Review of Carniepunk

September 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

CarniepunkCarniepunk
By Rachel Caine, Rob Thurman, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire, Jennifer Estep, Allison Pang, Kelly Gay, Delilah S. Dawson and Kelly Meding
Narrated by Candace Thaxton and Kirby Heyborne
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: 23 July 2013
[UNABRIDGED] – 14 hours
Themes: / carnivals / urban fantasy / paranormal romance / mind-readers / synaesthesia / imprisoned goddesses / mermaids / short stories / tie-ins /
Publisher summary:
Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy’s biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world. . . .

RACHEL CAINE’s vampires aren’t child’s play, as a naïve teen discovers when her heart leads her far, far astray in “The Cold Girl.” With “Parlor Tricks,” JENNIFER ESTEP pits Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin, against the Wheel of Death and some dangerously creepy clowns. SEANAN McGUIRE narrates a poignant, ethereal tale of a mysterious carnival that returns to a dangerous town after twenty years in “Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea.” KEVIN HEARNE’s Iron Druid and his wisecracking Irish wolfhound discover in “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” that the impossibly wholesome sounding Kansas Wheat Festival is actually not a healthy place to hang out. With an eerie, unpredictable twist, ROB THURMAN reveals the fate of a psychopath stalking two young carnies in “Painted Love.”

This was a short story collection with urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and carnival themes. On the whole, the book was fairly average. There were some fantastic stories and there were some terrible stories. I’ve reviewed each story individually, below. The narration was mostly done by Candace Thaxton, though Kirby Heyborne narrated a few including “Painted Love” and “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street.” All in all, I found Thaxton’s narration preferable to Heyborne’s, but that might have been because I liked more of the stories she narrated than Heyborne. Heyborne’s narration bordered on creepy, and while it fit the genre/story, it also made me kind of uncomfortable. In honesty, I’m not sure I can recommend this book unless someone is looking for a specific short story from one of the authors. There were a few stories that I read that I’m now interested in the world, but most were either very average or downright terrible. This is also not a book for younger readers–some of the stories are quite graphic, mostly sexually. So if you want the book, be warned that it’s probably not “good family listening.”

Stories:
“Painted Love” by Rob Thurman. A creepy tale of a carnival manager and his killer tendencies, seen through the eyes of a demon that escaped from Hell. The demon, called “Doodle,” wants to see the world and so latches onto people as he makes his way around, seeing people of all types. Unexpectedly, Doodle finds that he’s awed by the strength of the psychic at the carnival–and steps in when Bart, the manager, tries to kill her and rape her sister. It was an interesting idea, made all the more creepy by the narrator’s voice. Unfortunately, most of the story was character development of the members of the carnival; the actual meat of the story felt like it was fairly rushed.

“The Three Lives of Lydia” by Delilah S. Dawson. I believe this was said to be a story of “Blud,” though I haven’t read any of Dawson’s work to have familiarity with the story or the characters. This was a sad story of a girl who woke up on the outskirts of a carnival in a different world, a world called “Sang.” The girl, Lydia, is a “stranger” in the world, a transient. She falls in (and in love?) with a vampire, and takes a job at the carnival. Unfortunately, she’s also stalked by some of the less-nice members of the carnival, and skates the line between her waking life and the life in her “dream.” While this was a sad story and somewhat predictable, I actually kind of liked it. I think I might want to read more in this world, if it’s more of the carnival “dream” world.

“The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” by Kevin Hearne. A story from the world of The Iron Druid Chronicles, therefore starring the Druid Atticus O’Sullivan, his Irish wolfound, and his student Granwael (spelled wrong I’m sure). This is supposed to take place a few years after the events in Tricked, which I haven’t read yet (I’ve only read the first book in the series, Hounded). This time, Atticus and Granwael decide to go into a “freak show” in a carnival and find something much more sinister than a typical carnival freak show. It results in a battle with some ghouls, as might be expected. Just like Hounded, this story is pretty light but entertaining enough with a good bit of action, if slightly formulaic.

“The Sweeter the Juice” by Mark Henry. A terrible and disgusting story about a transvestite looking for a new street drug to help pay off her debt at a sex change clinic. This story had a lot of unnecessary detail. It was also needlessly disgusting. I regretted eating while listening. If I could give negative stars, this story would get them.

“The Werewife” by Jaye Wells. Be careful what you wish for, even if it’s only in the darkest recesses of your mind. That goes double when you’re at a carnival with a freak show run by someone who can read minds. A story, as you might guess from the title, about a man and his werewolf-wife. The ending in this was almost “happy” and the story didn’t go where I thought it would. It was a welcome relief after the last story.

