StarShipSofa

SFFaudio Online Audio

Star Ship Sofa Podcast Science Fiction MagazineThe StarShipSofa The Audio Science Fiction Magazine, brings this week to the audio table of SF, a fine fare of fruits for your pleasure.

Listen to the mp3 show here!

Main Fiction: Secret Life 32:10

by Jeff VanderMeer

A vision of the building from on high: five glittering floors surrounded by a dull concrete parking lot. To the west lay a forest. To the east, the glint of a shopping mall, substantial as a mirage. To the north, highways and fast food restaurants. To the south, a perpetual gloom through which could be seen only more shadow.

Article:

Fouque by Amy Sturgis 11:11

Flash Fiction:

Toujours Voir by David Brin 29:00

Poetry:

Confessions Of A Body Thief by Bruce Boston 02:21

Narrators:

Grant Stone Jim Campanella Julie Davis

Subscribe to the podcast via this feed:http://www.starshipsofa.com/rss

Posted by Tony C. Smith

New Releases – Science Fiction from Recorded Books on Audible.com

SFFaudio News

Audible.comAudible.com has just added “a slew of Hugo/Nebula winning and otherwise classic sci-fi titles from Recorded Books.” None of these has been available previously in digital audio – and most have been difficult to find in physical CD (as Recorded Books has been a staunch supporter of the cassette format). Available now from Audible are..

The Terminal Experiment
By Robert J. Sawyer [READ OUR REVIEW]

To Say Nothing of the Dog
By Connie Willis [READ OUR REVIEW]

Blue Mars
By Kim Stanley Robinson

Green Mars
By Kim Stanley Robinson

Doomsday Book
By Connie Willis [READ OUR REVIEW]

Sundiver: The Uplift Saga, Book 1
By David Brin

Startide Rising: The Uplift Saga, Book 2
By David Brin [READ OUR REVIEW]

The Uplift War: The Uplift Saga, Book 3
By David Brin

The Forever War
By Joe Haldeman [READ OUR REVIEW]

Forever Peace
By Joe Haldeman

Timescape
By Gregory Benford [READ OUR REVIEW]

To Your Scattered Bodies Go: Riverworld Saga, Book 1
By Philip Jose Farmer

And, Audible also sez that Red Mars [READ OUR REVIEW] (notably absent from the list above) is “coming – soon, we hope….!”

Posted by Jesse Willis

Science Fiction and Politics University Course continues

Online Audio

Science Fiction and Politics Professor Courtney Brown‘s course at Emory University is a Political Science course entitled Science Fiction and Politics (Political Science 190). We’ve talked about this course more than once. But, as the new lectures appear in the feed, this podcast gets renewed interest, and thus prompts new posts. So here’s another, this one lists all the currently available lectures (Spring 2007 is now completed at Emory). Brown’s lectures below are from two semesters and feature some incisive political insights found in more than a dozen SF novels.

Lectures available:

01: Introduction and Overview |MP3|
02: Foundation by Isaac Asimov (1 of 2) |MP3|
03: Foundation by Isaac Asimov (2 of 2) |MP3|
04: Foundation And Empire by Isaac Asimov |MP3|
05: Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov |MP3|
06: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1 of 2) |MP3|
07: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (2 of 2) |MP3|
08: The Left Hand Of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (1 of 2) |MP3|
09: The Left Hand Of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (2 of 2) |MP3|
10: The Uplift War by David Brin (1 of 2) |MP3|
11: The Uplift War by David Brin (2 of 2) |MP3|
12: Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear (1 of 2) |MP3|
13: Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear (2 of 2) |MP3|
14: How to write your essays |MP3|
15: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1 of 2) |MP3|
16: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1 of 2) |MP3|
17: The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (1 of 2)|MP3|
18: The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (2 of 2)|MP3|
19: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (1 of 2) |MP3|
20: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (2 of 2) |MP3|
21: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (1 of 3) |MP3|
22: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (2 of 3) |MP3|
23: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (3 of 3) |MP3|
24: Neuromancer by William Gibson (1 of 2) |MP3|
25: Neuromancer by William Gibson (2 of 2) |MP3|
26: On free will [based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy] (1 of 2) |MP3|
27: On free will [based on Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World] (2 of 2) |MP3|
28: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (1 of 2) |MP3|
29: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (2 of 2) |MP3|
30: Spin by Robert Charles Wilson (1 of 2) |MP3|
31: Spin by Robert Charles Wilson (2 of 2) |MP3|
32: The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov (1 of 2) |MP3|
33: The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov (1 of 2) |MP3|

You can subscribe to the podcast via this feed:

http://www.courtneybrown.com/classes/scifi/mp3/cb_SciFiPoliticsClass1.xml

Also, Dr. Brown tells me that he’s been getting requests from some of his students for more female Science Fiction authors. He asks if we have any “top-of-the-list suggestions?” He’s been using Hugo and Nebula award winning novels, but we all know that there are plenty of novels out there that haven’t won a Hugo or a Nebula that are still worthy of examination. Can you think of any Dr. Brown should add to his class for next year?

Balticon Podcast’s Exclusive Scoop: From Worldcon, The Hugo Loser’s Party

SFFaudio @ Worldcon 2006

The Balticon PodcastPaul Fischer from the Balticon Podcast has posted an exclusive podcast recorded at the Hugo Loser’s Party (AKA The Hugo Nominees party) held at LACON IV (Worldcon 2006). Paul talked to some big names, David Brin, Robert Silverberg, Cory Doctorow, James Patrick Kelly, Peter S. Beagle and Ellen Datlow

Download the MP3 HERE or subscribe to the podcast via this feed:

http://www.balticonpodcast.org/bcpc.rss

Review of Startide Rising by David Brin

Science Fiction Audiobooks - Startide Rising by David BrinStartide Rising
By David Brin; Read by George Wilson
12 cassettes – 17.5 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Themes: / Science Fiction / Galactic Civilization / Genetic Engineering / Aliens / Dolphins / Chimpanzees / Series /

The Terran exploration vessel Streaker is on the run from the combined forces of five galactic civilizations that are hunting for them. Low on resources and staying just one step ahead of their pursuers the ship and crew crash-land on an obscure water-world called Kithrup. Soon after, in orbit above Kithrup, the might of all five galaxies fights each other for the right to claim “the prize”. The prize being that the crew of Streaker has the co-ordinates of what may be the most important discovery in millennia, the coordinates of mothballed fleet of starships that may be over two billion years old.

The second book of the Uplift Series, Startide Rising is the winner Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Awards for Best Novel of the year (1983). At the center of the Uplift Series is the idea that an “uplift” of intelligent life is necessary in order to create sentient and spacefaring races. The species that uplifts another is called a “patron species”, the species being uplifted is called a “client species”, this process is deemed absolutely necessary for the development of intelligent spacefaring civilizations. This makes sense to the Humans because on Earth the Humans have by this point genetically re-engineered both Dolphins and Chimpanzees, uplifting them to sentience. Which immediately begs the question of “who uplifted humanity”?

Recorded Books did a beautiful job on the cover, the specially commissioned painting is perhaps the nicest ever done for an audiobook. Unfortunately the cover and the packaging, are the best thing about this novel. As with many multi-volume series the paperback and hardcover versions of this book include: A glossary, a cast of characters list, a prologue, an epilogue, a postscript and a drawing (in this case of the Terran starship). Now obviously the drawing wouldn’t be able to be conveyed by a narrator, so it’s loss isn’t a big deal. But the exclusion of the glossary and the cast of characters was probably a mistake, for this novel especially, this information might have helped. I don’t really blame the producers for excluding it though, at 462 pages (making it 12 cassettes) this beast is way too long as it is.

David Brin‘s has peppered some very interesting ideas throughout the novel. Some of the ideas presented are new spins on old themes, others are quite original and interesting, at least to my ears. The overall premise of “uplift” is interesting, and would definitely be worth reading about, except for one minor issue. This is a horrible novel. Its very very very talky, there are way way way too many characters, virtually every scene that WOULD be of interest takes place off-stage, in the past or is happening and being related by a third party indirectly! George Wilson, the reader, does his best to sort out much of the muddle, no small task with more than a dozen characters, none of which are major players in the plot. These flaws along with reading the unreadable voices of many dolphins, are almost too much for poor George. And it was certainly too much for me. I lost track of who was speaking and what they were talking about many times! This is an unforgivable and deadly sin for a novel and makes me wonder how both readers and writers of science fiction could give this novel an award of any type let alone both the Hugo and the Nebula! I’ll admit that, much of the difficulty here is probably a result of this novel being a part of a series, with established characters and continuing themes. One reason for which all in all I much prefer stand alone novels. But even among series novels this was perhaps the worst novel I’ve read in years. Were I not writing a review for it I wouldn’t even bothered to have finished it. That said, maybe like Neville, the last living man on the Earth in Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, I’m really the one who’s abnormal. Maybe this isn’t a bad novel at all. Maybe, it really is a good novel and I’ve got something wrong with me! Maybe a cast of dozens talking endlessly about events that just happened, are happening elsewhere are happening now but being related by a no-name character reading a sensor bank really is interesting. If that really is interesting and I just can’t appreciate it I’ll just have to live without it because I’m not going to listen to any more of the Uplift Series.