Review of Way Station by Clifford D. Simak

SFFaudio Review

Audible Frontiers - Way Station by Clifford D. SimakSFFaudio EssentialWay Station
By Clifford D. Simak; Read by Eric Michael Summerer
Audible Download – Approx. 7 Hours 5 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: 2009
Themes: / Science Fiction / Aliens / Galactic Civilization / Immortality /

In this Hugo Award-winning classic, Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he has done for over a century, still carrying the gun with which he had served in the Civil War. But what his neighbors must never know is that, inside his unchanging house, he meets with a host of unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.

This story spans more than a century, but most of the ‘action’ takes place in the middle of the 20th century, over a couple of months. See, a friendly alien recruited Enoch Wallace to become something of a galactic station master shortly after the American Civil War. Now, with his neighbors generally accepting his mysterious eternal youth, Enoch has a curious and unseen visitor watching him from the woods. Enoch is lonely, with his only friends being a completely deaf and mute young woman and his kindly mailman. Will the visitor in the trees learn the truth? Will Enoch help guide the Earth to its ultimate destiny? Read on!

I find myself arguing with a lot of my fiction writing friends about what makes a good story. They typically talk about ‘the rules’ or ‘the formula’ that makes a story work. I typically talk about clarity, consistency (story logic) and originality of a story. We usually agree about style.

A couple years back a friend of mine (a filmmaker and used bookstore owner) was telling me about one of the scripts he was working on. He said something to the effect of “every story must have conflict.” That’s probably not a new concept, not original to him, but it was new to me – at least in those words. Now I love such sweeping declarations – they give my dialectical brain something to hack away at. It seems a fairly straightforward a concept – and on the face of it seems likely – but, that always gets me thinking: If it sounds so obvious it is probably at least partially false. So I thought about it for maybe thirty seconds and then pointed out that ‘pornographic films need not have conflict – but they can still have a story.’ Illustrating I said “Pizza delivery guy comes to the door – half naked woman answers – sex follows.” It has a beginning, a middle and a money shot. My friend and I both laughed. But, I’ve been thinking about this meme ever since. Now, with Way Station I think I have a more serious defeater to my friend’s all encompassing rule about storytelling. There is very little conflict in Way Station. That is actually a pretty common thing for author Clifford D. Simak. His stories are highly pastoral, full of backstories being revealed, mysterious farmers and friendly aliens. Conflict may be mentioned, as having happened long ago (or in some distant future) – but shots are rarely fired in anger. I’m thinking back on all of the Simak I’ve read, and in it all I can’t recall much conflict at all. And yet, I love his stories.

Eric Michael Summerer does a terrific job narrating this pastoral masterpiece. He portrays Simak’s characters with all the honesty, decency, and humanity that Clifford D. Simak put into them. Audible Frontiers has very kindly added an excellent and informative introduction written and read by another of Science Fiction’s most humane authors, Mike Resnick! Audible Frontiers has been adding so many new titles it is hard to keep up. This one will slow things down for you and even make life a little simpler. Thanks Simak!

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Fix: Rocket Science 1958 – 1959

SFFaudio News

The Fix - Short Fiction ReviewPosted on February 1 at The Fix: Short Fiction Review is the latest Rocket Science column, which covers 1958 – 1959. The stories covered: “Or All the Seas with Oysters” by Avram Davidson, “The Big Front Yard” by Clifford Simak, and “That Hell-Bound Train” by Robert Bloch.
 
 
“Or All the Seas with Oysters” by Avram Davidson – No audio version known.

“The Big Front Yard” by Clifford D. Simak – No audio version known.

“That Hell-Bound Train” by Robert Bloch – Included in Gravely, Alternate World Recordings, 1976, read by Robert Bloch.
 
