Recent Arrivals: Listen For Pleasure, Blackstone Audio, Brilliance Audio, Galaxy Audio, CWLA Press, Macmillian Audio

March 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Here’s an unusual sort of recent arrival, an ex-library copy of one of the 1980s Ellery Queen collections…

Listen For Pleasure  - Ellery Queen Presents Custer's GhostEllery Queen Presents: Custers Ghost, Breaking Free, Labyrinth Of Life and A Bagdad Reckoning
By various; Read by William Hootkins and Bob Sherman
2 Cassettes – Approx. 2 Hours 10 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Listen For Pleasure
Published: 1986
ISBN: 0886461790
Here are four entertaining stories from Ellery Queen, the world’s leading mystery magazine. Custer’s Ghost by Clark Howard is the story of an ancient Indian who makes his way to Montana to meet the sole other survivor of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Breaking Free is William Bankier’s tale of the future when “Talent Scouts” recruit entertainers to live in the Pleasure Dome. But not all of their recruits are willing ones. Labyrinth Of Life and A Bagdad Reckoning are from James Powell’s celebrated series of Scheherazadian Tales – a fable of ancient Bagdad and one of the long-ago land of the kings Midaz of the Iron Word and Sardon the Quick.

Paradoxically this is both Heinlein’s first and last novel…

Science Fiction Audiobook - For Us, the Living by Robert A. HeinleinFor Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs
By Robert A. Heinlein; Read by Malcolm Hillgartner
6 CDs – Approx. 6.8 Hours Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781441743398
From Grand Master Robert A. Heinlein comes a long-lost first novel, written in 1939, introducing ideas and themes that would shape his career and define the genre that is synonymous with his name. July 12, 1939: Perry Nelson is driving along the palisades when another vehicle swerves into his lane, a tire blows out, and his car careens off the road and over a bluff. The last thing he sees before his head connects with the boulders below is a girl in a green bathing suit, prancing along the shore. When he wakes, the girl in green is a woman dressed in furs, and the sun-drenched shore has been replaced by snowcapped mountains. The woman, Diana, rescues Perry from the bitter cold and takes him to her home to rest and recuperate. Later they debate the cause of the accident, for Diana is unfamiliar with the concept of a tire blowout and Perry cannot comprehend snowfall in mid-July. Then Diana shares with him a vital piece of information: the date is now January 7, the year 2086. When his shock subsides, Perry begins an exhaustive study of global evolution over the past 150 years. He learns, among other things, that a United Europe was formed; the military draft was completely reconceived; banks became publicly owned and operated; and in the year 2003, two helicopters destroyed Manhattan in a galvanizing act of war. But education brings with it inescapable truths—the economic and legal systems, the government, and even the dynamic between men and women remain alien to Perry, the customs of the new day continually testing his mental and emotional resolve. Yet it is precisely his knowledge of a bygone era that will serve Perry best, as the man from 1939 seems destined to lead his newfound peers even further into the future than they could have imagined. A classic example of the future history that Robert Heinlein popularized during his career, For Us, the Living marks both the beginning and the end of an extraordinary arc comprising the political, social, and literary crusading that is his legacy.

More Heinlein! Never commercially available as an audiobook, before now…

Science Fiction Audiobook - Time for the Stars by Robert A. HeinlenTime For The Stars
By Robert A. Heinlen; Read by Barrett Whitener
6 CDs – Approx. 6.8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781433230462
Travel to other planets is now a reality, and with overpopulation stretching the resources of Earth, the necessity of finding habitable worlds is growing ever more urgent. There’s a problem though—because the spaceships are slower than light, any communication between the exploring ships and Earth would take years. Tom and Pat are identical twin teenagers. As twins they’ve always been close, so close that it seemed like they could read each other’s minds. When they are recruited by the Long Range Foundation, the twins find out that they can, indeed, peer into each other’s thoughts. Along with other telepathic duos, they are enlisted to be the human transmitters and receivers that will keep the ships in contact with Earth. But there’s a catch: one of the twins has to stay behind—and that one will grow old—while the other explores the depths of space and returns as a young man still.

Dejah want to read this one?

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice BurroughsThe Gods Of Mars (The Martian Series, Book 2)
By Edgar Rice Burroughs; Read by William Dufris
7 CDs – Approx. 8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781441774613
This is the extraordinary story of John Carter, who returns to the Red Planet in search of his beloved, Dejah Thoris. John lands in the Valley Dor, which is populated by vicious plant men, and discovers the Lost Sea of Korus, guarded by the great white apes and horrifying lions of Barsoom. It is here that he finds the princess Thuvia, who is a captive of the Holy Therns, high priests who eat only the flesh of humans slain by their plant men. But this is only the beginning of John Carter’s adventures under the double moons of Mars before he fights his way back to his own people as the Prince of the House of Tardos Mors.

I hadn’t even heard of it but apparently this is the first in a well regarded and long running series by the recently deceased Kage Baker…

Science Fiction Audiobook - In the Garden of Iden by Kage BakerIn the Garden of Iden: A Novel of the Company (Company Book 1)
By Kage Baker; Read by Janan Raouf
10 CDs – Approx. 11.7 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781441774330
The first novel of Kage Baker’s critically acclaimed, much-loved series, The Company, introduces us to a world where the future of commerce is the past. In the twenty-fourth century, the Company preserves works of art and extinct forms of life (for profit of course). It recruits orphans from the past, renders them all but immortal, and trains them to serve the Company, Dr. Zeus. One of these is Mendoza, the botanist. She is sent to Elizabethan England to collect samples from the garden of Sir Walter Iden. But while there, she meets Nicholas Harpole, with whom she falls in love. And that love sounds great bells of change that will echo down the centuries, and through the succeeding novels of The Company. Breathtakingly detailed and written with great aplomb, In the Garden of Iden is a contemporary classic of the science-fiction genre.

Discussed on SFFaudio Podcast #096

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Lighthouse Land by Adrian McKintyThe Lighthouse Land (The Lighthouse Trilogy, Book 1)
By Adrian McKinty; Read by Gerard Doyle
9 CDs – Approx. 10.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: January 2011
ISBN: 9781441771506
Introducing the first young adult novel from crime fiction writer Adrian McKinty—whose adult books have been called “unputdownable” (Washington Post), “exceptional” (San Francisco Chronicle), and “profoundly satisfying” (Booklist)—this is the start of an epic sci-fi trilogy with an unforgettable hero. When Jamie’s mother inherits a small island and moves her little family from Harlem to Ireland, her troubled son sees a chance to start over, far away from the bullies and the pitying stares. Cancer has left Jamie without an arm or the will to speak. But Muck Island is no sanctuary, and it offers more than solitude and sea views. Jamie learns that he is heir to an ancient title—Laird of Muck, Guardian of the Passage—and certain otherworldly responsibilities. With the help of a mysterious object he discovers in the island’s old lighthouse, Jamie sets out on a dangerous interstellar mission that could change the course of his life—and the universe—forever. Tautly paced and brilliantly imagined, this novel will thrill sci-fi fans eager for new heroes and new worlds to explore.

And here’s the follow-up…

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Lighthouse War by Adrian McKintyThe Lighthouse War (The Lighthouse Trilogy, Book 2)
By Adrian McKinty; Read by Gerard Doyle
8 CDs – Approx. 9.3 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781441774408
Jamie O’Neill is back on Earth, where no one but his best friend Ramsay knows he’s the hero of a great war that saved an alien nation. Now he’s back to being a kid with one arm, no girlfriend, and a band that plays bad songs about intergalactic romance. Then news breaks on the Internet: a space probe has picked up a coded message from far across the galaxy. NASA’s best scientists can’t figure out what it says. Only Jamie and Ramsay realize it’s a message from Altair. They’re needed again. This thrilling sequel to The Lighthouse Land is packed with even more adventure, battles, and humor than its predecessor, and secures Adrian McKinty’s place as one of science fiction’s most exciting new voices.

An OSC book read by EJC (his daughter). It’s been available digitally for a while |READ OUR REVIEW|, but now it’s available in a DRM-free version too…

Fantasy Audiobook - Stonefather by Orson Scott CardStonefather
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Emily Janice Card
3 CDs – Approx. 3.1Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781433259210
When Runnel leaves his mountain valley to head for the great city of the water mages, he has no idea of his own magical talents. But soon, without meaning to, he complicates and endangers the lives of everyone he comes to know and care about, for when it comes to magic, there are rules and laws, and the untrained mage-to-be must be careful not to tap into deep forces and ancient enmities. Otherwise, other people might end up paying the price for his mistakes.

