The SFFaudio Podcast #485 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Undying Thing by Barry Pain

August 6, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
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Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #485 –The Undying Thing by Barry Pain; read by Dan Grozinski (dg73). This is an unabridged reading of the novelette (59 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada

Talked about on today’s show:
is Paul kinda glum?, staying up to late with a flask of whiskey and a revolver in his pocket worrying about the sins of his ancestors, so appropriate, WEREWOLVES!, being an evil genius, a method to Jesse’s madness, fortuitous, drifting off, how Barry Pain writes, an AMAZING story, he more Maissa listens to it the more questions she has, the monster never shows up on screen, checking the audio against the text, cut-off?, this story provokes questions, so many hints, so rich, nothing to say on Sunday, sleepless nights, unpacking it, the rhythm and the structure, implied, asked but not answered, more nuanced, elliptical digressions, diagraming this story, this would make an amazing movie!, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, filmed in black and white with sepia flashbacks, The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes, which is the more famous story, they came out exactly the same month!, the way the stories unfold, one has no detective, on has Mr Marsh, points in contact, barnoets get the title “sir”, ancestral baddie, murders happening in the community, the friend that comes to the house, a wolf or a hound that haunts the family, the tavern rumor mongers, astounding!, Pain’s not copying Doyle and Doyle’s not copying Pain, seeds of evil, spoiling this 1901 story, a trained creature, an heir to the estate, an evil dalliance, a bastard son, enacting the plot of The Undying Thing, avatar, very Lovecraftian, Lovecraft liked this story, Brotherhood Of The Wolf (2001), the first Sir Edric Vanderquests’ evil plan, Supernatural Horror In Literature,

“Ugh! I really half-believe I ought to mention this in my article.”

reading a little a bit for the readers, hands of white fire, burglar?, why does he think it has come for him?, our companion buddy reads the confession and then burns it but he doesn’t tell his Sir Edric, electric lighting, why does he think that?, go back to your room, the night he spent by himself, there’s somebody in the dining room, what is it?, its there!, go BACK!, who are you…what are you?, he’s talking to IT, you wouldn’t say “who are you?” to a dog, we don’t actually see the baby, trying to find anybodys criticism, Sir Edric wanted another boy, is it a boy?, was it a boy?, how to get rid of the baby, covering the mouth, and nose, no snout, somewhat human-shaped, BANG!, perfectly empty, he went through the window, he knew that Sir Edric would be found there, how did he know that, the final paragraph, a great flash of lightning, the plantation had collapsed, this time he had fainted away, what’s going on?, Jesse has a theory, sentence by sentence, very very Gothic, really good use of weather, the whole of the trees fling their heads upwards, the collapse of the tunnel system, heads vs. crowns, so we can see it, the leaves staying still with the ground subsiding, an amazing piece of writing, a deafening crash, listening to it as an audiobook, being specially attuned (like Wayne June) and timing every word, The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, a metaphor or symbol for the family itself, collapsing into a tarn, the penultimate sentence, earlier collapses, this time he had fainted away, did he die?, he died with a petrified look on his face, the viewpoint character is gone, The Dead Smile by F. Marion Crawford, a family curse, corpses moved around the tomb, a giant smiling skull, a smile only they can pull off, the Willis family “ookel face”, a really unusual look, a family curse, that smile is going to come again, a hideous grin of terror, an alternate reading of the ending, he says its there, why did he call his friend?, hands of white fire, a tap at his door, he had dressed, a curious subdued voice, how did the Undying Thing get in?, is it a ghost?, it had a body, its not a question, why does sir edric think that?, Sir Edric is the Undying Thing, he is the inheritor of the curse, he doesn’t know that he is, he’s about to transform, what happened to the first woman?, she saw the previous incarnation, it’s dead and not dead, keeping this THING alive, Maissa’s theory, pledging to God, be thou with eve, he’s bargaining with God on Eve’s behalf, he goes back on his word, some sort of spirit, purgatory, Morella, well read in the German philosophers, kind of like a mom, she’s basically a witch or something, like Alia in Frank Herbert’s Dune, the family tomb, she’s my daughter and my husband, such an open story, page 135, on the following morning, weregild!, roaming the countryside at night, why were they not welcomed, they found her corpse, what is she doing there at night?, her body was found there at noon the following day, if there’s a werewolf there should be someone torn apart, she died in a “fit”, Maissa’s right, trying to prove something?, “he goes out with a rug, a flask of whiskey and a revolver”, The Red Room by H.G. Wells, definitely not a cow, a stray cow, no cow, too much for a cow, too whimsical, I was awakened by a cry, swishing through the bracken, half-awake, he persuaded himself to go to sleep again, a subterranean spring, some slight subsidence, legend says, Hal’s planting, why he thinks its the Undying Thing, only haunts the planting, a charge of dynamite, criticizing the story, running on familiar tracks, a well beaten path, feeling the resonances, The Grove Of Ashtaroth by John Buchan, the tragedy of that small goddess, the curse of the land, to dynamite the tower and the trees, kill the sacred birds, “colonial fiction”, set in England?, thinking along the same thoughts, a genetic understanding of a family curse, because he was a Jew, does he believe the legend?, he knows its real underneath, he’s cursed, the opposite of The Hound Of The Baskerville, the end of the (family) line, blowing up Hal’s Planting brings the end, look through these papers for me, a doctor who doesn’t practice, interested in science and out of the way science, Guerdon, Geurdon and Bird, positive inheritances, Ray, “season”, in season, mating time, introduced to society, it was assumed, is he trying to save him, her “mourning” room, she’s a ray of sunshine, built with such ingrained malice and vexatious, he is the heir to the curse, both dead and alive, are they all Edrics?, the wolf attack, but then in rereading…, I can’t say why, a group of wolves, one of these wolves must have escaped, question mark end of chapter, more of Maissa’s theory, Jesse’s theory, intending wolves to serve as (hunting) dogs, he chased down a woman with his dogs, destroy these beasts, he loved his second wife even more than he hated his first, she was not bitten, why did they frighten her so, indicative lines, when it was too late, was it nine months afterwards?, she died in childbirth, that old woman is the nurse, attacked by the wolves as in raped by the wolves, werewolf-baby, I have superpowers because my mother was spooked by a goose while she was pregnant with me, some thing, this is such a good story, why is it called undying not undead, reading Plato on the immortality of the soul, snow at the approach of heat, a philosophical argument for the existence of life after death, killed and not killed, raised and not raised in the caves, eternal in the curse of the family, is the THING dead?, the obstetrician, the appendage to the letter, the devil’s wolves seem to hunt me in my sleep nightly, the ghost of the wolves, darker ink, initials R.D., it is not dead, I do not think it will ever die, the curse is real, in light of The Wolf Leader, light and fluffy vs. dreaded and cursed, a deal with the devil, Jesse is worried about podcast listeners not being as impressed as they should be, it would make a fabulous movie or a wonderful comic book, everybody should read this story if they’re at all interest in wolf tails (or wolf tales), Mansteath (man’s death), sounds British, even English, the Midlands?, Hal’s planting (Hell’s planting?), the orchard, Jesse’s Roof Bear drawings, Cellar Feller, That Only A Mother by Judith Merrill, Born Of Man Of Woman by Richard Matheson, the powerful revelation, looking monstrous, in Roof Bear world everybody’s sort of friendly, in the real world, an orchard outside of the hill, Pan lives in the orchard, exploring your unconscious or your genetic memory, it’s always night in Roof Bear world, a kind of truth no science can tell you, science is wonderful, this is art, it could come back and haunt you, the power in this story, a kind of truth that is completely fictional, the latest incarnation of Edric, walking sunshine, in his final hours he’s trying to save his friend, what are you who are you?, is he looking in a mirror, what’s it eating, we need Mr Jim Moon and Marissa’s thoughts, getting attacked by coyotes, and Paul by blackflies, Mr Jim Moon getting in a punch up with a kangaroo,

Stories In The Dark by Barry Pain

The Undying Thing And Others by Barry Pain

Posted by Jesse Willis

Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast: Roog by Philip K. Dick

February 13, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

F & SF - Page 125 - ROOG by Philip K. Dick

Miette’s Bedtime Story PodcastPhilip K. Dick’s first sale was an often forgotten, often dismissed, 1800 word story titled Roog. It’s very short, seemingly small in scope, and often poo-pooed or ignored completely in favour of his first published short story Beyond Lies The Wub. Roog is well crafted, but more opaque, and the material seems lightweight. These factors combine to make it less understood and therefore less loved. I’ve noted that a number of reviewers and readers describe Roog as “pointless” others have said they “just don’t understand [it] at all.” I think they are giving up on the story too quickly. Based on how much he wrote and talked about it Dick obviously loved the story. Now’s your chance to enjoy it, and decode it. With this post I am assembling a compilation of my own work on Roog it, as well as that of other sources. First up, a recent podcast version by the ever elusive Miette…

Roog by Philip K. DickRoog
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Miette
1 |MP3| – Approx. 15 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast
Podcast: November 17th, 2010
|Etext|

When I read this extremely short story with my students I teach them about The Danegeld, I ask them to think about the difference between language and communication (which allows us to talk about the onomatopoeic title), and we inevitably work through the concept of narrative point-of-view. By the end of the story my students always understand the general thrust of the tale and they always like it (at least they tell me they like it). Over the last few weeks (and years) I’ve gleaned several insights into just how well crafted Roog really is. Many of these ideas have been picked up by other readers and reviewers. One idea that I recently apprehended came to me as I realized the way Dick likes to play with metaphors (check out Dick’s The Eyes Have It for a whole story of it). See if you can identify the one word I spotted that might mean more than it should on an casual read. Here’s the scene:

In the heat of the noonday sun the black dog lay stretched out full length, under the porch. His chest rose and fell. In the cherry tree the birds were playing, squawking and chattering to each other. Once in a while Boris raised his head and looked at them. Presently he got to his feet and trotted down under the tree.

He was standing under the tree when he saw the two Roogs sitting on the fence, watching him

Based on this I’ve added the birds to my Character List.

Character List:
Boris, a dog: Described as being big, black, and furry, with a white ruff.
Mr. Alf Cardossi: Speaks with an oddly clipped grammar
Mrs. Cardossi: She sweeps the porch and worries about having to send Boris away.
The first Roog: Described as being “a small Roog, thin and white, on wobbly legs.” It blinks, sniffs and minces.
The second Roogs: They carry a map, show contempt for Boris, and talk about their plan. They return on Friday morning.
Birds: “In the cherry tree the birds were playing, squawking and chattering to each other.”

When explaining the vital role played by perspective in Roog I often use this chart:

Perspective: BORIS ROOG CARDOSSI
The garbage is: something owned by the Cardossi the offering just garbage
The Roogs are: strangers people garbage men
The Cardossis are: the masters (who
need protection and warning)
? persons
Boris is: a dog (a person?) a Guardian just a dumb dog

What follows is materials from other researchers (usually quoting Dick himself):

Dick wrote the following in a 1978 essay about Roog:

“So here, in a primitive form, is the basis of much of my twenty-seven years of professional writing: the attempt to get into another person’s head, or another creature’s head, and see out from his eyes or its eyes, and the more different that person is from the rest of us the better. You start with the sentient entity and work outward, inferring its world. Obviously, you can’t ever really know what its world is like, but, I think, you can make some pretty good guesses. I began to develop the idea that each creature lives in a world somewhat different from all the other creatures and their worlds. I still think this is true. To Snooper, garbagemen were sinister and horrible. I think he literally saw them differently than we humans did.”

A close reading of the story reveals that multiple perspectives are needed to understand all that is going on. Dick, in an interview with Richard Lupoff, described it saying:

It’s about garbage men. It’s about a dog who can sense that the garbage men are predatory carnivores from another planet, who accept the garbage each week as a propitiatory offering in surrogate for the people themselves. But eventually these garbage men will tire of accepting these surrogate offerings and take the people in the houses and eat them. And that is how the dog sees the garbage men. The story is from the dog’s point of view and the garbage men are seen as only quasi-humanoid. They have thin necks and their heads are like pumpkins and their heads wobble.

I remember that Judith Merrill saw the story and refused to anthologize it because she said that garbage men don’t have thin necks, and wobbly heads, and so on. It’s not true. So I wrote her a long letter explaining to her that that’s the way the dog saw it and she would have to accept the dog’s viewpoint. But she still wouldn’t accept the story for anthologizing because she said it just wasn’t true. Garbage men aren’t that way.

So I said to her, “It’s a fantasy, Judy. A fantasy. Do you understand what is meant by a fantasy?” But she said, “No, a fantasy is a story with a fantasy premise, and then it’s realistic from then on.”

So I said that in this story the fantasy premise is that the dog has a different point of view from us and that everything is predicated on that. But I couldn’t convince her. The story is still in print. Bob Silverberg reprinted it recently in one of his collections, Science Fiction Bestiary, so it’s still in print.

I ran into a lot of opposition because my early fantasy stories were essentially psychological stories. They were heavily into anxieties such as animals or children feel, in which the thing that was feared would actually come into existence and was treated objectively.

I just gave up writing them, finally. People would make that kind of criticism. They would say, “There’s no such thing as…” Their sentences would begin that way. So finally I just gave up and went over and wrote science fiction and abandoned the fantasy format. Because what I meant by a fantasy was evidently not what other people meant by a fantasy. My idea of a fantasy was where the archetypal elements become objectified and you have an exteriorization of what our inner contents are.

I remember I had a term I used to defend this kind of internal projection stories. Stories where internal psychological elements were projected onto the outer world and became three dimensional and real and concrete. Scott, my agent, wrote me incredibly long letters saying that there was no such thing. There was the inner world of dreams and fantasies and the unconscious and then there was the objective outer world, and the two never mixed. So I gave up.

Later, when I’d established myself more securely in the field, I began to go and do it in such books as The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. I reverted to what I wanted to do and had the nightmare inner content objectified in the outer world. So I slowly began to reintroduce those elements into my writing.

Another source, giving insight into Roog, (available via the Wayback Machine), says this:

Ensconced in his garret-like slanted ceiling apartment at Dwight Way, Dick and his newly wed Kleo savored the vicissitudes of simple meals, primary colors, hi-fi sides of Mahler and Turk Murphy, leafing through the DIVINE COMEDY or decoding tongue-twisting fragments of Heraclitus, immersing themselves in the casual Bohemia of the Berkeley intelligentsia circa ’51. The peculiar antics of a neighbor dog soon intrigued unemployed Phil and he began spinning a cano-centric fantasy about the whys and wherefores of the dog’s behavior:

“This little story, ROOG, is about an actual dog whose name was Snooper. Snooper believed as much in his work as I did in my writing. Apparently, his work was to see that no one stole the food from his owner’s garbage can. Snooper was laboring under the delusion that his owners considered the garbage valuable. Every day they’d carry out paper sacks of delicious food and carefully deposit them in a strong metal container, placing the lid down firmly. At the end of the week the garbage can was full–whereupon the worst assortment of evil entities in the Sol System drove up in a huge truck and stole the food. Snooper knew which day of the week this happened on; it was always on Friday. So about 5 am on Friday, Snooper would emit his first bark. My wife and I figured that was about the time the garbagemen’s alarm clocks were going off. Snooper knew when they left their houses. He could hear them. He was the only one who knew; everybody else ignored what was afoot. Snooper must have thought he inhabited a planet of lunatics. His barking drove me out of my mind every week, but I was more fascinated by Snooper’s logic than I was annoyed by his frantic efforts to rouse us. I asked myself, ‘What must the world look like to that dog?’ Obviously he doesn’t see as we see. He has developed a complete system of beliefs, a world view totally different from ours, but logical given the evidence he is basing it on.”

This crisply honed garbage-can tale entitled “Roog” was to be the proto-form for much of Phil’s 27 years of professional writing:

“You start from a sentient entity and work outward, inferring its world. And each creature lives in a world somewhat askew from all other creatures and their worlds. You can’t ever really know what its world is like, but you can make some pretty good guesses.”

From a 1971 interview at Redwood High School, Larkspur, California:

First Student: Can you explain what “Roog” is all about?

Philip K. Dick: All right. Put yourself in the world of a dog. Let’s say you’ve just brought the dog home. He’s never seen a garbage man; he’s never seen a garbage pail. You put him in the yard. What would happen?

First Student: He’d try to guard the garbage pail.

Dick: Right. Because he thinks that what you are doing every day when you take out the garbage is that you’re storing the garbage in a very strong container where nobody will get it. You take it out to this metal container, put the garbage in, and carefully put a lid on it. Even a lid that can hardly be opened. You go into the house. Everyday you do the same thing. After a few days, you’ve got a whole can full of this stuff. He can smell it. Every day it smells better. After a few days he begins to think, “How can I get some of that?” Then, when it’s just ripe, full, and ready to be eaten, these guys show up and take it. And the dog is freaked out. He says, “What is going on? This one is ready and it gets ripped off.” OK. Then, after a while he realizes why he’s there – that it’s his job to keep these guys from ripping off all this valuable stuff. And it’s no garbage to him. It’s a depository for the most precious possession that the people have – because to him its food, which is his most precious possession – the thing he would guard. It’s like his dish. If some other dog starts for his dish, he jumps that dog. So the dog, he thinks about jumping the garbage men. But he wouldn’t see them as men at all – he’d see them as creatures – vague creatures that come in the dawn, different from the people of the house.

So, what this is, is what I would think it might be like to a dog. It’s sort of the world a dog would create; an elaboration in his mind – if he can do that. So finally you have this, elaborated over a period of years, because in the story he’s been doing this for a long time. And, as it mentions, he’s getting worse all the time. He barks more. Then, the fantasy element is this: that eventually they’re going to get rid of the dog; he barks too much. What’s going to happen next? Well, from his standpoint, if he could think it out, that’s the end – not only will the creatures get the food from the garbage pail, they’ll get his family. Ultimately they’ll get the people.

Second Student: How about the part where the Roogs are up on the fence?

Dick: Now that’s why this is actually a fantasy more than just a viewpoint tale. Because that, of course, doesn’t really happen in real life. Garbagemen don’t jeer at the dogs. At least I don’t think so.

Second Student: They might. Maybe we don’t hear it.

