2nd Annual SFFaudio Challenge – Make an Audiobook get an Audiobook

SFFaudio Commentary

SFFaudio’s Make An Audiobook Win An Audiobook Challenge #2The SFFaudio Challenge # 2

We’re back with more FREE AUDIOBOOKS, but in order to get em, you have to work.

At SFFaudio we love UNABRIDGED Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror audiobooks. So we’re going to make you create them. There’s a goldmine of new public domain content available in etext form, but not so much on audio, so comes our 2nd Annual SFFaudio Challenge! Last year’s Challenge netted listeners around the world six previously unrecorded audiobooks. And just like last year’s challenge the 2008 Challenge is designed to prompt burgeoning narrators to record speculative fiction audiobooks that have not yet been released by audiobook publishers.

Remaining Official Challenge Titles:

Beyond The Black River (A Conan Tale)
By Robert E. Howard
|Gutenberg Project Australia|
Beyond The Black River first appeared in 2-part serial form in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in the May and June 1935 issues. Set, as with all the Conan tales, in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age (12,000 years ago) it concerns Conan fighting the savage Hyborian Picts in the unsettled lands beyond the infamous Black River that borders the mightiest kingdom of the Hyborian age, Aquilonia. It is considered an undisputed classic Conan tale and often cited as one of Howard’s best stories.

***CLAIMED BY Morgan Sterling Saletta on NOV. 13th 2008***The Hour Of The Dragon (A Conan Novel)
By Robert E. Howard
|Gutenberg Project Australia|
This, Howard’s only novel, (aka Conan the Conqueror) first appeared as a serial in WEIRD TALES magazine, spread over 5 issues from late 1935 to mid 1936. It takes place when Conan is about forty-five, during his reign as King of Aquilonia, and follows a plot by a group of conspirators to depose him in favor of the heir to Conan’s predecessor who Conan killed to gain the throne. There’s a bit of romance in this one too!

By Philip Wylie
|Arthur’s Classic Novels|
Hugo Danner is a man different from you and me, his scientist father gave him an incredible gift of strength, which isolated him early in life, the novel is his search for his place in the world. It is considered the inspiration for the character Superman and therefore all superhero stories.

The Dark World
By Henry Kuttner
|Arthur’s Classic Novels|
A 1946 novel about an immortal with amnesia who gains a conscience, has a power struggle with sharply defined and overtly color-schemed characters. Dolloped with generous bloodshed and swordplay, on a planet that is a mixture of Earth and some otherworldly place. Sounds like Zelazny’s Amber books doesn’t it? Indeed, The Dark World influenced Roger Zelazny’s better know novels.

***CLAIMED BY KURT LaRUE on NOV. 11th 2007***
The Time Axis
By Henry Kuttner
|Arthur’s Classic Novels|
The story of four adventurers from the 20th century who face a power of ultimate destruction at the end of time. This was published as an Ace paperback in 1965 but the original magazine publication was in the January 1949 issue of Startling Stories. This is a story of time travel, matter transmitters and “Mechandroids”. Makes use of the Banach-Tarski paradox.

The Valley Of The Flame
By Henry Kuttner (writing as Keith Hammond)
|Arthur’s Classic Novels|
A short 1946 novel, 96 pages long. Henry Kuttner’s groundbreaking Fantasy work of time, warriors, women and cats. Kuttner’s writing depicts another world, with a warrior race and man-beings who cannot stand a woman appointed to rule them: Raft wasn’t an imaginative man. He left all that to Dan Craddock, with his Welsh ghosts and his shadow-people of the lost centuries. Still, Raft was a doctor, and when those drums throbbed in the jungle something curious happened here in his little hospital of plastic shacks, smelling of antiseptic.

Last And First Men
By Olaf Stapledon
|Gutenberg Project Australia|
A work of unprecedented scale, it describes the history of humanity from the present onwards across two billion years and eighteen distinct human species, of which our own is the first and most primitive. The story follows a repetitive cycle, with many different civilizations rising from and descending back into savagery, but it is also one of progress, as the later civilizations rise to far greater heights than the first. The book anticipates genetic engineering, and the idea of superminds composed of many telepathically-linked individuals.

***CLAIMED BY SCOTT CLOUS on OCT. 28th 2008***
By Olaf Stapledon
|Gutenberg Project Australia|
A 1944 novel about a dog artificially developed to have superhuman intelligence. Eminently suitable for someone with a British accent.

Last Men in London
By Olaf Stapledon
|Gutenberg Project Australia|
When I am in your world and your epoch I remember often a certain lonely place in my own world, and in the time that I call present. It is a comer where the land juts out into the sea as a confusion of split rocks, like a herd of monsters crowding into the water. Another one where an English accent would be an asset.

Police Your Planet
By Lester del Rey
|Project Gutenberg|

The Wailing Asteroid
By Murray Leinster
First published in 1960. I’ve read the paperback of this one, it is quite fun.

Space Prison (AKA The Survivors)
By Tom Godwin
This one sounds like a winner, A race of humans inadequate to be kept as slaves are left by their captors to perish on an barren and harsh planet. As they die from fever, animal attacks, starvation and sheer stress all that is left to keep the remnant going is the desire for an impossible revenge. Published 1958.

***CLAIMED BY REG PLATT and TEXAS RADIO THEATRE on MARCH 24th 2008***Lone Star Planet
By John Joseph McGuire and H. Beam Piper
Perfect for a narrator with, or who can manufacture, a Texan accent! Winner of a Prometheus Award for Best Classic Libertarian SF Novel. A tongue-in-cheek tale features a planet full of Texans whose dinosaur-sized cattle have to be herded with tanks, and whose system of government derives its character from H.L. Mencken’s essay The Malevolent Jobholder.

Man Of Many Minds
By E. Everett Evans
Originally published in 1953 by Fantasy Press.

Spell of Catastrophe
By Mayer Brenner
A mid-sized funny fantasy novel from 1987 (our only Creative Commons title so far). Because of the Creative Commons license (Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0) this can’t be released commercially. Bear that in mind before claiming this title in our challenge.

Above are listed the official selections, any one of which, completed promptly, will garner the producer an audiobook a chance for their choice of a Challenge Prize. But, we’ve got a few rules…

1. In order to participate you’ll need to contact me fist, explain which of the titles you’d like to narrate, set a tentative schedule for completion. I will then mark the entry as “claimed”. After the claim has been made you will need to actually release the recording to receive a prize (and the admiration of SFFaudio listeners). Recordings must be by single individuals, unabridged and available to the public, either for free and/or purchase.

2. I cannot absolutely confirm that these titles will be out of copyright in your country. We believe them all (except the single creative commons one) to be public domain in all the major English speaking countries of Earth. Any audiobook produced and released in good faith will be eligible for a prize. If after completing a project you find evidence to the contrary you are still eligible to win a prize. In such cases, where a completed audiobook cannot be publicly released for copyright reasons, you’ll still need to prove to me that it was actually completed and of course fufill all the other eligibility requirements (namely being the creation of an unabridged single voiced narration by a single individual of one of the titles in the Challenge).

3. Entries are judged only upon completion and release. If release is in the form of a serial posting on a server, by podcast or however, the audiobook will not be deemed completed until the entire story, novella, novelette or novel has been posted. Completion time is judged by notification in my email showing where it can be immediately downloaded and or physical receipt of proof of completion (CDs, MP3-CD, etc.) along with evidence that it is available for purchase.

3. The release may be through LibriVox, Podiobooks.com, any other website, your own – or someone else’s podcast, through audible.com or on commercially available CDs or an mp3-cd (or anywhere else available to the public). You can make your recording public domain, like many challengers did last year, or release it commercially. We don’t care how you release it, just that it gets released.

4. In order to qualify for a Challenge Prize you’ll need to get me a copy of the audiobook and show its availability to others – in other words it must actually be released and be shown to be released. Prize winners are judged based on the time of release, not the time you get a copy to me. So, if you’re planning on releasing a complete novel, and you want to spread the podcast of it over six months, your entry will be eligible only after the final chapter is released. If you plan on selling it in a retail chain, or website, great, but until someone can actually buy it your audiobook is not considered “released.”

5. Prizes are given out on a first released, first choice basis. Once our official prizes are exhausted we will probably not be able to furnish a challenger with a prize. But, we have lots of prizes! Prizes will be sent via mail to any address in the world.

6. In the case of two or more Challengers releasing a project on the same day precedence will be determined by the timestamp on the email I receive.

7. A few words about copyright. Here are some rules we used in compiling this Official Challenge Titles list: In Canada: Copyright expires 50 years after the author’s death (50 years ‘post mortem auctoris’). In the USA: All copyrights prior to 1923 have expired. Stories written between the years 1923-1963 the expiration of that copyright is 28 years if the copyright was not renewed. If copyright was renewed, works copyrighted between the years 1923-1963 are still under copyright for an additional 95 years. All works copyrighted between 1964-1977 are copyrighted for 95 years. All works copyrighted between the years 1978 and 2007 are copyrighted for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. Australia: Copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death or 50 years after the author’s death if that death occurred prior to 1955. The United Kingdom: Copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death.

8. There is one creative commons title on this year’s list. Unlike the others this title cannot be released as a copyrighted audiobook. A creative commons release is required. For more details on creative commons click HERE.

9. SFFaudio reserves the right to revise the rules and strike titles from the Challenge Titles list as necessary.

10. As Steve Eley is so fond of saying… “Have fun.


11. As per rule 9 there is a new rule. A claimant must complete and release their claimed title prior to making another claim. The only exception to this is Paul Mannering’s claim of Beyond The Black River. Mannering claimed a second title before rule 11 existed. [rule 11 added on December 20th 2007]


A special thanks goes out to all our PRIZE SPONSORS: Infinivox, Buzzy Multimedia, Blackstone Audiobooks, The HPLHS, Brilliance Audiobooks and Wonder Audiobooks. These are the wonderful prizes they’ve sent us to send you:

Dark Adventure Radio Theatre Presents: H.P. Lovecraft's At The Mountains Of MadnessDark Adventure Radio Theatre Presents: H.P. Lovecraft’s
“At The Mountains Of Madness”

Based on the novel by H.P. Lovecraft; FULL CAST
1 CD – 75 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society (HPLHS)
Published: 2007
Bringing Lovecraft’s tale to life as it might have been adapted for radio during his lifetime. In the style of The War Of The Worlds and The Shadow. The CD comes with clippings from a 1930s newspaper chronicling the expedition’s progress in the Antarctic and reproductions of photographs of the ancient city taken by Danforth and Dyer which corroborate their findings. There’s even a reproduction from Danforth’s sketchbook, depicting the Elder Things and their fantastical murals. And of course it’s beautifully produced and packaged with the same deranged attention to detail that you’ll find in other HPLHS products.

Science Fiction Audiobook - A Colder War by Charles StrossA Colder War
By Charles Stross; Read by Pat Bottino
1 CD – 80 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Infinivox
Published: 2005
ISBN: 1884612482
Roger Jourgensen has the same feeling now, as an adult reading this intelligent assessment, that he had as a child, watching the nuclear powered bombers sleeping in their concrete beds. There’s a blurry photograph of a sleeping giant pointed at NATO, more terrifying than any nuclear weapon. SIGNED by CHARLES STROSS!!!

Infinivox Audiobook - Lobsters by Charles StrossLobsters
By Charles Stross; Read by Shodra Marie and Jared Doreck
1 CD – Approx. 70 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Infinivox
Published: 2005
ISBN: 1884612466
Themes: / Science Fiction /Technology / Love / Politics /
Manfred Macx comes up with ideas a that will make strangers rich. He does this for free. In return he has virtual immunity from the tyranny of cash. There are drawbacks. The IRS is investigating him because they don’t believe his lifestyle can exist without racketeering. The Southern Baptists Conventions have denounced him as a minion of Satan. And his dominatrix left him for reasons he’s uncertain on. SIGNED by CHARLES STROSS!!!

Science Fiction Audiobook - Antibodies by Charles StrossAntibodies
By Charles Stross; Read by Jared Doreck and Shondra Marie
1 CD – 54 Minutes 16 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Infinivox
Published: 2005
ISBN: 1884612474
Themes: / Science Fiction / Singularity / Conspiracy / Artificial Intelligence / Parallel Worlds /Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when a member of the great and the good is assassinated. You can kill a politician but their ideas usually live on. They have a life of their own. How much more dangerous, then, the ideas of mathematicians? SIGNED by CHARLES STROSS!!!

Local Customs by Sharon Lee and Steve MillerLocal Custom
By Sharon Lee and Steve Miller; Read by Michael Shanks
8 CDs – Approx. 10.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Buzzy Multimedia
Published: 2005
ISBN: 096572557X (CDs)
“Each person shall provide his Clan of origin with a child of his blood, who will be raised by the Clan and belong to the Clan, despite whatever may later occur to place the parent beyond the Clan’s authority. And this shall be Law for every person of every Clan.”

Science Fiction Audiobook - Eifelheim by Michael FlynnEifelheim
By Michael Flynn; Read by Anthony Heald
14 CD, 17.5 hrs – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9781433206115
In 1349, one small town in Germany disappeared and was never resettled. Tom, a contemporary historian, and his theoretical physicist girlfriend, Sharon, become interested. By all logic, the town should have survived, but it didn’t. Why? What was special about Eifelheim that it utterly disappeared more than 600 years ago? A winner of the Robert A. Heinlein Award and a Hugo Nominee!

Fantasy Audiobook - Dark Lord by Ed GreenwoodDark Lord: Book One of the Falconfar Saga
By Ed Greenwood; Read by Christopher Lane
11 CDs – 14 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9781423348917
When he mysteriously finds himself drawn into a world of his own devising, writer Rod Everlar is confronted by a shocking truth – he has lost control of his creation to a brooding cabal of evil. In order to save his creation – and himself – he must seize control of Falconfar and halt the spread of corruption before it’s too late. Dark Lord is the first epic installment in The Falconfar Saga from bestselling author Ed Greenwood.

Audiobook - Anthropological NoteAnthropological Note
By Murray Leinster; Read by Tara Platt
1 MP3 – 54 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audiobooks
Published: 2007
Miss Cummings, a female anthropologist, is set down in the middle of a Venusian Krug village to study the alien culture…

Audiobook - Beyond Lies the Wub and the Hanging StrangersBeyond Lies the Wub & The Hanging Stranger
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Mac Kelly
1 MP3 – 47 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audiobooks
Published: 2007
A trading spaceship often has to carry unusual cargo. But none as strange as the blubberous pig-like alien known as the wub….

Audiobook - Coming AttractionComing Attraction
By Fritz Leiber; Read by Paul Jenkins
1 MP3 – 29 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audiobooks
Published: 2007
In a future New York City, an Englishman saves a girl from a speeding coupe with fish hooks on its fender…

Audiobook - The Wind People by Marion Zimmer BradleyThe Wind People
1 MP3 – 51 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audiobooks
Published: 2007
To save her newborn son, Dr. Helen Murray has to remain behind on an alien world….


The Blue Tower by Evelyn E. SmithThe Blue Tower
By Evelyn E. Smith; Read by Betsie Bush
Completed: November 30th 2007
1 |MP3| Approx. 34.5 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Claimed: November 18th 2007
Completed: November 30th 2007
The Belphins came from the stars, they are the caretakers of humanity – but not everyone thinks they should rule.