Liparulo is the author of more than a dozen novels. How come I’ve never heard of him?

Fantasy Audiobook - Timescape by Robert LiparuloTimescape (The Dreamhouse Kings Series, Book 4)
By Robert Liparulo; Read by Joshua Swanson
6 CDs – Approx. 6.8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781441777508
Which door would you go through to save the world? David, Xander, and Toria King never know what new adventures—and dangers—await them beyond the mysterious portals hidden on the top floor of their new house. They have battled gladiators and the German army, dodged soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, and barely escaped a fierce attack in their own home. Still they are no closer to finding their mother, who was pulled by powerful forces through a portal and lost in time. Their only hope is to turn the tables on Taksidian, the menacing stranger who wants them out of the house so he can use it for his own twisted purposes. But everything changes when a trip into the near future reveals the devastating outcome of Taksidian’s schemes—a destroyed city filled with mutant creatures. It is only then that the Kings realize what they’re really fighting for—the fate of humanity itself.

Is this Silverberg’s most famous series?

Fantasy Audiobook - Valentine Pontifex by Robert SilverbergValentine Pontifex (The Majipoor Cycle, Book 3)
By Robert Silverberg; Read by J. Paul Boehmer, Hillary Huber, Don Leslie, and Stefan Rudnicki
12 CDs – Approx. 14.2 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781433250682
The extraordinary story continues in this magnificent installment of the bestselling Majipoor series, begun in Lord Valentine’s Castle. Dark dreams disturb Lord Valentine’s sleep, a forewarning of the danger that threatens the peace of Majipoor. The Shapeshifters have set in motion a terrifying plan to regain their stolen world and their allies—the ancient gods rising from their eons-long slumber beneath the oceans of the great planet. Suddenly, Valentine faces the greatest crisis of his reign. Either he must plunge Majipoor into a bloody nightmare of war, plague, and chaos, or surrender his life to the mercy of the vengeful Shapeshifters.

There are so many novels in this series they’ve stopped numbering them…

Science fiction Audiobook - Venus by Ben BovaVenus (The Grand Tour Series)
By Ben Bova; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
10 CDs – Approx. 11.7 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781441775726
The surface of Venus is the most hellish place in the solar system, its ground hot enough to melt aluminum, its air pressure high enough to crush spacecraft landers like tin cans, its atmosphere a choking mix of poisonous gases. This is where the frail young Van Humphries must go—or die trying. Years before, Van’s older brother perished in the first attempt to land a man on Venus. Van’s father has always hated him for being the one to survive. Now, his father is offering a ten-billion-dollar prize to the first person who lands on Venus and returns his oldest son’s remains. To everyone’s surprise, Van takes up the offer. But what Van Humphries will find on Venus will change everything—our understanding of Venus, of global warming on Earth, and his knowledge of who he is.

Must listen to this SOON…

Science Fiction Audiobook - A Stainless Steel Rat is Born by Harry HarrisonA Stainless Steel Rat Is Born (Stainless Steel Rat, Book 6)
By Harry Harrison; Read by Phil Gigante
6 CDs – Approx. 7 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781441881441
SAMPLE |MP3|
In this prequel to the Stainless Steel Rat. Slippery Jim is a brash 17-year-old who has left his parents’ porcuswine farm, planning to embark on a life of crime. The book opens with Jim bungling a bank job so that he can be arrested and sent to prison, where he plans to learn the art of being a master criminal. Deciding that the Bishop should be his mentor, Jim sets about proving himself worthy of the master’s attention. He eventually has to flee his home planet of Bit O’ Heaven with the Bishop, but Garth, the Captain of the ship who promised them safe passage, sells them into slavery. The latter part of the book details Jim’s adventures on the planet Spiovente, a semi-industrial world fighting feudal wars with weapons smuggled in (against League regulations) by Captain Garth.

According to the description, elves are racial purists. I have always suspected they were racists.

