The SFFaudio Podcast #318 – READALONG: The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

May 25, 2015 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #318 – Jesse, Mr Jim Moon, Bryan Alexander, and Fred Himebaugh talk about The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

Talked about on today’s show:
1915, Blackwood’s Magazine, a propaganda novel, the propaganda ministry, pro-empire, Buchan’s later job, Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, the Orson Welles adaptation, Mercury Theater, Welles’ propaganda pieces, Nazis invading Canada (Nazi Eyes On Canada), ultima thule, if Operation Sea Lion had worked…, Nazis in Antarctica, Kerguelen Islands, Isle de Crozet, the coolest island ever, Jules Verne, why does our hero go to Scotland?, veldcraft, Greenmantle, Richard Hannay, the comic, Brian thought it was a riot, a brisk read, elegant prose, the BBC Radio documentary on John Buchan, judging everything, “subjective”, coincidences, sooo convienient, the human civilization, The Riddle Of The Sands by Erskine Childers, another sneaky German plot, the Patrick O’Brian books, the invasion novel genre, mining British harbours, u-boats, a shocking incident, Scapa Flow, Winston Churchill, Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household is the WWII version of The Thirty-Nine Steps, Constantine Karolides, war was inevitable, popular in the trenches?, Hannay eats well on the run, cliffhangers, Adrian Praetzelis, a semi-bald archaeologist, Jesse’s dream theory, tired of London …. not enough exercise … lo and behold a murder plot… sleep and dream and wake, a Freudian sense of everything being really nearby, the climax became surreal, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?‘s fake police station, how to deal with those in between, The Prisoner Of Zenda, “honestly this is impossible”, boys own adventure, James Bond, Dracula, how do these things work in detail, I’m pretty good with disguise, a sign of good writing, villain to do lists, don’t lock the hero in a room filled with explosives, act like you belong there, the roadman scenes, the milkman was a precedent, disguise as psychology, ridiculous of imposture, the speaker at the liberal candidates meetings scene, Australia or free-trade, Asquith, Liberals, free-trade within the empire, as satisfying as a mortician, the eloquence of an emigration agent, a ripping speech Twizden, Hammond, something that always changes is the meaning of the title, the Black Stone (Schwartz Stein), when you’re Lord Tweedsmuir…, Jonathan Harker, ordinance survey maps, the corridors of power, having the power of the British Empire at your back, the reward, doubt about British command, yesterday 100 years ago, the Gallipoli campaign, unilateral disarmament, the secret pact, the French are hyper-competent, playing along, just go over the top, your reward is to go to the Western Front, Greenmantle is the direct sequel, the supremely confident at veldcraft, the Germans had found a Muslim prophet, Islam as a powder-keg, the Mesopotamian campaign, a very personal battle while armies clash, a secret history, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, The Duelists by Joseph Conrad, His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik, The Red Panda Adventures by Gregg Taylor, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Captain Canuck, Declare by Tim Powers, Kim Philby, Brian’s WWI kick, the Eastern front (Turkey vs. Russia), Duel For Kilimanjaro: Africa 1914-1918, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, the opening antisemitism (an international banking conspiracy) is just a smokescreen, crazy conspiracy theories, you only believe the unbelievable tale, a wink to the audience, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, The United States Of Paranoia by Jesse Walker, the “stab in the back theory”, conspiracies, the Black Hand, seeing the novel in its context, period magazines, stepping into a time machine, having perspective, don’t have secret treaties with France, a landward in Asia, The DaVinci Code, The Grove of Ashtaroth, the Canaanite goddess, Rhodesia, clearing of the land, a weird fiction version of colonialism, Buchan wrote 101 books, Witch Wood (BBC Radio drama), big in to Buchan, Huntingtower, Mr Standfast, The Wasteland by T.S. Elliot, Lovecraft’s parody “Wastepaper”, a pre-modern guy, unthinking ideas, a moral victory over the enemy, panache or élan, Memory Hold-the-Door by John Buchan, Canada’s current Governor General (David Johnston), Hillary Clinton’s autobiography, “chloroform in print”, Mark Twain, Fred’s novel is in beta (The Devil’s Dictum), wait fifty years and read the Wikipedia entry, our assessment of things, Shakespeare was too sad or too gory, why teach Julius Caesar? because it has no sex, the Hugos blew up, Ancillary Justice, changing the markets, Bowdlerizing the past, The Tempest, classic science fiction info dump, Miranda is falling asleep, Mr Jim Moon’s take on The Thirty-Nine Steps, the mystery run-around, the Jason Bourne films, stalking on-the-run travelogue format, Ian Fleming, Dennis Wheatley, a British form of pulp, adaptations, North By Northwest, the 2008 TV adaptation the u-boat in a loch, Alfred Hitchock, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Ring, the lack of women, adding women, shoveling women into adaptations, it’s all for Fred’s mom, there’s a gun in the pram, Hannay has an afro in the 1978 adaptation, the ministry of espionage, Mr Memory, the comics adaptation, a bridge to far, The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes, with access to itching powder…, expansive imagination, in the Twilight books the heroine is a complete cipher, WWI books, WWII books, Armed Forces Editions, the post war interest in H.P. Lovecraft, Jack Vance in the South Pacific.

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan - First Edition
John Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Fantasy Audiobook - The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna ClarkeThe Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories
By Susanna Clarke; Read by Simon Prebble and Lavina Porter
7 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: 2006
Themes: / Fantasy / Magic / England /

This is a collection of eight short stories that return readers to the world of Clarke’s novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. As I enjoyed Simon Prebble’s narration of Strange & Norrell, I returned to that format to hear these stories. Prebble shares narration duty with Davina Porter whose undeniable skill I enjoyed even more than Mr. Prebble’s and that is saying quite a lot.

Since all but one of these stories were previously published elsewhere, they vary from mere fragments (The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse) to retold fairy tales (Lickerish Hill). These are almost like some of the longer footnotes from Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which often meander away to tell fully imagined stories before returning to the main narrative.

The one constant is Clarke’s skill at conveying readers to a magical England in the style of well known 19th-century writers such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Clarke has a dry wit which enlivens many of the tales and a good imagination for weaving attention holding yarns. I enjoyed all these stories quite a lot. If you are wondering whether to take the plunge into Strange & Norrell, these stories might be a good test of the waters.

Posted by Julie D.

Congratulations to the 2004 Hugo Award winners! H…

August 7, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

Congratulations to the 2004 Hugo Award winners! Here they are:

BEST NOVEL
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
An unabridged audio version is available, published by Audio Renaissance.

BEST NOVELLA
“The Concrete Jungle” by Charles Stross
This one’s not available on audio, but Infinivox just released three of his works.

BEST NOVELETTE
“The Faery Handbag” by Kelly Link
No audio edition known.

BEST SHORT STORY
“My Travels with Cats” by Mike Resnick
No audio edition known.

Click here to see all the Hugo Winners this year.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The Diane Rehm Show is one of my favorite radio sh…

August 2, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

NPR LogoThe Diane Rehm Show is one of my favorite radio shows. On Wednesday, July 20, Diane featured a one-hour Readers Review of A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. It’s archived, and you can listen online at your leisure – click here to get to the page you need.

SFFAudio’s review of the audio version of A Wizard of Earthsea can be found here.

A couple of other items of genre interest on the Diane Rehm Show:

For an interview of Elizabeth Kostova about her novel The Historianclick here.

From 2004, an interview of Susanna Clarke, the author of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which is a Hugo Nominee and a World Fantasy Award nominee. Find it here.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction

June 27, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

I just stumbled across a very nice resource – Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction is a television show based in Arlington, VA. They have interviewed a number of science fiction authors, and they have archives going back to 2003 so you can listen to (or watch – each interview is available in MP3 audio format or compressed video format) at your leisure.

The following interviews are currently available: Orson Scott Card, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis, Neil Gaiman, Patricia Wrede, Elizabeth Massie, Laura Anne Gilman, Susanna Clarke, Jasper Fforde, China Miéville, Cortney Skinner, Kim Stanley Robinson, Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, Tamora Pierce, Nalo Hopkinson, Jack Williamson, Terry Pratchett, Karl Kofoed, Margaret Weis, Laurell K. Hamilton, Garth Nix, Roger MacBride Allen, Donna Andrews, Catherine Asaro, Robert Jordan, Will Ludwigsen, and Mindy Klasky.

Click here for their archives!

A few news items today… First, Robert J. Sawyer…

April 14, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

A few news items today…

First, Robert J. Sawyer will be interviewed this Friday morning, April 15, at 10:30 p.m. (in every time zone) on CBC Radio One’s flagship morning show “Sounds Like Canada” about MINDSCAN. You can get it on the web at: http://www.cbc.ca.

Second, congrats to all the Hugo nominees! You can find a complete list of the nominees at Interaction’s Worldcon website. Of the fiction nominees, a few have audio versions:

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (nominated for Best Novel) is available unabridged from Audio Renaissance.

I found The Algebraist by Iain Banks (also a Best Novel nominee) available on audio at Amazon.uk. There’s no mention that I can see about whether it’s abridged or not. If anyone out there has more info, please let me know.

Shed Skin by Robert J. Sawyer (Best Short Story nominee) is available on audio from Deuce Audio.

And lastly, some bad news for SF audiobook fans. The Reader’s Chair, publisher of some very fine audiobooks, especially Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series, has closed it’s doors.