The SFFaudio Podcast #062

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #062 – Scott and Jesse talk to author Kelli Stanley about her novel City Of Dragons!

Talked about on today’s show:
Paul Bishop (of the Bish’s Beat blog), TinEye.com reverse image search, the San Francisco Public Library, eBay, Evernote, scrivner, Zotero (a firefox add-on), ABEbooks.com, comics, Treasure Island (California), Chesterfield cigarettes, hardboiled vs. noir, Roman noir, Raymond Chandler, Nox Dormienda by Kelli Stanley, Mystery Readers Journal, “the protagonist is fucked on page one”, James M. Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, Oedipus is noir, Blood On The Moon, noir western, Robert Wise, Deadly Pleasures Magazine, reviewed to death, cozy fiction, why the A-Team is a terrible scourge (it’s anti-noir), torture-porn, Paul Verhoeven, Reefer Madness, apologists for Robert E. Howard, Ashoka (emperor of India), Plutarch, 1940s, Hays office, Baby Face (1933), the history of fuck, HBO’s The Pacific, the wikipedia entry for “Fuck”, 17th century, enlightenment/restoration era sex toys, “the only words that are truly vile are the ones that are used to hurt and ridicule others”, femme fatale, editing, Minotaur books, the City Of Dragons paperbook, point of view as a camera, William Gibson, Tantor Media, the audiobook version of City Of Dragons, historical female private detectives, the perverse incentive of the California divorce laws, Sally Rand’s Nude Ranch, 1939 World’s Fair, High-Octane Stories From The Hottest Thriller Authors edited by Lee Child, WWII, a fan of the Spanish Civil War, Irish fascists vs. the IRA, Father Charles Coughlin and the Christian Front movement, communism, cynicism, Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Sacramento Street in San Francisco, Sino-Japanese War, the Rape of Nanking, Quiet, Please, marketing a book is up to the author, Decoder Ring Theatre’s Black Jack Justice, KelliStanley.com.

38 appropriate uses of the English language’s most iconic curse:

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #048

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #048 – Jesse and Scott talk about new and old audiobooks, great audio and radio drama, upcoming stage plays, and old movies.

Talked about on today’s show:
Oblique references to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, recent arrivals, Full Cast Audio, Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev, Worldcon 2006, theater people, Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice as stage play, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, Hachette Audio, Black Hills by Dan Simmons, mining history for fiction, Drood by Dan Simmons, Little Big Horn, The Terror by Dan Simmons, The Fall Of Hyperion by Dan Simmons, the SFFaudio Yahoo! Group, “do you relisten to audiobooks?”, Canadia 2056 by Matt Watts (now available in the iTunes music store), Steve The First, Steve The Second, The Prestige by Christopher Priest, The Futurist by James P. Othmer, Tantor Media, William Dufris, PaperBackSwap.com, The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James, Blackstone Audio, H.G. Wells vs. Henry James, Julie Davis’ Forgotten Classics podcast, a ghost story, The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle, The Others (2001), Henry James’ other novels, who’s fiction is more relevant?, new releases, Fang by James Patterson, the Maximum Ride series, vampires, Calfkiller Old Time Radio, getting into HuffDuffer.com, Calfkiller OTR’s HuffDuffer, BBC Radio’s Saturday Night Theatre, a BBC radio drama version of A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Louis Lamour, Mickey Spillane, The Twilight Zone, social networking your audio, Jesse’s HuffDuffer, Radio Drama Revival’s 3rd anniversary, Buried In Falling Sand (is “very Philip K. Dickian”), God Of The Razor based on a story by Joe R. Lansdale |READ OUR REVIEW|, Great Northern Audio Theatre‘s Dialogue With Martian Trombone, William Tenn’s death, Frederick Pohl on William Tenn’s Child’s Play, Child’s Play is available |HERE|, talking time travel with middle graders, podcast feed, current listens, Killing Floor by Lee Child |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin |READ OUR REVIEW|, virtual reality, worst novel since Startide Rising by David Brin |READ OUR REVIEW| , Sunrise Alley by Catherine Asaro (it is terrible so far), Kurt Dietz’s review of The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro |READ OUR REVIEW|, Da Vinci’s Inquest, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: Groundhog Day (1993), a timeless classic disguised as a comedy, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: The Valley Of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was ripping his stories from the19th century’s headlines, the framing story device, Brilliance Audio, The Improbable Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes edited by John Joseph Adams.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Lee Child interviewed by Barbara Peters of Poisoned Pen Press

Aural Noir: News

Here’s an enlightening interview, in six parts, in which Lee Child displays both his marketing savvy and his inspirations for the Jack Reacher series. When Barbara Peters, of Poisoned Pen Press, asks him about the role of coincidence in the Jack Reacher series Child admits: “It [Killing floor] is a coincidence heavy book”. I find myself a touch more forgiving of Killing Floor‘s faults after viewing this interview.

Part 1 of 6:

Part 2 of 6:

Part 3 of 6:

Part 4 of 6:

Part 5 of 6:

Part 6 of 6:

Posted by Jesse Willis

Aural Noir review of Killing Floor by Lee Child

Aural Noir: Review

BRILLIANCE AUDIO - Killing Floor by Lee ChildKilling Floor
By Lee Child; Read by Dick Hill
12 CDs – Approx. 14 Hours 48 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2004
ISBN: 9781423339854 (cd)
Themes: / Thriller / Murder / Mystery / Detective / Georgia / Conspiracy / Counterfeiting / Music /

All is not well in Margrave, Georgia. The sleepy, forgotten town hasn’t seen a crime in decades, but within the span of three days it witnesses events that leave everyone stunned. An unidentified man is found beaten and shot to death on a lonely country road. The police chief and his wife are butchered on a quiet Sunday morning. Then a bank executive disappears from his home, leaving his keys on the table and his wife frozen with fear. The easiest suspect is Jack Reacher – an outsider, a man just passing through. But Reacher is not just any drifter. He is a tough ex-military policeman, trained to think fast and act faster. He has lived with and hunted the worst: the hard men of the American military gone bad.

I’d heard about Lee Child for a while before I started reading his books. For a time there there was some confusion in my mind about who he was and what he wrote. I heard vague talk down the isles of bookstores. “Got any Child?” They’d say. “Lincoln?” They’d whisper. Or was it “Lee?” Then I’d hear about some character called “Repairman Jack” – or was it “Jack Reacher?” So with the confusion in the hearing it took a while longer than usual for the facts about who wrote what to float up from my unconscious to the part of my brain that thinks: “interesting.” The last time I heard about Lee Child was in Jolly Olde Books in Port Moody. That’s a used bookstore I frequent. The guy who runs the place reads Lee Child, and a couple of other booksellers I see in their from time to time were reading him too. They got to talking about how addictive the series was and that was the final clincher. When you run a used bookstore you really have your pick of books. They were reading Lee Child, so I thought I’d better get on the case too. Luckily Brilliance Audio has released most of this series, with at least one other done by Random House Audio.

