The SFFaudio Podcast #161 – READALONG: Among Others by Jo Walton

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #161 – Jesse, Scott, Tamahome, and Jenny (of Reading Envy) talk about the Nebula-winning novel Among Others by Jo Walton.

Talked about on today’s show:
What does ‘Among Others’ mean?, “the most meta book ever”, Jo on Coode Street, what’s your favorite book?, Interlibrary Loan, the Welsh accent of the audiobook, is there a plot?, “it’s post-fantasy”, list of sf books referenced, how many have you read?, books in The Canon, Jo’s Tor blog, no cyberpunk, The Litany of Fear from Dune, learning about Judaism, Roger Zelazny, Luke’s review of Lord Of Light (not Amber), 1960’s – 1980’s only, getting book recommendations, no internet!, Harlan Ellison in The Comics Journal, used bookstores, “I’d rather have a Heinlein than a headmistress!”, non-fiction too, Plato (The Socratic Method), the fairy world, Virgil, acupuncture, were the fairies ‘real’?, Among Others on The Writer And The Critic with Cat Valente, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Tempest, grief, did Mor steal her sister’s identity?, The Wizard Of Earthsea, do the book choices reflect themes?, we want an index, karass (see Cat’s Cradle), I, Claudius, Chi, other Nebula nominees, God’s War has bugs, Embassytown, Jo Walton on series, Jo on the Hugos, we’re waiting for the hugo novella blog series, The Paper Menagerie (online audio), how well read do you have to be to appreciate Among Others?, Hyperion, “it’s a book-love book”, which books from the list will you read next?, The Wind’s Twelve Quarters is the best, old Delany, Sturgeon’s A Touch Of Strange, what’s that Sturgeon novel with three brains in a jello mold on Mars internet??, James Tiptree Jr., The Dispossessed (Luke’s review), Stand On Zanzibar is on audio, length of books, Jo’s Small Change series is on audio, Tor is drm-free, don’t forget Baen and Angry Robot and Nightshade, the kindle hit Wool is optioned for a movie, “umm…no”

I happened to have this old paperback:

James Tiptree Jr. - Out Of The Everywhere (cover)

Posted by Tamahome

The SFFaudio Podcast #128

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #128 – Scott, Jesse, Tamahome and Luke Burrage talk about recently arrived audiobooks, new releases and more.

Talked about on today’s show:
Germline by T.C. McCarthy, Russia vs. United States, Kazakhstan, Blackstone Audio, Hannah, Finland, unapologetic fairy tale imagery, Brothers Grimm, Tama is a sucker for girls who kick ass, Kick-Ass, Bourne Identity, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Full Cast Audio, Tunnel In The Sky by Robert A. Heinlein, interplanetary survival course, “Rod Walker, as Heinlein Intended“, Ozzy in Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton, Between Planets, Space Cadet, Perseus by Geraldine, Hercules, Odyssey, Magic Steps by Tamora Pierce, young adult books, The City And The Stars, abstracting the voices of the characters, Jesse enthuses about Full Cast Audio’s format, Blackstone Audio, Downward To Earth by Robert Silveberg (it draws from Heart Of Darkness, The Secret Sharer by Robert Silverberg, The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad, “the heart of lightness”, The Hidden by Jessica Verday, The Hidden (movie) with Kyle MacLachlan, The Hollow, The Haunted, supernatural/romance/YA, “maybe Jenny can take up the lance”, Macmillan Audio, How Firm A Foundation by David Weber, On Basilisk Station, “Steve Gibson loves it”, George R.R. Martin, the Writing Excuses podcast, I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells, “it’s very tempting to kill everyone”, Star Wars: Heir To The Empire by Timothy Zahn (20th Anniversary Edition), Mark Thompson, Splinter Of The Mind’s Eye (Luke and Leia get married), the Han Solo novels, Michael A. Stackpole, Star Trek novelizations vs. Star Wars novelizations, Wookipedia, perhaps Lucas was lucky and not talented, Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan, Stories Of The Golden Age: The Tramp and Shadows From Boothill, Jenny is late, War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, The Island Of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells, Moxyland by Lauren Beukes, Zoo City, South Africa, China Miéville audiobooks flood audible, Iain M. Banks, Audible Frontiers vs. Audible Ltd., Ready Player One sounds like nostalgia not SF, everybody who wears spandex and legwarmers likes Ready Player One, the Gweek podcast, virtual world, Daemon by Daniel Suarez, Blackstone Audio, The Ringworld Engineers, To Sail Beyond The Sunset by Robert A. Heinlein, Origin Of The Species by Charles Darwin, Recorded Books, Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem, Lawrence Block audiobooks, Hard Case Crime, Getting Off by Jill Emerson (Lawrence Block), AudioGo, Such Men Are Dangerous by Lawrence Block, The Specialists, Coward’s Kiss, You Could Call It Murder, Small Town, Paul Kavanagh, Michael Crichton, Eaters Of The Dead, Smoke by Donald E. Westlake, The Comedy Is Finished by Donald E. Westlake, Psycho by Robert Bloch, Stand On Zanzibar by John Brunner, Luke’s novel Minding Tomorrow, does Stand On Zanzibar have a cylindrical structure?, long stuff tends to be crappy, Luke is on Audible’s platinum plan, Spin by Robert Charles Wilson, Courtney Brown’s Science Fiction And Politics podcast, Spellwright by Blake Charlton, spell errors?, “as you well know…”, Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer, The Swarm by Frank Schatzing, Beyond This Horizon by Robert A. Heinlein, tie-in novels, Dan Abnett’s Warmhammer 40,000: Horus Heresy series, Black Library, “a fist the size of a baked ham”, Jesse’s meta review of Luke’s meta review of Sword Of The Lichtor by Gene Wolfe, Halting State by Charles Stross, Luke’s pick of the week: Monty Python’s The Life Of Brian, Jesus’ final words on the cross, Jesse’s pick of the week: Invincible Ultimate Edition Volume 1 written by Robert Kirkman, Ed Brubaker, Gregg Rucka, Scott’s pick of the week: Declare by Tim Powers, On Stranger Tides, is Declare idea fiction?, Kim Philby, Tamahome’s pick of the week: The Mote In God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

Invincible Ultimate Collection Volume 1

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #126 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Statement Of Randolph Carter by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #126 – a complete and unabridged reading of The Statement Of Randolph Carter by H.P. Lovecraft, read by Wayne June (from the Audio Realms collection The Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft – Volume 3), followed by a discussion of the story. Participants include Jesse, Scott, Tamahome, Jenny Colvin (of the Reading Envy blog) and Mr. Jim Moon (of Hypnogoria.com).

Talked about on today’s show:
H.P. Lovecraft never played soccer?, Mr. Wayne June is the voice of Lovecraft, Michael Clarke Duncan has a swarthy voice, Pat Bottino’s voice might work for Lovecraft, Tama was a Lovecraft virgin until The Statement Of Randolph Carter, The Statement Of Randolph Carter is a good place to start with Lovecraft, forbidden writings, nameless things with many adjectives, Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, a radical thesis: Harley Warren is a mean practical joker, Jesse renders the story meaningless, The Turn Of The Screw, Big Cypress Swamp, Florida, Imprisoned With The Pharaohs, alligator-men, secret places and cultists, legion (many – demons – The New Testament), The Lovecraft Vocabulary Challenge, necrophagous niter, The Cask Of Amontillado, did Randolph Carter cover up that tomb?, using The Statement Of Randolph Carter for vocabulary expansion, “hoary”, adding horror, The Silver Key, Randolph Carter is an occult thrill seeker, “we’re one lid away from total doom”, I don’t find books of forgotten lore in used bookstores, Harry Houdini’s book on the occult had an introduction written by Lovecraft!, Lovecraft’s letters, the Call Of Cthulhu RPG works differently than other RPGs, Dungeons & Dragons, From Beyond, Re-Animator, Herbert West Re-animator, it’s such a cute little horror, showing Lovecraft on screen may be best done humorously, dripping oozing ichor, China Miéville, piling on the connotations, bringing home the horror, “it was an eldritch night and I was feeling squamous”, night terrors, Tama had a nightmare that DC was going to relaunch all their comics, “Warren is calling”, what does a gelatinous voice sound like? it’s a rip-of from Poe, The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar, hypnotism, Warren’s theory about why certain corpses say fat and firm, Demons by John Shirley, The Unnameable, a funny riposte, “your giant zombie theory doesn’t work”, In The Mouth Of Madness, The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft, The New Cthulhu, Robert E. Howard, The Black Stone, Clark Ashton Smith, Conan lives in a Lovecraftian universe, Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, The People Of The Dark, Worms Of The Earth, Howard’s non-Lovecraftian horror, Pigeons From Hell, Howard was a collector of words and ideas, what’s the Mongolian word for sword?, Cimmeria was a real place, Lovecraft was a crafter of stories whereas Howard was a storyteller, Lovecraft’s poetry, yellow peril, The Horror At Red Hook, raging racist, respectable white folks turning into fish people, Clive Barker, “you’re one puzzle box away from doom”, dark fantasy, hidden secret magical worlds.

