LibriVox: Collected Public Domain Works of Stanley G. Weinbaum

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxAvailable now from LibriVox and narrator Gregg Margarite comes the Collected Public Domain Works of Stanley G. Weinbaum. Gregg has a smoky voice and a terrific recording setup – this makes this collection a super-solid listen! Start with the first story A Martian Odyssey which is Weinbaum’s most famous tale. It’s a classic of alien human interaction. Isaac Asimov says of it and of Weinbaum:

“With this single story [A Martian Odyssey], Weinbaum was instantly recognized as the world’s best living science fiction writer, and at once almost every writer in the field tried to imitate him.”

It is also argued that this is the first story to satisfy Astounding editor John W. Campbell’s famous challenge:

“Write me a creature who thinks as well as a man, or better than a man, but not like a man.”

LibriVox Science Fiction - Collected Public Domain Works of Stanley G. WeinbaumCollected Public Domain Works of Stanley G. Weinbaum
By Stanley G. Weinbaum; Read by Gregg Margarite
6 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 4 Hours 33 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: January 13, 2009
Stanley G. Weinbaum is best known for his short story A Martian Odyssey which has been influencing Science Fiction since it was first published in 1934. Weinbaum is considered the first writer to contrive an alien who thought as well as a human, but not like a human. A Martian Odyssey and its sequel are presented here as well as other Weinbaum gems including three stories featuring the egomaniacal physicist Haskel van Manderpootz and his former student, playboy Dixon Wells.

Podcast feed:

Individual stories:

A Martian Odyssey
By Stanley G. Weinbaum; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 58 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Early in the twenty-first century, nearly twenty years after the invention of atomic power and ten years after the first lunar landing, the four-man crew of the Ares has landed on Mars in the Mare Cimmerium. A week after the landing, Dick Jarvis, the ship’s American chemist, sets out south in an auxiliary rocket to photograph the landscape. Eight hundred miles out, the engine on Jarvis’ rocket gives out, and he crash-lands into one of the Thyle regions. Rather than sit and wait for rescue, Jarvis decides to walk back north to the Ares.

Valley of Dreams
By Stanley G. Weinbaum; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 53 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
A sequel to A Martian Odyssey – Two weeks before the Ares is scheduled to leave Mars, Captain Harrison sends Dick Jarvis and French biologist “Frenchy” Leroy to retrieve the film Jarvis took before his auxiliary rocket crashed into the Thyle highlands the week before. Along the way, the Earthmen stop at the city of the cart creatures and the site of the pyramid building creature for Leroy to take some samples. After picking up the film canisters from the crashed rocket at Thyle II, the two men fly east to Thyle I to look for signs of the birdlike Martian, Tweel.

The Worlds Of If
By Stanley G. Weinbaum; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 35 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Ideal
By Stanley G. Weinbaum; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 47 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Point of View
By Stanley G. Weinbaum; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 38 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Pygmalion’s Spectacles
By Stanley G. Weinbaum; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 43 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #004


The SFFaudio PodcastBreak out your slide-rules and drop your bongs people! #004 of The SFFaudio Podcast is all about extreme knitting this week. Extreme knitting being being mostly about the audiobooks, and less about the knitting.

Topics discussed include:

Orson Scott Card, The Call Of Earth, The Memory Of Earth, Philip K. Dick, The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, religion, The Gospel According To Philip K. Dick, Whitley Strieber, 2012: The War For Souls, the Mayan calendar, Art Bell, The Sci Fi-Channel, UFOs, Space: The Imagination Station, Chariots Of The Gods?, Arthur C. Clarke, Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World, Leonard Nimoy, In Search Of…, Harlan Ellison, Deep Shag Records, Worldcon 2006, Baycon, Blackstone Audio, Flashforward, Robert J. Sawyer,, Audible Frontiers, CERN, Calculating God, The Royal Ontario Museum, Wake, CBC Radio One, Between The Covers, Julie D., The Wonder Stick, Stanton A. Coblentz, prehistorical, Jean M. Auel, The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Brilliance Audio, Quest For Fire, Agatha Christie, Maria Lectrix Podcast, John Carpenter’s The Thing, StarShipSofa, H. Beam Piper, John W. Campbell, Exploring Tomorrow, The Black Star Passes, The SFFaudio Challenge, BBC Radio 4, Who Goes There?, Mike Walker, Antarctica, The Zombie Astronaut,, Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Colonial Radio Theater, Dean Koontz, Bliss To You, Dragon Tears, Jay O. Sanders, Simon & Schuster Audio

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Greatest Science Fiction Stories Of The 20th Century

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Greatest Science Fiction Stories Of The 20th CenturyThe Greatest Science Fiction Stories Of The 20th Century
By various; Read by various
4 Cassettes – 6 Hours [Unabridged]
Publisher: Dove Audio
Published: 1998
ISBN: 0787116807
Themes: / Science Fiction / Magical Realism / Aliens / Time Travel / Parallel Worlds / Space Travel / Mutation / Nuclear Winter /

What would a long time SF fan consider a collection called The Greatest Science Fiction Stories Of The 20th Century when none of the stories would make his top ten list, and some aren’t even SF? In this case, I consider it a very good collection of stories. If anything, this seems a collection of well-read and written, but randomly chosen, speculative fiction stories.

