Review of The Voice from the Edge Vol 1: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison

Science Fiction Audiobooks - The Voice from the Edge Vol 1 by Harlan EllisonThe Voice from the Edge Vol 1: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
By Harlan Ellison; Read by Harlan Ellison
5 CD’s – 6 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Fantastic Audio
Published: 2002
Themes: / Science Fiction / Fantasy / Short Stories / Artificial Intelligence / Time / Demons /

This is a collection of Harlan Ellison’s best (well… most popular) stories. The most oft-reprinted tales are here, among them: “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”, “‘Repent, Harlequin,’ Said the Ticktockman”, “Paladin of the Lost Hour”, and “A Boy and His Dog”. The stories are read by the author, who himself is a first-rate reader, lending an infectious energy to every story in the collection.

I personally know of no other author’s stories with which to compare Harlan Ellison’s. He’s arguably the finest writer of short fiction on the planet, building stories of great impact in such a short space. In “‘Repent, Harlequin'”, he gives us a parable of society’s dependence on the clock, making schedules look ridiculous enough to make one wonder what the heck we’re all doing. And this was written in the 1960’s! In “Paladin of the Lost Hour”, a man is given responsibility over the world’s last hour. The characters in “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” are trapped by a malevolent computer. These are great stories, every one. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection.

Stories included in the collection: “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”, “Laugh Track”, “Grail”, “‘Repent, Harlequin,’ Said the Ticktockman”, The Very Last Day of a Good Woman”, “Paladin of the Lost Hour”, “The Time of the Eye”, “The Lingering Scent of Woodsmoke”, and “A Boy and His Dog”.

Review of 2000X: Tales of the Next Millenia

Another for my list of favorites… almost done!

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audio Drama - 2000X2000X: Tales of the Next Millennia
Hollywood Theater of the Ear
Executive Producers – Andy Trudeau and Stefan Rudnicki
Project Director / Producer-Director – Yuri Rasovsky
Hosted by Harlan Ellison

2000X aired on National Public Radio in 1999 and 2000. It’s a diverse series of 46 dramatized science fiction stories from authors like Robert A. Heinlein, Harlan Ellison, C.L. Moore, Robert Sheckley, Connie Willis, and Octavia Butler, just to name a few. This is audio drama at it’s highest quality – both the scripts and the performances are as good as I’ve heard.

I’ve got two favorites in the series:

By His Bootstraps
From a story by Robert A. Heinlein
Adapted, Produced, and Directed by Yuri Rasovsky
Mixed by Richard Fairbanks
Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Cordis Heard, Kascia Marciniak, and Ira Burton
Themes: / Time Travel / Paradox / Far Future /

This production won the Ohio State Award in 1982, and was included later in the 2000x series. It’s a fine dramatization of the story of time travel from one of the masters of the genre, performed by Richard Dreyfuss. It twists and turns back on itself in a brilliantly paradoxical manner. The production is fascinating to hear, as the stereo levels are managed to provide separation between the characters, which gets pretty complicated during the story. This one is best in stereo, while wearing headphones.

“Repent, Harlequin,” said the Ticktockman
Based on the story by Harlan Ellison
Dramatized, Produced, and Directed by Yuri Rasovsky
Recorded and Mixed by Warren Dewey
Starring Robin Williams, Harlan Ellison, Stefan Rudnicki, Arte Johnson, James Otis, Scott Brick, Hamilton Camp, Laura Kellogg, Melinda Peterson, and Phil Proctor

This is a fine way to experience Harlan Ellison’s classic story. It’s introduced and narrated by an enthusiastic Harlan Ellison. Robin Williams is perfect as the Harlequin, and Stefan Rudnicki’s voice makes the Ticktockman positively ominous. It’s an audio treat, full of sound, energy, and humor.

For a play list of all the productions in the series, click here. The 2000X homepage is here. And don’t forget to support your local public radio station!

2000X is currently available is two ways. First, Fantasic Audio has published a collection of some of the shows on cassette. It includes Repent, Harlequin and By His Bootstraps along with several others.

Second, the shows are available individually from Audible.com.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Audible.com is publishing some excellent science f…

SFFaudio News

Audible.com is publishing some excellent science fiction and fantasy on audio. Earlier this year, they put out three collections: The Best of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 2002, The Best of Analog Science Fiction Magazine 2002, and The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine 2002. I reviewed all three titles for SF Site and enjoyed them all. My clear favorite, though, was the Fantasy and Science Fiction collection, so I was very pleased to see them follow up with two more titles: The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, January-February 2003 and The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, March-April 2003. The stories are all unabridged, and each collection runs five to six hours.

Over the past two or three years, I’ve experienced a growing appreciation for short-form science fiction on audio. Unabridged novella and novellette length stories make the finest audiobooks, in my opinion, and there is a lot of good science fiction and fantasy out there at that length that has yet to be recorded. I’ve got a copy of The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, January-February 2003 and have listened to the first story, called “Anomalous Structures of My Dreams” by M. Shayne Bell. M. Shayne Bell is an intensely emotional writer. All of his stories I’ve read to date have been memorable – he really makes me feel. His website is here. It hasn’t been updated for a long while, but you can read “Lock Down”, one of his best. The site also has his essay A Defense of Science Fiction and Fantasy, which is worth a read.

There are five other stories in the The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, January-February 2003 collection:

“Vandoise and the Bone Monster” by Alex Irvine

“Grey Star” by Albert E. Cowdrey

“Old Virginia” by Laird Barron

“The Seasons of the Ansarac” by Ursula K. Le Guin

“Reach” by Sheila Finch

(Readers include Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle de Cuir)

There are also six stories in the The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, March-April 2003 collection:

“The Resurrections of Fortunato” by John Morressy

“Decanting Oblivion” by Lawrence C. Connolly

“Shutdown/Retrovival” by Aaron A. Reed

“Hunger: A Confession” by Dale Bailey

“The Lightning Bug Wars” by Gary Shockley

“Seeing is Believing” by Paul Di Filippo

(Readers include Harlan Ellison and Gabrielle de Cuir)

I’ll revisit these once I get them heard… but I hope they continue to produce these titles. Current science fiction and fantasy audio by great writers, right there for the grabbing.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson