Commentary: MP3-CD Audiobooks (old and new)

January 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

The video below is a quick exploration of the MP3-CD audiobook format. It’s my favourite format for physical audiobooks. The packaging is small, the files are ready to be used, and they are cheaper audiobooks than their regular CD equivalent. The only disadvantage to the MP3-CD format is they don’t play on all CD players, and the ones they do play on may limit the volume output.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrivals from Brilliance Audio

July 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Science Fiction Audiobook - Honor of the Queen by David WeberThe Honor of the Queen (Honor Harrington, Book 2)
By David Weber; Read by Allyson Johnson
13 CDs – 16 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781423395287

It’s hard to give peace a chance when the other side regards conquest as the only option and a sneak attack as the best means to that end. That’s why the Kingdom of Manticore needs allies against the Republic of Haven—and the planet Grayson is strategically situated to make a very good ally indeed. But Her Majesty’s Foreign Office overlooked a “minor cultural difference” when they chose Honor Harrington to carry the flag: women on the planet of Grayson are without rank or rights and Honor’s mere presence is an intolerable affront to every male on the planet.

At first Honor doesn’t take it personally; where she comes from gender discrimination is barely a historical memory, right up there in significance with fear of the left-handed. But in time such treatment becomes taxing and she makes plans to withdraw until Grayson’s fratricidal sister planet attacks without warning. Now, Honor must stay and prevail, not just for her honor, but for her sovereign’s, for the honor of the Queen.

“Following in the best tradition of C.S. Forester, Patrick O’Brian and Robert A Heinlein! These hugely entertaining and clever adventures are the very epitome of space opera.”—Publishers Weekly
 
 

Science Fiction Audiobook - Honor of the Clan by John Ringo and Julie CochraneHonor of the Clan
By John Ringo and Julie Cochrane; Read by Marc Vietor
12 CDs – 14 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781423395133

Three words that resound in the heart of the warrior. But what is duty when country is gone? Where does honor lie when allies are revealed as enemies, when friends are not who they seem and when enemies are the ones we love?

The Indowy “Bane Sidhe” conspiracy has grown strong, and the cunning and resourceful Darhel—tacit rulers of the Galactic Federation—have decided that the time has come to wipe that threat from the stars forever. What the Darhel don’t know is that humans have joined the rebellion—led by thief and assassin extraordinaire, Cally O’Neal. Now Cally is set to destroy a web of alien deceit millennia in the making. Only one obstacle lies in her path: the renowned warrior who stood tall and saved Earth from utter destruction during its first invasion by alien hordes—a legend who also happens to be Cally’s father!

Multiple New York Times best-selling John Ringo’s “Legacy of Aldenata” saga continues as beautiful assassin Cally O’Neal returns in a gripping interplanetary thriller.
 
Posted by Scott D. Danielson

New Releases – Audible Frontiers January 2009

January 14, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: New Releases 

New Releases

Audible FrontiersHere’s the latest batch of Audible Frontiers titles releasing exclusively through Audible.com for January 2009. The last two on this list are likely the most anticipated (I’m looking at you here Greg). Also on tap are the first four books in Alan Dean Foster’s “Pip and Flinx” series with a promise of the “entire series” over “the next several months … culminating in the May 19th simultaneous publication of Flinx Transcendent, the final book in the series.” That should make quite a few ADF fans happy. And, the sequel to Cally’s War is on the list too! There are also plans to bring this entire BAEN books series to audio.

Audible Frontiers - The Tar-Aiym Krang by Alan Dean FosterThe Tar-Aiym Krang (book 1 in the “Pip & Flinx” series)
By Alan Dean Foster; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
Audible Download – 7 Hours 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: January 2009
Foster’s first published novel!
Moth was a beautiful planet, the only one with wings – two great golden clouds suspended in space around it. Here was a wide-open world for any venture a man might scheme. The planet attracted unwary travelers, hardened space-sailors, and merchant buccaneers – a teeming, constantly shifting horde that provided a comfortable income for certain quick-witted fellows like Flinx and his pet flying snake Pip. With his odd talents, the pickings were easy enough so that Flinx did not have to be dishonest … most of the time. In fact, it hardly seemed dishonest at all to steal a starmap from a dead body that didn’t really need it anymore. But Flinx wasn’t quite smart enough. He should have wondered why the body was dead in the first place…

Audible Frontiers - Orphan Star by Alan Dean FosterOrphan Star (book 2 in the “Pip & Flinx” series)
By Alan Dean Foster; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
Audible Download – 7 Hours 40 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: January 2009
One man in the Universe holds the key to the mystery of Flinx’s past – and that man is trying to kill him! It is a strange childhood for a kid, to be adopted by the restless Mother Mastiff and raised in the bustling marketplace of Drallar. Flinx never knew the mom and dad who abandoned him years ago. In fact, his birth has always been shrouded in mystery. But Flinx eventually discovers that his unknown parents have left him a curious legacy – extraordinary mental powers that are both a marvelous gift and a dreaded curse. This double-edged legacy will lead Flinx, along with his loyal protector, the mini-dragon Pip, on a harrowing journey in search of the truth . . . about who he is and where he comes from. It is a daring adventure that brings him to another world – and into the clutches of one of the most evil and powerful men in the galaxy…

Audible Frontiers - The End Of The Matter by Alan Dean FosterThe End Of The Matter (book 3 in the “Pip & Flinx” series)
By Alan Dean Foster; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
Audible Download – Approx. 8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: January 2009
Accompanied by his faithful minidrag Pip and a most troublesome alien called Abalamahalamatandra – Ab for short – Flinx set out for Alaspin, the ruggedly primitive homeworld of his flying snake. There he hoped to find the giant man with the gold earring who somehow held the key to Flinx’s mysterious past and to the strange powers he possessed. Chasing down his heritage was trouble enough, but Flinx didn’t know what real trouble was until he realized that the Qwarm – a deadly assassin squad – were three steps behind him with a contract to kill. But the minidrag’s homeworld did not offer safety and Flinx had a terrible time just staying alive … a matter complicated to no mean degree by a collapsar already set on an unstoppable death course across the galaxy!

Audible Frontiers - For Love Of Mother-Not by Alan Dean FosterFor Love Of Mother-Not (book 4 in the “Pip & Flinx” series)
By Alan Dean Foster; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
Audible Download – 8 Hours 14 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: January 2009
He was just a freckle-faced, red-headed kid with green eyes and a strangely campelling stare when Mather Mastiff first saw him an the auctioneer’s block. One hundred credits and he was hers. For years the old woman was his only family. She loved him, fed him, taught him everything she knew – even let him keep the deadly flying snake he called Pip.Then Mother Mastiff mysteriously disappeared and Flinx took Pip to tail her kidnappers. Across the forests and swamps of the winged world called Moth, their only weapons were Pip’s venom . . . and Flinx’s unusual Talents.

Audible Frontiers - Honor Of The Clan by John Ringo and Julie CochraneHonor Of The Clan (book 10 in the Legacy of the Aldenata series)
By John Ringo and Julie Cochrane; Read by Marc Vietor
Audible Download – 13 Hours 57 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: January 2009
The Posleen War Rages On – Undercover! Clan O’Neal Battles for the Right – And With Each Other! The Indowy “Bane Sidhe” conspiracy has grown strong, and the cunning and resourceful Darhel – tacit rulers of the Galactic Federation – have decided that the time has come to wipe that threat from the stars forever. What the Darhel don’t know is that humans have joined the rebellion – led by thief and assassin extraordinaire, Cally O’Neal. Now Cally is set to destroy a web of alien deceit millennia in the making. Only one obstacle lies in her path: the renowned warrior who stood tall and saved Earth from utter destruction during its first invasion by alien hordes – a legend who also happens to be Cally’s father!

Audible Frontiers - Just Another Judgement Day by Simon R. GreenJust Another Judgement Day (book 9 in the Nightside series)
By Simon R. Green; Read by Marc Vietor
Audible Download – 8 Hours 9 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: January 2009
There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s got the Nightside’s rich and powerful quaking in their boots. He’s The Walking Man, and it’s his mission to exorcise sinners – with extreme prejudice. Problem is, the Nightside was built on sin and corruption, and The Walking Man makes no distinction between evildoers and those simply indulging themselves. He’ll leave the place a wasteland unless someone stops him, and P.I. John Taylor has been handed the job. No known magic or science can affect The Walking Man, and if John can’t discover his weakness, he’ll be facing the very Wrath of God.

Shortly forthcoming…

Audible Frontiers - Endymion by Dan SimmonsEndymion (book 3 in the Hyperion Cantos)
By Dan Simmons
Audible Download – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: January 20th 2009




Audible Frontiers - The Rise Of Endymion by Dan SimmonsThe Rise Of Endymion (book 4 in the Hyperion Cantos)
By Dan Simmons
Audible Download – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: January 20th 2009
A Hugo Award nominee!

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Cally’s War by John Ringo and Julie Cochrane

December 21, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

Cally's War by John Ringo and Julie CochraneCally’s War
By John Ringo and Julie Cochrane
Read by Christine Marshall and William Dufris
1 MP3-CD – Approx 13 Hours 15 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Paperback Digital
Published: 2004
ISBN: 1584390034
Themes: / Science Fiction / Alien invasion / Secret agent / War /

She walked over to the body and tilted her head appraisingly a moment before carefully and deliberately spitting on it. “The name’s Cally O’Neal, and that’s for trying to kill me when I was eight.”

Cally is a member of the sisterhood of the Bane Sidhe, which is a group of underground warriors. It’s immediately apparent that she is a warrior who can withstand all manner of assault on her body in the name of completing her mission. I couldn’t help but to mentally insert Uma Thurman in the role of Cally, as the character’s complete indifference to violence and sex (both of which appear in this book in copious amounts) is reminiscent in ways to characters from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill.

Cally operates in this novel in a complex post-invasion world. She meets all manner of interesting folk while solving a mystery of her own. The events in the first chapter provided a good running start into the novel, but the rest of the book never matched that potential. I was never interested again as the story took a decided turn for the expected.

The audiobook itself is done in a style that at first turned me off, but then won me over in a big way. Christine Marshall and William Dufris take turns narrating, depending on the point of view of the story. This is a technique that I generally enjoy. But during each other’s narrating duties, the other plays a role. Whenever Cally speaks, for example, it’s Christine Marshall doing the speaking whether she’s narrating at the moment or not. This is a technique that I generally abhor – I find it annoying and distracting nearly every time it’s tried. But… it works very well here for two reasons – first, they didn’t follow up every piece of dialogue with he saids and she saids – words which are as transparent with a single narrator as they are on the page, but with dual narration can become annoying. Second, the sheer skill of these two narrators makes the dialogue portions of the audiobook work wonderfully. Both narrators performed several believable characters each, and there was never any doubt who was speaking. The dialogue was snappy and well paced.

This is definitely science fiction of a sort that I don’t sample too often in print, since I feel like I get enough of this kind of story on the screen (big or small). The technical production, though, was absolutely first rate – among the best in the business – which makes me eager to hear titles from Paperback Digital that are more to my taste.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson