Reading, Short And Deep #034 – The Cremation Of Sam McGee by Robert Service

September 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #034

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Cremation Of Sam McGee by Robert Service

Here’s a link to a PDF of the story.

The Cremation Of Sam McGee was first published in 1907 in Songs Of A Sourdough.

Podcast feed https://sffaudio.herokuapp.com/rsd/rss

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

WYSO: Dangerous Women – a dramatization of the life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the American suffragette movement

January 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Jerry Kenney of WYSO (Yellow Springs, Ohio) contacted me back in Novmeber 2010. He wanted me to check out their latest radio drama, a historical biography piece entitled Dangerous Women. He described it like this:

“[Dangerous Women is] the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the early suffragettes [in the United States]. While not technically sci-fi or fantasy, it is the ‘Spirit’ of Stanton who drives the play forward. I also see that you list “history” among your listening pleasures. We are a public radio station in Yellow Springs, Ohio and produced the play with a local theatre group. This is our third project and I’d be interested in any feed back you might have. We aired the program locally last week and have had a good response from listeners. Links to our other historical dramas can be found there as well. Again, any feedback you have would be most welcome.”

And here’s my feedback:

Dangerous Women‘s sweeping rendering is both an informative summary of the reasons for women’s suffrage and the story of how the laws regarding it came to be. I can’t imagine that the U.S. congress and senate would ever approve such an amendment today – let alone a three-fourths of fifty states!

The script is uniformly excellent, being both a well organized historical lesson and compelling biography. The production, likewise, is seamless and solid. Much of the acting feels rather stiff, but none of it actually undermines the production. As to the history itself, I was surprised by the many parallels between the Canadian and British suffrage movements, with which I was already familiar. Perhaps women’s suffrage, the world over, can only be like this – opposed by men (and some women), something gradually achieved – and not the end point of making gender equality.

If you’re interested in historical drama, Dangerous Women is a great place to start!

WYSODangerous Women
By Kay Reimers; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 1 Hour [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: WYSO
Broadcast: October 21, 2010
This original work by Yellow Springs playwright Kay Reimers, concerns the beginning and end of the nearly century long struggle to give women the right to vote. The play begins in 1920, during a special election held by the Tennessee state legislature to ratify the 19th amendment. In the tense hours leading up to the vote, as Reimers tells the story, the spirit of the first suffragette, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, reflects on the events of her life and struggle, which led to the first formal demand for women’s suffrage in 1848 at Seneca Falls, New York. Giving women the right to vote was considered a threat to the established order and women were considered “dangerous” even to suggest it.

Cast:
Miriam Eckenrode as Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Howard Shook as Henry Stanton
Doug Hinkley as Judge Cady
Marcia Nowak as Susan B. Anthony
Troy Lindsey
Jason Sine
Gary Reimers
Sarah Strong
Flo Lorenz
Elizabeth Lutz
Rob Campbell

Crew:
Directed by Dan Davis
Produced by Jerry Kenney

Podcast feed: http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wyso/.jukebox?action=viewPodcast&podcastId=19850

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrivals: B7 Productions, Penguin Audio, Blackstone Audio

December 11, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Here are four recently arrived audiobooks. They’ll join their friends on the teeming shores of SFFaudio’s PO BOX. But, before they can take up proper residence (on someone’s bookshelf) they’ll need one of our officials (that’s me) to unseal their carefully wrapped packages, do a “whole cover imaging” (which involves our totally non invasive and completely harmless photonic scanners technology), riffle through their intimate contents, and generally fondle them both inside and out in what we like to call “an enhanced manual inspection.” It’s the law here at SFFaudio AND it’s for your protection.

Heh-heh. I think I’ll start with the slim and sexy beauty standing at the head of the line here…

Zen, the artificial intelligence featured in this audio drama, is the master computer aboard the Deep Space Vehicle 2 (later to be re-named Liberator). In the television series “Zen’s history, like that of the Liberator itself, is unknown prior to its first appearance.” This audio drama answers much of the mystery surrounding Zen and the Liberator

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.

Here’s a title mentioned on The SFFaudio Podcast #065, narrator Steve West has a gentle, smoky English voice. Videos follow.

PENGUIN AUDIO - The Left Hand Of God by Paul HoffmanThe Left Hand Of God
By Paul Hoffman; Read by Steve West
10 CDs – Approx. 12.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: June 15, 2010
ISBN: 9780142428238
Listen, The Sanctuary of Redeemers on Shotover Scarp is named after a damned lie, for there is little redemption that goes on there and less sanctuary… In the Redeemer Sanctuary, the stronghold of a secretive sect of warrior monks, torture and death await the unsuccessful or disobedient. Raised by the Redeemers from early childhood like hundreds of other young captives, Thomas Cale has known only deprivation, punishment, and grueling training. He doesn’t know that another world exists outside the fortress walls or even that secrets he can’t imagine lurk behind the Sanctuary’s many forbidden doorways. He doesn’t know that his master Lord Bosco and the Sanctuary’s Redeemers have been preparing for a holy war for centuries-a holy war that is now imminent. And Cale doesn’t know that he’s been noticed and quietly cultivated. Then, Cale decides to open a door. It’s a door that leads to one of the Redeemers’ darkest secrets and a choice that is really no choice at all: certain death or daring escape. Adrift in the wider world for the first time in his young life, Cale soon finds himself in Memphis, the capitol of culture-and the den of Sin. It’s there that Cale discovers his prodigious gift: violence. And he discovers that after years of abuse at the hands of the Redeemers his embittered heart is still capable of loving-and breaking. But the Redeemers won’t accept the defection of their special subject without a fight. As the clash of civilizations that has been looming for thousands of years draws near, a world where the faithful are as brutal as the sinful looks to young Cale to decide its fate.

By the author of the “Kiki Strike” series (which is about “the adventures of six girls in Manhattan” who encounter a “hungry ghost” and “giant squirrels”). The cover depicts a sort of Ouroboros, and the novel is apparently about reincarnation and/or past lives with romance, aimed at the YA market. Book and audiobook trailers follow.

PENGUIN AUDIO - The Eternal Ones by Kirsten MillerThe Eternal Ones
By Kirsten Miller; Read by Emma Galvin
9 CDs – Approx. 11 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: August 10, 2010
ISBN: 9780143145769
Haven Moore has always lived in the tiny town of Snope City, Tennessee. But for as long as she can remember, Haven has experienced visions of a past life as a girl named Constance, whose love for a boy called Ethan ended in a fiery tragedy. One day, the sight of notorious playboy Iain Morrow on television brings Haven to her knees. Haven flees to New York City to find Iain there; she is swept up in an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Is Iain her beloved Ethan? Or is he her murderer in a past life?

Most of the talk I’ve heard about this book has described it as ‘not really science fiction.’ Presumably part of their rationale is that’s because it isn’t set in the future. But as a deep SFF literature fan surely realizes, setting isn’t the key indicator of SF – Gibson’s approach, in every book I’ve read of his – has been the determining factor of its SF-ness. I’m willing to bet Zero History is SF.

PENGUIN AUDIO - Zero History by William GibsonZero History
By William Gibson; Read by Robertson Dean
9 CDs – Approx. 11 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: September 7, 2010
ISBN: 0142428450
Hollis Henry worked for the global marketing magnate Hubertus Bigend once before. She never meant to repeat the experience. But she’s broke, and Bigend never feels it’s beneath him to use whatever power comes his way — in this case, the power of money to bring Hollis onto his team again. Not that she knows what the “team” is up to, not at first. Milgrim is even more thoroughly owned by Bigend. He’s worth owning for his useful gift of seeming to disappear in almost any setting, and his Russian is perfectly idiomatic – so much so that he spoke Russian with his therapist, in the secret Swiss clinic where Bigend paid for him to be cured of the addiction that would have killed him. Garreth has a passion for extreme sports. Most recently he jumped off the highest building in the world, opening his chute at the last moment, and he has a new thighbone made of rattan baked into bone, entirely experimental, to show for it. Garreth isn’t owned by Bigend at all. Garreth has friends from whom he can call in the kinds of favors that a man like Bigend will find he needs, when things go unexpectedly sideways, in a world a man like Bigend is accustomed to controlling. As when a Department of Defense contract for combat-wear turns out to be the gateway drug for arms dealers so shadowy that even Bigend, whose subtlety and power in the private sector would be hard to overstate, finds himself outmaneuvered and adrift in a seriously dangerous world.

While this book will likely shoot to it’s highest prominence next summer with the release of the next Disney movie about pirates in the Caribbean, a more interesting (and lesser known) factoid about this novel is that it inspired the LucasArts Monkey Island series of games! Now if only someone could tell me what inspired Their Finest Hour and it’s amazing 192-page ring bound manual!

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - On Stranger Tides by Tim PowersOn Stranger Tides
By Tim Powers; Read by Bronson Pinchot
10 CDs – Approx. 11.7 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: August 2010
ISBN: 9781441754981
On Stranger Tides follows the exploits of John “Jack Shandy” Chandagnac, who travels to the new world after the death of his puppeteer father to confront his uncle, who has apparently made off with the family fortune. During the voyage, he befriends Beth Hurwood and her father Benjamin Hurwood, an Oxford professor. Before they arrive at their destination, their ship is waylaid by Blackbeard and his band of pirates. With the help of the professor and his assistant, the captain is killed and Chandagnac is pressed into piracy and sorcery as Blackbeard searches for the Fountain of Lost Youth. Chandagnac, newly dubbed “Jack Shandy,” must stop the evil plot and save Beth Hurwood.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Cremation Of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service

June 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxThe Cremation Of Sam McGee
By Robert W. Service; Read by Katie Gibboney
1 |MP3| – Approx. 5 Minutes [POETRY]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: November 30, 2007
First published in in 1907.

The Cremation Of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam ’round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he’d often say in his homely way that he’d “sooner live in hell”.

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see;
It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and “Cap,” says he, “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
“It’s the cursed cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet ’tain’t being dead — it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.”

A pal’s last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn’t a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn’t get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: “You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it’s up to you to cremate those last remains.”

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows — O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the “Alice May”.
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then “Here”, said I, with a sudden cry, “is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared — such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

The Cremation Of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service

Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don’t know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: “I’ll just take a peep inside.
I guess he’s cooked, and it’s time I looked”;. . . then the door I opened wide.

The Cremation Of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: “Please close that door.
It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm —
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

There is also a solid NPR reading (read by Scott Simon and Daniel Pinkwater) |MP3|

And, NPR also has Johnny Cash’s reading:

[unsigned images from Sense And Feeling edited by R.J. Scott]

Posted by Jesse Willis