The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #012 – Our sickest show yet. How sick? Well, I’d like Stanley Kubrick to direct the next Conan movie. We also talk about the SFFaudio Challenge #3, which is not as bad as Red Sonja (1985).

Talked about on today’s show:
Fallout 3 has a built-in radio drama (The Adventures Of Daring Dashwood), The Little Book, Selden Edwards, time travel, The Book Of Lies, Brad Meltzer, Nelson DeMille, The Border, The Third SFFaudio Challenge, Muureen O’Brien, Maria Lectrix Podcast, The Risk Profession, Donald E. Westlake, Spider Robinson, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee, John Varley, The Persistence Of Vision, Scott Brick, Aural Noir, The Case Of The Dancing Sandwiches, Frederic Brown, The Fabulous Clipjoint, H. Beam Piper, Murder In The Gunroom, Galaxy Press, Elantris, Brandon Sanderson, Dennis Stocks, LibriVox, Masters Of Space, E.E. “Doc” Smith, E. Everett Evans, R.J. Davis, BSAP’s Queen Of The Black Coast, Robert E. Howard, Bill Hollweg, Stevie Farnaby, Brian Murphy, The Silver Key, Brett Ratner’s new Conan movie, HBO’s new A Song Of Ice And Fire show.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Uvula Audio presents: Spacehounds of IPC by E.E. “Doc” Smith

SFFaudio Online Audio

Uvula AudioDr. James J. Campanella, he of Uvula Audio and the recently completed The Man Of Bronze audiobook fame, will be beginning a new novel of interest to fans of pulp space opera and E.E. “Doc” Smith. Spacehounds of IPC – A Tale Of The Inter-Planetary Corporation begins podcast on Friday, July 11th 2008. Jim sez of it:

“I’ve started this new story with a short introduction and the first chapter. Since this is the ‘adult’ podcast, there will be no cutesy sound-effects– although lord knows it is hard to read, or listen, straight to something like that from 1931 without a bit of an eye roll.”

Personally I’m always happy when the SFX are left out of an unabridged reading – and though Smith’s style hasn’t really held up what he lacks in modernity he makes up for in rarin’ enthusiasm and accelerating ideas. I’ll be listening!

Uvula Audio - Spacehounds Of IPC - A Tale Of The Inter-Planetary Corporation by E.E. “Doc” SmithSpacehounds of IPC – A Tale Of The Inter-Planetary Corporation
By E.E. “Doc” Smith; Read by James J. Campanella
Podcast – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Uvula Audio
Podcast: July 2008 – ????
The novel concerns a spaceliner that is wrecked on a satellite of Jupiter where alien races are encountered.

Subscribe to the podcast via this feed:

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases – An downpour of audiobooks

New Releases

Well why not start a New Releases post off with a year old audiobook? Yup, we missed an important release. Narrator Simon Vance sez of the audiobook:

“‘HMS Terror’ actually existed as a ship and the names used in the book are those of the actual crew. Other things mentioned in the book are based on fact as well – like the life boat found miles from the ship with certain items in it. I think Dan Simmons has done a masterful job weaving this tale in amongst the facts of the case.”

And author Dan Simmons himself sez of it:

The Terror, while definitely containing elements of the fantastic and horrorific, was definitely not SF and was four-out-five-parts historical novel to one part horror or fantasy.”

It got nominated for a Stoker Award and is rumored to be on the Hugo ballot too.

Horror Audiobook - The Terror by Dan SimmonsThe Terror
By Dan Simmons; Read by Simon Vance
CDs – 8 Hours 47 Minutes [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Published: March 2007
ISBN: 1600240763
Listen to an |MP3| sample
The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of triumph. As part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, they are as scientifically supported an enterprise as has ever set forth. As they enter a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, though, they are stranded in a nightmarish landscape of encroaching ice and darkness. Endlessly cold, with diminishing rations, 126 men fight to survive with poisonous food, a dwindling supply of coal, and ships buckling in the grip of crushing ice. But their real enemy is far more terrifying. There is something out there in the frigid darkness: an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror constantly clawing to get in.

An audible exclusive by a wife and husband team…

Island Realm: Crystal Doors, Book 1 by Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. AndersonIsland Realm: Crystal Doors, Book 1
By Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson; Read by Joshua Swanson
Audible Format – 8 hours and 15 min. [UNABRIDGED]
Published: March 2008
Fourteen-year-old cousins Gwen and Vic have lived together ever since the mysterious deaths of Gwen’s parents and the disappearance of Vic’s mother. But Vic’s scientist father accidentally transports them through a magical crystal door to the island of Elantya. Cobblestone streets and silver towers mark the picturesque island, a trading hub and center of knowledge that runs on advanced physics and sorcery. Vic and Gwen are soon caught in a tempest of ancient magic, vicious creatures, fierce battles, and a territorial feud with the sea-dwelling Merlons.

And the sequel…

Ocean Realm: Crystal Doors, Book 2 by Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. AndersonOcean Realm: Crystal Doors, Book 2
By Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson; Read by Joshua Swanson
Audible Format – 8 Hours 5 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: March 2008
Gwen and Vic are still celebrating their victory in the battle with the Merlons when they learn that Vic’s father has finally made it through the crystal doors to the magical island of Elantya. But their victory is short-lived when they and their friends are kidnapped by their underwater enemies and taken beneath the sea. There, they learn of a scheme that could bring Elantya to ruins. Can they escape in time to save the island from destruction?

The anticipated third in the series of Brad Lansky adventures was just released (after almost two years since the last episode). Where have you been Brad? What adventures have you had? Find out…

Science Fiction Audio Drama - Brad Lansky and the Face of Eternal FireBrad Lansky and the Face of Eternal Fire
By J.D. Venne; Performed by a full cast
1 CD or MP3 Download – Approx. 1 hour [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: / Spoken Network
Published: February 2008
Brad and Alex spent two years exploring the Cygnus arm of the Milky Way when they received a classified message from the Sol Ambassador to the Trilux System. Fifty Earth-years have elapsed since they parted ways with Giri Null in Trilux, and much has happened in that time; Giri Null somehow managed to win over most of the Grefim and execute his plans for a new culture with alarming speed. Those who opted not to follow their new Lord promptly invaded planet Lithom, destabilizing all of Trilux.

This audiobook picks up where “Skylark Three” left off…

Science Fiction Audiobook - Skylark of Valeron by E.E. Doc SmithSkylark of Valeron (Skylark Series – Book 3)
By E.E. Doc Smith; Read by Reed McColm
1 MP3 CD – Approx. 9.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Books In Motion
Published: March 2008
ISBN: 1596078855
Our hero families are in deep space when they are attacked by the intellectuals. In order to survive the attack they rotate into the 4th demention and are captured. They must make it back to 3space and find their way home. Unfortunately they find themselves hopelessly lost but are able to save another race and make their way home!

Hugo Award + Scott Brick = MUST LISTEN!

Science Fiction Audiobook - Spin by Robert Charles WilsonSpin
By Robert Charles Wilson; Read by Scott Brick
Audible Format – 17 Hours 33 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: / Macmillan Audio
Published: March 2008
One night when he was 10, Tyler stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They flared into brilliance, then disappeared, replaced by an empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives. The “sun” is now a featureless disk – a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. The world’s artificial satellites have fallen out of orbit. Eventually, space probes reveal that the barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time passes faster outside the barrier – more than a hundred million years per day on Earth. At this rate, the death of the sun is only about forty years away. Jason, now a promising young scientist, devotes his life to working against this slow-moving apocalypse. Diane throws herself into hedonism, marrying a sinister cult leader who’s forged a religion out of the fears of the masses. Earth sends terraforming machines, then humans, to Mars…and immediately an emissary returns with thousands of stories about the settling of Mars. Then an identical barrier appears around Mars. Life on Earth is about to get much, much stranger.

