SWEET sound version of To Build A Fire by Jack London

SFFaudio Online Audio

LoudLit.orgLoudLit.org has a sweetly sounding version of Jack London’s classic short story To Build A Fire available for your listening pleasure. I’ve argued this tale is Hard Science Fiction. Even if you don’t agree (you dope), you’ll have to agree that it’s still an awesome story and in the same vein as Tom Godwin’s The Cold Equations. Hard SF set in the Yukon is there anything cooler?


LoudLit - To Build A Fire by Jack LondonTo Build A Fire
By Jack London; Read by Gregg Dugan
1 |MP3| – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LoudLit.org
Published: June 2007
And, after listening check out the terrific commentary for this awesome story over on JackLondons.net.

By the way, in an interesting twist on alternative economic models LoudLit.org appears to use what I’ll call the “happy hostage” model of audiobook production. They record the productions, then release bits of them as the ransom donations come in. Currently ransomed is The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Commentary: Jack London’s The Call Of The Wild is Science Fiction

SFFaudio Commentary

For almost a year now I’ve been making the argument, to anyone who’d listen, that Jack London’s short story To Build A Fire is Science Fiction.

I’m ready to make the same argument for London’s most famous work, The Call Of The Wild.

First off, the story is told from a dog’s POV. Normally that’d make this a Fantasy novel, in the spirit of Redwall or similar. But, we never hear Buck, the hero, speak, or think thoughts out in words (unlike other anthropomorphic fiction) – yet we are clearly seeing the world through Buck’s alien eyes. Moreover, the premise of the novel, the theme that informs the title of each chapter, was a commonly held idea in fantastic literature of that era. Namely, that ‘barbarism is around every corner, that civilization is a thin veneer, one broken easily.’ You see this in the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. London wrote: “…the reign of primitive law … the facts of life took on a fiercer aspect, and while he faced that aspect uncowed, he faced it with all the latent cunning of his nature aroused.” Jack London’s The Call Of The Wild is Science Fiction. The novel was set in the then recent past, and doesn’t have any future tech or extraterrestrial aliens – but that’s not what makes SF. What makes it SF is what makes The Call Of The Wild a classic – the presentation of bold philosophical ideas informed by science.

Below is a free version read by the talented narrator James Campanella. Unfortunately, for me, the reading is spoiled by two serious problems. First, it has a poor recording environment (rectified in later Campanella releases). Second, Jim has added in sound effects. An, imperfect recording environment I can live with, added sound effects I can’t. Check it out for yourself…

Uvula Audio - The Call Of The Wild by Jack LondonThe Call Of The Wild
By Jack London; Read by James Campanella
7 MP3s – Approx. 3 Hours 44 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Uvuvla Audio
Podcast: 2007
“The Call of the Wild was written by American author Jack London. The plot concerns, Buck, a previously domesticated and even somewhat pampered dog whose primordial instincts return after a series of events finds him serving as a sled dog in the treacherous, frigid Yukon during the days of the 19th Century Gold Rushes in the Northwest. Published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is one of London’s most read books and it is generally considered one of the classics of western adventure literature. Because the protagonist is a dog, it is usually classified as a juvenile novel, suitable for children.”
Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3| Part 3 |MP3| Part 4 |MP3|
Part 5 |MP3| Part 6 |MP3| Part 7 |MP3|

There’s a LibriVox version also available.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Call Of The Wild by Jack London FREE @ SimplyAudiobooks.com (too bad it sucks)

SFFaudio Online Audio

Simply AudiobooksSeptember’s Free Download over on Simply Audiobooks website is Jack London’s The Call Of The Wild.

The Call of the Wild – Jack London’s classic 1903 story of Buck, a courageous dog fighting for survival in the Alaskan wilderness, is widely considered to be his masterpiece. Sometimes wrongly considered simply a children’s novel, this epic vividly evokes the harsh and frozen Yukon during the Gold Rush. As Buck is ripped from his pampered surroundings and shipped to Alaska to be a sled dog, his primitive, wolflike nature begins to emerge. Savage struggles and timeless bonds between man, dog, and wilderness are played to their heartrending extremes, as Buck undertakes a mystic journey that transforms him into the legendary “Ghost Dog” of the Klondike.

Call OF The Wild
By Jack London; Read by Michael Scott
WMD – [ABRIDGED]
Provider: SimplyAudiobooks.com / ThoughtAudio.com
Available: September 2008

Unfortunately, after a simple entry of a name and email address the download comes in a WMD file (Windows Media Download) making it virtually unusable. The MP3 files are in there, but they are very hard to get at. Unless you want to fiddle with it for more than an hour (that’s how long it took me) you’ll have to play it using a windows media device (a Zune presumably) or in a windows media player (sitting in front of your computer).
It’s absolutely not worth it. It turns out the audiobook pictured is not the audiobook you get. Simply Audiobooks displays the free audiobook as the UNABRIDGED Tantor Media version, as read by Patrick Lawlor, but instead what you actually download is the ThoughtAudio.com version (which is ABRIDGED and read by Michael Scott).

So, here’s my suggestion, download the public domain LibriVox version. That version of Call Of The Wild is UNABRIDGED, and is available in naked MP3s, a Zipped MP3 bundle, by torrent and as a podcast :

LibriVox Audiobook - Call Of The Wild by Jack LondonCall OF The Wild
By Jack London; Read by various readers
Zipped MP3s or Podcast – Approx. 3.25 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: October 2005

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/call-of-the-wild-by-jack-london.xml

The downside is that it is read by multiple readers, which is annoying, but at least it’s not going to suck up your valuable time.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Five Free Favourites #9

SFFaudio Online Audio

Jesse here, with another batch of Five Free Favourites, five listens that won’t cost you a penny, but that will pay hefty rewards.

Have you got your own list of free favourites that you can count on the fingers of one non-hyperdactyli’d hand?

Five Free Favourites

1.
Despoilers Of The Golden Empire by Randall GarrettDespoilers Of The Golden Empire
By Randall Garrett; Read by Maureen O’Brien
5 Zipped MP3s – Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Maria Lectrix
Podcast: April 1st 2008
A seasoned military commander travels to another world to find the metal that brings power, and ends up bringing down a barbaric empire.
Maureen O’Brien’s Maria Lectrix podcast, has lots of content I care nothing about (theological audiobooks) – but, it also has several digital tons of content I care dearly about. On April 1st, 2008 released Despoilers Of The Golden Empire. She called it “…a very good story by Randall Garrett, and it makes a very good comment on sf as a genre….it was originally published in Astounding Science Fiction, for April Fools’ Day.” This story is probably better enjoyed by fans of history, than by fans of science fiction. But if you’re like me, a fan of both, you’ll absolutely love it.

2.
Escape PodEP073: Barnaby in Exile
By Mike Resnick; Read by Paul Fischer
1 |MP3| File – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Escape Pod
Podcast: September 28th 2006
Few authors have as many of their stories podcast as Mike Resnick, (although James Patrick Kelly’s definitely got to be in first place). Back in September 2006 Escape Pod podcast this tearful tale. At the time I was comparing to Pat Murphy’s classic Rachel In Love. Which is about as high a compliment you can give to an SF story. Powerful listening, bring a hanky.

3.
The Silver Tounged DevilThe Silver Tongued Devil
By Roger Gregg; Performed by a full cast
2 MP3s – [AUDIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: The Sonic Society (via Crazy Dog Audio Theatre)
Podcast: October 2006
Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|
The Sonic Society has podcast much of the finest audio drama of the modern era. Their October 2006 podcast included a program that was originally broadcast on RTÉ (Ireland National Radio). Described as A documentary of poetry, pretension, and possession. and our review of it explained it thus: “This entire piece is done like a radio documentary, NPR-style, complete with interviews of average people about the ‘Silver Tongued Devil’. The actors who did these segments were perfect! If I had listened to this on the radio without knowing that Crazy Dog had done it, I’d have thought it was news. Who is the ‘Silver Tongued Devil’? He’s an incredibly famous poet from Cork who has the god-like ability to make people swoon with his words. Again, the piece is multi-layered, achieving both hilarity and poignancy.”

4.
Badge Of Infamy by Lester del Rey
Badge Of Infamy
By Lester del Rey; Read by Steven H. Wilson
15 MP3s – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Podiobooks.com
Published: January 2006
Daniel Feldman was a doctor once. He made the mistake of saving a friend’s life in violation of Medical Lobby rules. Now, he’s a pariah, shunned by all, forbidden to touch another patient. But things are more loose on Mars. There, Doc Feldman is welcomed by the colonists, even as he’s hunted by the authorities. But, when he discovers a Martian plague may soon wipe out humanity on two planets, the authorities begin hunting him for a different reason altogether.Here’s a novel I dearly regret not having talked more about. I never reviewed it, as I was just listening for sheer enjoyment. It was released in January 2006 as part of the First SFFaudio Challenge. It was narrated by Steven H. Wilson of Prometheus Radio Theatre, and he did an outstanding job on this terrific little novel about a disgraced doctor. Lester del Rey was a major player in his day and his novels don’t show their years as many of their contemporaries do. I love novels set on a colonized Mars, if you do too, this is a sure bet.