“The Cold Girl” by Rachel Caine. A short story in the vein of Twilight, down to the emo teenager “in love.” This particular emo teenager’s boyfriend turns out to be a murderer and she looks to be his next victim. She’s warned by a psychic at the carnival, but is also told that there is nothing she can do, and that she will meet The Cold Girl soon. This was utter rubbish. I suppose that if you liked the Twilight series, you might like this, but the truth is, the Twilight series did terrible things for a wonderful genre, the least of which was inflicting further crap like this on unsuspecting readers.

“A Duet with Darkness” by Allison Pang. This story is listed by Goodreads as “book 0.5” in the Abby Sinclair series. I’ve never read the series, but I do like the idea of music and synaesthesia as a tie to the magical world. In this story, Melanie is a violinist tied to a fallen angel, Numo (the description of whom reminds me of Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII a bit). She is insanely talented and her pride gets the best of her while at a gig she “duels” (plays violin with/against) someone who is better than her. Her opponent turns out to be the Devil’s violinist. This story was a bit heavy on introduction of characters that didn’t seem to matter much for this story (but probably makes sense for the larger world context). I may have to give this series a go.

“Recession of the Divine” by  Hillary Jacques. Can you imprison a goddess? What happens if you try? This story attempts to answer that as Mnemosyne (Goddess of Memory, a Titan) has renounced her Olympian ways and (in this century) is a loss specialist for an insurance company. She ends up at a carnival which has had a string of accidents. She finds that there is much more than meets the eye as one of the carnival members is using other divine techniques to have his way about things–including wooing/luring customers. Realizing what Olivia (Mnemosyne) is, he tries to use her abilities as a part of the show…and that may just be his undoing.

“Parlor tricks” by Jennifer Estep. This is an Elemental Assassin short story, another series I haven’t read but might look into based on this short story. This time, a girl goes missing while at a carnival and “The Spider” and her sister (a police detective) go there to search for her. What they uncover is a fairly typical trope in fantasy, but that doesn’t stop this story from being pretty good. One other thing that I really liked that not many of the stories in this collection have done well is that it only gave us detail we needed. Too many of the other stories in this collection have a lot of detail that is irrelevant to the story. The detail would be needed for a full-length novel or maybe even a novella…but not for the short story. So, in addition to enjoying this story, I have to give Estep credit for the focus in the story.

“Freak House” by Kelly Meding. Another concise story, and another one I was surprised to enjoy. This time, it’s a story of a daughter trying to find her kidnapped father. The twist? Well…how does one exactly kidnap a djinn to start with, and how does one rescue the djinn from whoever was powerful enough to kidnap him in the first place? Shiloh, half-djinn, teams up with a werewolf and a human to do just that…the narration said this was a “Strays” short story, but I can’t find any reference to that series on GR or on Meding’s website. Either way, it was another story, just enough detail without going overboard.

“The Inside Man” by Nicole Peeler. After a few strong stories, I guess I can’t complain too much when this one was not nearly as strong–or as interesting. The concept was interesting: a soul-stealer and those trying to fight against him, to reclaim the souls. The execution, though, was boring. I routinely found myself getting distracted during this story in the Jane True universe.

“A Chance in Hell” by Jackie Kessler. A story that starts and ends with gratuitous sex scenes, this one was also pretty boring. Jezebel used to be a succubus, but she has escaped hell and is living “topside” as a human, getting trained in the ways of being human by her roommates. One of her roommates, Cecilia, wants to go to a carnival, to show her a new view of humanity. What Cecilia doesn’t know, can’t know, is that this carnival is run by a powerful demon. A story in the Hell on Earth series, it was another that was predictably un-entertaining.

“Hell’s Menagerie” by Kelly Gay. At its crux, a story about a girl and her dog with some coming of age thrown in for good measure. This story is from the Charlie Madigan world, though from reading the description of the books in that series, I think it’s just set in the same world, not necessarily with the same character. In this story, Emma travels with her hellhound, Brim, to Charbydon to rescue Brim’s puppies and their mother. They track them to a menagerie and are forced to make the decision to trade Brim for the pups. Now on a mission to rescue Brim, Emma realizes she has some special powers, powers that extend above and beyond her connection with Brim. This story was cute, if predictable. Really, how can anybody not like a story with hellhounds?

“Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea” by Seanan McGuire. I don’t really know what to make of this story. It wasn’t bad…but I’m not sure I “got” it. There didn’t seem to be much real story…it was about a young woman who was part (or entirely) mermaid, visiting with a traveling carnival the city where her mother (also mermaid) was found (and subsequently joined the traveling carnival). There is a lot of discussion of a “possible” problem but the actual action was only in the last 10 minutes or so of the 45-minute story…and even then, it was pretty mundane. I haven’t read any of Seanan McGuire’s (or her alter ego, Mira Grant) works, and I’m not sure that this enticed me to do so. I wonder how similar this story is to others she’s written.

Posted by terpkristin.

The SFFaudio Podcast #221 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

July 15, 2013 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: New Releases, Podcasts, Recent Arrivals 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #221 – Jesse and Jenny talk about audiobook NEW RELEASES and RECENT ARRIVALS.

Talked about on today’s podcast:
“Spaaaaaaaaace and Military Sci-Fi and Aliens”, Humans by Matt Haig, Mark Meadows, Simon & Schuster Audio, Publisher’s Weekly, Jenny is a librarian, Douglas Adams, The Radleys, Boo Radley’s family?, The Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Red Dwarf, Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird, a whole pile of stereotypes, Space Magic by David D. Levine, Tk’tk’tk, Escape Pod, aliens, Ancient China, Rewind, The Tale Of The Golden Eagle, are author collections more rare these days?, Charley The Purple Giraffe Was Acting Strangely, Twitter authority, Jenny’s stereotypical powers, “Classic/Epic/Traditional Fantasy (swords! magic! etc!)”, unclothed unicorns, A Discourse In Steel by Paul S. Kemp, Nick Podehl, Angry Robot, Brilliance Audio, Bryce L., Jenny’s fault!, Elisha Barber by E.C. Ambrose, James Clamp, terpkristin, historical epic fantasy, a biblical name, the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons = Doctor -> to Mr., Ms., or Mrs., The Coming Of The Ice by G. Peyton Wertenbaker, urban fantasy, Cast In Shadow by Michelle Sagara, Khristine Hvam, “something is stirring again”, “vaunted”, Gameboard Of The Gods by Richelle Mead, Emily Shaffer, Penguin Audio, Dawn V., Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, ONAN, The United States of North America, H20 (TV miniseries), a crime novel set in the future, steampunk, Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders by Richard Ellis Preston, Jr., Luke Daniels, Springheeld Jack, fun names, do we have aliens in steampunk?, high-octane steampunk?, Rose Davis, cyberpunk, post-humans, robots, iD (Machine Dynasty #2) by Madeline Ashby, Luke Daniels, self-replicating human robots must have rights too!, The Year’s Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction 5 edited by Allan Kaster, Tom Dheere, Nancy Linari, Dara Rosenberg, Infinivox, Invisible Men by Christopher Barzak, Close Encounters by Andy Duncan, Bricks, Sticks, Straw by Gwyneth Jones, Arbeitskraft by Nick Mamatas, The Man by Paul McAuley, Nahiku West by Linda Nagata, Tyche And The Ants by Hannu Rajaniemi, Katabasis by Robert Reed, The Contrary Gardener by Christopher Rowe, Scout by Bud Sparhawk, katabasis as a trip to the underworld, Carniepunk by Rachel Caine, Rob Thurman, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire, Jennifer Estep, Allison Pang, Kelly Gay, Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Meding, Candace Thaxton, Kirby Heyborne, Simon & Schuster, Sweeney Todd, carnival themed, Joyland by Stephen King, Like Water For Elephants, The Night Circus, The Boys In The Boat: Nine Americans And Their Epic Quest For Gold At The 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown, Edward Herrman (the grandpa on Gilmore Girls), At The Mountains Of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft, Charlie Chan At The Olympics, Mary Lou Retton, Doctor Jekyll And Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Wayne June, Algernon Blackwood, William Hope Hodgson, Jesse thinks Wayne June is awesome, not scary but chilling, Neonomicon by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, Jenny hates censorship!, a horrifying book, Mike Bennett’s narration of The Shadow Over Innsmouth, this horrible wonderful book, necessary but not shown, From Hell, Johnny Depp, Jack The Ripper, Watchmen, what would that do to our world?, The Fall (TV miniseries), Gillian Anderson, Dexter, Breaking the Fourth Panel: Neonomicon and the Comic Book Frame, don’t look under the bed, angry reviews, Alan Moore is working on a new comic book series set in Providence and with H.P. Lovecraft as the main character, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft (edited by S.T. Joshi), A Good Story Is Hard To Find, The Dunwich Horror, ragged end paper?, Classic Tales Of Vampires And Shapeshifters, Mileskelly.net, The Horla by Guy de Maupassant, The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, Ghosted, Image Comics, WWW: Watch by Robert J. Sawyer, Luke Burrage’s Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, inaudible audioboks from Audible!, podcasts have had this problem, the cost of not proof listening an audiobook or podcast is multiplied by its number of listeners, how many new audiobooks have been published through Audible Frontiers, unnecessary info-dumping, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman, self-identity, Among Others by Jo Walton, statue wedding, performing as a living statue, Viking Boy, Mike Vendetti, new short audiobooks, Science Fiction: A Very Short Introduction by David Seed, Brian Holsopple, “Lit Crit Punk”, how we got Rabkin, The Great Courses are now on Audible.com, TheGreatCourses.com, the popularity of MOOCs, Eric loves fairy tales, no homework!, Heartburn by Nora Ephron, Meryl Streep, thanks Eric!