Fantasy Audiobook - Elvenbane by Andre Norton and Mercedes LackeyElvenbane
By Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey; Read by Aasne Vigesaa
16 CDs – Approx. 19 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781441814258
Two masters of epic fantasy have combined in this brilliant collaboration to create a rousing tale of the sort that becomes an instant favorite. This is the story of Shana, a halfbreed born of the forbidden union of an Elvenlord father with a human mother. Her exiled mother dead, she was rescued and raised by dragons, a proud, ancient race who existed unbeknownst to elven or humankind. From birth, Shana was the embodiment of the Prophecy that all-powerful Elvenlords feared. Her destiny is the enthralling adventure of a lifetime.

Two words: Space pirates.

Science Fiction Audiobook - Honor Among Enemies by David WeberHonor Among Enemies (Book 6 in the Honor series)
By David Weber; Read by Allyson Johnson
16 CDs – Approx. 20 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781611062144
For Captain Honor Harrington, it’s sometimes hard to know who the enemy really is. Despite political foes, professional jealousies, and the scandal that drove her into exile, she’s been offered a chance to reclaim her career as an officer of the Royal Manticoran Navy. But there’s a catch. She must assume command of a “squadron” of jury-rigged armed merchantmen with crew drawn from the dregs of her service and somehow stop the pirates who have taken advantage of the Havenite War to plunder the Star Kingdom’s commerce. That would be hard enough, but some of the “pirates” aren’t exactly what they seem . . . and neither are some of her “friends.” For Honor has been carefully chosen for her mission – by two implacable and powerful enemies. The way they see it, either she stops the raiders or the raiders kill her . . . and either way, they win.

What better way to stock your seraglio than with one of these? Wait … make that your seraglio‘s bookshelf

Science Fiction Audiobook - Odalisque by Neal StephensonOdalisque
By Neal Stephenson; Read by Simon Prebble, Katherine Kellgren and Kevin Pariseau
11 CDs – Approx. 14 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: March 2010
ISBN: 9781611062250
The trials of Dr. Daniel Waterhouse and the Natural Philosophers increase one hundredfold in an England plagued by the impending war and royal insecurities, as the beautiful and ambitious Eliza plays a most dangerous game as double agent and confidante of enemy kings. The Baroque Cycle, Neal Stephenson’s award-winning series, spans the late 17th and early 18th centuries, combining history, adventure, science, invention, piracy, and alchemy into one sweeping tale. It is a gloriously rich, entertaining, and endlessly inventive historical epic populated by the likes of Isaac Newton, William of Orange, Benjamin Franklin, and King Louis XIV, along with some of the most inventive literary characters in modern fiction. This complete and unabridged presentation of The Baroque Cycle was produced in cooperation with Neal Stephenson. Each volume includes an exclusive introduction read by the author.

The shortest audiobook we’ve ever received…

Fantasy Audiobook - The Giant King by Kathleen T. PelleyThe Giant King
By Kathleen T. Pelley; Read by Kathleen T. Pelley
1 CD – Approx. 11 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: CWLA Press
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781587601415
TEACHER’S GUIDE |PDF|
Some people say he works from his heart, carving “not what is, but what could be.” When Rabbie goes to a distant town to sell his carvings, he finds the town besieged by a fierce and destructive giant. The townspeople despair, but Rabbie suggests that if the giant were treated like a king, he might behave like one. Readers will be charmed by the message of this heartwarming Scottish fable: that what is loved will reveal its loveliness.

There’s already a review of this hybrid audiobook/audio drama over on SFsite.com

Audiobook - On Blazing Wings by L. Ron HubbardOn Blazing Wings
By L. Ron Hubbard; Performed by a full cast
2 CDs – Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Galaxy Audio
Published: March 2011
ISBN: 1592122329
Take flight into all the action in the full-cast version of On Blazing Wings featuring Bob Caso. Also starring R.F. Daley, Christina Huntington, John Mariano, Phil Proctor and Kelly Ward. Each production is packed with music and cinema-quality sound effects, putting you right into the heart of the story. American David Duane long ago gave up his dream of being a professional artist. Instead, there’s something else he’s good at, something that countries will pay good money for—his services as an ace fighter pilot on sale to any country whose business is war, regardless of its politics. Duane’s cold-edged neutrality takes him to Finland—combating Russian Communists bent on destroying a supply base. After leading multiple attacks against the Russians and pushing them further and further back, his luck runs out when his plane is shot down. Instead of crashing in flames, Duane finds himself in an elusive netherworld—a mystery-enshrouded city of luxury and golden minarets. There, Duane discovers his true destiny, one that he half-remembers but must struggle to reject in order to save the woman he loves—a woman who happens to be an officer . . . in the Russian ranks.

Perhaps its not a new idea, but I’m still intrigued by a young Sherlock Holmes…

Audiobook - Death Cloud by Andrew LaneDeath Cloud
By Andrew Lane; Read by Dan Weyman
6 CDs – Approx. 7 Hours Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillian Audio
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 9781427211224
It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. On break from boarding school, he is staying with eccentric strangers—his uncle and aunt—in their vast house in Hampshire. When two local people die from symptoms that resemble the plague, Holmes begins to investigate what really killed them, helped by his new tutor, an American named Amyus Crowe. So begins Sherlock’s true education in detection, as he discovers the dastardly crimes of a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Suck It Wonder Woman by Olivia Munn and Mac Montandon

September 6, 2010 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

MACMILLAN AUDIO - Suck It Wonder Woman by Olivia Munn and Mac MontandonSuck It, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures Of A Hollywood Geek
By Olivia Munn and Mac Montandon; Read by Olivia Munn
4 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Puiblisher: Macmillian Audio
Published: July 2010
ISBN: 9781427209825
Themes: / Autobiography / Sexuality / Oklahoma / California / Japan / Robots / Zombies / Pie /

Sample |MP3|

Today’s hottest geek and host of G4’s Attack Of The Show dishes her unique brand of humor of on everything from Star Wars, gadgets, and her love of banana cream pie. Olivia Munn is an actress, comedian and television host, best known for being the face of the G4 network. She also occasionally likes to get dressed up as Wonder Woman. SUCK IT WONDER WOMAN is her paean to Geeks everywhere. Using her trademark humor in essays like THOUGHTS ABOUT MY FIRST AGENT’S GIRLFRIEND’S VAGINA she skewers what it’s like to live in Hollywood. In “SEX: WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOURSELF HAVE MORE OF IT” she frankly gets down to the business of getting it on. In “WHAT TO DO WHEN THE ROBOTS INVADE (YES, WHEN!),” Olivia offers valuable information on… what to do when the robots invade! And just when you thought she couldn’t get any more Geeky, she can. This book also includes an Olivia Munn timeline of great moments in Geek history and her answers to the Unofficial Geek FAQ. Is it any wonder that Olivia Munn is quickly becoming the most powerful Geek on the planet? SUCK IT WONDER WOMAN is a humorous look at geeks, gadgets, Hollywood, and huge heapings of banana cream pie.

When this audiobook arrived I didn’t recognize the author or what exactly it was. I’d seen Attack Of The Show, and at least one of the episodes of The Daily Show in which she appeared, but something dimly pinged and I decided to give it a listen. Maybe part of it is that I’ve been a sucker for biographical audiobooks since I first stumbled across Michael Caine’s amazing reading of his autobiography What’s It All About?. Since then I’d read maybe a half dozen more. I’m sad to say most were only marginally interesting, but they never sucked, and I’ve found you can learn a hell of a lot about history by hearing about individual lives. The only biography that’s come as close to recreating that first experience was perhaps, rather strangely, a Blackstone Audio version of The Most Dangerous Man In America: Scenes From The Life Of Benjamin Franklin by Catherine Drinker Bowen. Weird huh? Yeah, Michael Caine and Benjamin Franklin have very little in common, other than being male and speakers of English. What they do share, however, is a kind of an ineffable interestingness. Caine’s story was full of a bewildering matter-of-factness, performed by the actor himself, and offered dozens of surprises and a whole lifetime’s worth of experience in the movies in less than three hours. Franklin, that auto-didactic man of letters, inventor, humorist and well … you’ll just have to go listen to the audiobook yourself … was completely and utterly amazing. Olivia Munn, and her book Suck It Wonder Woman are, on the other hand, entirely and completely effable. And by that I don’t only mean that there’s a lot of potty mouth in this audiobook.

