The SFFaudio Podcast #115


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #115 – Scott and Jesse talk to Anne Frid de Vries of the Anne Is A Man blog for a talk about podcasts and podcasting.

Talked about on today’s show:
Anne rhymes with manna, SFFaudio Podcast #053, finding time to review podcasts, listening ideas, recruiting blog readers to be blog contributors, working with WordPress, this Anne needs 3G, university courses, iTunes U, Yale, Joanne B. Freeman, subscribe to iTunes U programmes as podcast, University of California, Berkeley, Anne does the detective work for his readers, BBC World Service: Witness, Fermat’s Last Theorem, Luke Burrage, The Tobolowsky Files, Groundhog Day, HuffDuffer, use your DropBox public folder to HuffDuff your audio files, this doesn’t fit the Wikipedia definition of podcast, podcasts are not radio, retweeting and re-retweeting, using Google Reader as a podcatcher, Dutch Treat (a podcast about the audiobooks of Elmore Leonard), sooo nichey, radio is about scarcity, paper publishing and ebooks, there’s a need for a new podcasting snipper software, drag and drop and trim and label and tag online, we need an audio search engine, speech to text, YouTube’s transcribe beta feature, MIT, speech recognition,, trend in podcasting (blogs adding podcasts),, Rivets And Trees, are podcasts just portable blogs?, podcasts about podcasts are the best podcasts, what makes a podcast good?, BBC Radio 4, In Our Time, Melvyn Bragg, On Being (aka Speaking Of Faith), CBC Radio One, Spark, Spark Plus, Eric S. Rabkin, Robert J. Sawyer, using podcast medium to enhance radio shows, Rachel Remen, prep and post production, live podcasts vs. scripted podcasts, “Interesting Stuff About History” pisses Anne off, Europe From Its Origins, A Good Story Is Hard To Find, Julie Davis’ Forgotten Classics, Genesis, what do you do with footnotes?, CBC Ideas, 104 Pall Mall (the Reform Club), Phileas Fogg, Around The World In Eighty Days, Ideas is too pretentious, Entitled Opinions, a very insightful slice into English history, putting in a bad episode in a podcast feed can hurt your podcast (or ours), LibriVox, Mystery at Geneva: An Improbable Tale Of Singular Happenings by Dame Rose Macaulay, The League Of Nations, The United Nations, iTunes is not where you find podcasts anymore?, HBO’s Realtime with Bill Maher podcast, CBS’ 60 Minutes podcast, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, can podcasting do for TV what it did for radio?, NBC’s Meet the Press, MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Morning Joe, The Ricky Gervais Show, how do you listen to podcasts? TWiT, how many podcasts exist?, can you hurt students by recording their classes? – consensus no, smartpens (like the Livescribe) should be hacked to podcast, podcast editing app, people get really hung up on video, Fr. Roderick‘s Catholic Insider podcast, the intimacy of audio podcasts, sound seeing tours, ABC Radio National’s The Philosopher’s Zone, Ludwig Wittgenstein, A Brief History Of Mathematics, CBC Radio One’s Tapestry, thank you to all the Australian taxpayers, why is philosophy so prevalent in podcasting, A Partially Examined Life, Philosophy Bites, The History Of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, CJSW’s Today In Canadian History, Bob Packett’s History According To Bob‘s endless Civil War series, Viking armor, The Conquest Of Mexico, Matt’s Today In History, The Tunguska Event, Medieval Commune, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, Death Throes Of The Republic VI, The Ghosts Of The Ostfront, Dan Carlin has perfected the art of the monologue, Common Sense with Dan Carlin, Hardcore History, blitz shows, James Burke, Gwynne Dyer, New Books In History podcast, the New Books Network, New Books In Public Policy, iTunes fail, I like podcasts about books, Marshall Poe interview with Christopher Krebs, A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus’s Germania From The Roman Empire To The Third Reich, The Origins Of Political Order, BIG HISTORY, Anne needs funding, The Do It Yourself Scholar, podcast directories are dead (Podcast Pickle), The Podcast Place, soccer, Tour de France, big media is dropping podcasts in favour of iPod and Android apps, Lance Armstrong, Queen Elizabeth II, “there’s something to be said for a constitutional monarchy in which the monarchy doesn’t live in the country.”

Posted by Jesse Willis

Markheim by Robert Louis Stevenson

SFFaudio Online Audio

William Coon, who appeared on SFFaudio Podcast #063, has a terrific sounding UNABRIDGED recording of Markheim by Robert Louis Stevenson over on LibriVox. Here’s what one of the proofers said about Bill’s narration:

“[Markheim] is GREAT! You’ve got just the right balance of shrewdness and madness and you really bring it off well. I listened to it over and over, catching new things every time. Thanks for several wonderful days of listening!”

Myself I’ve also been enjoying this narration as well as an abridged reading I found over on (Markheim was also recorded for the first episode of a four part BBC Radio 7 Drama series entitled Short History of Gothic).

In a strange way Markheim is a kind of hardboiled/noir version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Like Scrooge, Markheim is a sinner who at Christmas, finds himself confronted by the consequences of his sin. But whereas 19th century miserliness is Scrooge’s big problem, Markheim’s issue is of a more alarming type. His petty crimes have slowly accelerated from his youth, until now, when he finds himself, in this tale, a bloody-handed murderer. But like A Christmas Carol, both characters (Scrooge and Markheim) find their hinge points only when confronted by a visit from the supernatural.

Markheim as illustrated by Michael Lark

Illustration by Michael Lark, found in The Essential Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde – The Definitive Annotated Edition.

By Robert Louis Stevenson; Read by William Coon
1 |MP3| – Approx. 44 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: 2006

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7A Short History Of Gothic – Markheim
By Robert Louis Stevenson; Read by Hugh Bonneville
1 Broadcast – Approx. 30 Minutes [ABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 7
Broadcast: December 12, 2009
“Hugh Bonneville reads Robert Louis Stevenson’s macabre tale charting one man’s rapid fall from grace.”

The Weird CircleWeird Circle – Markheim
Based on the short story by Robert Louis Stevenson; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 25 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: MBS, NBC, ABC
Broadcast: May 20, 1945
This is a radical adaptation, set in a contemporary (to 1945) setting, and providing much of the presumed back-story (stuff that isn’t actually in the text of Stevenson’s original tale).

Here are a couple more Markheim illustrations [this time by Lynd Ward – found in The Haunted Omnibus (1937)]

Robert Louis Stevenson's Markheim as illustrated by Lynd Ward - from The Haunted Omnibus (1937)

Robert Louis Stevenson's Markheim as illustrated by Lynd Ward - from The Haunted Omnibus (1937)

[also via Golden Age Comic Book Stories]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

SFFaudio Online Audio

What’s the point of The Lottery? It’s a Rorschach test.

“A chilling tale of conformity gone mad.”
-Kent Brockman, Channel 6 News

There’s a special kind of pleasure that comes from a combination of persistence and serendipity. For years I’ve described the fruits of this activity as “obscure goodness.”

Let me tell you a story. Not that long ago I would frequent numerous Blockbuster and Rogers Video stores looking to buy used VHS movies. I’d dig through endless bins of tapes with a copy of a movie guide close to hand. I found hundreds of amazing movies that way. I found The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (1998), Sorcerer (1977) and The Wicker Man (1973), to name just a few.

Podcast discovery, by the way, can be similarly rewarding. Digging around the internet you can find some truly amazing old programs that nobody seems to be talking about. I’ve already pointed you towards the wonder that is A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time And Thou, for instance. That series has a persistent excellence that should be far better known. This whole website is basically an exercise in the search for “obscure goodness.”

I told you this story only to explain why I’m not going to explain why you should listen to Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.

The Lottery is by no means the best story I’ve read or heard, in fact it’s nowhere even close to that, but because I found it serendipitously I liked it a lot. Apparently a lot of people have read this story, its pretty famous actually, but it was new to me. Here are two versions, one narrated, one dramatized.

Fiction (from the New Yorker) PodcastThe Lottery
By Shirley Jackson; Read by A.M. Homes
1 |MP3| – Approx. 32 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: New Yorker: Fiction
Podcast: November 12, 2008
A village of 300 assembles in a square to observe a time-honored ritual. The heads of each family draws a slip of paper to choose the winner. First published in the June 26, 1948, issue of The New Yorker.

