BBC Radio 7: Planet B (series 2), The House On The Strand, A Stir Of Echoes

SFFaudio Online Audio

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7BBC Radio 7 has two “NEW COMMISSIONS” that should draw many a wandering ear. First up a Richard Matheson novel A Stir Of Echoes! Scott reviewed the UNABRIDGED Blackstone Audio version not too long ago |READ OUR REVIEW|. Julie and a few other folks will also be excited to learn that the second Planet B series begins this week too. Among the re-runs for the week ahead is a BBC7 commission 2005. The House On The Strand is a 1969 novel by Daphne du Maurier. I suspect most of the new releases will turn up on sooner or later, or you could use Radio Downloader, either of those will work. Planet B (Series 2), on the other hand, is available via podcast and the first episode is already in the feed!

Planet BPlanet B (Series 2) – The Tender Trap
By Matthew Broughton; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 7
Broadcast: Sunday at 6pm and midnight
Kip is looking for love on the dating site, The Spark. But he gets more than he bargains for when a mysterious woman explodes into his world. Produced by James Robinson.
Joseph Cohen-Cole
Tessa Nicholson
Emerald O’Hanrahan
Chris Pavlo
Melissa Advani
Adjoa Andoh

Podcast feed:

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

The House On The Strand by Daphne du MaurierThe House On The Strand
By Daphne Du Maurier; Read by Julian Wadham
12 Broadcast – Approx. 6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 7
Broadcast: Tuesday – Friday at 6.30pm and 00.30am
Daphne Du Maurier’s masterpiece is a beguiling combination of romantic atmosphere, haunting psychology and assured storytelling. The tale revolves round the narrator Dick Young, who escapes from his troubles in the form of a new drug, which transports him six centuries back in time. But his attempts to change history bring terror to the present and throw his own life into the balance.

A Stir Of Echoes by Richard MathesonA Stir Of Echoes
By Richard Matheson; Read by Trevor White
5 Broadcasts – Approx. 2.5 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 7
Broadcast: Monday – Friday at 1.30pm, 8.30pm and 1.30am
Tom Wallace lived an ordinary life in a seemingly normal neighbourhood until his brother-in-law hypnotises him; a chance event that awakens psychic abilities he never knew he possessed. Now he can hear the private thoughts of the people around him, and learns shocking secrets he never wanted to know.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick

SFFaudio Review

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. DickThe Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Tom Weiner
6 CDs – 6.8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2008
ISBN: 9781433248221
Themes: / Science Fiction / Religion / Drugs / Mars / Aliens /

Not too long from now, when exiles from a blistering Earth huddle miserably in Martian colonies, the only things that make life bearable are the drugs. Can-D “translates” those who take it into the bodies of Barbie-like dolls. Now there’s competition: a substance called Chew-Z, marketed under the slogan “God promises eternal life. We can deliver it.” The question is: What kind of eternity? And who—or what—is the deliverer?

Reading Philip K. Dick is the literary equivalent of taking deliriants in church. Dick’s world is fully realized, his characters being windows into Dick’s own sympathies, his own passions. Dick seems to have observed the writing advice that goes: “Write what you know.” What Dick knows about is drugs, suburban druggie life, revealed religion, the conflict between an individual and the group, between women and men. If you look at the basic plot The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch scans as most similar to Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man, in that a corporate war between the solar system’s two biggest multi-planetaries drives the action. But it doesn’t feel that way, it feels like a scaled-up version of Dick’s short story Wargame. Sure, the novel is supposed to be about life on Mars and big corporate business, but Dick’s Mars is mostly confined to a few intemperate draftees who couldn’t fake their way out of the draft. Upset with their new colonial life they spend all their time playing with Barbie style playhouses and taking mind altering drugs. I can almost picture Dick sitting in his living room watching his young daughters playing with their Barbie dolls. They sit on the floor, coveting their Barbie corvettes, their Barbie clothes and decorating their Barbie dream houses while Dick, sitting in an armchair above, looks down compassionately and philosophicaly as he reaches for the typewriter. Strangely, the novel also feels extremely prescient. At multiple times throughout I paused and thought about the PC game called The Sims – a game where your avatar must eat, sleep, and furnish her virtual home with virtual goods as you plan her idealized life. We seem to have gotten what Dick was driving at. For what is World Of Warcraft if not a Dickian reality minus the drugs? William Gibson would describe it as “a consensual hallucination” – Dick called it The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch.

Originally published in 1965, this is the first commercial audiobook release of The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch. Narrator Tom Weiner seems to be Blackstone Audio’s go-to guy when it comes to narrating the heavy hitters of Science Fiction. This is a good thing as Weiner brings a vast gravitas to his reading. Fans of George Guidall’s narrations will find Weiner similarly impactful. The cover art for The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch is all original for this production. This is more and more the case at Blackstone, which makes me happy, for I am covetous.

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 015

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxH.G. Wells has two tales in this collection. The New Accelerator features a fascinating depiction of the invention of what sounds a lot like an amphetamine (though technically they had already been invented a dozen years earlier). It will also remind Star Trek fans of the episode called Wink of an Eye.

The other story by Wells here is The Crystal Egg which is set in a pawn shop in London. It’s likely one of the first tales featuring a kind of CCTV television technology.

The Philip K. Dick story called Beyond Lies The Wub is one of the best Dick short stories printed. It makes for excellent repeated listening. Gregg Margarite does a great job with it too.

As Long As You Wish is not new to this collection but I mention it because it is a bit tricky – remember to pay close attention to the beginning so as to help you understand the ending.

LibriVox - Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 015Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 015
By various; Read by various
10 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx 3 Hours 40 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 4th, 2009
Science fiction (abbreviated SF or sci-fi with varying punctuation and case) is a broad genre of fiction that often involves sociological and technical speculations based on current or future science or technology. This is a reader-selected collection of short stories that entered the US public domain when their copyright was not renewed.

Podcast feed:

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LibriVox Science Fiction - As Long As You Wish by John O'KeefeAs Long As You Wish
By John O’Keefe; Read by Wally Reed
1 |MP3| – Approx. 11 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 4th, 2009
If, somehow, you get trapped in a circular time system . . . how long is the circumference of an infinitely retraced circle? From Astounding Science Fiction, June, 1955.

LibriVox - Beyond Lies The Wub by Philip K. DickBeyond Lies The Wub
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 4th, 2009
The slovenly wub might well have said: Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools. From Planet Stories July 1952.

LibriVox - The Crystal Egg by H.G. WellsThe Crystal Egg
By H.G. Wells; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 40 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 4th, 2009
The story tells of a shop owner, named Mr. Cave, who finds a strange crystal egg that serves as a window into the planet Mars. Written in the same year in which The War of the Worlds was being serialized. This story is often considered a prequel to The War of the Worlds, though there is no clear foreshadowing of the events that transpire in the novel.

LibriVox - Hard Guy by H.B. CarletonHard Guy
By H.B. Carelton; Read by Bookman
1 |MP3| – Approx. 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 4th, 2009
There will be fine, glittering, streamlined automobiles in 2000 A.D. Possibly they will run themselves while the driver sits back with an old-fashioned in his hands. Perhaps they will carry folks down the highways at ninety miles an hour in perfect safety. But picking up a hitch-hiker will still be as dangerous as it is today. First published in Amazing Stories November 1942, later reprinted in Amazing Stories April 1956.

Amazing Stories December 1960I’m A Stranger Here Myself
By Mack Reynolds; Read by William Haseltine
1 |MP3| – Approx. 11 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 4th, 2009
One can’t be too cautious about the people one meets in Tangier. They’re all weirdies of one kind or another. Me? Oh, From Amazing Stories, December 1960.

LibriVox - The New Accelerator by H.G. WellsThe New Accelerator
By H.G. Wells; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 4th, 2009
A friend of H.G. Wells is on the verge of making a scientific breakthrough which promises to revolutionise human life – so the two friends decide to road-test the new drug – with exciting but dangerous consequences.

LibriVox - The Radiant Shell by Paul ErnstThe Radiant Shell
By Paul Ernst; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| – Approx. 52 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 4th, 2009
The man on the metal plate was vanishing. From Astounding Stories January 1932.

Astounding Stories November 1932A Scientist Rises
By D.W. Hall; Read by Epistomolus
1 |MP3| – Approx. 18 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 4th, 2009
All gazed, transfixed, at the vast form that towered above them. From the November 1932 issue of Astounding Stories.

LibriVox - Vanishing Point by C.C. BeckVanishing Point
By C.C. Beck; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| – Approx. 12 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 4th, 2009
In perspective, theoretically the vanishing point is at infinity, and therefore unattainable. But reality is different; vanishment occurs a lot sooner than theory suggests .. From Astounding Science Fiction July 1959.

