell, the Kay Scarpetta series, forensic detection, Kathy Reichs, Bones, new releases, Hachette Audio, Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks, space opera, Coruscant, extremely detailed strange stuff, Audible.com, Recorded Books, Glasshouse by Charles Stross, Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia, Audible Frontiers, Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia, Second Variety and Other Stories by Philip K. Dick, William Coon, The Most Dangerous Game, The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick, Buffalito Destiny, David Drake’s Hammer’s Slammers series, military SF, The Collected Stories Of Arthur C. Clarke Vol. 5, Bronson Pinchot, The Alchemy of Desire by Crista McHugh, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (translated into Danish), The Stress Of Her Regard by Tim Powers, The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson, Orion And The King by Ben Bova, The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez, robot detective vs. femme fatale, “satisfying conclusion, clever, twisty, fast” = good, Monster: A Novel, Divine Misfortune, The Stainless Steel Rat Book 8, Too Many Curses, FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, Criminal: Bad Night by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 2 by Alan Moore, Listening For The League’s Gentlemen, Mars, aliens, H.G.Wells, The War Of The Worlds, Allan Quatermain, Bongo Comics, The Simpsons, Baltimore, Mike Mignola, Hellboy, Fafhrd And The Gray Mouser, Civil War Adventure, Locke & Key, Blair Butler, Joe Hill, TV version of Locke & Key, DMZ, Brian Wood, Fables, Y: The Last Man, The Boys: Highland Laddie, Garth Ennis, 361 by Donald E. Westlake, Hard Case Crime, Charles Ardai, Memory by Donald E. Westlake, The Comedy Is Finished by Donald E. Westlake, The King Of Comedy, Getting Off by Lawrence Block, James M. Cain, David Morrell, Stephen King, John D. MacDonald.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #058

May 10, 2010 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #058 – Jesse and Scott talk with John DeNardo from SFSignal.com about Science Fiction books, audiobooks, TV, movies and comics.

Talked about on today’s show:
SFSignal.com, Charles Tan (of the Bibliophile Stalker), books vs. movies, Blade Runner, SFSignal reviews audiobooks, the Warhammer 40K series, Infinivox, Aliens Rule edited by Allan Kaster, James Swallow, the Blake’s 7 audio dramas, Black Library, Dresden Files, Jim Butcher, WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer |READ OUR REVIEW|, Mike Resnick’s Starship series, Orson Scott Card, Theodore Sturgeon, Alastair Reynolds, Hard SF, Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton, Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks, The Space Opera Renaissance edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, The New Space Opera 2 edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan, Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame – Volume One, Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds, Tantor Media, steampunk, airships, Deep Navigation by Alastair Reynolds, NESFA Press, Subterranean Press, Phases Of The Moon by Robert Silverberg, “Book Cover Smackdown,” Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Gentlemen Of The Road by Michael Chabon, interior magazine art, The Lifecycle Of Software Objects by Ted Chiang, The Merchant And The Alchemist’s Gate by Ted Chiang, The Story Of Your Life by Ted Chiang, reviewing Science Fiction books, PC Gamer, the philosophy of reviewing, The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James, Star Trek, Doctor Who, deus ex machina, social Science Fiction, Fringe, Eureka, Paul Bishop, Bish’s Beat, Flashforward, Robert J. Sawyer’s episode, Luke Burrage, iO9: Good Character Development Includes The All-Important “F*@% Yeah” Moment, Terry Pratchett Explains Why Doctor Who Is Ludicrous, Frequency, CERN, HBO, True Blood, Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris |READ OUR REVIEW|, A Game Of Thrones, Ringworld as an audio drama or a miniseries, V, Shogun, “In the interest of full disclosure”, books received vs. books reviewed, the ethics of reviewing free books, Karen Burnham, Spiral Galaxy Reviewing Laboratory, paranormal romance, Lisa Paitz Spindler, Danger Gal, recent arrivals, The Unincorporated War by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin, Brilliance Audio, Cory Doctorow, For The Win, Little Brother, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: Logicomix: An Epic Search For Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Watchmen, Zeus: King Of The Gods by George O’Connor, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby, About A Boy, Fever Pitch, John’s Pick Of The Week: Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds, We, Robots edited by Allan Kaster, The Complete Drive-In by Joe R. Lansdale.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #057

May 3, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #057 – Jesse and Scott talk about the recently arrived audiobooks

Talked about on today’s show:
Penguin Audio, Stephen King, Brian Murphy of The Silver Key blog, The Dark Half, The Tommyknockers, Christine, It, reading all of Stephen King’s books, Brilliance Audio, Directive 51 by John Barnes, The Stand, Hater by David Moody, “the worst sin that any book can commit”, Angelology by Danielle Trussoni, reading out loud vs. reading in your head, Lost Fleet: Victorious by Jack Campbell, Audible Frontiers, Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks, The Player Of Games, RadioArchive.cc, audio drama, State Of The Art, the GoodReads.com HARD SF group, Hard SF, space opera, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman |READ OUR REVIEW|, the phenomenon of characters named “Jack“, Jack Bauer from 24, Armor by John Steakley, “Jack Crow”, recycling the names of characters, Vampire$ by John Steakley, the hidden history of Jack, why people like 24, Jane Slayre by Charlotte Brontë and Sherri Browning Erwin, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the trend of remixing public domain classics with modern monsters, Dancing On The Head Of A Pin by Thomas E. Sniegoski, “magic sword book, with angels”, The Invention Of Lying, WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Dying Earth: Cugel’s Saga by Jack Vance, The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, The Android In The Iron Mask, Andre Norton, Web Of The Witch World, Year Of The Unicorn, Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein, what is YA (young adult) fiction?, is YA is for adults too?, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow |READ OUR REVIEW|, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Harry Potter, Paul Bishop of the Bish’s Beat blog loves YA books!, would Dirty Harry read YA?, the ability to affect the world, The Science Of Harry Potter, riding on the coattails of another book, the Open Court Presents podcast, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale, Firefly‘s philosophy episode Objects In Space, Hitchcock And Philosophy, Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rope, Anne Is A Man, the Catholic Stuff You Should Know podcast, Dan Carlin’s HardCore History “Show 33 – (BLITZ) Old School Toughness”, Murdoch Mysteries, Corner Gas, Dog River, Saskatchewan, Connie Willis wrote a whole book about bells, Bellwether by Connie Willis, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: Blackout by Connie Willis, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, To Say Nothing Of The Dog by Connie Willis, time travel, Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, reading about books (in books), Castle, fictional fictional characters (a great wikipedia entry), Bones, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy by Hawthorne Abendsen, is Hawthorne Abendsen supposed to be an alternate universe Robert A. Heinlein?, Colorado, “deeply nested fiction”, Ellery Queen, Dr. John Watson, Swords And Deviltry by Fritz Leiber, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Sword Of Sorcery, Blackstone Audio, The Musashi Flex by Steve Perry, Peter David, the Audio Drama Review blog, James Snowe’s review of The Zombie Astronaut’s Frequency Of Fear, W. Ralph Walters, awards, Startide Rising by David Brin |READ OUR REVIEW|, Kiln People by David Brin, Surrogates is “a big-old-fashioned-clunky-80s-action-movie”, Halfway To The Grave by Jeaniene Frost, The Twilight Zone Companion, 2nd Edition by Marc Scott Zicree, King Kong |READ OUR REVIEW|, Orson Scott Card, Dercum Audio, A Dirge For Clowntown by James Powell, Dreamsongs Vol. 1 by George R.R. Martin |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Road To Science Fiction, Science Fiction 101 (aka Worlds Of Wonder) edited by Robert Silverberg, Home Is The Hunter by Henry Kuttner, Honest Roger Belamy, New York, The Monsters by Robert Sheckley, Wonder Audio, Fondly Fahrenheit, Scanners Live In Vain by Cordwainer Smith, Little Black Bag by C.M. Kornbluth, Day Million by Frederik Pohl, perhaps the first ever singularity story, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: Pride Of Baghdad, the second Gulf War, anthropomorphic fiction, Baghdad.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Transition by Iain M. Banks

October 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Transition by Iain M. BanksTransition
By Iain M. Banks; Read by Peter Kenny
13.5 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Published: 2009
Themes: / Science Fiction / Alternate Realities / Consciousness / Culture /

It was my understanding that Iain Banks published his non-science fiction under this name and his science fiction as Iain M. Banks. I haven’t read any of his other books, despite having Consider Phlebas on my book shelf for the last twenty one years. After reading Transition that book has suddenly jumped a lot closer to actually getting read. Sadly it isn’t available in audio or it would be a done deal.

Transition tells the disjointed, non-linear story of Tumudjin Oh. Oh is one of the many agents for The Concern, an organisation that spans the multi-verse, also known in some realities as l’Expédience. His job involves traveling to different realities and performing a wide range of tasks. From leaving a leaflet so that someone will see it and change their life, or stopping someone from entering a building moments before is collapses and even outright assassination. Banks employs the Many-Worlds variant of alternate realities and the implications of what realities they do, and more importantly do not
encounter, are central to the core conflict. Travel between realities is not by means of a portal or vehicle, but by the use of a drug, septus. This allows individuals to send their personalities to different realities, where they take over the body of someone already there. Usually, the invaded body is of a similar age and body type, but that isn’t set in stone. Once in the host body, they have access to the skills, knowledge and languages of their host. Travel is not a there and back, but a never-ending series of forward jumps that periodically may return to previously visited realities, but not necessarily into the same host as before.

Oh is very much the pawn between the rival Madame d’Ortolan and Mrs Mulverhill. d’Ortolan is the unofficial head of l’Expédience, and is grooming Oh. Much as the rebel Mrs Mulverhill does. He has a small case of OCD that follows him from body to body, sometimes stronger than others. We follow Oh in the present as he is sent on a mission by Madam d’Ortolan and also flashbacks telling how he has come to this point. Mrs Mulverhill, always wearing a veil in whatever reality and
body she has, attempts to seduce Oh both physically and politically.

There are other view points that we cycled throughout the book. Some are told in the first-person, others in third. Patient 8262 is a Transitioner who has hidden himself in a clinic in a reality where he hopes to escape his mysterious pursuers. Madame d’Ortolan has plans concerning the governing Council of the Concern, which Mrs Mulverhill objects to. Oh, who’s points-of-view sections are titled The Transitionary, meets d’Ortolan and received his orders. There are also
points of views from other characters, including Adrian Cubbish, a drug dealer turned financier, who we comes from our own reality.

Banks’ explore a range of topics, particularly in their first person narrations, from Christian Terrorists, torture, limited liability companies and drugs. Adrian goes into detail about his love affair with Cocaine, comparing it to the variety of alternatives.

The several points of view, particularly the multiple first person narrators confused me at first. I had to replay the first chapter or so once I figured out what was happening. Listen out for those POV changes, they could have been made clearer with a slightly longer pause perhaps.

The narrator, Peter Kenny, is outstanding. You can hear the thought behind the intonation of every phrase. A very detailed and thought out narration. The high point for me was Bisquitine’s insane ramblings. Jumping accent and voice sentence by sentence to bring her madness to life. Yet he uses the technique to make a certain sense of the stream
of apparently random phrases. I’ll be looking out for more from this narrator, even out with the SF genre.

As I mentioned at the start, I’ve not read any of Bank’s work before. If Transition has taught me nothing, it’s that I’ve been sorely remiss in this. Transition is a very dense, detailed story. The scenes come to life in only a few words, Banks’ prose is a delight to read. I’m certain that I’ll appreciate it even more on a second, and probably a
third listen. I’m sure I’ll understand more of the depth of the plot and the character’s machinations. Banks doesn’t dwell on what makes each reality distinct. Experienced transitioners can sense the make up of a reality, and their almost check-list breakdown as they assimilate into their new host body covers it. The realities themselves aren’t the centre stage, the only exception is Calbefraques, the base reality of l’Expédience. Instead the story focuses on the character’s.

After my single listen, I’m not sure about some aspects of the story, such as why so much time was spent with some characters. Adrian in particular, but also Patient 8262. Not that these sections weren’t entertaining, but I struggle to see what their character’s were contributing. Patient 8262 at least provided exposition on Transitioning and the setting as a whole, and so served as an overall narrator of sorts.

An engrossing listen that appeals to my love of complexity and traveling amongst alternate realities. Highly recommended.

Posted by Paul [W] Campbell

Hachette Audio: Transition by Iain M. Banks

September 24, 2009 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The first file of an abridged version of Iain Banks’s latest thriller novel Transition was released as an iTunes exclusive podcast in the Canadian and U.S. versions of iTunes today. The UK version of iTunes has already had at least three of the files released.

Why the disparity?

Marketing.

Why only through iTunes?

Marketing.

Why not just do it the sensible way, like every other podcaster ever has?

Lets see …. oh yes, marketing!

Yeah.

Is Hachette earning any good will this way? Is it selling more of the UNABRIDGED, non free, audiobooks? Maybe, but somehow I don’t think annoying your customers into buying the regular version is what made podcasting novels a good idea. I mean look at this:

iTunes - Transition by Iain M. Banks

The feed, after subscribing, shows as broken! There’s no art in the file, and I have two copies of the same file.

That’s really pathetic.

Still, it might get healed.

Hachette Digital - Transition by Ian M. Banks ABRIDGEDTransition
By Iain M. Banks; Read by Peter Kenny
23 MP3 Files via iTunes Podcast – Approx. 6 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Hachette Audio
Podcast: September 2009 -???
A world that hangs suspended between triumph and catastrophe, between the dismantling of the Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers, frozen in the shadow of suicide terrorism and global financial collapse, such a world requires a firm hand and a guiding light. But does it need the Concern: an all-powerful organisation with a malevolent presiding genius, pervasive influence and numberless invisible operatives in possession of extraordinary powers? On the Concern’s books are Temudjin Oh, an un-killable assassin who journeys between the peaks of Nepal, a version of Victorian London and the dark palaces of Venice; and a nameless, faceless torturer known only as the Philosopher. And then there’s the renegade Mrs Mulverhill, who recruits rebels to her side; and Patient 8262, hiding out from a dirty past in a forgotten hospital ward. As these vivid, strange and sensuous worlds circle and collide, the implications of turning traitor to the Concern become horribly apparent, and an unstable universe is set on a dizzying course.

Oh, did I mention the regular podcast feed is either broken or disabled? It is. Likely this is because in order to use the words “This is the first time an audio has been serialised in this way, and we’re very excited to be doing something so groundbreaking.” -Disabling regular podcast feeds = good?

Check it out for yourself…

Podcast feed:

http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/features/transition/transition_podcast.xml

Thankfully some clever person in the BoingBoing thread thought to provide a link to this…

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[via BoingBoing]

Posted by Jesse Willis

« Previous PageNext Page »