Scott D. Danielson narrates this short short story (320 words) by Fredric Brown. I think it encapsulates much of what Science Fiction is about – teaching by thought experiment. It may be that stories of this kind work almost like an inoculative vaccination, preventing certain mental processes that lead to damaging behavior.
And here’s a |PDF| made from a scan of the original magazine publication in Galaxy Science Fiction, February 1954.
Sentry by Fredric Brown
He was wet and muddy and hungry and cold, and he was fifty thousand light-years from home.
A strange blue sun gave light and the gravity, twice what he was used to, made every movement difficult.
But in tens of thousands of years this part of war hadn’t changed. The flyboys were fine with their sleek spaceships and their fancy weapons. When the chips are down, though, it was still the foot soldier, the infantry, that had to take the ground and hold it, foot by bloody foot. Like this damned planet of a star he’d never heard of until they’d landed him there. And now it was sacred ground because the aliens were there too. The aliens, the only other intelligent race in the Galaxy … cruel, hideous and repulsive monsters.
Contact had been made with them near the center of the Galaxy, after the slow, difficult colonization of a dozen thousand planets; and it had been war at sight; they’d shot without even trying to negotiate, or to make peace.
Now, planet by bitter planet, it was being fought out.
He was wet and muddy and hungry and cold, and the day was raw with a high wind that hurt his eyes. But the aliens were trying to infiltrate and every sentry post was vital.
He stayed alert, gun ready. Fifty thousand light-years from home, fighting on a strange world and wondering if he’d ever live to see home again.
And then he saw one of them crawling toward him. He drew a bead and fired. The alien made that strange horrible sound they all make, then lay still.
He shuddered at the sound and sight of the alien lying there. One ought to be able to get used to them after a while, but he’d never been able to. Such repulsive creatures they were, with only two arms and two legs, ghastly white skins and no scales.
Posted by Jesse Willis
The SFFaudio Podcast #225 – The Iron Heel by Jack London, read by Matt Soar.
This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (8 Hours 9 Minutes) comes to us courtesy of LibriVox.org. The Iron Heel was first published in 1907.
Posted by Jesse Willis
HALO: The Thursday War
By Karen Traviss, Read by Euan Morton
15 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Themes: / Science Fiction / Video Game Tie-In / Aliens / Artificial Intelligence / War /
This is the second book in the Halo Kilo-Five trilogy by Karen Traviss. It’s 15 hours of thinking you know what is going to happen, only to have it change right before you.
The Glasslands, Book 1 of the trilogy, got us an introduction to ONI’s Admiral Parangosky special black ops team “Kilo-Five”. The Thursday War lets us see more of who they are and how they think. It starts off right where “Glasslands” left off. No time to breath! Kilo-Five has to get back to Sanghelios to rescue one of their own that was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Those of you that play the Halo video games will really enjoy understanding more about where some of the Halo 4 characters come from. You gotta love the AI for Kilo-Five: Black Box or BB for short. Not only does he give a little attitude to the team but he almost has emotional traits and worries like humans. Or Meat Bags as the team calls them.
I give 5 thumbs up to Karen Traviss and her writing style. For me it was like I was the AI in their systems watching, hearing, and feeling their every move. And not only from the Humans but from the Sangheili (Elites). I was able to look at them as another race not just a target on the screen. The kudagra to all of Sanghelios hopes is the mighty UNSC INFINITY, a floating city. That shows the Sangheili they are no longer top dogs.
If you like the Halo universe then you will love The Thursday War, and the audiobook is so much better with the reading by Euan Morton. He is amazing with how he brings the characters out with their voices.
Posted by Mike
Wow! This is the first original to YouTube audiobook I’ve ever heard that I’ve actually really liked! Talkers, by David Longhorn, is a very high quality short story, apparently inspired by In The Abyss by H.G. Wells and “many stories about the Deep Ones” by H.P. Lovecraft.
First published in the journal of A Ghostly Company.
It’s only got 7 views. We must fix that.
Posted by Jesse Willis
Themes: / Fantasy / Epic Fantasy / Attributes / Magic / War /
In Hollywood there’s an old saying: The sequel is never as good as the original. Sadly, the same can be said for book 2 in “The Runelords” series.
It’s a dark book about war and destruction. Characters make choices, for good or ill, that change them. In my opinion, the changes are not always for the better.
I frequently found myself putting the iPod down because I didn’t like where the story was going, only to pick it up again later, hoping the ending would be satisfactory. It wasn’t. It left me feeling dissatisfied, depressed and in need of something that would get rid of the distasteful feeling.
The book reminded me a lot of “The Empire Strikes Back” where the movie ends with Han in Carbonite, Luke with an artificial hand and Vader on the loose. It’s a dark ending with some hope, but a lot of trouble for all the main characters. Or the second Back to the Future movie where I didn’t like the story went and I didn’t like what the characters did.
That’s how I feel about Brotherhood of the Wolf.
However, because I loved book 1 so much, and I know what a brilliant writer David Farland is, I’m going to give Book 3 a chance. And hope that, like many a third movie, it will be much better than the second.
This book is not without its virtues. It’s well written. The plot draws the listener from point to point as the story progresses. It is entertaining, in a dark, brooding sort of way. I just don’t happen to like dark stories. I also don’t like books and movies that make me cry. At many points I was afraid this was going to be one of those books. I was grateful it was not.
Posted by Charlene Harmon
It’s hard to imagine what SFFaudio was reporting on before podcasting started in earnest, around 2005, but we somehow managed pretty well. One such show, which I’ve posted about several times over the years, is Hour25. We don’t report on it much anymore. But to say that Hour25 has podfaded is to get things very wrong – Hour25 had never been podcast and it is still, only just barely, available in MP3 format.
But, Hour25 has had great content, and among the best of it is this recording done for Halloween 2001. I wrote about Night On Mispec Moor by Larry Niven |READ OUR REVIEW| back in 2004. I still like it. It has everything, it’s Military SF, plays out like sword-and-sorcery, technically it’s Science Fiction, but it feels more like fantasy and horror – and it has zombies that don’t suck!
Night On Mispec Moor
By Larry Niven; Read by Warren James
Intro |MP3| Part 1 |MP3|, Part 2 |MP3| – [UNABRIDGED]
Created: October 31, 2001
Tomás Vatch is an “outworld mercenary” who finds himself a lone survivor of his routed army. After fleeing into a moor, his pursuers suddenly stop, they dare not follow him into “Mispec” at night.
And to spice it up all the more, check out these beautiful George Barr illustrations from the first publication in Vertex: The Magazine of Science Fiction, August 1974:
Posted by Jesse Willis