The SFFaudio Podcast #159 – Scott, Jesse, Tamahome, and Charles Tan talk about recently arrived audiobooks, new releases and more.
Talked about on today’s show:
Charles sent to World Fantasy, John Scalzi’s Fuzzy Nation is a reworking, Is WWW: Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer YA?, three from Angry Robot, Giant Thief by David Tallerman, Empire State by Adam Christopher is superhero noir, free comic book day, The Shadow comic by Garth Ennis, listening speeds, Dead Harvest by Chris F. Holm, Bolinda Audio from Australia, Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox, YA is big, Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, “scare the crap out of little kids”, The Novice by Trudi Canavan, cozy fantasy, Dark Is The Moon by Ian Irvine, Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy, being developed for Netflix, polarizing, Angels Of Vengence by John Birmingham, futuristic Clancy?, White Horse by Alex Adams, Into The Black: Odyssey One by Evan Currie, ebook first, “I’m getting refreshed”, Jenny would like Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente, not Genevieve Valentine, Welcome To Bordertown edited by Ellen Kushner (Sfsignal interview) and Holly Black is all-new, “these stories are too wet”, A Handful Of Stars by Dana Stabenow is an older book, “Alaskans in space”, The Outcast Blade by John Courtenay has vampires, “well that’s disappointing”, how about steampunk?, the splitting of Warriors by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, Legends by Robert Silverberg, Scott thinks Far Horizons should be an audiobook, Agatha H. And The Clockwork Princess by Phil and Kaja Foglio, Girl Genius comics online, Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow, Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti, “clockpunk”, Nightfall by Stephen Leather, soul legalities, “God is the ultimate scammer”, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Infamous, paper books, Comedia Della Morte by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, usefulness of blurbs, The Company Of The Dead by David J. Kowalski, end of Scott’s stack, I didn’t know 8 Million Ways To Die by Lawrence Block was a book, lots from Audible Frontiers, Gregory Benford’s Galactic Center series with multiple narrators, Planet Of The Apes by Pierre Boulle, think of the movie inverted, “take your damn dirty hands off me”, Terry Bisson’s They’re Made Out Of Meat, Charles is reading the Shirley Jackson award nominees (horror and dark fantasy) to prepare for interviews, Peter Staub’s Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff, “it scared the pants off me”, where’s the John Joseph Adams anthology audiobooks?, Kim Stanley Robinson audio short story at Lightspeed Magazine, 2312 stays in the solar system, Mars trilogy if you like science, tons of new Robert Silverberg on Audible, The World Inside will be an HBO series, Scott liked Book Of Skulls, a bunch of Connie Willis, what’s on the horizon?, Existence by David Brin, Red Mars was a marathon, A Short, Sharp Shock by Kim Stanley Robinson, what kind of fantasy does he write?, John Scalzi’s Redshirts, bye Charles
Mindstar Rising (Greg Mandel, #1)
By Peter F. Hamilton; Read by Toby Longworth
Audible Download – 14 Hours 52 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: December 1st 2011
Themes: / Science Fiction / Mystery / Global Warming / Psychic Abilities
It’s the 21st century, and global warming is here to stay, so forget the way your country used to look. And get used to the free market, too – the companies possess all the best hardware, and they’re calling the shots now. In a world like this, a man open to any offers can make out just fine.
A man like Greg Mandel for instance, who’s psi-boosted, wired into the latest sensory equipment, carrying state-of-the-art weaponry – and late of the English Army’s Mindstar Battalion. As the cartels battle for control of a revolutionary new power source, and corporate greed outstrips national security, tension is mounting to boiling point – and Greg Mandel is about to face the ultimate test.
This is an older Peter F. Hamilton novel, first published in 1993. It’s relatively short compared to his later books. Just this year it got reprinted in America with Quantum Murder as one book. (I guess thick books sell more?) It has also just gotten the audio treatment from Audible Frontiers. Peter F. Hamilton is kind of a potboiler sf writer, and yet he’s really smart. He seems to put a lot of research into his scenes, including some science. Sometimes I feel like he’s giving too many details compared to someone like Joe Haldeman, and I get a little restless. Maybe it’s my fault and I’m getting confused, which is easier to do in an audiobook. But then something shocking or intense happens, and it keeps me going. Plus his character development is above average for a genre writer. And he doesn’t shy away from sex or violence as much as other writers. I feel like he writes for adults. If you thought the Night’s Dawn or Void trilogies had too many fantasy elements, you might prefer this series. It is more straight science fiction. That’s assuming you don’t consider psychic abilities to be fantasy. At least they’re framed here in a scientific way. You may encounter some libertarian political messages as well. The setting is a post global warming world where a Leftist government has left England in shambles. It will become important to the plot.
I happen to know that Hamilton is a plotter and outlines in advance. I experienced the ‘Connie Willis effect’ while reading — I wasn’t sure why a certain character or location was introduced, but then it all tied together in the end. The last three or four hours here really cooked. He can describe beam weapons and explosions well. (Compare the end of his The Neutronium Alchemist with the end of Samuel R. Delany’s Nova.) Although I caution you there’s a somewhat grisly escape. And I don’t like the word ‘tropes’, but some of the ‘cool stuff’ you’ll see in this novel are mind uploading, cybernetic brain enhancement, and genetically enhanced animals.
The SFFaudio Podcast #135 – Scott, Jesse, Tamahome, and Jenny talk about recently arrived audiobooks, new releases and more.
Talked about on today’s show: The Year’s Top Short SF Novels edited by Allan Kaster, including “Return to Titan” by Stephen Baxter (set in the Xeelee Sequence), “Jackie’s-Boy” by Steven Popkes, “The Sultan of the Clouds” by Geoffrey A. Landis, “Seven Cities of Gold” by David Moles, “A History of Terraforming” by Robert Reed, “Several Items of Interest” by Rick Wilber, and “Troika” by Alastair Reynolds. Two were finalists for the Hugo Award this year. The Seven Cities of Gold is also a video game!
Immortality, Inc. by Robert Sheckley, narrated by the amazing Bronson Pinchot. Originally published serially as “Time Killer” in Galaxy Science Fiction (1960). Jesse wants to do this as a readalong, but Jenny wants something newer than 1960.
Earth Strike: Star Carrier, Book One by Ian Douglas. Tamahome is a sucker for space, and this is the first of two books that are available in Audible. Scott doesn’t care much for military sci-fi, but didn’t mind Starship Troopers, Ender’s Game, and Forever Peace. What matter is the focus – Scott is looking for a good story, which is hard to find. “Too much science?” Deep Space Nine. “Not all Muslims are fanatic, lieutenant…” Is it too politically correct? Tamahome is a sucker for women who kick ass too, this is right up his alley!
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, also Sputnik Sweetheart, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, A Wild Sheep Chase, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, After Dark. 46 hour commitment for the audio book, originally published as three separate volumes. Jenny can’t stop reading it! Aomame = “green peas.” Publisher says it is a love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, and a dystopia to rival George Orwell. Tamahome heard that Q sounds like “nine” in Japanese. Don’t read too much Murakami in a row! Look for cats and spaghetti.
Lots of collections from Brilliance Audio – Wild Cards edited by George R. R. Martin, Wild Cards II: Aces High edited by George R. R. Martin, Songs of Love and Death edited by George R. R. Martin, and Down These Strange Streets edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. We complained about lack of contents and Brilliance has started including them – thank you! Up next – contents printed on specific discs. George R. R. Martin is spending his time on anthologies because he is not your bitch! Warriors anthology is cross-genre. Someone should make an audio book of Best of the Best edited by Gardner Dozois. Tamahome likes “Trinity” by Nancy Kress, but the print in the book is too tiny for anyone over 40.
Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F. Hamilton. Only available outside of the United States, queue proprietary publisher rant by the SFF Audio crew, in fact Jenny posted a sassy one in her blog. Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct detective novels and a reimagined New York City. Robert E. Howard does a similar thing with countries. Perfectly genetically engineered female cops (Paula Myo from the Commonwealth Saga) end up with personal problems.
She spread her arms wide and lifted up her face. She was deep within the Sun’s convective zone, the broad mantle of turbulent material beneath the growing photosphere. Convective cells larger than the Earth, tangled with ropes of magnetic flux, filled the world around her with a complex, dynamic, three-dimensional tapestry. She could hear the roar of the great gas founts, smell the stale photons diffusing out toward space from the remote core.
Luke Burrage’s Science Fiction Book Review Podcast has another episode out (#135) titled Total Recall by Gordon Bell. But it’s not a Science Fiction book and he doesn’t really review it as much as discuss it and the topic of futurism with Tamahome and me.
Here’s what we talked about: Science Fantastic with Michio Kaku podcast, Jesse doesn’t like Michio Kaku, “anybody who does futurism is a bullshit artist”, the future will be different from the past, Total Recall by Gordon Bell, “get your ass to Mars”, Triangulation podcast #17, Leo Laporte, “internet famous”, pioneers of the internet, oral history, My Life Bits (a Microsoft research project), life journal, OCR (optical character recognition), body heat, respect level going up for Microsoft, Luke keeps everything, “is he weighing his shit as well?”, your life in 100 terabytes, “don’t bother reading the book”, maybe that’s why I hate futurism, it should have been a biography, “if you want good futurism that isn’t going to be proved wrong in ten years…”, Science Fiction is about the human condition, futurism is technology in isolation, Luke just wants to have a conversation with Gordon Bell, the European Juggling convention, your sister’s wedding, proposing on Skype, a successful marriage of convenience, Skype text chat logs go way back, Skype crash!, saving every email that you receive, presumable AIs, “That was fast”, “you better be careful what you say to Luke”, “in ten years time…”, Luke lives publicly and openly on the internet, how many people have an hour long discussion of every book they’ve read this year?, the benefits of living life on the internet openly, extracting entertainment value, “this is terrible”, Robert J. Sawyer‘s Hominids was a Hugo award winning novel, Startide Rising (Jesse hates it), Connie Willis just won the Hugo, “this is a horrible novel”, Connie Willis is good at getting Hugos, she needs an editor, A Good Story Is Hard To Find podcast, Luke was expecting more than crass futurism, “where the fuck did you pull that number from? was it from your ass”, Fu Manchu, Sunshine is a piece of shit (and not Science Fiction), Moore’s Law, “in ten years time”, William Gibson’s “the future is here it just isn’t evenly distributed yet”, bunk, it’s not falsifiable, SFsignal.com, Tam’s expurgated comment, Real Time with Bill Maher, the guy knows less about nuclear physics than I do (based on what he said on the show), burn that whole nuclear site, Chernobyl, Bikini Atoll (actually it was Enewetak Atoll – specifically Runit Island), Google Maps, the hydrogen bomb, Neil deGrasse Tyson is a lot better, the Hayden Planetarium, “when he talks I get more facts (and he doesn’t do futurism)”, string theory, Jesse doesn’t like Michio Kaku, Luke doesn’t like podcasts that run more than an hour, “that’s a whole separate podcast”, a nerdy internet guy, pocket protectors (are awesome) (see?), a condom for you pocket (they are handy), Revenge Of The Nerds, geek vs. nerd, the Functional Nerds podcast, Patrick Hester, Geek Nights podcast, nerding vs, geeking, “I don’t have nerdgasms”, hot rodding your computer, history geeks, enthusiasts, professionals vs. nerds, Star Trek nerds, they misunderstood Scotty’s origin, red matter is nothing, Star Trek movie made Luke cry, i09, “the top 10 suicide missions in SF”, ramming speed, WWII, “submarmine”, ram the “submarmine”, the Titanic, in 38 years everyone will be ramming other ships, health and safety, 1919, “I can’t believe the way this conference is going…”, futurism works in a story, the internet vs. cyberspace, Snow Crash, the blogsphere (discussion boards) were predicted (?) by Orson Scott Card in Ender’s Game, The Huffington Post, Luke really has to go now.
The SFFaudio Podcast #113 – Jesse and Eric S. Rabkin talk about Stupidity and Intelligence in Science Fiction (and Fantasy).
Talked about on today’s show:
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Mickey Mouse, Fantasia, Christopher Marlowe‘s The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, Brothers GrimmClever Hans (the fairy tale), Clever Hans (the horse), War With The Newts by Karel Čapek, Excerpt from (Book Two – Up the Ladder of Civilisation), trephination, “there are some things man was not meant to know”, evil science and evil scientists, R.U.R., Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Frankenstein is an egotist whereas the creature wants community, Chapter 11 of Frankenstein, intellect vs. empathy, “One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of knowledge which I sought.”, the ideology of intelligence is suspect, Gulliver’s Travels, Laputa, philosophers, The Clouds by Aristophanes, “head in the clouds”, BBC Radio dramatization of Lysistrata, The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle, “the big bang”, telepathy, Gregg Margarite, “Genius in not a biological phenomenon.”, “stupid people can have smart babies and smart people can have stupid babies”, eugenics, sterilization programs, “we know so little about what we mean by intelligence”, “we breed against the outliers”, “If I see further than others it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants”, Sir Isaac Newton, Newton vs. Leibniz, Darwin vs. Wallace vs. Darwin’s grandfather, Robert A. Heinlein, “steam engine time”, Columbus and the egg, humans (persons) can compound our intelligence, Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Charly, “we shouldn’t define humanity by our intelligence”, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, flowers from Weena, “fundamental humanity has to do with emotion and not intelligence”, He, She and It by Marge Piercy, programming a robot with stories, Yod is a robot-like golem, “it was immoral to create a conscious weapon”, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, Eric is the world’s least reliable critic of The Doomsday Book, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, philosophy of science, the meaning of weapon, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, tool vs. weapon, “we have one mad scientist after another”, Gojira!, Ozymandias, Watchmen, Understand by Ted Chiang, “talking to babies”, “if everyone in the world around you is an idiot…what kind of relationship can you have with the world”, His Masters Voice by Stanisław Lem, Hogarth is an incredibly intelligence person, Edgar Allan Poe, Audible Frontier’s Solaris: The Definite Edition, The Futurological Congress, Isaac Asimov, Eric puts on his professorial hat, nous, the etymology of the word “intelligence”, Asimov reads between the lines for you, the etymology of the word “stupid”, what’s with the word “sentient” in Science Fiction?, Beyond Lies The Wub by Philip K. Dick, ansible, “sentience is the bag that we put all our coding for equally human”, was Larry Niven the prime promulgator of the SF version of “sentience”?, The Island Of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells, “words are a map on the world”, The Time Machine, evolution and the clash of the classes, Wells respects the intelligence of his readers, Morlocks vs. Eloi, the King James version of the Bible, “Eloi Eloi Lama Sabachthani“, Hugo Gernsback, Amazing Stories, “whizz bang sensofwunda”, The New Accelerator by H.G. Wells, “the warp drive is not important”, “the ansible is not important”, “we are all time travelers”, “in Wells’ greatest works he leaves some part of the story open”, “but whether this was a reprieve for us or them only time will tell”, Experiment In Autobiography by H.G. Wells, The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov, “Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain”, Friedrich Schiller, reporters became cynical now they just go see what’s happening on Facebook, The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth is public domain, much of Kornbluth is PD because he died so young, The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, Little Black Bag by C.M. Kornbluth, Idiocracy, stupid people have lots of (stupid) babies (?), what’s wrong with The Marching Morons?, PLENTY!, “The Marching Chinese”, Thomas Robert Malthus, eugenics and dysgenics, what ties do genetics and intelligence have?, a very high fraction of American presidents have been left handed, immigrant groups produce terrific comedians, Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, storing up ideas for my “word hoard”.
WATCH OUT FOR THE FALSE ENDINGS (mostly attributable to Luke)
Talked about on today’s show:
Role playing game names, “Tom And His Friends” Dungeons And Dragons comedy (aka Farador), SFFaudio Challenge #2, Rebels Of The Red Planet by Charles L. Fontenay, Mars, martian rebels, Podiobooks.com, Cossmass Productions, Mark Douglas Nelson, Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, the least interesting vs. the least fitting, I’m Dreaming Of A Black Christmas by Lewis Black, Christmas = Fantasy?, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Suck It, Wonder Woman |READ OUR REVIEW|, Star Wars, what makes Star Wars Science Fiction is a sense-of-wonder?, Star Trek, METAtropolis: Cascadia, Star Trek The Next Generation narrators vs. Battlestar Galactica narrators, Wil Wheaton as a narrator, Dove Audio, Levar Burton as a narrator, liking Star Trek for all the wrong reasons, Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, assimilation is a neat idea, “who the hell are the Borg?”, The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Unincorporated War, “is there true Science Fiction to be found in sequels?”, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Peter F. Hamilton’s The Void Trilogy, Blackout by Connie Willis, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis |READ OUR REVIEW|, Firewatch, dragging the story out, Whiteout by Connie Willis, World War II, Katherine Kellgren as a narrator, Jenny Sterlin as a narrator, Recorded Books, Brilliance Audio, Audible.com, Amazon.com, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, Deep Six by Jack McDevitt, introductions to audiobooks, the introduction as an apology for the book, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison, The Time Traders by Andre Norton, H.G. Wells, The First Men In The Moon, Around The Moon, Jules Verne, continuing characters rather than continuing series, Sherlock Holmes, Khyber Pass vs. Reichenbach Falls, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Valley Of Fear, The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan series, does reading a series defeat the hope of being surprised? Priest Kings Of Gor by John Norman, A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin |READ OUR REVIEW|, fun vs. funny, crime and adventure vs. ideas, A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Bill The Galactic Hero, Slippery Jim DiGriz, The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge, This Immortal by Roger Zelazny, The Speed Of Dark by Elizabeth Moon, Books On Tape, Grover Gardner, Gregg has a grumbly voice, The Space Dog Podcast, The Science Fiction Oral History Association, Gordon Dickson, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Cordwainer Smith, Scott Westerfeld, Ben Bova, Luke’s next podcast project, NaNoWriMo, what podcast schedule should you have?, Robert Silverberg AUDIOBOOKS are coming from Wonder Audio, the old stuff vs. the new stuff, Jay Snyder as a narrator, a Science Fiction story that has little SF content, autism, Charly, Understand by Ted Chiang, Flowers For Algernon, interacting with the world, I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells, psychopathy, an unreliable first person narrator, young Dexter, Asperger syndrome, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon, a detached (but reliable) narrator, the two audiobook versions of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson, the Baroque Cycle, Anathem, John Allen Nelson as a narrator, Phat Fiction, The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, The Towers Of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, walking around central park as a retired person as my new career, who listens to audiobooks?, working the unworked niche, they really like Gregg’s voice!, no RSS-feed = soooo sad, Sam This Is You by Murray Leinster, Black Amazon Of Mars by Leigh Brackett, The World That Couldn’t Be Clifford D. Simak, The Idiot by John Kendrick Bangs, The Hate Disease, Asteroid Of Fear, Industrial Revolution by Poul Anderson, A Horse’s Tale by Mark Twain, anthropomorphic fiction, A Dog’s Tale by Mark Twain, Gregg has bugles lying around, Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Thought You Were Dead by Terry Griggs, Iambik Audio‘s upcoming Science Fiction audiobooks, LibriVox, working with small press publishers, Extract From Captain Stormfield’s Visit To Heaven, Blackstone Audio, The Many Colored Land by Julian May, Bernadette Dunne as a narrator, time travel, The Pliocene Epoch, sequel and prequel fatigue, flooding the Mediterranean, Blake’s 7: Zen : Escape Veloctiy is a Science Fictiony audio drama series, Firesign Theatre? (he means Seeing Ear Theatre), The Moon Moth based on the story by Jack Vance, Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers, Mistborn, Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds, Lord Of Light by Roger Zelazny, Finch by Jeff Vandermere, Flood by Stephen Baxter, thematic exploration vs. bad writing, GoodReads.com, Eifelheim by Michael Flynn |READ OUR REVIEW|, Luke’s books should be audiobooks, The Fifth Annual SFFaudio Challenge, all the cool Science Fiction ideas in Luke’s books, Gregg Margarite is a secret author with a secret pseudonym, Eric Arthur Blair, the publishing industry headache is intolerable to many, good writers + savvy marketers = sales success?, Redbelt, David Mamet, drowning in an ocean full of crap, the Jesse Willis bump?, catering to the listeners (or readers) desires vs. publishers desires, Pogoplug, Out Of The Dark by David Weber, artificial robots vs. natural robots, What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly, art and techne, does evolution have goals?, the Cool Tools blog, eyes vs. I, natural selection, zero-point energy, the Cat in Red Dwarf was pulled to the fish dispensing vending machine, if you won’t give me eyes at least give me bilateral symmetry, goals vs. patterns or positions, starfish vs. Inuit, technology is a function of evolution, Luke re-writes The War Of The Worlds in under 20 minutes, red weed and green mist, stomach-less martians, “the final final part” and the musical version, flipping over the narrative is fun, Ender’s Game vs. Ender’s Shadow, what do the martians have against doors?, keeping the martian cannon canon, The Dragon With The Girl Tattoo by Adam Roberts.