Review of The Magic Tree House Collection by Mary Pope Osborne

SFFaudio Audiobook Review

Audiobook - The Magic Tree House Collection, read by Mary Pope OsbourneThe Magic Tree House Collection
By Mary Pope Osborne; Read by Mary Pope Osborne
5 CDs – 5 Hours 40 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Listening Library
Published: 2001
ISBN: 0807206121
Themes: / Fantasy / Children’s Fantasy / Time Travel / Magic / Dragons / Knights / Pirates / Prehistoric /

This delightful children’s fantasy series features Jack and Annie. They’re siblings that find a tree house full of books. By opening the books the children are transported across time and space. This collection contains the first eight books of this popular kids series. In each book the children find themselves going to a different place. The books contained in this audiobook are:

1. Dinosaurs Before Dark
2. The Knight at Dawn
3. Mummies in the Morning
4. Pirates Past Noon
5. Night of the Ninjas
6. Afternoon on the Amazon
7. Sunset of the Sabertooth
8. Midnight on the Moon

Each book’s setting contains the tropes you’d expect to find. So in Pirates Past Noon, for instance, you have pirates, sailing ships, booty and treasure maps. There are story arc’s that stretches over a number of the books. The first concerns—who is the owner of the Magic Tree House.

Mary Pope Osbourne does a wonderful job of narration. Her pacing is excellent and her voice characterization are right on the mark. She has a gentle, soothing voice that children will love.

If you know or have a young person, of about five to ten years old, that you want to turn on to audiobooks, this audio collection is a perfect introduction. For my eight year old, we used it as part of our bedtime story ritual. I’ve bought the books so we can read along some nights. Other nights we take turns reading the books out loud.

Scatterpod presents The Dead Light District

SFFaudio Online Audio

{Podcast / Scatterpod}Scatterpod is umbrella podcast of a variety of audio projects from the creative mind of Michael Bekemeyer. An ongoing genre-blurring serial (Horror, Fantasy and SF) called The Dead Light District is now up to episode 12. I recently ask Michael to tell me about the series. This is what he had to say:

At first ScatterPod was going to be a place for me to be able to do any kind of podcast I wanted to do. I opted for a podcast where I could experiment and try things to see if they worked for me, or if they would interest other people as well. So, that’s where the name came from, ScatterPod, like scatterbrained. You know, all over the place.

But out of the idea for trying new and different things, I decided to podcast some original fiction. So, then came The Dead Light District. I am a filmmaker and predominantly spend most of my time writing screenplays. But, sometimes the trek between film projects is a a lengthy one and I wanted to write smaller, more narrative type short stories, if anything, just to keep the writing muscle in shape. Sort of like a weekly writing assignment. It’s great bouncing ideas about with my wife, Michelle. She has some great input on the show.

What came out was like nothing I had ever written before and I turned out to be a lot of fun writing these dark speculative tales about this sad place where strange and unexplainable things always seem to happen. I started out with what eventually became Chapter 1 and went from there. After a couple chapters, I had season one pretty much mapped out and am starting to map out season two right now. I try to make the presentation of the chapters a little more experimental as well. I don’t like doing the same thing over and over and over again. So, I started out fixing that by having some guest readers from podcasts I admire and from friends of mine that I thought might have an interesting spin on the a chapter. I’m still planning some of those, but mostly the chapters will be in my voice.

Overall ScatterPod and The Dead Light District are extremely satisfying to create and produce and we hope that people are having as much fun listening to them as we are working on them.

You can subscribe to the Scatterpod and The Dead Light District by pasting this line in your favorite podcatching device:

And for iTunes

Billibub Baddings Podcast Novel– Special Preview

SFFaudio Online Audio

{Podcast / Podiobook - Billibub Baddings And The Case Of The Singing Sword by Tee MorrisA special preview by Tee Morris of his book, Billibub Baddings And The Case Of The Singing Sword. This podcast novel is scheduled to appear on Podiobooks in February. But Tee is giving a special holiday gift to his fans.

Tee’s podcast The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy is offering up this 53:22 beginning of this podcast novel with a Dwarf named Billibub Baddings in gangland Chicago.

Download the [MP3]

or subscribe to the The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy by pasting this line in your favorite podcatching device:

Kate Fleming dies tragically at her home

SFFaudio News

Audiobook narrator - Kate FlemingKate Fleming

Kate Fleming who may be better known to audiobook listeners as Anna Fields, died tragically at her home in Seattle on December 14th. When flash floods hit her home, Kate was moving audio equipment out of her basement. Apparently the basement’s walls collapsed, trapping Kate.

Kate took her professional name, Anna Fields, from her great grandmother who was a professional actress. As Anna Fields, she recorded over 250 audiobooks. She was nominated numerous times for the prestigious Audie award. She won the Audie award in 2004 for All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki.

She was a great talent and will sadly be missed.

Please send any special thoughts and remembrances to [email protected]. They will be appreciated by Kate’s family and her partner of nine years, Charlene Strong.

Recent Arrivals

Science Fiction Audiobook Recent Arrivals

Science Fiction Audiobook - Draco Tavern by Larry NivenDraco Tavern
By Larry Niven; Read by Tom Weiner
5 CDs – Aprox. 6 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2006
ISBN: 9780786159475

When a tremendous spacecraft took orbit around Earth’s moon and began sending smaller landers down toward the North Pole, the newly arrived visitors quickly set up a permanent spaceport in Siberia. Their presence attracted many, and a few grew conspicuously rich from secrets they learned from talking to the aliens. One of these men, Rick Schumann, established a tavern catering to all the various species of visiting aliens, a place he named the Draco Tavern.

27 stories and vignettes collected for the first time in one volume.

