Review of A Song Before Sunset By David Rowland Grigg

A Song Before Sunset
By David Rowland Grigg; Read by Alexander Wilson
MP3 DOWNLOAD – 28 minutes, 22 seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Telltale Weekly
Published: 2004
Themes: / Science Fiction / Post-apocalypse / Music /

In a post-apocalyptic city, an old man seeks to recreate his past as a concert pianist. First published in 1976 in the Australian anthology entitled: Beyond Tomorrow – An Anthology of Modern Science Fiction edited by Lee Harding, this story has been languishing unreprinted until this exceptional audio edition was released. Production value is high, the sound is exceptionally clear and the reading is lightly, and appropriately accented with music. Alexander Wilson’s reading is haunting and restrained, matching the mournful tone of this short story. Available online at for only $1.00 USD, “A Song Before Sunset” is an excellent value and a great listen!

Posted by Jesse Willis

Check out Telltale Weekly! These guys are publish…

SFFaudio News

Check out Telltale Weekly! These guys are publishing new content every Friday. Here’s some of their speculative fiction selection:

A Song Before Sunset by David Rowland Grigg, Songs of Robin Hood by James Leigh Hunt, The Magic Shop by H.G. Wells, A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, A Tale About the Boy Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was by the Brothers Grimm, A Green Thumb by Tobias S. Buckell, and Amaryllis Radio, Episode 1: Lovers Argue.

The stories can be purchased and downloaded off their website – they are priced EXTREMELY well. Give them a visit!

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Sci-Fi Private Eye edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg

Science Fiction Audiobooks - Sci-Fi Private Eye edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. GreenbergSci-Fi Private Eye
Edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin Greenberg; Read by Bill Fantini and Nelson Runger
4 cassettes – 6 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Dercum Audio
Published: August 1997
ISBN: 155656273X
Themes: / Science Fiction / Mystery / Utopia / Dystpoia / Sherlock Holmes / Mars / Berzerker / Time Travel / Artificial Intelligence / Covert Warfare /

Decades ago, SF grandmaster Isaac Asimov noted the similarity between detective “whodunit” stories and science fiction “puzzle” stories. Avoiding some of the obvious pitfalls, he began to write stories that contain elements of both of these popular genres. Later as an anthologist, Asimov teamed up with Martin H. Greenberg to collect the best of this subgenre. Sci-Fi Private Eye was the happy result. Though obviously not recorded under perfect conditions, you can literally hear the pages turning, I was flabbergasted by the love and care that went into the recording of this audiobook. It starts off with a haunting original musical score, then, instead of simply reading the first story, as is typical with nearly every audiobook, it introduces the anthology with a brief but well composed essay on the subject of mystery science fiction! The packaging is not as good, while in a sturdy enough case, the original cover art falls into a category I call “computer designed abstract boring”. Even worse, they spelled Asimov’s name wrong. The cassettes themselves also lack important details (what story starts where and ends where). The stories though are so good that I’ve got to summarize and review them individually:

Stories Included:
Introduction written and read by Isaac Asimov
“Getting Across” by Robert Silverberg
“The Martian Crown Jewels” by Poul Anderson
“Of The Metal Murderer” by Fred Saberhagen
“Mouthpiece” by Edward Wellen
“War Game” by Philip K. Dick

Robert Silverberg’s “Getting Across” is a terrific SF short story told in the first person. It was originally published in the anthology entitled Future City (1973). A future society is in danger. To house the engorged human race, the Earth is entirely covered by one large metropolis. But it isn’t one big city so much as it is a million city-states abutting one another. Each district has its own government, its own customs and industries, and it’s own way of life. Contact between districts is restricted and often dangerous to those who attempt it. All districts rely on a master computer program for the smooth operation of these automated communities. So when Ganfield’s master computer program is stolen, things start to deteriorate quickly. Garbage starts piling up uncollected, food stops being delivered, the climate control system stops working, and the deactivated robotic police force cannot prevent the cannibalism that is only weeks away. The man whose “month-wife” stole the program is sent to find her and bring it back. His task is nearly impossible because even if he can get out of his district getting across will only be the first hurdle. Typical of Silverberg’s great work in the 1970s.

Poul Anderson’s “The Martian Crown Jewels” was first published in A Treasury of Great Science Fiction, Vol. 1 (1959). The Martian Crown Jewels have been stolen! The theft threatens to destroy diplomatic relations between Mars and Earth. Inspector Gregg, of the Earth police force stationed on Mars, is stumped. Who can solve the baffling locked spaceship mystery and avert a galactic catastrophe of cataclysmic proportions? None other than Mars’ greatest consulting detective, Syaloch, a seven-foot feathered Martian who lives at 221B “Street of Those who Prepare Nourishment in Ovens.” Most entertaining.

Edward Wellen’s “Mouthpiece” first saw print in the pages of Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine’s February 1974’s issue. Most of the stories I’ve read by Edward Wellen tend to be focused on the workings of the human mind, and this one is no exception. This one fictionalizes a fascinating historical curiosity regarding the final hours of “Dutch” Schultz and takes it just that bit farther – into artificial intelligence – leaving us pondering the nature of personality, memory and thought. It’s also a great little mystery to boot!

Fred Saberhagen’s “The Adventure Of The Metal Murderer” was first published in Omni Magazine’s January 1980 issue, and is another in Saberhagen’s long running series of Berzerker short stories. It’s a time travel story that starts in the distant future and then goes back to 19th century London, England. A clever tale that will remind you of Michael Moorcock’s “Behold The Man”.

Philip K. Dick’s “War Game” was first published in Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine’s December 1959 issue. Earth’s traditional enemy, Ganymede, is at it again. They are trying to subvert and soften up the good people of Earth by selling potentially dangerous toys and games as a prelude to invasion. One toy appears to assemble itself over time into a nuclear weapon, another convinces the user that the virtual reality he or she is in is actual reality, and a third is a harmless variation on the board game Monopoly. But the market demand for the inventive Ganymedian games is pressuring the Earth customs to clear the toys for stocking in time for Christmas. If they follow the rules only one will get through to the store shelves. Typically Dickian and thus very entertaining.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review The Complete Works Of L. Ron Hubbard by L. Ron Hubbard

SFFaudio Review


By L. Ron Hubbard; read by Fran Drescher
48 cassettes – 71 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Published: April 1st 2004
ISBN: 031200400X
Themes: / Science Fiction / Money / Past Lives / Money / Psychic Alien Invasion / More Money / L. Ron Is The Messiah /

“A year ago it was just another snake cult, but now…”

A work to stagger the imagination, The Complete Works Of L. Ron Hubbard (abridged) includes short stories, novellas, novellettes, novels, trilogies, quadrilogies, grocery lists and much much more by L. Ron Hubbard! You really can’t deny the persuasive argument it all makes – in fact the good folks at PEDANT AUDIO made sure I couldn’t leave their Scientology compound until it did make sense and of course only after the symbolic signing-over of my trust fund and all my worldly goods! What’s especially nice is the writing all hangs together like a beautiful audio-tapestry, kind of like the way things do when you’ve been denied sleep for three days straight. In fact now that I think about it, it makes sense in exactly that way. The audiobook is performed by Fran Drescher, who you probably remember from “The Nanny” television series. Fran Drescher’s range is impressive, she’s able to put a Queens, NY accent with her trademark nasal quality into any character she chooses – thankfully she chooses to do it a lot in this audiobook. The packaging is also excellent, it comes in a lead lined box weighing 88 pounds guaranteed to prevent Xenu and his evil minions from controlling it with their thought-rays. Thankfully the audiobook is available by express courier for the reasonable price of $560.99 + $122.50 shipping. I suggest you take out a second mortgage and buy this audiobook immediately, I know I did. This review will self destruct in 5 seconds…

Posted by Jesse Willis


SFFaudio News


SFFAUDIO was born on March 31st 2003 at 12:09PM, and today is our first birthday. Now, we’re still wearing diapers and making the occasional mess in them – but on the bright side people say we’re “as cute as a button” and that we still have that “new baby smell.” Over our first year we had some teething difficulties and they may continue into our second, but we expect to be doing more than just goo-ing and gaa-ing by March 31st 2005!

Happy Birthday to us, and thanks for visiting!

Posted by Jesse and Scott

Fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series will be…

Fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series will be pleased to hear that a six part adaptation of Pratchett’s 8th novel in the series, titled “Guards! Guards!” will be airing on BBC7’s The 7th Dimension starting April 5th 2004.

This coincides with BBC7’s Audio On Demand service, which allows listeners around the world to download streaming content archived for five days from the BBC7 website!

If you’re even half as excited as we are at the prospect of CBC Radio picking up FASTER THAN LIGHT, a new Science Fiction & Fantasy radio show, that will be available through streaming audio around the world, you now have a way to show your support for the idea. Send a quick email to CBC Audience Relations at: [email protected]. You can also call CBC Audience Relations, use this number (416) 205-3700. I know I will!

Posted by Jesse Willis