Asimov’s March 2010: On The Net: THE PRICE OF FREE Pt.1

SFFaudio News

Asimov's Science Fiction - March 2010James Patrick Kelly, SF author, has been a columnist for Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine for “ten plus years.” His “On The Net” column is about Science Fiction on the internet. You know it’s a good column when it mentions SFFaudio (check out the February 2006 issue). His latest column, in the March 2010 issue of Asimov’s, is titled:

On the Net: THE PRICE OF FREE [ Part I ] by James Patrick Kelly

For it Kelly took inspiration for it from an audiobook we told you about back in September (you can get Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson for FREE). Kelly points out, with links, the many of the ways that a radical price, $0.00, is being used on the internet.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #040


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #040 – Jesse and Scott are joined by Steve Feldberg of to talk about Audible Frontiers and other projects. We talk audiobooks the whole show, giving particular attention to those produced by itself. Steve tells us all about a bunch of the upcoming Science Fiction, Fantasy, espionage, and crime audiobooks we can expect to see showing up in the Audible catalgoue this year and next!

Talked about on today’s show:, Audible Frontiers, Gateway by Frederik Pohl, Robert J. Sawyer, Frederik Pohl, how to translate font and textual changes to audio, Oliver Wyman, Jonathan Davis, METAtropolis |READ OUR REVIEW|, Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer |READ OUR REVIEW|, narrator performance, The Wind Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, how do you pick stuff?, Battlestar Galactica, Mike Resnick‘s Starship series, space opera, dialogue driven audiobooks, David Weber‘s Honor Harrington series, female protagonists, Mike Shepherd‘s Kris Longknife series, military SF, Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War series, novella and novelette length audiobooks, METAtropolis, Michael Hogan, Alessandro Juliani, Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer, Stefan Rudnicki, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card |READ OUR REVIEW|, Scott Brick, Hopscotch by Brian Garfield, espionage novels, Death Wish by Brian Garfield, Hopscotch (1980) starring Walter Matthau, Six Days Of The Condor by James Grady, mystery and thriller audiobooks, Jim Thompson, copyright disambiguation, Hard Case Crime, BBC Audiobooks America, Christa Faust, The Ghosts Of Belfast by Stuart Neville, Gerard Doyle, Eragon by Christopher Paolini, Jeremy Gage, Lawrence Block, pseudonymous narrators, Grover Gardner (aka Tom Parker), Mercedes Lackey‘s Elemental Masters series, fairy tales, Starplex by Robert J. Sawyer, WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer |READ OUR REVIEW|, Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer, Kristine Kathryn Rusch‘s Retrieval Artist series, William Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive, Count Zero, All Tomorrow’s Parties are all coming to audiobook, wouldn’t a multi-voiced version of Neuromancer be great? Yes it would!, Stanisław Lem, audiobooks are coming, Gene Wolfe‘s The Book Of The New Sun is coming to audio, epic fantasy is hard to turn into audiobooks, David Eddings, Subterranean Press, how the audiobook experience is different than the paperbook experience, Harlan Ellison as a narrator, we need some Jack Vance audiobooks, Brilliance Audiobooks, On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers, Seeing Ear Theatre, audio drama, James Patrick Kelly, copyright disambiguation part II, the Bradbury 13, J. Michael Straczynski‘s City Of Dreams, Mary Burkey’s Audiobooker Blog, audiobook reading groups, The Help by Kathryn Stockett,’s internal book club.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Sofanauts: The State of Asimov’s Special

SFFaudio Online Audio

The SofanautsTony Smith’s latest Sofanauts podcast features a discussion about Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine with it’s editor Sheila Williams (and a bunch of other folks). This follows another recent Sofanauts show in which F&SF, Analog and Asimov’s all got bashed for not being more web-savvy, not having modern websites (blogs), and in general not being very 21st century about the internet (let alone futuristic). This is all despite having some relatively good news to spread (the Kindle versions are selling)!

Having heard the explanations provided by Williams, for the various Asimovian deficiencies, I quite understand and sympathize with her situation. Being a small division in a big corporation is bound to produce the kind of corporate blindness that prevents reasonable responses and sensible efforts towards modernization. In the Popper–Kuhn philosophy of science they have an explanation for this sort of thing. It goes something like this:

‘for the new science to flourish the old scientists must die’

Dell, Asimov’s publisher, has been in the magazine business since 1921 so it ain’t that surprising they are so backward. It sounds like Williams has done her politely-half-damnedest to modernize the magazine: bringing in a website in the late 1990s, getting credit card subscriptions, adding blogs to the site – even being on the Sofanauts is pretty 21st century. What I hope is she can leverage some of the coverage (BoingBoing) to convince Dell to modernize a bit.

But on the other hand Sheila Williams’ has some more fire headed her way. See she got me all excited saying, in the discussion, that her website had podcasts!

So now, since I discovered her mis-statement I’ve got to get up on my hobby horse and call her “podcast” most definitely not a podcast. What has is an MP3 file |MP3| (a sshort story by the podcasting pioneer James Patrick Kelly). Perhaps there had been more MP3 files on the website in the past? If so that certainly would be another step towards a podcast (a podcast of one file isn’t much of a podcast), but it still wouldn’t be enough. See, there’s no podcast feed on the Asimov’s website at all. There are two blogs, neither of which is discoverable through my SAGE reader even though they exist. I’m betting this is because of the ancient web technology being employed by the Asimov’s website (circa 1998). So, soldiering on, I added the two blog feeds in manually (as they were virtually unreadable on the website itself) only to discover that the two blogs were nothing I’d want anyway. One is a serialization of a novel (requiring a click-through of each post to read – which is absolutely and utterly pointless kind of blog) and the other seemed to be mostly about twitter and movies – neither seemed to speak “Asimov’s” to me.

Under The Amoral Bridge

Looking ahead, even if Asimov’s future isn’t all doom and gloom (Dell probably has a decade or two left to publish their mainstay puzzle books) I’m still not so optimistic. Maybe Asimov’s can continue on without Dell. All I can tell you is that while I’m always interested in getting a copy, it’s pretty damned hard from month to month. They rarely show up at the local magazine racks and they’ve pretty much had to continue on without me, subscription wise, since the 20th century. I don’t have a credit card so I don’t have a subscription and their website has no way to notify me of any changes that would make that change (like adding a PayPal option). And the thing is I do read the mag when I can get a copy! So I think there’s still something wrong there.

Have a listen to the show |MP3| or subscribe to the Sofanauts podcast feed:

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

I Should Be Writing Interviews Kim Stanley Robinson

SFFaudio Online Audio

James Patrick Kelley of I Should Be Writing interviews Kim Stanley Robinson. |MP3|

You can subscribe to the podcast at this URL:

Posted by Charles Tan

Don’t Stop by James Patrick Kelly

SFFaudio Online Audio

Hey! Here’s a new FREE READS reading from James Patrick Kelly (a terrific SF author and a pioneer in MP3ing his fiction)…

Asimov’s Science Fiction June 2007Don’t Stop
By James Patrick Kelly; Read by James Patrick Kelly
1 |MP3| – Approx. 41 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Free Reads
Podcast: January 21 2009
A woman runs with ghosts, both figurative and literal.
First published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine in June of 2007. It is currently on the Preliminary Ballot for the Nebula Award, given each year by the Science Fiction Writers of America. A woman runs with ghosts, both figurative and literal.

Podcast feed:

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #008


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #008 – here there be podcasts – we’ve adorned ourselves in too much gold, now we can’t move! So join us on our 8th show, where we’re always etymologically correct.

Scott: Oh ya right. I just forgot something man. Uh, before we dock, I think we ought to discuss the bonus situation.

Jesse: Right.

Scott: We think… we think we deserve full shares.

Jesse: Right.

Scott: Pass the cornbread.

Topics discussed include:, METAtropolis, Jay Lake, John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Karl Schroeder, Mr. Spaceship, Philip K. Dick, Stefan Rudnicki, Wonder Audio, Anne McCaffrey, The Ship Who Sang, Michael Hogan, Battlestar Galactica, 18th Century Spain, Cascadia (Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and sometimes Idaho), Detroit, “Turking”, The Turk (the chess playing automaton), alternative economy, Kandyse McClure, infodump, shared world, Brandon Sanderson, hard fantasy, Elantris, Larry Niven, The Magic Goes Away, manna, unicorns, dragons, Dungeons & Dragons, Mistborn, Robert Jordan, The Wheel Of Time, Writing Excuses Podcast, Howard Tayler,, Dan Wells, The Dark Knight, Aural Noir, The New Adventures Of Mike Hammer, Stacy Keach, Mike Hammer, Full Cast Audio, Red Planet, Robert A. Heinlein, Bruce Coville, Mars, Heinlein’s Future History sequence, the Red Planet TV miniseries, Princess Academy, Shannon Hale, Blackstone Audio, The Collected Stories Of Philip K. Dick Volume 1, and Volume 2, Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, David Farland, Runelords, Collected Public Domain Works Of H.P. Lovecraft,, October, Ray Bradbury, “Autumn ennui”, AUTHOR PAGES, LEIGH BRACKETT, FREDERIC BROWN, JAMES PATRICK KELLY, BBC7,, Beam Me Up Podcast, MACK REYNOLDS, Robert Sheckley, Religulous, Constantine’s Sword, The Ultimate Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction: The Definitive illustrated Guide edited by David Pringle, space opera, planetary romance, Julie D., Forgotten Classics podcast, The Wonder Stick, time travel, alien intrusions, metal powers, Slan, The Demolished Man, comedic SF, aliens, artificial intelligence, “cosmic collisions”, Deep Impact, cyborgs, dinosaurs, the dying Earth, Gene Wolfe, elixir of life, immortality, Roger Zelazny, Robert Silverberg, genetic engineering, nuclear war, overpopulation, parallel worlds, robots, androids, Joanna Russ, Ben Bova, space travel, suspended animation, teleportation, transcendence = the Singularity ?, Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke, religion, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Monica Hughes, Crisis On Conshelf Ten, Hard SF, cyberpunk, psychology, New Wave, lost races, military SF, science fantasy, shared worlds, steampunk.

Posted by Jesse Willis