Five Free Favourites #1

SFFaudio Online Audio

Inspired by the idea that most visitors don’t dip into our 5 years worth of archives, here’s a new feature:
Five Free Favourites
…in which we’ll post about five different audio favourites. I’d be willing to bet any of these 5 will make your ears happy. In fact, I’m so confident you’ll like them I’ve already started thinking about another five more. And, I’ll be soliciting contributors to put together similar lists of their own. Here’s my first batch…

1.
Hour 25Night On Mispec Moor
By Larry Niven; Read by Warren James
Intro |MP3| Part 1 |MP3|, Part 2 |MP3| – [UNABRIDGED]
Provider: Hour25Online.com
Created: October 31, 2001
Larry Niven isn’t just the master of Hard SF, he’s also the master of Hard Fantasy and Horror! This story is a story which includes all three. It’s about an “outworld mercenary” who finds himself a lone survivor of his routed army. After fleeing into a moor, his pursuers suddenly stop, they dare not follow him into “Mispec” at night. This is a creepy, clever and very memorable short story. The sound quality isn’t ideal, but you’ll certainly enjoy the content.

2.
Audiobook - Infidel by Roger GreggInfidel
By Roger Gregg; Performed by a Full Cast
4 MP3s – [RADIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: The Sonic Society
Podcast: April 2007
Sonic Society #62 (Infidel part 1 of 4) |MP3|
Sonic Society #63 (Infidel part 2 of 4) |MP3|
Sonic Society #64 (Infidel part 3 of 4) |MP3|
Sonic Society #65 (Infidel part 4 of 4) |MP3|
Though it’s probably easier classified as “historical” I’d call it a Horror from History. Crazy Dog Audio Theatre’s Infidel fictionalizes the very real events of the 5th Crusade (1217-1221 ad) in this transformative audio dramatization. Sir Hugh of Beauvais and his brother Sir Philip are knights. They’ve enlisted themselves in the fifth campaign to free the holy lands. This is modern audio drama at its finest. It’s also available in a CD set which you can get HERE.

3.
The Pyramid of Amirah
By James Patrick Kelly; Read By James Patrick Kelly
1 |MP3| – 18 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Jim Kelly’s Free Reads
Published: June 28th 2008
Surrounded by boxes of goody-goody bars, her only food, Amirah lives alone in what was once her parent’s house. Its her home now, and she’s honoured to become a pyramid girl. During the day she vacuums up the limestone dust that drifts down onto every flat surface, at night she leaves the lights on all the time, even when she sleeps. As the years pass the light bulbs start to burn out one-by-one and Amirah wonders if the meaning of her living entombment will ever come. This is a live recorded version, I’m highly moved by this enigmatic “Fantasy.” This is one is extremely powerful. I think about it often.

4.
Star Ship SofaThe Merchant And The Alchemists Gate
By Ted Chiang; Read by James Campanella
1 |MP3| – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: StarShipSofa
Podcast: 2008
Time travel, Ted Chiang, and a terrific narrator. These three combine into an absolutely unmissable listen. A wonderful SF novelette it conjures a 1,001 Nights-like atmosphere with a By His Bootstraps story-logic.

5.
Tk’tk’tk
By David D. Levine; Read by Paul Tevis
1 |MP3| – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Escape Pod
Podcast: May 18th 2006
I’ve heard Episode 54 of Escape Pod maybe a half dozen times and I’m still very impressed with it. I’m convinced Levine’s tale will become an enduring SF classic. It takes a very Jack Vance like situation, some truly alien aliens, and throws a human everyman into their society – it demonstrates a couple of real world psychological phenomenons – and all the while it is highly entertaining. Can you really ask for more than that?

What Five Free Favourites would you recommend?

Posted by Jesse Willis

Commentary: What are we missing?

SFFaudio Commentary

SFFaudio MetaBy any measure of the times were living in, there is a new audio renaissance. More audiobooks are getting made now than ever before. And more SF, Fantasy and Horror audiobooks are being released than ever before. Here’s a list of the top 10 SFF novels from Sci-Fi lists:

1. Frank Herbert Dune
2. Orson Scott Card Ender’s Game
3. Isaac Asimov Foundation
4. Douglas Adams Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
5. George Orwell 1984
6. Robert A. Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land
7. Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451
8. William Gibson Neuromancer
9. Isaac Asimov I, Robot
10. Arthur C. Clarke 2001: A Space Odyssey

All of these novels have had UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK releases at some point or another. Several have had more than one unabridged release! That’s wonderful. But I’m still not satisfied. What novels are we still missing? Or rather, what novels are you missing.

Personally I’m missing a few, here’s a list of just 10 titles I’ve picked from out of the air. I’d like to see any and all of these made into unabridged audiobooks:

1. Scott Lynch The Lies Of Loch Lamora
2. Dan Simmons Hyperion
3. Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle The Mote In God’s Eye
4. Clifford Simak Way Station
5. Alfred Bester The Stars My Destination
6. Steven Gould Jumper
7. Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space
8. Robert J. Sawyer Golden Fleece
9. John Brunner Stand On Zanzibar
10. Ken MacLeod The Star Fraction

What novels are missing from your audiobook shelf?

Posted by Jesse Willis

2008 Audie Award Finalists

SFFaudio News

Audie Awards LogoJust in are the Audie Award Finalists for 2008. In the Science Fiction category:

The Draco Tavern, by Larry Niven, narrated by Tom Weiner, published by Blackstone Audio Inc.
Dune, by Frank Herbert, narrated by Scott Brick, Simon Vance and a full cast, published by Macmillan Audio
The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, by Jack Finney, narrated by Kristoffer Tabori, published by Blackstone Audio Inc.
Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Ravens of Avalon, by Diana L. Paxson, narrated by Lorna Raver, published by Tantor Media, Inc.
Selections from Dreamsongs 1: Fan Fiction and Sci-Fi from Martin’s Early Years: Unabridged Selections, by George R.R. Martin, narrated by Claudia Black, Mark Bramhall, Scott Brick, Roy Dotrice, Kim Mai Guest, Kirby Heyborne and Adrian Paul, published by Random House Audio

That’s an excellent list. In other categories, Joe Hill is on there twice, once for 20th Century Ghosts (Short Stories/Collections category) and once for Heart-Shaped Box (Thriller/Suspense category).

That multi-voice production of Dune is also recognized in the Achievement in Production and Multi-Voiced Performance categories.

Neil Gaiman makes a strong showing as well, with a nomination for Neverwhere in the Narration by the Author or Authors category and two in the Children’s Titles – Ages 12+ category; InterWorld and M is for Magic.

Looks like 2007 was a very strong year for genre fiction audiobooks! Here’s a link to a PDF containing the full press release about this year’s Audies from the Audio Publishers Association.

Add – The Audie Awards, by the way, will be given on May 30, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA. –sd

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

KAMN, Ringworld. Nuff said.

OnlineAudio

The Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas podcast
Episode #34 |MP3| of the Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas podcast is all about Larry Niven’s RINGWORLD! David, Brian and Summer discuss the Hugo and Nebula Award winning 1970 novel. The talk also ranges out into the spinoff Man-Kzin Wars novels, and the newest novel set in Known Space, Fleet of Worlds. Subscribe to the podcast with this feed:

http://www.kickassmysticninjas.com/shows/feed/

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrivals

Science Fiction Audiobook Recent Arrivals

Science Fiction Audiobook - Draco Tavern by Larry NivenDraco Tavern
By Larry Niven; Read by Tom Weiner
5 CDs – Aprox. 6 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2006
ISBN: 9780786159475

When a tremendous spacecraft took orbit around Earth’s moon and began sending smaller landers down toward the North Pole, the newly arrived visitors quickly set up a permanent spaceport in Siberia. Their presence attracted many, and a few grew conspicuously rich from secrets they learned from talking to the aliens. One of these men, Rick Schumann, established a tavern catering to all the various species of visiting aliens, a place he named the Draco Tavern.

27 stories and vignettes collected for the first time in one volume.

Science Fiction Audiobook - Songmaster by Orson Scott CardSongmaster
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
10 CDs – Aprox. 12.5 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2006
ISBN: 9780786178421

Kidnapped at an early age, Ansset has been raised in isolation at a mystical retreat called the Songhouse. His life is filled with music, and having only songs for companions, he develops a voice that is unlike any other. But Ansset’s voice is both a blessing and a curse—for it reflects all the hopes and fears of his audience, and, by magnifying their emotions, can be used either to heal or to destroy.
When it is discovered that his is the voice that the Emperor has waited decades for, Ansset is summoned to the Imperial Palace on Old Earth. Many fates rest in Ansset’s hands, and his songs will soon be put to the test: either to salve the troubled conscience of a conqueror or drive him, and the universe, into mad chaos.

One of Orson Scott Card’s favorite themes; a child’s protagonist coming-of-age story. One Orson’s earliest books and it’s beautifully/frighteningly effective.

Science Fiction Audiobook - Hitchhiker's Guide, Quintessential PhaseHitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Quintessiential Phase
By Douglas Adams; Performed by FULL CAST
2 CDs – length 2:26 [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Published: 2005
ISBN: 0792738586

Panic! It’s the last ever instalment of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, with a brand new full-cast dramatisation of Mostly Harmless, the final book in Douglas Adams’s famous “trilogy in five parts.” A stolen ship, a dramatic stampede and a new and sinister Guide lead to a race to save the Earth … again. But this time, will they succeed?

Science Fiction Audiobook - Super Pal by Great Northern AudioSuper Pal
By Great Northern Audio; Performed by FULL CAST
1 CD – Aprox. 70 min.
Publisher: Great Northern Audio
Published: 2006

SUPER PAL and The Jewels of the 11th Generation. Recorded live at the Mark Time Radio Shows in 2005 and 2006.

“Super Pal: The Saving of the World” – the rogue comet, Skippy, is headed right for Big City in this superhero mocumentary.

Backed by, “The Jewels of the Eleventh Generation” – treasure hunters board the 300-year-old generation starship, The Professor Irwin Corey, and, as usual, find pirates, love, adorable children and plenty of squeaky toys. Starring David Ossman of the Firesign Theatre.

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Children of Men by P.D. JamesThe Children of Men
By P.D. James; Read by John Franlyn-Robbins
9 CDs – 10.5 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: 1993
ISBN: 1419323431

It is 2025, and the human race faces imminent extinction. Since 1994, not a single child has been born on earth. Now, a pervasive lethargy blankets the world. Anarchy reigns in the prisons; immigrants are enslaved; renegades terrorize the land. P.D. James, the “Queen of Crime,” takes a new path in this futuristic thriller, bringing to it her customary flair for drama, craftsmanship, and intriguing characters.

Adapted into a movie starring Julianne Moore.

Science Fiction Audiobook - Time of Changes by Robert SilverbergA Time of Changes
By Robert Silverberg; Read by Pete Bradbury
6 cassettes – 8.5 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: 2002
ISBN: 1402537255

Blurp from back of the 1971 paperback: In a world numbed of feeling, he felt deeply. In a world drained of passion, he loved fiercely. In a land of anti-people, he dared to search his soul and find himself. Prince Kinnal Darival was an alien in his homeland, a traitor to the realm his fathers ruled. Yet it was Kinnal Darival who would decide the destiny of Velada Borthan. For the planet’s fate lay in a drug which promised any man a meeting with Infinity, a drug which could spread throughout the planet and destroy it — a drug contained in a small flask which the Earthman Schweiz was holding out to Kinnal Darival…

Winner of the 1971 Nebula award.

Modern Scholar - Rings, Sword, Monsters Rings, Swords, Monsters: Exploring Fantasy
Lectures by Professor Michael D.C. Drout
7 CDs – Approx. 7 hours [LECTURES]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Series: The Modern Scholar
Published: 2006
ISBN: 1419386956

Should fantasy be considered serious literature, or is it merely escapism? In this course, the roots of fantasy and the works that have defined the genre are examined. Incisive analysis and a deft assessment of what makes these works so very special provides a deeper insight into beloved works and a better understanding of why fantasy is such a pervasive force in modern culture.

The Time Traveler