The SFFaudio Podcast #074

September 6, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Podcasts, Recent Arrivals 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #074 – Jesse and Scott talk about the recently arrived audiobooks with assistance and commentary by Luke Burrage

Talked about on today’s show:
New York, “your whole life is a holiday”, The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, The Wheel Of Time series, “the entire world is imagined from the ground up”, Blackstone Audio, The Shadow Hunter by Pat Murphy, neanderthals, cave bear, “a little cave dude”, The Ugly Little Boy by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg, Robert J. Sawyer’s Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, shamanic or shamanistic, The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, Urban Fantasy Alert, City Of Ghosts by Stacia Kane, the Chess Putnam series, First Drop Of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost (Book 1 in the The Night Huntress World series), paranormal romance vs. urban fantasy, spade vs. Spade, vampires, by , southern Gothic, Flannery O’Connor with zombies, the full zombie vs. the half zombie vampire, The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell, The Walking Dead by , Being Human (tv show), Dark Shadows, Hawaii 50, V, Half Blood Of Brooklyn by Charlie Huston, Stephen King, noir urban fantasy?, On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers, Subterranean Press, Bronson Pinchot, pirates, magic, voodoo, Brilliance Audio, Bearers Of The Black Staff by Terry Brooks, Caviar by Theodore Sturgeon, Shannara, Audiofile Magazine, Connecting the Robots and Empire (Foundation) series, demon war, war dudes and siege engines, The Speed Of Dark by Elizabeth Moon, autism, Mary Robinette Kowal’s review of the Books On Tape edition of The Speed Of Dark |READ OUR REVIEW|, Luke’s idea for a paranormal romance set in the stone age, “urban cave fantasy”, Quicksilver by Neal Stephanson, audiobooks are being shaped to the length of an Audible credit, The Baroque Cycle, The Lies Of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch |READ OUR REVIEW|, “it ends in Gibraltar”, Penguin Audio, Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston, Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, science fiction, Zero History by William Gibson, Max Headroom, Elmore Leonard, great writing is not enough, Michael May’s Adventure Blog article on back of the book copywriting, taking the risk of writing only the keywords, Starship: Mutiny by Mike Resnick |READ OUR REVIEW|, Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick |READ OUR REVIEW|, Finch by Jeff Vandermeer, StarShipSofa, weird fantasy vs. new weird, the George Zarr talk (The SFFaudio Podcast #071), Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot a BBC radio drama, “if you’re 14 years old and you’re listening to this…”, fantasy women, Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan, Young Adult fiction, the The Ruins of Gorlan series, I Am Number Four, Battlestar Galactica, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, This Immortal by Roger Zelazny, Dune by Frank Herbert, Children Of Dune, Bad Blood by John Sanford, James Lee Burke, Santa Fe Edge by Stuart Woods, by Michael Kramer, the Richard Stark Parker books (Books On Tape), Ed Eagle vs. Eddie The Eagle, New Mexico, puzzling murder, false identity, lush and exclusive resorts, family, vegetarian, car, crash, human, not human, zombie, mystery, maggot infested corpse, brink of death, flesh off her bones, Dust by Joan Frances Turner, should be able to know it, OVERLORDS!, Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, The Caves Of Steel by Isaac Asimov, Have Spacesuit, Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein, futuristic gadgetry, Snow Crash, Virtual Light by William Gibson, “the first really good augmented reality book”, The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #065

July 5, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #065 – Scott and Jesse and Luke Burrage talk about the latest audiobook releases!

