Recent Arrivals: Hachette Audio

Aural Noir: Recent Arrivals

Here’s another pair of recent arrivals. Ummm… 2008 is recent right?

The final book in Rankin’s long running Inspector Rebus series. “Gritty Scottish urbanism” and “tartan noir” never get old right? Right?

HACHETTE AUDIO - Exit Music by Ian RankinExit Music
By Ian Rankin; Read by James MacPherson
6 CDs – Approx. 7.5 Hours[ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Published: September 2008
ISBN: 1600244548
It’s late autumn in Edinburgh and late autumn in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he tries to tie up some loose ends before retirement, a murder case intrudes. A dissident Russian poet has been found dead in what looks like a mugging gone wrong. By apparent coincidence a high-level delegation of Russian businessmen is in town, keen to bring business to Scotland. The politicians and bankers who run Edinburgh are determined that the case should be closed quickly and clinically. But the further they dig, the more Rebus and his colleague DS Siobhan Clarke become convinced that they are dealing with something more than a random attack – especially after a particularly nasty second killing. Meantime, a brutal and premeditated assault on local gangster ‘Big Ger’ Cafferty sees Rebus in the frame. Has the Inspector taken a step too far in tying up those loose ends? Only a few days shy of the end to his long, inglorious career, will Rebus even make it that far?

Author George Pelecanos wrote for The Wire, narrator Dion Graham was an actor on The Wire. Perhaps Pelecanos asked Hachette to get Graham to do the narration after seeing the fine actor, in a scene from one of the best episodes (below) – be the only actor in the room without a line.

HACHETTE AUDIO - The Turnaround by George PelecanosThe Turnaround
By George Pelecanos; Read by Dion Graham
5 CDs – Approx. 6 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Published: August 1, 2008
ISBN: 1600242367
On a hot summer afternoon in 1972, three teenagers drove into an unfamiliar neighborhood and six lives were altered forever. Thirty five years later, one survivor of that night reaches out to another, opening a door that could lead to salvation. But another survivor is now out of prison, looking for reparation in any form he can find it.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #077 – READALONG: Strange Case Of Doctor Jekyll And Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #077 – Jesse talks with Julie Davis and audiobook narrator Wayne June about Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case Of Doctor Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.

Talked about on today’s show:, Fred Godsmark, Audio Realms, Wayne June is “naturally creepy”, narrating audiobooks is hard work, how do you read to people?, word pronunciation and Lovecraft’s invented language, I, Cthulhu by Neil Gaiman, Gaiman is a modern master, The Rats In The Walls by H.P. Lovecraft |READ OUR REVIEW|, devolving and retro-volving and retro-retrogression, “it’s a sentence but what does it mean?”, H. Beam Piper, reading for the ear, reading aloud is a juggling act, physical copies of audiobooks vs. downloads, The Essential Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde: The Definitive Annotated Edition edited Leonard Wolf, Kevin J. Anderson on Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, as a parable for addiction, the temperance movement, religion, “an almost theological work [or treatise]”, “the war in the members”, Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde as an homunculus, Mr. Utterson, Cain’s heresy: “I am not my brother’s keeper.”, Dickensian writing, Charles Dickens and Henry James, how evil is Mr. Hyde?, what about those vague debaucheries?, the Greek origin of the word “obscene”, Lovecraft’s indescribably unspeakable prose, The Statement Of Randolph Carter by H.P. Lovecraft, The Thing From Another World, Michael Caine and Cheryl Ladd version of Jekyll & Hyde, The Story Of The Door, the difference between doing good and not doing evil, evil as being self-centered (and prideful), natural selection vs. evolution, ladders vs. branches, progression vs. change, evolution vs. free will, the notoriously optimistic Victorians, Alan Moore’s The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Hulk and Two-Face, Brad Strickland on Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, Marxist and feminist critiques, BBC Radio 4 radio drama version of Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, Let The Right One In (movie) vs. Let The Right One In (book), Poole (the butler), Inspector Newcomen, Jekyll (Je-Kill, I-Kill, Jackal), Forrest J. Ackerman‘s real middle name, Geek-ill, Edinburgh, Soho, a “fine bogey dream”, cocaine usage in the 19th century, Markheim by Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell, Jayne Slayre (The Literary Classic…with a Bloodsucking Twist) by Charlotte Brontë and Sherri Browning Erwin, Assam And Darjeeling by T.M. Camp |READ OUR REVIEW|, zombies and vampires, The Loving Dead by Amelia Beamer |READ OUR REVIEW|, mindless sexualized creatures, if you were an urban fantasy author what would you bring together and what would your urban fantasy name be?, the science of lycanthropy vs. the science of zombification, airships, Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, Jim Butcher, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, parallel worlds, proto-urban fantasy, Territory by Emma Bull, The Castle In Transylvania by Jules Verne, Melville House books, translated by Charlotte Mandel, can you do a Transylvanian accent?, Amy H. Sturgis, calling Jules Verne a Science Fiction writer is probably inaccurate, Around The World In Eighty Days by Jules Verne, Phileas Fogg is the most English of all Englishmen, The Vampyre by John William Polidori, Ken Rusell’s Gothic, Switzerland, The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allan Poe, the strange case of Strange Case, “it’s full of Octobery goodness.”

Airmont - Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Classics Illustrated - Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde

Dr. Jekyl And Mr. Hyde - Chapter 9 - The Transformation In Dr. Lanyon's Office - illustration by William Hole

The Twilight Zone 14 - Robert Louis Stevenson

Guy Deal illustration of Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde
Guy Deal illustration of Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde
Guy Deal illustration of Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde
Guy Deal illustration of Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Pulp Reader’s project and some audio drama picks

SFFaudio News

The Pulp ReaderThe Pulp Reader blog is an ongoing experiment in “computer generated audio books.” Sez the webmaster (Shonokin):

I read a lot. I also drive a lot, stuck in long commutes every day. There’s a way for a reader and a commuter to do both at the same time. And for me that is through audiobooks. But alas, most of the books I’d like to listen to are not available anywhere, so what to do? Make my own and that’s mostly what this is about. I create Text To Speech (TTS) audiobooks for my daily commute. Since I make them, I might as well share them. So here we are!

Shonokin places the files on and then links to them on his/her blog. Shonokin started this project in 2006. And coincidently in 2006 I had a similar problem myself. There were a lot of ebooks out there that weren’t being turned into audiobooks. But with me being a hater of the robot voice I came up with the SFFaudio Challenges |First|Second|Third|Fourth| to solve my dilemma instead.

What Shonokin and I can both agree on, I’m betting, is that audio drama is not best done not by robots* – but by people – real people! Not those damned thieving “Silicon Americans” that Shonokin is employing.

Anyway, here are Shonokin’s thoughts on some recent human done shows that he/she has been listening to:

First off, there’s my love hate relationship with Wormwood, an excellent supernatural detective mystery. The acting is mostly good, the stories are sharp and exciting and the incidental music and sounds effects are great. My only complaint is that it is mixed very poorly. In situations such as driving in a car or surrounded by other ambient noise, you may find you have to fiddle with the volume knob of your radio or mp3 player to alternately listen to quiet dialog and back off on sudden crashing loud jabs of sound. Quite unpleasant aurally, but the stories are good enough to keep me going, annoyed as I am.

Also, the latest seasons of Black Jack Justice and Red Panda have started, which are a joy all the way around. Red Panda is a fun detective pulp with sprinkles of scifi/fantasy and comic book hero action. Black Jack Justice is a hard-boiled detective comedy. Both are great fun but written and played in very different styles.

And then there is also McLevy, an audio drama from the BBC which airs weekly on their iplayer. I find this to be a very fascinating series and have put together a mini webpage about him. In short, James McLevy was a real detective in 1800’s Edinburgh. He wrote several memoirs about his exploits which were very popular. There’s some speculation that aside from the obvious homages to his teacher, Doctor Joseph Bell, that Arthur Conan Doyle may have gleaned some bits of inspiration for Sherlock Holmes from McLevy’s memoirs.

I was fascinated by stumbling across the existence of McLevy but have not found an ultimate website or font of information about him, which is why I put this together. Please visit McLevy The Edinburgh Detective to find out more.

[via The Pulp Reader blog]

*with apologies to Robotz Of The Company for slander.

Posted by Jesse Willis