Dick: (pointing to dog sleeping at his feet) Ask the dog. Maybe he knows something we don’t know. This is an elaboration of a fantasy area – a kind of psychological fantasy area. He says, “Hey! You there, man. You with the funny-looking fur. What’s your racket? What are you doing?” And you don’t know whatever really annoys the dog. In other words, it’s like the dog’s dreams of his own world. Not just the dog’s – his own dream of his own world – his own nightmare of his world. We can’t even feel his world, and we certainly can’t feel his nightmare of his world. And this is the nightmare of his world.
This is the first story that I wrote in 1951. I read it over this morning – I hadn’t read it for a long time – and I realized just how much into the dream of that world I went. For example, at the end when the Roogs look up toward the house at the people inside – it’s obvious – it’s obvious what’s going to happen. (Reading from the story) “Then slowly, silently, the Roogs looked up, up the side of the house, along the stucco, to the window with the brown shade pulled tightly down,” which, of course is the bedroom where the people sleep, and that’s when he really yelps. And, of course, the “ROOG!” is – he’s trying to tell them what’s there. It’s the same as a bark. To him it’s a word – it’s the name of what’s there. And that’s when it’s over for him. (Reading again) “He came toward the Roogs, dancing with fury…” And then, later on, the dog settles down, “His mouth still open and from the depths of him an unhappy terrible moan issued forth, a wail of misery and despair.” He knew he’d failed. He knew that eventually he’d be gone. Eventually they’d come for the people. It’s just a question of time. And the Roogs know it, too. They know it in his nightmare. He feels them knowing it. They say it. It’s really him saying it for them. (Reading again) “Don’t be impatient, one of the Roogs says, (the dog is thinking). Our truck is full enough as it is. Let’s leave something for next week.”

Third Student: What did you mean by the description of the Roogs – giving them wobbly heads and legs? What does this mean to the dog?

Dick: It’s the thing that would be most awful to him. Well, it’s the thing that would be the most awful to me. In other words, you write something like this – you forget who you are as a writer. The first thing is, you are that dog – you’re the freaked out dog. Then you’re hallucinating the stuff. So that to me, is the way I would do it if I were the dog. Of course, you really don’t know – maybe dogs don’t think any at all, right? So maybe there couldn’t be any of this. In a sense – in a literal, strict, rational sense, there isn’t any Roog, there isn’t any person with wobbly legs. But in a sort of psychological, dream-like, non-symbolic sense – this has nothing to do with symbolism or metaphysics – that would be how I would conceive the most horrible creature, the way its described. And if you did it, it might appear different. You might see it differently. Whatever would strike you. A painful, ominous sense, which you really don’t understand, that kept coming back, again and again, till finally you knew it was going to get you.

Fourth Student: How did you come about the name of the Roog?

Dick: I was just trying to think of something in letters that would approximate a dog’s bark, without giving it away as a dog’s bark. Like, I couldn’t really have it say “bow-wow.”

Fifth Student: I heard it as a German Shepherd. Because people say to me that a dog goes “woof,” but I can never hear the “f.” And it just sounded more like “roog” to me.

Dick: Yeah, that’s right. That, to me, is really as close as I could get, anyway. And I knew I wasn’t going to write the story until I could write down what a dog would say. I mean, do you know a dog who says, “bow-wow”? Who ever heard a dog say, “Hi, master. Bow-wow!” Or anything like that! “Meow, Cock-a doodle-doo,” or whatever they say. So “roog” is good enough – because when you read it, you’re not supposed to realize when the dog says “roog” in the story that that is the dog’s bark. It’s a word. And then you realize that it is a dog’s bark. It’s a dog word.

From Dick’s 1978 essay How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later:

In 1951, when I sold my first story, I had no idea that such fundamental issues could be pursued in the science fiction field. I began to pursue them unconsciously. My first story had to do with a dog who imagined that the garbagemen who came every Friday morning were stealing valuable food which the family had carefully stored away in a safe metal container. Every day, members of the family carried out paper sacks of nice ripe food, stuffed them into the metal container, shut the lid tightly—and when the container was full, these dreadful-looking creatures came and stole everything but the can.

Finally, in the story, the dog begins to imagine that someday the garbagemen will eat the people in the house, as well as stealing their food. Of course, the dog is wrong about this. We all know that garbagemen do not eat people. But the dog’s extrapolation was in a sense logical—given the facts at his disposal. The story was about a real dog, and I used to watch him and try to get inside his head and imagine how he saw the world. Certainly, I decided, that dog sees the world quite differently than I do, or any humans do. And then I began to think, Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world, a world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. And that led me wonder, If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe, it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown of communication… and there is the real illness.

Other factoids, garnered from Lawrence Sutin’s biography of PKD Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick:
-The story was originally titled Friday Morning.
-It sold for $75 to Anthony Boucher (editor of Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine) in October 1951
-It was published in the February 1953 issue.
-The dog Boris was based on Dick’s neighbor’s dog (named Snooper). Snooper was an Australian Shepherd.

From the Hour 25 interview:

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Fifth Annual SFFaudio Challenge

November 11, 2010 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

The 5th Annual SFFaudio ChallengeTHE CHALLENGE:
This is our 5th Annual SFFaudio Challenge. Every November 11th, for the last five years, we’ve offered the following challenge to SFFaudio readers:

“We’ll give you an audiobook if you make one for everyone else.”

