The SFFaudio Podcast #460 – READALONG: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #460 -Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada talk about Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Talked about on today’s game:
the television series, Lenny Henry, Chef, tribes of homeless people in London, the novel, a little sandwich, what book would you take to a desert island?, The Sandman, not the way that things usually run, in the back of Paul’s mind, a full and visceral fall into London Below, the audio drama, Paul buys too many ebooks and audiobooks, Paul’s poor little TV, a new life in the world below, the sewer folk, the comic book adaptation, sadly and tragically, Glen Fabry, Preacher, DC Vertigo, Door has a keyhole over her eye, a completely different vision, insane, shot on videotape, early Doctor Who, Paterson Joseph, Mr Croup and Mr Vandermar, working hard to say bad things about Neverwhere, a children’s book for adults (true about everything Neil Gaiman writes), a metaphor for homelessness, Mr Stockton, Richard’s career as a security analyst, a metaphor for going inside yourself, looking for a critique, real damn good, a sketch, suggesting rather than telling, when Gaiman goes spare he goes better, Charles Dickens, here comes the pressure, the new illustrated edition, William Morrow Harper Collins, Chris Riddell, illustrations throughout, long noses, an eye, a branch twining through the pages, taking you down into it, the Angel Islington, Door is a child, Anesthesia, parallel characters, packed with illustrations, old-wordiness, “entwined”, Jesse’s book fell through the cracks, allusions to semi-mythical literary stuff, referencing earlier materials, The Graveyard Book, The Lord Of The Rings, Alice In Wonderland, Coraline, WONDERFUL, Neil Gaiman tattoos, we completely agree Neil Gaiman is awesome, Gaiman speaks to people, The New Mother by Lucy Clifford, why is it called Neverwhere?, physical place that has never existed in time, that fairy tale fantasy title, Stardust, reflective, gods and angels, pixie-like elfin girls, killers with knives, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, a murder of a family, a knife in the darkness, the backstory of this book, getting the same stuff in a different package, writing about marriage, a hand in the darkness, consider how London Below works, an unperson, utterly cut-off, social interaction, hitting Paul in the feels, nobody gives a damn if I live or die, tapping into fundamental fears, deep and true mythic social stuff, the beginning and the end, so much really works, very H.P. Lovecraft, Celephaïs by H.P. Lovecraft, disconnection with reality, the doubt, the ordeal, the trial, a subversion reading that’s IN the text, on the train platform, suicide, potent stuff, if they wanted to film it again today, too sensitive, romanticizing homelessness, if you’ve ever gone camping, romantic in the theoretical or in retrospect but there’s no romance in reality, too empathetic, an issue, defenses built up, its very very hard, people are strong even when they’re strong in the wrong ways, a problem you can’t easily fix, homelessness, many kinds of failures, Jessica’s reaction to Door’s body lying there, getting taken, a horrible thing to say “the all have homes, really”, generosity of strangers, it depends on how sympathetic you are, the book version, Jessica is not a monster, misplaced priorities, interested in the wrong things, exemplars of humanity, Aurora, Ontario, bags bags bags, she’s starving, “no thank you, I’m fine”, housing costs, pets, smoking, not enough money, schizophrenia, forbearance, neat hoarding, Jesse doesn’t have any doilies, if you don’t have a plant there’s something wrong with you, if you are not able to conform yourself, if it was not for a social safety-net more would be homeless, falling through the cracks of the bureaucracy, not a romantic story of homelessness, Lir (the musician), you always need another favour in you pocket, I don’t think he’s 100% reputable, rats and fur, a good craftsman, well polished, his turns of phrase are virtually perfect, a long list of things that are in (or not) a room, how Croup and Vandermar are alike, who they are without how they came to be, a very small world, Hunter, a little bit “dodgy” in the same way rats are a little bit covered in fur, How The Marquis Got His Coat Back, the Marquis de Carabas is from Puss In Boots, the sewer as a river, a non-existent person, the last door is opened by the Marquis, its clear to Paul, mutual friends, the Marquis came back from the dead, Richard left and returned, we’re going to lie-in, seeing it all laid out, Dante’s Inferno, the Marquis is like Virgil, Dracula, Frankenstein, Transformers, a tiny bit from the audio drama, the 15th century, they’re time travelling psychopaths, The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe, Valdemar wants “Dead things. Extra teeth.”, we’ve never killed a marquis before, Men?, if you prick us do we not bleed?, no, the timelines, his watch and his debit card stop working, bubbles in time and space, three thousand years ago, the remnants of a Roman legion still camped, more fantastical elements, more 12th century England, no allowance for Jesse, Jesse was in competition with homeless people, Dungeons & Dragons modules, a quasi-homeless industry, if you want to help the homeless increase the bottle deposit, 2018 vs 1980 money, people don’t like to be condescended to, Jesse’s penurious poorness, a trunk full of bottles is a treasure, they wear weird clothes, pushing shopping carts around, its not only about homelessness, choosing your own way to live, Richard’s apartment is taken away, he has a duty to his fiance but a greater duty to a stranger, there re just some things that are wrong, the difference between rude and cruel, we’re dangerous as humans, you have to be sensitive, invisible people, standing at an intersection asking for money, you have to look away, horror, too sensitive a soul, the people who don’t see it, when Jessica sees and can almost remember Richard’s name, is Mr Stockton an angel in the world above?, angel investor, the restoration of an angel, a kind of underdeveloped parallelism, a media guy, Rupert Murdoch, he’s a monster, “I’m in banking”, oh my god…how can you live like that?, being Neil Gaiman, being Maissa, being a creator of a whole universe of characters is fun, choosing a life of mystery and adventure, a life of horror, a recipe for making money, Jessica is more down that path, no pet names, choosing you life, pre-history, the trolls he has on his desk, that’s lampshaded, TV Tropes, Spaceballs, replacing an actor, Iron Man, “I’m here, get over it”, you look different, no answer, that’s how you write the story, the fortuneteller, destiny, the trolls, his new office, the nice cup of tea, Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, talk about the mice, vastly intelligent pan-dimensional beings, the rats, ratty, Neil Gaiman’s book about Douglas Adams, “yes, this!”, zany but controlled, Gaiman has much more discipline than Douglas Adams, procrastinating, Dirk Gently, Last Chance To See, Starship Titanic, the very Englishness, the parallels that happen, the incompetent of the group, Arthur Dent, madcap adventure, Richard levels up, surviving the ordeal, he had empathy for himself, like Door’s sister, the bracelet, the level of humanity, Jesse am unashamed about reading this urban fantasy, the number of times “duck” comes up, “duck under”, like water off an oiled duck, poor towel substitutes, a small yellow rubber duck, inside the silver box, another velvet, a duck’s egg, why are there so many ducks in here?, a weird little affectation, somewhere in between the size of a duck and a planet, plotting’s not my thing, let’s see where this goes, Gaiman can do it line after line, incredibly talented at the job of knowing how to tell the story, being Neil Gaiman, Paul Cornell’s Shadow Police novels, a cameo.

