Here are the New Releases for September – a fine l…

Here are the New Releases for September – a fine looking bunch of audiobooks, I must say…

Anansi Boys
By Neil Gaiman; Read by Lenny Henry
Harper Audio, Unabridged
The sequel to American Gods – can’t wait!

Dragonflight
By Anne McCaffrey; Read by Dick Hill
Brilliance Audio, Unabridged
This is a mass market re-release of this title, now available on CD and MP3-CD

The Road to Dune
By Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson
Read by Scott Brick
Audio Renaissance, Unabridged
Click here for the SFFAudio Review!

Speaker for the Dead
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Various
Audio Renaissance, Unabridged
Click here for the SFFAudio Review!

Star Wars: The Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen
By Troy Denning; Read by Jonathan Davis
Random House Audio, Abridged

The Warrior’s Apprentice
By Lois McMaster Bujold; Read by Grover Gardner
Blackstone Audio, Unabridged
Available on cassette, CD, and MP3-CD
This is the second Vorkosigan novel released by Blackstone.

Thud!
By Terry Pratchett; Read by Stephen Briggs
Harper Audio, Unabridged
The latest Discworld novel.

Review of The Road to Dune by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson

SFFaudio Review

The Road to Dune by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. AndersonThe Road to Dune
By Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson; Read by Scott Brick
12 CD’s – 14 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Published: JUST RELEASED – September 2005
ISBN: 159397776X
Themes: / Science Fiction / Dune / Desert / Religion / Commentary / Journal / Short Fiction /

In a sentence, The Road to Dune is an intriguing collection of Dune “extras” that should please any fan of Frank Herbert. Including myself.

A quick background on me as far as Dune goes – I read the first novel once, then listened to George Guidall’s unabridged narration of the same book. I also heard The Butlerian Jihad, which was written by Brian Herbert (Frank Herbert’s son) and Kevin J. Anderson. I mention all this so that you can know my level of Dune knowledge – I am by no means an expert. With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, as you may know, have continued Frank Herbert’s Dune series by adding two trilogies of prequels to Herbert’s existing books. They’ve consulted notes that Frank Herbert left behind, and the opening of this book explains that to some degree. Bill Ransom, who collaborated with Frank Herbert on a few books, also weighs in, describing his writing life with Frank.

Next up is a short novel called Spice Planet which represents the first version of Dune, or what Dune could have been. The novel is certainly better, but Dune World was also engaging and interesting from the perspective of a person who has read the novel (what’s different, what’s the same) and as a very good story in its own right.

Also included are deleted scenes and alternate endings from Dune and Dune, Messiah, letters and notes from Frank Herbert during the time he was trying to get Dune published. Especially interesting are some letters to and from John W. Campbell, Jr., the editor of Analog Science Fiction Magazine, which serialized the first Dune novel, but declined the second one.

Four short stories by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson are here, too. The first, “Whisper of Caladan Seas” was originally published in Amazing Science Fiction and takes place during the first Dune novel. The other three, “Hunting Harkonnens”, “Whipping Mek”, and “Faces of a Martyr” are set in the prequel times that Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson write about in their trilogies. They are very good stories, all.

Scott Brick narrated, and I am reminded why I enjoy him so much. His narration is energetic, dramatic, and powerful, but never over the top. I never tire of his rich voice and the believable, living characters he performs.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book on several levels. For a person writing a thick tome of a science fiction novel, this glimpse into Herbert’s process is very educational. For a fan of Dune, this look into what could have been is very entertaining. For a fan interested in the history science fiction, the correspondence between Campbell and Herbert and the story of the novel’s purchase and publication by Chilton are pure gold. And for a fan of good stories, there’s plenty here to enjoy.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

New Releases

New Releases

Audio Renaissance

Saucer: The Conquest by Stephen Coonts in both abridged and unabridged versions. This is a sequel to a novel about the discovery of a 140,000 year-old spacecraft. I missed the first one, but would like to hear if it exists on audio – Audio Renaissance does not carry it if it does. Kirkus calls Saucer “a comic, feel-good SF adventure.”

First Meetings in the Enderverse by Orson Scott Card, read by Gabrielle de Cuir, Amanda Karr, and Stefan Rudnicki

I’m a fan of Orson Scott Card’s Ender novels, so this was a real treat. It contains 4 stories, one of which is the original Ender’s Game novella, the others stories from various places on the Ender timeline. All of Card’s unabridged Ender novels are being re-released by Audio Renaissance.

Saturn by Ben Bova, read by Amanda Karr and Stefan Rudnicki and others

Here’s the latest of Ben Bova’s Solar System novels. I’ve heard Mars and Return to Mars, but I’m not sure how these novels are related to this one, Venus and Jupiter.

Blackstone Audio

Ringworld’s Children by Larry Niven

I talked a bit about this last month, but it was really released in September, so here it is again.

Adventures in Time and Space with Max Merriwell by Pat Murphy

I’ve got this one in my to-be-heard pile and I’m eager to get to it. I know very little about Pat Murphy, but I see she won a Nebula Award for the novel The Falling Woman, which I don’t think is available on audio.

Jesse: Pat Murphy won a hugo and a nebula for a short story called “Rachel In Love”, which is a love story from the point of view of a chimpanzee. It’s been recorded a couple of times. There was also a single cassette collection of her short stories published by Durkin Hayes called “Points Of Departure”.

Brilliance Audio

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, read by Jim Dale

I’m starting to see this one everywhere, but haven’t received any feedback from anyone on it. It’s aimed at the YA market – 9-12 year-olds – and is a prequel to Peter Pan. I may have to listen just to hear another Jim Dale performance. There’s an audio sample on Brilliance’s website.

Free Reads

James Patrick Kelly adds three more stories to Free Reads, a section of his site where you can download free audiobooks (MP3 format) of his stories. Included now are “Faith”, “The Best Christmas Ever”, and “Serpent”.

Jesse: This is an awesome value – cool and funny stories read by James Patrick Kelly and all it costs you is guilt if you don’t donate something to his future recording fund.

Harper Audio

The Neil Gaiman Audio Collection by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman

This is an hour-long CD that contains readings of some children’s books by Neil Gaiman. Included are: The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, Wolves in the Walls, Cinnamon, and Crazy Hair.

Jesse: Looking forward to this collection. I was worried this was just another repackaging of Coraline and the two Seeing Ear pieces. Glad to see it is all new to audio!

Paperback Digital

As reported here early this month, Paperback Digital is online with two new MP3 format audiobooks for sale: Spirits in the Wires by Charles de Lint and 1634: The Galileo Affair by Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis. I haven’t heard either of them, but they appear to be professionally done with William Dufris and Christine Marshall narrating. These books are available as downloads or on MP3-CDs.

Also from Paperback Digital is the X Minus One episode “Drop Dead” by Clifford D. Simak, which is available on Fictionwise.com, a site well-known for eBook sales. Paperback Digital is editing out commercials and doing what they can to improve the sound quality of several old radio shows. Next week they will be releasing these episodes:

The Green Hills of Earth and Destination: Moon by Robert A. Heinlein

The Orson Welles/Mercury Theatre Halloween broadcast of The War of the Worlds

The Orson Welles/Mercury Theatre broadcast of Bram Stoker’s Dracula

With Folded Hands by Jack Williamson

Colony by Philip K. Dick

The Coffin Cure and Prime Difference by Alan E. Nourse

Protective Mimicry by Algis Budrys

The Merchants of Venus by A.H. Phelps, Jr.

Jesse: Coming out of the blue as it did, Paperback Digital is the most exciting and surprising news in Science Fiction and Fantasy audiobooks so far this year!

Recorded Books

Swords of Night and Day, a science fantasy by David Gemmell and narrated by Christopher Kay. I’m unfamiliar with this, but it’s part of a something called the Drenai series.

Last, but certainly not least, here’s what Audible.com has added in the last month, many of which were mentioned above:

An updated edition of First Meetings by Orson Scott Card

Saucer: The Conquest by Stephen Coonts

Saturn by Ben Bova

High Druid of Shannara: Tanequil by Terry Brooks

Dune: The Battle of Corrin by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Ringworld’s Children by Larry Niven

Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card

The Dragon’s Son by Margaret Weis

Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner #2) by Lynn Flewelling

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

Several titles from Brian Jacques’ Redwall series

Bimbos of the Death Sun and Zombies of the Gene Pool by Sharyn McCrumb

Titles from the Wingman series by Mack Maloney

Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud

Titles from the Deathstalker collection by Simon R. Green

Collections of Arthur C. Clarke’s stories (The Nine Billion Names of God, The Songs of Distant Earth, etc.)

Wow! An excellent month for science fiction audio. Happy listening!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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

And the winners are…. The 8th Annual Audie Aw…

SFFaudio News

And the winners are….

The 8th Annual Audie Awards were given this weekend. Here are the science fiction related winners:

Science Fiction

Dune: Butlerian Jihad

Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, read by Scott Brick, Books on Tape, Inc.

Fiction or Non-Fiction, Licensed or Distributed

Two Plays For Voices by Neil Gaiman, read by Brian Dennehy, Bebe Neuwirth and a full cast, HarperCollins Publishers.

Achievement in Production

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, read by a full cast, Focus on the Family

Find the winners and nominees in all the categories here.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Here are the 2003 Audie Award nominees, for excel…

SFFaudio News


Here are the 2003 Audie Award nominees, for excellence in audiobooks. Find the whole list at the Audio Publisher’s Association.

Science Fiction
Catch the Lightning by Catherine Asaro, read by Anna Fields Blackstone AudioBooks
Dune: Butlerian Jihad by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, read by Scott Brick Books on Tape, Inc.
The Fifth Sorceress by Robert Newcomb, read by John Lee Books on Tape, Inc.
The Pillars of Creation by Terry Goodkind, read by Jim Bond Brilliance Audio
Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs Ulverscroft Large Print

I’m a little surprised with this list, largely because there is nothing there from Audio Literature whose Fantastic Audio imprint is consistently excellent. I’m certain that their unabridged Ender’s Game audio was released in March 2002, which would qualify it for this award. Also, Ursula K. LeGuin’s Tales from Earthsea was excellent and from around the same time. How is something nominated? Who does the judging?

Some other interesting nominees:

Childrenā€™s Titles For Ages 8+ includes Coraline by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins Publishers).

In the Audio Drama category, The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, read by a full cast (Focus on the Family).

Fiction or Non-Fiction, Licensed or Distributed: Two Plays for Voices by Neil Gaiman, read by Brian Dennehy, Bebe Neuwirth and a full cast (HarperCollins Publishers)

Package Design: The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, fully dramatized (HighBridge)

And this last category…
Achievement in Production
The Joy of Pi by David Blatner, read by Oliver Wyman, Hank Jacobs & Laura Dean (Random House Audible)
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis, read by a full cast (Focus on the Family)
Seek by Paul Fleischman, read by a full cast (Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio)
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, read by a full cast (Focus on the Family)
Two Plays for Voices by Neil Gaiman, read by Brian Dennehy, BeBe Neuwirth and a full cast (HarperCollins Publishers)

Posted by Scott D. Danielson