Review of Big Big Space by Roger Gregg

SFFaudio Review

Big Big Space: The Complete Series
By Roger Gregg; Performed by a full cast
3 CD’s – 3 Hours [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Crazy Dog Audio Theatre
Published: 2001
ISBN: 689232069827
Themes: / Science Fiction / Comedy / Audio Drama /

Included in this 3 CD set are three hilarious one-hour audio dramas in 6 episodes – The Cabaret of Forbidden Celestial Delights, Big Jim Chancer and the Space Pirates, and The Zombies of Dr. Krell. The shows were originally broadcast on Ireland’s RTE Radio 1.

The cast of characters includes the crew of the starship Amadan: Captain Roslyn Sane, First Officer Hoax Minstrel, Counselor Disco Trojan, and Robot RomManDroid. The scripts have a lot of fun at the expense of the genre, and at the mainstays of Star Trek especially. Captain Roslyn Sane sounds and acts much like Trek’s Captain Janeway, and David Murray is brilliant as First Officer Hoax Minstrel – I swear he’s performing the part as “William Shatner as Captain Kirk” with hilarious results. The crew experiences adventures, dealing with teenage fractal quarks, evil accountants, and demanding extras, and poking witty, merciless fun at science fiction along the way.

All three shows were recorded live – live cast, live music, live effects, and live audience – which harkens back to the golden age of radio comedy. The shows are thoroughly entertaining and very funny. The live audience obviously enjoyed themselves, and so did I.

Don’t take my word for it! Listen to one of the episodes (“Who’s Afraid of Rotwang Krell”) at the Crazy Dog website.

The set is also available from ZBS.

The finalists for this year’s Audie Awards were an…

The finalists for this year’s Audie Awards were announced on Feb. 23rd. Here are some genre-related nominees:

The finalists for the SCIENCE FICTION award are:

The Callahan Chronicles

Written by: Spider Robinson

Read by: Barrett Whitener

Blackstone Audiobooks

Darwin’s Children

Written by: Greg Bear

Read by: Scott Brick

Books on Tape, A Division of Random House, Inc.

Dune: The Machine Crusade

Written by: Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Read by: Scott Brick

Audio Renaissance, A Division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, and Books on Tape, A Division of Random House, Inc.

Monstrous Regiment

Written by: Terry Pratchett

Read by: Stephen Briggs

Harper Audio

Still Life With Crows

Written by: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Read by: Rene Auberjonois

Time Warner AudioBooks

Among the nominees for CHILDREN’S TITLES FOR AGES 8+ is:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Written by: J.K. Rowling

Read by: Jim Dale

Listening Library

Phoenix also shows up in the PACKAGE DESIGN category, and as a nomination for Jim Dale for SOLO NARRATION – MALE. George Guidall is up for the same award for Don Quixote from Recorded Books, and Campbell Scott for Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.

And in the AUDIO DRAMA category:

The Chronicles of Narnia

Written by: C. S. Lewis

Performed by a Full Cast

Focus on the Family

which also appears in the PACKAGE DESIGN and ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION categories.

See all the nominees at the Audio Publisher’s Association website. The winners will be selected on June 4 at the Audie Awards, a black-tie event at the Harold Washington Public Library Center in Chicago.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

I spent Thursday at Life, the Universe, and Everyt…

SFFaudio News

I spent Thursday at Life, the Universe, and Everything XXII, the 22nd annual science fiction symposium held at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. While there, I got to see a live broadcast of the weekly science fiction talk show I-SCI-FI.

I-SCI-FI is broadcast live on Thursday nights from 7-9pm Mountain time. I liken the listening experience to meeting up with some good friends once a week and talking science fiction. The show’s main focus is media (television and movies), but they also include interviews with science fiction and fantasy authors.

Shown in the picture is the I-SCI-FI crew: from left to right is engineer Brady, HariKarrie, Captain T’Rex, and Jedi Joe.

On Thursday, I-SCI-FI interviewed Sam Longoria, the media Guest of Honor at the symposium. They then interviewed fantasy author Victoria Strauss via telephone about her new book, The Burning Land. Last, they played an interview with Star Wars novelist Timothy Zahn, which had been recorded a week earlier at a local Barnes and Noble. In between, they had a trivia contest both for the live audience and the online audience. It was great fun. Be sure to try them out!

NOTE: While you listen to I-SCI-FI live, visit the chat room! If I’m in there, my username is MrScott.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Roger Gregg of Crazy Dog Audio Theatre has recentl…

Roger Gregg of Crazy Dog Audio Theatre has recently posted two fabulous interviews:

First up is an interview of Dirk Maggs, audio theatre producer. He’s produced many audio plays and has won awards for An American Werewolf in London (I have GOT to find a copy of that one) and Superman: Doomsday and Beyond. Some of the topics discussed: audio theatre scripts, audio theatre actors, and the production process. Dirk’s latest show is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Tertiary Phase, which will broadcast soon on BBC Radio 4. The interview has many pictures from that production.

Second, an interview of Paul Deeley, the sound engineer on the Hitchhiker production. Deeley has worked closely with Dirk Maggs on a number of projects. Gregg interviews Deeley on the technical aspects of production – again, there are many cool pictures throughout, taken while recording Hitchhiker’s Guide.

Both of these interviews are full of great information about audio theatre. Check out all the other Crazy Dog interviews here.

More on Roger Gregg soon – in the pipeline is his hilarious Big Big Space production, available from ZBS.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Review of Star Trek: Captain’s Blood by William Shatner, with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

Star Trek Audiobooks - Captains Blood by William Shatner and Judith and Garfield Reeves-StevensCaptain’s Blood
By William Shatner with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens; Read by William Shatner
2 Cassettes or 3 CD’s – 3 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Published: 2003
ISBN: 0743533593 (Cassette), 0743533607 (CD)
Themes: / Science Fiction / Star Trek / Romulans / Genetic engineering /

Ever since The Return, the audio of which I consider one of the best Star Trek experiences out there (it would have made an excellent movie), I’ve eagerly listened to all of the Shatner Star Trek novels. The novels are both good and bad. The bad? I tired of the “Captain Kirk, you’re the only one who can do this…” line, with all its variations, back in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. The good? All of Star Trek is woven into these stories. In this novel, for example, characters from the Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Voyager play roles in the plot, and attention is paid to the history of those shows.

The story takes place soon after the events in the Star Trek: Nemesis film. James T. Kirk is alive and well due to events that occur in earlier Shatner Star Trek novels. He is retired and has a 5 year-old son who is a mixture of many races – also due to events in earlier novels. The story opens with the apparent death of Ambassador Spock during a public peace rally on Romulus. News of this gets to the Federation, who contacts Kirk and asks him to go to Romulus to find out what happened. Inexplicably, he brings his 5 year-old on the dangerous mission. The plot reveals what really happened to Mr. Spock, as well as some secrets regarding Kirk’s son.

Shatner’s reading is very Kirk-like, and sound and music are used throughout to excellent effect. The Star Trek audiobooks have a consistently high production quality.

This story, though, just misses. It seems forced, unimportant, and at times just plain implausible. The ending is open for another novel – maybe that one will approach the high standard set by The Return.

Click here for more on Star Trek audio!