Yabba Habba – The Subtle Knife

December 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7 The Subtle Knife
His Dark Materials – 2 of 3
By Phillip Pullman
Dramatized by Lavinia Murray
Saturday January 3
9am, 8pm and 3am GMT

Full cast audioplay: Philip Pullman‘s award winning epic trilogy continues. 12 year-old Will escapes Oxford into the parallel world of Cittagazze, where he meets Lyra. Together they acquire the most powerful weapon in all the Universes – The Subtle Knife. With Emma Fielding and Ray Fearon.

BBC7 | The Subtle Knife | Schedules (stays online for 6 days)

Listen to part one, Northern Lights (The Golden Compass), here through Friday January 2.

Posted by RC of Radio Tales of the Strange & Fantastic

The SFFaudio Podcast #008

October 20, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #008 – here there be podcasts – we’ve adorned ourselves in too much gold, now we can’t move! So join us on our 8th show, where we’re always etymologically correct.

Scott: Oh ya right. I just forgot something man. Uh, before we dock, I think we ought to discuss the bonus situation.

Jesse: Right.

Scott: We think… we think we deserve full shares.

Jesse: Right.

Scott: Pass the cornbread.

Topics discussed include:
42Blips.com, METAtropolis, Jay Lake, John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Karl Schroeder, Mr. Spaceship, Philip K. Dick, Stefan Rudnicki, Wonder Audio, Anne McCaffrey, The Ship Who Sang, Michael Hogan, Battlestar Galactica, 18th Century Spain, Cascadia (Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and sometimes Idaho), Detroit, “Turking”, The Turk (the chess playing automaton), alternative economy, Kandyse McClure, infodump, shared world, Brandon Sanderson, hard fantasy, Elantris, Larry Niven, The Magic Goes Away, manna, unicorns, dragons, Dungeons & Dragons, Mistborn, Robert Jordan, The Wheel Of Time, Writing Excuses Podcast, Howard Tayler, SchlockMercenary.com, Dan Wells, The Dark Knight, Aural Noir, The New Adventures Of Mike Hammer, Stacy Keach, Mike Hammer, Full Cast Audio, Red Planet, Robert A. Heinlein, Bruce Coville, Mars, Heinlein’s Future History sequence, the Red Planet TV miniseries, Princess Academy, Shannon Hale, Blackstone Audio, The Collected Stories Of Philip K. Dick Volume 1, and Volume 2, Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, David Farland, Runelords, Collected Public Domain Works Of H.P. Lovecraft, LibriVox.org, October, Ray Bradbury, “Autumn ennui”, AUTHOR PAGES, LEIGH BRACKETT, FREDERIC BROWN, JAMES PATRICK KELLY, BBC7, RadioArchive.cc, Beam Me Up Podcast, MACK REYNOLDS, Robert Sheckley, Religulous, Constantine’s Sword, The Ultimate Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction: The Definitive illustrated Guide edited by David Pringle, space opera, planetary romance, Julie D., Forgotten Classics podcast, The Wonder Stick, time travel, alien intrusions, metal powers, Slan, The Demolished Man, comedic SF, aliens, artificial intelligence, “cosmic collisions”, Deep Impact, cyborgs, dinosaurs, the dying Earth, Gene Wolfe, elixir of life, immortality, Roger Zelazny, Robert Silverberg, genetic engineering, nuclear war, overpopulation, parallel worlds, robots, androids, Joanna Russ, Ben Bova, space travel, suspended animation, teleportation, transcendence = the Singularity ?, Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke, religion, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Monica Hughes, Crisis On Conshelf Ten, Hard SF, cyberpunk, psychology, New Wave, lost races, military SF, science fantasy, shared worlds, steampunk.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #006

October 6, 2008 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #006 is here. Six is the loneliest number (after 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) dontchanknow. In this our 6th, and sixth loneliest, show we’re asking lonely questions like: ‘If you had to choose a universe without either Ray Bradbury or Neil Gaiman, which would you pick?’ And ‘Which is the worst audiobook recording ever made?’ Pod-in to find out the answers to these and many more exciting questions that nobody asked us.

Topics discussed include:

StarShipSofa’s Aural Delights
, Paul Campbell, Michael Marshall Smith, The Seventeenth Kind, Estalvin’s Legacy, Rebels Of The Red Planet, Charles L. Fontenay, The 2nd SFFaudio Challenge, Parallel Worlds, The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman, The Jungle Book, American Gods, The Fix Online, Audiobook Fix, author read audiobooks, Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen King, Robert J. Sawyer, James Patrick Kelly, Good Omens, Terry Pratchett, Neverwhere, Gary Bakewell, if you had to pick…, Stardust, Douglas Adams, Roger Zelazny, The Long Dark Tea Time Of The Soul, radio drama, BBC Radio 4, BBC iplayer, Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer, The Supernaturalist, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy [the Ivory Coast edition], The Spanish Prisoner, Strange Horizons, Shaun Farrell, From iTunes to the Bookshelves: The First Wave of Podcast Novelists, Podiobooks.com, Nathan Lowell, Quarter Share, Evo Terra, Pavlovian experience, Ed McBain, Donald E. Westlake, NPR, Driveway Moments,

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Greatest Science Fiction Stories Of The 20th Century

August 25, 2008 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Greatest Science Fiction Stories Of The 20th CenturyThe Greatest Science Fiction Stories Of The 20th Century
By various; Read by various
4 Cassettes – 6 Hours [Unabridged]
Publisher: Dove Audio
Published: 1998
ISBN: 0787116807
Themes: / Science Fiction / Magical Realism / Aliens / Time Travel / Parallel Worlds / Space Travel / Mutation / Nuclear Winter /

What would a long time SF fan consider a collection called The Greatest Science Fiction Stories Of The 20th Century when none of the stories would make his top ten list, and some aren’t even SF? In this case, I consider it a very good collection of stories. If anything, this seems a collection of well-read and written, but randomly chosen, speculative fiction stories.

Clearly intended to present a wide variety of “Science Fiction,” this audio-anthology has neither theme nor consistency but it doesn’t need them. The stories, with only two exceptions, are quite entertaining. They are all extremely well read, my quibble with a poor attempt at an accent notwithstanding, ranging from Harlan Ellison’s wonderfully passionate reading of his story to Nana Visitor’s aesthetically perfect interpretation of “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.”

Each story is briefly commented on below.

“Jeffty Is Five”
By Harlan Ellison; Read by Harlan Ellison
Reality is distorted around a boy who doesn’t age. This is Magical Realism, not SF, but an amazing story nonetheless. Ellison’s response to the bitter cynicism of modernity will tear at the core of your soul unless A) you’re very young or B) you don’t have a soul. The best story in the collection.

“Twilight”
By John W. Campbell; Read by Richard McGonagle
A good early SF story but not quite great. It feels a bit to much like Wells’ The Time Machine, but it entertaining enough. A retelling of a time traveler’s visit to the twilight of humanity.

“The Ones Who Walk Away Fom Omelas”
By Ursula K. Le Guin; Read by Nana Visitor
Virtually everyone knows this Fantasy, again not SF, story. It has all the strengths and weakness of Le Guin’s writing, amazing authorial voice and great storytelling, but a strong tendency to be overly didactic to the point of sanctimoniousness. Still as with most of her stories, the strengths far outweigh the weaknesses.

“Bears Discover Fire”
By Terry Bisson; Read by Arte Johnson
Bears start using fire in an otherwise normal Kentucky. This Magical Realism, not an SF. This story was the only one that bored me. It also had my only, relatively minor, reading complaint. The reader’s Kentucky accent is a bit off and sounds a bit condescending.

“The Crystal Spheres”
By David Brin; Read by Alexander Siddig
A very interesting, though highly implausible, story about a universe in which all stars are encircled by invisible, impenetrable, crystal spheres.

“That Only a Mother”
By Judith Merril; Read by Terry Farrell
Due to radiation poisoning, a baby is born mentally gifted but physically impaired. A disturbing, unpleasant story that is only marginally SF.

“Allamagoosa”
By Eric Frank Russell; Read by James A. Watson
Wonderful over-the-top humor. This story of a spaceship facing an inspection while missing an offog, an item no one knows what is, is a gem.

“Tangents”
By Greg Bear; Read by Melissa Manchester.
A boy can see into the the fourth physical dimension and a scientist helps him play music for the beings there. Interesting enough, but forgettable.

“The Nine Billion Names of God”
By Arthur C. Clarke; Read by Alexander Siddig
Tibetan monks have a computer print out all the names possible names of God with the intent of fulfilling the purpose of creation. Good enough but not even Clarke’s best short story.

“Huddling Place”
By Clifford D. Simak; Read by David Ackroyd
In a future with robots and space travel agoraphobia has become a serious threat. This story would have been just acceptable filler except for the fact that in this story from 1944, Simak predicts the internet, though he describes it in terms of a television with knobs.

“Why I Left Harry’s All-Night Diner”
By Lawrence Watt Evans; Read by Wil Wheaton
A fun, interesting take on the the idea of parallel universes. Certainly an enjoyable story.

“Fermi And Frost”
By Frederik Pohl; Read by Denise Crosby
Icelanders face the prospects of nuclear winter in the post-apocalyptic tale. A good downbeat story to balance some of the lighthearted stories.

Conclusion: This is a very good anthology. It definitely isn’t a collection of the best stories, but it may be the best collection of stories available. Highly recommended.

I started reviewing this collection on the expectation that it was out of print and I would have to recommend Amazon or eBay as a source of a used cassette copy. So imagine my surprise when a mere day after finishing it, I hear an Audible.com ad for it on Pseudopod. So, it is easily available for those interested.

Posted by David Tackett

Review of The Hemingway Hoax by Joe Haldeman

May 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

The Hemingway Hoax by Joe HaldemanThe Hemingway Hoax
By Joe Haldeman; Read by Eric Michael Summerer
Audible Download – 4 Hours 31 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: April 2008
Themes: / Science Fiction / Earnest Hemingway / Time Travel / Alternate Universe / Parallel Worlds /
The hoax proposed to John Baird by a two-bit con man in a seedy Key West bar was shady but potentially profitable. With little left to lose, the struggling, middle-aged Hemingway scholar agreed to forge a manuscript and pass it off as Papa’s lost masterpiece. But Baird never realized his actions would shatter the history of his own Earth – and others. And now the unsuspecting academic is trapped out of time – propelled through a series of grim parallel worlds and pursued by an interdimensional hitman with a literary license to kill.

This here is our first review of an Audible Frontiers title, Audible Frontiers is a new imprint of Audible.com, bringing hard to find and never before recorded SF audiobooks to their website and iTunes exclusively. The Hemingway Hoax is a strong beginning too, this is a Hugo and Nebula Award winning novella/short novel that interweaves historical fact and SF elements into an exotic elixir not unlike absinthe. In very real literary history, 1921 Paris to be precise, Earnest Hemingway’s wife lost a bag containing all the manuscripts and carbon copies for Hemingway’s first novel and several short stories. Seventy-five years later, in a 1996 Key West storyland, a Hemingway scholar named John Baird meets a conman named Castle who wants Baird to forge copies of Hemingway’s “lost” manuscripts. With his younger wife all for it, and with some major interest in the logistics of the project himself, Baird sets out to commit the fraud only to find himself face to face with an ethereal version of Hemingway himself! This being, who turns out to be from outside of time – or wherever, tells Baird that he ‘must not perpetrate the hoax, upon pain of death.’ But even the threat of death, and death itself won’t stop Baird, as the Hemingway Hoax is on!

I can see why this tale won a Hugo, this has all the Haldeman touches, intelligent and literate fiction, easy humor and good storytelling. Time travel and parallel worlds are about the oldest tropes of SF, but Haldeman staked out some ground in both domains, and they pay-off. I’ve read a few Hemingway stories, and the pastiche that appears here and there in the novella sound just like Hemingway to me. This, coupled with the candid BONUS AUDIO of Joe Haldeman talking about the inspiration for the novel that precedes the audiobook proper makes The Hemingway Hoax definitely worth checking out. Baird is a stand-in for Haldeman, both are professors of literature at New England universities, both served in Vietnam, both are intrigued by Hemingway and his lost papers. This makes for the most Philip K. Dickian Haldeman tale I’ve ever read. In terms of the production itself, this is a straight reading, with some light music added over the opening sentences and the final paragraphs. Other than a couple of very minor pronunciation errors Eric Michael Summerer (a new voice in audiobooks) narrated beautifully. He voiced five major characters, three male and two female, and they all sounded naturalistic and different. Audible Frontiers should use Eric Michael Summerer again.

Update (here are the illustrations from the publication is Asimov’s):
Asimov's 1990-04 - Cover illustration by Wayne Barlowe
Asimov's 1990-04 - interior illustration by Terry Lee
Asimov's 1990-04 - interior illustration by Terry Lee
Asimov's 1990-04 - interior illustration by Terry Lee

Posted by Jesse Willis

U.K. Audio Drama Podcast: Estalvin’s Legacy

December 1, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

SFFaudio Online Audio

SFFaudio Challenge entrant Paul Campbell (he’s working on Rebels Of The Red Planet) has been podcasting his Science Fiction audio drama series Estalvin’s Legacy since early this summer. This promising series features “Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Disaster and War across Alternate Realities” – all that and a cast of a dozen U.K voice actors! There are three episodes out so far. I’ve listened to the first, it drops you straight into the middle of a cast of complex characters with a backstory that begins to be revealed – very promising! And Estalvin’s Legacy has possibly the best tagline for an audio drama series I’ve ever heard:

“The universe exists – for now.”

Have a listen to the slick promo |MP3| and then check out the series itself…

Estalvin’s Legacy - A Science Fiction Podcast Audio DramaEstalvin’s Legacy
By Paul W. Campbell; Performed by a full cast
Podcast – [AUDIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: Cossmass Productions
Podcast: Started June 2007
Ranging across the many parallel, and not so parallel, alternate realities of the Cossmass. Things aren’t right in the greater reality know as the Cossmass. It encompasses thousands upon thousands of alternate realities. The stability of the Cossmass has been weakening. The collapse of an entire reality stream is no longer a mere theory. The Kalsorin have an uneasy truce with the La’Shareti. Both have influence across several Reality Clusters. But the Kalsorin are keeping a secret from the La’Shareti that would bring a war that they could not win. In a remote Cluster: Nicolas is older than he looks, and his memory is fading fast. Sarah and Peter have only known each other a short time when Liam appears. Liam has travelled the Cossmass for many years, always keeping out of sight of the Kalsorin. Until now.

Subscribe to the podcast via this feed:

http://cossmass.co.uk/series/estalvinslegacy/feed

Posted by Jesse Willis

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