That deal still holds. We’ll give you an audiobook if you make make an audiobook out of one of the etexts we suggest. All you’ll need to do is claim a title (by email), record the audiobook, using your own human voice (sorry no robots), and follow the rules (see the first comment of this post for the rules).

Still feeling a little unclear on how it all works? Then have a look at our past SFFaudio CHALLENGES:

|OUR FIRST CHALLENGE|
|OUR SECOND CHALLENGE|
|OUR THIRD CHALLENGE|
|OUR FOURTH CHALLENGE|

This year we’ve got 12 ebooks that need turning into audiobooks and we’ve got 12 BRAND NEW audiobooks to give away as prizes! No matter where you are on the planet Earth, if you finish and release your claimed audiobook, we will ship you your prize!

Interested?

If so, THE FIRST THING you need to do is PICK ONE OF THESE ebooks…

CHALLENGE TITLES:
____________
The Judas Valley
By Randall Garrett and Robert Silverberg
LENGTH: NOVELETTE
NOTES: Published under a pseudonym. First published in the October 1956 issue of Amazing Stories. “Why did everybody step off the ship in this strange valley and promptly drop dead? How could a well-equipped corps of tough spacemen become a field of rotting skeletons in this quiet world of peace and contentment? It was a mystery Peter and Sherri had to solve. If they could live long enough!”
SOURCE: Gutenberg.org |HTML|
STATUS: CLAIMED BY Mark F (in British Columbia) on NOV. 12, 2010
____________
I.Q.
By Mack Reynolds
LENGTH: SHORT STORY
NOTES: First published in the June 1961 issue of Fantastic Stories Of Imagination. “In a time when teaching machines and batteries of educational tests seem to be determining the intellectual nobility of the next generation, this story has meaning for all of us.”
SOURCE: Archive.org |HTML|
STATUS: CLAIMED BY Rick McCallion (in Richmond, British Columbia) on NOV. 16, 2010
____________
Mercenary
By Mack Reynolds
LENGTH: NOVELLA
NOTES: First published in the April 1962 of Analog. Later expanded into the novel Mercenary From Tomorrow. “Every status-quo-caste society in history has left open two roads to rise above your caste: The Priest and The Warrior. But in a society of TV and tranquilizers—the Warrior acquires a strange new meaning.”
SOURCE: Gutenberg.org |HTML|
STATUS: CLAIMED BY Charles Beard (in an undisclosed location) on January 28, 2011
____________
Black Man’s Burden
By Mack Reynolds
LENGTH: NOVEL
NOTES: First published in the December 1961 and January 1962 issues of Analog Science Fact & Fiction. The turmoil in Africa is only beginning—and it must grow worse before it’s better. Not until the people of Africa know they are Africans—not warring tribesmen—will there be peace.
SOURCE: Gutenberg.org |HTML|
STATUS: UNCLAIMED
____________
Border, Breed Nor Birth
By Mack Reynolds
LENGTH: NOVEL
NOTES: First published in the July and August 1962 issues of Analog Science Fact & Fiction. Later published as one half of an Ace double novel. The second book in a series following Black Man’s Burden. “A novel of colonialism set in North Africa.”
SOURCE: Gutenberg.org |HTML|
STATUS: CLAIMED BY Alden Zwerling (in Florida) on June 24, 2011
____________
It’s A Small World
By Robert Bloch
LENGTH: NOVELETTE
NOTES: “For two tiny, bewildered people, it was a struggle tor survival in a world of toys.” First published in the March 1994 issue of Amazing Stories. “There were dreadful juggernauts of death and destruction beneath this gaily decorated Christmas tree!”
SOURCE: Archive.org |HTML|
STATUS: CLAIMED BY Tina Fields on February 18, 2011
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The Big Time
By Fritz Leiber
LENGTH: NOVELLA
NOTES: Needs a female narrator. First published in the March and April 1958 issues of Galaxy Magazine. In 1961 it was collected as a half of Ace Double #D491. There is already a commercial version available from Audible.com and Brilliance Audio |READ OUR REVIEW|
SOURCE: Gutenberg.org |HTML|
STATUS: CLAIMED BY Karen Savage on January 13, 2011 COMPLETED September 16, 2011!

