Recent Arrivals: Paperbooks: Philip K. Dick, Ray Nelson, Ted Chiang, Carolyn Keene, Garth Ennis, Robert E. Howard, Timothy Truman, and John C. Wright

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Here’s a stack of new paperbooks that have recently hit my desk: Included are The Ganymede Takeover by Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson, The Secret Of Red Gate Farm by Carolyn Keene (1931 edition), Stories Of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang, Jennifer Blood, (Vol. 1) by Garth Ennis, King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel by Timothy Truman, and Count To A Trillion by John C. Wright.

There’s a mistake on my part in the video. The Scarlet Citadel is adapted from a Robert E. Howard Conan story, as it turns out it is one of the ones I haven’t read.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Commentary: How to download TORRENT files

SFFaudio Commentary

TorrentsI recently received email from a friend asking me to send him files that are easily available as a torrent.

This is pretty funny considering that the guy in question has had hundreds, more likely thousands, of complete copies of his creations downloaded, via torrent, to users all over the planet.

This got me thinking that probably a good many other creators and fans are in the same position – they’ve heard of torrents – would like to use them – but don’t have a friend who uses them. You just need a friend to walk you through it.

Well friends I’m here to tell you that torrents are extremely easy to use, very quick and very safe, just so long as you pay attention to a few details.

It’s actually pretty easy.

Torrents are specialized internet files, very similar to podcast feeds. Like podcast feeds they work to automatically retrieve the content you want. And just like podcast feeds they work only with specialized software.

But why would you want to use one?

Two reasons to use torrents:

1. Torrents do not greatly burden a content creator as he or she need not host the files for very long before they’re off and growing in the wild

2. Torrents are particularly good at the distribution of suppressed materials (take the case of the example given father below)

Software needed:

1. µTorrent is a free and easy to use torrent client (that’s just a piece of software for getting torrents)

Three quick facts to keep in mind after installation:

1. Torrent files end in “.torrent” – when you click on one, and when you’ve got µTorrent installed, you’ll get the download of the file you want (just as long as there are seeders)

2. A seeder is a torrent user who has a complete copy of the download that you want

3. You will see the extensions of the file types you are going to download – this means you can pick and choose the kinds of files you want to end up on your computer

uTorrent 1.7.7

Example of a torrent:

Queen Of The Black Coast is a free full cast audio dramatization, that was suppressed by legal threats. It’s producers no longer host it. But it is available as a torrent on the torrent tracker website (and other torrent tracking websites).

The Pirate Bay - QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST Example

Clicking on the green double down arrow (pictured above) will download the “.torrent file” which will interface with your installed µTorrent software to get you the audio drama. Note the number of seeders listed too. If there are zero seeders then you probably won’t be able to download the complete file or files. And if there are many seeders then the file will come down faster than if there are few. Once you complete your download, and hit “stop” in µTorrent, you will no longer be seeding.

Using torrents will open up a whole new part of the internet to you and make many more parts of the web useful too. A good place to start exploring with your new torrent skills is is a domain entirely devoted to radio, offering radio drama, audiobooks (broadcast on radio), factual programs and every other kind of audio goodness that public radio services are known for. Happy torrenting!

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #133 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Beyond The Black River by Robert E. Howard


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #133 – Beyond The Black River by Robert E. Howard, read by Todd McLaren (courtesy of Tantor Media’s The Conquering Sword Of Conan). This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novelette (2 Hours 29 Minutes) followed by a discussion of it (by Jesse and Tamahome).

Talked about on today’s show:
Todd McLaren, Conan’s voice is confident, Balthus is the Jimmy Olsen to Conan’s Superman, Robert E. Howard’s avatar in Beyond The Black River is Balthus, “the damnedest bastard who ever lived”, “buckets of mead”, a noble death, a prominently displayed dog, barbarism vs. civilization, Red Nails, “the viking hat”, The Savage Sword Of Conan, Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Tam is a Conan novice, The Last Of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, western, “alabaster skin”, the triumph of Barbarism (is the coda for the story), Texas, would the 1% agree with Howard?, Picts, the world of Hyboria, Cimmeria was a real place, history, historical romance, physical display, don’t overblow the homo-eroticism, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.P. Lovecraft, autodidacts, Margaret Atwood’s interview on CBC’s Q, “occasionals”?, Walt Whitman and Henry James, The Turn Of The Screw, sword and sorcery, did Howard invent the barbarian as a character?, Genghis Khan, forbidden knowledge, Howard and Jack London, The Call Of The Wild, California, Alaska, Yukon, slavery, civilization to barbarism, “a Conan dog”, atavism, Zogar Sag is the Jesus to Jhebbal Sag’s God, secret language magic, secret symbols, Conan The Barbarian, Conan is at the height of his power, atavistic magic, “what was I missing”, chatty Conan, Brian Wood’s new Conan comic (adapting Queen Of The Black Coast), Barry Windsor Smith, “he’s busy getting revenge”, a distillation of what’s in the stories, Conan and the philosophers, Oliver Stone and John Milius, Conan The Destroyer, sword vs. sorcery, Berserk (manga), “if you were in the Hyborian age which god would you worship?”, “a Klingon god”, “who is the good guy in Beyond The Black River?”, why does Conan side with the Aquilonians?, “swarthy white men”, Conan is bronzed by the sun not swarthy, end the Jersey Shore references, “this is a war story”, Conan doesn’t believe in an external valuation, why is there only one Devil?, Gullah the Gorilla God – the hairy one who lives on the moon, Africa, Aquilonia is France, Hyboria is Europe, Hyperborea (boreal + hyper = far north), Stygia = Egypt, Texas history, the Picts are the Comanche in this story, Julius Caesar, degenerating white men, Kull, Brule The Spearslayer, “noble savage”, a “symphony of racism”, Bran Mak Morn: The Last King by Robert E. Howard, Kings In The Night, The Whole Wide World, The One Who Walks Alone by Novalyne Price Ellis, Vincent D’Onofrio as Robert E. Howard channeling Conan, photographs of Robert E. Howard, Howard was a LARPer, “Howard was a rough-hewn intellectual”, boxing, gun culture vs. cat culture, WWII, Lidice, “even a white man’s dog is worth more than seven Picts”, Bill Hollweg’s Queen Of The Black Coast audio drama, would Beyond The Black River make a good audio drama?, Lou Anders’ Hollywood Formula doesn’t work here, philosophy of the woods, audiobooks and comics are better than movies, SSOC #26 & #27, Dark Horse’s Savage Sword Of Conan, Volume 3, ostrich feathers tell a story, a frontier story, Weird Tales covers by Margaret Brundage, the Hulk, supple, Red Nails would be a good readalong, laser beams and dinosaurs.

TANTOR MEDIA - The Conquering Sword Of Conan by Robert E. Howard

Weird Tales - Beyond The Black River by Robert E. Howard - illustration by Hugh Rankin

Weird Tales - Beyond The Black River by Robert E. Howard - illustration by Hugh Rankin - "Fierce joy surged through him."

Beyond The Black River - illustrated by John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala

Beyond The Black River - illustrated by John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala

Beyond The Black River - illustrated by John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala

Beyond The Black River - illustrated by John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala

Posted by Jesse Willis