Review of The Twilight Zone No. 1 – The Mighty Casey by Rod Serling

Science Fiction Audiobooks - The Twilight Zone No 1The Twilight Zone No. 1 – The Mighty Casey
By Rod Serling; Read by Fritz Weaver
1 cassette – 75 minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: 1992 – Out Of Print
ISBN: 1559946598
Themes: / Fantasy / Baseball / Robots / Humor /

Submitted for your approval…

Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone is revived for audio in the form of unabridged short stories by Rod Serling. All the stories in this series were previously adapted for the original Twilight Zone television series. This is the first in a series of six single cassette adaptations read by stars of the original series. In this case, Fritz Weaver spins the tale of “The Mighty Casey”, an almost mythical player for that near-mythical sport of baseball. The Brooklyn Dodgers were down in the dumps until tryouts turned up a talented left hander with a pitch like nobody’s business. Casey, the pitcher “with an exceptional left hand”, inspires the tired old players to new glory. They become the team to beat. Everything was swell until Casey gets beaned by a ball. A doctor is summoned and pronounces that Casey is alright, but then the doctor has trouble finding a pulse. It’s soon discovered that Casey is actually a robot and as such does not have a heart!

When thinking of baseball, most people probably associate the name Casey with the Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s 1888 poem “Casey At The Bat”. It’s clear to me that Rod Serling tapped into it for inspiration. “The Mighty Casey” is a very funny story. The dialogue is humorous and the situation is funny too, but it also has a lot of pathos. The story is entertaining but also has that most important of Twilight Zone elements, a twist with a satisfying ending. Fritz Weaver has great fun playing the characters, especially Mouth McGarry, the comic manager of the Dodgers, a character full of deep anxiety and deeper ignorance. This is pretty light material for The Twilight Zone, which often deals with the darker elements of the Human condition. Presented like an actual episode of the television series, there’s the haunting Twilight Zone music and an introduction just like Serling used to make. I actually listened to the tale twice, and I enjoyed it even more the second time around. Overall its a very good start to the series.

Posted by Jesse Willis

CBC Radio Drama: Faster Than Light

Hugo and Nebula award winning author Robert J.Sawyer has just announced the completion of a third pilot for the proposed weekly radio science fiction radio show FASTER THAN LIGHT. Produced by Joe Mahoney and Fergus Heywood for CBC Radio One, the half-hour long program includes:

-An interview with Julie E. Czerneda, one of Canada’s best SF writers

-A mini documentary on aliens in movies

-A short essay by Robet J. Sawyer on “the other” in science fiction

-An original full-cast radio drama based on Richard Matheson’s 1950 short story “Born of Man And Woman”!

Sounds like a real winner. The word is that if the pilot is picked up there could be as many as ten episodes of Faster Than Light broadcast over the summer! We will keep you updated as more information is available, this is really terrific news!

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Have Spacesuit, Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein

Science Fiction Audiobooks - Have Spacesuit Will Travel by Robert A. HeinleinHave Spacesuit, Will Travel
By Robert A. Heinlein; Performed By A Full Cast
8 CDs – 8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Published by Full Cast Audio
Published: 2003
ISBN: 1932076417
Themes: / Science Fiction / Young Adult / The Moon / Galactic Civilization /

One minute Kip Russell was walking about in his backyard, testing out an old space suit and dreaming about going to the Moon — and the next he was out cold, the captive of an insidious space pirate. The whole thing seemed like a bad dream until Kip discovered there were other prisoners on board, and they were all on their way to the Moon — and a fate worse than death!

When Kip Russell wins a runner’s up prize in a soap jingle contest, an intergalactic journey to decide the fate of humanity results. Kip goes from soda jerk to spacesuit winner to alien abductee. Along the way Kip is joined by a pint-sized genius named PeeWee and an empathetic alien known as “the Mother Thing” who together must overcome the alien invaders who want to colonize the Earth. A far-fetched Hard Science Fiction story chock full of pathos and fun! First published in 1958, Have Spacesuit, Will Travel was nominated for a Hugo Award and has steadily remained in print for over 45 years. Though originally marketed as a book for teenage boys, it has found legions of admirers in many other age groups since then. I personally know of a high school English teacher who still uses it to get his students interested in reading! And like most science fiction fans, Robert Heinlein’s juvenile novels hold a special place in my own pantheon of SF novels. They speak to the excitable youth in us like few other books do.

When I heard about this particular adaptation I was skeptical. It uses multiple actors, music, and sound effects – this all sounded more like a radio dramatization to me than a straight reading. I’ve been disappointed by many audio dramatizations, I’ve found they often try to “improve” the text and end up cutting it to shreds. I figure you don’t mess with perfection, its just asking for trouble. Well the folks at FULL CAST AUDIO have messed with perfection and come away like heroes! This is a faithful adaptation. The only differences between a straight unabridged reading and this production are a few attributives, the “he said” and “she saids” that are redundant with either a versatile single performer or a full cast of actors. The acting is uniformly excellent, the original music and special voice effects enhance their performance. In short, this production truly shines. But that’s not all. The attention to detail found in the audio production extends to the fit and finish of the packaging. The original cover art is really great, rivaling the superb Del Rey paperback cover art. The CD case too is remarkable… it’s a new design and I’d never seen anything like it before. It resembles a thick DVD style case, with the CDs stacked and held in place by two durable plastic clamps – a space saving and efficient design that also pleases the eye. This audiobook is pure unpasteurized goodness and I truly hope FULL CAST AUDIO does some more Heinlein juvenile novels just like it. Have FULL CAST AUDIO, will listen!

On ABC Radio Australia! Short Story: March 7,…

On ABC Radio Australia!

Short Story: March 7, 2004 at 8.30am

Real Men

URL: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/arts/sstory/stories/s1041881.htm

by Rosaleen Love

Rosaleen Love is a Melbourne writer who writes on science and technology from a number of angles, including this example of science fantasy – or is it science fact?

Airplay: March 7, 2004 at 3pm

An Eye on Venus

URL: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/arts/airplay/s1041611.htm

by Paul Livingstone

Molly and Reg Winter have been to the shops. As they have done for the past thirty-two years. An Eye On Venus is about an unusual afternoon in their lives. On their way home to Terrigal, Molly and Reg Winter are abducted by aliens. Two very ordinary people, in an extraordinary situation.

Posted by Jesse Willis

KUSP radio broadcasting out of Santa Cruz, Califor…

SFFaudio Online Audio

KUSP radio broadcasting out of Santa Cruz, California has a plethora of science fiction and fantasy author audio interviews available.

Interviewed by Rick Kleffel:

Alastair Reynolds – His webpageInterview

Chuck Palahniuk – His webpageInterview 1Interview 2

Jonathan Carroll – His webpageInterview

Robert Jordan – His webpageInterview

Carter Scholz – Interview

Cory Doctorow – His webpageInterview

Alan Dutschman – His webpageInterview

Ira Sher – Interview

Margaret Weis – Her webpageInterview

Christopher Moore – His webpageInterview

Douglas Coupland – His webpageInterview

Dan Simmons – His webpageInterview

Terry Goodkind – His webpageInterview

Mary Roach – Interview

James Barclay – His webpageInterview

Charles de Lint – His webpageInterview

Terry Pratchett – His webpageInterview

John Shirley – His webpageInterview

Posted by Jesse Willis