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere Issue 1 Page 10

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere (Preferred Text)

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere BBC Radio Drama

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Superman Lives! AUDIO DRAMA

SFFaudio Review

Superman Lives! from TimeWarner AudioBooks

Superman Lives!
Written and directed by Dirk Maggs
Cast: William Hootkins, Lorelei King, Vincent Marzello, Garrick Hagon, Kerry Shale, Eric Myers, Denica Fairman, Liz Ross, Stuart Milligan, Bert Kwouk, Leon Herbert
Publisher: Time Warner AudioBooks
Released: 1994 BBC Enterprises Ltd/2005 Time Warner AudioBooks
ISBN: 1594830738

Synopsis: Daily Planet loves birds Clark Kent and Lois Lane finally get engaged. Lex Luthor dies in a plane crash, and Metropolis is thriving with prosperity and happiness under the infinite protection of Superman.

Or so it seems…

Follow the story of Lex Luthor’s true fate, and the fate of the new woman in his life…Supergirl. Listen to the heart-pounding fight to the death between Superman and a monster called Doomsday. Discover the truth about four new mysterious Superman.

And take a journey into the heart, minds, and unpredictable future of the Man of SteelTM everybody can count on…

…until one day, when he’s gone.

As with Star Wars, this is another of my “gold standard” shows against which other audio dramas are weighed. I mentioned it before in the standards post.

Helmed by the incomparable Dirk Maggs, Superman Lives! (known across The Pond as Superman: Doomsday and Beyond) features a stellar cast who give stunning life to some of the classic characters in the DC pantheon.Link

This is what Kingdom Come should’ve aspired to be.

From the opening funeral procession to the stirring fight to save Coast City at the end, we are treating to a veritible feast for the ears. Within just a few seconds of beginning, you know instantly that you’re in the hands of a master audio drama craftsman. When I first heard this back in the mid-90s, I was hooked right from the start.

I guarantee you will be, too.

The cast is simply fabulous and the acting is top-notch. As Clark Kent and Superman, Stuart Milligan initially evokes Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of the character (slightly bumbling Everyman Kent vs. commanding and authoritative Supes) through vocal quality then immediately makes it his own. Lorelei King gives Lois Lane a kind of quiet strength–part Margot Kidder from the original film, part Katherine Hepburn from The African Queen. William Hootkins as Lex Luthor is simply delicious in the role. I got an Alan Rickman-Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves vibe from his performance.

Superman’s titanic fight with Doomsday is the highlight of this production. In my view, at least. Music, sound design, and acting all come together in a breathtaking sequence that still, even after multiple listenings, make me wince, cringe, shudder, and leave me with a lump in my throat. I have to applaud Stuart and Lorelei for their performances in this section.

Bravo.

Overall, fantastic. Simply fantastic.

If you don’t own this yet, I highly suggest you get it now from Amazon or Audible.

Posted by Abner Senires

The SFFaudio Podcast #055

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #055 – Jesse and Scott talk to Jack J. Ward of The Sonic Society podcast about audio drama.

Talked about on today’s show:
Electric Vicuna, The Library Of Jack And Shannon, Sonic Gold, Shannon Hilchie, audio drama is the hardest kind of podcasting, Phil Morris: Celestial Lawyer, Robert E. Howard, Conan, The Muse Of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft, The Deadline, The Twilight Zone, Darker Musings, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Wavefront, Rod Serling, recording methods, BrokenSea Audio Productions, Decoder Ring Theatre, community theater, modern audio drama, amateur audio drama, Sonic Gold, paid subscription podcasts, Colonial Radio Theatre, Radio Repertory Company Of America, Jim French Productions, AM/FM Theatre, Powder River, Captain Blood, King Solomon’s Mines, adapting public domain stories to audio drama, CPI vs. BrokenSea, adapting modern novels, Voyage by Stephen Baxter, BBC, licensing Zorro, Erle Stanley Gardner, Perry Mason, imagine Ringworld as an audio drama, LibriVox, The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley, Rick Jackson, The Time Traveler Show podcast, Science Fiction Oral History Association, Spaceship Radio podcast, Dimension-X, X-Minus One, OTR Swag Cast, The Radio Memories Network, Sci Fi Friday podcast, Wander Radio interview with Jack Ward, J.C. Hutchins, Commentary: Amateur Audio Drama & What’s Wrong With It, generational differences, Sage RSS for Firefox, Sonic Society in the Summer, Gate, The First Nighter Program, Bill Hollweg, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, Howard Hawks, Bringing Up Baby, Audio Drama Review blog, James Snowe, Jerry Stearns, Sound Affects, KFAI, the Audio Drama Talk forums, carpeting the audio drama world, Jerry Robbins, Groucho Marx, audio drama or audio theater, subtract the narrator, Dirk Maggs, Superman: Doomsday and Beyond |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Adventures Of Superman |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Hunter, Kung-Fu Action Theatre, Star Trek and Star Wars audiobooks, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski, serial storytelling, Full Cast Audio, Graphic Audio, Elantris by Brandon Sanderson |READ OUR REVIEW|, Searcher & Stallion, audiobooks with sound effects SUCK, podiobooks.com, Tom Swiftians, J.K. Rowling, Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies For Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark, the Elmore Leonard school of writing, audio drama vs. audiobooks, Matt Watts, The Gemini Apes by Drik Maggs, Batman: Nightfall, Christopher Lee, An American Werewolf In London |READ OUR REVIEW|, BBC radio drama, The Lord Of The Rings, The Bradbury 13, A Sound Of Thunder by Ray Bradbury, Brigham Young University, A Gun For Dinosaur, CBC radio drama, Nightfall, Vanishing Point, Booster McCrane, P.M. by Paul Ledoux, Alan Maitland (aka Fireside Al, Frontporch Al, Graveside Al), The Shepherd by Frederick Forsyth, Paul Gross, H2O, Due South, strong>Psi Factor Chronicles Of The Paranormal, Matt Frewer, Intelligence, Da Vinci’s Inquest, Men With Brooms, The Trojan Horse, Johnny Chase Secret Agent Of Space, Jeffrey Adams, The Adventures Of Apocalypse Al, Cato the Elder.

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 2: The Adventures of Sexton Blake

Aural Noir: Online Audio

BBC Radio 2This just in… The Adventures Of Sexton Blake starts broadcasting on BBC Radio 2 next Friday night (July 31st at 9.15pm U.K. time) for six weeks.

Sexton Blake may not be a super familiar name to everyone today but according to wikipedia and a few fansites that wasn’t always the case. Created in 1893 Blake was an instant hit when he was born and made resident of Baker Street in the very month Sherlock Holmes was “killed off” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Perfectly Normal productions said this new production should also be available on the BBC iPlayer – and we checked, it’s already showing up as a Radio Downloader subscribable show.

Here’s the trailer |MP3|

The Adventures Of Sexton Blake

Sez Weir (who did the sound design and composed the music for the show):

“Whilst [The Adventures Of Sexton Blake is] more fantasy and crime than straight science-fiction, it stars Simon Jones, better known as Arthur Dent from the classic radio series, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. Following broadcast, the show will then be available in a much extended form on CD and as a high quality special edition download from our site.”

COOL!

The Adventures Of Sexton Blake The Adventures Of Sexton Blake
Based on the character created by Harry Blyth; Performed by a full cast
6 Parts – Approx. 90 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 2
Broadcast: Fridays @ 21:15-21:30 beginning July 31st 2009
Britain’s iconic and most prolifically chronicled sleuth explodes back into action in a brand new series of thrilling Adventures packed with incident and hilarity! – The name that spells HURTLING ADVENTURE! –
SEXTON BLAKE, (Simon Jones, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) and his plucky assistant TINKER (Wayne Forester, Captain Scarlet), aided by MRS BARDELL (June Whitfield, Absolutely Fabulous) battle Diabolical Masterminds, Beautiful Thieves and Dastardly Assassins. – The name that spells DOOM for VILLAINY! – Nearly four decades after his last public incarnation, Sexton Blake remains an icon, a contemporary of Sherlock Holmes who outlasted his fellow Baker Street Sleuth to become hugely popular through books, films and radio during the 20th Century. In his 100-plus years of existence Blake has been portrayed in every possible way, from jobbing detective to Britain’s Saviour. This new series weaves new, fantastical and very funny tales set in a brightly coloured early 20th century world such as that portrayed in the 1920s Union Jack stories, where villains are inevitably dastardly and it’s a matter of course to resolve a case in a sabre-duelling climax atop an exploding zeppelin. – The name that spells … SEXTON BLAKE!

Cast:
SIMON JONES……Sexton Blake, Adventuring Detective
WAYNE FORESTER……Tinker, his Plucky Assistant
JUNE WHITFIELD……Mrs Bardell, their Doughty Housekeeper
GRAHAM HOADLY……Professor Kew, a Spindly Cackler
LORELEI KING……Miss Elizabeth Mary-Louise Tarabelle Beauchamp
SIMON TREVES……Inspector Coutts Of Scotland Yard
FELICITY DUNCAN……Miss Terry, Window-Leaping Adventuress
SUSAN SHERIDAN……Mrs Hudson, Housekeeper To A Neighbouring Detective
MALCOLM BROWN……Count Ivor Carlac, a Villainous Juggernaut
PHILIP GLASSBOROW……Cyril, A Grim Assassin
OSCAR SHARP……The Frantic Caller
WILLIAM FRANKLYN……The Mysterious Waiter

We got vids too…

I’m really digging this!

[Thanks to Paul Weir and Roy!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #031 – NEW RELEASES/AUDIOBOOK: Founding Fathers by Robert Bloch

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #031 – Jesse (that’s me) and Scott (my buddy) are again joined by Rick Jackson of Wonder Audio. We talk about audiobooks, new and newer, a little about radio drama, throw in some politics, some Canada bashing, and then add in two complete short stories. The first short story is read by me (it is only two sentences long) and the other runs about 40 minutes and is performed by a professional narrator. Enjoy it folks!

Talked about on today’s show:
Full Cast Audio, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Hugo Nominees, Young Adult novels, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins |READ OUR REVIEW|, On Basilisk Station by David Weber, Grover Gardner, Shards Of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, Barayar, The Honor Of The Queen, Paul W. Campbell, Honor Of The Clan by John Ringo and Julie Cochrane, Cally’s War, Audible Frontiers, Brilliance Audio, Paperback Digital, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, The Canterbury Tales, The Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas, Black Library Audio, Warhammer 40,000: Heart Of Rage by James Swallow, Warhammer 40,000: Slayer Of The Storm God by Nathan Long, Infinivox, The Year’s Top Ten Tales Of Science Fiction edited by Alan Kaster, Ted Chiang is awesome, Zombie Astronaut posts 5 adaptations of Knock by Frederic Brown, Earthmen Bearing Gifts, Expedition, Arena, Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men On The Moon by Craig Nelson, Penguin Audio, 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11, Digital Apollo by David A. Mindell, MIT Press, Wernher von Braun, I Aim For The Stars (1960), Ascent by Jed Mercurio |READ OUR REVIEW|, Voyage by Stephen Baxter (and adapted by Dirk Maggs to radio drama), Four Sided Triangle by William F. Temple, Ray Bradbury, Damon Knight, William Coon, The Fabulous Clip-Joint by Frederic Brown, The Alcoholics by Jim Thompson, Audible.com/wonderaudio, Rule Golden by Damon Knight, Worlds Of The Imperium by Keith Laumer, Mark Douglas Nelson, This Crowded Earth and Other Stories by Robert Bloch, overpopulation, James Powell, The Vanishing Venusians by Leigh Brackett, noir, The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Lawrence Kasdan, Body Heat (1981), Wolfbane by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, Plague Of Pythons by Frederik Pohl, Passengers by Robert Silverberg, The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi, Old Man’s War, Zoe’s Tale, The Sagan Diaries, Lord Valentines Castle by Robert Silverberg |READ OUR REVIEW|, Stephan Rudnicki, Greg Margarite, LibriVox.org, Deathworld by Harry Harrison, Philip K. Dick, Andre Norton, William Coon, Amazon Kindle, ebooks, where the great lakes came from, Comics, The Iliad by Homer; Adapted by Roy Thomas, The Punisher: From First To Last by Garth Ennis, The Golden Slave by Poul Anderson, The Lies Of Loch Lamora by Scott Lynch = Lankhmar meets Oliver Twist, Harry Potter, Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert, messiahs, clairvoyance, the dangers of charismatic leaders, Dune, Harkonnen government was poor management, BBC versions of the Falco books by Lindsey Davis, Radio Downloader, the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters, The Name Of The Rose (1986), Umberto Eco.

And last, but not least, a complete short story, courtesy of Wonder Audio, by Robert Bloch:

This Crowded Earth and Other Stories by Robert BlochFounding Fathers
By Robert Bloch; Read by William Coon
Approx. 40 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: The SFFaudio Podcast
Podcast: July 20th, 2009
A humorous time travel tale.
First published in Fantastic Universe July 1956.

Get more Robert Bloch read by Willam Coon HERE.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: The Long Dark Tea-Time Of The Soul RADIO DRAMA

SFFaudio Online Audio

BBC Radio 4 Page for Dirk Gently Radio Drama

Here’s a tasty item culled from next week‘s Radio Times…

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective AgencyDirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: The Long Dark Tea-Time Of The Soul
Based on the novel by Douglas Adams; Dramatized by Dirk Maggs; Performed by a full cast
Part 1 of 6 – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: Thursday 2nd October @ 23:00-23:30
In Episode 1 Dirk Gently loses a secretary and Odin sells his soul.

Have a listen to the trailer |REALAUDIO|.

[Thanks Roy!]

Posted by Jesse Willis