New Releases – Wonder Audio, Leiber and Weinbaum

January 22, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: New Releases 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Did you know you can get either of these titles, as well as any other Wonder Audio title for free?  Just sign up at Audible.com/WonderAudio

The Night of the Long KnivesThe Night of the Long Knives
By Fritz Leiber; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
3hr,  37 min.- [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audio
Published: 2009

Available at Audible & iTunes

A Deathlander’s life is a rough one. Atomic radiation, murder and sex preoccupies the sparse inhabitants of what used to be a great portion of America’s West. Kill or be killed is the law of this sickened land. Multicolored radioactive dusts floats in the atmosphere of this nuclear desert.

When Ray Baker meets a woman on his sojourn, he doesn’t know if he wants to kill her or sleep with her. Ray doesn’t understand his urge to murder. But he feels it like all the other Deathlanders. Just as he knows the girl feels it. Laying down their arsenal of weapons will leave them both vulnerable. The cost of a moment of intimacy may lead to the last moments of their lives. And what to do when the act is over, and both their minds turn back to murder.

Parasite Planet: The Ham & Pat StoriesParasite Planet: The Ham & Pat Stories
By Stanley G. Weinbaum; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
3hr, 47 min.- [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audio
Published: 2009

Available at Audible & iTunes

The short and meteoric career of Stanley G. Weinbaum produced many instantly hailed classics. None had the breadth of wonder, and adventure with philosophic insight as the trilogy of stories that feature Ham Hammond and Patricia Burlingame.

Parasite Planet begins with Ham Hammond trekking across the surface of Venus. The environment is parasitic, filled with bizarre alien life forms like the lasso throwing Jack Ketch Trees and the doughpots, a mindless omnivorous ball of animate cells that devour all living things in their path. When Ham meets the contentious Patricia Burlingame, they have to march across Venus to safety. It’s not clear what is going to kill them first, Venus’s hostile environment or each other.

In The Lotus Eaters, Ham and Pat are on a special scientific expedition to the dark-side of Venus. They discover a strange warm-blooded plant. The most disconcerting thing about the plant is when it begins speaking English and waxing philosophically.

The Planet of Doubt brings the duo to Uranus on another special scientific expedition. The cloudy shrouded terrain strikes terror into the heart of Ham as tries to find the lost Pat who he hopes is still be alive!

Posted by The Time Traveler of the Time Traveler Show

Review of Eifelheim by Michael Flynn

September 11, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Eifelheim by Michael FlynnEifelheim
By Michael Flynn; Read by Anthony Heald
2 MP3-CDs – 17.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2007
ISBN: 1433206129
Themes: / Science Fiction / Philosophy / Religion / Catholicism / Aliens / Physics / First Contact / Black Death /

“Eifelheim” is a novel that’s not in a hurry. It’s a multiple course meal that offers helpings of philosophy, science, and religion at a leisurely pace that’s refreshing in today’s hurry-up climate. It was also a Hugo nominee for Best Novel of 2007.

The novel takes place in two times. In “Now”, two live-in scientists discuss and compare their findings on seemingly different subjects. One of them is investigating the absence of people in Eifelheim, a German town whose population disappeared during the 14th century. According to calculations of population patterns, this is a mathematical anomaly. The other scientist, a physicist, is trying to figure out why the speed of light is slowing down. That these two things are related is part of the story.

In the 14th century, a parish priest named Father Deitrich, who is dealing with the beginnings of the Black Death in his area, experiences first contact with an alien race that appears in his town of Eifelheim. Father Deitrich is a smart, compassionate priest, and, as he considers the aliens God’s children, he befriends them and cares for them as he can.

The focus occasionally switches back to the two scientists from “now”, who have conversations that shed light on the happenings in Eifelheim in the past. The main charm of this novel for me was the realistic portrayal of this honorable priest, and his culture. It portrays a medieval religion that was considered the source of all knowledge, and as such, the priest’s logical reasoning makes for compelling listening. To readers who enjoy philosophy and speculative science, and the history of both, it would be hard to find a modern novel more interesting.

Author Michael Flynn provides historical and physics notes at the end of the novel, and thanks should go out to Blackstone Audio for including them here in the audiobook. Narrator Anthony Heald does a tremendous job with the narration. He’s an excellent match with the material, handling accents and characters with unobtrusive skill. Choices he made with the alien voices were particularly effective.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

AUDIO ROUNDUP: Masters Of Science Fiction

August 5, 2007 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Masters Of Science FictionMasters Of Science Fiction aired its first episode last night on ABC stations in the USA. We’ve got all the audio dope on this video program…

HERE‘s an audio recording from NPR and TV critic David Bianculli talking about the show. What makes this series so intriguing is that it is using actual Science Fiction stories (GASP!) for its episodes…

The first tale was based on John Kessel’s A Clean Escape (which was previously adapted into a Seeing Ear Theatre Original Playhouse audio drama (no longer available online). Hardcopies of this audio drama can be found in an out of print collection, available on ABEBooks.com (and one is currently on on ebay.com):

Seeing Ear Theater, Volume 1
By Terry Bisson, Brian Smith, James Patrick Kelly, Allen Steele, John Kessel and Gregory Benford
FULL CAST PRODUCTIONS with introductions by Harlan Ellison
2 Cassettes – Approx 3 hrs. [UNABRIDGED DRAMATIZATIONS]
ISBN: 0787118133
Date Published 1998
Published by Dove Audio

Stories Included:
THREE ODD COMEDIES by Terry Bisson
“They’re Made Out of Meat”
“The Toxic Donut”
“Next”
Into The Sun by Brian Smith
Think Like a Dinosaur by James Patrick Kelly
The Death of Captain Future by Allen Steele
A Clean Escape by John Kessel
The Bigger One by Gregory Benford

Also, BuddyTV.com has an |MP3| interview with Sam Waterson about his role in the Masters Of SF first episode A Clean Escape (and irreverently about his role on Law and Order).

More, WUNC in North Carolina has a terrific radio interview |MP3| with Kessel about the adaptation of his short story A Clean Escape to TV.