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The Most Dangerous Game (aka “The Hounds of Zaroff“)
By Richard Connell
LENGTH: NOVELETTE
NOTES: Made into a movie of the same name. Extensively written about |HERE|. First published in the January 19, 1924 issue of Collier’s Weekly.
SOURCE: fiction.eserver.org |HTML|
STATUS: CLAIMED BY Matthew Molberg on December 31, 2010
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WONDER EBOOKS - The Lost Bradbury: Forgotten Tales Of Ray BradburyDefense Mech
By Ray Bradbury
LENGTH: SHORT STORY
NOTES: A “humorous” story of psychology. First published in the Spring 1946 issue of Planet Stories
SOURCE: Courtesy of Wonder Ebooks (from The Lost Bradbury). |PDF| or |EPUB|
STATUS: CLAIMED BY Ed Good on NOV. 14, 2010
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WONDER EBOOKS - The Green Girl by Jack WilliamsonThe Green Girl
By Jack Williamson
LENGTH: NOVEL
NOTES: “Early sense of wonder SF.” First published in the March and April 1930 issues of Amazing Stories. Later collected in 1950 as Avon Fantasy Novel #2. “Melvin Dane has been seeing a vision of a green girl since he was a child. Images of her came over the ether. Is she just fantasy? Or a reality that managed to cross time and space? And now, with the Earth under threat of extinction, will Melvin ever meet that girl of his dreams?”
SOURCE: Courtesy of the Wonder Ebooks edition. |PDF| or |EPUB|
STATUS: CLAIMED BY Julie Davis of Texas on NOV. 16, 2010 COMPLETED August 25, 2011, Available at Forgotten Classics and HERE.
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WONDER EBOOKS - See You At The Morgue by Lawrence BlochmanSee You At The Morgue
By Lawrence Blochman
LENGTH: NOVEL
NOTES: “A pseudo classic.” First published in 1941, later reprinted as a Penguin paperback and a Dell mapback. “When a gigolo is shot, to death in the bedroom of a beautiful girl, it raises some perplexing problems for Detective Kenny Kilkenny. Why, for example, would a man steal the license plates off his own car? Why should an innocent young professor come to the murder room … and then conceal a key to the crime? Why was a ‘phantom secretary’ hiding in the closet near the murdered man? Was there really money to be made selling glass eyes for stuffed ducks? Why would a beautiful girl ask her lover to kill her?”
SOURCE: Courtesy of the Wonder Ebooks edition. |PDF| or |EPUB|
STATUS: CLAIMED BY Mark Douglas Nelson on NOV. 11, 2010 COMPLETED August 14, 2011, Available at Podiobooks.com
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WONDER EBOOKS - The Shrine OF Temptation And Other Stories by Judith MerrilDaughters Of Earth
By Judith Merrill
LENGTH: NOVELLA
NOTES: Must have a female narrator. The Shrine Of Temptation had a great impact on the development of science fiction at the time that it was published. Through its vivid narratives and powerful prose, it tells of a young Islander child, who through his innocence and luck, has become instrumental in the Rebirth of his village.”
SOURCE: Courtesy of Wonder Ebooks collection Shrine Of Temptation And Other Stories. |PDF| or |EPUB|
STATUS: CLAIMED BY Elizabeth Lawrence on NOV. 27th, 2010

PRIZES:

Out of the Dark by David WeberOut Of The Dark
By David Weber; Read by Charles Keating
15 CDs – Approx. 18 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: September 2010
ISBN: 9781427210616
Earth is conquered. The Shongairi have arrived in force, and humanity’s cities lie in radioactive ruins. In mere minutes, over half the human race has died. Now Master Sergeant Stephen Buchevsky, who thought he was being rotated home from his latest tour in Afghanistan, finds himself instead prowling the back country of the Balkans, dodging alien patrols and trying to organize the scattered survivors without getting killed. His chances look bleak. The aliens have definitely underestimated human tenacity—but no amount of heroism can endlessly hold off overwhelming force. Then, emerging from the mountains and forests of Eastern Europe, new allies present themselves to the ragtag human resistance. Predators, creatures of the night, human in form but inhumanly strong. Long Enemies of humanity…until now. Because now is the time to defend Earth.

Science Fiction Audiobook - Kirinyaga by Mike ResnickKirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia
By Mike Resnick; Read by Paul Michael Garcia
8 CDs or 1 MP3 CD – 10 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2006
ISBN: 9780786167906
|READ OUR REVIEW|


Science Fiction Audiobook - Revelation Space by Alastair ReynoldsRevelation Space
By Alastair Reynolds; Read by John Lee
2 MP3-CDs – 22 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Media
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781400159550
| MP3 Audio Sample |
Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason. And if that reason is uncovered, the universe—and reality itself—could be irrevocably altered.

