Guardian Short Stories Podcast: My Dream Of Flying To Wake Island by J.G. Ballard

SFFaudio Online Audio

Willliam Boyd explains his love of J.G. Ballard’s short story My Dream Of Flying To Wake Island:

In the short history of the short story – not much longer than 150 years – very few writers have completely redefined the form. Chekhov, pre-eminently, but also Hemingway and Borges. JG Ballard has to be added to this exclusive list, in my opinion. Ballard’s models for his haunting stories are closer to art and music, it seems to me, than to literature. These are fictions inspired by the paintings of De Chirico and Max Ernst, which summon up the mesmerising ostinatos of Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Character and narrative are secondary – image and symbol dominate with a surreal and hypnotic intensity, and the language reflects this. Ballardian tropes – empty swimming pools, abandoned resorts, psychotic astronauts, damaged doctors, the alluring nihilism of consumer society and so forth – are unmistakably and uniquely his. “My Dream of Flying to Wake Island” is a true Ballardian classic.

This is a story you can listen to again and again.

Guardian Short Stories PodcastMy Dream Of Flying To Wake Island
By J.G. Ballard; Read by William Boyd
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Guardian Short Stories Podcast
Podcast: December 11, 2010
First published in Ambit #60 (Autumn, 1974).

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 4: Will Self on J.G. Ballard [DOCUMENTARY]

SFFaudio Online Audio

The current issue of the Radio Times has a brief mention of an upcoming documentary that fans of J.G. Ballard will definitely want to hear. Sez the Radio Times:

“The writer Will Self, who came to know J.G. Ballard well in his final years, journeys upriver through the life and imagination of the seer of Shepperton. From his suburban anonymity, Ballard charted the realms of inner space and the madness of the modern world with a cool eye and visionary prose. With readings by Anna Massey.”

BBC Radio 4Archive On 4 – Self On Ballard
1 Broadcast – Approx. 1 Hour [DOCUMENTARY]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: Saturday September 26th, 2009 @ 20:00-21:00
Will Self explores the imagination and work of writer JG Ballard, who he came to know in his final years. Will draws on the many telling interviews that Ballard gave throughout his working life and on Self’s own tapes of his encounters with him.

And, be sure to catch this via the original broadcast as the repeat will be abridged!

[Thanks Roy!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast

SFFaudio Online Audio

Miette’s Bedtime Story PodcastHere’s a podcast that I’ve been listening to, on and off (mostly off), for years. Miette is a mystery to me and seemingly pretty much everyone else. She’s been putting out a weekly (or so) podcast since 2005 and yet we don’t know a lot about her. We know she loves to read short stories. That she’s got an accent people don’t easily pin down, and that she’s got a dog. Other than that…. well, we really don’t know.

What makes it all even more puzzling is that she’s an “obscurantist.”

Now I like the obscure, but she, well… she’s just out there – Miette has gone past the obscure and into the hinterlands of the truly odd. Every once in a while I want to throw her a lasso (or a lifeline) but I’m kind of afraid because she might pull me out there with her!

That sheer out-there-ness also makes me feel so normal. Miette’s the absolute omega to the omnivorous celebrity mainstream and me I’m just the guy who gets to say “sorry I don’t have TV” three or four times a week.

Perhaps Miette is from a parallel universe?

It would explain a lot.

Assembled below are some of the Miette-read tales that attracted me to her podcast. None of them are youur typical short story – most are experimental in some way, usually they’re at least odd, strange, or weird. The thing is though, these tales that I’ve picked here are the most centric of Miette’s stories!

SFFaudio interest:

Fun With Your New Head
By Thomas Disch; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Cask of Amontillado
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race
By J.G. Ballard; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Red Room
By H.G. Wells; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

I See You Never
By Ray Bradbury; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 11 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

How the World Was Saved
By Stanislaw Lem; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 11 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Necrophil
By Felipe Alfau; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 40 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
A story about a woman who dies too much.

The Yellow Wallpaper
By Charlotte Perkins Gilman; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Aprrox. 47 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Ghosts
By Lord Dunsany; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Aprrox. 15 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

On An Experience In A Cornfield
By Robert Sheckley; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 29 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Judgment
By Franz Kafka; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| Approx. 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

A World of Sound
By Olaf Stapledon; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 18 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas
By Ursula K. Le Guin; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

of Aural Noir interest:

A Letter to A.A. (Almost Anybody)
By Charles Willeford; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 29 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Lost Soul
By Ben Hecht; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 29 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

It Had To Be Murder
By Cornell Woolrich; Read by Miette
2 MP3s – Approx. 84 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

Podcast feed:

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

CBC Radio One: Writers & Company an interview with and short story by J.G. Ballard

SFFaudio Online Audio

CBC Radio One - Writers And CompanyCBC Radio One’s Writers & Company podcast has an interview with and a short story by J.G Ballard. In the terrific interview, by Eleanor Wachtel, we learn much of Ballard’s history, including how he found Science Fiction (it was at RCAF Station Moose Jaw)! After the interview is a complete SF short story read by Ballard himself.

“The story,” says James Warner “can be read as a metaphorical account of Ballard’s entire writing career.”

Interzone #30 July/August 1989The Enormous Space
By J.G. Ballard; Read by J.G. Ballard
1 |MP3| – Approx. 53 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: CBC Radio One / Writers & Company
Podcast: May 16th, 2009
A middle class man who chooses to abandon the outside world and restrict himself to his house, becoming a hermit. First published in Interzone #30 (the July/August 1989 issue).

Posted by Jesse Willis

P.S. Hey CBC! We still want that J. Michael Straczynski radio drama series you’re sitting on.

A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou has Aye and Gomorrah by Samuel R. Delany

SFFaudio Online Audio

A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou - a Resonance FM podcastThe second series of A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou is underway, and the podcast radio show (on Resonance FM 104.4 FM in London, U.K.) has out-done itself by recording a terrific and moving reading of Aye and Gomorrah by Samuel R. Delany. Victoria de Rijke joins Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions to talk about the story and Delany in general. This is insightful listening about one of the most well written and unusual stories in all of Science Fiction.

Aye, and Gomorrah by Samuel R. DelanyEpisode 11 – Aye, and Gomorrah
By Samuel R. Delany; Read by Elisha Sessions
Podcast – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: September 23rd, 2008
Winner of the 1967 Nebula Award for best short story. First in Harlan Ellison’s seminal 1967 anthology, Dangerous Visions.It takes place in a world where astronauts, known as Spacers, are neutered before puberty to avoid the effects of space radiation on gametes. They are fetishized by a subculture of ‘frelks’, those attracted by the Spacers’ unattainability and unarousability (‘free-fall-sexual-displacement complex’). The mischief-loving Spacers exploit this for amusement and money — and possibly out of loneliness and a desire to recapture their lost sexuality. The story tells of a Spacer’s poignant meeting with a female frelk.

The previous show presents a J.G. Ballard short story, a tough one, not quite as easily accessible (which is saying something)…

Track 12 by J.G. BallardEpisode 10 – Track 12
By J.G. Ballard; Read by Elisha Sessions
Podcast – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED?]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: September 16th, 2008
A Science Fiction short story about electromusic? Yup. A retelling of Poe’s The Cask Of Amontillado? Very likely. Fully comprehensible? Maybe. Published in a 1958 issue of New Worlds.

And, the first show, of the second series, has a classic Robert Sheckley tale, only 5 pages long, but also a massive epic [I just wish there wasn’t any background music or SFX during the reading]…

Zirn Left Unguarded, The Jenghik Palace in Flames, Jon Westerley Dead by Robert SheckleyEpisode 09 – Zirn Left Unguarded, The Jenghik Palace in Flames, Jon Westerley Dead
By Robert Sheckley; Read by Elisha Sessions
Podcast – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED?]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: September 10th, 2008
“It’s got swords, vast space battles and God’s receptionist.”

The one bad thing about this podcast (other than the lack of title and author name at the beginning of the story) is there are no direct links available (for hotlinking), you’ll have click through or subscribe to the podcast to get the files – which likely means about 75% 60% of the people who listen to podcasts via direct links won’t get to hear it. Slug Of Time guys, it’s time to fix that!

Here’s the podcast feed for the few of you who know how to use it:

Posted by Jesse Willis

ITV Podcast interviews J.G. Ballard

SFFaudio Online Audio / Podcast

 ITV Podcast - The South Bank ShowThere is a fascinating interview with J.G. Ballard available from The South Bank Show. This is a show produced by ITV, the U.K.’s Independent Television Network. The programme is hosted by the always erudite Melvyn Bragg whom you may already know from his other podcast BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time.

Together, Bragg and Ballard’s discuss the creation of fiction, Ballards experiences as a medical student, his childhood growing up in a Japanese concetration camp and the particular importance of Science Fiction.

Ballard also talks about the influence of surrealism in his early novels, which all deal with natural catastrophes: The Drowned World, The Crystal World, The Drought.

Subscribe to the show via this feed: