According to the Triple-A, over 31 million Americans will travel by road this Memorial Day weekend. If you’re one of those, you might want to bring along an audiobook or two to keep you company on the Interstate. Long drives are a great time to take in an audiobook, but also require a specific type of book. The plot has to be exciting enough to hold your interest on boring stretches of the Interstate, but simple enough that you can still pay attention to the traffic. Since you’ll be spending most of your money on gas, you might want to save your vacation budget by going with a free downloadable audiobook. I’ve come up with 5 recommendations for free road trip Science Fiction and Fantasy audiobooks:
* Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell – This novel, published by Podiobooks, tells the story of Ishmael, a new crewmember on a space freighter. The story and gentle didactic tone reminded me of classic adolescent science fiction like Have Spacesuit, Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein.
* Trunk & Disorderly by Charles Stross – Stross reads his own work here in a novellette made available by Subterrannean Press. The story is a hilarious re-imagining of the Wooster and Jeeves stories by P.G. Wodehouse, but set in a futuristic universe. Not recommended for children.
* The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle – In probably the greatest Sherlock Holmes novel, Holmes and Watson confront a demonic hellhound threatening the life of their client. John Telfer performs a marvelous array of British accents in this excellent recording. Project Gutenberg provides two duplicate copies of the files: one at 11 kHz and a higher-quality version at 22 kHz.
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum – Even if you or your children have the movie memorized, the original book is worth a listen. J. Hall narrates the book in this LibriVox offering with a pleasant American accent that would be at home on NPR.
* Red Panda Adventures by Decoder Ring Theatre – Okay, so this one’s not technically an audiobook. The folks at Decoder Ring Theater produce an excellent show in old-time radio style about the adventures of a pair of wisecracking masked heroes. Download several episodes to fit the length of your trip.
Posted by Seth (Listener of the Free Listens blog)