 
While I’m in 1958 and 1959, I should mention that the Hugo Winning novels from those years have both been published by Audible Frontiers:

1958 Best Novel or Novelette:
The Big Time
By Fritz Leiber; Read by Suzanne Toren
Audible Download – 4 hours 42 mins – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: 2008
 
 
 

Audible Frontiers - A Case of Conscience by James BlishSFFaudio Essential1959 Best Novel:
A Case Of Conscience
By James Blish; Read by Jay Snyder
Audible Download – 7 Hours 55 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: November 2008
|READ OUR REVIEW|
 
Also worth mentioning, but not audio related, is that I got my latest issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction in the mail yesterday, and in that issue is a reprint of “That Hell-Bound Train” by Robert Bloch. Great story!
 
Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Durkin Hayes Audiobooks for sale

SFFaudio News

Durkin Hayes Audiobooks

I’ve been selling Durkin Hayes Paperback Audio audiobooks for about 10 years. None of them are available on Audible.com as DH Audio (formerly Durkin Hayes, formerly Listen For Pleasure) was going bankrupt about the same time Audible.com took off. These are all out-of-print audiobooks, and I think they’re some of the very best ever put to tape. Anybody want to buy some?

All of these are $5.00 each (U.S. or Canadian). That’s $0.01 above the original retail price. Buy 6 or more and I’ll throw in free shipping to the USA. For other countries (including my own country of Canada) I’ll charge a flat shipping fee of $5.00 for an unlimited number of audiobooks. All of these are single cassette audiobooks. They’re all “brand new” and “shrinkwrapped”. I’ve heard all of them, some pretty recently. If you have any questions please post em below or email. Money orders and PayPal are both ok. Details follow the pics:

First up an anthology of awesomeness selected by Isaac Asimov (for print) and Martin Greenberg (for audio) in 7 parts…

Durkin Hayes Audiobooks

Isaac Asimov’s All Time Favorite Science Fiction Stories – Volume I
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg; Read by Rene Auberjonois
1 Cassette – Approx. 60 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Includes: “Captive Market” by Philip K. Dick and “The Last Of The Deliverers” by Poul Anderson
*The cover incorrectly states the title of the Poul Anderson story as (The Last Of The Defenders) , it is actually “The Last Of The Deliverers”
ISBN: 0886469481
QUANTITY IN STOCK: VERY FEW

Isaac Asimov’s All Time Favorite Science Fiction Stories – Volume II
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg; Read by Rene Auberjonois
1 Cassette – Approx. 72 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Includes: “World Of A Thousand Colors” by Robert Silverberg and “Impostor” by Philip K. Dick
ISBN: 0886469430
QUANTITY IN STOCK: A FEW

Isaac Asimov’s All Time Favorite Science Fiction Stories – Volume III
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg; Read by Rene Auberjonois
1 Cassette – Approx. 80 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Includes: “Silent Brother” by Algis Budrys and “Ishmael In Love” by Robert Silverberg
ISBN: 0886469511
QUANTITY IN STOCK: A FEW

Isaac Asimov’s All Time Favorite Science Fiction Stories – Volume IV
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg; Read by Rene Auberjonois
1 Cassette – Approx. 80 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Includes: “The Victim From Space” by Robert Sheckley and “Honorable Enemies” by Poul Anderson
ISBN: 0886469570
QUANTITY IN STOCK: A FEW

Isaac Asimov Presents Volume 5
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg; Read by Rene Auberjonois?
1 Cassette – Approx. 93 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Includes: “Wings Out Of Shadow” by Fred Saberhagen and “Exposure” by Eric Frank Russell
ISBN: 0886468612
QUANTITY IN STOCK: VERY FEW

Isaac Asimov Presents Volume 6
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg; Read by Rene Auberjonois?
1 Cassette – Approx. 93 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Includes: “The Ship Who Sang” by Anne McCaffrey and “Though Dreamers Die” by Lester del Rey
ISBN: 0886469732
*This one says its abridged by I believe that is an error.
QUANTITY IN STOCK: A FEW

Isaac Asimov Presents Volume 7
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg; Read by Rene Auberjonois?
1 Cassette – Approx. 104 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Includes: “Allamagoosa” by Eric Frank Russell, “The Last Monster” by Poul Anderson, and Why Johnny Can’t Speed by Alan Dean Foster
ISBN: 088646983X
QUANTITY IN STOCK: A FEW

