The SFFaudio Podcast #044 – TALK TO: Professor Eric S. Rabkin

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #044 – Jesse and Scott are joined by Professor Eric S. Rabkin of the University Of Michigan to discuss fairy tales, fantastic literature and Science Fiction.

Talked about on today’s show:
Department Of English Language And Literature @ the University Of Michigan, the Winter 2010 semester: English 342 Science Fiction, English 418/549 Graphic Narrative, hey sign us up!, The Teaching Company, Science Fiction: The Literature Of The Technological Imagination |READ OUR REVIEW|, Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind: Literature’s Most Fantastic Works, Franz Kafka, H.G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, Science Fiction (the most important literature for adults), I, Robot by Isaac Asimov |READ OUR REVIEW|, Brothers Grimm, fairy tales, Neuromancer by William Gibson |READ OUR REVIEW|, Asimov’s three laws of robotics, the conversation that is Science Fiction, humans are pattern seeking animals, Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman |READ OUR REVIEW|, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card |READ OUR REVIEW|, the ansible, Armor by John Steakley, Old Man’s War by John Scalzi |READ OUR REVIEW|, Gundam, The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey, Science Fiction as a form of children’s literature, Thomas Disch, Camp Concentration, 334, Kurt Vonnegut, The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, alternate history, Hugo Gernsback, pulp literature, paperback originals, adolescent power fantasies, Frank Reade and His Steam Man of the Plains by Noname, Ralph 124C 41+ by Hugo Gernsback, pushing science education through Science Fiction, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe, From The Earth To The Moon by Jules Verne, Henry James and H.G. Wells in conversation over the future of fiction, The Portrait Of A Lady by Henry James, WWII, the societal effect of the G.I. Bill, tracking an author’s intentions, powerful fiction becomes classic?, Ted Chiang, Blankets by Craig Thompson, has Science Fiction crossed a certain cultural Rubicon?, Momento, Blindness by José Saramago, Briefing for a Descent into Hell by Doris Lessig, Galatea 2.2 by Richard Powers, has our culture become “fully Science Fictionized”?, does SF history begin with Frankenstein and end with Neuromancer?, Alan Moore, Watchmen, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, pattern recognition, allusion (and literary allusion).

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne

SFFaudio Online Audio

Listening For The League's Gentlemen At LibriVoxThis is the 4th in a series of post examining the LibriVox audiobooks that feature characters found in Alan Moore’s The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Moore suffused his pastiche of superhero superteams by stuffing his original narrative with dozens of literary characters. Here is another of the freely available audiobooks (at LibriVox.org) that features one of the main characters: Captain Nemo, the antagonist behind the mysterious ocean appearances of a giant sea monster, is the hero/villain of Jules Verne’s planetary spanning Science Fiction novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.

LibriVox - 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules VerneTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
By Jules Verne; Translated by F.P. Walter; Read by various
47 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 16 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: March 10, 2007
Captain Nemo, The Nautilus, and the mysterious depths of the ocean. Unforgettable. Come join an adventure that will roam among coral and pearls, sharks and giant squid, with wonders of biology and engineering that will thrust us from the Antarctic to Atlantis. Whether voyaging a yarn of the glorious unknown, a tale of the darkness that grips the heart of men, or a reinterpretation of Homer’s Odyssey, we’ll all enjoy the fantastic trip. Seasickness optional.

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/twenty-thousand-leagues-under-the-sea-by-jules-verne.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

GeekBlips: TV that inspires

SFFaudio News

Geek Blips Robyn Lass, the editor of GeekBlips.com asked me to contribute to a “blogger opinion” article, kind of a mind meld like post (of the kind SFSignal.com regularly does). Here’s the question she asked:

“If you could have the ability/gadgetry of your favorite science fiction TV or Movie character and join them – in their world – on one of their adventures, who would it be and why?”

Yeah. So, I wasn’t sure I could answer the question. Join their adventures? That’s not me exactly. But, there was something there. I thought about it for a few hours. Then, I finally wrote this:

A few years ago there was a pirate broadcast called Prisoners Of Gravity that would regularly interrupt a lame TV Ontario nature show called Second Nature. Lasting just under a half hour, it was hosted by a crazy Canadian who had strapped a rocket to the roof of his Camaro, launched himself into space and then crashed into an orbiting satellite. From there, in his high castle, Commander Rick (aka Rick Green) lived, surrounded by the things he’d brought with him: computers, comics and lots of paperback books.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, a shadowy crew of SF fans would rove the bookstores and Science Fiction conventions recording interviews with the creators of SF and Fantasy. They’d take the interviews with writers like Robert J. Sawyer, Alan Moore, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman and Garth Ennis, and upload them all to Commander Rick in the satellite. From there Rick would record these interviews onto audio cassettes and keep them for use in his live broadcasts. He would also make use of the telephone and satellite video feeds that he had access to in order to record live interviews with his guests during the show. The programs were compiled and broadcast with the help of a mute, but highly intelligent, computer named NanCy. Topics discussed were different every episode,with individual shows on censorship, superheroes, humor, religion, fairy tales, Mars, cyberpunk, war, overpopulation, sex and much, much more.

The series aired 139 episodes over a five years mission – it is rumored that Commander Rick died (having perhaps run out of food) – but it is also rumored that he returned to earth – since then NanCY has managed just a very few transmissions in the form of reruns. There was no better news magazine program that explored SF, Fantasy, Horror and comics and their various themes and ideas.

I’ve been thinking it would be really great to strap a few solid rocket boosters to the roof of my own car and do my own show. In the meantime I’ve been bidding on ebay for used spacesuits. One day I may win one.

You can see the original article |HERE|. You’ll find a few other peoples’ answers too.

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Dracula by Bram Stoker

SFFaudio Online Audio

Listening For The League's Gentlemen At LibriVoxHere’s another older LibriVox audiobook featuring a character found in Alan Moore’s League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Wilhelmina “Mina” Harker (née Murray) is lucky enough to survive this novel and then go on to be the core characters around which the events of Moore’s first comix collection swirl. She’s the proper Englishwoman wearing a large scarf over her neck. She plays a literally pivotal role in Vol. 1 of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This version is not read by a single narrator, but, that’s okay in this case because Dracula is told from multiple (and ever shifting) viewpoints.

LibriVox - Dracula by Bram StokerDracula
By Bram Stoker; Read by various
27 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 16 Hours 31 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: May 10, 2006

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/dracula-by-bram-stoker.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard

SFFaudio Online Audio

Listening For The League's Gentlemen At LibriVoxThis is the first in a series of posts in which I will examine LibriVox’s back catalogue looking for the characters and references that Alan Moore has put into his comic The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This, the first post, features Allan Quatermain, adventurer and man of action, in his first novel. This is prior to his descent into a despicable opium addiction. It’s a single voiced narration, and I’ve made some cool cover art for it too.

Read now Haggard’s introduction from the 1898 edition:

“The author ventures to take this opportunity to thank his readers for the kind reception they have accorded to the successive editions of this tale during the last twelve years. He hopes that in its present form it will fall into the hands of an even wider public, and that in years to come it may continue to afford amusement to those who are still young enough at heart to love a story of treasure, war, and wild adventure.”

LibriVox - King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider HaggardKing Solomon’s Mines
By H. Rider Haggard; Read by John Nicholson
20 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 9 Hours 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: 2006
King Solomon’s Mines, first published in 1885, was a best-selling novel by the Victorian adventure writer H. Rider Haggard. It relates a journey into the heart of Africa by a group of adventurers led by Allan Quatermain in search of the legendary wealth said to be concealed in the mines of the novel’s title. It is significant as the first fictional adventure novel set in Africa, and is considered the genesis of the Lost World literary genre. – Haggard wrote over 50 books, among which were 14 novels starring Allan Quatermain.

Podcast feed:
http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/king-solomons-mines-by-haggard.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Here’s the cool map from the back of the Dell Books “mapback” edition:

King Solomon's Mines - Dell Mapback map

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Gulliver Of Mars by Edwin L. Arnold

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxFirst published as Lieutenant Gullivar Jones: His Vacation, in 1905, this novel is a precursor to, and the likely inspiration for, Edgar Rice Burroughs’s classic A Princess of Mars (1911). Despite my not having heard of it before now the novel has a long history of adaptation. Ace Books reprinted Arnold’s novel in paperback in 1964, retitling it Gulliver of Mars [sic]. A more recent Bison Books paperbook edition (from 2003) called it Gullivar of Mars.

Arnold’s novel bears a number of striking similarities to Burroughs’s. Both Gullivar and Burroughs’s protagonists are American servicemen who arrive on an inhabited planet Mars by apparently magical means.

A 2007 paperbook sequel exists: In Edgar Allan Poe on Mars: The Further adventures of Gullivar Jones Gullivar Jones appears alongside a young Edgar Allan Poe (in a series of two linked stories).

Marvel Comics adapted the character for the comic book feature “Gullivar Jones, Warrior of Mars” in issues #16-21 of Creatures on the Loose (March 1972 – Jan. 1973). The story was written by Conan comics scribe Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, and SF novelist George Alec Effinger. The series then moved to Marvel’s black and white magazine, Monsters Unleashed #4 and #8 (1974). Marvel’s version modernized the setting, recast Gullivar as a Vietnam War veteran (think Heinlein’s Glory Road).

Did I mention I just picked up the first volume of Alan Moore’s League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Apparently the next volume includes cameos by both Gullivar and John Carter!

I love LibriVox!

LibriVox Fantasy - Gulliver Of Mars by Edwin L. ArnoldGulliver Of Mars
By Edwin L. Arnold; Read by James Christopher
20 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 6 Hours 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: May 3rd 2009
This escapist novel first published in 1905 as Lieutenant Gullivar Jones: His Vacation follows the exploits of American Navy Lieutenant Gulliver Jones, a bold, if slightly hapless, hero who is magically transported to Mars; where he almost outwits his enemies, almost gets the girl, and almost saves the day. Somewhat of a literary and chronological bridge between H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jones’ adventures provide an evocative mix of satire and sword-and-planet adventure.

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/gulliver-of-mars-by-edwin-l-arnold.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis