Recent Arrivals: Blackstone Audio

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Blackstone AudiobooksComic books and reference books were the two types of paperbooks I thought I’d never ever see turned into audiobooks.

“How could they do it?”

That was basically my entire argument. But then, a few years ago I was foiled: Graphic Audio does them! Still, reference books … nobody could ever do an audiobook of one of those. Right? Right?!?

Nope. You were wrong again Jesse!

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - The Twilight Zone Companion Second Edition by Marc Scott ZicreeThe Twilight Zone Companion (Second Edition)
By Marc Scott Zicree; Read by Tom Weiner
13 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – Approx. 15.4 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: March 2010
ISBN: 9781433223426 (cd), 9781433223457 (mp3-cd)
The Twilight Zone Companion is the complete, five season (1959-64) show-by-show guide to one of television’s greatest series. Zicree’s well-written account is fascinating reading for even the casual fan. Coverage of each episode includes plot synopsis, Rod Serling’s opening narration, behind-the-scenes stories from the original artists who created the series, and a complete list of cast and credits.

Vampire Zero is the third in Wellington’s Vampire series, following after 13 Bullets and 99 Coffins

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - Vampire Zero by David WellingtonVampire Zero: A Gruesome Vampire Tale
By David Wellington; Read by Bernadette Dunne
9 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 10.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: May 2010
ISBN: 9781441739308 (cd), 9781441739339 (mp3-cd)
U.S. Marshal Jameson Arkeley, the country’s foremost authority on vampires, taught police investigator and vampire fighter Laura Caxton everything she knows about monsters. After a bloody war visited upon Gettysburg by an army of vampires, Arkeley gave up his own life to save others—except he didn’t exactly die. Arkeley accepted the curse and is now a vampire himself. What’s worse, he’s the savviest vampire ever; he knows all the tricks better than anyone. Caxton is now faced with the task of destroying her former mentor. But Arkeley knows all her tactics too; after all, he taught them to her. Caxton realizes she must finish Arkeley before he succeeds in his quest to exterminate his own family. But even more important, she has to prevent him from becoming a beast exponentially more dangerous: a vampire zero.

Voyagers, the 1st book in the “Voyagers” series, came out in 1981. Books 2 and 3 were published in ’86 and ’90 and The Return, book 4, came out in paperbook in 2009. 2010 brings…

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - The Return by Ben BovaThe Return (Book IV of Voyagers)
By Ben Bova; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
11 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 13 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: July 2010
ISBN: 9781433277702 (cd), 9781433277733 (mp3-cd)
After more than a century of exploring the stars, Keith Stoner returns to Earth to find that the world he has come back to does not match the one he left. The planet is suffering the consequences of disastrous greenhouse flooding. Most nations have been taken over by ultraconservative religion-based governments, such as the New Morality in the United States. With population ballooning and resources running out, Earth is heading for nuclear war. Stoner, the star voyager, wants to save Earth’s people. But first he must save himself from the frightened and ambitious zealots who want to destroy this stranger—and the terrifying message he brings from the stars.

Here’s the longest running series, in number of years, of this batch. The first Berserker book, a collection of short stories about the titular self-replicating war machines, came out in 1967. This is the 14th book in the series…

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - Rogue Berserker by Fred SaberhagenRogue Berserker
By Fred Saberhagen; Read by Paul Michael Garcia
8 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 9.3 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: December 2009
ISBN: 9781433217104 (cd), 9781433217135 (mp3-cd)
ROGUE: (1) A deceitful, double-dealing evildoer. (2) A fierce elephant or stamodont that has been banished from the herd. (3) Having a peculiarly malevolent or unstable nature. (4) No longer loyal, affiliated, or recognized, and hence not governable or accountable. Erring, apostate. (Galactic Dictionary of the Common Tongue)

Harry Silver has already had a lifetime of trouble from ordinary Berserkers, the automated killing machines programmed an age ago to denude the galaxy of life. But now one of these machines has gone rogue—and kidnapped his own family. What worse devilry will a deviant killing machine attempt? How will he stop it? And even if he can, will he ever see his family alive again?

Pat Murphy’s website describes Nadya as “an historic, feminist, werewolf novel with fist fights, Indian magic, daring rescues, and great sex. What more could you ask?” Maybe only that it be an audiobook with great cover art? Hey now!

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - Nadya by Pat MurphyNadya: The Wolf Chronicles
By Pat Murphy; Read by Kirsten Potter
13 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 15.4 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: May 2010
ISBN: 9781441733832 (cd), 9781441733863 (mp3-cd)
The daughter of Polish immigrants growing up in the 1830s on the Missouri frontier, Nadya knew she was not like other girls. But when she became a woman and the Change came, she discovered just how different she was. For Nadya was a shape changer, a werewolf like her Polish immigrant mother and father before her. After coming through a great personal tragedy brought about by her trusting nature and burgeoning sexuality, Nadya heads west to California, seeking a place to be wild and free. Nadya befriends the more cultured Elizabeth and the prepubescent Jenny, and together, the three young women fight their way across the vast American frontier. En route, they encounter rattlesnakes, Indians, the remains of the cannibalistic Donner party, and Elizabeth’s repressed sexuality, which leads to an affair between her and Nadya.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #043


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #043 – Jesse and Scott talk about all the Recent Arrivals and New Releases that have been piling up while Scott’s been away fiddling on a roof.

Talked about on today’s show:
Fiddler On The Roof, Salt Lake City, Pride And Prejudice, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, zombies, SuperFreakonomics, Freakonomics as psychohistory, Foundation by Isaac Asimov, altruism, Luke Burrage’s SFBRP #072.5, Isaac Asimov’s writing style, Hari Seldon is not much of a character, The Caves Of Steel by Isaac Asimov, |READ OUR REVIEW|, Black Destroyer by A.E. van Vogt, the “fix-up” novel, The Voyage Of The Space Beagle, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, Nightfall by Isaac Asimov, Nightfall by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg, Books On Tape, a movie version of Foundation, FlashForward, TV is cops and doctors so SF on TV is cops and doctors SF, I, Robot (the movie), New Releases, Audible Frontiers, Stanislaw Lem, Memoirs Found In A Bathtub by Stanislaw Lem, Foundation Ziggurat Productions, Solaris (2002), Solaris (1972), Solaris by Stanislaw Lem, Andrei Tarkovsky, His Masters Voice by Stanislaw Lem, Fiasco by Stanislaw Lem, Diving Into The Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Badge Of Infamy by Lester del Rey ( version), Badge Of Infamy by Lester del Rey (podiobooks and LibriVox), Jimcin Recordings, Armor by John Steakley, Vampire$ by John Steakley, John Carpenter’s Vampires, The Blue Tower by Evelyn E. Smith (audible), The Blue Tower by Evelyn E. Smith (LibriVox), Recent Arrivals, Fall With Honor by E.E. Knight, Winter Duty by E.E. Knight, E.E. Knight, The Shadow Of Saganami by David Weber, the Honorverse, Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke, Rendevous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Fallout 3, the onion spoofs Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, V (the remake), The Prisoner (the remake), Edgar Allan Poe audiobooks, PoeAudio / Acoustic Learning, the exploration of North America, daguerreotype, Poe as a non-fiction author, The Cask Of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe, A Manuscript Found In A Copper Cylinder by James De Mille, the 4th Annual SFFaudio Challenge, Swoon by Nina Malkin, ghosts, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, The “Erec Rex” series by Nina Malkin, Simon Jones (actor narrator extraordinaire), Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, the beautiful illustrations in Leviathan, steampunk, airships!, my Zeppelins post, The Hindenburg (1975), movie director Robert Wise, Jesse professes his love of airships, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel |READ OUR REVIEW|, Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel, Science Fiction vs. alternate history vs. Fantasy, blue gas, the Alcatraz series by Brandon Sanderson, the Chronicles Of The Imaginarium Geographica series by James A. Owen, dragons, Charles Williams, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter, Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, Simon & Schuster Audio, The House Of The Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, cloning, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Stephanie Meyer, Dark Adventure Radio Theatre, At The Mountains Of Madness, The Complete Ripley Radio Mysteries based on the novels of Patricia Highsmith, BBC Audio, Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin, Recorded Books, Under The Dome by Stephen King, The Simpsons Movie, Born Standing Up by Steve Martin (autobiography), Roxanne, Programmable Logic Control, Picasso at the Lapin Agile (a play), Cruel Shoes by Steve Martin, Shopgirl, The Pleasure Of My Company, Cult Holmes, The Further Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes RADIO DRAMA, John Joseph Adams, The Improbable Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Mary Robinette Kowal, watches are only for affectation now.

Posted by Jesse Willis

SFBRP: Luke Burrage in conversation with Jesse Willis

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast My friend Luke Burrage, of the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, has placed a candid conversation that we had into his podcast feed! I’m shocked. Shocked!

How dare he do such a thing?!?

Admittedly, he did ask my permission (and did receive it) but still … the effrontery is absolutely unbelievable.

Have a listen for yourself: SFBRP #072.5 – Luke and Jesse in Conversation |MP3|

Here’s what we talked about:

R. Scott Bakker, audiobooks, Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson, Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, Blindsight by Peter Watts, Moving Mars by Greg Bear, Courtney Brown, Science Fiction and Politics Podcast, feminism, utopias, Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, cloning, remote viewing, nature vs. nurture, nurture as a subset of nature, epistemology, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, The Incredible Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson |READ OUR REVIEW|, Fantastic Voyage and Fantastic Voyage II by Isaac Asimov, the strange life of a photon, combat, Aristotelian values, Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear, Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds, The SFFaudio Podcast #041, FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer, FlashForward the TV show, Michael Crichton, podcast production, savvy marketing, good women writers, Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, prolific authors, Out Of Sight by Elmore Leonard, Lobsters by Charles Stross |READ OUR REVIEW|, Halting State by Charles Stross, End of an Era by Robert J. Sawyer, science as a basis of fiction, Luke’s second novel (tentatively titled either Monster Story or Teeth and Claws).

Here’s SFBRP‘s podcast feed:

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold

SFFaudio Review

Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster BujoldMirror Dance
By Lois McMaster Bujold; Read by Grover Gardner
15 CDs – about 18 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9781433205699
Themes: / Science fiction / Space travel / Cloning / Military /

Mirror Dance may be many things, but it is primarily the story of a clone named Mark Vorkosigan and his struggle to discover his own identity. To find himself, he must come to grips with his tortured upbringing, his harrowing training to become a spy and assassin, and the long shadow of the man he was cloned from — a diminutive, homely, yet fiercely inspiring man named Miles Vorkosigan. In the process, he plans a daring infiltration that devolves into pitched battle on an enemy planet, all laid out with action, tactical clarity, and emotional impact that puts some so-called “military SF” I’ve heard to cowering shame. But that’s not all for Mark. He must also find his way through courtly intrigue, survive an uneasy adoption by Miles’s parents, perform some deft detective work, haltingly begin an unlikely little romance, and endure psychologically horrific torture.

Grover Gardner provides the voice that leads us on this tortuous journey. Giving distinct personalities to a pair of genetically identical protagonists is a tall order, yet between Bujold’s words and Gardner’s nuanced performance, the two lead characters remain effortlessly distinct. What’s more, the secondary characters are portrayed with the same care. It is hard to imagine a better reading of this material.

But is there really any doubt about the outcome of these crises? The liner notes are as comforting as a quick look at the final chapter: This book is part of a larger series with the same characters. I read that to mean there would be little chance the author would kill off a vital cash cow.

I know, I know, the demands of the publishing industry have made series works the lifeblood of genre fiction. I’m sure they bring in lots of new SF readers and maybe even some good books here and there, but what do we sacrifice in the process? In this book, it is any palpable sense of suspense or purposeful haste in the proceedings. In general, I think it is risky, new ideas that challenge and expand our concept of what SF and fiction can do. Are the larger sales numbers really worth the cost?

That doesn’t mean this book is a waste of time. The characters are well explored, the situations are thought provoking, and the tone ranges from disarmingly tender to chillingly perverted. You will care about Miles, Mark, their family, and their friends. You will hate their enemies. But at the same time, the sometimes languid pacing and the foreknowledge of the outcome will not make listening to this book an urgent necessity. Bujold can think, she can plot, and she can definitely write. But this book will leave you wishing she’d used all that talent to write something a little bolder.

Posted by Kurt Dietz

Review of Sci Phi: The Journal of Science Fiction In Philosophy – January 2008 (Volume 1 Issue 1)

SFFaudio Review

Sci Phi: The Journal of Science Fiction In Philosophy - January 2008 (Volume 1 Issue 1)Sci Phi: The Journal of Science Fiction In Philosophy – January 2008 (Volume 1 Issue 1)
Edited by Jason Rennie; Read by various
11 MP3s and PDF – Approx. 3.5 Hours or 33,000 Words [PHILOSOPHICAL JOURNAL]
Publisher: Sci Phi Productions
Published: January 2008
Themes: / Philosophy / Science Fiction / Religion / Fantasy / Cloning / Time /

“Sci Phi is a new popular level journal aimed at readers who like science fiction but want to think about its implications a little more. Each issue of Sci Phi will contain short stories and articles. The short stories will tend to have an interesting idea underlying them and the articles will look at various philosophical ideas through the lens of science fiction. Each issue comes in various ebook formats as well as all of the stories and articles in mp3 format for your listening pleasure. Each issue costs $7, and all of the contributors are paid on a royalty basis, with about 80% of the issue price being paid directly to contributors. Additionally after one year each issue of the journal will be released under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial license 3.0.”

The Journal of Science Fiction In Philosophy is a spin-off from the Sci-Phi Show podcast. The short introductory editorial, written and read by the journal’s editor Jason Rennie, defines what the journal will be about using examples from film and television – but despite these examples the stated focus is on making the journal more focused on the literary side of Science Fiction.

Next up, “What Is Sci-Phi” (introductory article) by Jason Rennie; read by TD-0013, introduces the philosophical content of modern Science Fiction. The stories are followed by “questions for reflection” which are a series of questions designed to provoke the philosophical spirit in the listener.

“Irwin Goes To Hell” by Jason Pomerantz is the first piece of fiction in the journal; it is a humorous and surrealistic tale of a hapless suitor determined to break all ten of the Ten Commandments. But the joke runs a little long with so many commandments to break and so many trips to hell (and heaven).

Geoffrey Maloney‘s “The Oracle In The Red Limousine,” read by Nathan Lowell, the next short story, offers a small reflection on the idea predestination and a large handful of humor.

“Requiem for a Harlequin: Two Perspectives on Time, and a Celebration of Kairos, in Three Stories by Harlan Ellison” by Michael Spence is a commentary on what he sees as a previously unnoticed theme in Harlan Ellison stories. Warning, pre-reading of the three Ellison tales is definitely required.

“You Pretty Thing” by Lee Battersby (and read by Rick Stringer) is short, unmemorable, fleeting. This, despite having some weighty ideas (life after death, cloning, consciousness-downloading).

“Requiem for a Silent Planet” by Stephen Dedman, read by TD-0013, stands out (with lines like “I’m loaded for pope.”. This one is an intriguing listen right up until its very abrupt end. This story feels terribly unfinished – which is a real shame.

Likewise, the serialized piece “The Big Questions” by Stephan Vladimir Bugaj and Ben Goertzel, read by Jeffrey Kafer, starts with a moon-smashing bang. It is a snappy first person tale of a head in the clouds solipsist asking many of the traditional questions of metaphysics – many questions, few answers – perhaps some will come in future issues of the journal.

“A First Look at Lookism” is an article with an argument at its center. The subject of which is an exploration of the “morally inappropriate discrimination,” phenomenon of visual discrimination. The author, Ryan Nichols is an assistant professor. He examines the moral status of lookism with special reference to a piece of literary science fiction (namely Ted Chiang’s Liking What You See: A Documentary). Nichols surveys the terrain and then mulls over an argument that he thinks may show precisely why lookism is so wrong. He’s thorough and the article runs about 25 minutes.

Next, “The Losting Corridor” by Matt Wallace, read by Drew Beatty, offers a dreamy entrance into a Twilight Zone-like world. A hardboiled detective on the trail of a shooter winds up in a Platonic blind-alley that he may never escape from. The tale is gritty and well written, but ultimately it is a shallow mirror pointed at a past that never was.

Finally, the issue is capped by “The Epilogue” which is, despite its title, actually a fiction piece. It’s an eight minute tale, by The Rev-Up Review‘s Paul S. Jenkins. A cryptic worldwide broadcast by an anonymous grey-bearded sky guy proves once and for all that the atheists were wrong, and will be right. Well written, but more of an exercise in storytelling than a story.

Magazines by their nature are extremely hard to review (their many small components needing to be examined in detail). There is something in the essential character of magazine reading that is always more ephemeral than novels or short stories alone. That said, after reading over what I’ve written above, it appears I have been more damning than praising – had I been merely a casual reader looking for something to listen to I bet I’d have been far less so. So let me clarify, for the first issue of a magazine the Sci Phi: The Journal of Science Fiction In Philosophy – January 2008 is extremely well put together. It doesn’t have any real dead weight, and I eagerly look forward to listening to future issues.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Frequency Of Fear podcast features CBC Radio Drama NIGHTFALL and more

SFFaudio Online Audio

Podcast - Zombie Astronaut's Frequency Of FearThe Zombie Astronaut‘s podcast Frequency Of Fear, tackles the doubly difficult problem of duplicates (doppelgängers or clones – if you will). Showcased on the show are stories about killers and killers, killing duplicates and trying to dupe the authorities about it. The second show is particularly cool as its an episode of CBC Radio’s 1980 series Nightfall. Entitled “The Repossession” it features Chris Wiggins (from Friday The Thirteenth – The Series) and other familiar CBC voices. It was first broadcast on September 26th, 1980.

Plug the podcast feed into your podcatcher, and listen twice:

Posted by Jesse Willis

P.S. Free The Adventures Of Apocalypse Al