Clearly intended to present a wide variety of “Science Fiction,” this audio-anthology has neither theme nor consistency but it doesn’t need them. The stories, with only two exceptions, are quite entertaining. They are all extremely well read, my quibble with a poor attempt at an accent notwithstanding, ranging from Harlan Ellison’s wonderfully passionate reading of his story to Nana Visitor’s aesthetically perfect interpretation of “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.”

Each story is briefly commented on below.

“Jeffty Is Five”
By Harlan Ellison; Read by Harlan Ellison
Reality is distorted around a boy who doesn’t age. This is Magical Realism, not SF, but an amazing story nonetheless. Ellison’s response to the bitter cynicism of modernity will tear at the core of your soul unless A) you’re very young or B) you don’t have a soul. The best story in the collection.

By John W. Campbell; Read by Richard McGonagle
A good early SF story but not quite great. It feels a bit to much like Wells’ The Time Machine, but it entertaining enough. A retelling of a time traveler’s visit to the twilight of humanity.

“The Ones Who Walk Away Fom Omelas”
By Ursula K. Le Guin; Read by Nana Visitor
Virtually everyone knows this Fantasy, again not SF, story. It has all the strengths and weakness of Le Guin’s writing, amazing authorial voice and great storytelling, but a strong tendency to be overly didactic to the point of sanctimoniousness. Still as with most of her stories, the strengths far outweigh the weaknesses.

“Bears Discover Fire”
By Terry Bisson; Read by Arte Johnson
Bears start using fire in an otherwise normal Kentucky. This Magical Realism, not an SF. This story was the only one that bored me. It also had my only, relatively minor, reading complaint. The reader’s Kentucky accent is a bit off and sounds a bit condescending.

“The Crystal Spheres”
By David Brin; Read by Alexander Siddig
A very interesting, though highly implausible, story about a universe in which all stars are encircled by invisible, impenetrable, crystal spheres.

“That Only a Mother”
By Judith Merril; Read by Terry Farrell
Due to radiation poisoning, a baby is born mentally gifted but physically impaired. A disturbing, unpleasant story that is only marginally SF.

By Eric Frank Russell; Read by James A. Watson
Wonderful over-the-top humor. This story of a spaceship facing an inspection while missing an offog, an item no one knows what is, is a gem.

By Greg Bear; Read by Melissa Manchester.
A boy can see into the the fourth physical dimension and a scientist helps him play music for the beings there. Interesting enough, but forgettable.

“The Nine Billion Names of God”
By Arthur C. Clarke; Read by Alexander Siddig
Tibetan monks have a computer print out all the names possible names of God with the intent of fulfilling the purpose of creation. Good enough but not even Clarke’s best short story.

“Huddling Place”
By Clifford D. Simak; Read by David Ackroyd
In a future with robots and space travel agoraphobia has become a serious threat. This story would have been just acceptable filler except for the fact that in this story from 1944, Simak predicts the internet, though he describes it in terms of a television with knobs.

“Why I Left Harry’s All-Night Diner”
By Lawrence Watt Evans; Read by Wil Wheaton
A fun, interesting take on the the idea of parallel universes. Certainly an enjoyable story.

“Fermi And Frost”
By Frederik Pohl; Read by Denise Crosby
Icelanders face the prospects of nuclear winter in the post-apocalyptic tale. A good downbeat story to balance some of the lighthearted stories.

Conclusion: This is a very good anthology. It definitely isn’t a collection of the best stories, but it may be the best collection of stories available. Highly recommended.

I started reviewing this collection on the expectation that it was out of print and I would have to recommend Amazon or eBay as a source of a used cassette copy. So imagine my surprise when a mere day after finishing it, I hear an ad for it on Pseudopod. So, it is easily available for those interested.

Posted by David Tackett

Resonance FM’s: A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou

SFFaudio Online Audio

A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou - a Resonance FM podcastA Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou is a podcast radio show (on Resonance FM 104.4 FM in London, U.K.) that you are absolutely going to love. The hosts, Elisha Sessions and Mark Sinker, along with various guests, talk about Science Fiction short stories from “SF’s Golden and Silver Ages.” Covering stories from 1927 to 1965, these are deep, articulate, and knowledgeable discussions, along with, in at least a couple of cases, complete, unabridged readings! Planet shaking stories, with intelligent commentary – I absolutely love it!

Episode 1 – Who Goes There?
By John W. Campbell; Read by Elisha Sessions
1 |MP3| – 1 Hour [READINGS OF CHAPTERS 2 & 4]
Sarah Clarke joins Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions to discuss John W. Campbell’s “Who Goes There”, a 1938 science fiction novella about ice-bound scientists confronted with an alien who can become them. Elisha reads from the book in case you haven’t. As originally broadcast on Resonance FM 104.4 FM in London on April 1, 2008.

