LibriVox: Short Science Fiction Stories Vol. 19

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxIt seems LibriVox has started adding a few more credits to its collections starting with this volume. Besides the narrators, this collection was created by the following LibriVox volunteers:

Book Coordinator: Gregg Margarite
Dedicated Proof-Listener: julicarter
Meta-Coordinator/Cataloging: Lucy Burgoyne

Stories new to this collection include:

Stopover by William Gerken. This is a well written but annoying story. It is one of better parapsychology short stories, but that isn’t saying much. John W. Campbell was absolutely obsessed with paraspychological ESP bunk – it makes for very repetitive reading. This story’s setting, in a post-apocalyptic USA, is vivid – and the characters are emotionally realistic -too bad about the ESP crap. Bellona Times, the narrator, has a few missteps in this one – including the reading “psi talents” as “pee-ess-eye talents.”

Something Will Turn Up by David Mason. The beatnik/hippy repairman, and his dialogue, in this tale are a real hoot. It’s more a Fantasy tale than an SF one, but its got a beatnik TV repairman so I’m still happy. Read by Bellona Times again without any serious flaws but with a few little ones here and there. Times snaps his fingers and whistles – which to me is a narrator double no-no. There’s also a word or two improperly read, notably “reversed” read as “reverse.”

The Sargasso Of Space by Edmond Hamilton. This is a fast paced space opera (and mystery) about an interplanetary spacecraft that’s run out of gas. Gregg Margarite continues to kick ass as a narrator. He’s no vocal chameleon but he’s just a few tweaks away from being a pro sounding narrator. He seems to choose some of the better stories too. I think he’s super cool. Maybe he’ll be my friend? That’d be cool.

LibriVox - Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 019Short Science Fiction Stories Vol. 19
By various; Read by various
10 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 4 Hours 41 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 23, 2009
Science Fiction is speculative literature that generally explores the consequences of ideas which are roughly consistent with nature and scientific method, but are not facts of the author’s contemporary world. The stories often represent philosophical thought experiments presented in entertaining ways. Protagonists typically “think” rather than “shoot” their way out of problems, but the definition is flexible because there are no limits on an author’s imagination. The reader-selected stories presented here were written prior to 1962 and became US public domain texts when their copyrights expired.

Podcast feed:

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Fantastic Universe August/September 1953All Cats are Gray
By Andre Norton; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 23, 2009
An odd story, made up of oddly assorted elements that include a man, a woman, a black cat, a treasure—and an invisible being that had to be seen to be believed. – Under normal conditions a whole person has a decided advantage over a handicapped one. But out in deep space the normal may be reversed—for humans at any rate. First published using Norton’s Andrew North pseudonym in Fantastic Universe Science Fiction, August–September 1953.

LibriVox - Beyond Lies The Wub by Philip K. DickBeyond Lies The Wub
By Phillip K. Dick; Read by Tom Hackett
1 |MP3| – Approx. 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 23, 2009
The slovenly wub might well have said: Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools. From Planet Stories July 1952.

LibriVox - The Gallery by Rog PhillipsThe Gallery
By Rog Phillips; Read by Ted Ryan
Published: June 23, 2009
Wherever he went Arthur felt the power behind the lens. – Aunt Matilda needed him desperately, but when he arrived she did not want him and neither did anyone else in his home town. From Amazing Stories January 1959.

LibriVox - The Happy Unfortunate by Robert SilverbergThe Happy Unfortunate
By Robert Silverberg; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 39 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 23, 2009
Dekker, back from space, found great physical changes in the people of Earth; changes that would have horrified him five years before. But now, he wanted to be like the rest—even if he had to lose an eye and both ears to do it. From Amazing Stories December 1957.

LibriVox - The Man Who Saw The Future by Edmond HamiltonThe Man Who Saw The Future
By Edmond Hamilton; Read by Xanderphilips
1 |MP3| – Approx. [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 23, 2009
“Jean de Marselait, Inquisitor Extraordinary of the King of France, raised his head from the parchments that littered the crude desk at which he sat. His glance shifted along the long stone-walled, torchlit room to the file of mail-clad soldiers who stood like steel statues by its door. A word from him and two of them sprang forward.” First published in Amazing Stories, October 1930. Later reprinted in the February 1961 issue of Amazing Stories.

LibriVox - A Matter Of Proportion by Anne WalkerA Matter Of Proportion
By Anne Walker; Read by Dale A. Bade
1 |MP3| – Approx. 37 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 23, 2009
In order to make a man stop, you must convince him that it’s impossible to go on. Some people, though, just can’t be convinced. From Astounding Science Fiction August 1959.

Astounding Stories September 1931Sargasso Of Space
By Edmond Hamilton; Read by Greg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 23, 2009
She was floating along the wreck-pack’s edge. Helpless, doomed, into the graveyard of space floats the wrecked freighter Pallas. From Astounding Stories September 1931.

LibriVox - Something Will Turn Up by David MasonSomething Will Turn Up
By David Mason; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| – Approx. 17 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 23, 2009
Err … maybe it had to do with this being a non-Parity universe, perhaps? Some things can’t be simply inverted, after all… From Analog February 1963.

Fantastic Universe September 1957Stopover
By William Gerken; Read by Bellona Times
1 |MP3| – Approx. 23 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 23, 2009
What will the world be like, the day after Tomorrow, for the lonely ones who will have talents that others will half fear, half envy? William Gerken describes this strange world in which young and old will have to find new values and pursue new dreams, as they search for the answer… From Fantastic Universe September 1957.

LibriVox - Toy Shop by Harry HarrisonToy Shop
By Harry Harrison; Read by Xanderphillips
1 |MP3| – Approx. 10 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 23, 2009
The gadget was strictly, beyond any question, a toy. Not a real, workable device. Except for the way it could work under a man’s mental skin… From Analog April 1962.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Lux Radio Theatre: Panic In The Streets

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Panic In The Streets


Even looking at it now the truth sounds like an April Fools day joke.

Had you asked me: “How many ‘uniformed services’ does the United States of America have?”

I would have said: “They have only five uniformed services, Army, Air-Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.” I would have bet you cash money on the fact. I could have even given you great details about all five – detailing for instance when the USAF split off from the Army (1947).

But I would have lost that bet.

I might even have hedged a little, asking: “Are you including the Merchant Marine?” But even had I said, “It has 5 plus the merchant marine” I would have lost the bet because, apparently, the United States of America has:


That fact blew my mind.

I found out about this by watching, disbelievingly, an old Film Noir movie called Panic In The Streets. In it a doctor, played by Richard Widmark, gets a phone call from the New Orleans coroner’s office. It seems there is a corpse presenting some very disturbing symptoms – one that requires Widmark’s expertise. As he complains about having to come in on his day off he dons what looks like a tan Navy officer’s uniform. His epaulets seemingly indicating his holding the rank of a Lt. Cmdr.

“That’s weird,” I said to myself as he put on the clothes. “Why would they have called a Navy doctor?” I paused the movie and broke out Wikipedia. Two or three clicks later…

Uniformed Services Of The United States

United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps!

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps?

Yeah, I was stunned too. It has a feeling of unreality.

I’ve slowly come to the realization that the USA is, like the Roman Republic, loathe to abandon any institution or tradition it creates (typically requiring either a civil war or a sustained public demonstration). I had no idea the USA had founded either the USPHSCC or the NOAACC. This is all à propos to Aural Noir due to a recent podcast…

Lux Radio TheatreLux Radio Theatre – Panic In The Streets
1 |MP3| – Approx. 53 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: March 5, 1951
Provider: Relic Radio
An illegal immigrant carrying pneumonic plague is found murdered on the New Orleans waterfront. It’s up to Lt. Cmdr. Clinton ‘Clint’ Reed M.D., of the Public Health Service, to prevent a national epidemic. Reed must find and inoculate the murderer and anyone he’s come into contact with. He has 48 hours. The movie, released June 12, 1950, starred Richard Widmark, so does this radio version.

For a similar, but Science Fiction, adventure try Alan Nourse’s Star Surgeon.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrivals: Blake’s 7, Alan E. Nourse, John W. Campbell

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Recent arrivals in the Canadian offices of SFFaudio include a two-in-one MP3-CD from the USA…

Star Surgeon and The Black Star Passes by Alan E. Nourse and John W. CampbellStar Surgeon / The Black Star Passes
By Alan E. Nourse and John W. Campbell; Read by Scott D. Farquhar
1 MP3-CD – Approx. 12 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: ScottVox
Published: 2009
Two original SFFaudio Challenge titles, The Black Star Passes and Star Surgeon, are now available on a single mp3 data disc. Both audiobooks are slightly remastered versions of the audio files which are still available for free download at and LibriVox. So this data disc version is for folks that want to save some download time. It comes in DVD style packaging and also includes a little 8 page booklet with information about both books, biographies of the authors, and a chapter/filename index. Asking price is $10.

And from the U.K. the first three episodes of the prequel audio dramas set in the Blake’s 7 universe…

Blake's 7 - When Vila Met GanBlake’s 7 – When Vila Met Gan (Vol. 1.1)
By Ben Aaronovitch; Performed by a full cast
1 CD – Approx. 50 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: B7 Media
Published: October 2008
ISBN: 9781906577056
Michael Keating reprises his most popular role as the cowardly thief, Vila Restal, the only character to appear in all 52 episodes of the original Blake’s 7 TV series. The new audio incarnation of Olag Gan played by Owen Aaronovitch also stars. (BLAKE’S 7 – THE EARLY YEARS Vol 1.1) is a prequel exploring the origins of key B7 characters prior to them meeting rebel leader, Roj Blake. This, the first of these prequel stories When Vila met Gan was written by lead writer, Ben Aaronovitch. It explores the history and enduring friendship between Gan and Vila, two of the most unlikely rebels to take up arms against the Federation.

Blake's 7 - Point Of No Return and Eye Of The MachineBlake’s 7 – Point Of No Return and Eye Of The Machine (Vol. 1.2 & 1.3)
By Ben Aaronovitch and James Swallow; Performed by a full cast
2 CDs – Approx. 70 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: B7 Media
Published: November 2008
ISBN: 9781906577063
Second of the first season of prequel stories on 2 CDs, starring Colin Salmon, Keeley Hawkes, Craig Kelly, Peter Guinness, Jake Maskall, and featuring Geoffrey Palmer.

Point Of No Return (Episode 2) – The right hand of Supreme Commander Servalan, Travis (Craig Kelly) is the relentless security officer dedicated to hunting down the dissident Roj Blake… but what choices made him the man he became? London, 2230. On the eve of a tense election that will send shockwaves throughout the Federation, Major Stefan Travis finds his liberty unexpectedly cancelled and a new assignment thrust upon him. A key political opponent of the government, Carl Varon (Peter Guinness), has been arrested, accused of hate crimes and incitement to violence, but a trail of murder and conspiracy leads Travis to doubt the truth presented to him. When the deadly threat of a terrorist atrocity looms, how far will he go to prevent the deaths of millions of people? Written by James Swallow, directed by Andrew Mark Sewell.

Eye Of The Machine (Episode 3) – The University of Oxford in the year 2230, and the campus is a hotbed of student protest as Roj Blake’s Freedom Party seeks to sweep away a century of corrupt rule. Kerr Avon (Colin Salmon), a young man from the frontier, brilliant, ambitious and naïve, has arrived to make his mark on the future. Working with Professor Ensor (Geoffrey Palmer), the Federation’s eminent cyberneticist, Avon has no intention of getting involved in politics – – he may be naïve, but he isn’t stupid. But, when he meets activist Anna Grant (Keeley Hawes), all bets are off…. Written by Ben Aaronovitch, directed by Andrew Mark Sewell.

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 008 by Alan E. Nourse

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxSingle author short story collections from LibriVox! This is a new trend, if we count that Lovecraft Collection from late last week. Volume 8 in the LibriVox Short SF collections series is all Alan E. Nourse. Some of these stories were previously recorded, by other narrators, but most are new to audio. Here’s a mini-review/rundown on the extremely varied narrations:

Daniele F.’s readings are heavily accented (Italian?) but well recorded. James Christopher’s entry is quiet, maybe he’s a little too far away from his mic (or maybe his mic just isn’t great). Mooseboy Alfonzo is quiet too. Actually he’s sounding muffled, perhaps his pop-filter is just a big old sweater? Too thick Moose! Larissa Little’s debut is solidly recorded for a first – hopefully she’ll stick with it – adding some performance to her reading. Hector has run his recording through a noise filter that’s quieted his pauses, making it all sound too undulating. Joseph Kellogg’s reading is good, but he’s in need of a pop filter, maybe Mooseboy can lend him an arm of that sweater. Allegra’s got a noisy recording environment. Turn off the air conditioning! Overall, I’d have to credit Jerry Dixon’s reading as the best of the bunch, though it’s not absolutely stellar.

All of the below has also been added to our ALAN E. NOURSE page.

LibriVox Science Fiction Audiobook - Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 008 by Alan E. NourseShort Science Fiction Collection Vol. 008
By Alan Edward Nourse; Read by various
10 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Published: October 24th, 2008
This volume of the LibriVox Science-Fiction Collection is devoted to Alan E. Nourse (1928-1992). Nourse became a science fiction writer to help pay for his medical education, but eventually retired from practicing medicine to pursue his writing career. This reader-selected collection presents ten of his short stories which were published between 1954 and 1963. Extensive research by Project Gutenberg volunteers did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on these publications were renewed. Please consider this a brief sampling of Nourse’s full range, and have fun buying and borrowing his other works.

By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Daniele F.
1 |MP3| – Approx. 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Coffin Cure
By Alan E. Nourse; Read by James Christopher
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Letter of the Law
By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Daniele F.
1 |MP3| – Approx. 43 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Link
By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Jerry Dixon
1 |MP3| – Approx. 36 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Meeting of the Board
By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Corey M. Snow
1 |MP3| – Approx. 36 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

My Friend Bobby
By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Mooseboy Alfonzo
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

The Native Soil
By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Larissa Little
1 |MP3| – Approx. 47 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

An Ounce of Cure
By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Hector
1 |MP3| – Approx. 11 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Joseph Kellogg
1 |MP3| – Approx. 29 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Second Sight
By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Allegra
1 |MP3| – Approx. 27 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Podcast Feed:

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

SFFaudio Review

Spin by Robert Charles WilsonSpin
By Robert Charles Wilson; Read by Scott Brick
Audible Download – 17 Hours and 33 Minutes – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: 2008
Themes: / Science Fiction / Hard SF / Medicine / Time / Space / Physics /

This Hugo Award winning novel (2006) is a novel of two parts in my mind. The first, which involves the covering of the entire Earth with a complex membrane, is some of the most exciting hard science fiction I’ve read in a long time. Picture yourself lying on a lawn, looking up at the stars… and they go out. As awe-inspiring as a Clarke novel, Wilson tells us what the world’s scientists come up with as they try to answer the big questions. What is happening? Why is it happening? Is there a “who” behind it? An outline of this book could be written that would look like a knotted string, each knot being an important and sometimes jaw-dropping idea. “The Spin”, as the phenomenon is called by the characters, grips the Earth tightly and apparently permanently. Initial discoveries find that the membrane has created a time difference between life on Earth and life in the rest of the universe. A minute passes here while years pass out there. A few days of time here, and empires would rise and fall outside, if they existed. Do they?

The second part of this novel is the connecting material, or the rest of the string. I didn’t find this as interesting as the Big Idea stuff while I was listening. In retrospect, I do appreciate what Wilson illustrated with his characters, but the plot won’t be what I remember when I talk about this novel in the future. Frankly, about halfway through the novel, I wanted to skim the sections that focused on the characters, not because they were poorly written, but because I simply couldn’t wait for what was really interesting me about the novel – more info about “The Spin”. Of course, I can’t skim an audiobook, so I dealt with the suspense and just kept listening. (Note to self: Add “lack of ability to skim” to the list of plusses for audiobooks. If I had read this book in print I would have skimmed – this way I got the whole novel.)

The story is about three main characters. Jason and Diane Lawton are the twin children of an entrepreneur. Tyler Dupree, the first person narrator, is a close friend. The three, as children, witness the beginning of “The Spin” together, lying on a lawn at a party attended by their parents. The event alters their lives, and the lives of all humans, but time marches on, the kids grow up, and, though each one lets “The Spin” define their lives, they each deal with the new reality in a completely different way. It is there that my appreciation for this aspect of the novel lies; how different we all are, and how different our reactions to the very same event. Some turn to religion, some turn to science, some to their business, and some to help their fellow man.

I’m not a person who dislikes a good character driven story. If I’m reading a piece of fiction that’s not genre, I’m likely to be reading something from the general fiction section of the bookstore, as opposed to mysteries or military thrillers. But still, I found it difficult to focus on parts of this novel, probably because I was listening to a story largely about people reacting to “The Spin”, rather than a story about the people that were actively trying to figure it out. Though one of the three main characters is indeed a scientist that is deeply involved, I wasn’t hearing a story about those scientists and exactly what they were doing. In other words, a lot of really interesting stuff is happening off stage while the novel was focused elsewhere.

Scott Brick narrates, always a plus from my perspective, and is a great match with this book. He does very well with science “ooo wow” moments, and there are plenty here. A quibble for the accuracy department: a mispronounced word that unfortunately is used often during a portion of the book. “Oort cloud”.

All in all – another fine audiobook from Macmillan Audio – it is available exclusively as a download from Audible and iTunes.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Five Free Favourites #9

SFFaudio Online Audio

Jesse here, with another batch of Five Free Favourites, five listens that won’t cost you a penny, but that will pay hefty rewards.

Have you got your own list of free favourites that you can count on the fingers of one non-hyperdactyli’d hand?

Five Free Favourites

Despoilers Of The Golden Empire by Randall GarrettDespoilers Of The Golden Empire
By Randall Garrett; Read by Maureen O’Brien
5 Zipped MP3s – Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Maria Lectrix
Podcast: April 1st 2008
A seasoned military commander travels to another world to find the metal that brings power, and ends up bringing down a barbaric empire.
Maureen O’Brien’s Maria Lectrix podcast, has lots of content I care nothing about (theological audiobooks) – but, it also has several digital tons of content I care dearly about. On April 1st, 2008 released Despoilers Of The Golden Empire. She called it “…a very good story by Randall Garrett, and it makes a very good comment on sf as a genre….it was originally published in Astounding Science Fiction, for April Fools’ Day.” This story is probably better enjoyed by fans of history, than by fans of science fiction. But if you’re like me, a fan of both, you’ll absolutely love it.

Escape PodEP073: Barnaby in Exile
By Mike Resnick; Read by Paul Fischer
1 |MP3| File – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Escape Pod
Podcast: September 28th 2006
Few authors have as many of their stories podcast as Mike Resnick, (although James Patrick Kelly’s definitely got to be in first place). Back in September 2006 Escape Pod podcast this tearful tale. At the time I was comparing to Pat Murphy’s classic Rachel In Love. Which is about as high a compliment you can give to an SF story. Powerful listening, bring a hanky.

The Silver Tounged DevilThe Silver Tongued Devil
By Roger Gregg; Performed by a full cast
Podcaster: The Sonic Society (via Crazy Dog Audio Theatre)
Podcast: October 2006
Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|
The Sonic Society has podcast much of the finest audio drama of the modern era. Their October 2006 podcast included a program that was originally broadcast on RTÉ (Ireland National Radio). Described as A documentary of poetry, pretension, and possession. and our review of it explained it thus: “This entire piece is done like a radio documentary, NPR-style, complete with interviews of average people about the ‘Silver Tongued Devil’. The actors who did these segments were perfect! If I had listened to this on the radio without knowing that Crazy Dog had done it, I’d have thought it was news. Who is the ‘Silver Tongued Devil’? He’s an incredibly famous poet from Cork who has the god-like ability to make people swoon with his words. Again, the piece is multi-layered, achieving both hilarity and poignancy.”

Badge Of Infamy by Lester del Rey
Badge Of Infamy
By Lester del Rey; Read by Steven H. Wilson
Published: January 2006
Daniel Feldman was a doctor once. He made the mistake of saving a friend’s life in violation of Medical Lobby rules. Now, he’s a pariah, shunned by all, forbidden to touch another patient. But things are more loose on Mars. There, Doc Feldman is welcomed by the colonists, even as he’s hunted by the authorities. But, when he discovers a Martian plague may soon wipe out humanity on two planets, the authorities begin hunting him for a different reason altogether.Here’s a novel I dearly regret not having talked more about. I never reviewed it, as I was just listening for sheer enjoyment. It was released in January 2006 as part of the First SFFaudio Challenge. It was narrated by Steven H. Wilson of Prometheus Radio Theatre, and he did an outstanding job on this terrific little novel about a disgraced doctor. Lester del Rey was a major player in his day and his novels don’t show their years as many of their contemporaries do. I love novels set on a colonized Mars, if you do too, this is a sure bet.

LibriVox Audiobook - To Build A Fire by Jack LondonTo Build A Fire
By Jack London; Read by Betsie Bush
1 |MP3| – 40 Minutes 03 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Published: 2006
A man and his husky, travel through the Klondike in seventy-five below zero weather (Fahrenheit). I’d heard of this story for a long time, and I’d always liked Jack London’s novels. I’ve compared it to Tom Godwin’s The Cold Equations, saying that ‘the two tales are, essentially, the same ruthless story.’ This is also a I regret that this is not a better reading. Betsie Bush’s version is not recorded very well, her voice is fine, but the mic she’s using is weak, there’s a hum and even some noise. There is a very cheap semi-pro version available HERE and a version by a professional narrator HERE.

Posted by Jesse Willis