5.
LibriVox Audiobook - To Build A Fire by Jack LondonTo Build A Fire
By Jack London; Read by Betsie Bush
1 |MP3| – 40 Minutes 03 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher:
LibriVox.org
Published: 2006
A man and his husky, travel through the Klondike in seventy-five below zero weather (Fahrenheit). I’d heard of this story for a long time, and I’d always liked Jack London’s novels. I’ve compared it to Tom Godwin’s The Cold Equations, saying that ‘the two tales are, essentially, the same ruthless story.’ This is also a I regret that this is not a better reading. Betsie Bush’s version is not recorded very well, her voice is fine, but the mic she’s using is weak, there’s a hum and even some noise. There is a very cheap semi-pro version available HERE and a version by a professional narrator HERE.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Five Free Favourites #3

SFFaudio Online Audio

Five Free Favourites
Five more faves, five more of my best bets. These are stories to make your mind say “yum yum” and your wallet say “nightie-night”…

1.
Mech Muse - After A Lean Winter by David FarlandAfter A Lean Winter
By David Farland; Read by Rick Jelinek
1 |M4A| File – Approx. 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: MechMuse
Podcast: Spring 2006
I’m very pleased to see all the released MechMuse stories still available online. Of the dozen or so of stories released, I think this one is my favourite. It’s set six months or so after the events of H.G. Well’s The War Of The Worlds and features a protagonist named “Jack London,” who like the other residents of the Yukon, is still struggling against a Martian menace that still survives up there.

2.
The Time Traveler Show - Beyond Lies The Wub by Philip K. DickBeyond Lies The Wub
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Mac Kelly
1 |MP3| – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: The Time Traveler Show
Podcast: December 2006
The best Xmas gift I received in 2006 was this podcast short story! This was Dick’s first ever published tale, it’s one of his best too. And, I find holds up to multiple listenings. I recommend it often. Knowledge of Homer’s Odyssey is recommended.

3.
Librivox Audiobook - The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose FarmerThe Green Odyssey
By Philip Jose Farmer; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
10 Zipped MP3s or Podcast – 6 Hours 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: December 2006
Publisher: LibriVox.org
This FREE audiobook was created on a dare. As one of the titles from the first SFFaudio Challenge I asked budding narrators to make single-voiced audiobooks from a list of public domain titles. This was the very first to meet the challenge – it is also one of the best. Set on a grassy plain on an obscure alien planet – it’s fast, funny, and makes for quite a romp. A novel in the spirit of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court

Subscribe using this feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/the-green-odyssey-by-philip-jose-farmer.xml

4.
Science Fiction Audiobook - Star Surgeon by Alan E. NourseStar Surgeon
By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Scott D. Farquhar
14 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – 5 Hours 25 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Podiobooks.com
Published: October 2007
Dal Tigmar is an alien doctor with a sort of interstellar Médecins Sans Frontières. As a recent graduate of the Galaxy’s most prestigious medical school, on Earth, he’s been trained to treat every disease in the book. But racism isn’t a disease even he can treat. This is a real peppy 50 year old novel, that still crackles with energy. It plays out like a typical Heinleinian juvenile, minus the lectures. You’ll love it.

5.
X Minus 1X-Minus One: The Lifeboat Mutiny
Based on the story by Robert Sheckley; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: NBC Radio
Broadcast: September 11, 1956
Provider: Archive.org
I find a lot of X-Minus One hit or miss, but this Robert Sheckley story works. In fact, I’ve used the script for it twice just this month! Kids love it, adults love it. It’s funny, and it’s FREE! My only nit-pick is that the actor playing the lifeboat is not emotional enough – he totally underplays the scripted dialogue. When I do this part, I always play it highly emotional.

I’m still soliciting podcasters and bloggers for their lists, if you’ve a batch of five free faves you think just can’t be ignored, either post em below, or send me an email.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Librivox.org’s FREE Public Domain Sourced Speculative Fiction Audiobooks

Online Audio

LibriVox We first told you about LibriVox and its many ongoing FREE audiobook projects last year. Since then many of their titles have been completed. The LibriVox volunteers have read and recorded chapters of books, entire novels and short stories from the public domain using their home equipment. Their lofty objective? To eventually make every book in the public domain available in the audio format! That goal is well on its way to success. LibriVox now has more than three dozen Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror titles completed. There are even more “in-progress.” So with that wonderous news in mind here is the complete* list of all the SF Fantasy and Horror with links to the files :


UNABRIDGED BOOKS:

Andersen’s Fairy Tales (Short Stories)
By Hans Christian Andersen; Read by Various Readers
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 5 Hours 51 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Marvelous Land of Oz (Book 2 In The Oz Series)
By L. Frank Baum; Read by Paul Harvey
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 4 Hours 32 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Dorothy And The Wizard in Oz (Book 4 In The Oz Series)
By L. Frank Baum; Read by Judy Bieber
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – ? Hours [UNABRIDGED]

The Road To Oz (Book 5 In The Oz Series)
By L. Frank Baum; Read by Kara Shallenberg
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 4.7 Hours [UNABRIDGED]

Sky Island
By L. Frank Baum; Read by Judy Bieber
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 5 Hours 41 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Present At A Hanging and Other Ghost Stories (Short Stories)
By Ambrose Beirce; Read by Peter Yearsley
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – ? Hours [UNABRIDGED]

A Princess Of Mars (First In The John Carter Series)
By Edgar Rice Burroughs; Read by Various Readers
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – ? Hours [UNABRIDGED]

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (First In The Alice Series)
By Lewis Carroll; Read by Various Readers
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 2 Hours 58 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Through The Looking-Glass (Second In The Alice Series)
By Lewis Carroll; Read by
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 3 Hours 19 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Wind In The Willows
By Kenneth Grahame; Read by Mark F. Smith
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 6 Hours 47 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Fairy Tales (Short Stories)
By Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (Brothers Grimm); Read by Various Readers
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 10 Hours 32 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Story Of Doctor Dolittle
By Hugh Lofting; Read by Various Readers
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 3 Hours 8 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Call Of The Wild
By Jack London; Read by Various Readers
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – ? Hours [UNABRIDGED]

White Fang
By Jack London; Read by Various Readers
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 8 Hours 28 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Great Big Treasury Of Beatrix Potter (Short Stories)
By Beatrix Potter; Read by Various Readers
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 3 Hours 31 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Frankenstein, Or The Modern Prometheus
By Mary Shelley; Read by Various Readers
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – ? Hours [UNABRIDGED]

Dracula
By Bram Stoker; Read by Various Readers
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 16 Hours 31 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court
By Mark Twain; Read by Steve Anderson
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 13 Hours 42 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

A Journey To The Interior Of The Earth
By Jules Verne; Read by Various Readers
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 8 Hours 10 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Invisible Man
By H.G. Wells; Read by Alex Foster
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 4 Hours 54 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The War Of The Worlds
By H.G. Wells; Read by Rebecca
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – 6 Hours 35 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The War Of The Worlds
By H.G. Wells; Read by Various Readers
1 Zipped File full of MP3s – Approx 7 Hours [UNABRIDGED]

The Velveteen Rabbit
By Margery Williams; Read by Marlo Dianne
1 MP3 – 28 Minutes 50 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]


UNABRIDGED SHORT STORIES:

The Black Cat
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Tom Yates
1 MP3 File – 26 Minutes 58 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]

The Black Cat
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Don Morgan
1 MP3 File – 32 Minutes 43 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]

The Pit and the Pendulum
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Eric S. Piotrowski
1 MP3 File – 39 Minutes 8 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]

The Telltale Heart
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Don Morgan
1 MP3 File – 18 Minutes 8 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]

The Cask of Amontillado
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Zach Weissmueller and Ryan Heuser
1 MP3 File – 15 Minutes 45 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]

The Masque of the Red Death
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Juan Carlos Bagnell
1 MP3 File – 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Monkey’s Paw
By W.W. Jacobs; Read by annegram
1 MP3 File – 25 Minutes 52 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]

The Signal-Man
By Charles Dickens; Read by: Andrew Miller
1 MP3 File – 36 Minutes 58 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]

Tale Of Peter Rabbit
By Beatrix Potter; Read by: Kevin Devine
1 MP3 File – 6 Minutes 26 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]

To Build A Fire
By Jack London; Read by Betsie Bush
1 MP3 File – 40 Minutes 03 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]

The Birth Mark
By Nathaniel Hawthorne; Read by Katy Preston
1 MP3 File – 38 Minutes 8 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]

An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge
By Ambrose Bierce; Read by Matthew Stewart-Fulton
1 MP3 File – 22 Minutes 1 Second [UNABRIDGED]

The Yellow Wallpaper
By Charlotte Perkins Gilman; Read by Justine Young
1 MP3 File – 28 Minutes 18 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]

*Any keeners out there are invited to let me know if I missed any SF Fantasy or Horror audiobooks completed by LibriVox that I didn’t recognize as such. Check out the actual list of all of their completed audiobooks on the LibriVox site HERE.