The SFFaudio Podcast #682 – READALONG: The Screwfly Solution by James Tiptree, Jr.

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #682 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Scott Danielson, Evan Lampe, and Trish E. Matson talk about The Screwfly Solution by James Tiptree, Jr.

Talked about on today’s show:
Racoona Sheldon, Analog, June 1977, special women’s issue, Eyes Of Amber by Joan D. Vinge, Analog, not just for men, Ben Bova, a 1970s thing, Women Destroy anthologies, all Harlan Issue, throw all the women in one basket, J. Michael Straczynski, a sausage fest, representation by gender, a piss per job, one woman per this episode, making room for women, what her logic was, Angel Fix, to suit different markets?, James Tiptree, Jr had to intervene on behalf of Racoona Sheldon, Robert Silverberg had to make a huge apology, it was very clear James Tiptree, Jr. was a man, the Andre Norton story, she was not hiding, a quasi-medieval romance, rationalization, this story is about rationalization, the whole religious cult element, super hard SF, as a historian, certain biological experiences (like love), fairly universal across humanity, across time however…, culture, movies, love songs, something physically is changing in these men, all the cultural baggage would be dispensed, morality wouldn’t win out?, the first time a zombie wakes up, turning some aspect up to 11, to set the society’s norms, urges, the story of Adam and Eve, uncomfortable, people use it for whatever they want, good science fiction, why Jesse likes adaptations, The Twilight Zone adaptation, the new Dune movie, The Masters Of Horror adaptation, the 90210 guy and Elliot Gould, commas missing in the PDF, the narrator of the story has comma problems but the characters writing the letters don’t, her diary entry, a fun format, enough material for a hefty novel (or a quintology), if Steven Baxter wrote this story, a hard topic to fully satisfy everybody with, like H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, horrific, creeping dread, clamping down on the news [censorship], the horror of the nice rational scientist, feels himself changing and can’t stop it, bestial/primal instincts, awakened by the aliens, existential dread, we are the monsters, we’re all going to die, humanity is going to kill itself, people do it to themselves, completely chilling, On And Off A Mountain Road, metaphors, cursed film episode Cigarette Burns, a slasher, the focus is on the micro, the outer image, Alan in Colombia, his job is what the aliens do to us,

the 2019 reboot of THE TWILIGHT ZONE has an episode called “NOT ALL MEN” which is credited to Heather Anne Campbell

it seems to be an uncredited remake of the MASTERS OF HORROR episode “THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION” scripted by Sam Hamm

Not All Men / The Screwfly Solution

except the latter is an adaptation of a 1977 story by James Triptree, Jr.

and the former isn’t

evidence:

Both have family dinner parties

The Screwfly Solution DINNER

Both have cakes with words written on them (“welcome home” and “happy birthday”)

Not All Men DINNER

Both have women being murdered by men

Both have the military showing up

Both have atypical meteors showers

and

Both have their respective blonde female protagonists driving around by day, and being chased by night, in identical yellow Volkswagen Beetles

on the left TWILIGHT ZONE on the right MASTERS OF HORROR

Not All Men / The Screwfly Solution BEETLES

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION is biological Science Fiction and visceral Horror – an alien invasion story like THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by H.G. Wells, as intellectually rigorous, but brutal, scary, and gripping

NOT ALL MEN is decidedly not – it is almost a comedy, but there are no laughs

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION suggest we are victims of biology

NOT ALL MEN suggest everyone has a choice and most men choose to be bad

the MASTERS OF HORROR episode makes a character from the short story gay, and makes him resistant to the biology that effect most men

the TWILIGHT ZONE episode has a gay character who chooses to be resistant

and both have females disagreeing, in their yellow Volkswagen beetles, about how to understand what is happening to the men around them

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION is full of conscientious men and women, scientists, trying to figure out what is happening and how to help their families and the world

NOT ALL MEN has basically no scientists (@ the end, maybe?) but has a marketing company doing some sciencey or something?

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION has the most brutally noir ending imaginable, an ironic one given the characters we follow around for the story, perhaps the last woman alive on earth watching the new tenants of Earth arriving and knowing humanity is finished

NOT ALL MEN ends with a deus ex machina, with cops or the army saving our viewpoint characters, fade to black

blood tests turn up nothing

a twist ending that throws out the main idea they’ve been pushing (the red meteors were a red herring)

there a line at the end of the episode that supposedly explains it all:

“The meteors…they were a placebo.”

then we get the cut-rate Rod Serling closing narration:

Jordan Peele (cut rate Rod Serling)

“Tonight, Annie Miller found herself in the center of a mysterious and violent epidemic. What she encountered was no material disease but rather a plague of conscience. One that gave men permission to ignore decency, consent, and fear. And tonight, all it took was a few an
innocuous little rocks to turn men into monsters here in the Twilight Zone.”

at one point during the craziness in the streets one guy says

“Fuck your feelings”

And this is the level of analysis and writing we are dealing with.

more than 2000 imdb ratings for each

IMDB RATINGS

4.8/10 for THE TWILIGHT ZONE “Not All Men”

6.4/10 for MASTERS OF HORROR “The Screwfly Solution”

Finally, both were filmed in British Columbia

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION is set in several places, including Texas, Michigan, and British Columbia

i don’t think we know where NOT ALL MEN is set (other than a really lame corner of The Twilight Zone)

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, Volkswagen Beetle, understanding the point of the original, we might be unable to control ourselves vs. choosing to be bad, just attacking, just aggro, one of these is science fiction and the other is something else, nightmares, mass hysteria and people’s choices or an alien disease, the hope of the species, woken from crazy aggressive killings, In The Mouth Of Madness (1994), The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, a meme vs. an enzyme or a hormone, social pressures vs. biological pressures, do you read Sutter Cane?, if so you’re infected, the reason I’m killing you is because you’re a communist or a homosexual, explaining inexplicable impulses, a phenomenon we see in reality, Trump as a symptom, the Cult of Adam, “angels”, interesting things in a compressed space, Dracula, the epistolary format, the personal and the broader picture, different perspectives, perfectly expressed, something terrible is happening in England, layers and layers of intertextuality, this is all a suicide note, yesterday I saw an angel, a real estate agent, a devastating last line, all the adults over six years old, feral kids, like a lot of Star Trek episodes, we did it to ourselves!, higher doing what we do to lower or higher species, Huston, Huston, Do You Read?, gender dynamics, women disposing of men, this thing called kissing, Y: The Last Man, a response to When It Changed by Joanna Russ, ovafusion, all female civilization, Sheri S. Tepper, a whole genre conversation, The Children Of Men by P.D. James, The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro, gender reversed romance plots, men are the hysterical, the second most dangerous primate, another primate note, the rhesus monkeys, spider monkeys, chimpanzees, biological similarity, not well discussed at the dinner table, mating behaviors, Fritz Leiber, opinions from twitter, wishing people would read it, even the uninfected nodded and saw the killing as natural, the result is extermination, God’s will, committees, kill camps, bad things are happening, no one in authority, the mundane aspect, being called to Florida, a car flotilla [aka a convoy], the NIH, Triptree lived in Washington, D.C., her husband and her were both CIA, part of the interest here, Deep Impact (1998), a bunch of people in a control room, the media, something weird is happening in India, 150 adulteresses in Saudi Arabia, very similar headlines, “so-called Sharia Law”, Michael McKean (of Spinal Tap), #YesAllWomen, scarier and scarier every day, an over-reading, anonymous submission, George Sand, other reasons, “trans-phobic”, whatever else, transphobic by structure, a binary opposition of genders, gender binarism is real and meaningful, structurally queasy, men as naturally pedophilic, socially compelled into a straight marriage, there’s a lot there, you gotta consider the context of the story, Heinlein was, reading transphobia into texts [from 1977], Trish is cancelled, a failure of imagination, phobia is without meaning, outside the scope of what she’s exploring, how they turn on the boys, a non-binary view of sexuality, reading too much into this?, aggression hacked sexuality, a less binary reading of sexuality, she’s thinking super-hard, what is sexuality?, this strange focus on a part of science that doesn’t get a lot of attention in Science Fiction, our hero Alan, his relationship with his wife, it gets hot, he starts fantasizing on the airplane, crushed the Coke can, you need to kill me if I show up, I should throw this knife away, really good hard SF, he knows there’s something wrong with him, he should kill himself, killing (and possibly raping) his own daughter, slightly misreading what’s going on, the chase mentality is real, ovulation in some animals needs this, kinda Kinsey, the weaker have been killed, artificial wombs, Podkayne Of Mars, freeze your zygotes, Lois McMaster Bujold, people’s wrong takes, the most devastating counterargument to #NotAllMen, they are connected, an expression, traction after #MeToo, the defensive reaction, downgrading the impact of #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter vs. #BlueLivesMatter, sarcastic uses, #AllMen, aggressive seeds, bombing Dallas, men are evil, seeds of violence, misogynistic in structure, a jihad against women, in order to do evil is to choose evil, we are biologically determined, human beings are more than their biology, condemned by our biology, its not a disease, on the ground, isn’t it horrifying that we are biologically determined?, the hashtag vs. the Twilight Zone episode of the same name, explicitly rejecting Tiptree Jr.’s idea, we should summon the will, what if we are biologically determined to do everything, an MRNA injection, a hard bitter pill to swallow, what the story is suggesting, it helps Scott make choices, seeing this in all its horror, if we don’t have choices in reality, the illusion of choices?, what about the screwflies?, they’re just flies, we write stories, we’re not as complicated as we think, slaves to our hormones, he doesn’t kill himself, noir, not pulling its punches, biological determinism or mostly biologically determined?, influenced by stories, closer to chimps or rhesus monkeys, bonobos?, sex as a way of saying hello, a dispute over a sandwich settled by sex, institutions and ideology shape how we interpret and overcome biological, the birth control pill, change society, what science fiction is, geology, how old the Earth is, life-changing, a very good science fiction story, harder than H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds [not The Time Machine], take the war to Mars, maybe somebody’s working on something somewhere, so good, 1 hour to read, that fake stuff that’s 16 books long, fake science, 2 north 75 degree west, anthropology, WHO inoculations, just watched an episode of Masters Of Horror, Cordwainer Smith, off in Africa with her parents, the horse latitudes, bringing experience to the table, its not because she’s a girl, long short story format, The Women Men Don’t See, The Woman Who Was Plugged In, semi-interesting, externalize evil, religions antagonists fighting god, the devil is trying to put bad thoughts in your head, avoiding responsibility, easier, Alcohol Anonymous’ plan, accept the higher power because you’re weak, these religious pamphlets make so much sense, Genesis 3:16, women: feel the pain of childbirth and obey your husbands, short stories are a technology for delivering ideas, don’t be anti-good story, some people are willing to put anything into their bodies, good short SF is a vaccination against long terrible series that do you wrong.

The Screwfly Solution by James Tiptree, Jr.