Episode 2 – A Pail Of Air
By Fritz Leiber; Read by Elisha Sessions
1 |MP3| – 1 Hour [ABRIDGED]
Tom Ewing joins Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions to discuss Fritz Leiber’s “A Pail of Air”, written in 1951. It’s a short story about a kid, some rugs, and an Earth so cold that helium crawls. Will it crawl onto YOU? Elisha reads from the story in case you haven’t.

Episode 3 – The Segregationist
By Isaac Asimov; Read by Elisha Sessions
1 |MP3| – 1 Hour [???]
Alan Trewartha joins Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions to discuss “Segregationist”, one of Isaac Asimov’s famous robot stories from 1967. Elisha reads from the story in case you haven’t.

Episode 4 – Beyond the Reach of Storms
By Donald Malcolm; Read by Elisha Sessions
1 |MP3| – 1 Hour [???]
Martin Skidmore joins Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions to discuss the first space-travel story of the series, and the first truly obscure find, “Beyond the Reach of Storms” by Donald Malcolm.

Episode 5 – The Red Brain
By Donald Wandrei; Read by Elisha Sessions
1 |MP3| – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED?]
Dave Queen joins Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions to talk about the outrageous 1927 short story “The Red Brain”, written by Donald Wandrei when he was supposedly 16 years old.

Episode 6 – A Sound of Thunder
By Ray Bradbury; Read by Elisha Sessions
1 |MP3| – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Al Ewing joins Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions to talk about “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury, the famed 1952 story about a dinosaur safari gone wrong. Lots of other Bradbury and time travel tales get a look in.

Episode 7 – The Tactful Saboteur
By Frank Herbert; Read by Elisha Sessions
1 |MP3| – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED?]
Ken Hollings joins Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions to talk about “The Tactful Saboteur” by Frank Herbert, a tale of civil servants and their multi-phase sexual life cycles from 1964.

Episode 8 – Build Up Logically
By Howard Schoenfeld; Read by Elisha Sessions
1 |MP3| – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED?]
Kat Stevens joins Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions to talk about Choose Your Own Adventure books, speaking with animals, and “Build Up Logically”, an unclassifiable short story written in 1950 by Howard Schoenfeld. It’s about two men who can summon the entire universe from thin air but spend most of their time at parties.

Posted by Jesse Willis

FREE SF Podiobook: The Black Star Passes by John W. Campbell

SFFaudio Online Audio

Scott D. Farquhar‘s latest audiobook effort is a complete and unabridged reading of one of our original SFFaudio Challenge titles…

You’ll probably remember Scott from either his stunningly awesome reading of Star Surgeon or as one of the stalwart troopers from the Prometheus Radio Theatre troupe. Scott claimed The Black Star Passes back in November. After you start enjoying it, please consider donating a few $$ towards his narration. At 3/4’ths of every dollar will end up in Scott’s hands, which means he’ll be all the more inclined to record another. The other 25% goes to covering’s expenses (download bandwidth, server space, etc.).

The Black Star PassesThe Black Star Passes
By John W. Campbell; Read by Scott D. Farquhar
Published: July 2008 – ????
Three separate SF stories by Campbell, written for Amazing Stories magazine: The Black Star Passes, Piracy Preferred, Solarite. These tales are tied together by a recurring cast of characters (Arcot, Morey and Wade).

Posted by Jesse Willis

SFFaudio’s Make An Audiobook Win An Audiobook Challenge (#1) NEWS!

SFFaudio Update

Meta SFFaudio - SFFaudio Contest - Make audiobook win an audiobookWhoa… retro! Yes we’d almsot completely forgot about our First SFFaudio Challenge.

When I first thought up the idea I didn’t think it’d generate much interest – it was just an idea – maybe somebody would do one or two. Boy, was I wrong! Wonderfully wrong!

Six audiobooks from the first challenge were completed within a year of the announcement. And since we’ve long since run out of prizes I figured we’d run out of challengers too, especially considering we’ve got the All New 2nd Annual SFFaudio Challenge to consider. But, I’m pleased to say I was wrong.

Scott D. Farquhar from Prometheus Radio Theatre (and Star Surgeon fame) has written in to claim The Black Star Passes by John W. Campbell. This is one of the titles from in our first SFFaudio Challenge!

Scott released Star Surgeon through both and This time, Scott thinks he’s going to release The Black Star Passes through alone. Which I think is absolutely terrific.’s system will allow people who appreciate Scott’s narration to drop a dime or three in his virtual hat, as it were. 3/4’ths of every dime will end up in Scott’s hands, which means that he might be inclined to make even more audiobooks for us! Woot!

The Black Star Passes by John W. Campbell

Look for the first few chapters of The Black Star Passes to show up on in the near future.

Posted by Jesse Willis