Abridged audiobooks were more common in 1999, here is a nice sounding example of the stuff that Audible is gathering from the dustier corners of the world…

The Midwich Cuckoos by John WyndhamThe Midwich Cuckoos
By John Wyndham; Read by Jeremy Clyde
2 cassettes or Audible Download – Approx. 3 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: CSA WORD /
Published: November 1999 / March 2008
ISBN: 9781901768480
A string of pregnancies start in the village of Midwich and nine months later sees the birth of some very unusual children. One of the classic science fiction novels which has spawned two films called Village of the Damned.

Not the original novel (which sadly isn’t available on audio yet) but some sort of quasi-prequel to the movie…

Jumper: Griffin’s Story by Steven GouldJumper: Griffin’s Story
By Steven Gould; Read by Ted Barker
Audible Download – 6 Hour 51 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: / Macmillan Audio
Published: March 2008
Griffin has a secret. It’s a secret that he’s sworn to his parents to keep and never tell. Griffin is a Jumper: a person who can teleport to any place he has ever been. The first time was when he was four, and his parents crossed an ocean to protect the secret. The most important time was when he was nine. That was the day that the men came to his house and murdered his parents. Griffin knows that the men were looking for him, and he must never let them find him. Griffin grows up with only two goals: to survive, and to kill the people who want him dead. And a jumper bent on revenge is not going to let anything stand in his way.

And lastly, here is an absolutely fascinating idea for an audiobook, I’ll see if I cant get one of my ESL students to review this one…

ESL AUDIOBOOK - I, Robot for Learners of English by Isaac Asimov‘I, Robot’ for Learners of English
By Isaac Asimov; Read by Tricia Reilly
Audible Format -2 Hours 31 Minutes [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: / Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
Published: March 2008
Isaac Asimov’s classic collection of stories about a society where humans and robots live and work together on Earth and in outer space is both disturbing and prophetic. –The Macmillan Readers series is one of the most popular and respected series of readers for learners of English. Macmillan Readers are simplified retellings of an original work. They are created by highly experienced ELT writers.

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases

New ReleasesScience Fiction Audiobook - Escape Route by Peter F. HamiltonEscape Route
By Peter F. Hamilton; Read by Jared Doreck
– 2 hours and 35 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Infinivox
Published: 2007
The starship Lady Macbeth encounters a long-abandoned alien spacecraft, with its escape route still intact – but leading where? If the crew claims salvage rights, the technology inside could make them wealthy enough to buy planets. But first they need to make sure it’s as empty as it seems.
Listen to an |MP3| sample.

This one is a follow up to the “Infinite Crisis” series from DC Comics…

Superhero Audio Drama - 52 Part 1 - DC Comics52 – Part 1 (of 2)
By Greg Cox; Based on the DC Comics series; Performed by a full cast
6 CDs, 1 MP3-CD, or WMA Download – Approx. 6 hours [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Graphic Audio
Published: December 2007
ISBN: 1599503689
A year without Superman. A year without Batman. A year without Wonder Woman. But not a year without heroes… Earth’s most revered heroes have vanished. In their absence, the cities of Metropolis and Gotham have fallen prey to the machinations of super-villains and the criminal activities of Intergang. Booster Gold, a hero from the future, has stepped into Superman’s boots only to find them too big to fill, especially when rival hero Supernova arrives on the scene. Recruited by the mysterious crime fighter known as the Question, detective Renee Montoya investigates an even more mysterious vigilante prowling the streets: Batwoman. These and other veteran and rookie heroes around the world must unite against a vast conspiracy of evil about to usurp control of the Earth once and for all… (Part 1 of 2)

The first book in the Doc Smith’s “Skylark” series…

Science Fiction - Space Opera - Audiobook - The Skylark Of Space by E.E. Doc SmithThe Skylark Of Space
By E.E. Doc Smith; Read by Reed McColm
Audible Download, CDs, Tapes or MP3-CD – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Books In Motion
Published: November 2007
ISBN: various
The Skylark of Space is the first and one of the best space operas ever written. Breezy dialogue, romantic intrigue, fallible heroes, and complicated villains infuse humanity and believability into a conflict of galactic proportions.

Two Neil Gaiman titles that somehow flew-in under the radar…

Science Fiction Audiobook - Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Christopher ReavesInterworld
By Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves; Read by Christopher Evan Welch
CDs – 5 Hours 40 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: June 2007
ISBN: 0061254606
“Nationally best–selling, award–winning author Neil Gaiman teams up with Emmy Award–winning screenwriter Michael Reaves for an exciting science fiction tale of teenagers saving many universes from evil. Fourteen–year–old Joey Harker always had a terrible sense of direction–one day he gets lost in his own town and finds himself in another version, where there’s a family and a school almost like his. When an older version of himself tracks Joey down, Joey learns that he’s a Walker–one who can travel between dimensions–and that an army of different versions of himself is battling the two evils that want to conquer all the worlds. Joey finds himself in a battle against the forces of magic and science that could destroy him–and all the others like him.”

Fantasy Audiobook - M Is For Magic by Neil GaimanM Is For Magic
By Neil Gaiman; Read by Neil Gaiman
CDs – 5 Hours 29 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: June 2007
ISBN: 0061254592
“Stories to delight, enchant, and surprise you. Bestselling author and master storyteller Neil Gaiman here presents a breathtaking collection of tales that may chill or amuse readers—but always embrace the unexpected. Collection includes: The Case Of The Four And Twenty Blackbirds, Troll Bridge, Don’t Ask Jack, How To Sell The Ponti Bridge, October In The Chair, Chivalry, The Price, How To Talk To Girls At Parties, Sunbird, The Witch’s Headstone, Instructions.”

This one, from infrequent SFF provider Highbridge Audio, has one of the best titles ever…

HighbridgeAudio - Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin GrossmanSoon I Will Be Invincible
By Austin Grossman; Read by Coleen Marlo and Paul Boehmer
CDs – 10 Hours 18 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: HighBridge Audio
Published: June 2007
ISBN: 1598870963
Listen to an |MP3| sample.
Doctor Impossible—evil genius, mad scientist, diabolical time-traveler, wannabe world dominator—has just broken out of prison�again. He�s tried to take over the world in every conceivable way: doomsday devices (nuclear, thermonuclear, nanotechnological), armies (robot, insect, dinosaur, fungus, fish), mass mind control, even a corporate conquest (Impossible Industries LLC). Each time, he has been foiled. This time, it’s going to be different.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Vortex Blaster by E.E. "Doc" Smith

SFFaudio Audiobook Review

Audiobook - Vortex Blaster by Doc E E SmithVortex Blaster
By E.E. “Doc” Smith; Read by Reed McColm
1 MP3-CD or 6 CDs – Approx. 7.5 hrs [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Books in Motion
Published: 2007
ISBN: 159607793X (MP3-CD); 1596077921 (CDs)
Themes: / Science Fiction / Aliens / Atomic Power / Galactic Civilizations /

I was pleasantly surprised listening to this new audiobook. My past experience with Smith’s books has been less than stellar. On more than one occasion, I’ve cast his novels down unfinished in favor of something else. E. E. “Doc” Smith is one of the most revered names in SF. So I’ve always thought I must be missing something. Anybody who knows my tastes or my podcast knows that I love old SF (as well as new). I’ve always found his overly heroic heroes and his wimpy, fainting females hard to care about. So when I received this new title, my expectations were not the highest.

Neil “Storm” Cloud is the main protagonist and the “Vortex Blaster” of the title. Uncontrolled atomic vortexes have been appearing on planets throughout the galaxy. The vortexes contain radiation and wildly incalescent temperatures. They only grow larger over time and threaten to destroy any worlds they appear upon. Think of them as nuclear tornadoes that never dissipate. Luckily, Cloud has a unique gift—a computational mind that is capable of astonishingly complex mathematics. As the novel opens we find out that he’s been working, without results, on a project to figure out how to stop the vortexes. He has just lost his wife and kids to one of these atomic infernos. Nearly suicidal and distraught, he leaves the project when he has a sudden inspiration on how to stop the phenomena. He has to be in the center of the vortex and has to set off a duodec explosion equal to the energy of the nuclear storm. And because of his unique computational mind, he’s the only man that can do it—and thus becomes the Vortex Blaster. Cloud’s new ability makes him very much in demand. He’s soon traveling across the galaxy to put out the worst vortexes until he finds himself set upon by space pirates, warring aliens, and a mad scientist.

If this all sounds rather pulpy and fun— it is. Vortex Blaster mixes ripsnorting adventure with a jaw-dropping sense of wonder. No one would accuse “Doc” Smith of being a great prose stylist. But if you’re picking up an audiobook called Vortex Blaster, you’re probably not reading it for the style. Actually, Smith is a much better writer than I’d previously thought. “Storm” Cloud is a seasoned, sometimes cynical protagonist. In the second half of the novel he meets Joan, a telepathic genius, and romance ensues. Joan is resourceful and smart – no young, thin beauty. Each of his aliens have unique characteristics too. The entire novel is leavened with wit and humor to contrapose the serious tone.

You may wonder if this title is part of his famous “Lensman” series. It is definitely a stand-alone novel but it is set in the same universe as the Lensman stories. Vortex Blaster is tangentially related, but can be enjoyed without reading any of the other books in the series.

As narrator for this title, Reed McColm handles the vast array of human and especially alien characters with unerring deftness. He nails the aliens individual eccentricities through voice and accents. He handles the narration for several “Doc” Smith’s audiobooks that are published by Books in Motion. Mr. McColm’s talents are a perfect fit to E.E. “Doc” Smith’s super science space epics.

New Arrivals – Doc Smith, Octavia Butler, Robert A. Heinlein

Science Fiction Audiobook Recent Arrivals

Three new titles from three different publishers.

Audiobook - Vortex Blaster by Doc E E SmithVortex Blaster
By E.E. “Doc” Smith; Read by Reed McColm
1 MP3 Disc or 6 CDs, Approx. 7.5 hrs – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Books In Motion
Published: 2007
ISBN: 159607793X (MP3 disc); 1596077921 (CDs)

From the back cover:
One man against the basic energy of the universe, unleashed in ravening fury that was “Storm” Cloud. Unique was the only way to describe him, yet alone in his single-handed battle. The appalling destructiveness of a loose atomic vortex could be cancelled out only by destroying the vortex itself. While not even the most massive and modern of electronic computers could figure out how to destroy a loose vortex, “Storm” Cloud could and did.

To Galactic Civilization, the loose vortices were just one menace among many. It was “Storm’s” unique brain, itself a computer with fantastic powers that enabled him to select and direct a duodecaplylatomate bomb with exactly the right energy to snuff each vortex out of existence. The day a runaway vortex exploded in his home was the day “Storm” Cloud became the Vortex Blaster!

Science Fiction Audiobook - Fledgling by Octavia Butler read by Tracey LeighFledgling
By Octavia E. Butler; Read by Tracey Leigh
10 CDs, Appox. 12.5 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9780792746713

From the back cover:
Fledgling, the late Octavia E. Butler’s final novel, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly un-human needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: she is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted–and still wants–to destroy her and those she cares for, and how she can save herself. Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of “otherness” and questions what it means to be truly human.

Science Fiction Audiobook - Rocket Ship Galileo by Robert A. HeinleinRocket Ship Galileo
By Robert A. Heinlein; Read by Spider Robinson
5 CDs, 4 Cassettes or 1 MP3 disc – 5.5 hrs [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9780786162765 (CDs); 9780786147892 (cassettes); 9780786172092(MP3 disc)

From the back cover:
Ross Jenkins, Art Mueller, and Morris Abrams are not your average high-schools students. While other kids are cruising around in their cars or playing ball, this trio, known as the Galileo Club, is experimenting with rocket fuels, preparing for their future education at technical colleges.

Art’s uncle, the nuclear physicist Dr. Donald Cargraves, offers them the opportunity of a lifetime: to construct and crew a rocket that will take them to the moon. Cargraves believes their combined ingenuity and enthusiasm can actually make this dream come true. But there are those who don’t share their dream and who will stop at nothing to keep their rocket grounded.

The Time Traveler of the Time Traveler Show podcast.