Here are the New Releases for December! AUDIO R…

New Releases

Here are the New Releases for December!

AUDIO RENAISSANCE

The Dragon Reborn, Book Three of The Wheel of Time

By Robert Jordan, Read by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer

Unabridged

The Shadow Rising, Book Four of The Wheel of Time

By Robert Jordan, Read by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer

Unabridged

I’ve listened to Book 2 of this massive (and massively popular) epic fantasy. I enjoyed it, but not so much that I would be eager for all ten (currently) volumes. I do know that Kate Reading and Michael Kramer did a wonderful job with the material, and can be expected to do so again.

Jesse:

Absolutely, Michael Kramer is a truly excellent reader.

Crystal City, Book Six of Alvin Maker

By Orson Scott Card, Read by Stefan Rudnicki, M.E. Willis, and cast

Unabridged

Ender’s Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

By Orson Scott Card, Read by Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, and cast

Unabridged

Ah, Orson Scott Card. Audio Renaissance is re-releasing some of Fantastic Audio’s old titles, and this version of Ender’s Game is one of the most heard in my collection. I read Crystal City in print and enjoyed it, so the place your bets that the audio is going to be good too, since it’s in the safe hands of Stefan Rudnicki and cast.

Jesse:

That 20th anniversary one may actually make me read an Orson Scott Card novel. I like his short stories but I somehow never read Ender’s Game back in the 1980s.

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BLACKSTONE AUDIO

Citizen of the Galaxy

By Robert A. Heinlein, Read by Lloyd James

Click here for a sample

Unabridged

Who is this Heinlein guy, anyway? :)

Jesse:

Blackstone has made my wish come true! Lloyd James is the definitive voice of Heinlein on Audio and Citizen of the Galaxy is one of Heinlein’s best juvenile novels (juvenile as in starring a teenager not juvenile as in peurile)and the story concept is so fresh and new as to be singularily unreproduced to this day. I remember enjoying the heck out of it when I read it in paperback I expect it will be as good if not better on audio. The original cover art on this one looks amazing too by the way. This will surely be among the best audiobooks released in 2005. Thanks so much Blackstone!

Magic Time: Angelfire

By Marc Scott Zicree and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Read by a full cast

Click here for a sample

Unabridged

This is volume 2 of a new fantasy series that I don’t have a full grasp on yet. I just starting listening to this volume last night, and am hoping it makes sense without hearing volume one, which is also available from Blackstone Audio.

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BOOKS ON TAPE

Fahrenheit 451

By Ray Bradbury, Read by Scott Brick

Unabridged

Fahrenheit 451 read by Scott Brick? Gotta get my hands on a copy of that. Books on Tape is still going through come changes over there – their website says that they won’t be resuming comsumer sales until January 3rd, 2005. I checked Audible.com for this title and it wasn’t there.

Jesse:

I believe BOT has released this title previously with a different narrator but I copuld be wrong. I think this Scott Brick version probably become the definitive edition. I thought that Harper Audio’s version from a couple of years ago, with Ray Bradbury narrating would be it, but I was disappointed in Bradbury’s reading. He’s an excellent author, and 451 is his most enduring novel but his performance didnt

enhance it at all. Scott Brick may bring a freshness that Bradbury couldnt muster.

The Runes of the Earth

By Stephen R. Donaldson, Read by Scott Brick

Unabridged

The return of Thomas Covenant! I have not read any of Stephen Donaldson’s books, so I can’t say anything there, but Scott Brick is a top narrator.

Jesse:

Nice title! Donaldson is almost as merciless with his tortured characters as is George R.R. Martin but I wish they’d release the original novel in the series first. I hate starting in the middle.

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CRAZY DOG AUDIO THEATRE

Diabolic Playhouse

By Roger Gregg, Performed by a full cast

Audio Drama

Roger Gregg and all the lunatics at Crazy Dog Audio Theatre have released a very nice looking MP3-CD containing all 6 episodes of their Diabolic Playhouse drama series, which broadcast on Ireland’s RTE Radio 1 earlier this year. The product is available at their site (based in Ireland) or at the ZBS website if you’re in the USA.

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HARPER AUDIO

The Wee Free Men

By Terry Pratchett, Read by Stephen Briggs

Unabridged

Another Discworld novel from Terry Pratchett!

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PAPERBACK DIGITAL

Reflex

By Steven Gould, Read by Christine Marshall and William Dufris

Unabridged

Nightmares on Congress Street – Part 4

By Rocky Coast Radio Theatre

Audio drama

Paperback Digital cruises along, with two more new releases. Their products are available for download on their own site or on Fictionwise. Hardcopies are available at Amazon.com or at Paperback Digital itself.

Jesse:

I’ve never heard of Gould nor his novel but with the Marshall and Dufris team working together it might be worth a blind buy.

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RECORDED BOOKS

State of Fear

By Michael Crichton, Read by George Wilson

Unabridged

Michael Crichton has stirring up some scientific controversy with this one. If I understand correctly, the environmentalists in this one are the bad guys.

Jesse:

I’ve liked Crichton’s early work, but have been tuning out since Jurassic Park.

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Happy Holidays, everyone! And thanks for reading SFFAudio.

Review of The Reel Stuff edited by Brian Thomsen and Martin H. Greenberg

The Reel Stuff
Edited by Brian Thomsen and Martin H. Greenberg
Read by Various
6 Cassettes – 9 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
ISBN: 0886465745
Publisher: dhAudio
Published: 2000 [OUT OF PRINT]
Themes: / Science Fiction / Horror / Computers / Memory / Aliens / Urban Legend / Space Travel / Time Travel /

The Reel Stuff is a collection of stories that have been adapted into films. They are all great stories, and this collection has the added attraction of comparing these stories to the films. dhAudio really did a fabulous job with this one. The stories:

Johnny Mnemonic by William Gibson, read by Christopher Graybill
FILM: Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Johnny Mnemonic was published in 1981, a few years before Gibson’s Hugo and Nebula-award winning Neuromancer hit the scene, illuminating the whole Cyberpunk sub-genre. This story is a clear view of that sub-genre as it has all the elements; human/computer interfaces, plenty of violence, and quick-witted characters. In this story, the title character holds a piece of data in his brain that is wanted by some powerful folks who are willing to do plenty to get it. Christopher Graybill does a great job with it.

Amanda and the Alien by Robert Silverberg, read by Colleen Delany
FILM: Amanda and the Alien (1995 – TV)
This tale, by the great Robert Silverberg, is humourous and sexy. The main character is a ditzy teenage girl named Amanda who takes an alien who can morph into anyone it eats under her wing. Definitely a B-movie kind of story, but purposefully so. Colleen Delany performs well, capturing the Amanda character perfectly.

Mimic by Donald A. Wollheim, read by Terence Aselford
FILM: Mimic (1997)
Mimic is a very short tale that reads almost like a documentary about the peculiar ways in which animals hide from other animals. This is then extrapolated in a very spooky way to humans. Terence Aselford didn’t have a heck of a lot to work with here, but he kept it interesting.

The Forbidden by Clive Barker, read by Vanessa Maroney
FILM: Candyman (1992)
Clive Barker drums up some modern mythology here as a female professor explores urban legend among the lower class in London. The story is effective and chilling in the hands of Vanessa Maroney, who navigates Barker’s weirdness as if it were really happening.

We Can Remember It For You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick, read by Terence Aselford
FILM: Total Recall (1990)
Terence Aselford gets another chance in this collection, reading this reality-bender by Philip K. Dick. The main character wants to go to Mars in the worst way, but can’t afford it. The solution? Take a virtual vacation! Have memories implanted so you can “have gone” to Mars. But here, things get complicated when the implantee’s supressed memories surface during the procedure. Dick again manages to leave me wondering what the heck is really real – where exactly is the immovable bedrock? Nothing is sacred in Philip K. Dick’s hands.

Nightflyers by George R.R. Martin, read by Christopher Graybill
FILM: Nightflyers (1987)
Martin here spins a science fiction horror story. Think Psycho meets Lost in Space and maybe you’ll have a feel… a group of people ride on a ship that is controlled by a mystery man who never leaves the cockpit. Christopher Graybill again is impressive in his reading.

Air Raid John Varley, read by Nannette Savard
FILM: Millenium (1989)
Nannette Savard reads a very strange, very affecting story about Earth’s future. In it, humans have evolved just a bit, but the Earth’s biosphere has been destroyed, its people diseased. Varley’s descriptions are vivid and graphic – these people are in a bad way. To keep the species going, they go back in time to retrieve healthy airline passengers, mid-flight, since history shows they are on the verge of fiery death. These passengers become humanity’s hope. Varley is a very affecting writer, and through the main character we experience much. Savard does a great job conveying this to the listener.

Sandkings by George R.R. Martin, read by Richard Rohan
FILM: The Outer Limits: Sandkings (1995)
Simon Kress wants a pet, but something interesting… something out of the ordinary. He finds what he’s looking for when he purchases a group or creatures called sandkings which live in a large terrarium with plenty of sand lining the bottom. They build castles and fight battles. They even worship. And they are endlessly fascinating. Well, they were. Perhaps a little prodding from Kress will end the monotony… This one is my favorite of this excellent collection. Sandkings is original and fascinating, both as a character study of a man with too much comfort and as an exploration of an alien animal species.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

A few updates to give you here… First, please…

SFFaudio News

A few updates to give you here…

First, please check out our Featured Selections pages. These replaced our “New Releases” page, which was getting difficult to maintain. We’ll keep you updated here whenever we find an interesting new release. One upcoming audiobook that I’m excited about is Random House’s unabridged A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Amazon shows a release date in January. Stay tuned…

Second, Jesse and I have just started a discussion group over on Yahoogroups – find it here. Join and discuss! We’d love to see you there.

Third, there is no third thing!

An old Python joke… I’m listening to a Monty Python album right now on Rhapsody. I see they’ve got some Firesign Theatre there too! Cool – clicking now. I would love your comments on internet music services, of which Rhapsody is just one. $9.95/month lets me play anything I want as much as I want, 79 cents/track to write to a CD. Anyone having a better experience? Mail me!

Other things we’re looking at:

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis and The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber, both from Recorded Books.

The latest Star Trek audiobook from Simon and Schuster, Stone and Anvil by Peter David.

Anne Manx and the Trouble on Chromius, an award-winning audio drama starring Claudia Christian from The Radio Repertory Company of America.

From Audible.com, The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, Sep-Nov 2003.

Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

I just updated the New Releases page… Current…

New Releases

I just updated the New Releases page…

Currently, I’m listening to Deathstalker: Rebellion, Part 1 by Simon Green from Defiance Audio, read by several people. It’s an action-packed story in the Star Wars mold; empire, rebellion, aliens of all types, sword fights…

I’d like to see more companies adopt their style of publication. Deathstalker and Deathstalker: Rebellion are big books – they’d make for a large unabridged audio. Large enough, in fact, that most of their target audience (teens) wouldn’t be able to afford them. Instead of going that route, Defiance has made a series of them, releasing the novel in five three-hour portions at a very comfortable $9.95 a piece (or a mere $6.95 if you download them off the website).

This could serve as a model for the production of some excellent but bulky stuff like George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. Why not release it in parts? As long as the end result is unabridged, I’d buy them.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson