Review of Fantastic Mr. Fox and Other Stories by Roald Dahl

February 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Fantastic Mr FoxFantastic Mr. Fox and Other Stories
By Roald Dahl; Read by Quentin Blake, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, and Chris O’DowdPublisher: Penguin Audio
Publication Date: September 2013
[UNABRIDGED] – 2 hours, 59 minutes

Themes: / children’s fantasy / short stories / animals /

Publisher Summary:

Fantastic Mr. Fox: Nobody outfoxes Fantastic Mr. Fox! Someone’s been stealing from the three meanest farmers around, and they know the identity of the thief – it’s Fantastic Mr. Fox! Working alone they could never catch him; but now fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded. What they don’t know is that they’re not dealing with just any fox – Mr. Fox would rather die than surrender. Only the most fantastic plan can save him now.

Esio Trot: An ancient spell, 140 tortoises, and a little bit of magic…Mr. Hoppy is in love with his neighbor, Mrs. Silver; but she is in love with someone else – Alfie, her pet tortoise. With all her attention focused on Alfie, Mrs. Silver doesn’t even know Mr. Hoppy is alive. And Mr. Hoppy is too shy to even ask Mrs. Silver over for tea. Then one day Mr. Hoppy comes up with a brilliant idea to get Mrs. Silver’s attention. If Mr. Hoppy’s plan works, Mrs. Silver will certainly fall in love with him. After all, everyone knows the way to a woman’s heart is through her tortoise.

The Enormous Crocodile: The Enormous Crocodile is a horrid greedy grumptious brute who loves to guzzle up little boys and girls. But the other animals have had enough of his cunning tricks, so they scheme to get the better of this foul fiend, once and for all!

The Giraffe and The Pelly and Me: Who needs a ladder when you’ve got a giraffe with an extended neck? The Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company certainly doesn’t. They don’t need a pail, either, because they have a pelican with a bucket-sized beak. With a monkey to do the washing and Billy as their manager, this business is destined for success. Now they have their big break – a chance to clean all 677 windows of the Hampshire House, owned by the richest man in all of England! That’s exciting enough, but along the way there are surprises and adventures beyond their wildest window-washing dreams.

This collection of stories written by Roald Dahl contains Fantastic Mr. Fox, Esio Trot, The Enormous Crocodile, and The Giraffe And The Pelly And Me with each story narrated by a different reader. The stories are all highly imaginative and definitely targeted to young children. The stories and their readings are very British, so if that turns you away this may not be the collection for you. Don’t expect deep life lessons in these stories but just some silly fun.

Fantastic Mr. Fox read by Chris O’Dowd – The headline story and my favorite of the bunch. Mr. Fox gets into trouble with 3 mean farmers and has to find some way to save his family! The reading by Chris O’Dowd has great voices and sound effects. I found one or two of the voices mildly irritating but I’m sure kids would love it. Lesson: It’s ok to steal if you’re stealing from mean people to help your family?

Esio Trot read by Geoffrey Palmer – Also an interesting story about a guy who teaches his female neighbor how to speak tortoise and make her tortoise grow. Geoffrey Palmer’s reading was great and he did a great job with the “tortoise language”. If doing audio don’t worry – I’m sure reading this story makes it easier to see what’s going on with the tortoise language but they explain what’s going on shortly after it’s introduced. Lesson: It’s OK to lie to people and mess with their stuff as long as you are trying to pick up a gullible lady.

The Enormous Crocodile read by Stephen Fry – Stephen Fry does a great job with the voices in this story about an enormous crocodile who wants nothing more than to eat children. I thought the story was fun albeit a little disturbing. Lesson: Don’t go around boasting about bad things you plan to do and be surprised when they do something about it. Oh and elephants are strong.

The Giraffe And The Pelly And Me read by Hugh Laurie – This was an odd story about a very unique group of window washers. I only say odd because I didn’t really know where this story was going aside from trying to be quirky; but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Hugh Laurie did some nice voices and even some singing on this one! Lesson: Be awesome at the things you like to do and helping people can lead to good things.

Posted by Tom Schreck

The Bat Segundo Show #432 interview with Stephen Fry

February 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Bat Segundo ShowThe Bat Segundo Show, episode #432, has the host, Edward Champion, “basking in a pleasant tsunami of erudition” when he talks to Stephen Fry.

Among the many subjects discussed in this delightfully wide ranging conversation are Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, how to write essays for exams, the Oxford manner, the ethics of the French Resistance, absolutism, and Brave New World.

|MP3|

Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/segundo

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: Blake’s 7, Sum, Greater Good

April 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, New Releases 

New Releases

The back-story of an artificial intelligence begins…

B7 PRODUCTIONS - Blake's 7: The Early Years: Zen: Escape VelocityBlake’s 7: The Early Years: Zen: Escape Velocity (Volume 2.1)
By James Swallow; Directed by Andrew Mark Sewell; Performed by a full cast
1 CD – Approx. 1 Hour [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: B7 Productions
Published: April 26, 2010
ISBN: 978190657709
Based on Terry Nation’s seminal 70s science fiction TV series, The Early Years is a prequel series of audio stories that explores the origins of key Blake’s 7 characters prior to them meeting rebel leader Roj Blake. This latest entry to the ever-expanding series takes a new twist, concentrating on a character that doesn’t breathe or have any parents, the synthetic intelligence known only as Zen. When Roj Blake first stepped on board the mysterious, derelict alien spaceship Liberator, his every movement was monitored by the ship’s controlling intelligence, Zen Luckily, Blake and his rebel crew managed to gain the ‘confidence’ of this creation from an alien world and so he was able to use the Liberator in their quest for justice against the Federation. But the origins of Zen have remained a mystery, until now. What terrible catastrophe left the Liberator drifting and shattered? What drove the ship’s intelligence to murder its original crew? What dark secrets lie at the heart of this alien machine? And are Blake and his crew really safe on board the Liberator? Featuring Zoë Tapper, Jason Merrells, Tracy-Ann Oberman and Alistair Lock as Zen.

An audiobook by a neuroscientist…

Canongate Books - Sum: Tales From The Afterlives by David EaglemanBRILLIANCE AUDIO - Sum: Tales From The Afterlives by David EaglemanSum: Forty Tales From The Afterlives
By David Eagleman; Read by Gillian Anderson, Emily Blunt, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Noel Fielding and Stephen Fry
Audible Download or CDs – Approx. 2 Hours 42 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Canongate Books / Brilliance Audio
Published: March 31, 2010 / June 2010
In this astounding book, David Eagleman entertains 40 fictional possibilities of life beyond death. With wit and humanity he asks the key questions about existence, hope, technology and love. These stories are full of big ideas and bold imagination.This audiobook assembles a stellar cast of readers who bring the scenarios of SUM brilliantly alive: Gillian Anderson, Emily Blunt, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Jack Davenport, Lisa Dwan, David Eagleman, Noel Fielding, Kerry Fox, Stephen Fry, Clarke Peters, Lemn Sissay and Harriet Walter.

After spotting a glowing review, I had to add this to the list…

PODIOBOOKS - Greater Good by Nathan P. ButlerGreater Good
By Nathan P. Butler; Read by Nathan P. Butler
34 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Podiobooks.com
Published: November 2009
In the world of tomorrow, the American Regime dominates our hemisphere, ruled by a new nobility: telepaths. While this powerful new minority rules over the normal human majority, society enjoys stability and security. However, with this new world comes new prejudices and oppression. Now, a powerful telepathic killer from the future has come to our present to eliminate this new world – a serial killer today, a genocide for tomorrow. It is up to a law enforcement officer from the future and an unwitting FBI agent to stop him before he can act in the name of the… Greater Good.

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC4 & RA.cc: Stephen Fry – In The Beginning Was The Nerd

October 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

BBC Radio 4RadioArchive.ccI’ve been enjoying quite a lot of Stephen Fry on television lately. He’s been following in the footsteps of Douglas Adams in the recent series Last Chance To See, doing an autobiographical examination of a fascinating disorder in Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive and criss-crossing the USA in Stephen Fry in America. But the programme that I’ll draw your attention to is a very nice hour long documentary that aired on BBC Radio 4 a couple weeks back. I picked it up through RadioArchive.cc, and I recommend you do the same.

Fry brings quite a bit to the show, delving back into computer history, talking about Alan Turing (and how that connects to where the Apple company’s logo came from), sliding tangentially into Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Karel Čapek’s Rossum’s Universal Robots, E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops and plenty more besides. The “Y2K disaster” seems more and more relevant these days, not because of the disaster itsel (which didn’t happen) but rather because the fixity of poorly informed media opinion is more and more likely despite our increasing ability to digitally record and rehash our poor predictions. We just don’t do it – except with programmes like this!

Stephen FryStephen Fry – In The Beginning Was The Nerd
By Stephen Fry
1 Broadcast – Approx. 56 Minutes [DOCUMENTARY]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: October 5, 2009
The Western world, with a few notable exceptions, poured billions of dollars into electronic pesticides to defeat the Y2K bug. Only to find that for the most part it could have been defeated by turning the systems off then on again. So, why the silence when the bug didn’t bite? The answer’s in the programme. Politicians, experts and businessmen all profited in status or cash from the threat. In the media – to paraphrase the crime reporters – it bled so it led. In the USA, government brazenly claimed victory for its defeat. In reality, the enemy was almost totally imaginary. But it’s useless blaming the great and the good. It was inevitable. We’d been told repeatedly that this brilliant new technology would change the world. Then we were told it could all stop on the stroke of one spookily special midnight. We were the newly addicted, suddenly faced with the prospect that our supply was fatally endangered. There was only one thing we could do. Panic. Then spend millions fixing it. Sorry, that’s two things.

Here’s a 15 minute selection from the doc:

You can pick up the rest, via torrent, from RadioArchive.cc.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Stephen Fry’s history of copyright

July 31, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Stephen Fry's Podgrams 2.0Stephen Fry’s latest podcast, recorded at the iTunes festival (a U.K. music festival), is a moral history of copyright. After the very funny and informative speech Fry takes questions from the audience and twitter. Is there’s anyone cooler than Stephen Fry? He’s like a comedic John Lennon minus the Yoko.

Have a listen |MP3| or subscribe to the podcast:

http://www.stephenfry.com/media/audio/rss/mp3/

Posted by Jesse Willis