Queen Of The Black Coast by Robert E. HowardQueen Of The Black Coast (A Conan Novelette)
By Robert E. Howard; Read by Bill Hollweg
Claimed: November 15th 2007
Completed: Dec 12th 2007
In the seacoast kingdom of Argos, after a brush with the Hyborian legal system, Conan hops aboard a southward bound ship. Off the coasts of Kush the ship is boarded by black corsairs under the Shemitish she-devil, Bêlit. Conan joins her crew, becomes her consort, and for a long time they harry the Hyborian and Stygian ports. During this stage of his career, Conan gains the name of Amra, the Lion, which is to follow him throughout his later life.

Audiobook - Red Nails by Robert E. HowardRed Nails – A Tale Of Conan
By Robert E. Howard; Read by Mark Kalita
Claimed: November 20th 2007
Completed: January 6th 2008
“Red Nails, a tale featuring the legendary Conan the Barbarian, was written by Robert E. Howard and began its written serialization in the July 1936 issue of Weird Tales. This thrilling audio novella begins with pirate-adventuress Valeria of the Red Brotherhood on the run after slaying a notable brigand. She is followed by Conan and the two soon fight their way to a great, walled city inhabited by two warring peoples. The adventure seekers soon find themselves embroiled in the feud and mayhem ensues as the city’s rulers make unholy plans for the mighty Cimmerian and his feisty female companion. Listen now as an ancient evil returns from oblivion and a wicked sorceress seeks to gain immortality at the cost of our Hyborian heroes!”

Science Fiction podiobook - Time Crime by H. Beam PiperTime Crime
By H. Beam Piper; Read by Nathan Lowell
Podiobook – Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Podiobooks.com
Published: March 2008
“The Paratime Police had a real headache this time! Tracing one man in a population of millions is easy—compared to finding one gang hiding out on one of billions of probability lines! This story from 1955 has rocket ships, time travel, slaves, post-hypnotic suggestions, drugged citizens, and a complete disregard for human rights. And those are the good guys. As a look back in time at “classic” science fiction, it’s an interesting snapshot of a time when tobacco was common, sexism was unconscious, and female characters were a long way from Lara Croft.”

Science Fiction Audiobook - Rebels Of The Red Planet by Charles L. FontenayRebels Of The Red Planet
By Charles L. Fontenay; Read by Paul Campbell
18 MP3 Files – 5 Hours 54 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Cossmass Productions / Podiobooks.com
Published: December 2007 – April 2008
MARS FOR THE MARTIANS! Dark Kensington had been dead for twenty-five years. It was a fact; everyone knew it. Then suddenly he reappeared, youthful, brilliant, ready to take over the Phoenix, the rebel group that worked to overthrow the tyranny that gripped the settlers on Mars. The Phoenix had been destroyed not once, not twice, but three times! But this time the resurrected Dark had new plans, plans which involved dangerous experiments in mutation and psionics. And now the rebels realized they were in double jeopardy. Not only from the government’s desperate hatred of their movement, but also from the growing possibility that the new breed of mutated monsters would get out of hand and bring terrors never before known to man.

Subscribe to the podcast feed:


Legacy by James H. SchmitzLegacy
By James H. Schmitz; Read by Maureen O’Brien
29 Zipped MP3 Files – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Maria Lectrix
Podcast: January 2008 – July 2008
Strange ancient machines possessing vast power have been discovered. Ruthless people want to control them. Governments, industries, and universities claw for jurisdiction, and scientists for discoveries and status. Trigger Argee just wants to go home and see her boyfriend — but first, she’s got a lot of mess to sort out.

LibriVox Science Fiction Audiobook - Space Viking by H. Beam PiperSpace Viking
By H. Beam Piper; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
10 Zipped MP3s or Podcast – Approx. 7.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 6th 2008
A galactic war has left the Terran Federation in ruins. Formerly civilized planets have decivilized into barbarism. Space Vikings roam the wreckage, plundering and killing for gain. Lord Lucas Trask of Traskon was no admirer of the Space Vikings, but when murder takes his wife on his wedding day, Trask trades everything he has for his own Space Viking ship and sets out on a galaxy-wide quest for revenge.

Here’s the podcast feed:


Librivox Science Fiction Audiobook - Space Tug by Murray LeinsterSpace Tug
By Murray Leinster; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
11 Zipped MP3s or Podcast – 6 Hours 18 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: September 16th, 2008
Joe Kenmore heard the airlock close with a sickening wheeze and then a clank. In desperation he turned toward Haney. “My God, we’ve been locked out!” Through the transparent domes of their space helmets, Joe could see a look of horror and disbelief pass across Haney’s face. But it was true! Joe and his crew were locked out of the Space Platform. Four thousand miles below circled the Earth. Under Joe’s feet rested the solid steel hull of his home in outer space. But without tools there was no hope of getting back inside. Joe looked at his oxygen meter. It registered thirty minutes to live.

Subscribe to the podcast:


LibriVox Fantasy Audiobook - The Wood Beyond The World by William MorrisThe Wood Beyond the World
By William Morris; Read by Cori Samuel
12 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 5 Hours 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: October 9th, 2008
The Wood Beyond The World is a fantasy novel by William Morris, perhaps the first modern fantasy writer to unite an imaginary world with the element of the supernatural, and thus the precursor of much of present-day fantasy literature. His use of archaic language has been seen by some modern readers as making his fiction difficult to read, but brings a wonderful atmosphere to the telling. Morris considered his fantasies a revival of the medieval tradition of chivalrous romances. In consequence, they tend to have sprawling plots of strung-together adventures. In this story, Walter leaves his father and his own unfaithful wife and sets sail in search of adventure. This he finds aplenty, encountering love, treachery and magic in the Wood of the title and travelling through the Mountains of the Folk of the Bears. But can he find happiness and peace by means of this Quest?

Podcast feed:


Fantasy / Horror Audiobook - The Cairn on the Headland by Robert E. HowardThe Cairn on the Headland
By Robert E. Howard; Read by David Drage
Podcaster: Dial P For Pulp
Podcast: March 2008
What lies beneath the stone cairn on the headland of Clontarf, where the Christian Irish defeated the pagan Vikings in pitched battle a thousand years ago? An unscrupulous extortionist plans to uncover the secret. First published in the January 1933 issue of Strange Tales of Mystery And Terror magazine.

Posted by Jesse Willis

42 thoughts to “2nd Annual SFFaudio Challenge – Make an Audiobook get an Audiobook”

  1. Jparris, that’s a very interesting suggestion. It appears the novel is creative commons! Which means someone could make a non-commercial audiobook of it. COOL!

  2. Cool! Mark, that’s so awesome! I’ll contact you about an estimated completion date and a tentative release method by email.

  3. Mark, you are the king! I’ll send you an email asking about an estimated completion date and such for Space Viking (which I think has the best title of all the SFFaudio Challenge titles). And, in the meantime, start looking at the prizes, as soon as LibriVox posts Space Tug, one of them will be yours to choose.

  4. Cori Samuel has just completed The Wood Beyond The World by William Morris.

    I described it as:

    A late 19th century (1894) fantasy, a very short book a small but major fantasy book by important early fantasy author. It has a unique near-poetic feel. But be forewarned it has pseudo-archaic language that may be a very serious challenge for its narrator.

    It took nearly 11 months but it’s done, for all mankind! Great job Cori!

    Check it out here…


  5. Scott Clous is aiming to complete his newly claimed SIRIUS (by Olaf Stapledon) in just 4 weeks and release it via Podiobooks.com! COOL!

  6. Sonny points out that Spell Of Catastrophe by Mayer Brenner is available on the authior’s website! So, I’m removing it from the challenge.

  7. Hi,

    I’d like to claim the Conan novel, The Hour Of The Dragon. I plan to record about 5 pages a week for completion at the end of January (allowing a week or so of vacation).


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