But, even having the audiobook in hand, I had a hard time getting interested in listening to it. It sure doesn’t help to have such a generic title. And just look at it, the cover art is boooring. Apparently this is a very popular series, a bestselling series. That explains both the generic cover and the generic title. Killing Floor, the name sounds like just about every other techno-thriller/courtroom thriller/forensics thriller you’ll find in the supermarket paperback book rack; and that cover art only tells you vaguely about the genre – nothing about the story. The story starts out promisingly enough though. The story is told in first person, past tense (my preferred person and tense) by the protagonist, Jack Reacher. He tells us what is happening without much embroidery. When Reacher is arrested for murder, within the first few seconds of the novel, I was intrigued. It seemed like some sort of variation on David Morrell‘s First Blood: A stranger walks into small town USA and is arrested by corrupt cops. Fun. When the facts of Reacher’s backstory eventually drip out I still found myself fairly interested. Child’s explanation as to why Reacher is such a bad-ass actually makes pretty good sense too. What kind of police deal with the world’s most dangerous criminals? Child’s answer is: Military Police. The criminals the US Army deals with have been trained with every conceivable deadly art: firearms, hand to hand combat, artillery, grenades, demolitions – the many different ways of killing. A military policeman (MP) has to be trained better with these weapons than the criminals he confronts. And so an MP has to deal with the army’s best trained criminals: Green Berets, Rangers, Delta Force. Jack Reacher, we eventually find out retired from the army as a Major, having run his own criminal investigation unit (homicide investigation). A bit convienient but not too implausible. The mystery itself seems fairly interesting and Child wants to play fair. But there is one giant co-incidence that badly mars the narrative. It’s fairly well lampshaded by Reacher, but even in doing that I wasn’t wholly willing to forgive Child.

This novel has plenty of good characters and characterization. I can also see the seeds of themes that will probably reappearing in later books in the series. Like many novels of the last 25 years that I complain about Killing Floor is overly-long for the material it contains. The action sequences in the later chapters of the book are solid, but there were too many for the machinations of the plot. After listening all the way through I’d say this a solid novel with fairly good storytelling. I can see exactly what Lee Child is doing and am not particularly impressed. He’s gonna make a lot of money, but I can’t imagine anyone would ever bother to re-read one of these books. More likely they’ll just pick up another in the series and get more of the same kind of thing, just a bit different. It’s a slightly less obvious Mack Bolan story, a romance novel for men. So this is several steps removed from anything like spectacular.

Narrator Dick Hill has been a major audiobook narrator for longer than I’ve been an audiobook listener (that’s a long time). In Killing Floor he personifies Jack Reacher with a conspiratorial first person voice. When playing the other major players, criminals, love interests and fellow investigators he switches tone just enough to make it clear who’s speaking. I hope he reads more books in this series as if he does, and I get up enough interested to read another, I’d like him to narrate it.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Audible.com: Interviews with the people behind The Copper Bracelet

Aural Noir: Online Audio

The Copper BraceletAudible.com has two interviews of interest (available to Audible.com account holders). Both concern a rather unusual audiobook called The Copper Bracelet. It’s the sequel to The Chopin Manuscript – an audiobook created as a collaboration for the International Thriller Writers group. Here’s the novel’s description:

A peaceful picnic in the French countryside explodes in violence. A mysterious assassin hisses a deadly threat. And events are set in motion that could propel India and Pakistan down the road to nuclear confrontation.

Two years after the events of the “Audiobook of the Year” THE CHOPIN MANUSCRIPT, former war crimes investigator Harold Middleton and his Volunteers once again must crack a secretive conspiracy that not only threatens their lives, but the stability of the world. Their race against time will take them from London to the U.S. to Russia and beyond. And at the heart of it all is one question: what is the secret of the Copper Bracelet?

THE COPPER BRACELET is written by Jeffery Deaver, Gayle Lynds, David Hewson, Jim Fusilli, John Gilstrap, Joseph Finder, Lisa Scottoline, David Corbett, Linda Barnes, Jenny Siler, David Liss, P.J. Parrish, Brett Battles, Lee Child, Jon Land, James Phelan under the direction of project editor Jim Fusilli.

This is a serial novel with multiple authors, each author taking a chapter, continuing the story. I remember a similar audiobook, years ago, called Naked Came The Manatee. The most memorable thing about it was getting to see all the different writing styles.

Here are the two files of interest:

1. “Exclusive Interview with Alfred Molina” (the narrator)

2. “Authors Roundtable Interview with Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, David Hewson & Jim Fusilli”

You can get both of these downloads (as well as the first chapter of the novel) HERE.

[thanks to tamahome02000]

Posted by Jesse Willis