Suck It Wonder Woman is potty mouthed and full of dirty stories about crazy people in Hollywood. There are also brief chapters on seemingly random, hip-sounding dos and don’ts. I’m not sure why these bits were added in. The audiobook works best when operating in the more serious storytelling sections. Munn’s description of herself as a child are fun and retrospectively insightful. One chapter, relating her relationship with her grandparents, is highly poigniant. That isn’t fluff. But not all of these stories are all that serious either. Her relating meetings with celebrities (named and unnamed) are surprising and frightening. And while the generalities of Munn’s life story, so far, aren’t particularly unique, she has some fun tales to tell. Munn makes for quite a sympathetic figure in all of the specifics of her life. And, her almost puppy-like eagerness to tell you about it, with her narration, is very endearing. When she relates her sadnesses, you are truly disheartened. But, as Munn reminds us, we can’t be too downcast, there’s always pie.

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: Sherlock Holmes, Jack London, Hitler vs. Stalin, Alastair Reynolds

June 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: New Releases 

SFFaudio Online Audio

If there’s one public domain novel I don’t mind seeing endless re-releases and re-recordings of it’s this one…

RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO - The Call Of The Wild by Jack LondonThe Call Of The Wild
By Jack London; Read by Jeff Daniels
CDs – Approx. 3 Hours 12 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: May 25, 2010
ISBN: 9780307710260
Sample |MP3|
Jack London’s The Call Of The Wild was written in 1903, but Buck’s gripping adventure makes for a thrilling listen on audio more than 100 years after it was first published. This gripping story follows the adventures of the loyal dog Buck, who is stolen from his comfortable family home and forced into the harsh life of an Alaskan sled dog. Passed from master to master, Buck embarks on an extraordinary journey that ends with his becoming the legendary leader of a wolf pack.

Now this should be interesting…

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - Wolf: The Lives Of Jack London by James L. HaleyWolf: The Lives of Jack London
By James L. Haley; Read by Bronson Pinchot
10 CDs or 1 Mp3-CD – Approx. 13 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: May 25, 2010
ISBN: 9781441758965 (cd), 9781441758972 (mp3-cd)
Jack London was born a working-class, fatherless San Franciscan in 1876. In his youth, he was a boundlessly energetic adventurer on the bustling west coast—by and by playing the role of hobo, sailor, and oyster pirate. From his vantage point at the margins of Gilded Age America, he witnessed such iniquity and abuses that he became a life long socialist and advocate for reform. His adventures in the American wilderness and underworld informed his fiction, and his writing came to captivate the nation as it defined his era. Within his own short lifetime, London became the most popular, and bestselling, author of his generation. By adulthood he had matured into the iconic American author of such still-universally loved books as The Call Of The Wild, White Fang, and Sea Wolf, but in spite of his success, he was at war with himself. The highest-paid writer in America, he was constantly broke. Famous as he was for conjuring the brutality of nature in story after story and novel after novel, upon the actual deaths of his favorite animals he would dissolve into helpless tears. Sick, angry, and disillusioned, after a short, breathless life, he passed away at age forty, but he left behind him a glorious literary legacy. Award-winning author James L. Haley explores the forgotten Jack London—a man bristling with ideas, whose passion for social justice roared until the day he died. In Wolf, Haley returns Jack London to his proper place in the American pantheon, resurrecting the author of White Fang in his full fire and glory.

Made by makers…

TANTOR MEDIA - Made By Hand by Mark Frauenfelder   Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World
By Mark Frauenfelder; Read by Kirby Heyborne
7 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: June 07, 2010
ISBN: 9781400117819 (cd), 9781400167814 (mp3-cd)
From his unique vantage point as editor in chief of Make magazine, the hub of the newly invigorated do-it-yourself (DIY) movement, Mark Frauenfelder takes listeners on an inspiring and surprising tour of the vibrant world of DIY. The Internet has brought together large communities of people who share ideas, tips, and blueprints for making everything from unmanned aerial vehicles to pedal-powered iPhone chargers to an automatic cat feeder jury-rigged from a VCR. DIY is a direct reflection of our basic human desire to invent and improve, long suppressed by the availability of cheap, mass-produced products that have drowned us in bland convenience and cultivated our most wasteful habits. Frauenfelder spent a year trying a variety of offbeat projects, such as keeping chickens and bees, tricking out his espresso machine, whittling wooden spoons, making guitars out of cigar boxes, and doing citizen science with his daughters in the garage. His whole family found that DIY helped them take control of their lives, offering a path that was simple, direct, and clear. Working with their hands and minds helped them feel more engaged with the world around them.
Frauenfelder reveals how DIY is changing our culture for the better. He profiles fascinating “alpha makers” leading various DIY movements and grills them for their best tips and insights. Beginning his journey with hands as smooth as those of a typical geek, Frauenfelder offers a unique perspective on how earning a few calluses can be far more rewarding and satisfying than another trip to the mall.

I always bet on the man with the bigger mustache…

TANTOR MEDIA - Deathride: Hitler vs. Stalin—the Eastern Front, 1941–1945 by John MosierDeathride: Hitler vs. Stalin—the Eastern Front, 1941-1945
By John Mosier; Read by Michael Prichard
10 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 12.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: June 15, 2010
ISBN: 9781400117369 (cd), 9781400167364 (mp3-cd)
John Mosier presents a revisionist retelling of the war on the Eastern Front. Although the Eastern Front was the biggest and most important theater in World War II, it is not well known in the United States, as no American troops participated in the fighting. Yet historians agree that this is where the decisive battles of the war were fought. The conventional wisdom about the Eastern Front is that Hitler was mad to think he could defeat the USSR because of its vast size and population, and that the Battle of Stalingrad marked the turning point of the war. Neither statement is accurate, says Mosier; Hitler came very close to winning outright. Mosier’s history of the Eastern Front will generate considerable controversy both because of his unconventional arguments and because he criticizes historians who have accepted Soviet facts and interpretations. Mosier argues that Soviet accounts are utterly untrustworthy and that accounts relying on them are fantasies. Deathride argues that the war in the East was Hitler’s to lose, that Stalin was in grave jeopardy from the outset of the war, and that it was the Allied victories in North Africa and consequent threat to Italy that forced Hitler to change his plans and saved Stalin from near-certain defeat. Stalin’s only real triumph was in creating a legend of victory.

We’ve talked about it on the podcast, and here it is…

TANTORMEDIA Terminal World by Alastair ReynoldsTerminal World
By Alastair Reynolds; Read by John Lee
15 Audio CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – Approx. 19.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Publisher: June 1, 2010
ISBN: 9781400117116(cd), 9781400167111 (mp3-cd)
Spearpoint, the last human city, is an atmosphere-piercing spire of vast size. Clinging to its skin are the zones, a series of semi-autonomous city-states, each of which enjoys a different—and rigidly enforced—level of technology. Following an infiltration mission that went tragically wrong, Quillon has been living incognito, working as a pathologist in the district morgue. But when a near-dead angel drops onto his dissecting table, Quillon’s world is wrenched apart one more time. If Quillon is to save his life, he must leave his home and journey into the cold and hostile lands beyond Spearpoint’s base, starting an exile that will take him further than he could ever imagine. But there is far more at stake than just Quillon’s own survival, for the limiting technologies of the zones are determined not by governments or police but by the very nature of reality—and reality itself is showing worrying signs of instability.

Death Cloud is the first in a series of novels in which Sherlock Holmes is re-imagined as “a brilliant, troubled and engaging teenager”…

PAN MACMILLIAN - Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud by Andrew LaneYoung Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud
By Andrew Lane; Read by Dan Stevens
3 CDs – Approx. 3 Hours [ABRIDGED?]
Publisher: Pan Macmillian Audio
Published: June 2010
ISBN: 9780230745124
The year is 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. His life is that of a perfectly ordinary army officer’s son: boarding school, good manners, a classical education – the backbone of the British Empire. But all that is about to change. With his father suddenly posted to India, and his mother mysteriously ‘unwell’, Sherlock is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle and aunt in their vast house in Hampshire. So begins a summer that leads Sherlock to uncover his first murder, a kidnap, corruption and a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent…

[via Bish’s Beat]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrival: Halo Evolutions

February 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Science Fiction Audiobook - Halo EvolutionsHalo: Evolutions
By Tobias S. Buckell, B.K. Evenson, Jonathan Goff, Kevin Grace, Tessa Kum and Jeff Vandermeer, Robt McLees, Eric Nylund, Frank O’Connor, Eric Raab, Karen Traviss, and Fred Van Lente
Read by Steve Downes, Holter Graham, Frank O’Connor, and Jen Taylor
12 CDs – 14 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781427207869

When humanity expanded beyond the safety of Earth to new stars and horizons, they never dreamed what dangers they would encounter there. When the alien juggernaut known as the Covenant declared holy war upon the fragile human empire, millions of lives were lost—but, millions of heroes rose to the challenge. In such a far-reaching conflict, not many of the stories of these heroes, both human and alien, have a chance to become legend. This collection holds eleven stories that dive into the depths of the vast Halo universe, not only from the perspective of those who fought and died to save humanity, but also those who vowed to wipe humanity out of existence.

