Audible.com is publishing some excellent science fiction and fantasy on audio. Earlier this year, they put out three collections: The Best of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 2002, The Best of Analog Science Fiction Magazine 2002, and The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine 2002. I reviewed all three titles for SF Site and enjoyed them all. My clear favorite, though, was the Fantasy and Science Fiction collection, so I was very pleased to see them follow up with two more titles: The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, January-February 2003 and The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, March-April 2003. The stories are all unabridged, and each collection runs five to six hours.
Over the past two or three years, I’ve experienced a growing appreciation for short-form science fiction on audio. Unabridged novella and novellette length stories make the finest audiobooks, in my opinion, and there is a lot of good science fiction and fantasy out there at that length that has yet to be recorded. I’ve got a copy of The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, January-February 2003 and have listened to the first story, called “Anomalous Structures of My Dreams” by M. Shayne Bell. M. Shayne Bell is an intensely emotional writer. All of his stories I’ve read to date have been memorable – he really makes me feel. His website is here. It hasn’t been updated for a long while, but you can read “Lock Down”, one of his best. The site also has his essay A Defense of Science Fiction and Fantasy, which is worth a read.
There are five other stories in the The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, January-February 2003 collection:
“Vandoise and the Bone Monster” by Alex Irvine
“Grey Star” by Albert E. Cowdrey
“Old Virginia” by Laird Barron
“The Seasons of the Ansarac” by Ursula K. Le Guin
“Reach” by Sheila Finch
(Readers include Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle de Cuir)
There are also six stories in the The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, March-April 2003 collection:
“The Resurrections of Fortunato” by John Morressy
“Decanting Oblivion” by Lawrence C. Connolly
“Shutdown/Retrovival” by Aaron A. Reed
“Hunger: A Confession” by Dale Bailey
“The Lightning Bug Wars” by Gary Shockley
“Seeing is Believing” by Paul Di Filippo
(Readers include Harlan Ellison and Gabrielle de Cuir)
I’ll revisit these once I get them heard… but I hope they continue to produce these titles. Current science fiction and fantasy audio by great writers, right there for the grabbing.
Posted by Scott D. Danielson