Ghosted

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #184 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

October 29, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: New Releases, Podcasts, Recent Arrivals 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #184 – Jesse, Tamahome, Jenny, talk about the RECENT ARRIVALS in audiobooks.

Talked about on today’s show:
Is it new releases or recent arrivals?, Jenny’s pretty color-coded list, The Year’s Top Short SF Novels 2 edited by Allan Kaster, Angel of Europa by Allen M. Steele (is one of them), “it’s basic science fiction”, how to pronounce Mary Robinette KowalThe Twelve (Passage #2) by Justin Cronin is literary vampire fiction, Cloud AtlasThe Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, “I’m not going to end this story”, “our Scott?”, In the Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill, read by Stephen Lang, more manly than Stephan Rudnicki?, |READ OUR REVIEW|, “Stephen King has more pull”, Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle is epic science fiction (24 hours), one of Luke’s favorites, (it’s post The Mote in God’s Eye actually), it was a best-seller, Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher, “I follow writers”, Kirkman’s Invincible comic, Breakdown by Katherine Amt Hanna, sounds like Death of Grass, which has a new BBC audiodrama, Embedded by Dan Abnett, he writes Warhammer 40K books, The Diamond Age and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, “I have both those feelings”, “Luke didn’t like it but everyone else did”, many Mongoliad disks, Jonathan Davis likes us, Tales From the Fire Zone by Jonathan Maberry, Julie’s review of Maberry’s first Joe Ledger bookDownpour.com audiobooks, “she liked them against her will”, Cold Days by Jim Butcher, James Marsters is back narrating, When We Have Wings by Claire Corbett, very Australian accent, “vampires for Christians”, Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig, a female Stephen King character, An Apple for the Creature is monsters in school, Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire, performed by Mary Robinette Kowal, Jesse sees the future, Nightwatch by Sergei Lukyanenko, it’s not in Russian, (Luke wasn’t thrilled), Death Warmed Over by Kevin J. Anderson, zombie p.i., a big stack of Philip K. Dick, The Man Who Japed, The Simulacra, The Crack In Space, Total Recall (We Can Remember It For You Wholesale), We Can Build You, Solar Lottery, The World Jones Made, minimalist covers, Gone by Randy Wayne White, chick that kicks ass, A Murder of Quality and Call For The Dead by John Le Carre, Jesse likes the narrator Michael Jayston, This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz, |READ OUR REVIEW|, Jenny liked his podcast appearance, Jenny loved Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young, read by Keith Carradine who was in the movie Southern ComfortDream More by Dolly Parton, aphorisms at the end, Total Recall (autobiography) by Arnold Schwarzenegger, “how many pushups did he get for that?”, Pumping Iron documentary, Conan The Barbarian movie

lucufer's hammer cover

Posted by Tamahome

October Daye Novels from Brilliance Audio

December 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Fantasy Audiobook - Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire
Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal, 12 hours 
 
Fantasy Audiobook - One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire
One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal, 13 hours 
 

For a live list of audiobooks received by SFFaudio, subscribe to our NewAudiobookIn Twitter feed.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Recent Arrivals: Blackstone Audio, Macmillian Audio, Penguin Audio, Brilliance Audio + MORE

October 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Okay, here’s nearly a score of recently arrived audiobooks from several publishers. Frankly I think it may be a conspiracy to overwhelm us – to drown us in a gushing tide of massive audiobook goodness. To this I say, oh yeah audiobook publishers? That all you got? Huh? Huh?

First published in 1982 under a Matheson’s “Logan Swanson” pseudonym…

Blackstone Audio - Earthbound by Richard MathesonEarthbound
By Richard Matheson; Read by Bronson Pinchot
6 CDs – Approx. 6.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: September 2010
ISBN: 1441756886
David and Ellen Cooper came to the lonely beachside cottage in hopes of rekindling their troubled marriage. Yet they are not alone on their second honeymoon. Marianna, a beautiful and enigmatic stranger, comes to visit David whenever Ellen is away. Who is Marianna, and where has she come from? Even as he succumbs to her seductive charms, David realizes that Marianna is far more than a threat to his marriage, for her secrets lie deep in the past and beyond the grave. And her unholy desires endanger the life and soul of everyone she touches.

Book 4 in the urban fantasy private detective series set in New York…

Fantasy Audiobook - Every Last Drop by Charlie HustonEvery Last Drop – The Joe Pitt Casebooks, Book 4
By Charlie Huston; Read by Scott Brick
8 CDs – Approx. 9.3 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441753281
It’s like this: a series of bullet-riddled bad breaks has seen rogue Vampyre and terminal tough guy Joe Pitt go from PI for hire to Clan-connected enforcer to dead man walking in a New York minute. And after burning all his bridges, the only one left to cross leads to the Bronx, where Joe’s brass knuckles and straight razor can’t keep him from running afoul of a sadistic old bloodsucker with a bad bark and a worse bite. Even if every Clan in Manhattan is hollering for Joe’s head on a stick, it’s got to be better than trying to survive in the outer-borough wilderness. So it’s a no-brainer when Clan boss Dexter Predo comes looking to make a deal. All Joe has to do to win back breathing privileges on his old turf is infiltrate an upstart Clan whose plan to cure the Vyrus could expose the secret Vampyre world to mortal eyes and set off a panic-driven massacre. Not cool. But Joe’s all over it. To save the Undead future, he just has to wade neck-deep through all the archenemies, former friends, and assorted heavy hitters he’s crossed in the past. No sweat? Maybe not, but definitely more blood than he’s ever seen or hungered for. And maybe even some tears–over the horror and heartbreaking truth about the evil men do no matter who or what they are.

The Fantasy Book Critic blog calls this one “a traditional, medieval European-influenced epic fantasy”…

Fantasy Audiobook - The River Kings' Road by Liane MercielThe River Kings’ Road – A Novel of Ithelas (Book 1)
By Liane Merciel; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
9 CDs – Approx. 11 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441759221
A fragile period of peace between the eternally warring kingdoms of Oakharn and Langmyr is shattered when a surprise massacre fueled by bloodmagic ravages the Langmyrne border village of Willowfield, killing its inhabitants — including a visiting Oakharne lord and his family — and leaving behind a scene so grisly that even the carrion eaters avoid its desecrated earth. But the dead lord’s infant heir has survived the carnage, a discovery that entwines the destinies of Brys Tarnell, a mercenary who rescues the helpless and ailing babe, and a Langmyr peasant, a young mother herself, whom Brys enlists to nourish and nurture the child of her enemies as they travel a dark, perilous road. As one infant’s life hangs in the balance, so too does the fate of thousands, while deep in the forest, a Maimed Witch practices an evil bloodmagic that could doom them all.

According to the Wikipedia entry, in the universe of The Runelords, there exists a “unique magical system which relies on the existence of distinct bodily attributes, such as brawn, grace, and wit.” Well, that explains it, apparently I was secretly abducted from there as an infant [he said with a brawny, yet very graceful wit].

Blackstone Audio - The Runelords, Book 3by David FarlandWizardborn – The Runelords, Book 3
By David Farland; Read by Ray Porter
16 CDs – Approx. 19.1 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: August 2010
ISBN: 9781441753045
Certain works of fantasy are immediately recognizable as monuments, towering above the rest. Authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Goodkind, come immediately to mind. Now add David Farland to that list, whose epic fantasy series began with The Runelords. Wizardborn continues the story of the struggle of Gaborn, now the Earth King, who has lost his powers but continues to lead his people. He must contend with the threat of the huge, inhuman Reavers, whose myriads Gaborn and his forces must now pursue across the nation. It has become Gaborn’s fate to follow, even into the depths. Raj Ahten, the great warlord endowed with the strength and qualities of thousands of men, once the primary threat to Gaborn, now struggles to retain his own empire. His war of conquest thwarted, his very life is now threatened by the Reaver thousands. And a young girl, Averan, who has eaten a Reaver and absorbed some of its memories, becomes a keystone in the search for the dark Reaver lair.

Check this out, it’s read by one of our reviewers, Mary Robinette Kowal!

Fantasy Audiobook - An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuireAn Artificial Night – An October Daye Novel
By Seanan McGuire; Read by Mary Robinette Kowal
16 CDs – Approx. 19 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441858085
Changeling knight in the court of the Duke of Shadowed Hills, October “Toby” Daye has survived numerous challenges that would destroy fae and mortal alike. Now Toby must take on a nightmarish new assignment. Someone is stealing both fae and mortal children — and all signs point to Blind Michael. When the young son of Toby’s closest friends is snatched from their Northern California home and his sister falls into a coma-like state, the situation becomes way too personal. Toby has no choice but to track the villains down, even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael’s realm — home of the legendary Wild Hunt — and no road may be taken more than once. If she cannot escape with all the children before the candle that guides and protects her burns away, Toby herself will fall prey to the Wild Hunt and Blind Michael’s inescapable power. And it doesn’t bode well for the success of her mission that her own personal Fetch, May Daye – the harbinger of Toby’s own death — has suddenly turned up on her doorstep…

