The SFFaudio Podcast #049


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #049 – Jesse and Scott talk about recent arrivals, new releases, audiobooks, podcasts and plenty more!

Talked about on today’s show: is 7 years old, So I Married An Axe Murder, San Fransisco, California, Alcatraz, recent arrivals, Brilliance Audio, military SF, Fearless: The Lost Fleet Book 2 by Jack Campbell, space opera, Gene Roddenberry‘s Andromeda, Buck Rogers, Live Free or Die: book 1 in the Troy Rising series by John Ringo, Paperback Digital, Cally’s War by John Ringo and Julie Cochrane |READ OUR REVIEW|, John Ringo can give his books away and sell books too, Time’s Eye: A Time Odyssey Book 1 by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter, it’s not a sequel it’s an “othrquel“, time is orthogonal to space (in relativity theory), Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke, benevolent aliens, malevolent aliens, H.P. Lovecraft, The Eternal Wall by Raymond Z. Gallun, LibriVox, Gregg Margarite, time travel, Blackstone Audio, Identity Theft by Robert J. Sawyer, Mars, consciousness uploading/downloading, Treason by Orson Scott Card, A Planet Called Treason by Orson Scott Card, Stefan Rudnicki, Spider Robinson, Melancholy Elephants by Spider Robinson |READ OUR REVIEW|, copyright, copyfight, the philosophy of art, The Graveyard Book |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, Harry Potter, The Dark Is Rising, A Wizard Of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin, ripping off Heinlein is legit when you are Spider Robinson, Friday by Robert A. Heinlein, new releases, Wonder Audio, The Men Return & Worlds Of Origin by Jack Vance, Brilliance Audio, The Songs Of Dying Earth: Stories In Honor Of Jack Vance, Gene Wolfe, The Book Of The New Sun by Gene Wolfe, David D. Levine, Tk’Tk’Tk’ by David D. Levine, The Moon Moth by Jack Vance |READ OUR REVIEW|, Suldrun’s Garden, The Green Pearl, Madouc by Jack Vance, Swimming Kangaroo Books, Need For Magic by Joseph Swope, BBC Audiobooks America, Great Classic Science Fiction: Eight Unabridged Stories, Forgotten Classics podcast talks James Gunn’s The Road To Science Fiction series, paperback book bags, A Game Of Thrones coming to HBO, A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin |READ OUR REVIEW|, Roy Dotrice, John Lee, Shogun (the TV miniseries), FlashForward, Stephen King’s Storm Of The Century, 1408, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: Steve, The First by Matt Watts |READ OUR REVIEW|, @ the CBC store, radio drama, post apocalypse, humor, Canadia: 2056 |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Hitch-hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: The Chronicles Of Solomon Kane, Roy Thomas, Howard Chaykin, Robert E. Howard, The Iliad, Ralph Macchio, Red Shadows by Robert E. Howard, religion, Solomon Kane, The Punisher.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #048


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,, 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, 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

Matt Watts: CBC Radio Drama “Mothballed”

SFFaudio News

CBC Radio OneMatt Watts, creator, writer and star of Canadia: 2056, has posted a surprisingly upbeat (but downbeat) journal entry about the sad future of CBC Radio Drama to his blog. Sez Matt:

“…and with the CBC’s recent cutbacks, the questions have turned more to the future of radio drama in general.

The official announcement is that radio drama will be ‘reduced’.

Sadly, this doesn’t look to be the case.

The project that is in the pipeline will be seen through, and after that, Radio A&E has decided the best thing to do is to cut their losses, redeploy the staff into other positions and put drama on ice until funding is reinstated.

So, it looks like there’ll be no new radio drama for a while.

It’s a very sad time for me, and for my colleagues and friends in the drama department.

But, it’s a sign of the times, and instead of being bitter and angry, I think the best thing to do is to be understanding, and to try and hope for the best. This is genuinely one of those ‘greater good’ times.

For me, it means that I have to move on, and start looking for other mediums and formats to write in.

I will say, that writing for radio has been one of the great joys in my life. I could honestly write radio drama for the rest of my life, and be more than fulfilled and satisfied. I love it. Writing Steve, The First was an experience not unlike being thrown into a pool and discovering that you already know how to swim.

I’m one of the lucky few who found something they were good at, enjoyed it to the fullest and had a good run with it.”

Explaining why he thinks the cutback happened Matt said this:

“The sad truth, and reality, is that it [radio drama] doesn’t get that many listeners, and it doesn’t justify the cost. And these things have to be taken into account – these are the times we live in.”

My thinking is that there is actually quite an audience for audio drama, especially audio drama of as high a quality as Matt and his team at CBC Radio’ A&E department were producing. The main problem is that CBC’s radio drama are on the radio. I love the CBC and CBC radio programing in particular – but the reality is nobody I know listens to the radio anymore. We are listening to the podcasts of the radio shows. But ACTRA has not come to any agreement with CBC on podcasting, so none of the shows with acting in them are getting podcast!

The reality is that forcing an audience to tune in, in the middle of the afternoon, or late on a Sunday night is not the best way to showcase an audio drama anymore.

ACTRA needs to get it’s act together, go over to CBC radio (just a 7 minute cab ride), hammer out a deal on internet distribution and together SOLVE THIS SHIT. UPDATE: Apparently ACTRA has now “come to an agreement” with CBC, and what’s holding up CBC radio drama from being podcast is the writer’s guild. Yay! This is even better news because the Writer’s Guild of Canada HQ is only a “5 minute” walk away from the CBC HQ!

Writers Guild Of Canada to CBC Headquarters

CBC isn’t entirely off the hook though. More of CBC Radio needs to be podcast. CBC needs to be putting even more effort into living up to what the audience really wants:

The Canadian Podcast Corporation.

The future of CBC is online. The CRTC is all worried about Canadian content on the internet. I think we have the content and the talent, but what we don’t have is all that Canadian content on the internet.

To read Matt’s full POST head on over to his blog.

Posted by Jesse Willis

P.S. Oh and hey CBC!! After Matt’s last project gets delivered, don’t forget that CBC Radio still has something that’s already ready to play… CBC give us the J. Michael Straczynski radio drama series that’s already been produced and paid for!! – it’ll help tide us over til the financial crunch is over

Review of Steve, The First by Matt Watts

SFFaudio Review

Steve, The First, CBCSFFaudio EssentialSteve, The First
By Matt Watts; Performed by a Full Cast
2 CDs – 2 hours – [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: CBC Radio
Published: 2007
Themes: / Science Fiction / Comedy / Post Apocalypse /

It was a thousand years ago. The Earth: in ruins, a nuclear wasteland. Humanity had written its final chapter. It took only a matter of minutes to destroy what took centuries to build. Greed, materialism… an overall sense of things being off… they would all spell society’s downfall. What few survivors remained were in a state of complete mental chaos. But all was not lost. One man, one hero, one legend, would bring civilization to the uncivilized.

This man… was Steve.

Steve, the First begins with the miraculous birth of Steve, the savior of all mankind, from a pile of rocks. Steve is not impressed with the post-apocalyptic world he sees, nor is he happy with the exploding dogs. The first people he meets are two kids who spend their time collecting dead people, and the hilarious conversation they have sets the tone for the rest of this dark comic radio drama, which was originally broadcast on CBC Radio One in 2005.

Matt Watts, who is Canadian, not that there’s anything wrong with that, wrote the series and also stars as the uninspired Steve. I’ve written about Matt Watts before, but this drama and the one that follows (aptly titled Steve, the Second) were written and broadcast before Canadia: 2056 seasons 1 and 2. That series and this one share some of the same actors, which is a great thing because this crew is wonderful.

The Colleen (Holly Lewis) is perfectly neurotic. My first clue? Her parents. Tim the Melty (Don McKellar) is positively unforgettable – a post apocalyptic Yes Man. And then there’s Steve’s nemesis, Phil Green (Mark McKinney) who still, despite the lack of a good number of people, yearns for political power.

I urge you to give this a listen – you’ll nestle it in your mind somewhere between Red Dwarf and Galaxy Quest in your pantheon of science fiction comedy. Funny, FUNNY, stuff!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Canadia 2056 and the joys of time-shifting

SFFaudio Commentary

Ben Rai’s winning entry in the CANADIA 2056 Future Graphic Contest

One of the most compelling reasons to listen to podcasts is the ability to enjoy programs where and when you want them. I’ve been listening to The Zombie Astronaut‘s unofficial podcast feed for Canadia: 2056. This is a radio drama written by comedy genius Matt Watts. The show just wrapped up its second season on CBC Radio One. The podcast feed for the show has made Canadia 2056 completely accessible on my schedule. And like any podcast the show is now completely pause-able, rewindable, and re-listenable. I had to do all three this morning!

I was listening to episode 19 of the show and I was laughing so hard I had to pause it. About three minutes later, after the convulsions had stopped, I rewound and listened to what I’d missed. Here’s the scene that got me…

But first some background… the ships’ surgeon, Doc Gaffney, attends to a suicidal crew member named Skip Connors (she’s suicidal because she’s become a mere brain in a jar), just prior to the scene’s opening she’d been left alone in the Captain’s quarters with a obedient robot and a jealous computer |MP3|.

Like I said, I had to pause it, rewind, and listen again. Because it was a podcast, I could.

My enjoyment of all 24 episodes of Canadia: 2056 would be almost impossible without the podcast feed. And I’m not alone in this. I’ve read threads all over the net about the show, and the people who’ve heard the show. The people who heard it on the radio keep saying how much they like Canadia: 2056. But, I’ve also read about how these same folks ‘missed an episode’ here or there. People wanted to catch it when it was on, but just couldn’t. They can’t re-arrange their lives to listen to the radio, that’s really not how radio works. Even if radio is not appointment listening, Canadia 2056‘s podcast is well worth listening to. Give yourself a treat, go subscribe to the unofficial podcast of Canadia 2056. It’s so kruckin’ awesome!

Subscribe via this feed:

Posted by Jesse Willis

Canadia: 2056 – Season 3?

SFFaudio News

Canadia: 2056 Season 2Matt Watts has posted an update about everybody’s favorite Canadian radio drama, Canadia: 2056 to his blog. –

Matt sez:

While I was at the CBC today, we talked about the possibility of a 3rd season… And we don’t know what to do…

I would love to do a 3rd season, not just because it’s a job, but because I have a great time putting this show together… It’s a great group of people, and I love the world that’s been created.

The success of a show like this is tough to gauge… There are listener numbers, but it doesn’t tell us a whole lot.

So, without sounding like I’m trying to solicit “fan mail” I’m putting this out there:

It wouldn’t hurt to write the CBC and ask for a 3rd season, if you want one… Even if it’s a simple: “I’m a fan of this show and I’d like a 3rd season please”.

Of course, you can be more enthusiastic if you like, I’m not going to dissuade you.

Here’s the address to send something to: [email protected]

It’ll go to my producer, who will forward it to the powers that be.

This isn’t an attempt at starting a campaign, it’s just that we could all benefit from a better picture of how many people are actually listening.

So… let’s get writing folks. I’m excited about the idea of a third season, but I’d probably just as excited to hear a new Matt Watts SF show – maybe even more so. I’m betting most folks still haven’t heard either of Matt’s “Steve” series – it’s got the same flavour, comedy, satire SF, but a completely different setting.

Posted by Jesse Willis