Talked about on today’s show:
The Year’s Top Ten Tales Of Science Fiction – Volume 2 edited by Allan Kaster, Infinivox, On The Human Plan by Jay Lake, Tarnsman Of Gor by John Norman, Gorean subculture, The Chronicles Of Counter-Earth, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Boris Vallejo, Brilliance Audio, Dog Blood by David Moody, Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League, Hater by David Moody |READ OUR REVIEW|, David J. Williams, editing your novel, Gerard Doyle, Guillermo del Toro, Borders Of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold, The Reader’s Chair, Grover Gardner, Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold |READ OUR REVIEW|, Penguin Audio, The Left Hand Of God by Paul Hoffman, Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfus, A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire, Rosemary And Rue by Seanan McGuire, “urban fantasy warning”, fey vs. fairy, Audio Realms, Double Shadow by Clark Ashton Smith, H.P. Lovecraft, Weird Tales, William F. Nolan, Michael Bishop, F. Marion Crawford, Wayne June, The Empty House And Other Ghost Stories by Algernon Blackwood, Robert E. Howard, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, The Things That Are Not There by C.J. Henderson, naming your weapons, Happiness Is a Warm Gun, Gonji: Red Blade From The East by T.C. Rypel, the anti-Marco Polo, Hunt: Through The Cradle Of Fear by Gabriel Hunt, The Hunt For Adventure series, Charles Ardai, Hard Case Crime, manly adventure, Christa Faust, Money Shot by Christa Faust, the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, Nancy Drew, James Reasoner, People Of The Dark: The Weird Works Of Robert E. Howard – Volume 2, CONAN, Queen Of The Black Coast, Castaways by Brian Greene, A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Disney edition (John Carter Of Mars), chain-mail bikini, Chicks In Chainmail, hauberk and coif, Gust Front: Legacy of the Aldenata by John Ringo, the Legacy of the Aldenata series, “military science fiction warning”, Flag In Exile (Book 5 In The Honor Harrington Series) by David Weber, “there is no happily ever after in a series”, Mass Effect, Steam, the wikipedia entry for Elder Race, big dumb objects, xenoarchaology, uplifting as a god replacement, Sid Meier, Babylon 5, Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds, Heechee vs. XeeLee, lamp-shading the foam forehead, GoodReads.com, Smoke by Donald E. Westlake, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, House Of Suns by Alastair Reynolds, Century Rain, Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds, The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, Audible.com, Audible Frontiers, Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Oath Of Fealty by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Fallen Angels by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn, Eifelheim by Michael Flynn, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, Steve Feldberg, Ubik by Philip K. Dick, Science Fiction And Politics podcast, Lost, Geek Nights podcast, The Darkness That Comes Before, The Lies Of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch |READ OUR REVIEW|, middle grade vs. young adult vs. vampire romance, The Books Of Elsewhere: The Shadows by Jacqueline West, Penguin Audio, Song Of The Dragon by Tracy Hickman, Brilliance Audio, fantasy, Harriet Klausner, Tracy And Laura Hickman’s Eventide, Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing, Medal Of Honor (pre-order), Dragonlance, 23 Hours by David Wellington, vampires, comics, Classics Illustrated #3: The Count Of Monte Cristo, Epic Illustrated, The Rook, Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction, Behold The Man by Michael Moorcock, Conan: Black Colossus, Garth Ennis’ The Boys, Herogasm, the video review of Herogasm, The Guns Of August by Barbara Tuchman, GraphicAudio, Batman: Inferno by Alex Irvine, “I’m Batman”, Elantris, Writing Excuses, Cory Doctorow, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson, Anathem by Neal Stephenson, The Way Of Kings, A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Luke’s Pick Of The Week: The Writing Excuses Podcast, “stories have to have an end”, Epic Fantasy’s appeal is that it has no end, The Lord Of The Rings vs. A Game Of Thrones, Eric S. Rabkin, I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: GraphicAudio’s Batman: Inferno by Alex Irvine, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: The Sandbaggers, BFS Entertainment, Ian Mackintosh, James Bond, espionage, Queen & Country by Gregg Rucka,

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Lies Of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

October 4, 2009 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott LynchThe Lies of Locke Lamora
By Scott Lynch; Read by Michael Page
18 CDs – Approx. 23 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audiobooks
Published: 2009
ISBN: 1400110513
Themes: / Fantasy / Crime / Magic /

An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains—a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans—a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards.

Here’s the one sentence summary I’ve been using to describe The Lies Of Loche Lamora:

Like Oliver Twist in Lankhmar.

In a way this is the anti-Harry Potter book. It’s about a school for thieves and not magicians. It doesn’t have heroes and villains as much as it has profligate crooks and despicable liars. Our protagonist is the titular Locke Lamora, a young wastrel in the city of Camorr. He’d starve or be sold into worse slavery had he not been born with a certain larceny in his heart. Camorr, the city itself, too is a terrific character in this book, being a vividly described assemblage of various fantasy cities Lankhmar, Arenjun, and real life historical ports like late medieval Venice. Under careful tutelage, Locke and his companions grow into formidable talents, practicing their art in a series of ever more elaborate con-games.

When I was a kid playing Dungeons and Dragons I almost always played the “thief” class. Magic users always seemed lame to me, clerics were like magic users but with religion (which seemed to me like a third wheel for actual role playing) and fighters were boring. Sure you’re tough – and that’s good for fighting, but that’s it. I always thought there was a little too much fighting in D&D. My favourite part of role playing was the part in the tavern, before the quest proper really got started. I was inspired by Baggins burglar clan – but thought they had it too damn easy with the magic ring of theirs. Later in life I’d see movies like: The Sting, The Grifters, and Harry In Your Pocket. I’d read books like: The Green Eagle Score and The Girl With The Long Green Heart. Those stories all had setups I really dug. I liked characters who lived by their wits. Characters who, without being either the best shot, or the fastest draw, without having the biggest muscles or fastest legs could make the getaway with at least half a sack of gold in hand. And that’s why I like The Lies Of Loch Lamora so much.

