Review of The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane

December 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

The Savage Tales of Solomon KaneThe Savage Tales of Solomon Kane
By Robert E. Howard; Narrated by Paul Boehmer
Publisher: Tantor Audio
[UNABRIDGED] – 12 hours, 30 minutesThemes: / pulp / fantasy / hero / short stories / Publisher summary:

With Conan the Cimmerian, Robert E. Howard created more than the greatest action hero of the twentieth century—he also launched a genre that came to be known as sword and sorcery. But Conan was not the first archetypal adventurer to spring from Howard’s fertile imagination.

He was…a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, and more than a touch of the pagan…. A hunger in his soul drove him on and on, an urge to right all wrongs, protect all weaker things…. Wayward and restless as the wind, he was consistent in only one respect—he was true to his ideals of justice and right. Such was Solomon Kane.

Collected in this volume are all of the stories that make up the thrilling saga of the dour and deadly Puritan: “Skulls in the Stars,” “The Right Hand of Doom,” “Red Shadows,” “Rattle of Bones,” “The Castle of the Devil,” “Death’s Black Riders,” “The Moon of Skulls,” “The One Black Stain,” “The Blue Flame of Vengeance,” “The Hills of the Dead,” “Hawk of Basti,” “The Return of Sir Richard Grenville,” “Wings in the Night,” “The Footfalls Within,” “The Children of Asshur,” and “Solomon Kane’s Homecoming.”

I don’t normally seem to enjoy older works of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and unfortunately, things were no different here. I was never a Conan fan growing, so I’d never read any of Mr. Howard before. The audiobook collection stars with an obituary or memorium written by H.P. Lovecraft with whom Mr. Howard apparently corresponded.

Mr. Howard is probably best known for his character Conan, but Solomon Kane is often credited as the first “Sword & Sorcery” character.

In this collection of stories Solomon Kane fights Pirates, Ghosts, Vampires, Sorcerors, Harpies and more. Solomon Kane wields daggers, pistols a sword, and in later stories, a magical staff. Sounds like it would be great! Unfortunately I was mostly bored. The best story of the bunch for me was The Children of Asshur, which was only a fragment and therefore ends somewhat abruptly. I would have liked to see where Mr. Howard intended to go with that story.

There are certainly things to like here. The writing isn’t bad and the adventures are certainly varied enough, but it just seemed like not much really happens most of the time. And then there is the racism. You can pull out the usual excuses, when the book what written, or the fact that the racism portrayed is probably accurate to the characters themselves. That doesn’t change the fact for me that it kept pulling me out of the stories.  It’s not in every story, but is present in most, especially those where Solomon Kane travels to Africa. Many times it seemed like an unnecessary aside, rather than an important plot point for or character motivation.

All in all, as I believe these stories are in public domain you might be better off picking one or two to check out rather than the whole collection. I think the best complete story was The Hills of the Dead, where Kane first gets his magic staff and fights a horde of vampires.

Review by Rob Zak.

SFsite: reviews of audiobooks and audio dramas

October 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

SFSite.comJust posted over on SFSite.com several reviews of audiobooks:

A review of Nightmare at 20,000 Feet by Richard Matheson
Narrated by various readers, unabridged, Blackstone Audio, 10.5 hours
review by Susan Dunham |MP3|

A review of Blue Moon Rising: Part 1 by Simon R. Green
Multicast performance, Graphic Audio, 5 hours
review by Fred Greenhalgh |MP3|

A review of Aliens Rule edited by Allan Kaster
Narrated by Vanessa Hart and Tom Dheere, unabridged, Infinivox, 3 hours, 43 minutes
review by Susan Dunman

A review of Sleep Traveler by Marcus Hame
Multi-cast production, unabridged, Synerge Books, 1 hour, 50 minutes
review by Bonnie L. Norman

A review of Glass Houses: Morganville Vampires, Book 1 by Rachel Caine
Narrated by Cynthia Holloway Tantor Audio, 8.5 hours
review by Gil T. Wilson

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

May 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

New Releases

Smoky Mountain Horrors by Weston OchseSmoky Mountain Horrors
By Weston Ochse; Read by Weston Ochse
Audible Download – 4 Hours 47 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Kanigit Media / Audible.com
Published: May 11, 2009
Set mostly in Appalachian country, backwood characters will leave you laughing in pain and gasping in horror. You will learn something new about Weston’s horrific mountain tales every time you listen. They are not for the feint of heart. A collection of short horror stories. Two of the stories available for free HERE.

Tantor - The Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian by Robert E. HowardThe Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian (Book One in the Conan of Cimmeria Series)
By Robert E. Howard; Read by Todd McLaren
14 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – 16 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: June 11th, 2009
ISBN: 9781400112234 (cd) , 9781400162239 (mp3-cd)
Thirteen of Robert E. Howard’s legendary stories starring Conan the barbarian, a swordsman who cuts a swath across the lands of the Hyborian Age, facing powerful sorcerers, deadly creatures, and ruthless armies of thieves and reavers.

Haze
By L.E. Modesitt, Jr.; Read by William Dufris
10 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 11 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: June 25th, 2009
ISBN: 9781400112913 (cd), 9781400162918 (mp3-cd)
A war is about to start between planets in this new science fiction novel by the bestselling author of the Recluce series.

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Book 2 of the Gentleman Bastard series)
By Scott Lynch; Read by Michael Page
20 CDs or 3 MP3-CDs – 25 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: June 4th, 2009
ISBN: 9781400110520 (cd), 9781400160525 (mp3-cd)
In The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch took us on an adrenaline-fueled adventure with con artist extraordinaire Locke Lamora. Now Lynch brings back his outrageous hero for a caper so death-defying, nothing short of a miracle will pull it off.

From Recorded Books’ SCI-FI AUDIO imprint (First quarter 2009 new releases on CD)…

Rollback
By Robert J. Sawyer; Read by George K.Wilson
9 CDs – 10 Hours 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781436186506
Dr. Sarah Halifax earned worldwide fame for deciphering the first alien message received on Earth. Now nearing the end of her days, she learns that, at long last, the reply has come.

Shaman’s Crossing (Book One of The Soldier Son Trilogy)
By Robin Hobb; Read by
16 CDs – 18.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-7968-3
Nevare Burvelle was born to be a
soldier in the Gernian army. But as Nevare’s career takes off, his worldview alters considerably. Corruption and nepotism reign, and now Nevare questions his own ideals, wondering why he continues fighting for the empire.

Fifty Degrees Below
By Kim Stanley Robinson; Read by Richard Ferrone
15 CDs – 18 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-8634-6
When the Gulf Stream stalls, dangerously low temperatures grip the Eastern Seaboard and Western Europe. While multinational corporations attempt to exploit the disaster, humankind’s only hope may be a desperate move to dump millions of tons of salt into the ocean.

Mean Streets
By various; Read by various
9 CDs – 9.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-9217-0
Featuring New York Times best-selling authors Jim Butcher and Simon R. Green, and national best-selling authors Kat Richardson and Thomas E. Sniegoski, Mean Streets offers four novellas from the hottest names in contemporary paranormal suspense. Running the gamut from demons and werewolves to zombies and black magic, these whodunits crackle with otherworldly secrets, making for a noir collection with an extra set of fangs.

Fool’s Experiment
By Edward M. Lerner; Read by George K.Wilson
10 CDs – 11.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781436164849
As a NASA engineer, critically acclaimed author Edward M. Lerner developed a background in science and technology perfectly suited to his fast-paced SF thrillers. In Fools’ Experiments, the military-industrial complex unwittingly unleashes a devastating threat to humanity after government programmers experiment with viruses and worms. But what escapes is no ordinary computer virus, and when the deadly artificial life-form reaches the Internet, humanity’s very existence is at stake.

From Recorded Books’ SCI-FI AUDIO imprint (Second quarter 2009 new releases on CD)…

Forest Mage (Book Two of the Soldier Son Trilogy)
By Robin Hobb; Read by John Keating
22 CDs – 19 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781436179706
Nevare Burvelle has survived major combat and is making a quick recovery from a disease plaguing his fellows in the King’s army. He also believes he is free from the Speck magic that held him under its sway. Now traveling home to rendezvous with his fiancée, Nevare suffers haunting visions and soon realizes that malicious magic still resides within him—and is intent on destroying everything he holds dear.

Brightness Reef
By David Brin; Read by George K.Wilson
20 CDs – 17 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781436179744
Persecuted refugees from six separate alien races have migrated to the idyllic planet Jijo. And despite their incredible diversity, the inhabitants live together in blissful harmony. However, settlement on Jijo is illegal—and it’s only a matter of time before the residents of this forbidden paradise are discovered by the galactic powers-that-be.

Iron Sunrise
By Charles Stross; Read by George Guidall
11 CDs – 13 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781440710575
PlanetMoscow is vaporized by an unnatural star explosion, prompting those who escaped to counterattack the likely culprit—planet New Dresden of the neighboring system.
But New Dresden wasn’t to blame, and as worlds go to war, an unseen enemy labors to destroy the universe itself.

Counting Heads
By David Marusek; Read by Kevin R. Free
13 CDs – 14 Hours 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-8640-7
The debut novel from highly regarded short-story author David Marusek, Counting Heads pushes the limits of the genre. Life in the year 2134 is nearly perfect, with nanotechnology and medical science granting people near immortality. But when Sam Harger is flagged as a terrorist, his powerful wife dies in a plane crash, and his daughter’s cryogenically frozen head becomes a sought-after prize, Sam must fight to save the human race from a secret cabal.

The Fabulous Riverboat (Riverworld Saga, Book 2)
By Philip José Farmer; Read by
10 CDs – 12 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-8636-0
The Fabulous Riverboat tells of a world where all of humanity has been mysteriously resurrected on the banks of one mighty river. Samuel Clemens (a.k.a.MarkTwain) is tasked with finding a fallen meteorite and using its ore to build a massive riverboat. But in order to succeed, he’ll have to outwit some of history’s most nefarious villains.

Into Looking Glass
By John Ringo; Read by L.J. Ganser
10 CDs – 12 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781440710612
When a subatomic physics experiment causes a massive explosion, interdimensional gateways open in Florida—and aliens pour out. Some intend to bring Earth to its knees. Others seem willing to help, but will annihilate the planet if Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Robert Miller can’t stop the menace from spreading.

And from Recorded Books’ new “Mystery” imprint…

The Somnambulist
By Jonathan Barnes; Read by John Curless
9 CDs – 11 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books Mystery
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978143618066-5
Set amidst Victorian London’s seamy, fog-shrouded underworld. Meet Edward Moon, an illusionist and detective who operates solely with the aid of his hulking, mute sidekick.

Posted by Jesse Willis