LibriVox - Viewpoint by Randall GarrettViewpoint
By Randall Garrett; Read by Ray Smith
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 4th, 2009
A fearsome thing is a thing you’re afraid of—and it has nothing whatever to do with whether others are afraid, nor with whether it is in fact dangerous. It’s your view of the matter that counts! From Astounding Science Fiction January 1960.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Spider Robinson’s podcast: Thirteen O’Clock by David Gerrold

SFFaudio Online Audio

Spider On The Web - Spider Robinson’s podcast The latest Spider On The Web podcast features Thirteen O’Clock by David Gerrold. It’s a first-person, stream of consciousness singularity story (I think). It’s also a down and gritty story of life, death, true love, sex, war, sex, gay sex, drugs, sex, and thousand light-year stares. Robinson performance is tour-de-force! It reminded me very much of John Varley‘s Persistence Of Vision (Spider podcast it previously). Also on board in the latest podcast is Spider Robinson’s introduction to the David Gerrold collection called The Involuntary Human – which is where the paper version of Thirteen O’Clock can be found.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 2006 - Thirteen O’Clock by David GerroldThirteen O’Clock
By David Gerrold; Read by Spider Robinson
1 |MP3| – Approx. 83 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Spider On The Web
Podcast: February 7th, 2009
Collected in The Involuntary Human. First published in Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 2006. A first-person, tale of a lonely wanderer told in a stream of consciousness manner. Our hero is a Vietnam vet who’s finally comfortable with his homosexuality. After years on the road, he comes across a young and pretty gang of gaybashing college kids. After he teaches the kids a lesson he takes one of them out on a date and tells his story. That “pinging” sensation he’s been feeling all these years just draws blank stares from everyone he meets. It must mean something tho’ right?

Posted by Jesse Willis

Aural Noir Review of Grifter’s Game by Lawrence Block

Aural Noir: Review

Grifter’s Game is book number 001 in the Hard Case Crime library.

Crime Fiction Audiobook - Grifter’s Game by Lawrence BlockSFFaudio EssentialHard Case CrimeGrifter’s Game
By Lawrence Block; Read by Alan Sklar
5 CDs – 5 Hours 17 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Published: 2006
ISBN: 9781602834538
Themes: / Crime / Noir / Femme Fatale / Drugs / Murder / Atlantic City /

Con man Joe Marlin was used to scoring easy cash off of gullible women. But that was before he met Mona Brassard — and found himself holding a stolen stash of raw heroin. Now that Joe has fallen hard for Mona, he’s got to pull off the most dangerous con of his career: one that will leave him either a killer — or a corpse.

Before he settled into the comfortable (and profitable) serial novels, starring the characters you love to love, Lawrence Block was writing crime novels. With every turn of the page, you could almost hear the peeling the wallpaper off of even the swankiest of hotel room walls. These are the gritty, acidic, abrasive early novels of Lawrence Block. The characters in these fifty-thousand worders were hardened criminals. Unrepentant, unlovable, more disposable, but ultimately just as magnetic as those who would come later. Block’s first novel (under his own name) featured just one such criminal. Joe Marlin is smooth and hungry. He’s no ageless, cuddly Bernie Rhodenbarr, solving murders between burglaries. He can’t relate the moral greyness that comes from too many years as a cop, like Matt Scudder. And he doesn’t contemplate the American lifestyle whilst planning murder for hire, like Keller. He’s just one low-down and dirty sonofabitch, telling as compelling a crime tale as you’ll ever likely to hear. Marlin’s story was first published by Gold Medal in 1961 under the title Mona. In 1986, it was released as Sweet Slow Death. And most recently it was republished with a third title: Grifter’s Game, this time by Hard Case Crime. Block himself fancied The Girl on the Beach, as the novel’s title. But no matter what name the novel goes by, it’s a fast and dirty, and shoots a strong enough curve to throw even the most hardened of modern readers off their game. At 47 years old it’s still one of Block’s strongest novels.

Reader Alan Sklar grows into the voice of the narrator as Marlin’s plans turn darker. We like his Joe Marlin, he’s clever and slick, he lingers on the details and teases us. The only thing is that Sklar sees it all coming – he knows, he tells us he knows, but doesn’t telegraph, and so, when the killing blow ultimately comes, it doesn’t hit us until we’re too close, until we can really feel it, until we own it. Until we live it.

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 7 reruns Brave New World

Online Audio

BBC 7's The 7th DimensionThough BBC7 doesn’t offer a single podcast [GRRR!], the do have one endearment that we can appreciate… re-runs! BBC Radio 7’s the 7th Dimension is re-broadcasting the ten part abridgment of Brave New World. Aldous Huxley’s dystopian classic, first published in 1932, depicts an ominous,l but not wholly repulsive vision of future society. This abridged version has been previously broadcast on both BBC7 and BBC4.

Brave New World by Aldous HuxleyBrave New World
By Aldous Huxley; Read by Anton Lesser
10 X 15 Minute Episodes – Approx. 2.5 Hours [ABRIDGED]
BROADCASTER: BBC7’s The 7th Dimension
BROADCAST: Monday to Friday at 6:45pm (repeats 12:45am) UK Time*
A nightmare vision of the future, where humans are battery farmed and cloning and consumerism is rife.

All ten parts will be made available via the Listen Again service shortly after they air.

Jesse Willis