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The SFFaudio Podcast #676 – READALONG: The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #676 – Jesse, Scott Danielson, Will Emmons and Trish E. Matson talk about The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Talked about on today’s show:
not Willy Shakes, first performed on Hallowmass, 1611, a Royal Wedding, the day of the dead, November 1st, his last play?, spoken by Prospero, the conventional thing, ready to give up magic, now my charms are all o’erthrown, sent to Naples, with the help of your good hands, my ending is despair, never Shakespeare, a table reading, Broadway musicals, light comedies, Pride And Prejudice, a Southern Utah Shakespeare festival, a replica of The Globe, Julius Caesar, I’ve been bad but you should forgive me because you’ve been bad too, Prospero is a bad man, accomplished everything, made people acknowledge their faults, what got him into trouble in the first place, good but oblivious, an unreliable narrator, he’s a slaver, multiple slaves, penance for attempted rape, indentured servitude, Shakespeare by Mark Van Doren (1939), the wildest interpretation, it will not yield its secret easily, open to so many interpretations and restagings, five versions of The Tempest, Trish never got bored, The Tempest (2010) with Helen Mirren as Prospera, a stage production at Stratford, Ontario, Or What You Will by Jo Walton, As You Like It, a good reason to read a book, a late 9th century play that became very famous, a spark for every fire, let me not, bare island, your good hands, a Disney movie and a cartoon, audience participation, a device for engaging the audience, Tinkerbell will die unless you start clapping, Prospero is Shakespeare, Ariel is the stage director, a metaphor for being a writer, a BBC version from 1980, you will be free, he’s also talking to the audience, all in realtime, how many hours have passed, we have to get this all done by six, Ariel puts people to sleep to get to the next scene, every adaptation misses the comedy, the technical term “comedy”, the infodump scene at the beginning, they interpret the lines wrong or they cut them, how they got there, mostly Prospero talking, 12 years since thy father was the duke of Milan and a Prince of Power, thy mother was a piece of virtue, I don’t think my wife would have lied to me, do you mark me, sir your speech would relieve deafness, she keeps saying ya ya ya, getting bored, he’s asking the audience, she should be falling asleep, dost thou hear?, he keeps coming back are you paying attention, she retains none of it, its only for the audience, all the preceding twelve years, a different dynamic, dost thous pay attention, yeah I’m getting bored too, Shakespeare is attentive to infodumps being boring, bring your audience up to speed, Alonzo vs. Antonio, a master of craftsmanship, structure, high drama and low comedy, interleaving, assassination plots, a love story, Miranada and her father and Miranda and Ferdinand, costumes help, a tendency to focus on Ariel, Caliban is the greatest character (perhaps), stock characters, Caliban’s resentment, a rebellious slave, worshiping a false master, he’s Gollum, he had something taken from him, the culture, his gabardine, fart and drinking jokes, you want the meatiest role, Trunculo, stage presence, he’s reformed, a weakness in the play, is this play weak?, who is Caliban, he’s a native person, an Indian, bring him back and show him off at home, a native person we can display for money, Caliban is the character to obsess over, find somebody else to be slavish to, he’s too trusting, why people vibe with Caliban, the story is not friendly to Caliban, a 1960 movie with Richard Burton with Caliban, Roddy McDowell, Lee Remick, Prospero telling his slaves to do things, repeating his culture or making a commentary?, The Merchant Of Venice, Shylock, kind (at first), taught him language, tried to rape Miranda, white womanhood, what do we say about people we enslave and how they treat women, the colonized person, a justification for harsh treatment, savage people who need the kindly elevating structure of the colonists, Shakespeare is only interested in politics in what they can do to induce drama, a mini-utopia in it, how to improve Milan, Dido and the wedding, I think monarchy is a bad idea, organize things differently, the drama of the situation can deliver, perhaps the weakness is not there, suckered by Prospero, water with berries in it, and pets him, teaches him language, all the great things on the island, when Caliban wants to make more Calibans, an offense, getting above his station, he’s a pet, manipulate this prince of , not that way sirrah, Miranda is subject to his spells as well, The Taming Of The Shrew, women need to be slapped around, its a horror story, liberated women need to know there place, the third time, Stephano, I will feed your other mouth and the lesser legs, a Three Stooges dynamic, I’m in the belly of the fish, these guys must be gods, 410 years on, the Indians on this island are not going to be so passive, colonization of the new world, being exploited by Prospero (with words), I learned real good, now I’m gonna give up my art, if you want to walk away you have to clap, an intermission, from The X-Men, Asimov’s Robot novels written, same letters as cannibal, Caribbean, a savage, the Bermudas, three pamphlets on a ship called the Sea Adventure, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a great title, you haven’t seen anything yet, the vocabulary choices, strange 500 times, Milan, A most high miracle, I have cursed them without cause, compass thee about, oh wonder!, three shipwrecked sailors, sexy men, I’ve never seen them before, so many resonances, most current, The Tempest largely responsible for Star Trek, Stuart J. Byrne, Kirking computers, the definitive adaptation of The Tempest is Forbidden Planet (1956), very little in it that isn’t in Star Trek, the planet Altair, an away team, Spock, McCoy, and Bones, Robby The Robot is Ariel, what kind of scientist is it?, he’s a philologist, a lot of kissing going on, the angry force on the planet is Caliban, the newest announced Star Trek is Strange New Worlds, Requiem For Methuselah and What Are Little Girls Made Of?, the influence is undeniable, “wagon train to the stars”, guys who are making Westerns all day, Star Trek The Next Generation named after an episode of The Prisoner, Data is one of the men she sees, transfer his consciousness into Data’s body, what islands are in Science Fiction are planets, Planet Stories, beam people up to the ship to do their play, a native force with a whole backstory going on, Shakespeare is not Q in these episodes, checking up on a lost colony, other works, the opening 20 minutes of Forbidden Planet, the two pontoons of the warp nacelles, a flying saucer with pontoons sticking out, a play about a wizard from 400 years ago is largely responsible for a whole kind of Science Fiction, what percentage are we talking about 99% or 12%, it is the plot of The Tempest, all the characters are analogs, the visual elements, this is very much like an episode, The Tempest is the pilot for Star Trek, The Cage, Where No Man Has Gone Before, ESP powers, Star Trek: Continues, dealing with another form of science fiction, different islands in different states of political movements, Caliban is an alien, treated as non-human, half human, the devil, Setebos taken by Prospero, the only good thing about learning languages is to curse, cursing vs. swearing, breaking podcast rules?, exciting listening, you taught me language, the red plague rid you for learning me your language, hag seed hence, I’ll wrack these with old cramps, his art is of such power, his mom is a dam, make a vassal of him, having to fetch in wood, there’s wood enough within, penis jokes, gabardine scene, these brave spirits within, inherently cute, what makes Caliban ugly, misshapen, he wasn’t symmetrical, spotted, a stinky fish, a live fish, his arms fins, not shaped like a standard human, mixed race, objectively ugly, freckles are nice, he’s a fish man but that’s nice, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, influenced in dreams, double-thinking his concerns, invite him to a swimming party, under Devil’s reef, you’re gonna wear a crown bud, an anti-racist story, subject to interpretation, garments, Prospero’s magic robe, gabardine, the guy in The Goonies, The Shape Of Water, a sex/love object, Frankenstein, a beholder thing, a horrifying monster or too beautiful?, an abused child, a feral child story, Sycorax is a great character that’s not on stage, she taught him a language, gibbering howling noises, we don’t know how old Caliban was when his mother died, mistreated, dispossessed, the different kind of slave mentalities, re-imprisoned, always reward, how the service came to be, make a deal with a dwarf in the forest, you will be my servant, three miller’s apprentices, Doll I’ The Grass, a cat that takes a miller’s son as a servant, my anointed son, you can live with these two rotters, none of that for poor Caliban, “By this bottle which I made of the bark of a tree with my own hands since I was cast ashore.”, pathetic and funny, he swam ashore found the bark of a tree and made a drink from it, he made a bottle of a ship emptied the keg into a bottle, understanding begins to swell and begins to fill the reasonable shore, This Island Earth, “Pheobus’ steeds are foundered, night is chained below”, time time time, 32 x strange, hang cur hang, I’ll warrant him for drowning, an unstaunched wench, typical male Euro view, all the girls on stage except for Kate, many many great quotes, different interpretations, reinterpretations, This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart, Yellow Sky (1948), Miranda In Milan by Katharine Duckett, the modern version, class based relationships, the marriage in Tunis, three mentioned women, Miranda’s mother, a virtuous woman, the exile when Miranda was three, an arranged marriage, not at all eager for it, class/race/gender, sometimes they’re playing dress up, no escaping to the island of the Amazons, maids become wives or become mad and kill themselves, servants, what was Prospero’s beef with his brother, putting the coronet of Milan under the crown of Naples, Milan being the female and Naples being the male, arranging her marriage to the king of Naples son, it’s ok when I do it, all the Roman gods, presumably set in the Mediterranean, in the Roman world, there’s Ariel, Prospero putting away his books, putting away magic, a Christianizing, giving up his servant, Prospero is giving up his paganism, submitting himself to God, submitting to your husband’s desires, Hell is empty and all the devils are here, Ariel recounts it, naturalistic explanation, translating it into the science fiction explanation, a weather phenomenon, ball lightning is pretty obscure, St. Elmo’s fire, to control events, extending that to politics today and the media, this creation of a tempest in a teapot, to shipwreck on the islands, marry his daughter off, to satisfy the needs that he has, control and manipulation and gaslighting, Shakespeare’s stock and trade, abhorrent in the world, does it to characters in Macbeth and Hamlet, players, a very special power to story, it bypasses all of your reason and lodges itself in your head, not logical arguments, the audience goes in with consent (without not knowing what they’ve consented to), at this time in Shakespeare’s career, don’t get jailed, bypassing their reason, in the position of a fool, Alas, poor Yorik, I’m now holding his skull of, how did Yorik die?, Facebook and Biden don’t literally arrests you yet, habeas corpus is still kinda there, famous presidential people, James I and VI, he survived to give his second best bed to his wife, willing to rock boats in other lands than England, the power of story, Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove, what if?, Prospero played by woman, why it was gender flipped, Ariel is the traditional gender flip, when you gender flip Prospero it fucks with the text, Duchess, my dukedom, resonances break, Oh the heavens, Prospero talking about his brother, good wombs have born bad sons [siblings], seeing an old woman, a witch vs. a wizard, I like my books, a soft coup, Prospero’s POV, if you’re going to run a state, a city state, New Zealand or Taiwan can lock down the way Switzerland can’t, the guy locked away in his library story, the story of Caliban being a rapist, there’s no issue of consent here, if he’s an animal, two youngsters playing doctor, I’ve but seen to men before, a lot of wood jokes, sad story for him, give meaty roles for women, saving her from an angry crowd, Richard III is Hitler, several versions of Macbeth, Michael Fassbender as Macbeth, Ian McClellan, Hellen Mirren as Lady Macbeth, being swept along by events, notices the swastika on his armband, a more charitable reading of the play, making your own moral choices, their freedom, she’s a mermaid in one story, without a backward glance or with an affectionate glance, mostly dialogue and a few stage directions, different interpretations, all the performances never recorded, the novelist vs. the playwright, Julius Caesar is dramatic, ways people play Prospero: as a dodderer, straight (not wholly arch), he should be knowing, he’s made a mistake and doesn’t want to admit it, make the sword move or not move, his/her magic wand/staff, a great temptation to ham up things that are serious, make meat of everything that you’re given, the stinky fish with lesser legs, two lesser men in the play drunkin around as a comic relief, Ariel is accompanied by other spirits, that’s not in the play, a flexible young person, a robot, Leslie Nielsen’s gun, doing Prospero’s business, Caliban is an invisble monster, a force left over, a Sycorax-like force, studying “liberal arts”, the relationship between Prospero and Sycorax, the powers that he has at his command, graduating to wizarding school, his magic was good, she was a witch, the twin thing, Caliban is mirror by Ariel, one’s good and the other is good, one has power over the air, the other over the land, he’s stolen a kingdom in the way his brother has stolen his, he was evil from the start, that’s a cross not a dagger, think of your Jesus, dagger dagger dagger, fixated on interpretations, we hear about the props, a mininmalistic interpretation has three clumps of wood, enter Mariners wet, conveniently asleep, we can mine it forever, on to As You Like It for Scott, if this were played upon a stage…, Or What You Will by Jo Walton, Among Others, what I’ve been reading, not really a novel, he has been a dragon with a boy on his back, he has been a god, set in Thalia, stop off the wheel of mortality forever, a visit to Florence, a reporatory theater of characters, Romeo And Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, every part was gender swapped, how the dynamics changed, the male people were the emotional ones, The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro, another Star Trek episode, getting familiar with Shakespeare, tremendous, very important, still excited, Twelfth Night: or What You Will, comedies having gender swap, a romantic comedy, Viola and Sebastian, Duke Orsino, Countess Olivia, ends in a marriage, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon and Galadriel, in a time when there’s birth control, its Fairyland, it can’t be translated into Science Fiction, a holodeck adventure, when Data is playing all the roles, Merchant Of Venice, Othello, other books to read.

Illustrated Classics - The Tempest

Ariel's Song from The Tempest art by Virgil Finlay

Caliban

Typical Eruo Male POV Of Women

Forbidden Planet

Steeds Are Foundered

Made From A Bark Boat

The Tempest illustrated by Jesse

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The SFFaudio Podcast #430 – READALONG: The High Crusade by Poul Anderson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastDr. Dimension Master Of Spacetime Raising Mullah by S. Ron MarsThe SFFaudio Podcast #422 – Jesse, Scott Danielson, and Paul Weimer talk about The High Crusade by Poul Anderson

Today’s podcast is sponsored by Hotspur Publishing’s Dr. Dimension Master Of Spacetime Raising Mullah. Written by S. Ron Mars and narrated by Fred Wolinsky, this is a comedic Science Fiction audiobook available now on Audible.com

Talked about on today’s show:
A Canticle For Leibowitz, the framing, a thousand years later, the manuscript, make a universe as a playground to play in, feudal Englishman running rampant in interstellar space, appreciations, Eric Flint, David Drake, Greg Bear, rollicking, Astrid Anderson Bear, a rollicking romp of medieval mayhem, fun Catholicism, A Case Of Conscience where the conscience is a little lose, the horrible movie adaptation The High Crusade (1994), it could make a good movie, Monty Python And The Holy Grail, George Pal, no budget, no script, no director, John Rhys Davies, the trailer, a really good trailer, blue skin, Quest by Poul Anderson, this seems to be the Holy Grail, here’s a story where they tried, a little too sloppy, a gaming system, Ares, Poul Anderson wrote a ton of great stuff, paperback reprints, an upbeat ending, grim or ambiguous, a different tone, The Broken Sword, Three Hearts And Three Lions, Philip K. Dick’s Waterspider has Poul Anderson as a character, Call Me Joe by Poul Anderson, Avatar with fewer explosions, following in a line with Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, our knowledge, awesome mistakes, no defenses, lucky Scott, fun, super-entertaining, history, a healthy respect for factual history, not technically a lie, Babel, an undercurrent of humour from charging knights to launching nukes with trebuchets, historicity, the fall of Rome, barbarians, the Roman Empire, the creation of the dark ages, their own past and their own future, fiefdoms, the church, practicality, stiff armour costumes, almost a complete retelling of what’s going on in Europe, a local chieftain, keep the system going, pastiche, we have to buy so much, rusty axes, pretty hard to buy, a light touch, undeniably well working, L. Sprague de Camp’s Krishna novels and stories, looking for princesses, green skin aliens, an Easter egg, all their conquests, the crusades, the Wersgorix, defeat the horde of Englishmen, Saracens, ripe for a fall, what made Alexander The Great so great, technical definition: a shitshow, sacking Constantinople, attacking the wrong people, loose collectives, a charitable term, mercenary motivations, the sack of Alexandria, they too the wrong turn, the Northern Crusades, the French Crusades, Baltic pagans, holy wars, Christian jihads, radical extremism combined with mercenary avarice, he must speak Latin because he’s a demon, sharp knives and tortures and laughing, it’s all fake, not being horrified, the entire town from Lincolnshire goes to liberate the Holy Land, an enjoyable romp, edible, digestible, enjoyable, nicely, lightly, briefly, reconstructing scenes, reliability, circumstances, third hand, it’s wonderful to be an Englishman, his declensions are atrocious and what he does to irregular verbs can not be mentioned in gentle company, Patricia Kennealy-Morrison, Celts in the stars, Catherine Asaro, Mayans in space, Star Trek, space Romans and space Nazis, the Traveler RPG, Traveler 3000, seeding wolves and humans, plenty of little planets, plucky humans, star empires, elves, wolves in space, building empires, dying in character creation, The High Crusade tactical board game, chits, Avalon Hill, flaws and strengths, tactics, dry ’80s-style war games, actual battles, great cover art, the idea of primitive technology defeating higher technology, Ewoks vs. the Imperial Storm Troopers, Return Of The Jedi, buckskins (Ewok skins), a comic light touch, different kinds of swords, gladius -> longsword -> rapier -> no swords, the heraldry, to learn how to run a spaceship, you don’t even know how to read to learn, ignorance, history, they’re not knowledgeable enough to think they can’t win, hand-to-hand, contrast, thrall army, fort destruction, ionic storm, heresy, playing the heresy card, history, religion, science, space battles, awesome, scenes and jokes, the workings of the physical universe, an inversion, knights with holstered ray guns, laser guns, the English learn quickly, never give up the horses, poor Ansby was left almost deserted, the loading of the ship, a Noah’s Ark story, a good idea, a lot to swallow, so much sugar, worldly goods, what happened to this village?, everybody’s gone, all the cupboards are bare, there’s a story there, “almost deserted”, I’m not getting on this thing!, other races, clever but nuts, the opening framing, a document vs. a novel, The Green Meadow by H.P. Lovecraft and Winifred Virginia Jackson, the most preposterous story ever, alien summer night, socio-technician, modern languages, creatures, thunder and blow-up, hard to believe, no rest for the wicked, impressively ancient, uncials on vellum, a prosaic typescript, home was a long way off, a mystery, pretty cute, they did well, still there, an English Empire stretching down the spiral arm, 2300 A.D., has the Holy Land yet been liberated?, a funny funny book, this book can’t really age, the alien technology of the ship feels very 1950s, their navigator is called an “astrologer”, The Enduring Chill by Flannery O’Connor, Stephen Colbert, a comedian should narrated this novel, John Cleese, the Book For The Blind, massive archives, there has never been a commercial audiobook release of The High Crusade, The Broken Sword, collections, Brain Wave, Tau Zero, Three Hearts And Three Lions, dealing with elves and trolls, Icelandic and Scandinavian myths, Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp, The Man Who Came Early, dark ages Iceland, Eifelheim by Michael Flynn, split time-lines, everything’s short, 180 pages, a big impressive story inside a few number of pages, packing a bigger punch, Harvest Of Stars, these science fiction writers in the 1960s and 1970s were doing idea exploration, The Broken Sword is a classic, Paul will wind up crying again, catharsis, faking us out, “these creatures”, the Owain treachery, the same thing in Quest, double jointed knees, more faithful than everybody else, a planet named Lancaster, there was hardly a peasant who hadn’t been knighted, Alexander’s generals, regional governors founding dynasties, hay stuck in his hair, very strange very funny, the promise of all series novels always offer, all the adventures happen between the page turns, Sir Roger’s cunning, the Wersgorix had no special affection for their birthplace, King John (and the Magna Carta), the rule of law vs. the rule of the word, “don’t you wish you had a plan?”, siege-craft, “when I had been picked up and dusted off”, no simpletons, to reap so rich a harvest, winning with cunning, courage and brute strength, a little pope, the younger people are not careful, Parvus means “little”, my nickname when I was a kid, a good catch, can we trust this document?, of course we have to trust it 100% because it’s cuter that way, why would it lose to anything?, another religious novel, a different kind of humour completely, a very dry humour, what else was nominated?, Rogue Moon by Algis Burdrys, Deathworld by Harry Harrison, Venus Plus X by Theodore Sturgeon, The Longest Voyage, the Tor Double, To Marry Medusa, Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer, mini-tyrannosaurs rex, Galileo, a telescope, his “planet”, Poul Anderson’s inspiration, making marvelous wonders, a great story to build on.

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson - illustration by H. R. Van Dongen

The High Crusade - illustration by Larry Elmore

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Sunrise Alley by Catherine Asaro

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction audiobook - Sunrise Alley by Catherine AsaroSunrise Alley
By Catherine Asaro; Read by Hillary Huber
10 CDs – Approx. 11.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published: December 2007
ISBN: 1433213007
Themes: / Science Fiction / Romance / Androids / Artificial Intelligence / California / Cyborgs /

When a shipwrecked stranger washed up on the beach near research scientist Samantha Bryton’s home, she was unaware that he was something more than human. He said his name was Turner Pascal—but Pascal was dead, killed in a car wreck. This man only held the remainder of Pascal’s consciousness in a technologically-enhanced humanoid body. He was, in fact, an experiment by the notorious criminal Charon, a practitioner of illegal robotics and android research. Charon has been secretly copying human minds into android brains, with plans to make his own army of slaves. On the run from this most ruthless criminal, Samatha and Turner seek help from Sunrise Alley, an underground organization of AIs and androids that have gone rogue. But these cybernetic outlaws are rumored to have their own hidden agenda.

It may not be so much that women and men are from different planets as women and men care about different things. Or it may be just that Catherine Asaro and I care about different things. Very different things. I have this hypothesis: people, even when they are lying to you, or writing fiction, can tell you a lot about themselves by what they focus on over and over. The word that kept coming up over and over again in Sunrise Alley was “trust.” Catherine Asaro, or at least her viewpoint character, Samantha Bryton, cares a whole helluvalot about trust. Me, I don’t care about trust, at least not in the way Asaro seems to wants me to. Based on the scenes in Sunrise Alley Asaro seems to think that being chased is also of great interest to a reader. Maybe it is to some readers. It isn’t to me. Turner Pascal, the mobile MacGuffin, is being chased prior to the novel’s start. Then Turner, the bellboy turned android, and Samantha, the scientist turned beachcomber, are chased all over the globe. They are chased in cars, by helicopter, by jet, on foot, in cars again.

The meme of an artificial person, android or evolving intelligence as Asaro dubs it, is often an interesting idea to work with in fiction. Philip K. Dick did some amazing things with it Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? as did Alfred Bester in Fondly Fahrenheit. Even later career Robert A. Heinlein managed to tell a compelling story with an artificial person in Friday. William Gibson’s Neuromancer is a globe trotting adventure with an artificial intelligence as the MacGuffin. But Catherine Asaro’s take on AI and androids leaves me empty and depressed.

When Samantha and Turner aren’t being chased by unseen foes they are usually making love in one of Samantha’s many beds (in one of her many houses), or in a tastefully decorated secure facility bedrooms (where they are being held prisoner). But those looking for scene after scene of socially redeeming hot piston on human action will also be sadly disappointed. The order of the day in Sunrise Alley is for the scientist and the bellboy to show each other their emotions, their vulnerable sides and speak essentially the same dialogue over and over.
The android, Turner, has an inferiority complex and his savior/companion/scientist girlfriend is needed to shore up his insecurities. The central problem in the novel, other than their being chased, comes when Turner starts to modify his body in order to solve their problems and escape their captors (because apparently Samantha has no skills herself). In doing this Turner is increasingly loosing the handsome human looks he was given by his evil maker (the bad guy who we don’t get to meet for more than half the novel). This makes Samantha have to deal with the increasing repulsion she feels towards Turner’s increasingly mechanical-looking body. And that is basically encapsulates my big problem with this story. Writing sentences about a character’s emotional life and his/her feelings towards another character’s body parts makes me really, really annoyed.

I like idea fiction, stories that tell me something on an intellecutal level. Asaro’s Sunrise Alley seems to be merely operating on the level of wish-fulfillment. Samantha Bryton is beautiful, wealthy, and unemployed by choice. When the novel begins a handsome, insecure man has just washed up on her beach. She rescues him and drags him to the safety of her inviting home. Did I mention that Samantha also has two homes in the woods? One is near the beach in a forest, another is in some other forest, just a convienient chapter’s distance away. Both homes are filled with top-notch security, lovely decor and garages full of vehicles to make James Bond greatly envious. The explanation of why a quietly retired scientist needs to own two woodsy homes within a few hours driving distance of each other isn’t at all satisfactory. And neither is the explanation as to why she has a spy cars with built-in cloaking devices, bulletproof glass, oil slick droppers and mortars.

The worst sin that Asaro commits, in my opinion, is the final revelation which comes in the form of a pathetic pseudoscience, namely repressed memory.Sunrise Alley is not just a bad novel, but badly conceived, badly written and generally bad. This is the worst novel I have ever read. This is the worst I have ever reviewed. This is the worst I have ever finished.

Narrator Hillary Huber is tasked with making Samantha Bryton’s neurotic thoughts come alive. She pitches her voice a little deeper when voicing Turner Pascal. Huber is a fine narrator, this material is beneath her skill.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #048

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #048 – Jesse and Scott talk about new and old audiobooks, great audio and radio drama, upcoming stage plays, and old movies.

Talked about on today’s show:
Oblique references to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, recent arrivals, Full Cast Audio, Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev, Worldcon 2006, theater people, Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice as stage play, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, Hachette Audio, Black Hills by Dan Simmons, mining history for fiction, Drood by Dan Simmons, Little Big Horn, The Terror by Dan Simmons, The Fall Of Hyperion by Dan Simmons, the SFFaudio Yahoo! Group, “do you relisten to audiobooks?”, Canadia 2056 by Matt Watts (now available in the iTunes music store), Steve The First, Steve The Second, The Prestige by Christopher Priest, The Futurist by James P. Othmer, Tantor Media, William Dufris, PaperBackSwap.com, The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James, Blackstone Audio, H.G. Wells vs. Henry James, Julie Davis’ Forgotten Classics podcast, a ghost story, The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle, The Others (2001), Henry James’ other novels, who’s fiction is more relevant?, new releases, Fang by James Patterson, the Maximum Ride series, vampires, Calfkiller Old Time Radio, getting into HuffDuffer.com, Calfkiller OTR’s HuffDuffer, BBC Radio’s Saturday Night Theatre, a BBC radio drama version of A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Louis Lamour, Mickey Spillane, The Twilight Zone, social networking your audio, Jesse’s HuffDuffer, Radio Drama Revival’s 3rd anniversary, Buried In Falling Sand (is “very Philip K. Dickian”), God Of The Razor based on a story by Joe R. Lansdale |READ OUR REVIEW|, Great Northern Audio Theatre‘s Dialogue With Martian Trombone, William Tenn’s death, Frederick Pohl on William Tenn’s Child’s Play, Child’s Play is available |HERE|, talking time travel with middle graders, podcast feed, current listens, Killing Floor by Lee Child |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin |READ OUR REVIEW|, virtual reality, worst novel since Startide Rising by David Brin |READ OUR REVIEW| , Sunrise Alley by Catherine Asaro (it is terrible so far), Kurt Dietz’s review of The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro |READ OUR REVIEW|, Da Vinci’s Inquest, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: Groundhog Day (1993), a timeless classic disguised as a comedy, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: The Valley Of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was ripping his stories from the19th century’s headlines, the framing story device, Brilliance Audio, The Improbable Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes edited by John Joseph Adams.

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases – Poe, CBC Audio, Richard K. Morgan, Full Cast, S.M. Stirling, + MUCH MORE!

New Releases

Has it really been so long since we had a New Releases post? By the massive size of this one our last must have been a few light years back!

Audible Frontiers:

Audible Frontiers - Starship: Rebel, Book 4 by Mike ResickStarship: Rebel
By Mike Resnick; Read by Jonathan Davis
Audible Download – 8 Hours 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: December 16th 2008
The date is 1968 of the Galactic Era, almost three thousand years from now. The Republic, dominated by the human race, is in the midst of an all-out war with the Teroni Federation. Almost a year has passed since the events of Starship: Mercenary. Captain Wilson Cole now commands a fleet of almost fifty ships, and he has become the single greatest military force on the Inner Frontier. With one exception. The Republic still comes and goes as it pleases, taking what it wants, conscripting men, and extorting taxes, even though the Frontier worlds receive nothing in exchange. And, of course, the government still wants Wilson Cole and the starship Theodore Roosevelt. He has no interest in confronting such an overwhelming force, and constantly steers clear of them. Then an incident occurs that changes everything, and Cole declares war on the Republic. Outnumbered and always outgunned, his fleet is no match for the Republic’s millions of military vessels, even after he forges alliances with the warlords he previously hunted down. It’s a hopeless cause…but that’s just what Wilson Cole and the Teddy R. are best at.

The Ophiuchi Hotline
By John Varley; Read by Gabra Zackman
Audible Download – 7 Hours 55 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: September 2008

Coyote: A Novel of Interstellar Exploration
By Allen Steele; Read by Peter Ganim, Allen Steele, Therese Plummer
Audible Download – 17 hours and 36 minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: September 2008

Coyote Frontier: A Novel of Interstellar Exploration
By Allen Steele; Read by Peter Ganim, Allen Steele, Therese Plummer
Audible Download – 17 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: September 2008

Coyote Rising: A Novel of Interstellar Revolution
By Allen Steele; Read by Peter Ganim, Allen Steele, Therese Plummer
Audible Download – 17 Hours 32 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: September 2008

Galaxy Blues
By Allen Steele; Read by Mark Vietor
Audible Download – 10 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: September 2008

After the Downfall
By Harry Turtledove; Read by Eric Michael Summerer
Audible Download – 17 Hours 55 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: September 2008

AudioBookCase:

The man with the foreboding voice takes on Stevenson’s most foreboding work…

AUDIOBOOKCASE - The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis StevensonThe Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
By Robert Louis Stevenson; Read by Wayne June
3 CDs – [UNABRIDGED?]
Publisher: AudioBookCase
Published: December 2008?
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, (1886), has inspired analysis from a multiplicity of points-of-view, variously lauding it as a classic case study of good and evil, an examination of 19th century morals and psychological states, an inquiry into the essence of personality, personality disorder, and the nature of addiction. Of the work Stevenson himself said: “I send you herewith a Gothic gnome, interesting I think, and he came out of a deep mine, where he guards the fountain of tears.” And elsewhere: “Jekyll is a dreadful thing, I own, but the only thing I feel dreadful about is this damned old business of the war in the members. This time it came out; I hope it will stay in, in future.” Stevenson’s amiable style sets up an engaging personal rapport, sharing with the reader an enthusiasm and sense of wonder that remains today as rationale for the approbation of generations of admiring devotees worldwide.

Blackstone Audio:

Read by Michael Madsen, Sandra Oh, Edward Herrmann, and more (Blackstone commisioned this work done by the Hollywood Theater of the Ear)…

Blackstone Audio - The Maltese Falcon (Audio Drama)The Maltese Falcon
Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett; Performed by a full cast
3 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 3.1 Hours [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: November 2008
ISBN: 9781433252495 (cd), 9781433252501 (mp3-cd)
The Maltese Falcon first appeared in the pages of Black Mask magazine in 1929. Almost immediately it was acknowledged as not only a great crime novel but an enduring masterpiece of American fiction. Sam Spade, its protagonist, is the archetypal tough, cynical P.I., “able,” as his creator explained, “to take care of himself in any situation, able to get the best of anybody he comes in contact with, whether criminal, innocent by-stander or client.” And what a client! – the irresistible and treacherous femme fatale Brigid O’Shaughnessy.

Believing the book’s vividly drawn characters and memorable dialogue cry out for theatrical treatment, Blackstone Audio commissioned this faithful dramatization by the award-winning Hollywood Theater of the Ear, in which a brilliant cast brings to life all the excitement and suspense of Hammett’s original in the playhouse of the mind.

The literary equivalent of taking deliriants in church…

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Tom Weiner
6 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 6.8 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: September 2008
Not too long from now, when exiles from a blistering Earth huddle miserably in Martian colonies, the only things that make life bearable are the drugs. Can-D “translates” those who take it into the bodies of Barbie-like dolls. Now there’s competition: a substance called Chew-Z, marketed under the slogan “God promises eternal life. We can deliver it.” The question is: What kind of eternity? And who—or what—is the deliverer?

Sounding rather comic, and mainstream…

The Ghost In Love
By Jonathan Carroll; Read by Ray Porter
8 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 9.3 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: September 2008
Just after a man falls in the snow and hits his head on a stone curb, a ghost arrives to take his soul to the afterlife. But something strange occurs: the man doesn’t die. Flabbergasted, the ghost appeals to his boss for further direction and is instructed to stay with the man until the strange “problem” is worked out. But things get complicated when the ghost falls madly, deeply in love with the man’s girlfriend. Soon afterward, the man discovers he did not die when he was supposed to because, for the first time, human beings have decided to take back their fates from the gods.

Book 2 in Card’s SF version of the book of Mormon…

The Call Of Earth (Homecoming: Book 2)
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
9 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 10.5 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: September 2008
For millennia, the planet Harmony has been protected by the Oversoul, an artificial intelligence programmed to prevent thoughts of war and conquest from threatening the fragile remnant of Earth’s peoples. But as the Oversoul’s systems have begun to fail, a great warrior has arisen to challenge its bans. Using forbidden technology, the ambitious and ruthless General Moozh has won control of an army and is aiming it at the city of Basilica.

This sounds bizarre, interesting, and rather Russian…

The Sacred Book Of The Werewolf
By Victor Pelevin; Read by Cassandra Campbell
10 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 11.7 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: September 2008
A. Huli, beautiful and curiously foxlike, has the appearance of a luscious fourteen-year-old girl, the mind of a sly Buddhist monk, and an endearing habit of name-dropping all the famous people she’s met over the past 2,000 years. She works as a classy prostitute in Moscow’s premier hotels, until one client goes inexplicably and fatally berserk at the sight of her and she has to leave in a hurry. Forced to advertise on the Internet, she comes to the attention of an intelligence officer who also happens to be a werewolf.

CBC Audio:

It is pricey at $54.95 CDN, but, it’s got never before heard content, and 7 full CDs of radio drama goodness!

CBC Audio - Canadia: 2056 Season 2 Director’s Cut by Matt WattsCanadia: 2056 (Season 2 Directors Cut)
7 CDs – RADIO DRAMA
Publisher: CBC Audio
Published: December 2008
Product ID: ERART00259
Volume 2 of this entertaining sci-fi comedy series, written by one of Canada’s best-loved comedy writers, Matt Watts. The United States has launched an armada to destroy an alien threat. Canada sends the nation’s only publicly-funded spacecraft, The Canadia – a ship with a single purpose – to plunge the Americans’ toilets. Includes episodes 11-24.

Full Cast Audio:

Book 3 in the Unicorn Chronicles series…

Dark Whispers: Unicorn Chronicles
By Bruce Coville; Multi-cast narration
10 CDs – Approx. 10.25 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Full Cast Audio
Published: September 2008
Listen to a sample |MP3|
As the unicorns of Luster prepare for an invasion led by their ancient enemy, Beloved, a troubling new clue to the dangers they face is discovered in an ancient scroll. As a result, the queen must send her granddaughter—the human girl Cara Dianna Hunter—to the Valley of the Centaurs, in quest of an ancient story that may hold the key to survival for all of Luster.

Graphic Audio:

Outlanders: Grailstone Gambit
By James Axler; Performed by a full cast
CDs – 6 hours [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: GraphicAudio
Published: September 2008

Superman: The Never-Ending Battle
By Roger Stern; Performed by a full cast
CDs – 6 hours [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: GraphicAudio
Published: September 2008

Recorded Books:

One of three Beart audibooks coming to Recorded Book’s new Sci-Fi imprint…

Undertow
By Elizabeth Bear; Read by Timothy Reynolds
9 CDs – 11.25 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: September 2008
ISBN: 9781436119566
André Deschênes wants to escape his life as a hired assassin. He hopes to learn the art of conjuring, manipulating the odds of people’s lives. But a revolution is brewing in the city of Novo Haven, where an alien race is finally gaining ground, demanding they be treated as citizens. And before André moves on, he has a contract to fulfill.

For all your gaelic-nipponese needs look no farther than…

End Of The World Blues
By Jon Courtenay Grimwood; Read by James Yaegashi
12 CDs – 13.25 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: September 2008
ISBN: 9781436147781
Iraqi war vet and part owner of an Irish pub in Tokyo, Kit Nouveau gave up on life a long time ago. But then his life is saved by a runaway, and Kit’s past might be the only thing that can save him from impending disaster.

The first in a series…

Greywalker
By Kat Richardson; Read by Mia Barron
10 CDs – 12.25 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: September 2008
ISBN: 9781436124492
Seattle P.I. Harper Blaine is viciously attacked and murdered—but after exactly two minutes, somehow she returns to life. Now she’s seeing strange things all around her—dark visions from the shadow world—and living a normal life may no longer be possible no matter how hard she tries.

From the author who is also a book critic…

Nova Swing
By M. John Harrison; Read by Jim Frangione
8 CDs – 9.5 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: September 2008
ISBN: 9781436124515
In this sci-fi noir, the physics-defying Saudade Event Site is a place to find strange landscapes and seemingly impossible physical phenomena—perfect for tourism. Into this environment comes Vic Serotonin, a “travel agent” whose newest client is a mysterious woman with a hidden agenda.

Asaro’s first audiobook for Recorded Books (several previous novels were published at Blackstone)…

The Ruby Dice
By Catherine Asaro; Read by Suzanne Toren
14 CDs – 17 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: September 2008
ISBN: 9781436135245
War between the Eubian Concord and the Skolians has devastated the galaxy before. Now another epic clash is brewing, and the leaders of both empires might be powerless to stop it. Further complicating matters, both men hide shocking secrets that could spell their doom.

Tantor Media:

Morgan does Fantasy! I’m there…

The Steel Remains
By Richard K. Morgan; Read by Simon Vance
13 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – 16 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: January 2009
EAN: 9781400109630 (cd), 9781400159635 (mp3-cd)
Epic fantasy is worked over in classic Richard K. Morgan style, producing this unique combination of noir themes and savage action involving characters you wouldn’t want to meet but will love to follow.

An older World Fantasy Award winning novel from Tantor Media…

Replay
By Ken Grimwood; Read by William Dufris
10 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 12 Hours 30 Minutes UNABRIDGED
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: November 2008
ISBN: 9781400110100 (cd), 9781400160105 (mp3-cd)
A time-travel classic in the tradition of Jack Finney’s Time and Again, Ken Grimwood’s acclaimed novel Replay asks the pro-vocative question: “What if you could live your life over again, knowing the mistakes you’d made before?”

You want alternate history? Bam!

The United States Of Atlantis (Book Two in the Atlantis Trilogy)
By Harry Turtledove; Read by Todd McLaren
13 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – 16 hrs 30 min – Unabridged
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: December 2008
ISBN: 9781400107834 (cd), 9781400157839 (mp3-cd)
In the second book of the Atlantis trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Harry
Turtledove continues to rewrite the history of the world with the existence of an
eighth continent: Atlantis.

I knew that dog was really a ghost…

Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong (Reopening the Case of the Hound of the Baskervilles)
By Pierre Bayard; Read by John Lee
4 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 4 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: December 2008
ISBN: 9781400109838 (cd), 9781400159833 (mp3-cd)
Eliminate the impossible, Sherlock Holmes said, and whatever is left must be the solution. But, as Pierre Bayard finds in this dazzling reinvestigation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, sometimes the master missed his mark. Using the last thoughts of the murder victim as his key, Bayard unravels the case, leading the reader to the astonishing conclusion that Holmes—and, in fact, Arthur Conan Doyle—got things all wrong: The killer is not at all who they said it was. Part intellectual entertainment, part love letter to crime novels, and part crime novel in itself, Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong turns one of our most beloved stories delightfully on its head. Examining the many facets of the case and illuminating the bizarre interstices between Doyle’s fiction and the real world, Bayard demonstrates a whole new way of reading mysteries: a kind of “detective criticism” that allows readers to outsmart not only the criminals in the stories we love but also the heroes—and sometimes even the writers.

These two novels will effect the masses who’ve played the videogame…

Mass Effect: Revelation (#1 in the Mass Effect Series)
By Drew Karpyshyn; Read by David Colacci
7 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 9 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Published: Tantor Media
Published: November 2008
ISBN: 9781400110056 (cds), 9781400160051 (mp3-cd)
From the New York Times bestselling author Drew Karpyshyn comes the thrilling first
official novel based on the BioWare video game Mass Effect.

Mass Effect – Ascension (#2 in the Mass Effect Series)
By Drew Karpyshyn; Read by David Colacci
8 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 9 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: December 2008
ISBN: 9781400110049 (cd), 9781400160044 (mp3-cd)
It’s humankind versus a race of machines bent on harvesting organic life in this second official novel based on the BioWare video game.

Originally released by Durkin Hayes abridged, here’s the first unabridged version of this non-Dune Frank Herbert novel…

Tantor Media Science Fiction Audiobook - The White Plague by Frank HerbertThe White Plague
By Frank Herbert; Read by Scott Brick
16 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – 20 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: 12/08/2008
ISBN: 9781400105656 (cd), 9781400155651 (mp3-cd)
The White Plague, a marvelous and terrifyingly plausible blend of fiction and visionary theme, tells of one man who is pushed over the edge of sanity by the senseless murder of his family and who, reappearing several months later as the so-called Madman, unleashes a terrible plague upon the human race—one that zeros in, unerringly and fatally, on women.

Wer’re wild and wooly about this one…

Tantor Media Alternate History Audiobook - The Breath Of God by Harry TurtledoveThe Breath Of God
By Harry Turtledove; Read by William Dufris
12 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – Approx. 15 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: 12/23/2008
ISBN: 9781400107841 (cd), 9781400157846 (mp3-cd)
Harry Turtledove, New York Times bestselling author of Opening Atlantis, presents more adventure in a Bronze Age that never was in this sequel to Beyond the Gap.

New series… merc chick with sword? SOLD!

Magic Bites (#1 in the Kate Daniels series)
By Ilona Andrews; Read by Renée Raudman
8 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 9 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: December 2008
ISBN: 9781400110308 (cd), 9781400160303 (mp3-cd)
Mercenary Kate Daniels cleans up urban problems of a paranormal kind. But her latest prey, a pack of undead warriors, presents her greatest challenge.

A paperbook, now audiobook, from the pre-World Of Warcraft era. The first Warcraft audiobook…

Warcraft, Book One – Day Of The Dragon
By Richard A. Knaak; Read by Dick Hill
9 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 11 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: 01/01/2009
ISBN: 9781400109869 (cd), 9781400159864 (mp3-cd)
An original tale of magic, warfare, and heroism based on the bestselling, awardwinning
electronic game from Blizzard Entertainment.

40 hours? Seriously? 40 hours? Seriously?

Pandora’s Star
By Peter F. Hamilton; Read by John Lee
32 CDs or 4 MP3-CDs – 40 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Published: Tantor Audio
Published: 11/17/2008
ISBN: 9781400107643 (cd), 9781400157648 (mp3-cd)
Set in the twenty-fourth century, this epic novel of a human-extraterrestrial war
engineered by an unknown omniscient being is by the bestselling author of The
Reality Dysfunction and Fallen Dragon.

Against The Tide Of Years (#2 in the Nantucket series)
By S.M. Stirling; Read by Todd McLaren
17 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – 20 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: Tantor Media
Published: 11/17/2008
ISBN: 9781400106806 (cd), 9781400156801 (mp3-cd)
George R. R. Martin hailed S. M. Stirling’s bestselling novel Island in the Sea of Time as “an utterly engaging account of what happens when the isle of Nantucket is whisked back into the Bronze Age.” Now the adventure continues with Against the Tide of Years. Book two in the Island in the Sea of Time trilogy

On The Oceans Of Eternity (Book #3 in the Nantucket series)
By S.M. Stirling; Read by Todd McLaren
23 CDs or 3 MP3-Cds – 28 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: January 2009
EAN: 9781400106813 (cd), 9781400156818 (mp3-cd)
Award-winning science fiction author Harry Turtledove hailed Island in the Sea of Time as “one of the best time travel/alternative history stories I’ve ever read,” and Jane Lindskold called Against the Tide of Years “another exciting and explosive tale.” Now the adventures of the Nantucket islanders lost in the time of the Bronze Age continues with On the Oceans of Eternity.

The Scourge of God: A Novel of the Change (#5 in the Emberverse series)
By S.M. Stirling; Read by Todd McLaren
15 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – 18.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: September 2008
EAN: 9781400106820 (cd), 9781400156825 (mp3-cd)
Rudi MacKenzie continues his trek across the land that was once the United States of America. His destination: Nantucket, where he hopes to learn the truth behind the Change that rendered technology across the globe inoperable. During his travels, Rudi forges ties with new allies in the continuing war against the Prophet, who teaches his followers that God has punished humanity by destroying technological civilization. And one fanatical officer in the Sword of the Prophet has been dispatched on a mission: to stop Rudi from reaching his destination by any means necessary.

Crusade (Destroyermen: Book 2)
By Taylor Anderson; Read by William Dufris
12 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – 15 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Published: Tantor Media
Published: November 2008
ISBN: 9781400108077 (cd), 9781400158072 (mp3-cd)
The second novel in the Destroyermen trilogy finds the crew of the USS Walker in
alliance with the peaceful Lemurians against the warlike Grik when another, more
familiar foe joins in the fray. Book two in the Destroyermen trilogy.

Kushiel’s Scion
By Jacqueline Carey; Read by Simon Vance
22 CDs or 3 MP3-CDs – 28 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: Tantor Media
Published: November 2008
ISBN: 9781400109524 (cd), 9781400159529 (mp3-cd)
National bestselling author Carey opens a new trilogy set in the same extraordinary
world as her extended New York Times bestseller, Kushiel’s Avatar.

Sunshine
By Robin McKinley; Read by Laural Merlington
13 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – 16 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Published: Tantor Media
Published: November 2008
ISBN: 9781400110087 (cd), 9781400160082 (mp3-cd)
In her first novel for adults. the Newbery Medalist and bestselling author pens an exciting, beautifully written, erotic addition to the popular vampire genre.

Embrace The Night
By Karen Chance; Read by Cynthia Holloway
13 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – 16 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Published: Tantor Media
Published: November 2008
ISBN: 9781400108190 (cd), 9781400158195 (mp3-cd)
In this third entry in the popular Cassandra Palmer series, Cassie is forced to travel back in time to retrieve an ancient book of spells—although doing so could spell disaster for the world.

Trading In Danger (#1 in the Vatta’s War Series)
By Elizabeth Moon; Read by Cynthia Holloway
11 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – Approx. 14 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
EAN: 9781400108275 (cd), 9781400158270 (mp3-cd)
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: November 2008
The first of the acclaimed Vatta’s War books, the exciting military science fiction series that features a swashbuckling spaceship-captain heroine who mixes commerce with combat.

Marque And Reprisal (#2 in the Vatta’s War Series)
By Elizabeth Moon; Read by Cynthia Holloway
11 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – 13 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: November 2008
ISBN: 9781400108282 (cd), 9781400158287 (mp3-cd)
This action-packed sequel to Trading in Danger is the second installment in Nebula Award-winning author Moon’s military science fiction series featuring Kylara Vatta, who must save her family from ruin.

Valor’s Choice (Book One in the Confederation Series)
By Tanya Huff; Read by Marguerite Gavin
10 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 12 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: November 2008
ISBN: 9781400109920 (cd), 9781400159925 (mp3-cd)
Listen to a sample MP3
In the distant future, humans and several other races have been granted membership in the Confederation—at a price. They must act as soldier/protectors of the far more civilized races who have long since turned away from war.

Posted by Jesse Willis