A brand new podcast has willed itself into exist…

A brand new podcast has willed itself into existence. It has an eminently logical premise and this makes me think it’s argument will be quite sound. If you’re skeptical you can validate this for yourself by checking it out…

The Sci Phi Show is a podcast dedicated to philosophy in Science Fiction. In my experience it wasn’t until very recently that most professional philosophers realized that philosophical content was actually to be found in science fiction literature. It has only the spate of recent films based on Philip K. Dick novels and The Matrix that have changed this.

You can visit The Sci Phi Show‘s website HERE. It doesn’t turn up on an iTunes search yet but hopefully that will change very soon.

Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award winning aut…

Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award winning author Neil Gaiman, who is on tour promoting his latest novel Anansi Boys and his new film Mirrormask, was interviewed on WNYC Radio’s The Leonard Lopate Show on Thursday, September 29th 2005. You can download the MP3 of that interview HERE.

Gaiman was also in Australia recently (July 2005) and the State Library of Victoria has posted three MP3s of the talk he gave there. He explains about his varied career, reads from Anansi Boys and answers questions from the audience. You can download all three segments:

Blogger, journalist and science fiction author C…

SFFaudio News

Blogger, journalist and science fiction author Cory Doctorow is now podcasting his fiction! Cory writes, “I’ve finally started podcasting! I love reading my stuff aloud, but it’s not practical for me to find quiet places to sit down with a mic and a Powerbook and record. So the idea is that I’m going to record my stories in serial form from wherever I am: hotel rooms, friends’ sofas, airport lounges, whatever, and post ’em.” You can subscribe to the feed here, or download individual installments as MP3s here. The podcast is also available through iTunes. To kick things off he’s reading from a novelette-in-progress entitled After the Siege.

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 4 has just broadcast Zoran Zivkovic’s …

SFFaudio Online Audio

BBC Radio 4 has just broadcast Zoran Zivkovic‘s The Train. Which was first published in INTERZONE in 2000. Zoran Zivkovic is a World Fantasy Award winning author. This was the fourth in a series of five short stories on BBC Radio 4‘s Afternoon Reading collected under the heading “Opening Lines” which is billed as “A showcase of cutting-edge, contemporary writing”. It is archived for a limited time, likely just a 24 hours HERE.

The Train
By Zoran Zivkovic; Read by Roger Hallum
ONLINE AUDIO – 14 Minutes – [UNABRIDGED]
Broadcast: September 29th 2005
Bropadcaster: BBC Radio 4
A bank manager is travelling to an important meeting where he will announce whether or not his bank will grant a substantial loan to a new company. He’s mulling over the risks involved when he meets God, who reveals that he will provide the answer to a single question. The man can’t believe his good luck and asks God to solve his bank loan dilemma.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Ender’s Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition by Orson Scott Card

Science Fiction Audiobooks - Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir, David Birney and a FULL CAST
9 CDs – 10.5 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Published: 2004
ISBN: 1593974744
Themes: / Science Fiction / War / Children / Military / Politics / Spaceships / Space Station / Aliens /

Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin isn’t just playing games at Battle School; he and the other children are being tested and trained in Earth’s attempt to find the military genius that the planet needs in its all-out war with an alien enemy. Ender Wiggin is six years old when his training begins. He will grow up fast. Ender’s two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world–if the world survives.

Many male children covet uniforms and the manly art of war – and on the surface that is what Ender’s Game appears to be about, a wish-fulfillment novel for the pre-teen set. But it isn’t only that. Science Fiction is an accumulative literature, perhaps more so than any other kind. Good creations stick in SF and accumulate and grow. Robots once invented, need not be reinvented. Faster than light travel, time travel or Asimov’s “three laws” are tools which once created need not be ignored as outside the scope of another SF novel, quite the contrary in fact. Simply ask yourself; in what other literature could a constructed story device like an “ansible” (invented by Ursula K. Le Guin in 1966 but used in Ender’s Game) be mentioned without renaming it? But it is not just the story props that SF shares, the concepts and themes of science fiction can never be fully appreciated in isolation. Every science fiction story is in dialogue with another.

Ender’s Game is especially engaged with two other superlative science fiction novels that preceded it, namely Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers and Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, and like those two masterpieces of science fiction Ender’s Game has something new and unique to say. Whereas Starship Troopers can be viewed as the relationship between a teenager’s individualism and his relationship to society (a neo-Hobbesian social contract concept typical of mid-career Heinlien), and The Forever War as a discussion of that same relationship but with a college aged young man and his more skeptical worldview (the post Vietnam influence) Ender’s Game engages neither an adult’s nor a teen’s relationship to his society its war. Instead Ender’s Game is that relationship from a child’s perspective. It is also, paradoxically, not a grunt’s view of a war, as was the case with both Heinlein’s and Haldeman’s novels, but rather is about how the supreme commander of an interstellar war is created.

Orson Scott Card has not ignored the disconnect between a child’s desire to play at war and the brutal cost of killing, and the burden of ultimate responsibility. We primarily follow Ender and his classmates as they train to command Earth’s military in a genocidal war against a hostile alien threat, but the parallel story of his two siblings back on Earth compels equally. Each character in this novel is in a chess match of emotional and philosophical conflict with one another and their society. There are a few better hard science fiction stories, and a few better soft science fiction stories, but there are fewer science fiction stories as well constructed and emotionally satisfying as this one.

The 20th anniversary of the novel’s re-publication brought about this audiobook. It is regrettable that the cover art of this edition is as generic as it is because the folks at Audio Renaissance have quite literally have brought greatness to the text. They’ve included an introduction and a postscript read by Card himself, both of which place the novel and the audiobook in its context as well as enlightening us to the author’s method of its construction. Multiple readers lead by Stefan Rudnicki work perfectly to vocally illustrate each chapter, character and scene. Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle De Cuir, David Birney and the rest of the readers have given us an audiobook perfectly rendered. In what is the pattern for the Enderverse novels adapted for Audio Renaissance readers trade off at the ends of chapters, and when two unplaced voices are unattributed – except by what they actually say – two actors engage in conversation. Multi voiced readings have never been better.

And so it is with great pleasure that we enter this Special 20th Anniversary edition of Ender’s Game as the first into the ranks of the SFFaudio Essential audiobooks.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The ::overclocked:: podcast

SFFaudio News

The ::overclocked:: podcast is waycool. Though it covers tech, science and lots of other things it is the “sci-fi” content that interests us most. Far more intellectual than nearly every other non-fiction podcasts that talks about science fiction ::overclocked:: doesn’t dwell on TV and movies as much as concepts and developments in modern Science Fiction literature. The man behind this cool Seattle based podcast is Bluejack, he’s also a contributing editor to the The Internet Review Of Science Fiction. Three ::overclocked:: podcasts defintely worth listening to are listed below:

The Singularity
Show #024
: The Singularity has been one of the most challenging new ideas in science fiction: challenging for writers to approach in interesting ways, as well as a challenge to everyone’s beliefs about the significance of humanity. This show discusses some of the specifics of Vinge’s idea, and presents some objections. It also takes a quick look at what the concept has meant for science fiction.

Post Humans
Show #017: Science Fiction has long explored ideas about the next step in human evolution: steps that we will consciously choose; science isn’t quite catching up on all fronts, but scientists are undermining the very notion of consciousness.

Genre Purists
Show #006
Reading stuff that might or might not be in the spirit of science fiction (or related genres) brings some new insight to bear on the age-old topic, debated by Genre Purists everywhere, of what is science fiction? Or what should it be?