The Lies Of Locke Lamora is rich with detail. I have a hard time conceiving just how much time Scott Lynch put into the world building. The magic system is based, smartly, around the “language” or “name” model of magic. Words have power. Knowing the “true name” of something or someone gives you power over it. Indeed, even in real life language is almost like magic. I can say to you something like: “The blue horse with the rainbow flavoured fedora is clambering slowly up the valley’s cool red roof” and some sort of weird imagery is suddenly **poofed** into your mind. I can buy into this kind of magic. It’s the same kind of magic that J.K. Rowling puts into her villain names: Just think about it, Voldemort and Malfoy, (“underground death dweller” and “bad foil”). It’s too bad Rowling didn’t have the teachers at Hogwarts teaching this magic language magic system instead of the hodge-podge it has – I might have cared more. So back to the book at hand, magic plays a fairly central role in the plot of The Lies Of Locke Lamora, it’s rare, and doesn’t enter into the novel until quite late. Other furnishings in Lynch’s Fantasy landscape include substitution. Instead of glasses we get “optiks” and instead of chemical we get “alchemical.”

Thinking back, narrator Michael Page did employ a fairly wide range of voices. And there are quite a few characters for him to bring to life. Several of these age over time. Some narrators take over the text, Page is not one of them – he delivers the lines as appropriate, so that for the most part I didn’t notice his performance. If there are any laments I have about this excellent audiobook they are very few. One would be it’s length, it is a tad long. This is a sin that virtually every Fantasy novel is guilty of these days. It held my attention, but there were certainly a few scenes that could have been easily summarized without losing one whit of the novel’s otherwise careful pacing. Another lament, the Bantam Spectra paperbook edition of this book includes an excellent map of the city of Camorr. Modern audiobooks never include maps as a supplement. So neither does this Tantor edition. This is a mistake. Any novel assumes a certain familiarity with geography but Fantasy novels, especially of this kind, are burdened with creating a new world from scratch. An audience that is unfamiliar with its geography is less likely to be able to follow the action spatially. Several times during my was listening I wished I had a map of the city of Camorr at hand.

If you do get this audiobook I suggest that you print out a copy of THIS MAP over on ScottLynch.us.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrivals from Tantor Audiobooks

June 23, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott LynchThe Lies of Locke Lamora
By Scott Lynch; Read By Michael Page
23 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audiobooks
Published: 2009

An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains—a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans—a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.

Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld’s most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful—and more ambitious—than Locke has yet imagined.

Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi’s most trusted men—and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr’s underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game—or die trying.
 
 
Science Fiction Audiobook - The Steel Remains by Richard K. MorganThe Steel Remains
By Richard K. Morgan; Read By Simon Vance
15 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audiobooks
Published: 2009

Ringil, the hero of the bloody slaughter at Gallows Gap, is a legend to all who don’t know him and a twisted degenerate to those that do. A veteren of the wars against the lizards, he makes a living from telling credulous travelers of his exploits. Until one day he is pulled away from his life and into the depths of the Empire’s slave trade, where he will discover a secret infinitely more frightening than the trade in lives.

Archeth—pragmatist, cynic, engineer, and the last of her race—is called from her work at the whim of the most powerful man in the Empire and sent to its farthest reaches to investigate a demonic incursion against the Empire’s borders.

Egar Dragonbane, steppe-nomad and one-time fighter for the Empire, finds himself entangled in a small-town battle between common sense and religious fervor. But out in the wider world there is something on the move far more alien than any of his tribe’s petty gods.

Anti-social, anti-heroic, and decidedly irritated, all three of them are about to be sent unwillingly forth into a vicious, vigorous, and thoroughly unsuspecting fantasy world—called upon by an Empire that owes them everything and gave them nothing.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

New Releases – Reynolds, Child, Asimov, Willis

February 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: New Releases 

New Releases

Here’s a few new releases that have caught my eyes. There’s also a promise of a title to come that I just have to mention: Tantor Media has Scott Lynch’s The Lies Of Locke Lamora in the pipeline for a spring release! Somebody over in Tantor’s acquisitions department must be listening to our podcast!

Tantor Media - Redemption Ark by Alastair ReynoldsRedemption Ark
By Alastair Reynolds; Read by John Lee
24 CDs or 3 MP3-CDs – 29 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: February 2009
ISBN: 9781400109579 (CD), 9781400159574 (MP3-CD)
The sequel to Revelation Space


Random House Audio - Terminal Freeze by Lincoln ChildTerminal Freeze
By Lincoln Child; Read by Scott Brick
9 CDs – 10 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: 2/24/2009
ISBN: 9780739382028

Four hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle lies Alaska’s Federal Wilderness Zone, one of the most remote places on Earth. But for paleoecologist Evan Marshall and a small group of fellow scientists, an expedition to the Zone represents the opportunity of a lifetime to study the effects of global warming. The expedition changes suddenly, however, with an astonishing find. On a routine exploration of a glacial ice cave, the group discovers an enormous ancient animal encased in solid ice. The media conglomerate sponsoring their research immediately intervenes and arranges the ultimate spectacle—the animal will be cut from the ice, thawed, and revealed live on television. Despite dire warnings of a local Native American village, and the scientific concerns of Marshall and his team, the “docudrama” plows ahead—until the scientists make one more horrifying discovery. The beast is no regular specimen…it may be an ancient killing machine. And they may be wrong in presuming it dead.

BBC Audiobooks America - Pebble In The Sky by Isaac AsimovPebble in the Sky
By Isaac Asimov; Read by Robert Fass
Audible Download, 7 CDs, 1 MP3-CD – 8 Hours 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Published: January 28, 2009
ISBN: 9780792760504 (cd), 9780792761860 (mp3-cd)
One moment Joseph Schwartz is a happily retired tailor in Chicago, 1949. The next he’s a helpless stranger on Earth during the heyday of the first Galactic Empire. Earth, as he soon learns, is a backwater, just a pebble in the sky, despised by all the other 200 million planets of the Empire because its people dare to claim it’s the original home of man. And Earth is poor, with great areas of radioactivity ruining much of its soil – so poor that everyone is sentenced to death at the age of 60. Joseph Schwartz is 62.

BBC Audiobooks America - The Stars, Like Dust by Isaac AsimovThe Stars, Like Dust
By Isaac Asimov; Read by Stephen R. Thorne
6 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 7 Hours 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Published: 2009?
ISBN: 9780792757863 (cd), 9780792758297 (mp3-cd)
Biron Farrell was young and naïve, but he was growing up fast. A radiation bomb planted in his dorm room changed him from an innocent student at the University of Earth to a marked man, fleeing desperately from an unknown assassin. He soon discovers that, many light-years away, his father has been murdered. Stunned, grief-stricken, and outraged, Biron is determined to uncover the reasons behind his father’s death, and becomes entangled in an intricate saga of rebellion, political intrigue, and espionage. The mystery takes him deep into space where he finds himself in a relentless struggle with the power-mad despots of Tyrann.

Blackstone Audio - Bellwether by Connie WillisBellwether
By Connie Willis; Read by Kate Reading
5 Cassettes, 1 MP3-CD, 5 CDs – Approx. 5.6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: February 2009
ISBN: 9781433246234 (cassette), 9781433246265 (mp3-cd), 9781433246241 (cd)
Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennett O’Reilly works with monkey-group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions—with the unintended help of the errant, forgetful, and careless office assistant Flip.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Commentary: What are we missing?

February 21, 2008 by · 10 Comments
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

SFFaudio MetaBy any measure of the times were living in, there is a new audio renaissance. More audiobooks are getting made now than ever before. And more SF, Fantasy and Horror audiobooks are being released than ever before. Here’s a list of the top 10 SFF novels from Sci-Fi lists:

1. Frank Herbert Dune
2. Orson Scott Card Ender’s Game
3. Isaac Asimov Foundation
4. Douglas Adams Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
5. George Orwell 1984
6. Robert A. Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land
7. Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451
8. William Gibson Neuromancer
9. Isaac Asimov I, Robot
10. Arthur C. Clarke 2001: A Space Odyssey

All of these novels have had UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK releases at some point or another. Several have had more than one unabridged release! That’s wonderful. But I’m still not satisfied. What novels are we still missing? Or rather, what novels are you missing.

Personally I’m missing a few, here’s a list of just 10 titles I’ve picked from out of the air. I’d like to see any and all of these made into unabridged audiobooks:

1. Scott Lynch The Lies Of Loch Lamora
2. Dan Simmons Hyperion
3. Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle The Mote In God’s Eye
4. Clifford Simak Way Station
5. Alfred Bester The Stars My Destination
6. Steven Gould Jumper
7. Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space
8. Robert J. Sawyer Golden Fleece
9. John Brunner Stand On Zanzibar
10. Ken MacLeod The Star Fraction

What novels are missing from your audiobook shelf?

Posted by Jesse Willis