I love this idea. A Halo short story collection. I agree with Frank O’Connor (Franchise Development Director, 343 Industries), who says:

The chance to explore corners of the Halo universe, whether obscure or popular, is something we are always excited to do, but the chance to shine light on these dark corners with the talents of these wonderful luminaries is a pleasure indeed!

Yup! A great way to approach this. Looking forward to it!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Review of Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

December 2, 2007 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Reviews, SFFaudio essential 

SFFaudio Review

Old Man's War by John ScalziOld Man’s War
By John Scalzi; Read by William Dufris
Audible Download – Approx. 10 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: macmillan audio / audible.com
Published: October 2007
Themes: / Science Fiction / Military SF / War / Telepathy / Space Travel / Galactic Civilization /

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce – and alien races willing to fight us for them are common.

There’s an excellent subgenre of science fiction that produces a novel every dozen years or so. “Tributes to Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers“, I call it. First in this subgenre was The Forever War (1974) – a kind of anti-Starship Troopers novel. Second was Ender’s Game (1985) a kind of micro/macro version of ST. There was even a satire called Bill The Galactic Hero (1965), which parodied ST. The latest novel in this little branch of SF is Old Man’s War, a faithful ode to Heinlein’s original tale of Earther civilian turned hardened space soldier. The war of the title is both familiar and different. Gone are the powered armor and accompanying fission bomb launcher of Heinlein’s mid-twentieth century novel. In are genetically engineered soldiers and nanotech weapon systems. Another innovation in Old Man’s War includes is the BrainPal™, a neural implant that makes battlefield communication exacty like telepathy. Tech and lineage aside this is one hell of a story all on its own. All of the previous novels in this niche spent a great deal of time in training their protagonist. Same goes here, Old Man’s War has the requisite gruff staff sergeant of the “Colonial Defense Forces” who trains the hero, John Perry, and his fellow recruits. It also has the first shock of combat, a learning curve towards mastery and some twists and turns you can’t see coming. Old Man’s War also has the pure brutality of war, the comradely companionship a love story (of sorts). New to the series is a light touch of humor here and there, John Perry was writer before he joined the army. The alien enemies he fights aren’t bugs (nor “buggers”), but are memorable and varied. The Consu, for instance, are deeply religious, and though having a superior technology to every known alien race – including humans – will fight only with roughly equal technology to any species they encounter. The Salong, meanwhile, are a deer-like species that while appearing shyly doe-eyed, fight humans because they find us extremely tasty – a case of the hunters become the hunted. One scene of combat has Perry and his platoon stomping like Godzilla a city of lilliputian aliens that the Humans have somehow made a grudge with. Later in the book we discover that there are some soldiers in the CDF who don’t share the common background of Perry and his platoon. These “Ghost Brigades” as they are called, are a fascinating new twist all on their own, and judging by the title of the already written sequels (The Ghost Brigades, The Sagan Diary and The Last Colony) were going to be learning more about them. This is delightfully compelling listening, like any little genre it comforts with the familiarity of form and entertains with the variations on the theme.

Audible.com (and the iTunes Audiobook Store) has made itself a must-try service by the very exclusivity of this audiobook. If you want to hear this Hugo nominated adventure, you have to sign up with audible.com or iTunes to get it. Narrator William Dufris is his reliable self, injecting battalions of charm and humor into the voices of John Perry and his various companions. Old Man’s War is a righteous addition to Heinlein’s Troopers legacy. The name of John Scalzi can now stand in Science Fiction pantheon proudly beside the likes of Orson Scott Card, Joe Haldeman and Robert A. Heinlein.

Posted by Jesse Willis