Science Fiction Audiobook - Songmaster by Orson Scott CardSongmaster
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
10 CDs – Aprox. 12.5 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2006
ISBN: 9780786178421

Kidnapped at an early age, Ansset has been raised in isolation at a mystical retreat called the Songhouse. His life is filled with music, and having only songs for companions, he develops a voice that is unlike any other. But Ansset’s voice is both a blessing and a curse—for it reflects all the hopes and fears of his audience, and, by magnifying their emotions, can be used either to heal or to destroy.
When it is discovered that his is the voice that the Emperor has waited decades for, Ansset is summoned to the Imperial Palace on Old Earth. Many fates rest in Ansset’s hands, and his songs will soon be put to the test: either to salve the troubled conscience of a conqueror or drive him, and the universe, into mad chaos.

One of Orson Scott Card’s favorite themes; a child’s protagonist coming-of-age story. One Orson’s earliest books and it’s beautifully/frighteningly effective.

Science Fiction Audiobook - Hitchhiker's Guide, Quintessential PhaseHitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Quintessiential Phase
By Douglas Adams; Performed by FULL CAST
2 CDs – length 2:26 [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Published: 2005
ISBN: 0792738586

Panic! It’s the last ever instalment of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, with a brand new full-cast dramatisation of Mostly Harmless, the final book in Douglas Adams’s famous “trilogy in five parts.” A stolen ship, a dramatic stampede and a new and sinister Guide lead to a race to save the Earth … again. But this time, will they succeed?

Science Fiction Audiobook - Super Pal by Great Northern AudioSuper Pal
By Great Northern Audio; Performed by FULL CAST
1 CD – Aprox. 70 min.
Publisher: Great Northern Audio
Published: 2006

SUPER PAL and The Jewels of the 11th Generation. Recorded live at the Mark Time Radio Shows in 2005 and 2006.

“Super Pal: The Saving of the World” – the rogue comet, Skippy, is headed right for Big City in this superhero mocumentary.

Backed by, “The Jewels of the Eleventh Generation” – treasure hunters board the 300-year-old generation starship, The Professor Irwin Corey, and, as usual, find pirates, love, adorable children and plenty of squeaky toys. Starring David Ossman of the Firesign Theatre.

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Children of Men by P.D. JamesThe Children of Men
By P.D. James; Read by John Franlyn-Robbins
9 CDs – 10.5 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: 1993
ISBN: 1419323431

It is 2025, and the human race faces imminent extinction. Since 1994, not a single child has been born on earth. Now, a pervasive lethargy blankets the world. Anarchy reigns in the prisons; immigrants are enslaved; renegades terrorize the land. P.D. James, the “Queen of Crime,” takes a new path in this futuristic thriller, bringing to it her customary flair for drama, craftsmanship, and intriguing characters.

Adapted into a movie starring Julianne Moore.

Science Fiction Audiobook - Time of Changes by Robert SilverbergA Time of Changes
By Robert Silverberg; Read by Pete Bradbury
6 cassettes – 8.5 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: 2002
ISBN: 1402537255

Blurp from back of the 1971 paperback: In a world numbed of feeling, he felt deeply. In a world drained of passion, he loved fiercely. In a land of anti-people, he dared to search his soul and find himself. Prince Kinnal Darival was an alien in his homeland, a traitor to the realm his fathers ruled. Yet it was Kinnal Darival who would decide the destiny of Velada Borthan. For the planet’s fate lay in a drug which promised any man a meeting with Infinity, a drug which could spread throughout the planet and destroy it — a drug contained in a small flask which the Earthman Schweiz was holding out to Kinnal Darival…

Winner of the 1971 Nebula award.

Modern Scholar - Rings, Sword, Monsters Rings, Swords, Monsters: Exploring Fantasy
Lectures by Professor Michael D.C. Drout
7 CDs – Approx. 7 hours [LECTURES]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Series: The Modern Scholar
Published: 2006
ISBN: 1419386956

Should fantasy be considered serious literature, or is it merely escapism? In this course, the roots of fantasy and the works that have defined the genre are examined. Incisive analysis and a deft assessment of what makes these works so very special provides a deeper insight into beloved works and a better understanding of why fantasy is such a pervasive force in modern culture.

The Time Traveler

The Time Traveler becomes CONTRIBUTING EDITOR for SFFaudio

SFFaudio News

The Time Traveler Stop the Time Machine! I’m getting off. That could be taken more than one way, but we won’t go there (vibrations and all that).

Jesse Willis has asked me to join as a contributing editor. Obviously he thinks since I’m a time traveler, I’m a master of time. Also obviously, he’s insane. Because after I told him I had a day job, a family with little ones, a podcast, a business, and already a reviewer for, he still wanted me on board. Since time travel obviously addles the mind, I said in my dopiest voice “Okay!” Jesse suggested to try it on a trial basis to the first of the year. But unless the time patrol catches up to me, I’ll be around for a lot longer. Since Scott Danielson, co-creator of SFFaudio decided to depart this site, and Jesse hasn’t learned how to clone himself, yet; I’m here to step up and lend a hand.

Actually, I’m thrilled! This has been my home on the net for awhile now, and it just gets better and better, don’t you think? My first task as an editor is the receiver of review materials. Yes, I get to get the audiobooks to distribute to our legion of reviewers (well several anyways). If you have materials to be reviewed please contact me at [email protected]. Jesse and I are discussing some really exciting future content for this site. We hope you check back often, encourage you to use the RSS news feed, and find the best listens in Science Fiction and Fantasy audio.

Oh yeah! Since the time patrol is breathing down my back, I’ve created a shtick that I’m just as chronologically challenged as the rest of you. Some of you might think this as a shtick within a shtick, which is like a time paradox wrapped in an enigma. Anyways, under this new alias, you can call me Rick.