LibriVox: Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxMark F. Smith, of Simpsonville, South Carolina, is the sole narrator of the latest LibriVox gothic novel. It’s author, Thomas Love Peacock, was a close friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s and an employee of the East India Company. Writes Mark F. Smith:

“Peacock wrote Nightmare Abbey as a satire, and he has folded in allusions to or quotations from literally dozens of other works [the details of which are HERE]. He makes use of many long, impressive-sounding words (some of which he very possibly made up!). Ignore these and his occasional Latin phrase, treat the rest as a farce, and you’re on track for a fun listen!”

LibriVox - Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love PeacockNightmare Abbey
By Thomas Love Peacock; Read by Mark F. Smith
15 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 3 Hours 23 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: August 26, 2009
Deep in the fens of the British coast sits the gloomy mansion that goes by the name Nightmare Abbey. It is inhabited by persons of very low opinion of the human race, and in fact they pride themselves in the depths of their detestation. Others of its denizens believe the ultimate exercise and product of the human mind ought to be chaos. Now let the young master of the house get snared by the wiles of a beautiful young lady. And for good measure, toss in another beautiful young lady. Now Scythrop (named in honor of an ancestor who became bored with life and hanged himself) is about to find that two such make too much of a good thing!

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/nightmare-abbey-by-thomas-love-peacock.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC7 re-broadcasting Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows

Online Audio

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7Previously aired on BBC 7, The Willows is a century old supernatural Horror story that H.P. Lovecraft described as: ‘The finest supernatural tale in English literature.’ Blackwood, is well regarded as one of the 20th century’s foremost writers of supernatural fiction and as Lovecraft, said of him:

“[Blackwood] is the one absolute and unquestioned master of weird atmosphere …[he] can evoke what amounts almost to a story from a simple fragment of psychological description. Above all others he understands how fully some sensitive minds dwell for ever on the borderland of dream, and how relatively slight is the distinction betwixt those images formed from actual objects and those excited by the play of the imagination.”

BBC7 - The Willows by Algernon BlackwoodThe Willows
By Algernon Blackwood; Read by Lawrence Jackson
4 X 30 Minute Episodes – Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED?]
BROADCASTER: BBC7’s The 7th Dimension
BROADCAST: Monday 6th to Thursday 9th of October 2008 at 6:30pm (repeats 12:30am) UK Time*
Two friends on a canoeing trip down the Danube decide to spend the night on a small island in a remote stretch of the river between Austria and Hungary. Little by little, they realize that malevolent supernatural forces, embodied by the island’s ubiquitous rustling willow trees, are at work against them, and what at first promises to be a straightforward camping expedition escalates into an ordeal of survival against a powerful agency from another dimension.

All four parts should be available via the BBC iPlayer service shortly after they air.

Also, there is currently a torrent for The Willows, over on RadioArchive.cc [FREE REGISTRATION REQUIRED].

Jesse Willis

Four on Seven

SFFaudio Online Audio

Four on Seven

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7The 7th Dimension
Readings:
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Brave New World

Plus The Scarifyers #2!

The Fall of the House of Usher: Edgar Allan Poe‘s classic tale of gothic horror, a masterpiece of “dramatic irony and structural symbolism” (whew, okay…) and no doubt his most famous work. Suffice it to say that this is one creepy story that seems to exist in some dark phantasmal dream. What is the power that the House has over the Usher Family? Told in 2 parts beginning on Thursday, September 25. Read by Sean Barrett.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: Washington Irving‘s spooky tale of two rivals and an encounter with a ghastly horseman with…you guessed it…no head. Am I spoiling too much here? A traditional favorite and hey, just in time for Halloween. Oh, by the way, nothing wrong with the movie versions but the original’s a must read…or a must listen, as the case may be. Told in 3 parts beginning on Sunday, September 28. Read by Martin Jarvis.

Brave New World: Aldous Huxley‘s nightmare vision of a dystopian future. Often compared to Orwell’s 1984, critic Neil Postman contrasts the two: What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one…Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us. Heavy stuff. Told in 10 parts beginning on Monday, September 29. Read by Anton Lesser.

The Scarifyers series continues on BBC 7 with adventure #2, The Devil of Denge Marsh written by Paul Morris. When a government minister melts in Margate, it’s a job for Lionheart and Dunning. Terry Molloy (Dunning) described the series as being like Tin Tin and Dick Barton meet The X-Files. True to form, this one features an encounter with…no, it’s too horrible to tell! Presented in 3 parts beginning on Sunday, September 28. Produced by Cosmic Hobo. Full-cast audioplay. Stars Nicholas Courtney and Terry Molloy. – Trailer #1Trailer #2

Note that all BBC 7 programs are available to listen to online for six days via the Listen Again feature.

Posted by RC of RTSF

LibriVox: The Lair Of The White Worm by Bram Stoker

SFFaudio Online Audio

A new LibriVox title from the author of Dracula! I first encountered this strange tale while watching British television in the early 1990s – it was a very odd movie aired one afternoon – the film both fascinated and repelled. I’ve seen it a few times since then, and have appreciated its curious oddness more and more. Its almost magical in that respect. I haven’t read the book, nor listened to the audiobook (yet) but am pretty much convinced that the film will be absolutely nothing like the book. Many thanks should go to Betsie Bush for narrating the whole novel all on her own. Thanks so much Betsie!

LibriVox audiobook - The Lair Of The White Worm by Bram StokerThe Lair Of The White Worm
By Bram Stoker; Read by Betsie Bush
28 zipped MP3 Files or podcast – 5 Hours 48 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 30th 2007
Adam Salton is contacted by his great uncle in England, for the purpose of establishing a relationship between these last two members of the family. Adam travels to Richard Salton’s house in Mercia, and quickly finds himself in the center of some inexplicable occurrences. The new heir to the Caswall estate, Edgar Caswall appears to be making some sort of a mesmeric assault on a local girl. And, a local lady, Arabella March, seems to be running a game of her own, perhaps angling to become Mrs. Caswall. There is something strange about Lady March, something inexplicable and evil.

Get the entire novel in podcast form, via this handy url:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/lair_of_the_white_worm_by_bram_stoker.xml

Two illustrations of the Lambton worm:

Lambton Worm - illustrator unknown

Lambton Worm - Illustration from More English Fairy Tales

BBC7 broadcast of Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows

Online Audio

BBC 7's The 7th DimensionPreviously released on BBC Radio 4, and with a different reader, The Willows is a 100 year old supernatural Horror story is endorsed by none other than H.P. Lovecraft! Old H.P. described it as: ‘The finest supernatural tale in English literature.’ Blackwood, is well regarded as one of the 20th century’s foremost writers of supernatural fiction and as Lovecraft, said of him: ‘he is the one absolute and unquestioned master of weird atmosphere …[he] can evoke what amounts almost to a story from a simple fragment of psychological description. Above all others he understands how fully some sensitive minds dwell for ever on the borderland of dream, and how relatively slight is the distinction betwixt those images formed from actual objects and those excited by the play of the imagination.’

BBC7 - The Willows by Algernon BlackwoodThe Willows
By Algernon Blackwood; Read by Lawrence Jackson
4 X 30 Minute Episodes – Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED?]
BROADCASTER: BBC7’s The 7th Dimension
BROADCAST: Monday 25th to Thursday 28th, 2007 at 6:30pm (repeats 12:30am) UK Time*
Two friends on a canoeing trip down the Danube decide to spend the night on a small island in a remote stretch of the river between Austria and Hungary. Little by little, they realize that malevolent supernatural forces, embodied by the island’s ubiquitous rustling willow trees, are at work against them, and what at first promises to be a straightforward camping expedition escalates into an ordeal of survival against a powerful agency from another dimension.

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

Jesse Willis

Review of Dark Shadows: The House of Despair

SFFaudio Audio Drama Review

Horror Audio Drama - Dark Shadows: The House Of DespairDark Shadows: The House Of Despair
By Stuart Manning, Directed by Gary Russell; Performed by a full cast
1 CD – 72 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Big Finish
Published: September 2006
ISBN: 1844352439
Themes: / Horror / Birds / Lost Souls / Witchcraft / Ghosts / Immortality /

After years of wandering the world, Quentin Collins is coming home. But the Collinwood that awaits him is no longer the sanctuary he remembers. As the town of Collinsport hides in fear from otherworldly powers, Quentin vows to unite old friends and reclaim his birthright.

Dark Shadows was one of those lightning-in-a-bottle phenomenons. Modern audiences look at it now and don’t get what audiences of the late 1960s saw in it, or why so many of its fans can’t let it go today. Without its Vietnam era frame of reference, the show seems to have little or no appeal. It isn’t scary by today’s standards. It’s not intentionally funny. Buffy it ain’t.

One can’t help but wonder, then, if there’s any point in attempting an original cast resurrection. So many of the mainstays are no longer living, and the show’s biggest star, Jonathan “Barnabas” Frid, is retired at age 82. With four original series stars in the leads, however, Big Finish productions has achieved a nostalgic romp with a modern storytelling style, intelligent and psychological, dripping with atmosphere, which should satisfy fans of the one-of-a-kind soap opera and modern audiophiles both.

David Selby makes a creditable transition from the Sixties anti-hero that was Quentin Collins, recovering lycanthrope, into a strong leading man. He returns to his ancestral home at age 130-something to find it deserted, overtaken by a supernatural presence who just might be the hidden Big Bad from Hitchcock’s The Birds. Enlisting the aid of the witch Angelique, he sets out to re-establish his dynasty as the new Collins family patriarch.

Selby’s eternal tongue in cheek awareness of his character’s failings serves him well. Lara Parker, forty years later, is still enthralling as the beautiful, horrific Angelique. To the writer’s credit, she maintains her darker side, an ally, but still a potential villain. Kathryn Leigh Scott has a voice made for audio drama, and brings dignity to the long-suffering Maggie Evans, who, after all this time, still hasn’t figured out that her friends the Collinses are not quite human. John Karlen returns as servant Willie Loomis, now “Mad Willie.” As always, he brings life and sympathy to a weak and even sleazy role. Newcomer Andrew Collins is well-cast in his part, which shan’t be revealed herein. The original Robert Colbert Dark Shadows score is blended nicely with original music.

During my listening, the background effects balance was sometimes a little off, obscuring the voices. It’s important to remember, though, that it’s nearly impossible to get the balance right for every sound system out there. I listened on a rental-car stereo. As an audio theater producer myself, (who’s also been chastised in a review for effects balance) I’m the first to say that it’s a lot to ask of an editor to create something artful and make it work for the most pedestrian sound system. For an optimal listening experience, grab some headphones. This is the first of four existing titles in a series, with more promised for the future.