My buddy Trent, of the Violent World Of Parker blog, has been closely following the developments surrounding the latest Donald E. Westlake (aka Richard Stark) related film. Here’s the trailer for Parker:
Trent points out, in his post, that the movie’s plot looks like it closely follows that of Flashfire, one of the better books from near the end of the long running series. Now Flashfire was released by Books On Tape in 2001, but it is now available on Audible.com HERE. If you listen to the sample there you can compare it to the trailer.
In a Midwestern city, Parker calmly tosses a firebomb through a plate-glass window, while some newfound partners in crime take down a nearby bank. Making their getaway in the confusion, the bank robbers tell him two things: that this heist was only seed money for a much gaudier one, and that Parker has to loan them his share of the take. Now Parker is rampaging through the American South, taking on a new identity as he goes, and planning his own assault on his former partners’ next target, a spectacular jewelry heist in Palm Beach. But Parker didn’t count on one unfortunate detail. A very bad and very stupid man knows his true identity, and wants him dead.
AudioGo, formerly BBC Audiobooks America and formerly Chivers Audio, has a terrific MP3 download program up and running. It works similarly to Tantor Media, with similar pricing. You can get DRM free MP3 downloads via AudioGo.com after a quick sign up. I just tried it out and found it works really well, almost without a hitch, and doesn’t even require a software download (though that is optional). The files come down as Zipped MP3s, numbered and ready for use. There’s even cover art embedded!
First up, it’s the subject for our next Donald E. Westlake readalong! And apparently the last novel of Westlake’s ever – I have a feeling that Hard Case Crime will dig around until they find a few more – at least I hope they do! That said, this is actually a novel that’s never been published before – and comes from the middle of his writing career. I’m very much looking forward to hearing…
The Comedy Is Finished by Donald E. Westlake; Read by Peter Berkrot – Approx. 10 Hours 44 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
The year is 1977, and America is finally getting over the nightmares of Watergate and Vietnam and the national hangover that was the 1960s. But not everyone is ready to let it go. Not aging comedian Koo Davis, friend to generals and presidents and veteran of countless USO tours to buck up American troops in the field. And not the five remaining members of the self-proclaimed People’s Revolutionary Army, who’ve decided that kidnapping Koo Davis would be the perfect way to bring their cause back to life…
I read The Hook, and loved The Hook, years ago. It was first published in 1990 and may have been the first William Dufris narrated novel I’ve ever heard. It’s a wonderful audiobook and a great book about the publishing industry, writing and murder.
The Hook by Donald E. Westlake; Read by William Dufris – Approx. 7 Hours 17 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Bryce Proctorr has a multimillion-dollar contract for his next novel, a trophy wife raking him over the coals of a protracted divorce, a bad case of writer’s block, and an impending deadline. Wayne Prentice is a fading author in a world that no longer values his work. He’s gone through two pseudonyms, watched his book sales shrivel, and is contemplating leaving the writing life. Proctorr has a proposition: If Prentice will hand over his unsold manuscript to publish under Proctorr’s name, the two will split the book advance fifty-fifty. There’s just one small rider to the deal…
Also by Westlake, but written under his Richard Stark pseudonym, The Seventh is the seventh book in a long running series of terrific crime novels about a heister named Parker. This new audiobook edition features a new narration by Westlake veteran Stephen R. Thorne! The old one, recorded for Books On Tape by Michael Kramer, is long out of print. The only thing lacking from this edition is the Luc Sante introduction (which is even advertized on the cover art below).
The Seventh by Richard Stark (aka Donald E. Westlake); Read by Stephen R. Thorne – Approx. 4 Hours 26 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
The robbery was a piece of cake. The getaway was clean. And seven men were safely holed up in different places while Parker held all the cash. But somehow the sweet heist of a college football game turns sour, Parker’s woman is murdered, and the take is stolen. Now Parker’s looking for the lowlife who did him dirty, while the cops are looking for seven clever thieves-and Parker must outrun them all. When hunters and hunted meet, some win, some lose…
Guns, Germs And Steel: The Fates Of Human Societies
By Jared Diamond; Read by Doug Ordunio
13 CDs – Approx. 16 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: June 7, 2011
Sample |MP3| Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Guns, Germs And Steel is a brilliant work answering the question of why the peoples of certain continents succeeded in invading other continents and conquering or displacing their peoples. Until around 11,000 BC, all peoples were still Stone Age hunter/gatherers. At that point, a great divide occurred in the rates that human societies evolved. In Eurasia, parts of the Americas , and Africa , farming became the prevailing mode of existence when indigenous wild plants and animals were domesticated by prehistoric planters and herders. As Jared Diamond vividly reveals, the very people who gained a head start in producing food would collide with preliterate cultures, shaping the modern world through conquest, displacement, and genocide. The paths that lead from scattered centers of food to broad bands of settlement had a great deal to do with climate and geography. But how did differences in societies arise? Why weren’t native Australians, Americans, or Africans the ones to colonize Europe ? Diamond dismantles pernicious racial theories tracing societal differences to biological differences. He assembles convincing evidence linking germs to domestication of animals, germs that Eurasians then spread in epidemic proportions in their voyages of discovery. In its sweep, Guns, Germs And Steel encompasses the rise of agriculture, technology, writing, government, and religion, providing a unifying theory of human history as intriguing as the histories of dinosaurs and glaciers.
This audiobook is getting a pretty good buzz itself, but I have a strong feeling that even an android version of Isaac Asimov would have some serious problems with its premise. Doesn’t Wilson realize that a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm? Come on … that law was passed back in 1942! We’re safe.
By Daniel H. Wilson; Read by Mike Chamberlain
10 CDs – Approx. 12 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: June 7, 2011
Sample |MP3| Roughly twenty years from now, an unprecedented high-level artificial intelligence known as Archos comes on-line and kills its creator. This first act of betrayal leads Archos to gain control over the global network of computers, machines, and technology that regulate everything from transportation, utilities, defense, and communication. In the early months, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans, but most of us are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is far too late. In the span of fifteen minutes, at a moment known later in history as Zero Hour, every mechanical device in our world rebels against us, setting off the Robot War that both decimates and–for the first time in history–unites humankind. Through a series of interconnected narratives, video feeds, interrogations and reports, Daniel Wilson vividly creates the complex and unforgettable epic struggle of civilization’s battle against the machines, beginning with the first eruption of robot rebellion to five years later, with humans on the very brink of extinction.
The “All Star Anniversary Issue” of Fantasy And Science Fiction Magazine (for October 1958) featured famed editor Anthony Boucher’s regular “Recommending Reading” column – but with a twist. In celebration of the magazine’s 9th anniversary Boucher challenged himself to create a list of “Fifty Review Copies I Would Not Part With.” He failed in this herculean task – he just couldn’t pair down the list to fifty (even by restricting what would qualify in a number of ways). Instead, he ended up listing 52 Science Fiction novels or collections that he had no hand in publishing, another six that he did, and twelve Fantasy titles that were absolute must keepers as well. Of them Boucher wrote:
“These are novels and collections which have, from 1949 through 1957, given intense pleasure to a man professionally, obligated to read every s.f. book published in America; and I venture the guess that any reader, novice or habitué of our field, will find stimulation and delight in a high number of these titles.”
That’s good enough for me! I have reproduced as Boucher listed them (in alphabetical order by author). But I’ve added links to extant audiobook editions:
The SFFaudio Podcast #092 – Scott and Jesse talk about audiobooks, the recent arrivals and the new releases. We also talk about big box bookstores, comics, and classic audiobooks
Talked about on today’s show:
Blackstone Audio, Somewhere In Time, Richard Matheson, self-hypnosis as time travel, lame covers, “melancholy but not depressing”, Stir Of Echoes by Richard Matheson |READ OUR REVIEW|, Other Kingdoms, Bronson Pinchot, Stefan Rudnicki, Journal Of The Gun Years, Earthbound, Stir Of Echoes 2 – still stirring echoes?, The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card, Emily Janice Card, i’m always in favour of secret libraries, RadioArchive.cc, a dramatization of Fahrenheit 451, To Catch A Thief, Thief, James Caan, Spencer Tracy, Grace Kelly, France, BBC audio dramas don’t take a lot of risks, the virtues and vices of experimental audio drama, conservative audio dramas, Majipoor Chronicles by Robert Silverberg, “memory cubes in a massive library”, Lord Valentine’s Castle, Arte Johnson, Valentine Pontifex, The Space Dog Podcast #003 (vintage 1982 Silverberg), Silverberg’s 1970s Science Fiction hiatus, “trilogies are ill-conceived”, The City Of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers, Paul Michael Garcia, anagrams, “fructodism”, Terry Pratchett, Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher, book translation is re-writing a book, Cornelia Funke, The Thief Lord, The Dragonheart, Inkheart, reading books in translation, The Long Walk by Sławomir Rawicz, The Way Back, Declare by Tim Powers, Simon Prebble, coded messages, Kim Philby, the Spanish Civil War, are there soccer podcasts?, there are lots of them, Scott is a Liverpool fan, multiple readers, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card |READ OUR REVIEW|, Grover Gardner, Fire Will Fall by Carol Plum-Ucci, Kirby Heyborne, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow|READ OUR REVIEW|, “audiobooks have never been healthier”, Audible Frontiers, subscription book clubs, the last first Heinlein book, For Us The Living by Robert A. Heinlein, Venus by Ben Bova, Blackstone Audio doesn’t give up on series, crazy collectors, Books On Tape, what happened to BOT?, Random House, Listening Library, Macmillan Audio, Brilliance Audio, Amazon.com, Chapters bookstores in British Columbia have very tiny audiobook sections, Barnes & Noble doesn’t love audiobooks either, Borders has a better selection, Logan, Utah, Idaho Falls, Idaho, The Walking Dead – Volume 1, zombies, Robert Kirkman, horrible zombie audiobook, Poul Anderson, Brain Wave by Poul Anderson (the subject of an upcoming readalong?), Larry Niven called it “a masterpiece”, Macmillian Audio exclusively on Audible.com, Shades Of Milk And Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal, Jane Austen, The Elephant To Hollywood by Michael Caine, What’s It All About by Michael Caine, The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling, , Nancy Kress, Probability Moon, Infinivox, The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford, “surreal, unsettling, and more than a little weird”, models are incredibly interesting, SimCity, Civilization, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, John Scalzi, The Android’s Dream, Agent To The Stars, Wil Wheaton, Dancing Bearfoot, Just A Geek, Why I Left Harry’s All-Night-Hamburgers by Lawrence Watt-Evans, the SFSignal Mind Meld on the best audiobooks of all time, Scott likes Fantasy (and Science Fiction), Jesse likes Science Fiction (and Fantasy), The Best Fantasy Stories Of The Year 1989, The Wind From A Burning Woman by Greg Bear |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Children Of Men by P.D. James (Recorded Books) |READ OUR REVIEW|, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, Mind Slash Matter by Edward Wellen (Durkin Hayes) |READ OUR REVIEW|, Friday by Robert A. Heinlein, Sci-Fi Private Eye ed. Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg (Dercum Audio) |READ OUR REVIEW|, Martian Time Slip by Philip K. Dick (Blackstone Audio) |READ OUR REVIEW|, Ringworld by Larry Niven |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Reel Stuff edited by Brian Thomsen and Martin H. Greenberg |READ OUR REVIEW|, Minority Report And Other Stories by Philip K. Dick |READ OUR REVIEW|, Two Plays For Voices by Neil Gaiman (Seeing Ear Theatre / Harper Audio) |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Terminal Experiment by Robert J. Sawyer |READ OUR REVIEW|, Ender’s Game (25th Anniversary Edition) by Orson Scott Card |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft Volume 1 by H.P. Lovecraft (Audio Realms) |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Chief Designer by Andy Duncan (Infinivox) |READ OUR REVIEW|, Blake’s 7 – Audio Adventures (Trilogy Box Set) (B7 Media) |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman |READ OUR REVIEW|, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart |SFFaudio Podcast #073|, The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison |READ OUR REVIEW| The Prestige by Christopher Priest |READ OUR REVIEW|, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell |READ OUR REVIEW|, Legends: Stories by the Masters of Fantasy, Volume 4 (containing The Hedge Knight by George R.R. Martin) |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Voice from the Edge Vol. 1: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison |READ OUR REVIEW|, Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast by Eugie Foster |READ OUR REVIEW|, Lawrence Santoro, Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison are their own genre, The Moon Moth, sociological Science Fiction, the George R.R. Martin Dreamsongs collections, Stephen King, Anne McCaffrey’s The Runners Of Pern, Jesse is reading a lot of comics, the Fresh Ink Online podcast, G4 vs. G4TechTV, Attack Of The Show, Penn Jillette’s video podcast, sound seeing tours (a now defunct trend in podcasting), Blair Butler, Tamahome2000, Goodreads.com, Neil Gaiman, Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader?, getting into comics, Garth Ennis, Gregg Rucka, Cory Doctorow’s praise of Y: The Last Man on BoingBoing.net, Y: The Last Man is really addictive, Kansas, Batwoman: Elegy, Rachel Maddow,