Next 5 assorted short story collections…

Durkin Hayes Audiobooks

Unicorn Variation
By Roger Zelazny; Read by Rene Auberjonois
1 Cassette – Approx. 83 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Includes:
Unicorn Variation by Roger Zelazny and “Angel Dark Angel” by Roger Zelazny
ISBN: 0886467365
QUANTITY IN STOCK: A FEW

Tales By American Masters: The Masque Of Read Death
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Win Phillips
1 Cassette – Approx 60 Minutes [UNABRIDGED?]
ISBN: 0886468949
Includes:
The Masque Of Read Death and Silence, A Fable by Edgar Allan Poe
QUANTITY IN STOCK: A FEW

Points Of Departure
By Pat Murphy; Read by Brenda Vaccaro
1 Cassette – [UNABRIDGED]
ISBN: 0886466296
QUANTITY IN STOCK: A FEW

Over The River And Through The Woods
By Clifford D. Simak; Read by Jonathan Frakes
1 Cassette – Approx. 97 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
ISBN: 0886467624
Includes:Over The River And Through The Woods“, “Founding Father” and “Beachhead” all by Clifford D. Simak
QUANTITY IN STOCK: VERY FEW

Neighbor
By Clifford D. Simak; Read by Jonathan Frakes
1 Cassette – Approx. 84 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
ISBN: 0886467616
Includes:Neighbor“, and “Desertion” both by Clifford D. Simak
QUANTITY IN STOCK: VERY FEW

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox short stories galore!

SFFaudio Online Audio

A “few” short hidden gems from Librivox.org. Among their short story collections, now up to number nineteen, are some very good short Fantasy, SF, and Horror stories. These stories run from two and a half minutes to nearly fifty two minutes long. All are good for a short listen between audiobooks.

LibriVox - short story audiobook - Bread Overhead by Fritz LeiberBread Overhead
By Fritz Leiber; Read by Cori Samuel
1 |MP3| – Approx. 36 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: October 25th 2007
The Staff of Life suddenly and disconcertingly sprouted wings — and mankind had to eat crow!

The Masque of the Red Death
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Juan Carlos Bagnell
1 |MP3| – 16 Minutes
Death comes to visit a prince who is trying to avoid a plague.
Themes: / Horror /

Dracula’s Guest
By Bram Stoker; Read by Dimitri Fotopoulos
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
A prequel to Dracula.
Themes: / Horror /

Ligeia
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Peter Yearsley
1 |MP3| – Approx. 47 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
A haunting tale of lost love.
Themes: / Horror /

The Damned Thing
By Ambrose Bierce; Read by Greg Elmensdorp
1 |MP3| – Approx. 21 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
It shall not drive me away. No, this is my house, my land. God hates a coward….
Themes: / Horror /

Facts Concerning The Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
By H. P. Lovecraft; Read by Smokestack Jones
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
A tale of unusual genealogy.

The Cats of Ulthar
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Cow Nose the 50 Pound Cat
1 |MP3| – Approx. 9 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Feline revenge.
Themes: / Horror / Cats /

Charon
By Lord Dunsany; Read by Steven Collins
1 |MP3| – 2 Minutes 30 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Themes: / Fantasy /
The ferryman Charon’s last duty.

The Music of Erich Zann
1 |MP3| Approx. 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Smokestack Jones
A college student wonders about the strange music played by an old man.
Themes: / Horror / Music /

In the Year 2889
By Jules Verne; Read by Esther
1 |MP3| – Approx 38 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Verne’s story about life in America a thousand years in the future.
Themes: / Science Fiction /

Crossroads of Destiny
By H. Beam Piper; Read by Trask
1 |MP3| – Approx. 23 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Themes: / Science Fiction /
Parallel universes and a television show.

The Gifts of Asti
By Andre Norton; Read by Mark Nelson
1 |MP3| Approx. 41 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Themes: / Fantasy /
Varta, the last priestess of Asti, lives alone with Lur, a telepath of the lizardfolk, in Asti’s isolated mountain retreat. Decadent Memphir has long since drifted away from the austere paths of Asti, and now the barbarians of Klem are sacking the city, and the smoke of its burning drifts up to the temple.

The Street That Wasn’t There
By Clifford D. Simak and Carl Richard Jacobi; Read by Peter Yearsley
1 |MP3| 36 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Themes: / Science Fiction /
Classic pulp action.
Read by Peter Yearsley

The Hoard of the Gibbelins
By Lord Dunsany; Read by Mark F. Smith
1 |MP3| – Approx. 11 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Themes: / Horror /
The Gibbelins eat, as is well known, nothing less good than man.

A World Is Born
By Leigh Brackett; Read by Rowdy Delaney
1 |MP3| – Approx. 52 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
The first ripples of blue fire touched Dio’s men. Bolts of it fastened on gun-butts, and knuckles. Men screamed and fell.
Themes: / Science Fiction /

Posted by Dave Tackett

eBay lot of 17 Vintage Science Fiction LPs

News

eBayeBay seller “jerryweist” has a very impressive auction of vintage Science Fiction vinyl LPs up as a lot. He’s estimated that the collection of seventeen mid-1970s to early-1980s SF records will sell for between $100 and $200, but right now it has only been bid up to $40.09. If you love vintage Science Fiction audio, you should definitely have a peek before the auction ends:

Heretics Of Dune – Chapters I and II
By Frank Herbert; Read by Frank Herbert
1984 (unopened)

The Truths Of Dune “Fear Is The Mind Killer”
By Frank Herbert; Read by Frank Herbert
1979 (unopened)

Dune: The Banquet Scene
By Frank Herbert; Read by Frank Herbert
1977

Sandworms Of Dune
By Frank Herbert; Read by Frank Herbert
1978

The Battles Of Dune
By Frank Herbert; Read by Frank Herbert
1979

The Dragonriders Of Pern: The White Dragon
By Anne McCaffery
1978 (unopened)

Robert E. Howard
1975

Burgess Meredith Reads Ray Bradbury

Robert Silverberg Reads To See The Invisible Man and Passengers
1979

The Mayors from Foundation
by ISAAC ASIMOV
1977 (unopened)

Isaac Asimov – Nightfall
1976 (unopened)

Yonder: Seven Tales of the Space Age
By Poul Anderson
1980 (unopened)

Survival Ship and The Shrine Of Temptation
By Judith Merril 1978 (unopened)

Mimsey Were The Borogoves
By Henry Kuttner; Read by William Shatner
1976

Gwilan’s Harp and Intercom
By Ursula K. Le Guin
1977

City
By Clifford D. Simak
1980

Dying Inside
By Robert Silverberg
1979

Check out these scans:

Here are this month’s new releases: AUDIO RENAI…

New Releases

Here are this month’s new releases:

AUDIO RENAISSANCE

There and Back Again: An Actor’s Tale by Sean Astin with Joe Layden, read by Sean Astin

I’m looking forward to this memoir of Astin’s experience working on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’m one of the folks who watched every extra goodie on the massive Extended LOTR DVD’s.

—————————-

BLACKSTONE AUDIO

Callahan’s Con by Spider Robinson, read by Barrett Whitener

Barrett Whitener read Spider Robinson’s The Callahan Chronicals, which we reviewed on SFFAudio a while back. The Callahan stories are among the most empathic high-quality stories you’ll find in the world of science fiction, and this title is likely no different. The description says that Death himself walks into the bar this time…

Jesse:

I just finished listening to Callahan’s Key, also read by Barrett Whitener. Where you’ve described Robinson’s work as “empathic high-quality stories” I would describe it as “high-functioning fan-fiction”. That isn’t a bad thing, I like the stuff myself, but it certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste.

—————————-

HARPER AUDIO

A Coyote In The House by Elmore Leonard

This is a kids book in the tradition of “Call of The Wild” – told from the animal’s perspective.

Jesse:

If nothing else, crime and western writer Elmore Leonard has a great ear for dialogue, so this should be a fun tale with respect to that. But he’s never written juvenile fiction before, so its also unknown territory in some respects.

—————————-

PAPERBACK DIGITAL

Cally’s War by John Ringo and Julie Cochrane, read by William Dufris and Christine Marshall

A novel by military SF writer and Baen author John Ringo and Julie Cochrane. Cally had been fighting for the future of the human race, but now she is in a war for survival: the survival of her soul…

Paperback Digital has also released several OTR audio dramas on Fictionwise.com: “The Green Hills of Earth” by Robert A. Heinlein, “Drop Dead” by Clifford D. Simak, “Destination: Moon” by Robert A. Heinlein, and “With Folded Hands” by Jack Williamson.

And look for Charlaine Harris’ Vampire Mystery novel Dead Until Dark, which will be released on Halloween. Paperback Digital titles can be purchased on their site (http://www.paperbackdigital.com) or on Fictionwise.

Jesse:

It should also be noted that Paperback Digital has remastered and cleaned up these 1950s era radio dramas. Something which they sorely needed.

—————————-

RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO

Legends II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy, Volume III, edited by Robert Silverberg

This volume of the Legends II series contains stories by two of my favorites: “The Monarch of the Glen” by Neil Gaiman and “The Yazoo Queen” by Orson Scott Card. I’m a fan of the short novel length – there is so much treasure out there in the novella and novelette size. While I’m talking about these, Legends II, Vol. 1 contains “The Sworn Sword” by George R.R. Martin and “Beyond Between” by Anne McCaffrey, and Legends II, Vol 2 contains “Lord John and the Succubus” by Diana Gabaldon and “Indomitable” by Terry Brooks.

Jesse:

I look forward to hearing these! The first Legends anthologies were released by HarperAudio last time. Hopefully Random House Audio will do as good a job.

Star Wars: Jedi Trial by David Sherman and Dan Cragg, read by Jonathan Davis

Random House’s Star Wars titles rival Simon and Schuster’s Star Trek titles in production value and style. If you enjoy Star Wars stories, these books are quite good. Also quite good is Jonathan Davis, who I first heard when he read Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash.

—————————-

RECORDED BOOKS

Raketty Tam by Brian Jacques, read by Brian Jacques

A title in the Redwall fantasy series!

Another note from Recorded Books – they have a rental program that looks a lot like Netflix. Unlimited audiobook rentals for $29.99/month. Check it out here.

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SIMON AND SCHUSTER AUDIO

Night of the Living Dead by John Russo and George Romero

An audio drama featuring the original cast!

Dark Tower VII by Stephen King, read by George Guidall

The final volume of Stephen King’s epic series. Stephen King read by George Guidall? Yeah, baby. I’m a Stephen King fan, but have not kept up with this series. I’ve heard “The Gunslinger” and “The Drawing of the Three“, and enjoyed them both – time to start on the rest of them.

—————————-

COMING SOON!

Wil Wheaton, of wilwheaton.net, has published a book called Just a Geek (which is excellent) and I’m thrilled to report that he’s recording an audio version. Wil says the audiobook has some extra asides, and that it’s more like a performance, or director’s cut, than a straight-forward reading. Look for it on his website in the coming weeks! In the meantime, ITConversations has posted audio of Wil’s recent performance at Gnomedex, where he read excerpts from the book.

Jesse:

This sounds like a terrific idea! Wheaton experimented a little with audio blogging a while back – posting to his website by telephone. He’s also read at least one audiobook short story that I know of. It can be found in Dove Audio’s The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of the 20th Century (which is available on Audible.com). The story is called “Why I left Harry’s All Night Hamburgers” by Lawrence Watt-Evans.

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If you’ve got something you’d like to show up on our monthly New Releases post, write me and let me know. Enjoy, everybody!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson