Barnes & Noble: Try 9 FREE Short Stories

SFFaudio Online Audio

Here’s a “FREE” deal (for Mac and PC users) that, despite some convoluted wrangling with OverDrive, is still worth it…

Barnes & Noble - Try 9 FREE Short Stories

HERE is the offer. From the notes:

“This offer may be redeemed once per customer and entitles customer to free copies of eligible Audiobook MP3 titles at or its mirror sites. Offer ends May 16, 2009 at 2:59 a.m. Eastern Time”

It also says:

“Please Note:you must have a valid credit card on file with or enter one during checkout in order to obtain the free eligible Audiobook MP3 titles, even if these free items are the only items in your order. However, your credit card will not be charged for the free Audiobook MP3 titles.”

But, payment methods of PayPal or “telephone order” are also offered as options. Be also aware you must also enter a USA shipping address (even though these are digital downloads). After the checkout process you’ll also need to install OverDrive’s “Media Console” software in order to download the files. That’s annoying, but more annoying is the 2,000 word essay on which rights you are giving up to use the stupid software. After that you’ll get an email linking you to a B&N download page, where you can one-click a download for each story – which in turn will allow you to two-click your actual MP3 downloads. Then after the actual download of the actual MP3 a search of your hard drive for the title of the story will reveal where the files were hidden on your computer.

So like I said, the offer WAS WORTH IT, at least for me. It took about 25 minutes all told to get the two stories that interested me. For that time invested I’ve got myself a novel, Blackstone Audio’s The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (read by the incomparable Grover Gardner), and a Harper Audio short story called Best New Horror by Joe Hill (read by David Ledoux). It’s a cool horror tale from the collection called 20th Century Ghosts. The other 7 titles may be good too, I’m not sure its worth the wrangling and searching – I couldn’t tell who wrote some of them, or what they were about. So, if you do give this offer a shot please let me know if you find something else worthwhile in the 9 freebies. I’ll delete OverDrive’s “media console” within the next couple of days. I’ll give you 48 hours to convince me to use it again.

[via SFsignal]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #013


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #013 – We’ve got an absolutely unique interview with the incredibly cool Mister Ron from the Mister Ron’s Basement podcast! Mister Ron has a podcast devoted to humorous fiction from the 19th and early 20th century.

In the interview we talked about Mister Ron’s podcast, H.G. Wells, Sherlock Holmes spoofs, August Derleth, Solar Pons, O. Henry, Stephen Leacock, Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, Edgar Allan Poe, Benjamin Franklin, Bud Grace, Piranha Club, Stanley Huntley, A Journey To The Sun, Pfaff’s Beer Cellar, Mortimer Thomson, podcasting,

Also talked about on today’s show:
Audiobooks, The Little Book, Selden Edwards, The Accidental Time Machine, Joe Haldeman, time travel, James P. Hogan, Thrice Upon A Time, movies, what’s right with Frequency, what’s right and wrong with the Star Wars: Clone Wars movie, and what’s worrisome about the new Star Trek movie trailer and finally what’s playing this week on BBC7.

Posted by Jesse Willis



The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #012 – Our sickest show yet. How sick? Well, I’d like Stanley Kubrick to direct the next Conan movie. We also talk about the SFFaudio Challenge #3, which is not as bad as Red Sonja (1985).

Talked about on today’s show:
Fallout 3 has a built-in radio drama (The Adventures Of Daring Dashwood), The Little Book, Selden Edwards, time travel, The Book Of Lies, Brad Meltzer, Nelson DeMille, The Border, The Third SFFaudio Challenge, Muureen O’Brien, Maria Lectrix Podcast, The Risk Profession, Donald E. Westlake, Spider Robinson, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee, John Varley, The Persistence Of Vision, Scott Brick, Aural Noir, The Case Of The Dancing Sandwiches, Frederic Brown, The Fabulous Clipjoint, H. Beam Piper, Murder In The Gunroom, Galaxy Press, Elantris, Brandon Sanderson, Dennis Stocks, LibriVox, Masters Of Space, E.E. “Doc” Smith, E. Everett Evans, R.J. Davis, BSAP’s Queen Of The Black Coast, Robert E. Howard, Bill Hollweg, Stevie Farnaby, Brian Murphy, The Silver Key, Brett Ratner’s new Conan movie, HBO’s new A Song Of Ice And Fire show.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Mr. Ron: A Jules Verne SPOOF & Twain’s Connecticut Yankee

SFFaudio Online Audio

Podcast - Mister Ron's BasementMr. Ron, of Mister Ron’s Basement podcast, has some exciting listening on offer. First up, and being serialized over the next four shows, is an extremely rare story. It’s a spoof of Jules Verne’s Science Fiction, written while Verne was still in his prime. Though it was credited to “Jules Verne, Jr.” it was actually written by Stanley Huntley. Huntley was an immensely popular 19th century newspaper humorist – though today he is now nearly forgotten. This tale, A Trip to the South Pole; Book One, was serialized for three weeks in 1880 in the legendary Brooklyn Eagle newspaper. Mr. Ron will offer it over the course of four episodes. Of it, he sez: “It is an insanely funny spoof of Verne, and the more familiar you are with Verne’s works, the funnier it is.” – and indeed it sounds like a dead -on parody of Verne!

A Trip to the South Pole; Book One
By Stanley Huntley; Read by Mister Ron
4 Parts – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Mister Ron’s Basement
Podcast: April 2008

Also, starting with Episode #1038, Mr. Ron will begin his serialization of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. At the rate of one chapter a week, it will take nearly a year to complete it.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
By Mark Twain; Read by Mister Ron
? Parts – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Mister Ron’s Basement
Podcast: Begun April 2008 –

You can subscribe to this long running podcast , and get daily dispatches from the basement, via this feed:

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

SFFaudio Review

LibriVoxA Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court
By Mark Twain; Read by Steve Anderson
45 Zipped MP3 files or Podcast – 13 Hours 43 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publshed: 2006
Themes: / Fantasy / Time Travel / Satire /

“This is the first book I recorded for LibriVox. As is the first recording, it is a bit rough in places, but I am happy with it, it is certainly enjoyable listening, if you are not me; and you are not. The Yankee is a long time favorite of mine, though some might be surprised to know that. I encourage you to download and listen, it’s free. Give copies to your friends.” – Narrator, Steve Anderson

In the opening chapters of A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, Mark Twain magically transports the titular Yankee, Hank Morgan, into the mythical world of King Arthur and sets him up to be burned at the stake, then lets Hank weasel his way out with his modern knowledge. The plot is nothing more than a constant rehash of this same type of set-up and escape, but the character is what is most memorable about the book. Twain has a talent for making his characters simultaneously over-the-top and real, creating a person both exasperating and fascinating. Hank, as “The Boss”, is constantly making grand plans and trying to convince his medieval compatriots to adopt a late 19th century lifestyle.

Apart from the unforgettable characters, the other hallmark of Twain’s works is his misanthropy. Toward the end, the sarcasm becomes a bit too harsh to be enjoyable as Twain’s love for persons individually begins to be outweighed by his distaste for people in general. Before this vitriol starts to take effect, though, Twain gently but effectively ridicules organized religion, politics, advertising, personal hygiene, war, and, of course, the Arthurian legend. It helps if you have tried to read (and, perhaps, failed to finish) Mallory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, but anyone familiar with chivalrous tales of knights in shining armor is bound to get the joke.

Librivox volunteer Steve Anderson’s reading is full of enthusiasm. He lends just the right amount of sarcasm to his telling and makes Hank’s story come alive with wit. Anderson doesn’t “do voices” for other characters very often, which since the story is told as a 1st person narrative, is just fine. There’s a bit of background hum and the louder tones are cut off, giving the voice a tinny character at times. The sound quality, however, should not distract most people from Twain’s excellent story or the reader’s infectious love of the book.

Here is the podcast feed for the audiobook:

Posted by Listener of the Free Listens blog

LibriVox bills itself as "acoustical liberation …

Online Audio

LibriVoxLibriVox bills itself as “acoustical liberation of books in the public domain”, we bill it as “really cool”! The LibriVox volunteers read and record chapters of books in the public domain using the equipment they have at home, and then release the files as FREE audiobooks. The objective is to eventually make all books in the public domain available in the audio format. Several Science Fiction and Fantasy titles are already under way, and few have already been completed. Here’s a peek:

Completed Novels:
The Road To Oz by L. Frank Baum
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Completed Shorts:
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

Multiple Narrator Forthcoming:
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
The Trial by Franz Kafka
Dracula by Bram Stoker
A Journey To The Interior Of The Earth by Jules Verne

Single Narrators Forthcoming:
Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott
The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson
Sky Island by L. Frank Baum
The Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Anthem by Ayn Rand
A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams