The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. Clarke

October 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. Clarke

The Forgotten Enemy - from Avon Science Fiction And Fantasy Reader, January 1953 - Illustration by John Giunta

This is the third time I’ve posted about this wonderful podcast episode. The last time was just last year. But I’ve just come across another wonderful illustration, this time from a reprinting in an issue of Avon Science Fiction And Fantasy Reader, so I’ve just had top post about it again. It’s highly recommended listening.

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| – Approx. 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.

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!

Here’s the accompanying art, by Clothier, from the New Worlds printing:

The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. Clarke

Posted by Jesse Willis

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

March 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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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

LibriVox: Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 010

May 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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LibriVoxHere’s the recently released Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 010 from LibriVox! I had a chance to listen to most of the stories and I’ve highlighted a few:

1. As Long As You Wish, a cool kind of time travel tale, seems at first to have some volume problems, but it actually doesn’t, it’s a little creative interpretation that will become clear later in the story. The Coming Of The Ice is old, feels old fashioned, but isn’t so dated as to be unreadable. In fact, the story is rather terrific! It feels very much like a H.G. Wells story.

2. The Coming Of The Ice explains the strange and sad fate of a man who undergoes an operation to make him immortal (and sterile). This is a really terrific reading by the English accented Giles Baker (who could have a career in audiobooks ahead of him). The story itself is also significant in another respect – it was the first all new story ever purchased or published in Amazing Stories magazine (the first all-science fiction mag).

3. The Eternal Wall, deals similarly, offering a man another kind of one way trip to the future, this time though, not of his choosing. Speaking of Wells stories, the last tale in this collection is a Wells story – and it feels as close as Herbert George ever came to noir. From the perspective of a noir aficionado, there’s one flaw with it (and with War Of The Worlds for that matter) – in that Wells sets it all up well but he doesn’t have the guts for the all important follow through. But, speaking from a non-noir-loving perspective, it’s a damn fine story – and proves once again that Wells had more original ideas kicking around than almost anybody else before or since. Narrator Gregg Margurite’s setup isn’t perfect, he sounds a little muffled, but his reading voice is very good.

4. The K Factor Also read by Gregg Margurite, with the same setup as with all his recordings, muffled. Margurite has also recorded a full length Harrison Novel Deathworld! Societics is “The applied study of the interaction of individuals in a culture, the interaction of the group generated by these individuals, the equations derived therefrom, and the application of these equations to control one or more factors of this same culture.” It feels as if Harrision had been reading some Isaac Asimov and then Thomas Kuhn had been reading this story.

5. Star Mother while well written, is barely Science Fiction at all, seeing as the events that it reports would be happening mere 2 years after the story was originally published. Unfortunately Janet Moursund’s reading of Star Mother has too many mouse clicks in the recording.

6. Solander’s Radio Tomb is pretty funny, though more than anything else what I took away from it was an even greater fear of legal wills than I already had – if making plans are what make us human then the ability to revoke a plan does also – unfortunately, being dead you aren’t up for revoking much. So ya, I’m afraid of legal wills.

LibriVox - Short Science Fiction Collection Volume #010Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 010
By various; Read by various
10 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 5 Hours 38 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 04, 2009
Science fiction (abbreviated SF or sci-fi with varying punctuation and case) is a broad genre of fiction that often involves sociological and technical speculations based on current or future science and technology. This is a reader-selected collection of short stories that entered the US public domain when their copyright was not renewed.

LibriVox Science Fiction - As Long As You Wish by John O'KeefeAs Long as You Wish
By John O’Keefe; Read by Sean O’Hara
1 |MP3| – Approx. 10 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 2008
If, somehow, you get trapped in a circular time system . . . how long is the circumference of an infinitely retraced circle? First published in Astounding Science Fiction, June, 1955.

LibriVox Science Fiction - The Coming Of The Ice by G. Peyton WertenbakerThe Coming of the Ice
By G. Peyton Wertenbaker; Read by Giles Baker
1 |MP3| – Approx. 40 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 2008
Strange men these creatures of the hundredth century …
First published in Amazing Stories June 1926, reprinted in Amazing Stories July 1961 with an introduction by Sam Moskowitz.

LibriVox Science Fiction - The Eternal Wall by Raymond Z. GallunThe Eternal Wall
By Raymond Z. Gallun; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 26 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 2008
A scream of brakes, the splash into icy waters, a long descent into alkaline depths … it was death. But Ned Vince lived again—a million years later! From Amazing Stories April 1956, first published in Amazing Stories November 1942.

LibriVox Science Fiction - The K-Factor by Harry HarrisonThe K Factor
By Harry Harrison; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 54 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 2008
Speed never hurt anybody—it’s the sudden stop at the end. It’s not how much change that signals danger, but how fast it’s changing…. From Analog December 1960.

LibriVox Science Fiction - Lease To Doomsday by Lee ArcherLease To Doomsday
By Lee Archer; Read by Tom Weiss
1 |MP3| – 35 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 2008
The twins were a rare team indeed. They wanted to build a printing plant on a garbage dump. When Muldoon asked them why, their answer was entirely logical: “Because we live here.” From Amazing Stories September 1956.

LibriVox Science Fiction - ...Or Your Money Back by Randall Garrett…Or Your Money Back
By Randall Garrett; Read by Tom Weiss
1 |MP3| – Approx. 51 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 2008
There are lots of things that are considered perfectly acceptable … provided they don’t work. And of course everyone knows they really don’t, which is why they’re acceptable…. From Astounding Science Fiction, September 1959 (published under the David Gordon pseudonym).

LibriVox Science Fiction - Question Of Comfort by Les CollinsQuestion Of Comfort
By Les Collins; Read by Tom Weiss
1 |MP3| – Approx. 52 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 2008
From Amazing Science Fiction Stories March 1959. The Gravity Gang was a group of geniuses—devoting its brilliance to creating a realistic Solar System for Disneyland. That was the story, anyway. No one would have believed all that stuff about cops and robbers from outer space.

LibriVox Science Fiction - Solander's Radio Tomb by Ellis Parker ButlerSolander’s Radio Tomb
By Ellis Parker Butler; Read by qqqsimmons
1 |MP3| – 18 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 2008
First published in Amazing Stories June 1927, later in Amazing’s April 1956 issue. “I first met Mr. Remington Solander shortly after I installed my first radio set. I was going in to New York on the 8:15 A.M. train and was sitting with my friend Murchison and, as a matter of course, we were talking radio.”

LibriVox Science Fiction - Star Mother by Robert F. YoungStar Mother
By Robert F. Young; Read by Janet Moursund
1 |MP3| – Approx. 13 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: February 2008
A touching story of the most enduring love in all eternity. From Amazing Stories January 1959.


LibriVox Science Fiction - The Story Of The Late Mr. Elevsham by H.G. WellsStory Of The Late Mr Elvesham
By H.G. Wells; Read by James Christopher
1 |MP3| – Approx. 38 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
“I set this story down, not expecting it will be believed, but, if possible, to prepare a way of escape for the next victim. He, perhaps, may profit by my misfortune. My own case, I know, is hopeless, and I am now in some measure prepared to meet my fate.”

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/short-science-fiction-collection-010.xml

Posted by Jesse Willis

aBoSaSoTT: The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. Clarke

November 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
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A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou - a Resonance FM podcastRounding up recently wrapped second series of A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou is a pleasure. Hopefully this delightfully interesting podcast and radio show (on Resonance FM 104.4 FM in London, U.K.) will come back with a third series real soon.

In reverse order of podcast…

First, there’s a terrific tale by Arthur C. Clarke. Set in London, it’s the tale of a lonely man in a deserted London waiting for rescue. He can almost hear the helicopters. Yes, the helicopters. The slow, loud, helicopters coming inevitably from the north.

The Forgotten Enemy by Arthur C. ClarkeEpisode 16 – The Forgotten Enemy
By Arthur C. Clarke; Read by Elisha Sessions
Podcast – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: 2008
First published in December 1948, in an issue of King’s College Review. 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.

Less accessible, but probably just as interesting if you can get into it, is episode 15, which features some highly literary SF from Ursula K. Le Guin…

A Bite of Stars, A Slug of Time, and Thou: Things by Ursula K. Le GuinEpisode 15 – Things
By Ursula K. Le Guin; Read by Elisha Sessions
Podcast – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: 2008
Written by Ursula Le Guin in 1970. This is a short story about a society sharply divided between nihilist marauders and maudlin do-nothings… and two people who don’t really fit in either camp. Oh, and masonry.

There’s a little editing error in this reading of The Squirrel Cage. And, past that point, Sessions’ reading becomes very quiet, you’ll have to turn up your volume. Despite these issues during the reading of the story, you’ll keep listening, almost as if you don’t have a choice. It’s a compelling narrative of a man trapped alone in a room with a subscription to the New York Times.

A Bite of Stars, A Slug of Time, and Thou: The Squirrel Cage by Thomas M. DischEpisode 14 – The Squirrel Cage
By Thomas M. Disch; Read by Elisha Sessions
Podcast – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: 2008
It’s a story about a writer writing for no one, or for everyone – he’s not sure which.

Episode 13, a story by Brian Aldiss, feels oddly modern, despite its age. Charles Stross might have written it. It’s funny, poignant, and rather subversive – I’m not sure exactly what lessons it teaches, but I like the lesson very much. Perhaps All the World’s Tears is just a lesson in humility? Unfortunate sound effect additions don’t destroy the reading, but they are intrusive.

A Bite of Stars, A Slug of Time, and Thou: All The World’s Tears by Brian AldissEpisode 13 – All The World’s Tears
By Brian Aldiss; Read by Elisha Sessions
1 |MP3| – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: Oct. 7, 2008
The people and culture described in this 1957 short story by Brian Aldiss are human, but they don’t really act like it. Except for maybe the self-destructive part. It’s about a vitiated ecology, a mechanized society, and a desolate, wind-swept mansion where love may not be all you need.

Podcast feed:

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

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of State Of Fear By Michael Crichton

February 16, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobook - State of Fear by Michael CrichtonState Of Fear
By Michael Crichton; Read by George Wilson
Audible.com DOWNLOAD – 18 hours and 7 min [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: 2004
Themes: / Science Fiction / Techno-thriller / Global Warming / Ecology / Tsunami / Ice-Age / Eco-Terrorism /

A review by Guest Reviewer Barry

In Paris, a physicist dies after performing a laboratory experiment for a beautiful visitor. In the jungles of Malaysia, a mysterious buyer purchases deadly cavitation technology, built to his specifications. In Vancouver, a small research submarine is leased for use in the waters off New Guinea. And in Tokyo, an intelligence agent tries to understand what it all means.

I listened to Crichton’s State of Fear mainly because of a nicely done
interview with Crichton by Beth Anderson, available for free on Audible.com.

I’ve always been a bit of a Crichton fan since his first book The Andromeda Strain. The last book I heard of his, Timeline, seemed kind of silly and cartoonish and I was eager to get it over with. But Beth’s interview with Crichton was interesting and I expected something a little more mature. Boy was I wrong.

This is in many, many ways a very childish and often boring book. The characters aren’t even fleshed out enough to call them thin. Thin implies some dimensionality. Their parts in the story, which is no story, are contrived to enable them to give speeches explaining Crichton’s views while fending off killers and eco-terrorists, poisoners, lawyers and interesting dialog.

Crichton is convinced that the ecology movement has been overtaken by greedy lawyers
and that we’re being sold a bill of goods about global warming. While I can’t help but agree that the scenario he paints would be scary if it were real I don’t see much sign of it being real in the world I live in.

He makes some very good points about studies by universities and foundations being as biased as those of industry. But he seems to think that we the people are all firmly convinced that global warming is a reality because of the PR campaigns of these money-seeking foundations and a press who is always willing to jump on any bandwagon that attracts an audience. And while both of those things are easy to believe, I don’t see any sign that everyone believes that global warming is a fact and I don’t think I’ve seen attempts by the media to convince me of that.

Yes there have been pro shows on TV and articles treating global warming as a fact but the majority of those I’ve seen treat it as an open question; as a possibility.

His major point seems to be that we have a lot of questions and not many answers and that we should be asking more questions and studying and learning more before we try to insist on answers. I agree with that and I agree that it often doesn’t happen that way in
life. But it often does happen that way.

The book has almost no story of interest; no characters of interest at all; very little suspense with the exception of a couple of very surprising and tense and exciting scenes; and very little to offer.

To add injury to insult, this is a very badly made audiobook. It’s read by George Wilson, who I’ve heard and liked in other books, and it’s done badly. He doesn’t give us any way to distinguish the characters in a dialog and it’s often not possible to figure out who is
saying what. If there had been a story this would have hindered it terribly.

He sometimes reads a line badly and then reads it over. I guess that’s the editor’s fault, not the narrator’s; but it makes for bad narration from the listener’s point of view.

And, just to make sure the insult and injury were painful, Audible put their section markers right before chapter headings, which consist of the date and time, so that when you lose your place and are trying to find it, if you don’t remember the exact date and time of the section you were in, traversing the sections makes them all sound the same. That made finding my place after drifting off to sleep; a serious problem in this book; very difficult.

Everyone who got their hands on this book seemed to screw it up a little more. I probably even downloaded it badly. For all you Crichton fans, I suggest hearing Airframe if you haven’t already. It’s one of his best.

For you who want to be up in arms about a problem and don’t care if it’s a real problem or not, listen to Rush Limbaugh or something. This book is just too boring.