The SFFaudio Podcast #251 – READALONG: Up Against It by M.J. Locke

February 10, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #251 – Jesse, Scott, and Tamahome discuss Up Against It by M.J. Locke.

Talked about on today’s show:
Hardcover, paperback, audiobook, who to blame?, it’s Jo Walton’s doing we chose this book (at the bottom), still a lot of juice in the genre, the ultimate cause, drawing in vs. pushing in, Corner Gas, a new wine bracket, the Radium Age of Science Fiction, Scott’s Goodreads review, Tam’s Goodreads review24, the characters, less torture, its more fun if you count the tropes, every trope is in there, including immortality, mimetic fiction (literary realism), Henry James, mimetic fiction in a science fiction universe, tiny infodumps, not one brand new idea, waveface virtual reality, Tonal_Z AI language (Chris Crawford’s Solvesol-interface concept?), in dialogue, Cory Doctorow (Whuffies), Bruce Sterling, Chris Crawford, Bruce Sterling’s Veridians (wow, it’s a whole big thing, design philosophy? manifesto), asteroid miner stories, Heinlein and later, The Island Worlds by John Maddox Roberts and Eric Kotani, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, there’s no newcomer, a generally agreed upon direction our future will be, John Scalzi’s brainpal, more than one kind of SF, rocket ships, the Charles Stross direction, Iain M. Banks, Souvenir by Philip K. Dick, Amish tech, their tech is subservient to their culture, it seems inevitable in our world, the received future, Earth in Up Against It in bad shape, Vancouver shantytowns, Edmonton, this isn’t a utopian book, dystopia, dystopic Earth, why are they in the Asteroid Belt, good world-building, good but not new, nothing new but the idea, incredibly self-aware people is weird (and cool), gene tampering, Oblivion is a good introduction to SF tropes (for people born in the year 2000), the level of SF tropes in movies is very low compared to those in SF books, Darwin Elevator, bad physics vs. excellent physics, sugar rocks, there’s no intro character (other than the A.I. pov), Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, collaborative teens, a visual adaptation, Ender’s Game, Planetes, Gravity, Babylon 5 had nothing new, I don’t go to TV SF for new ideas, books are where great ideas, what great ideas haven’t been explored, the news coming out of Eve Online, Steen Hansen, political machinations, gold farming, a simulated universe, a libertarian alliance was trojaned or something, happening to real people, World Of Warcraft, our real future is in leisure, Tam liked it more, nose-piercings, tattooing, the gender neutral pronouns, why would you want a purple nose?, Jesse doesn’t understand trans-humanism, normal readalongs, why didn’t I like this more, Tam liked it fine, hands for feet, chromes and mutes, Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold, not too bright in the brain area, The Integral Trees by Larry Niven, a planetless solar system, a mashup of Doctorow and Heinlein, smile -> erection, Chekhov’s Gun, Heinleinian sex vs. Doctorowian sex, there’s too much going on, an immature writer, Elmore Leonard, “she pillowed her cheek”, nobody pillows their cheeks in Jack London stories, Jane as an older Ripley, an artificial spiritual awakening, too many compromises too much bullshit, an authentically political book according to Staffer’s Book Review, double dealings, the thriller plot, exploring space, what does Scott prefer?, does Scott have a right to review Up Against It?, is it maturity?, 2312, Tobias Buckell’s blog essay about mature reviewers, caveats, “and get off my lawn”, idea fiction, competent but unstimulating, why is The Lord Of The Rings more interesting than Up Against It?, the themes, the next episode of A Good Story Is Hard To Find, Luke Burrage re-reviews A Canticle For Liebowitz, what we do when we do READALONGS (we unpack books), The Odyssey, Community, currently airing TV series have podcasts?, books with allegories, Scott wants it to mean something to him, The Zimmerman Telegram by Barbara Tuchman, WWI, the German ambassador in Mexico, Woodrow Wilson, Tom Clancy, mimetic fiction from the future, a history from the future, history, in some ways Eve Online is much more real than any fiction book, Scott finds value in general fiction, Mario Puzo, Tom Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, meaning vs. ideas, horror, Snowblind by Christopher Golden for some alternative horror, The House Of The Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James, gothic fiction, witchcraft, Supernatural Horror In Literature by H.P. Lovecraft, there’s still potential for Science Fiction, a sequel?, an unneeded sequel, every subsequent milk of a book undercuts it, Dune has been worsened by every Dune that’s come since, Dune Messiah (Scott liked it), the fall of a charismatic leader, a backward casting shadow, Brian Herbert has done what his father wanted by ruining Dune?, why was Up Against It so long?, YA/adult book, George R.R. Martin doesn’t think Scott’s a fan of Hard SF, The Martian by Andy Weir, Phoecea, why are they mining?, there’s no economic reason to do so, was there an economic reason to go to the moon, we need to build a space fleet, no martian resources are unavailable on Earth, the Moon has Helium-3, Tam read Frank Schatzing’s Limit and his eyes are tired, what the frack, (was it ‘Simon pure science fiction like A Darkling Sea‘?  we didn’t talk about it but I thought I’d note it)

Up Against It by M.J. Locke

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #093

January 31, 2011 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #093 – Scott and Jesse talk to audiobook narrator Grover Gardner about his long career in audiobooks and his work as the studio director at Blackstone Audioboooks.

Talked about on today’s show:
Blackstone Audio, Ashland, Oregon, The Story Of Civilization by Will Durant and Ariel Durant, the Miles Vorkosigan saga, Lois McMaster Bujold, Cryoburn, space opera, the Library Of Congress’ talking book program, Tiger Beat, Alexander Scourby, George Guidall, Displaced Persons, YA, WWII, Flo Gibson, Brilliance Audio, Recorded Books, the early audiobook industry, James Patterson, Books On Tape, Michael Kramer, Barret Whitener, Kate Reading, Bernadette Dunn, Jonathan Marosz, Tanya Perez, Oregon Shakespeare Theatre Festival, Southern Oregon University, Ringworld by Larry Niven |READ OUR REVIEW|, recording audiobooks under pseudonyms (Tom Parker, Alexander Adams), Star Wars, Anthony Heald, the Young Jedi series, Jonathan Davis, recording an abridged novel with sound effects (Star Wars), “hard abridgments”, “in the age of mega companies that shall remain nameless”, do bad books turned into audiobooks harm the audiobook market?, casting an audiobook narrator slightly against the book, digitizing older audiobooks, history, narrating non-fiction, Ross Macdonald‘s Lew Archer series, The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell |READ OUR REVIEW|, Tai Simmons, using an iPad to read scripts, Blackstone Audio maintains an in-house pronunciation guide database, The Tin Drum by Günter Grass, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, Simon Vance, Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick, Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick |READ OUR REVIEW|, Tom Weiner loves science fiction, Brain Wave by Poul Anderson, a new recording of a Robert Sheckley book is coming, Random House still does abridgments, Shelby Foote, Donald Westlake, Grover Gardner’s blog post on Ross Macdonald, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald wrote psychological mystery novels about families (he lets all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out), The Wycherley Woman, The Chill, John D. MacDonald, The Moving Target, The Galton Case, Black Money, the Travis McGee series, Darren McGavin, biography as a genre, Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw, Gildan Media, the Wallander series, The Return Of The Dancing Master by Henning Mankell, Haila Williams, Grover Gardner loved narrating Elmore Leonard audiobook, Patrick Obrien’s, Bernard Cornwell, Maximum Bob by Elmore Leonard, “a slightly square guy”, Harper Audio, Pronto by Elmore Leonard, Justified, the Inspector Montalbano series is “enormously entertaining”, Andrea Camilleri, the Toby Peters series, Stuart M. Kaminsky, keeping track of the character voices (by visualization), “I lived those books”, Fools Die by Mario Puzo, Kristoffer Tabori, what is Grover Gardner’s favourite book?, The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell (it’s Grover Gardner’s masterwork).

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #080

November 1, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #080 – Jesse talks with Eric Shanower, the cartoonist for Marvel Comics’ The Wizard Of Oz series and Image Comics Age Of Bronze: The Story Of The Trojan War (available at HungryTigerPress.com).

WATCH OUT FOR THE FALSE ENDINGS!

Talked about on today’s show:
Artist Skottie Young, L. Frank Baum, black and white comics vs. color comics, colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Classics Illustrated, the Tin Woodsman‘s story, Eric’s obsession with Oz, Oz is the first American fantasy, the Emerald City, Marvel Illustrated, DC’s Vertigo imprint, Roy ThomasThe Iliad, Age Of Bronze: The Story Of The Trojan War: The Thousand Ships, comics inspired by audiobooks, The March Of Folly: From Troy To Vietnam by Barbara W. Tuchman, the many and varied stories of the Trojan War, Conan comics, Garth Ennis, Neil Gaiman, Roy Thomas, marketing and promoting comics, Image Comics, comicbook end matter, maps, genealogical charts, pronunciation guides, bibliographies, Cressida’s star-fixation, the absence or presence of the supernatural, Homer’s The Iliad, Troilus and Cressida, where is the Trojan Horse?, Homer’s The Odyssey, The Judgement Of Paris, is there a tongue theme going on?, a seven part series, the industry trending from single issue comics to graphic novels, Garth Ennis’ Battlefield series, would a colour Kindle reinvigorate single issue comics?, Throwaway Horse, annotating comics, James Joyce‘s Ulysses (digital annotated), annotating The Age Of Bronze, re-coloring The Sandman, visiting the real Troy (in Asia Minor), the magnificent Windy Ilios, the Lion Gate at Myceane, the geography and economy of ancient Troy, portraying Odysseus’ madness, distracting Agamemnon, Homer’s dog (Argos), a very very old dog, listening to audiobooks, George Guidall’s reading of The Iliad (Recorded Books), The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, historical fiction, Audible.com, Aeneas and The Aeneid, WATCH OUT FOR THE FALSE ENDING!, LibriVox.org, Iambik Audio, Paul Auster, City Of Glass, the listening habits of artists, It’s Superman by Tom De Haven, Blackstone Audio, paranormal romance, The Book Of Illusions by Paul Auster, Hunt Through The Valley Of Fear by Gabriel Hunt (aka Charles Ardai), Hard Case Crime, Memory by Donald E. Westlake, Jim Thompson’s The Grifters, Fools Die by Mario Puzo, I thought George Guidall could do no wrong until he read a Lillian Jackson Braun audiobook, RadioArchive.cc, audiobook torrent sites, Conan Properties International, The Hound Of The Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Skype screen sharing, The Guns Of August by Barbara Tuchman, Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household, Michael Jayston, LOOK OUT – THERE’S ANOTHER FALSE ENDING!, a costumed Halloween party, Frog Went A-Courting, the frog vs. the prince, A New Brain, vampires vs. zombies, going zombie, dinosaur Halloween costumes, making costumes is hard!, the Shaggy Man, The SFFaudio Challenge, The 4th SFFaudio Challenge on BoingBoing.net, The Mysteries Of Paris by Eugene Sue, The Wandering Jew by Eugene Sue, Hugh
McGuire, the number of listeners to the SFFaudio Podcast is insane, the difference between a professional narrator and an amateur narrator is that the amateur narrator gets to choose his books, Gregg Margarite, Edith Nesbit, pronunciation and inflection are important, music and sound effects in audiobooks is wrong, Fritz Leiber’s The Big Time, Peter Pan, multiple narrators for plays, audio drama, BBC, quality control in comics, cartoonists are better off today than ever before, Sturgeon’s Law, superheroes in comics, why podcast discussions are better than radio interviews, commercial concerns.

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: Robin Hood, Jane Slayre, Fools Die, The Twilight Zone Companion, and MORE!

April 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: New Releases 

New Releases

Blackstone AudiobooksHere’s a batch of new Blackstone Audio audiobooks that have my frontal lobes salivating … huh … while I’m waiting for them to arrive maybe I should consult a doctor on this salivating brain thing.

First up, a new movie-tie-in audiobook for the upcoming Ridley Scott movie of the same name…


Blackstone Audio - Robin Hood by David B. CoeRobin Hood
By David B. Coe; Read by Robin Sachs
7 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: April 27, 2010
ISBN: 9781441755964 (cd), 9781441755971 (mp3-cd)
In 13th century England, the legendary figure known by generations as Robin Hood leads an uprising that will forever alter the balance of world power and will make one man of humble beginnings an eternal symbol of freedom for his people. An expert archer once interested only in self-preservation, Robin now serves in King Richard’s army. Upon Richard’s death, Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation. There he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marion, who is skeptical of the motivations of this mysterious crusader from the forest. Hoping to earn the hand of Maid Marion and to save the village, Robin assembles a gang whose lethal mercenary skills are matched only by its appetite for life. Together, they begin preying on the indulgent upper class to correct the injustices of the sheriff.

Here’s another re-mixed vampires in classics book inspired by the success of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies. Scott figures this fad has run its course. I’m thinking it has at least a couple of more seasons left in it.

Blackstone Audio - Jane Slayre by Charlotte Brontë and Sherri Browning ErwinJayne Slayre (The Literary Classic…with a Blood-Sucking Twist)
By Charlotte Brontë and Sherri Browning Erwin; Read by Rosalyn Landor
12 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 14.2 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: April 13, 2010
ISBN: 9781441752185 (cd), 9781441752192 (mp3-cd)
Raised by vampyre relatives, Jane grows to resent the lifestyle’s effect on her upbringing. No sunlight, keeping nighttime hours, and a diet of bloody red meat is no way for a mortal girl to live. Things change for Jane when the ghost of her uncle visits her, imparts her parents’ slayer history, and charges her with the responsibility of striking out to find others of her kind and learn the slayer ways. After trying her luck at a school full of zombies, Jane finds a position as a governess, where she meets and falls in love with Mr. Rochester. But evil strikes in the form of Mr. Rochester’s first wife, a violent werewolf he keeps locked in the attic. Jane departs to study the slayer tradition with her cousins, but finds herself yearning to reunite with Mr. Rochester. She returns to find that Mr. Rochester has been bitten by the werewolf, and only she can release him from his curse.

I first read this book, Fools Die, when I discovered an unabridged Books On Tape edition of this in a Port Moody thrift store years and years ago. It may have been my best thrift store find ever. Marked at $5.00, it was a steal and a half. It has been out of print for years, so I know a ton of folks are going to want to hear it. It’s all about gambling, brotherhood, corruption and the meaning of life, and its so well written you’ll think about it for years to come. I know I do.

Blackstone Audio - Fools Die by Mario PuzoFools Die
By Mario Puzo; Read by Kristoffer Tabori
16 CDs or 2 MP3-CD – Approx. Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: April 1, 2010
ISBN: 9781441715005 (cd), 9781441715012 (mp3-cd)
From the blockbuster author of The Godfather comes this bold international best-seller about the feverish world of a big-time gambler. Merlyn and his brother, Artie, obey their own code of honor in the ferment of contemporary America, where law and organized crime are one and the same. Set within America’s golden triangle of corruption and excess—New York, Hollywood, Las Vegas—the novel plunges into the glittering and ruthless worlds of gambling, publishing, and the film industry, where greed, lust, and violence hold sway. As high rollers, hustlers, and scheming manipulators use power, sex, and betrayal to win, the strongest survive—but fools die.

This looks like it could be terrific! In the tradition of The Aneid, the original re-mix of a classic story…

Blackstone Audio - The Hittite by Ben BovaThe Hittite
By Ben Bova; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
8 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 9.3 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: April 13, 2010
ISBN: 9781441728135 (cd), 9781441728166 (mp3-cd)
Ben Bova brings us an exciting new take on the timeless legend of Troy. This is the tale of Lukka, the Hittite soldier who traveled across Greece in search of the vicious slave traders who kidnapped his wife and sons. He tracks them all the way to war-torn Troy, where he proves himself a warrior to rank with noble Hector and swift Achilles. Lukka is the man who builds the Trojan horse for crafty Odysseus, who topples the walls of Jericho for the Israelites, and who steals the beautiful Helen—the legendary face that launched a thousand ships—from her husband Menaleus, fighting his way across half the known world to bring her safely to Egypt.

From the author of The Blue Max!! Here’s an audiobook I almost overlooked, first published in 1982…

Blackstone Audio - Florida Is Closed Today by Jack D. HunterFlorida Is Closed Today
By Jack D. Hunter; Read by Tom Weiner
5 CDs – Approx. 5.6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: March 1, 2010
ISBN: 9781433219580 (cd), 9781433219610 (mp3-cd)
CIA sleuth Roger Wagner has retired and moved to Florida with his smart, pretty wife. But his leisure is disrupted when the body of a fellow secret agent washes ashore near his beach-front house. The incident launches him on a frantic, hazardous race against time to neutralize a doomsday bomb hidden by a group of terrorists, who are holding his wife—and the entire state of Florida—as hostages.

And finally, a non-fiction audiobook of the kind I’d love to see a ton more of. Also included, in this audiobook package, is a batch of pictures on a CD-ROM. Nice!

Blackstone Audio - The Twilight Zone Companion (Second Edition) by Marc Scott ZicreeThe Twilight Zone Companion (Second Edition)
By Marc Scott Zicree; Read by Tom Weiner
13 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – Approx. 15.4 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: March 1, 2010
ISBN: 9781433223426 (cd), 9781433223457 (mp3-cd)
The Twilight Zone Companion is the complete, five season (1959-64) show-by-show guide to one of television’s greatest series. Zicree’s well-written account is fascinating reading for even the casual fan. Coverage of each episode includes plot synopsis, Rod Serling’s opening narration, behind-the-scenes stories from the original artists who created the series, and a complete list of cast and credits.

Posted by Jesse Willis