The Statement Of Randolph Carter by H.P. Lovecraft - illustration by Andrew Brosnatch

The Statement Of Randolph Carter

The Statement Of Randolph Carter scene in Providence, issue 8

The Statement Of Randolph Carter Illustration by Pete Von Sholly

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 4: Cat Women Of The Moon (a documentary about sex and gender in Science Fiction)

SFFaudio Online Audio

Sex In Space

Radio Times review (by Jeremy Aspinall) of Cat Women Of The MoonBBC Radio 4Cat Women Of The Moon
Presented by Sarah Hall
2 Part Broadcast – Approx. 1 Hour [DOCUMENTARY]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: August 30, 2011 and September 6, 2011 11.30am-12.00 UK Time
Cat Women Of The Moon was a Fifties film that followed a popular motif in science fiction; an all-women society surviving without men. In the first of these two programmes, Sarah Hall looks at how science fiction has been used to examine relationships between the sexes – and in some cases, more than two sexes. In many novels the exploration of sexuality is unconventional and experimental. Some societies have more than one sex; in others, people can change sex at will. In other science fiction worlds, people form relationships with aliens or they might have sex with artificial life forms. The programme includes contributions from leading science fiction writers including Iain Banks, China Mieville and Nicola Griffith. The programme is presented by the Sarah Hall, author of The Carhullan Army and The Electric Michelangelo, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Producer by Nicola Swords

I did a search and it appears that the complete 1954 film of Cat Women Of The Moon is in the public domain. Even better it is easily available for download from the Internet Archive |CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON| in a variety of formats (though there isn’t a 3D version as far as I could see). Here’s the |AVI|.

[Many thanks to Roy for the spot!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: Miéville, Spillane/Collins, Anderson, London, Wells, Zamyatin

New Releases

Here are six intriguing new releases that caught my eye and perhaps will yet catch my ears.

I haven’t read Miéville yet, maybe this is the one, its all about communication – or at least that’s the message I think this book is sending.

RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO - Embassytown by China MiévilleEmbassytown
By China Miéville; Read by Susan Duerden
Digital Download – Approx. 12 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: May 17, 2011
ISBN: 9780307913807
Sample: |MP3|
China Miéville doesn’t follow trends, he sets them. Relentlessly pushing his own boundaries as a writer—and in the process expanding the boundaries of the entire field—with Embassytown, Miéville has crafted an extraordinary novel that is not only a moving personal drama but a gripping adventure of alien contact and war. In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak. Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language. When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties—to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak yet speaks through her.

Stacy Keach, the only narrator for this job…

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - Kiss Her Goodbye by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan CollinsKiss Her Goodbye: A Mike Hammer Novel
By Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins; Read by Stacy Keach
7 CDs – Approx. 8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: May 25, 2011
ISBN: 9781441787354
Mike Hammer has been away from New York too long. Recuperating in Florida after the mob shoot-out that nearly claimed his life, he learns that an old mentor on the New York police force has committed suicide. Hammer returns for the funeral—and because he knows that Inspector Doolan would never have killed himself. But Manhattan in the seventies no longer feels like home. Hammer’s longtime partner, Velda, disappeared after he broke it off for her own safety, and his office is shut down. When a woman is murdered practically on the funeral’s doorstep, Hammer is drawn into the hunt for a cache of Nazi diamonds that makes the Maltese Falcon seem like a knickknack and for the mysterious woman who had been close to Doolan in his final days. But drug racketeers, who had it in for Doolan, attract Hammer’s attention as well. Soon he is hobnobbing with coke-snorting celebrities at the notorious disco, Club 52, and playing footsie with a sleek lady DA, a modern woman on the make for old-fashioned Hammer. Everything leads to a Mafia social club where Hammer and his .45 come calling, initiating the wildest showdown since Spillane’s classic One Lonely Night.

I have no idea what this means:

“Poul Anderson’s classic fantasy, The Broken Sword, knocks The Fellowship of the Ring into a cocked hat.”—Guardian (UK)

That’s a good thing right?

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - The Broken Sword by Poul AndersonThe Broken Sword
By Poul Anderson; Read by Bronson Pinchot
7 CDs – Approx. 8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: May 1, 2011
ISBN: 9781441786876
Thor has broken the sword Tyrfing so that it cannot strike at the roots of Yggdrasil, the tree that binds together earth, heaven, and hell. But now the mighty sword is needed again to save the elves in their war against the trolls, and only Skafloc, a human child kidnapped and raised by the elves, can hope to persuade Bölverk the ice-giant to make Tyrfing whole again. But Skafloc must also confront his shadow self, Valgard the changeling, who has taken his place in the world of men.

A collection of eight of Jack London’s best short stories – if you haven’t read the title story then you’re missing out on a great proto-Hard SF story! Awesomeness.

TANTOR MEDIA - To Build A Fire And Other Stories by Jack LondonTo Build A Fire And Other Stories
By Jack London; Read by Patrick Lawlor
5 CDs – Approx. 6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: May 25, 2011
Sample |MP3|
To Build a Fire,” the best-known of Jack London’s many short stories, tells the tale of a solitary traveler on the Yukon Trail accompanied only by his dog as they endure the extreme cold. A classic narrative of a battle for survival against the forces of nature, “To Build a Fire” is London at his best. Also included here are “The Red One,” “All Gold Canyon,” “A Piece of Steak,” “The Love of Life,” “Flush of Gold,” “The Story of Keesh,” and “The Wisdom of the Trail.” A vital collection of works by one of the greatest short-story writers in American literature, this edition is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

I sense a serious but coming.

TANTOR MEDIA - I Don't Want To Kill You by Dan WellsI Don’t Want To Kill You: Book 3 in the John Cleaver series
By Dan Wells; Read by Kirby Heyborne
8 CDs – Approx. 10 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: March 29, 2011
ISBN: 9781452600543
Sample |MP3|
John Cleaver has called a demon—literally called it on the phone—and challenged it to a fight. He has faced two of the monsters already, barely escaping with his life, and now he’s done running; he’s taking the fight to them. But as he wades through his town’s darkest secrets, searching for any sign of who the demon might be, one thing becomes all too clear: in a game of cat and mouse with a supernatural killer, the human is always the mouse. In I Am Not a Serial Killer, we watched a budding sociopath break every rule he had to save his town from evil. In Mr. Monster, we held our breath as he fought madly with himself, struggling to stay in control. Now John Cleaver has mastered his twisted talents and embraced his role as a killer of killers. I Don’t Want to Kill You brings his story to a thundering climax of suspicion, mayhem, and death. It’s time to punish the guilty. And in a town full of secrets, everyone is guilty of something.

Grover Gardner thinks this is the first time the book will be available in audio – I think he’s right!