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Shadow of Saganami by David WeberThe Shadow of Saganami
By David Weber; Read by Jay Snyder
26 CDs – 31 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781423395386
The Star Kingdom of Manticore is once again at war with the Republic of Haven after a stunning sneak attack. The graduating class from Saganami Island, the Royal Manticoran Navy’s academy, are going straight from the classroom to the blazing reality of all-out war — except for the midshipmen assigned to the heavy cruiser HMS Hexapuma, that is. They’re being assigned to the Talbott Cluster, a backwater far from the battle front. With a captain who may have seen too much of war and a station commander who isn’t precisely noted for his brilliant and insightful command style, it isn’t exactly what the students of Honor Harrington expected. But things aren’t as simple — or tranquil — as they appear. Pirates, terrorists, genetic slavers, smuggled weapons, long-standing personal hatreds, and a vicious alliance of corporate greed, bureaucratic arrogance, and a corrupt local star nation with a powerful fleet, are all coming together, and only Hexapuma, her war-weary captain, and Honor Harrington’s students stand in the path. They have only one thing to support and guide them: the tradition of Saganami. The tradition that sometimes a Queen’s officer’s duty is to face impossible odds . . . and die fighting.

BRILLIANCE AUDIO - This Immortal by Roger ZelaznyThis Immortal
By Roger Zelazny; Read by Victor Bevine
6 CDs – Approx. 6 Hours 29 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: August 25, 2010
ISBN: 1441875018
Sample: |MP3|
Conrad Nomikos has a long, rich personal history that he’d rather not talk about. And, as arts commissioner, he’s been given a job he’d rather not do. Escorting an alien grandee on a guided tour of the shattered remains of Earth is not something he relishes – especially since it is apparent that this places him at the center of high-level intrigue that has some bearing on the future of Earth itself. But Conrad is a very special guy…

BLACKSTONE AUDIO - More Than Human by Theodore SturgeonMore Than Human
By Theodore Sturgeon; Read by Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison
7 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – Approx. 8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: June 2010
ISBN: 9781433275111 (cd), 9781433275142 (mp3-cd)
In this genre-bending novel, among the first to have launched science fiction into literature, a group of remarkable social outcasts band together for survival and discover that their combined powers render them superhuman. There’s Lone, the simpleton who can hear other people’s thoughts; Janie, who moves things without touching them; and the teleporting twins, who can travel ten feet or ten miles. There’s Baby, who invented an antigravity engine while still in the cradle, and Gerry, who has everything it takes to run the world except for a conscience. Separately, they are talented freaks. Together, they may represent the next step in evolution—or the final chapter in the history of the human race. As they struggle to find whether they are meant to help humanity or destroy it, Sturgeon explores questions of power and morality, individuality and belonging.

BRILLIANCE AUDIO Quicksilver by Neal StephensonQuicksilver
By Neal Stephenson; Read by Simon Prebble
12 CDs – Approx. 14 Hours 35 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: August 2010
ISBN: 9781441874962
Sample: |MP3|
Quicksilver is the story of Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and conflicted Puritan, pursuing knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe, in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight.

SF Audiobook - Quantico by Greg BearQuantico
By Greg Bear; Read by Jeff Woodman
11 CDs – 13 Hours 25 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9780792748441
|READ OUR REVIEW|


BRILLIANCE AUDIO - The Unincorporated War by Dani Kollin and Eytan KollinThe Unincorporated War
By Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin; Read by Eric G. Dove
19 CDs – Approx. 22 Hours 37 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: May 11, 2010
ISBN: 1441858016
Sample: |MP3|
The Kollin brothers introduced their future world, and central character Justin Cord, in The Unincorporated Man. Justin created a revolution in that book, and is now exiled from Earth to the outer planets, where he is a heroic figure. The corporate society, which is headquartered on Earth and rules Venus, Mars, and the Orbital colonies, wants to destroy Justin and reclaim hegemony over the rebellious outer planets. The first interplanetary civil war begins as the military fleet of Earth attacks. Filled with battles, betrayals, and triumphs, The Unincorporated War is a full-scale space opera that catapults the focus of the earlier novel up and out into the solar system. Justin remains both a logical and passionate fighter for the principles that motivate him, and the most dangerous man alive.

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Children Of Men by P.D. JamesThe Children Of Men
By P.D. James; Performed by John Franklyn-Robbins
9 CDs – Approx. 10.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: 1993
ISBN: 1419323431
|READ OUR REVIEW|


SF audiobook - Friday by Robert A. HeinleinFriday
By Robert A. Heinlein; Read by Hillary Huber
11 CDs – Approx. 14 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2008
ISBN: 9781433246502
Engineered from the finest genes and trained to be a secret courier in a future world, Friday operates over a near-future Earth, where chaos reigns. North America has become Balkanized into dozens of independent states, sharing only a bizarrely vulgarized culture. Now, Friday finds herself on shuttlecock assignment at the seemingly whimsical behest of her secret employer, known to her only as “Boss”. Traveling from one to another of the new states of America’s disunion, she is confronted with a series of professional as well as personal crises that put her to the test.

Science Fiction Audiobook - A War of Gifts by Orson Scott CardA War of Gifts – An Ender Story
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Scott Brick and Stefan Rudnicki
2 CDs – Approx. 2.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9781593976316
|READ OUR REVIEW|


Posted by Jesse Willis