If it’s a plucky WWII time travel story set during London’s Blitz it must be Connie Willis…

Science Fiction Audiobook - Blackout by Connie WillisBlackout
By Connie Willis; Read by Katherine Kellgren
16 CDs – Approx. 19 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441875167
Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place. Scores of time-traveling historians are being sent into the past, to destinations including the American Civil War and the attack on the World Trade Center. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. Merope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty 1940 evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser, Mr. Dunworthy, into letting her go to VE-Day. Polly Churchill’s next assignment will be as a shopgirl in the middle of London’s Blitz. And seventeen-year-old Colin Templer, who has a major crush on Polly, is determined to go to the Crusades so that he can “catch up” to her in age. But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments for no apparent reason and switching around everyone’s schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. For there they face air raids, blackouts, unexploded bombs, dive-bombing Stukas, rationing, shrapnel, V-1s, and two of the most incorrigible children in all of history — to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control. Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past. From the people sheltering in the tube stations of London to the retired sailors who set off across the Channel to rescue the stranded British Army from Dunkirk, from shopgirls to ambulance drivers, from spies to hospital nurses to Shakespearean actors, Blackout reveals a side of World War II seldom seen before: a dangerous, desperate world in which there are no civilians and in which everybody — from the Queen down to the lowliest barmaid — is determined to do their bit to help a beleaguered nation survive.

I have no words for this one, I figure they must have been stolen and placed in the title…

Fantasy Audiobook - Going MutantGoing Mutant: The Bat Boy Exposed
By Neil McGinness, Dr. Barry Leed PH.D. (MBS), and the Editors of the Weekly World News; Read by Patrick Lawlor
5 CDs – Approx. 6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441890665
The Weekly World News team uncovers the definitive and faux-tastic story of Bat Boy, from his hardscrabble origins in the caves of West Virginia to his global influence inthe twenty-first century. Going Mutant reveals how Bat Boy has heeded a call to service that has embarrassed less forthcoming mutants: During the Gulf War, he deployed with the Special Forces. In the Bush years, he earned a special commendation from the government for his use of sonar, which led troops to the spider hole housing Saddam Hussein. And now Bat Boy joins forces with an unlikely crew of soldiers, scientists, and swamp mamas to battle a global pandemic that threatens to destroy our planet. This is an intimate look at the half bat/half boy, who has until now been shrouded in mystery (despite countless sightings and a megahit musical). Here, Bat Boy’s life is illuminated through a series of public and private documents obtained by the equally mysterious Dr. Barry Leed of the University of Indianapolis and through Weekly World News clippings. All this information comes together in this new Bitingsroman that reveals an archetypal American trickster who has risen from his lowly origins to become America’s favorite freedom fighter.

What did Neal Stephenson say to his audiobook publisher after Anathem? “If it ain’t Baroque don’t publish it.” [BA DUM DAM TISH]

Science Fiction Audiobook - King of the Vagabonds by Neal StephensonKing Of The Vagabonds – The Baroque Cycle #2
By Neal Stephenson; Read by Simon Prebble
10 CDs – Approx. 11 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441876515
A chronicle of the breathtaking exploits of “Half-Cocked Jack” Shaftoe – London street urchin-turned-legendary swashbuckling adventurer – risking life and limb for fortune and love while slowly maddening from the pox. . . and Eliza, rescued by Jack from a Turkish harem to become spy, confidante, and pawn of royals in order to reinvent a contentious continent through the newborn power of finance.

This one’s opening story features Sookie Stackhouse at a Dracula’s birthday party! I can picture the dialogue now:

SOOKIE: Happy B’day Dracula.

DRACULA: Sookie, I vant to sook your blud.

Horror Audiobook - Many Bloody ReturnsMany Bloody Returns
Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner; Read by Luke Daniels and Teri Clark Linden
11 CDs – Approx. 13 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441862563
You’re invited…to a celebration of vampires by a baker’s dozen of favorite authors. Sink your teeth into thirteen original stories, each one a fresh and unique take on what birthdays mean to the undead. From Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse attending a birthday party for Dracula to Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden battling bloodsucking party crashers, these suspenseful, surprising, sometimes dark, sometimes humorous stories will ensure you’ll never think of vampires or birthdays quite the same again.

According to Wikipedia, this novel was first published in 1993, as a paperbook. It became the first book in the “Sianim series.”

Fantasy Audiobook - Masques by Patricia BriggsMasques
By Patricia Briggs; Read by Katherine Kellgren
8 CDs – Approx. 10 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441892256
After an upbringing of proper behavior and oppressive expectations, Aralorn fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy. Her latest mission involves spying on the increasingly powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae’Magi. But in a war against an enemy armed with the powers of illusion, how do you know who the true enemy is – or where he will strike next?

Book 1 in “The Inheritance Trilogy.” If I lived in this world I’d try to get into the crown making business.

Fantasy Audiobook - The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. JemisinThe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
By N.K. Jemisin; Read by Casaundra Freeman
10 CDs – Approx. 12 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441886453
Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

Is it any coincidence that the shortest audiobook in this list is the one I am most looking forward to hearing? There’s actually a simpler explanation, it’s an old Harry Harrison novel. Bingo!

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry HarrisonThe Stainless Steel Rat
By Harry Harrison; Read by Phil Gigante
4 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441881076
Jim DiGriz is caught during one of his crimes and recruited into the Special Corps. Boring, routine desk work during his probationary period results in his discovering that someone is building a battleship, thinly disguised as an industrial vessel. In the peaceful League no one has battleships anymore, so the builder of this one would be unstoppable. DiGriz’ hunt for the guilty becomes a personal battle between himself and the beautiful but deadly Angelina, who is planning a coup on one of the feudal worlds. DiGriz’ dilemma is whether he will turn Angelina over to the Special Corps, or join with her, since he has fallen in love with her.

I half get this joke. I’ve heard the name Garrison Keillor. He’s got something to do with NPR right? Yeah. I guess the Canadian version of GK is Stuart McLean and The Vinyl Cafe. The Stuart McLean version of this book would probably feature very polite zombies who were overly proud of their city and asked if you minded if you ate your brains.

Brilliance Audio - The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten by Harrison GeillorThe Zombies of Lake Woebegotten
By Harrison Geillor; Read by Phil Gigante
9 CDs – Approx. 10 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441880369
The town of Lake Woebegotten, Minnesota, is a small town, filled with ordinary (yet above average) people, leading ordinary lives. Ordinary, that is, until the dead start coming back to life, with the intent to feast upon the living. Now this small town of above average citizens must overcome their petty rivalries and hidden secrets, in order to survive the onslaught of the dead.

If this scenario actually plays out I’d try to start an underground newspaper and point out, to our alien overlords, that human souls are not actually enslavable and that their whole purpose for invasion is doomed to utter failure.

Fantasy Audiobook - Valentine's Exile by E.E. KnightValentine’s Exile
By E.E. Knight; Read by
10 CDs – Approx. 12 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441815767
Possessed of an unnatural and legendary hunger, the Reapers have come to Earth to establish a New Order built on the harvesting of enslaved human souls. They rule the planet. They thrive on the scent of fear. And if it is night, as sure as darkness, they will come. In a valiant rebellion against a half century of occupation by the Kurians, the newly formed Texas Republic and Ozark Free Territory have dealt the vampiric aliens their first major defeat. Resistance member David Valentine is revered as a hero for his part in fighting to regain Earth”s freedom. But a dangerous enemy within his own ranks soon has Valentine facing charges for his handling of the Quisling prisoners – humans who have become pawns of the Kurians in order to survive. When former Quisling – and now loyal freedom fighter – William Post is badly wounded, he asks Valentine to find his wife, who has vanished into the darkness of the Kurian Order. With the help of old friends and new allies, Valentine traces her to a mysterious, heavily guarded compound in Ohio. And what Valentine finds within will shake his sanity to its very core… Bonus Audio: Includes an exclusive introduction by author E.E. Knight.

We got two review copies of this audiobook, one was sent to our Canadian HQ, one was sent to our fortified compound in small town USA. They know where we live!!! It’s got a really slick looking promo trailer too.

Fantasy Audiobook - No Mercy by Sherrilyn KenyonNo Mercy: Dark Hunter #19
By Sherrilyn Kenyon; Read by Holter Graham
7 CDs – Approx. 9 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: September 2010
ISBN: 1427209693
Live fast, fight hard and if you have to die then take as many of your enemies with you as you can. That is the Amazon credo and it was one Samia lived and died by. Now in contemporary New Orleans, the immortal Amazon warrior is about to learn that there’s a worse evil coming to slaughter mankind than she’s ever faced before. Shapeshifter Dev Peltier has stood guard at the front of Sanctuary for almost two hundred years and in that time, he’s seen it all. Or so he thought. Now their enemies have discovered a new source of power- one that makes a mockery of anything faced to date. The war is on and Dev and Sam are guarding ground zero. But in order to win, they will have to break the most cardinal of all rules and pray it doesn’t unravel the universe as we know it.

Here’s an independently published audiobook that supports the establishment of Hogwarts style academies (with classes that teach you how to avoid being a Manchurian Candidate).

Fantasy Audiobook - Need for Magic by Joseph SwopeNeed For Magic
By Joseph Swope; Read by Justine Moral and Chris Dooly
2 MP3-CDs – Approx. 13.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Swimming Kangaroo
Published: June 14, 2010
Digital Availability: Audible.com
Need For Magic is an unabridged telling of the thought provoking and dangerous novel by Joseph Swope. Chris Dooly and Justine Moral combine their voice talents to offer a fantasy world where listeners can hear the gruff rumble of dwarves, the ancient wisdom of elves, and even the accented spell work of wizards. The arch-villain is not a dragon, wizard or overlord. The evil one is a charismatic woman who knows what people need. By masterfully playing to everyone’s need for approval and their need to feel important, she inspires fanatic devotion and gains the throne of a large nation. Even those with great magical power or deadly skill with a sword have needs. As a result, they too are played like puppets by her deft hand. Listeners should be wary that they will hear an echo of their own needs and maybe even a bit of magic they can bring into their own world. Need For Magic is also an exploration of social psychology. Indeed, the magic of Need for Magic is based on documented psychological studies gone awry. Conformity, persuasion and obedience are powerful forces that few can resist. Cults, the Stanford Prison Experiment, Stanley Milgram’s work, and the Stockholm Syndrome are examples of power more dangerous than any magic spell or dragon’s fire. Magic and Social Psychology, like all forms of power, can be used for good or ill. History is filled with leaders, dictators, and heroes who seem to have had a magical hold over others. There are few things more powerful than a group sacrificing for a common goal. The magic of Need for Magic is alive and well today. It can be practiced by anyone who listens to and watches what needs people seek to fill.

From Australia, set in a fantasy land that looks suspiciously like Britain, aimed at kids 8 to 12 (with hoodies), and looking good doing it…

Fantasy Audiobook - Ranger's Apprentice (Book 9) Halt's Peril by John FlanaganRanger’s Apprentice (Book 9) Halt’s Peril
By John Flanagan; Read by John Keating
11 CDs – Approx. 13.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: October 2010
ISBN: 0142428515
The Rangers are in trouble and not everyone will survive. The international bestselling Ranger’s Apprentice series turns up the tension in John Flanagan’s latest epic of battles and bravery.

Is the superhero genre is becoming a sub-class of urban fantasy? If so I hope he gets to fight an elfin girl with a dragon tattoo that her parents told her that she would regret getting in just a few years.

Fantasy Audiobook - Hero by Mike LupicaHero
By Mike Lupica; Read by Dan Bittner
5 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: November 2010
ISBN: 9780142428191
Fourteen-year-old Billy Harriman can feel the changes. The sharpening of his senses. The incredible strength. The speed, as though he can textmessage himself across miles. The confidence and the strange need to patrol Central Park at night. His dad had been a hero, a savior to America and a confidante of the president. Then he died, and the changes began in Billy. What Billy never knew was that his father was no ordinary man; he was a superhero, battling the world’s evil. This is a battle that has been waged for generations and that knows no boundaries. And now it’s Billy’s turn to take on the fight. It’s Billy’s turn to become a hero.

[Thanks Scott!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrivals from Brilliance Audio

April 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Fantasy Audiobook - A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuireA Local Habitation
By Seanan McGuire; Read by Mary Robinette Kowal
12 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
|Listen to a sample|

October “Toby” Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood.

Half-human, half-fae, outsiders from birth, most changelings are second-class children of Faerie spending their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills.

Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning — otherwise known as Fremont, CA — to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O’Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment — but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as simple as it seems. January runs a company that produces computer fantasy games, and her domain is a buffer between Sylvester’s realm and a rival duchy whose ruler is looking for an opportunity to seize control. And that is the least of January’s problems. For Tamed Lightning has somehow been cut off from the other domains, and now someone has begun to murder January’s key people. If Toby can’t find and stop the killer soon, she may well become the next victim….
 
 
Paranormal Romance Audiobook - Love Bites by Lynsay SandsLove Bites
By Lynsay Sands; Read by Angela Dawe
8 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
|Listen to a sample|

True Love: Good from the First Bite…

Etienne Argeneau’s three hundred years of bachelorhood were at an end. Either that, or he’d be forever alone. He could only turn one human in his lifetime, and most of his kind created a life mate. If he turned this stranger… But what choice did he have? He had to help Rachel Garrett. The beautiful coroner had saved his life. To save hers, he would make her immortal.

…To the Last

Rachel Garrett awoke surprised. All she’d wanted was to get off the night shift in the morgue; now here she was staggering to her feet naked and in a strange place. But everything would be alright. She’d just make like a bat out of – Then she saw the man of her dreams emerging from his…coffin? And the look in his bright silver eyes said they’d be spending a lot of time together. She just hoped he tasted as good as he looked.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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