TANTOR MEDIA - We by Yevgeny ZamyatinWe
By Yevgeny Zamyatin; Read By Grover Gardner
6 CDs – Approx. 7 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: March 28, 2011
ISBN: 9781452601601
Sample |MP3|
Set in the twenty-sixth century A.D., Yevgeny Zamyatin’s masterpiece describes life under the regimented totalitarian society of OneState, ruled over by the all-powerful “Benefactor.” Recognized as the inspiration for George Orwell’s 1984, We is the archetype of the modern dystopia, or anti-Utopia: a great prose poem detailing the fate that might befall us all if we surrender our individual selves to some collective dream of technology and fail in the vigilance that is the price of freedom. Clarence Brown’s brilliant translation is based on the corrected text of the novel, first published in Russia in 1988 after more than sixty years’ suppression.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #086

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #086 – Jesse talks to Ben Aaronovitch. Aaronovitch is an SFF author, a former Doctor Who scriptwriter, and the lead writer of the Blake’s 7 audio drama series.

Talked about on today’s show:
the original Doctor Who, how to break into TV (in the mid 1980s), Andrew Cartmel, the price of VCRs in 1985, Caroline Aulton, Remembrance Of The Daleks, big budget BBC, Geoffrey Palmer, do it again with 40% more fear, Ben Aaronovitch’s blog Temporarily Significant entitled: I shall eviscerate you, Daleks and An Unearthly Child, racism, The Hand Of Omega, two sets of Daleks, proto-U.N.I.T., Battlefield, what killed the original Doctor Who?, the BBC!, the fetishization of the writer, Russel T. Davies, Queer As Folk, “a Doctor Who shaped whole in the British psyche”, Jon Pertwee, KVOS-TV, the abortive FOX Doctor Who reboot, Doctor Who as an episode of The X-Files, Paul McGann, The New Adventures of Doctor Who:Transit by Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch (aka Midnight Riot), Moon Over Soho, Whispers Underground, Peter F. Hamilton, “extruded fantasy product”, Michael Moorcock, Charlaine Harris, Diana Gabaldon, Harry Potter meets The Sweeney (the British version of Kojak), The Dresden Files (is “Gandalf noir”), reviews of Rivers Of London (aka Midnight Riot), Midnight Riot on GoodReads.com, negative reviews are very helpful, The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan, Morgan’s screed against J.R.R. Tolkien, Joe Abercrombie and China Miéville are good because they are good not because they are grim, the Blake’s 7 audio dramas started on The Sci-Fi Channel UK, Andrew Sewell, Rebel, Traitor, Liberator is an SFFaudio Essential |READ OUR REVIEW|, “Star Trek: British or Robin Hood in space”, Terry Nation, Chris Boucher, Avon’s one liners, Firefly, Farscape, the Blake’s 7 prequel series, Cally: Blood & Earth and Flag & Flame |READ OUR REVIEW|, Alistair Lock, the quality of the actors on Blake’s 7, Colin Salmon, Michael Praed, B7 is real Science Fiction ideas in a space opera setting, the internet is a huge echo chamber, the effect of torrents on Blake’s 7, B7 is on Audible.com (and Audible.co.uk), Bernice Summerfield, Big Finish, Blake’s 7: The Early Years: Zen: Escape Velocity (Volume 2.1), Series 2 of Blake’s 7 is already written, the rebooting of Battlestar Galactica, the Pegasus episode of BSG, landing a Battlestar was badly though through, Ronald D. Moore‘s Cylons didn’t have a plan, Lost, J. Michael Straczynski, television is like life, Dexter, detective shows can run longer, The Mentalist, Law & Order, why Doctor Who need never die, the Pertwee years, Doctor Who as the “universal television format”, Frankenstien = The Brain Of Morbius, Greek myth = The Myth Makers, there’s no end-game in Doctor Who, writers are used as a crutch by British TV executives, the credit given to writers by UK television, USA TV vs. UK TV, the writer’s room is very attractive, the homogeneous end product, Castle is beautifully written fluff, the psychic episode of Castle was soul-deadening, HBO, True Blood, Downton Abbey is kind of like Upstairs Downstairs, the problems of USA and UK TV, DaVinci’s Inquest, Intelligence, Downton Abbey, Highlander, Seacouver, The 4400 lake (is Buntzen Lake), “Caprica city is decaying”.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Update:

Here’s a photo I took of Buntzen Lake this morning.

Buntzen Lake, the morning of December 13, 2010