Review of The Telling by Ursula K. LeGuin

April 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

The Telling by Ursula K. LeGuinThe Telling (Hainish Cycle)
By Ursula K. LeGuin; Performed by Gabra Zackman
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
ISBN: 978-1-4692-8062-2
6 discs; 7 hours [UNABRIDGED]

Themes: / Hainish / planets / libraries / storytelling / alien races / pilgrimage /

Publisher summary:

Once a culturally rich world, the planet Aka has been utterly transformed by technology. Records of the past have been destroyed, and citizens are strictly monitored. But an official observer from Earth named Sutty has learned of a group of outcasts who live in the wilderness. They still believe in the ancient ways and still practice its lost religion — the Telling. Intrigued by their beliefs, Sutty joins them on a sacred pilgrimage into the mountains…and into the dangerous terrain of her own heart, mind, and soul.

When I first started listening to The Telling, I didn’t realize it was in the same universe as  The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness, in fact I didn’t know those two books were related either. This story takes place in a loosely related world, but on a new planet. Sutty has been sent to collect the printed historical record, but arrives to discover most of it has been destroyed. Her own life on Terra was destroyed when her lover was killed by drones, and being sent to Aka may or may not be a way to push her out of the way of normal life. Along the way she finds out about a practice called “The Telling,” that is more than just an oral storytelling tradition. The story is concise although it ends a little too abruptly to understand what will happen in the future on Aka. I’m not convinced Sutty has as much power as she thinks she has to effect change.

The reader, Gabra Zackman, does a nice job, although the sounds made during the tellings sounded a little like orgasms. Maybe they were supposed to.

Posted by Jenny Colvin

Fantastic Imaginings, edited by Stefan Rudnicki

December 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Audio Anthology - Fantastic Imaginings, edited by Stefan Rudnicki

Just in, this very interesting anthology, edited by Stefan Rudnicki! I couldn’t find a Table of Contents on this package or on the Audible site, so I included it below. Why don’t audio publishers find the Table of Contents important when it comes to anthologies and collections? Because… THEY ARE.

After seeing the contents, I’m eager to dive into this. Oliver Onions, Guy de Maupassant, Harlan Ellison, John Crowley… Harlan Ellison reading John Crowley… this is terrific!

TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
Lofty Ambitions by Harlan Ellison, read by Harlan Ellison

PART 1: THE MYTHS WE LIVE BY
A Youth In Apparel That Glittered by Stephen Crane, read by Stefan Rudnicki (poem)
After the Myths Went Home by Robert Silverberg, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Novelty by John Crowley, read by Harlan Ellison
Pan And The Firebird by Sam M. Steward, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Murderer, The Hope Of All Women by Oskar Kokoschka, performed by cast
The Touch Of Pan by Algernon Blackwood, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Lost Thyrsis by Oliver Onions, read by Roz Landor
The Bacchae (excerpt) by Eurpides, performed by cast

PART 2: MYTHS THAT BITE
A Noiseless Patient Spider by Walt Whitman, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Mystery Train by Lewis Shiner, read by John Rubenstein
Continued On The Next Rock by R.A. Lafferty, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Diary Of A God by Barry Pain, read by Enn Reitel
The Repairer of Reputations (excerpt) by Robert W. Chambers, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Yellow Sign by Robert W. Chambers, read by Stefan Rudnicki
An Inhabitant Of Carcosa by Ambrose Bierce, read by Danny Campbell
The Horla by Guy de Maupassant, read by Arte Johnson

PART 3: SHOCKING FUTURES
Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, read by Stefan Rudnicki (poem)
City Come A’Walkin (excerpt) by John Shirley, read by Don Leslie
A Pail Of Air by Fritz Leiber, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Machine Stops (excerpt) by E.M. Forster, read by Roz Landor
Looking Backward and Equality (excerpts) by Edward Bellamy, read by David Birney
Gulliver’s Travels (excerpt) by Jonathan Swift read by Scott Brick
Utopia (excerpt) by Sir Thomas More, read byChristopher Cazanove
Monument To Amun by Queen Hatshepsut, read by Judy Young

PART 4: TRAVELING FOOLS
La Bateau Ivre by Arthur Rimbaud, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Inspiration by Ben Bova, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Bones Do Lie by Anne McCaffrey, read by Stefan Rudnicki
A Princess Of Mars (excerpt) by Edgar Rice Burroughs, read by John Rubinstein
The Great Stone Of Sardis (excerpt) by Frank R. Stockton, read by David Birney
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (excerpt) by Lewis Carroll, read by Michael York
Diary Of A Madman (excerpt) by Nicolai Gogol, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Inferno (excerpt) by Dante, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Odyssey of Homer (excerpt), read by David Birney

PART 5: TRANSFORMERS
The Stolen Child by William B. Yeats, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Porcelain Salamander by Orson Scott Card, read by Gabrielle de Cuir
Let’s Get Together by Isaac Asimov, read by Arte Johnson
Dracula (excerpt) by Bram Stoker, read by Simon Vance
Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (excerpt) by Robert Louis Stevenson, read by John Lee
Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, read by Gabrielle de Cuir
Frankenstein (excerpt) by Mary Shelley, read by Stefan Rudnicki0\ *
The Laidly Worm of Spindleston Heugh (Traditional English Fairy Tale), read by Judy Young
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (excerpt) by William Shakespeare, performed by cast
The Ballad of Tam Lin (Celtic ballad), read by Stefan Rudnicki
Metamorphosis (excerpt) by Ovid, read by Cassandra Campbell

PART 6: REST IN PIECES
Hearse Song
The Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allan Poe, read by Stefan Rudnicki
The New Testament: Revelations (excerpt), read by Stefan Rudnicki
The Colloquy of Monos & Una by Edgar Allan Poe, read by Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle de Cuir
From the Crypts of Memory by Clark Ashton Smith, read by Danny Campbell
The Comet by W.E.B. DuBois, read by Mirron Willis
Sand (excerpt) by Stefan Rudnicki, performed by cast
Transience by Arthur C. Clarke, read by Bahni Turpin
The Illusionist by Gareth Owen, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Unchosen Love by Ursula K. LeGuin, read by Stefan Rudnicki
In Lonely Lands by Harlan Ellison, read by Harlan Ellison
News from Nowhere (excerpt) by William Morris, read by Stefan Rudnicki

PART 7: COMMENTARIES
The Special And General Joys of Science Fiction by Ben Bova, read by Stefan Rudnicki
Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849 by Elliott Engel, read by Gabrielle de Cuir
Adolescence And Adulthood In Science Fiction by Orson Scott Card, read by Stefan Rudnicki

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #161 – READALONG: Among Others by Jo Walton

May 21, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #161 – Jesse, Scott, Tamahome, and Jenny (of Reading Envy) talk about the Nebula-winning novel Among Others by Jo Walton.

Talked about on today’s show:
What does ‘Among Others’ mean?, “the most meta book ever”, Jo on Coode Street, what’s your favorite book?, Interlibrary Loan, the Welsh accent of the audiobook, is there a plot?, “it’s post-fantasy”, list of sf books referenced, how many have you read?, books in The Canon, Jo’s Tor blog, no cyberpunk, The Litany of Fear from Dune, learning about Judaism, Roger Zelazny, Luke’s review of Lord Of Light (not Amber), 1960’s – 1980’s only, getting book recommendations, no internet!, Harlan Ellison in The Comics Journal, used bookstores, “I’d rather have a Heinlein than a headmistress!”, non-fiction too, Plato (The Socratic Method), the fairy world, Virgil, acupuncture, were the fairies ‘real’?, Among Others on The Writer And The Critic with Cat Valente, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Tempest, grief, did Mor steal her sister’s identity?, The Wizard Of Earthsea, do the book choices reflect themes?, we want an index, karass (see Cat’s Cradle), I, Claudius, Chi, other Nebula nominees, God’s War has bugs, Embassytown, Jo Walton on series, Jo on the Hugos, we’re waiting for the hugo novella blog series, The Paper Menagerie (online audio), how well read do you have to be to appreciate Among Others?, Hyperion, “it’s a book-love book”, which books from the list will you read next?, The Wind’s Twelve Quarters is the best, old Delany, Sturgeon’s A Touch Of Strange, what’s that Sturgeon novel with three brains in a jello mold on Mars internet??, James Tiptree Jr., The Dispossessed (Luke’s review), Stand On Zanzibar is on audio, length of books, Jo’s Small Change series is on audio, Tor is drm-free, don’t forget Baen and Angry Robot and Nightshade, the kindle hit Wool is optioned for a movie, “umm…no”

I happened to have this old paperback:

James Tiptree Jr. - Out Of The Everywhere (cover)

Posted by Tamahome

Radio Drama Revival: 2000X – Karel Čapek, Robert A. Heinlein, Yuri Rasovsky

June 13, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

2000X Tales Of The Next Millenia

Radio Drama RevivalFred Greenhalgh, or Radio Drama Revival, writes:

Hey Jesse,

Wanted to point you to what should be some pretty appealing Radio Drama Revival episodes for SFF Audio listeners. I’ve gotten permission from Yuri Rasovsky to broadcast a few stories produced for the Beyond 2000 series… If you’re not familiar with it, it was a series commissioned by NPR back in the day and featured a startlingly great compilation of writers no less than Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Ursula K LeGuin… http://www.irasov.com/faves.htm

Wow! Thanks Fred!

I agree with Fred, this is truly exciting audio. And there IS a whole lot to love in these professional productions from 2000X series (aka Beyond 2000). Check out the top shelf actors in these productions. And, then check out the sound quality! As Fred mentions in the podcast, it is all in an absolutely pristine stereo goodness.

Rossum’s Universal Robots asks a question, which has haunted the Science Fiction since: What does the creation of an artificial life form mean for the fate of humankind?

2000X - Rossum's Universal Robots2000X – R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots)
Based on the play by Karel Čapek; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 1 Hour 11 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: Radio Drama Revival
Podcast: June 4, 2010
Helena, the daughter of the president of a major industrial power, arrives at the island factory for a tour of Rossum’s Universal Robots. The original stage play premiered, in Czech, in 1921.

Robert A. Heinlein’s By His Bootstraps deals in some of the inherent paradoxes that would be caused by recursive time travel.

2000X - By His Bootstraps2000X – By His Bootstraps
Based on the short story by Robert A. Heinlein; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 57 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: Radio Drama Revival
Podcast: June 11, 2010
Bob Wilson locks himself in his room to finish his doctoral thesis on time travel. Suddenly a stranger appears in his dorm room and tells him to stop writing and start listening. The interloper, who looks strangely familiar, calls himself “Joe” and explains that he has come from the future through a Time Gate. First published in the October 1941 issue of Astounding Science Fiction under the pen name Anson MacDonald.
Starring:
Richard Dreyfuss
Cordis Heard
Kascia Marciniak
Ira Burton
Crew:
Adapted, Produced and Directed by Yuri Rasovsky
Sound Fesign by Richard Fairbanks

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Science Fiction Writers Association (SFWA) gav…

April 21, 2003 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

The Science Fiction Writers Association (SFWA) gave their Nebula Awards this weekend, and the Best Novel winner was American Gods by Neil Gaiman. HarperCollins produced an excellent unabridged audio version of the novel, read by one of the best – George Guidall. It’s also available for rental at Recorded Books.

Ursula K. LeGuin won a Grand Master Award at the same ceremony. Fantastic Audio has published several unabridged Le Guin titles, including The Birthday of the World and Other Stories and most of the incomparable Earthsea series.

Locus Magazine Online has a list of all the Nebula winners along with some pictures.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson