Review of A Taste Of Damsel By Tom Gerencer

A Taste Of Damsel
By Tom Gerencer; Read by Tom Gerencer
MP3 DOWNLOAD – 14 minutes, 56 seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Telltale Weekly
Published: 2004
Themes: Fantasy / Humor / Dragons /

Anyone can slay a dragon. Well, provided they are dragonslayers, which Colson isn’t. But even clerks from copy shops can have heroic qualities and even the very, very old can learn new tricks.

First published in the August 2002 issue of Realms of Fantasy magazine, “A Taste Of Damsel” is mirthful look into the epicurian philosophy of dragons. It is read by the author, Tom Gerencer, who narrates at too fast a clip. The range in voices is minimal and unfortunately a slight background hiss marrs the recording. Despite all that, this audio download is a good value and at $0.75 USD. “A Taste Of Damsel” is fine, if lightweight, fantasy fare. Available online at Telltale Weekly.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Adventures of Red Cloud

Science Fiction Audio Drama - The Adventures of Red Cloud starring Traci Elizabeth LordsThe Adventures of Red Cloud
By Larry Weiner; performed by a full cast
2 CDs – 2 hours [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Radio Repertory Company of America
Published: 2004
ISBN: 0966039297
Themes: / Science Fiction / Audio Drama / Espionage / Piracy / Prostitution / Humor /

The Adventures of Red Cloud is an audio drama starring Traci Elizabeth Lords, Brinke Stevens, and James C. Leary, along with a full cast and crew. Traci Elizabeth Lords is mesmerizing as the sexy Wendy McCloud, who trades professions – from hooker to spy – in order to find her father’s killer. Lords is both funny and sultry as her character fights anger management problems and uses her feminine wiles to infiltrate the inner circle of a group of pirates and achieve her vengeful goals.

The script is witty, and all of the actors turn in nice performances. The score works well, and the effects professionally done. What’s not to like? I found this audio drama very entertaining and am looking forward to more from the Radio Repertory Company of America.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Review of The Apocalypse of Bill Lizard by Roger Gregg

Science Fiction Audio Drama - The Apocalypse of Bill Lizard by Roger GreggThe Apocalypse of Bill Lizard
By Roger Gregg; Performed by a full cast
Two CD’s – 2 hours [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Crazy Dog Audio Theatre
Published: 2002
Themes: / Science Fiction / Audio Drama / Detective / Humor /

Bill Lizard, the maladjusted detective in the two-tone shoes and his partner Cyril the Pooka are hired by the Unspeakable to search the Unknowable to find the Unthinkable. Does the world end? What is after the After Life? Will we need shoes in heaven?

The Crazy Dog Audio Theatre brings you The Apocalypse of Bill Lizard, an audio drama in four half-hour episodes. Roger Gregg wrote, directed, and produced.

If you’re a fan of Firesign Theatre, then this is right up your alley. The script is wacky, full of sound effects, humorous dialogue, odd characters, and a mind-bending plot. The main characters are Bill Lizard, played by Roger Gregg, and Cyril the Pooka (a rabbit-shaped spirit reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart’s Harvey, only we hear him speak ourselves). Bill and Cyril are from the get-go sent on a quest for a mysterious scroll by a mysterious woman whose mysterious name Bill can’t pronounce.

In the liner notes, Gregg credits Thomas Merton’s Cables to the Ace, Chuang Tzu, Dante’s Inferno, Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus, T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men, Basho, Cicero’s The Dream of Scipio, and the Tibetan Bardo Thodal as inspirations for the comedic script. I can no more describe Bill Lizard as I can summarize all those works!

I can say that I enjoyed the energetic performances of the actors. The sound effects and overall production quality is excellent. Like I said earlier, this reminded me of some of Firesign Theatre’s recordings, which often leave me thinking, “What the heck was THAT all about?” Bill Lizard gave me the same feeling. It’s entertaining and funny in parts and pieces, smart, and chaotic.

The Crazy Dog Audio Theatre site offers free download of Episode 1 of Bill Lizard. Find it, along with the hilarious Zombies of Dr. Krell, here.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Review of The Twilight Zone No. 1 – The Mighty Casey by Rod Serling

Science Fiction Audiobooks - The Twilight Zone No 1The Twilight Zone No. 1 – The Mighty Casey
By Rod Serling; Read by Fritz Weaver
1 cassette – 75 minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: 1992 – Out Of Print
ISBN: 1559946598
Themes: / Fantasy / Baseball / Robots / Humor /

Submitted for your approval…

Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone is revived for audio in the form of unabridged short stories by Rod Serling. All the stories in this series were previously adapted for the original Twilight Zone television series. This is the first in a series of six single cassette adaptations read by stars of the original series. In this case, Fritz Weaver spins the tale of “The Mighty Casey”, an almost mythical player for that near-mythical sport of baseball. The Brooklyn Dodgers were down in the dumps until tryouts turned up a talented left hander with a pitch like nobody’s business. Casey, the pitcher “with an exceptional left hand”, inspires the tired old players to new glory. They become the team to beat. Everything was swell until Casey gets beaned by a ball. A doctor is summoned and pronounces that Casey is alright, but then the doctor has trouble finding a pulse. It’s soon discovered that Casey is actually a robot and as such does not have a heart!

When thinking of baseball, most people probably associate the name Casey with the Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s 1888 poem “Casey At The Bat”. It’s clear to me that Rod Serling tapped into it for inspiration. “The Mighty Casey” is a very funny story. The dialogue is humorous and the situation is funny too, but it also has a lot of pathos. The story is entertaining but also has that most important of Twilight Zone elements, a twist with a satisfying ending. Fritz Weaver has great fun playing the characters, especially Mouth McGarry, the comic manager of the Dodgers, a character full of deep anxiety and deeper ignorance. This is pretty light material for The Twilight Zone, which often deals with the darker elements of the Human condition. Presented like an actual episode of the television series, there’s the haunting Twilight Zone music and an introduction just like Serling used to make. I actually listened to the tale twice, and I enjoyed it even more the second time around. Overall its a very good start to the series.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Big Big Space by Roger Gregg

SFFaudio Review

Big Big Space: The Complete Series
By Roger Gregg; Performed by a full cast
3 CD’s – 3 Hours [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Crazy Dog Audio Theatre
Published: 2001
ISBN: 689232069827
Themes: / Science Fiction / Comedy / Audio Drama /

Included in this 3 CD set are three hilarious one-hour audio dramas in 6 episodes – The Cabaret of Forbidden Celestial Delights, Big Jim Chancer and the Space Pirates, and The Zombies of Dr. Krell. The shows were originally broadcast on Ireland’s RTE Radio 1.

The cast of characters includes the crew of the starship Amadan: Captain Roslyn Sane, First Officer Hoax Minstrel, Counselor Disco Trojan, and Robot RomManDroid. The scripts have a lot of fun at the expense of the genre, and at the mainstays of Star Trek especially. Captain Roslyn Sane sounds and acts much like Trek’s Captain Janeway, and David Murray is brilliant as First Officer Hoax Minstrel – I swear he’s performing the part as “William Shatner as Captain Kirk” with hilarious results. The crew experiences adventures, dealing with teenage fractal quarks, evil accountants, and demanding extras, and poking witty, merciless fun at science fiction along the way.

All three shows were recorded live – live cast, live music, live effects, and live audience – which harkens back to the golden age of radio comedy. The shows are thoroughly entertaining and very funny. The live audience obviously enjoyed themselves, and so did I.

Don’t take my word for it! Listen to one of the episodes (“Who’s Afraid of Rotwang Krell”) at the Crazy Dog website.

The set is also available from ZBS.