Review of The End is Nigh

June 2, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

The End is NighThe End is Nigh (Apocalypse Triptych #1)
Edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey (full author and performer list below)
Publisher: Broad Reach Publishing
Publication Date: 8 April 2014
[UNABRIDGED] – 15 hours, 8 minutes

Themes: / apocalypse / destruction / short stories /

Publisher summary:

Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm.

But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight against it. And after, there are the survivors who persevere and try to rebuild.

Table of contents and audiobook narrator listings copied directly from John Joseph Adams’ website. If you want more detailed summaries of each story, I found the review at Tangent very good, particularly because it is so hard to keep track of short stories when you are listening instead of reading!

The audio was an incredible asset to this anthology, although I will probably also need to buy this for my shelf o’ anthologies. The best in audio are Removal Order, BRING HER TO ME, and The Fifth Day of Deer Camp.

My favorite stories were BRING HER TO ME and Goodnight Moon.

I’m most interested in the next installment (so please let there be a next installment) of Removal Order, Pretty Soon the Four Horsemen are Going to Come Riding Through, and Spores.

What do I mean by next installment? The End is Nigh is the first volume of a triptych. It will be followed by The End is Now and The End Has Come, with some authors contributing linked stories. Very exciting concept, and as the Queen of Apocalypse there is no way I couldn’t read this.

Here are my more detailed impressions, story by story!

Read more

Clarkesworld: Guest Of Honor by Robert Reed

April 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

I first heard Robert Reed’s outstanding novelette, Guest Of Honor, as an audiobook in the mid-1990s. It was narrated by Amy Bruce for Infinivox (get that version HERE).

It blew me away.

Guest Of Honor is undeniably GREAT SCIENCE FICTION, the kind of which only seems to show up once or twice a decade. If you haven’t already heard it, prepare yourself for some pure idea fiction.

There’s no official description for this astounding story so here’s mine:

When immortality is on the table accidents are naturally the uppermost fear on your mind. As an immortal you wouldn’t do anything nearly so dangerous as space travel, but all the same as an immortal you’d necessarily crave such new sensations so as to offset the boredom of an infinite future. And that’s where Pico comes in, she’s an adventurer gathering experiences for the immortals who sponsored her back on Earth. Her story, or stories, even if they are only vicarious, will be cherished by the many and she will be the guest of honor when she returns.

Clarkesworld MagazineClarkesworld Magazine #79 – Guest Of Honor
By Robert Reed; Read by Kate Baker
1 |MP3| – Approx. 1 Hour 21 Minuites [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Clarkesworld
Podcast: April 22, 2013
First published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, June 1993.

Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/clarkesworldmagazine/podcast

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #206 – READALONG: Seven Nebula Nominated Short Stories

April 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #206 – Scott and Jenny talk about the seven short stories nominated for the Nebula Award.

Talked about on today’s show:
Seven nominated stories for the Nebula Award. Why so many? Some of the stories have themes in common.  Scott wasn’t enamored by any of the seven (but it gets better with the discussion).  All of them are free online, and all except “Nanny’s Day” are also available in audio (see links below). 

Robot by Helena Bell (Clarkesworld 9/12) |audio version read by Cat Rambo| Scott’s favorite part is the very beginning: “You may wash your aluminum chassis on Monday and leave it on the back porch opposite the recyclables…don’t eat the dead flesh of my right foot until after I have fallen asleep and cannot hear the whir of your incisors working against the bone.” 

Immersion by Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12) |audio version read by Kate Baker| The story takes place in a restaurant, and the author likes to cook. Scott said this isn’t her first nomination. (Shipbirth was nominated last year , but we excluded it from our short story discussion at the time since it was not available in audio; “The Jaguar House, in Shadow” in the novella category for the Nebula and the Hugo in 2010.) Reminds Scott of The Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang.  Enjoying Kate Baker’s reading.

Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes by Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 4/12) |audio version read by Kate Baker| Author of “Mama, We are Zhenya, YourSon” |OUR READALONG| First line: “Every day, Mom says goodbye to me for the last time.” Stories grow in talking about them.

Nanny’s Day by Leah Cypess (Asimov’s 3/12)
Scott’s first would be Jenny’s last, and Scott is surprised to like it so much when it isn’t even really science fiction!

Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream by Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed 7/12) |audio version read by Gabrielle de Cuir| “Everyone knows that forever is, and has always been, a magic word. Forever isn’t always something one would choose, given all the information.”  Scott says It’s a both-and. Jenny says this is why love is hard.

The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species by Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/12). |audio version read by Stefan Rudnicki| We agree this story is missing its story, but are intrigued by the people and world created.

Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain by Cat Rambo |audio version|
Five things Jenny loves about this story:

  1. The creatures – chimmerees and limentia, like jellyfish floating on the wind.
  2. “She’d lain awake in the darkness, checking her mind with the same care. Were there any sorrows, any passions that might lead her thoughts along the same groove till it gave, eroded into madness?”
  3. Sound garden, but can it dissolve your insides to dust?
  4. Frozen orgasms
  5. “There were more interesting worlds in the multi-verse, she knew. Paper dolls, and talking purple griffons. Intelligent rainbows and everyone’s favorite, the Chocolate Universe. She shrugged.” Jenny wants to visit ALL these worlds.

Other discussion:

Hugo Award nominees will be announced before this episode posts and we both vote! – Embassytown by China Miéville The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord – what is “hard” science fiction?  Scott is tired of “stories in space” that aren’t really science fiction. Nominations can be quite a mystery.

Posted by Jenny Colvin

Clarkesworld: Pack by Robert Reed

September 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

clarkesworld magazineIn another cute move similar to Sfbrp #138, see if you can understand what’s happening in this 30 minute Robert Reed story called Pack over at Clarkesworld online magazine.  *spoiler alert* Narrator Kate Baker gives her theory at the end.  By the way, in the beginning, I thought the story was all Web 2.0 about blogging, but Kate was talking about her acceptance speech for her Hugo.

|MP3|

Podcast feed:  http://feeds.feedburner.com/clarkesworldmagazine/podcast?format=html

Posted by Tamahome

The SFFaudio Podcast #120

August 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #120 – Scott, Jesse and Tamahome talk to Allan Kaster, the editor of the new audiobook collection The Year’s Top Ten Tales Of Science Fiction 3.

Talked about on today’s show:
Infinivox, post-singularity, Mars, talking animals, emperors, will the post-singularity fiction subgenre be over by 2040?, Charles Stross, Gardner Dozois, post singularity is the magic of Science Fiction, Robert Reed, Under The Moons Of Venus by Damien Broderick, talking dogs, “I didn’t like it in a Science Fiction way”, detective fiction, insanity and crazy people, The Emperor Of Mars by Allen M. Steele, a tribute to martian fiction, the Asimov’s reader’s Award, Emperor Norton of the United States, Asimov’s, Analog and F&SF are now available in the Kindle store, ebooks (and emags) with ads, Harlan Ellison, Gene Wolfe, Stephen King, Flowers For Algernon, Subterranean Online, Lightspeed magazine, Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain by Yoon Ha Lee, Clarkesworld, The Things by Peter Watts, Elegy For A Young Elk by Hannu Rajaniemi, the Science Fiction boom is here, Fantasy, a blossoming of novellas, PS Publishing, Subterranean Press, novellas make for an excellent idea delivery mechanism, Prime Books, The Year’s Best Science Fiction And Fantasy 2011, Ted Chiang’s The Lifecycle Of Software Objects, Stories Of Your Life and Other Stories by Ted Chiang, Infinivox will have a new collection of Science Fiction novellas in the fall: The Year’s Top Short SF Novels, The Things by Peter Watts (read by Kate Baker), The Emperor Of Mars was on Tony Smith’s StarShip Sofa (read by Quartershare author Nathan Lowell), John Carpenter’s The Thing movie vs. John W. Campbell’s Who Goes There?, Howard Hawks, re-working Science Fiction’s legacy fiction in new stories, the stinger comes from sympathizing with a horrible monster, communion, the Shirley Jackson award, Re-Crossing The Styx by Ian R. MacLeod, Scott likes Noir, Double Indemnity, zombies, “even though they’re dead they need entertainment”, The Love Boat, Tom Dheere, he always gets the Science Fiction vocab pronunciation right, Eight Miles by Sean McMullen, Australia, the best story in Analog last year (was Eight Miles), steampunk, is steampunk SF?, steampunk-ish, an Asian cover, Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain by Yoon Ha Lee is ornate and literary SF (and kind of Ted Chiang-like), there’s a logic going on, The Shipmaker by Alliette de Bodard, Nicola Barber, Larry Niven’s Star Trek episode (The Slaver Weapon), Kzinti are in the Star Trek universe, we need another good Science Fiction (TV) series, Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Bloch, Fredric Brown, Neil Gaiman, Doctor Who, Babylon 5 was our last best hope for SF on TV, A Letter From The Emperor by Steve Rasnic Tem, fun with mind-wiping, emotional stingers, Adrift by Scott D. Danielson, emotional vs. intellectual SF, bureaucracy doesn’t end, there are lots of lost packets between planets, it derives its power from the characters rather than from the intellectual points, intellectual stimulation vs. emotional stimulation, Elegy For A Young Elk by Hannu Rajaniemi, consciousness-uploading, it’s comic book like, a bit like Dan Simmons, Alone by Robert Reed, the prolific Robert Reed, God-Like Machines edited by Jonathan Strahan, Alastair Reynolds’s Troika is in there too, A History Of Terraforming by Robert Reed, Dead Man’s Run by Robert Reed, Marrow by Robert Reed, an old-fashioned Science Fiction story writer, SFBRP #008 Luke’s review of Marrow, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Starship Vectors edited by Allan Kaster, SFSignal’s review of Starship Vectors, The Shipmaker by Alliette de Bodard, The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey, mutant children are shipped off into the universe to fall in love with their crews, giving birth to a cyborg, Shipmaker reminded Tam of Bloodchild by Octavia E. Butler, was dramatized on 2000X, how do you read/listen to anthologies?, is there any chance of doing a year’s top ten 1961? 1965?, how about the top ten of the 1960s?, Charles Stross, A Colder War by Charles Stross |READ OUR REVIEW|, Lobsters by Charles Stross |READ OUR REVIEW|, Accelerando by Charles Stross, “Please Alan, fulfill my hopes and dreams.”

Posted by Jesse Willis