We’re Alive: A Story Of Survival – a zombie audio drama serial

SFFaudio Online Audio

We're Alive: A Story Of SurvivalWe’re Alive: A Story Of Survival is a new horror serial podcast that makes use of one the world’s most currently popular tropes, ZOMBIES!

One of the more difficult storytelling problems, in creating a zombie story, is addressing the word itself. “Zombie,” as we use it, is a relatively new word and it conjures up some highly specific images. But, since it refers to something of the modern world, but not actually in the modern world it can’t be simply taken for granted – at least not quite yet.

George Romero, the inventor of the modern zombie story, didn’t have this problem. He had his protagonists call their foes “the dead.” And the story was played straight. Now that this meme is free floating, fully realized and yet still insubstantial the writer of We’re Alive: A Story Of Survival, Kc Wayland, felt the need to address the problem. This is what he did:

Michael: They were like animals and they sure as hell weren’t like us anymore. Not with those eyes.

Angel: Then what were they?

Saul: Zombies.

Michael: Come on Saul, this isn’t the time.

Saul: No joke sarge! What if they are?

Michael: Think about it just for a second.

Exactly. This writerly technique is called “Lampshade Hanging.” It’s needed when some aspect of the story threatens the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief. The idea is simple: call attention to the problem and then having called that attention, move on. It sounds counterinutive, but it works. The audience is perversely mollified, satisfied that the writer knows what we know. Okay, enough of meta-zombies. Here’s this zombie show’s zombie premise:

A small riot in LA has spread past its containment. Three reserve soldiers are called to their deserted duty station. Believed to be the last remaining armed servicemen in the area, Michael, Angel, and Saul witness the true cause of the riot; people are starting to change and attack each other. Armed with only what they can carry, they set out to secure an apartment building and rescue survivors scattered amongst the shattered remains of civilization. In a world turned upside down, every day is a struggle, as those who have taken refuge in the tower find out that their safe haven is under constant threat. In this place, however, the strengths of those who stand together, might just be enough to live long enough to see things start to change.

There are 13 episodes out so far. It’s an interesting story, being a full blown zombie apocalypse set in Los Angeles.

Podcast feed:


iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[via Radio Drama Revival]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Aural Noir Review of Drive by James Sallis

Aural Noir: Review

Blackstone Audio - Drive by James SallisDrive
By James Sallis; Read by Paul Michael Garcia
Audible Download – 3 Hours 26 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2007
Provider: Audible.com
Themes: / Crime / Noir / Los Angeles / Hollywood / Arizona /

“Much later, as he sat with his back against an inside wall of a Motel 6 just north of Phoenix, watching the pool of blood lap toward him, Driver would wonder whether he had made a terrible mistake. Later still, of course, there’d be no doubt. But for now Driver is, as they say, in the moment. And the moment includes this blood lapping toward him, the pressure of dawn’s late light at windows and door, traffic sounds from the interstate nearby, the sound of someone weeping in the next room…”

Drive starts with an important dedication. “To Donald Westlake, Ed McBain and Larry Block.” If an author is going to choose any three modern crime writers as inspiration for a book they could pick no better three than these dudes. Drive starts off with an opening sentence that could have been written by Richard Stark (a pen-name of Donald Westlake), proceeds to punch-out clean and clinical prose like McBain’s 87th Precinct novels and punches the story along like Lawrence Block at his best. Drive stars “Driver”, a nameless Hollywood stunt driver by day and a criminal getaway driver by night. We get how he started in the business of stunt-driving, a few scenes of him pulling off those incredible feats of automotive control, and how he got involved in the punishing business of criminal getaway driving. It’s fast, but it ain’t furious, it’s more of a simmering sizzle.

Blackstone narrator Paul Michael Garcia, who I last heard as the reader of Starman Jones, has a young voice – I knew I’d enjoy his reading of something in this genre. Garcia’s narration made it an incredibly solid listen. What’ll keep it from being a classic of the niche is that same anonymity of the protagonist. I enjoyed the ride with the guy, the “driver”, he has an incredible story to tell, but it was like I got hypnotized by the road somehow – I got to the end, refreshed and exhilarated but not particularly aware of what route we took. Perhaps this makes Drive the ideal summertime, top down, high-gear audiobook? It’s a novella so it’s short and you’ll zip through it practically before the commute is over. I think its worth giving a try.

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 7: This Is Pulp Fiction

Aural Noir: Online Audio

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7Time to double click on that Radio Downloader shortcut you’ve placed on your desktop folks! There’s a rebroadcast of the 2008 BBC Radio 7 commissioned collection of five stories called This Is Pulp Fiction. Airing in the Crime and Thrillers slot are readings of stories by William F. Nolan, Gil Brewer and Jim Thompson! Honestly, how can you pass it all up?

This is Pulp Fiction
By various; Read by Peter Marinker
5 Broadcasts – [ABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 7
Broadcast: July 28th – 31st 2009 (Monday – Friday @ 1:45pm, 8:45pm and 1:45am)
Peter Marinker reads some of the best in classic American Pulp Fiction, abridged for radio by Nick McCarty.

Stories included:

1/5 Divide and Conquer
By Jack Ritchie
Tommy’s Casino chain is running smoothly till some new blood tries to muscle in. A classic 1957 crime thriller about a cleverly foiled protection racket.

2/5 The Getaway
By Gil Brewer
Gangster Vincente is about to make the biggest hit of his career. A classic 1976 crime thriller about a gangland hit with a twist.

3/5 Black
By Paul Cain
There’s a gang war raging, and Black is there to sort things out.

4/5 Forever After
By Jim Thompson
Ardis Clinton has a foolproof plan to kill her husband. From 1960, a crime thriller about a woman’s comeuppance.

5/5 A Real Nice Guy
By William F. Nolan
A serial sniper is stalking for another target in Los Angeles. From 1980.

Posted by Jesse Willis

DRT Summer Showcase #3: The Knightmare

SFFaudio News

And here are details from the first of Decoder Ring Summer Showcase #3‘s program…

The Knightmare by Bill Cunningham

The man behind this production, Bill Cunningham, says that “The Knightmare is a hero cut from the same cloth as The Shadow or The Green Hornet.” Not unlike Decoder Ring’s Red Panda himself! In this 2-part episode, The Knightmare is fighting Hollywood gangsters, Hollywood cops and Nazis (probably not from Hollywood). Unlike RP this story is set in Los Angeles.

The KnightmareThe Knightmare (The Murder Legion Strikes at Midnight)
By Bill Cunningham; Performed by a full cast
2 Parts – [AUDIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: Decoder Ring Theatre
Podcast: May 30th, 2009 & June 6th, 2009

Podcast feed:


Here’s a downloadable sample from the intro to the show |MP3| and |HERE| is the full press release.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Accidental Time Machine by Joe HaldemanThe Accidental Time Machine
By Joe Haldeman; Read by Kevin R. Free
7 CDs – 8 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: 2008
ISBN: 9781436120418
Themes: / Science Fiction / Time Travel / Artificial Intelligence / Religion / Academia / Los Angeles / Massachusetts / MIT /

Things are going nowhere for lowly MIT research assistant Matt Fuller—especially not after his girlfriend drops him for another man. But then while working late one night, he inadvertently stumbles upon what may be the greatest scientific breakthrough ever. His luck, however, runs out when he finds himself wanted for murder—in the future.

When an MIT graduate student Matt Fuller accidentally invents a time machine he get’s himself into a load of trouble. Not only is his supervising professor a hard-ass thief of academic proportions, the stupid time travel machine can only travel forward into the future! Every time Matt presses the ‘go button‘ he ends up twelve times farther than last time, he’s invented a time machine that only got a one way ticket to the future. Fueled by caffeine, job worries, and a murder charge, Matt blasts himself forward 12 x 12 x 12 into the future – where the only thing stranger than Jesus returning to Earth is a visit from the personified city of Los Angeles. Haldeman’s inventiveness is unparalleled in time travel SF. His hero Matt is picaresque, he’s on an inventive journey and the adventure is unpredictable and compelling. I loved it.

Kevin R. Free, a narrator new to my ears, performs this novel to perfection. Everyone I’ve recommended this novel to has enjoyed the heck out of it – if Recorded Books keeps picking novel/narrator combinations like this we’re in for a real treat. Speaking of Recorded Books, The Accidental time Machine is one of the inaugural publications in their new Sci-Fi imprint. Also terrific, there’s cool art custom cover just this edition [see above], it features actual details from the book – that’s refreshing. A great and peppy novel, an excellent, excellent, reading, fast moving and not too long. This is the kind of Science Fiction story I want to see more of. Speed on over to RecordedBooks.com, or your local library, and request a copy of this audiobook.

Posted by Jesse Willis