Here are the New Releases for September – a fine l…

Here are the New Releases for September – a fine looking bunch of audiobooks, I must say…

Anansi Boys
By Neil Gaiman; Read by Lenny Henry
Harper Audio, Unabridged
The sequel to American Gods – can’t wait!

Dragonflight
By Anne McCaffrey; Read by Dick Hill
Brilliance Audio, Unabridged
This is a mass market re-release of this title, now available on CD and MP3-CD

The Road to Dune
By Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson
Read by Scott Brick
Audio Renaissance, Unabridged
Click here for the SFFAudio Review!

Speaker for the Dead
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Various
Audio Renaissance, Unabridged
Click here for the SFFAudio Review!

Star Wars: The Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen
By Troy Denning; Read by Jonathan Davis
Random House Audio, Abridged

The Warrior’s Apprentice
By Lois McMaster Bujold; Read by Grover Gardner
Blackstone Audio, Unabridged
Available on cassette, CD, and MP3-CD
This is the second Vorkosigan novel released by Blackstone.

Thud!
By Terry Pratchett; Read by Stephen Briggs
Harper Audio, Unabridged
The latest Discworld novel.

Review of The Road to Dune by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson

SFFaudio Review

The Road to Dune by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. AndersonThe Road to Dune
By Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson; Read by Scott Brick
12 CD’s – 14 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Published: JUST RELEASED – September 2005
ISBN: 159397776X
Themes: / Science Fiction / Dune / Desert / Religion / Commentary / Journal / Short Fiction /

In a sentence, The Road to Dune is an intriguing collection of Dune “extras” that should please any fan of Frank Herbert. Including myself.

A quick background on me as far as Dune goes – I read the first novel once, then listened to George Guidall’s unabridged narration of the same book. I also heard The Butlerian Jihad, which was written by Brian Herbert (Frank Herbert’s son) and Kevin J. Anderson. I mention all this so that you can know my level of Dune knowledge – I am by no means an expert. With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, as you may know, have continued Frank Herbert’s Dune series by adding two trilogies of prequels to Herbert’s existing books. They’ve consulted notes that Frank Herbert left behind, and the opening of this book explains that to some degree. Bill Ransom, who collaborated with Frank Herbert on a few books, also weighs in, describing his writing life with Frank.

Next up is a short novel called Spice Planet which represents the first version of Dune, or what Dune could have been. The novel is certainly better, but Dune World was also engaging and interesting from the perspective of a person who has read the novel (what’s different, what’s the same) and as a very good story in its own right.

Also included are deleted scenes and alternate endings from Dune and Dune, Messiah, letters and notes from Frank Herbert during the time he was trying to get Dune published. Especially interesting are some letters to and from John W. Campbell, Jr., the editor of Analog Science Fiction Magazine, which serialized the first Dune novel, but declined the second one.

Four short stories by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson are here, too. The first, “Whisper of Caladan Seas” was originally published in Amazing Science Fiction and takes place during the first Dune novel. The other three, “Hunting Harkonnens”, “Whipping Mek”, and “Faces of a Martyr” are set in the prequel times that Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson write about in their trilogies. They are very good stories, all.

Scott Brick narrated, and I am reminded why I enjoy him so much. His narration is energetic, dramatic, and powerful, but never over the top. I never tire of his rich voice and the believable, living characters he performs.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book on several levels. For a person writing a thick tome of a science fiction novel, this glimpse into Herbert’s process is very educational. For a fan of Dune, this look into what could have been is very entertaining. For a fan interested in the history science fiction, the correspondence between Campbell and Herbert and the story of the novel’s purchase and publication by Chilton are pure gold. And for a fan of good stories, there’s plenty here to enjoy.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Review of Scattered Suns: The Saga of the Seven Suns Book 4 by Kevin J. Anderson

Science Fiction Audiobook - Scattered Suns by Kevin J. AndersonScattered Suns: The Saga of the Seven Suns Book 4
By Kevin J. Anderson, Read by David Colacci
17 CDs, 20 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
ISBN:
Pub Date: 2005
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Themes: / Science Fiction / Space Opera / War / Aliens / Space Travel /

I made up what I thought was the science fiction equivalent to a Robert Jordan epic. It’s a huge galactic war with several alien races, lots of politics, characters that are all up and down the spectrum from kings to slimebucket used spaceship salesmen.
— Kevin J. Anderson, on Hour 25 – click here to listen

Scattered Suns is Book 4 of Kevin J. Anderson’s Saga of Seven Suns series, which is currently projected to be six books long. Kevin J. Anderson’s website describes the series as “An epic science fiction series by Kevin J. Anderson in the vein of
Frank Herbert’s Dune and Robert Jordan’s popular Wheel of Time books.” It’s grand space opera; complex and broad.

The first three volumes of this series are available on audio from Recorded Books, but they are not absolutely required to enjoy Scattered Suns. At the beginning of this audiobook is a “The Story So Far” section that lasts about 20 minutes. Because the story (and therefore the introduction) is so complex, I listened to it twice before moving into the novel, and it was time well-spent.

In the novel, humanity has gathered into three branches: the Terran Hanseatic League (based on Earth), the telepathic Green Priests (on the planet Theroc), and the starship-dwelling Roamers. True to humanity, these groups are not fond of each other and fight often.

There are also alien races. The Ildrians are an old race that was thought harmless until becoming hostile to humans. The Klikiss, who are extinct, left robots and machines behind. The Hydrogues are aliens that live in gas giants; the Faeros live in suns, and the Wentals are water creatures.

This volume starts right after the destruction of some key Roamer targets by the EDF (Earth Defense Force). Anderson succeeds in what he was trying to do – the book has several storylines moving at once. The characters do range from kings to paupers with lots of folks in-between, and the individual scenes range from epic battles to intimate moments between people. The only thing I’ve experienced recently that compares to it is the television series Babylon 5 which was a similar type of story.

David Colacci is a narrator with superior talent. I don’t recall having heard him before, but I will be very pleased when I encounter him again. His smooth voice and engaging character skills made experiencing this book a real pleasure.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

New Releases: Dance of Death By Douglas Preston and Lincoln Chil…

Dance of Death
By Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child; Read by Scott Brick
Books on Tape
Unabridged

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
By J.K. Rowling; Read by Jim Dale
Listening Library
Unabridged
Harry Potter? Who’s he?

Magic Street
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Mirron E. Willis
Blackstone Audio
Unabridged
A contemporary fantasy by the author of Ender’s Game.

Scattered Suns
By Kevin J. Anderson; Read by David Colacci
Brilliance Audio
Unabridged
Volume 4 of Anderson’s Seven Suns series. The previous three were published by Recorded Books.

Star Wars: Dark Nest I: The Joiner King
By Troy Denning; Read by Jonathan Davis
Random House Audio
Abridged
More Star Wars – I like the ones I’ve heard.

The Traveler: The First Novel of “The Fourth Realm” Trilogy
By John Twelve Hawks; Read by Scott Brick
Books on Tape
Unabridged

We Few
By David Weber and John Ringo; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
Blackstone Audio
Unabridged
Military SF at it’s best, I hear.

Wrinkle in Time
By Madeline L’Engle; Read by ?
Listening Library
Unabridged

NOTE: SFFAudio posts a list of New Releases every month on or about the 16th. If you’re a publisher and would like to be included on this list, just let us know.

New Releases

New Releases

Audio Renaissance

Saucer: The Conquest by Stephen Coonts in both abridged and unabridged versions. This is a sequel to a novel about the discovery of a 140,000 year-old spacecraft. I missed the first one, but would like to hear if it exists on audio – Audio Renaissance does not carry it if it does. Kirkus calls Saucer “a comic, feel-good SF adventure.”

First Meetings in the Enderverse by Orson Scott Card, read by Gabrielle de Cuir, Amanda Karr, and Stefan Rudnicki

I’m a fan of Orson Scott Card’s Ender novels, so this was a real treat. It contains 4 stories, one of which is the original Ender’s Game novella, the others stories from various places on the Ender timeline. All of Card’s unabridged Ender novels are being re-released by Audio Renaissance.

Saturn by Ben Bova, read by Amanda Karr and Stefan Rudnicki and others

Here’s the latest of Ben Bova’s Solar System novels. I’ve heard Mars and Return to Mars, but I’m not sure how these novels are related to this one, Venus and Jupiter.

Blackstone Audio

Ringworld’s Children by Larry Niven

I talked a bit about this last month, but it was really released in September, so here it is again.

Adventures in Time and Space with Max Merriwell by Pat Murphy

I’ve got this one in my to-be-heard pile and I’m eager to get to it. I know very little about Pat Murphy, but I see she won a Nebula Award for the novel The Falling Woman, which I don’t think is available on audio.

Jesse: Pat Murphy won a hugo and a nebula for a short story called “Rachel In Love”, which is a love story from the point of view of a chimpanzee. It’s been recorded a couple of times. There was also a single cassette collection of her short stories published by Durkin Hayes called “Points Of Departure”.

Brilliance Audio

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, read by Jim Dale

I’m starting to see this one everywhere, but haven’t received any feedback from anyone on it. It’s aimed at the YA market – 9-12 year-olds – and is a prequel to Peter Pan. I may have to listen just to hear another Jim Dale performance. There’s an audio sample on Brilliance’s website.

Free Reads

James Patrick Kelly adds three more stories to Free Reads, a section of his site where you can download free audiobooks (MP3 format) of his stories. Included now are “Faith”, “The Best Christmas Ever”, and “Serpent”.

Jesse: This is an awesome value – cool and funny stories read by James Patrick Kelly and all it costs you is guilt if you don’t donate something to his future recording fund.

Harper Audio

The Neil Gaiman Audio Collection by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman

This is an hour-long CD that contains readings of some children’s books by Neil Gaiman. Included are: The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, Wolves in the Walls, Cinnamon, and Crazy Hair.

Jesse: Looking forward to this collection. I was worried this was just another repackaging of Coraline and the two Seeing Ear pieces. Glad to see it is all new to audio!

Paperback Digital

As reported here early this month, Paperback Digital is online with two new MP3 format audiobooks for sale: Spirits in the Wires by Charles de Lint and 1634: The Galileo Affair by Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis. I haven’t heard either of them, but they appear to be professionally done with William Dufris and Christine Marshall narrating. These books are available as downloads or on MP3-CDs.

Also from Paperback Digital is the X Minus One episode “Drop Dead” by Clifford D. Simak, which is available on Fictionwise.com, a site well-known for eBook sales. Paperback Digital is editing out commercials and doing what they can to improve the sound quality of several old radio shows. Next week they will be releasing these episodes:

The Green Hills of Earth and Destination: Moon by Robert A. Heinlein

The Orson Welles/Mercury Theatre Halloween broadcast of The War of the Worlds

The Orson Welles/Mercury Theatre broadcast of Bram Stoker’s Dracula

With Folded Hands by Jack Williamson

Colony by Philip K. Dick

The Coffin Cure and Prime Difference by Alan E. Nourse

Protective Mimicry by Algis Budrys

The Merchants of Venus by A.H. Phelps, Jr.

Jesse: Coming out of the blue as it did, Paperback Digital is the most exciting and surprising news in Science Fiction and Fantasy audiobooks so far this year!

Recorded Books

Swords of Night and Day, a science fantasy by David Gemmell and narrated by Christopher Kay. I’m unfamiliar with this, but it’s part of a something called the Drenai series.

Last, but certainly not least, here’s what Audible.com has added in the last month, many of which were mentioned above:

An updated edition of First Meetings by Orson Scott Card

Saucer: The Conquest by Stephen Coonts

Saturn by Ben Bova

High Druid of Shannara: Tanequil by Terry Brooks

Dune: The Battle of Corrin by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Ringworld’s Children by Larry Niven

Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card

The Dragon’s Son by Margaret Weis

Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner #2) by Lynn Flewelling

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

Several titles from Brian Jacques’ Redwall series

Bimbos of the Death Sun and Zombies of the Gene Pool by Sharyn McCrumb

Titles from the Wingman series by Mack Maloney

Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud

Titles from the Deathstalker collection by Simon R. Green

Collections of Arthur C. Clarke’s stories (The Nine Billion Names of God, The Songs of Distant Earth, etc.)

Wow! An excellent month for science fiction audio. Happy listening!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Here’s a quick survey of new Science Fiction and F…

New Releases

Here’s a quick survey of new Science Fiction and Fantasy audiobook releases:

Blackstone Audio

Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card, read by Stefan Rudnicki, Unabridged

Stefan Rudnicki reads this deeply affecting novel by Orson Scott Card. It’s a great novel, and in Rudnicki’s hands it will be treated well.

Ringworld’s Children by Larry Niven, read by Barrett Whitener, Unabridged

Another novel from Larry Niven! Definitely a welcome sight. I’ve heard Barrett Whitener read several books, and have enjoyed him very much. This release is a darned good excuse to revisit the whole series. Blackstone also carries the first Ringworld novel, read by Patrick Cullen.

Recorded Books

Horizon Storms by Kevin J. Anderson, read by George Guidall, Unabridged

This is Book 3 of Anderson’s The Saga of the Seven Suns. In a way, it’s like a fantasy epic series only in a science fiction setting. I’ve heard Book 2 and Guidall is wonderful with this (and pretty much all other) material.

Audio Renaissance

The Dragon’s Son by Margaret Weis, read by Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle de Cuir, Unabridged

This is a sequel to Weis’ first solo effort, Mistress of Dragons, which was a good audiobook. In these, there is a powerful Dragon Parliament which has agreed to keep their hands out of human affairs, but someone of dragon kind has broken that oath. Let the hunt begin!

Dune: The Battle of Corrin by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson, read by Scott Brick, Unabridged

Kevin Anderson is a busy man! I haven’t followed the Dune prequels, but this is the last of the second prequel trilogy, and Scott Brick is an excellent reader.

All of the books above, except for Lost Boys and Horizon Storms, are also available on-line at Audible.com.

I wish you all good listening!

I will compile a similar new-release list for post monthly – if you have a release you’d like me to mention, please contact me here.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson