The SFFaudio Podcast #180 – READALONG: The Death Of Grass by John Christopher

October 1, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #180 – Jesse, Tamahome, and Jenny Colvin talk about The Death Of Grass by John Christopher.

Talked about on today’s show:
post-apocalyptic, John Christopher’s real name was Samuel Youd, also known as No Blade of Grass, an anti-pot novel?, “it’s not my idea of a good time”, Stephen King’s The Stand, it’s almost like a play, there is a BBC audio drama adaptation, why not fish?, the Inuit, apocalyptic expert Jenny weighs in, John is like a feudal lord, moral lines are crossed, John’s transformation, the terrible 1970 movie version, “why hello I think I will come with you”, the cons of agriculture, Jenny’s quinoa granola, just drop a few bombs, can’t they make Soylent Green?, potatoes can let you down, real African grass virus, Paolo Bacigalupi’s Windup Girl, famines today, George R. Stewart’s Earth Abides |OUR READALONG|, David Pringle’s Science Fiction: The Best 100 Novels 1949-1984 and The Ultimate Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction, John Joseph Adams’s Wastelands, Pat Frank’s Alas, Babylon, Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010, Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, LeVar Burton loves it, women in the novel, Stockholm syndrome, The Walking Dead, “Dun dun dun!”, “maybe Luke can re-edit it”, Starship Troopers, Doomsday Preppers

Audible - The Death Of Grass by John Christopher

Sphere SF - The Death Of Grass by John Christopher

Posted by Tamahome

The SFFaudio Podcast #073

August 30, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #073 – Jesse talks with Luke Burrage and Gregg Margarite about the Audible Frontiers/Brilliance Audio audiobook of Earth Abides by George R. Stewart!

Talked about on today’s show:
Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, New York City, Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, the best post-apocalyptic novel, a lost classic, a calm method of exposition, a student of history, Isherwood Williams, very vivid and deeply imagined, how do you define Science Fiction?, Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes, philosophical nuts and bolts, the central crisis is left unexplained, the science in Earth Abides, “I understand people better after reading this book”, breeding cycles, Hard Biological Science Fiction, the disappearance of lice, overpopulation of the Earth, is it the author speaking or is it the main character?, ecology, there was no will to power, only a will to live, Baruch Spinoza, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, I can’t believe how long it took the guy to get to the library!, “how to render game”, “there’s lots of library love in this book”, “we’re not going to be the people that we were”, “the characters had to be ignorant out of laziness”, 1947, going to university, mediocrity is well loved, “why is dumb so cool?”, only people who are intelligent enough to ask the question…, does genius beget genius?, is intelligence particularly related to genetics?, nature/nurture, eugenics, is intelligence a particular interest rather than something in the brain?, superior interest vs. superior brainpower, Evie, finding the test, the IQ test, the observer’s position in the universe, “do you think what the government did to Alan Turing was wrong?”, the Apple logo inspired by Alan Turning’s suicide?, snopes.com, I knew I wanted to be friends with Gregg Margarite, LibriVox.org, the San Fransisco tribe, you cannot spoil this book, WWII, cargo cults, “would you ever be a member of a cargo cult?”, Montezuma and Quetzalcoatl, The Gods Must Be Crazy, religion, superstition, pinch your God, if God lived on earth people would break his windows, tribal sociological phenomena, the role of chiefs, the most interesting book about pinching I’ve ever read, “heartwarming pinching”, reading, despondence and acceptance, what does it really matter if humanity is dead?, The Star by Arthur C. Clarke, intellectual arguments vs. emotional arguments, it’s very rare to be emotionally affected (to tears) by a book, narrator Jonathan Davis, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, one of the best narrations that I’ve heard, Mike Resnick‘s Starship series, Star Wars, Connie Willis‘ introduction to Earth Abides, Deep Six by Jack McDevitt, “always skip over the introduction”, where does Isherwood’s name come from?, forgetting your own name, the character of Jack, I don’t read for characters, Isherwood thinks he’s an intellectual, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe, The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss, “I would have taken out Electromechanical Engineering“, Emm and Ezra, Charlie, George (the carpenter/plumber), “even his dog (Princess)”, a friend’s quiz, people are not just what they know or what they read, The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, “society is all the different bits and humanity is all the different bits”, adopting leaves as a currency, maybe the whole of Douglas Adams should be treated like a religious text, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is a book about itself, Doctor Who, the dish of the day, other themes in Earth Abides, racism in Lucifer’s Hammer, what race is Emma?, does it matter?, the last American, people who are racist are people talk about race, race is a sociological idea, race is something – but it is not science, “I don’t live the history”, “they need to have somebody who are below them on the ladder”, Fox News, ideological reasons for watching TV, Glenn Beck is Mormon, Mormons believe that the Constitution of the United States was “divinely inspired”, his country is part of his ideology, the reason Orson Scott Card hates gays is because of his belief system, newspapers still have an Astrology section, there is no hegemony in Earth Abides, individuals interacting with one another, “people abide”, are you born of another?, matriarchy vs. patriarchy, “Is it a talisman? a totem? It’s single jack!”, “the power to destroy and drive in a nail”, a genius accident, the word “jack” means “doer”, Jack Bauer, semiotics, Jesus freaks vs. religious freaks, separating the voice of the author from the voice of the main character, The Last Man On Earth, The Last Man On Earth Blog, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, Life After People, George R. Stewart wrote a biography of Bret Harte, Harte is far more complex than Louis L’Amour, Oakland, Mark Twain, recording for LibriVox.org, 2BOR02B by Kurt Vonnegut, we all know that Science Fiction has been carrying this burden, iambik audio, recording a 600 page book on the road, $1000 microphone, The Secret Of Kralitz by Henry Kuttner, The Ego Machine by Henry Kuttner, the Del Rey “best of” books, The Best Of Jack Williamson, Frederick Pohl, Luke rates Earth Abides 4.5 out of 5 stars, “it’s good because it’s not very good in this way”, did it achieve what it set out to accomplish, The Incredible Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson, we are thoroughly impressed, Earth Abides is 13 CDs 15 Hours, time passing, the loss of reading, is literacy in and of itself a good?, giving the book away, separating technique from practical skills, bull dodging, Make Room, Make Room by Harry Harrison, Soylent Green, get Charlton Heston out of your head but keep Edward G. Robinson, The Omega Man, potential upcoming SFFaudio Readalongs, Ubik by Philip K. Dick, The Man In The High Castle, Do Andoids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, Valis, The Transmigration Of Timothy Archer and The Divine Invasion, Leo Tolstoy, the philosophy of art, “the only true art is folk art”, art is an abbreviation of the word artifact, a nuclear bomb is art to me, labor intensive art, venus figures, craft vs. art, I don’t think art has a place in this book?, I’m pretty sure something is going on about art in this book, I see similarities between petroglyphs and Pollock, maybe I was wrong, are we post structuralist, Duchamp, Aristotle’s Poetics, Seven Samurai, Rashomon, David Lynch’s Dune, Laurel and Hardy, Gilligan and the Skipper, Akira Kurosawa, George R. Stewart basically invented the disaster novel, Ordeal By Hunger by George R. Stewart (available from Blackstone Audio).

Posted by Jesse Willis

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

Galaxy News Radio: The Adventures Of Daring Dashwood!

January 20, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Adventures Of Herbert Daring Dashwood

The latest dispatch from the Zombie Astronaut includes crystal clear recordings of The Adventures Of Herbert “Daring” Dashwood. This is the “radio drama” found within Fallout 3! Enjoy…

Episode 1 Escape From Paradise Falls |MP3|

Episode 2 Super Mutant Mayhem |MP3|

Episode 3 In The Black Widows Web |MP3|

Episode 4 Between Rockopolis And A Hard Place |MP3|

Thanks ZA!

Posted by Jesse Willis

A serialized novel, blog and podcast: The Hole by Aaron Ross Powell

January 5, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Hole by Aaron Ross PowellAaron Ross Powell is blogging and podcasting his post-apocalyptic novel. Aaron sez:

“The book grew out of an idea I had while reading Under the Banner of Heaven, a book about Mormon history. So I suppose it’s, in a sense, a Mormon apocalypse story. I originally intended it as a long-ish short story, but it grew on me until I figured it’d work best as a novel. Doing it in blog posts was mostly meant as a motivational tool. I’d written half of another novel some time ago, but I had a difficult time making myself actually sit down and write. Writing online, in the open, meant that I’d have an audience waiting for each new piece, making me kind of obligated to produce. And that’s worked terrifically. The response has been far larger and enthusiastic than I could’ve ever expected, so I imagine I’ll keep with this method after The Hole‘s finished and I start on my next novel.”

After hearing that I asked Aaron about the connection between his other website Symbolic Order (a non-fiction site) and The Hole. Here’s what he said:
“I’d never thought much about the connection between the two, though I suppose it’s there. Symbolic Order was launched in 2000, I believe, with my good friend, Trevor Burrus — who’s now a fellow student of mine at the University of Denver’s law school. It was mainly meant to serve as an outlet for our non-fiction writings and essays, and so the topics addressed have drifted over time as our interests change. Recently, this has meant a lot of religious articles, since both Trevor and I are fascinated by the topic. This interest lead me to grab Krakauer’s book [Under The Banner Of Heaven] when I saw it on the CD rack at the library. I listened to it and was hooked on Mormonism, primarily because of the opportunity that particular faith yields to study a major religion’s formation at a time when the events were substantially documented — as clearly isn’t the case with standard Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. I kind of just had a “what if…” idea while reading one of the accounts of Joseph Smith’s finding/forging of the Book of Mormon and decided to run with it. That’s actually the part of the novel I’m most concerned about: I think the idea is pretty neat and I’m excited to get those plot points exposed, but I’m going to have to work hard to make it believable. I’m optimistic, but we’ll have to see. — At the broader level, from a non-believer’s perspective, religion is science fiction and it is fantasy. A god leads his chosen people on bloody battles throughout the realm. A merchant discovers pseudo-magical powers and becomes a great monarch. The secret history of America is exposed in ancient and hidden texts. The only difference is that, with religion, people believe it. That’s why I think of someone like Smith as a fantasist in the same vein as, say, Lovecraft. They’re imagining mythos and exploring their implications. Except that Smith ended up with millions of followers who think his vision will lead them to immortal bliss. It’s an odd relation, literary fantasy and religion, and one I haven’t thought much about. Now that you’ve drawn it to my attention, I’ll have to do so. Maybe my next piece of Symbolic Order…”


Right now, only the first five parts, of the existing fifty-two blogged ones, have been podcast. They are extremely short, but powerful, and remind me of the opening chapter of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend.

Subscribe to the podcast via this feed:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheHoleAudiobook

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Armageddon’s Children by Terry Brooks

November 10, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Fantasy Audiobook - Armageddon’s Children by Terry BrooksArmageddon’s Children
By Terry Brooks; Read by Dick Hill
12 CDs – Approx. 14 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2006
ISBN: 1423322568
Themes: / Fantasy/ Post-Apocalyptic / Demons / Elves / Quest /

The first entry in Terry Brooks’ new Genesis of Shannara trilogy, Armageddon’s Children starts things off brilliantly. It is immediately engrossing, capturing the listener’s attention from the first minute clear through its cliffhanger ending. Set on an Earth where civilization has been mostly destroyed by war, diseases, and by demonic entities it is a world inhabited by mutants, demons, elves and humans, all hiding from an inevitable end. Post-apocalyptic fantasy is an odd sub-genre but Brooks pulls it off well, mostly combining the feel of post-apocalyptic science fiction with the trappings of fantasy.

Like many stories of this size, there is more than one main character. Armageddon’s Children has four: Logan Tom, a Knight of the Word is the foremost protagonist. Here has been given a mission to find a mysterious “gypsy morph” and lead it and a few human survivors to salvation. Logan, like most of the characters, must overcome self-doubt and accomplish his mission if humanity is to be saved. Another character, Angel Perez, another knight is sent with a tatterdemalion to find, and help save the elves. Hawk, a street urchin leads a small group of children. Kirisin, an Elf, is chosen to tend the Ellcrys, a sentient tree from the original Shannara series. The fates of all these characters are all intertwined and each must succeed in their respective quest if humanity and elfkind are to survive the looming destruction of the Earth.

Dick Hill, the narrator, is one of the better readers I’ve heard. Though the novel builds upon characters and ideas from earlier books in Brooks’ series, it stands on its own quite well. I haven’t heard or read many of them, yet I never felt as I were missing anything while I was listening to Armageddon’s Children. Indeed, the only complaint I have about the audiobook is a very minor one. This is a marketing problem. It is annoying that “Shannara” is not mentioned anywhere on the cover of the audiobook, despite the fact that it is the third largest word on the paperback version’s cover. Simply put I loved the audiobook of Armageddon’s Children and I can’t wait for the next in the series to be released.

Posted by David Tackett

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