NBC Presents "Short Story"NBC Presents: SHORT STORY – “The Lottery”
Based on the short story by Shirley Jackson; Adapted by Ernest Kinoy; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: NBC Radio
Broadcast: March 14, 1951
“A story about a quaint old custom.”
Cast: Charles Seel; Gail Bonney; John McGovern; James Nusser; Jack Nessler; Louise Lorimer; Jeff Corey; Irene Tedrow; Margaret Bryaton; Jeffrey Silver; Steven Chase; Morris King (folk singer).

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC R7 & Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household

Aural Noir: Online Audio

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7So in following up on that terrific new dramatization of The Most Dangerous Game, you know the one I told you about the other day, I’ve come across a novel with a similar theme. Indeed, this is a novel with a similar legacy to that of Richard Connell’s short story. Consider this…

“One should always hunt an animal in its natural habitat; and the natural habitat of man is – in these days – a town. Chimney pots should be the cover, and the method, snapshots at two hundred yards. My plans are far advanced. I shall not get away alive, but I shall not miss; and that is all that matters to me any longer.” – Rogue Male

Similar to The Most Dangerous Game hey?

But as to the legacy – let me offer these…

First up we need to consider in reverse chronological order David Morrell‘s 1972 novel, First Blood, and the subsequent movie of the same name. Said Morrell: “When I started First Blood back in 1968, I was deeply influenced by Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male.”

That’s a very strong recommendation in itself.

Then there was a 1976 TV-movie version starring Peter O’Toole (I also recall seeing it advertised as airing on A&E television network back in the 1990s)….

And lastly, in the video department, there was a 1941 film version (directed by Fritz Lang) put out under the title Man Hunt

As to the audio, I did a search of that handy dandy resource and found there a lovely UNABRIDGED reading of Rogue Male, a novel that was commissioned (and recently re-aired) on BBC Radio 7. I’ve just finished listening to it and I highly recommend it!

SERIOUSLY, be sure give this one a try. It’s totally gripping from the first sentence on. It holds your attention with a combination of great narration (by Michael Jayston), excellent writing (by Geoffrey Household) and historical relevance. It has a feel of a historical novel – giving you a sense of the time and the culture – whilst also meditating on the human mind – especially decision making. It’s not unlike Ken Follett‘s Eye Of The Needle or The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins – it’s that good.

One thing that Rogue Male has, that those others lack, is a nice human-animal friendship. This is essentially a hunting story, rather than a spy story, so it is more singularly focused on those themes and less externalized. I’ve never read a story that depicts what it’s like to stalk an animal (be it human or otherwise) better than this novel does.

Here’s what one of the commenters on the torrent thread said about it:

“This simply has to be one of the best ‘reads’ I will have in 2008. The reader is brilliant and the story suspenseful beyond belief. I listened to it in bed and it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout every chapter. Thanks for upping it. This is already in my top 10 audio experiences of all time.”

Rogue Male by Geoffrey HouseholdRogue Male
By Geoffrey Household; Read by Michael Jayston
15 Broadcasts – Approx. 6 Hours 32 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 7
Broadcast: 2004
Told in first person by the protagonist, an un-named British sportsman, sets out to see whether he can successfully stalk and prepare to shoot a European dictator. Supposedly interested only in the hunt for its own sake, he convinces himself that he does not intend to actually pull the trigger. First published in paperbook form in 1939.

And, there was a BBC radio drama version too (also available at!

BBC Radio 4Rogue Male
Based on the novel by Geoffrey Household; Performed by a full cast
1 Broadcast – Approx. 90 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: 1989
Starring Simon Cadell and David Googe.

Other radio drama adaptations include:

SuspenseSuspense – Rogue Male
Based on the novel by Geoffrey Household; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: December 31st 1951
Stars Herbert Marshall and Ben Wright.

Everything For The BoysEverything For The Boys – Rogue Male
Based on the novel by Geoffrey Household; Adapted by Arch Oboler; Performed by a full cast
1 Broadcast – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]*
Broadcaster: NBC Radio
Broadcast: 1944
Starring Ronald Colman and Ida Lupino.
*This is a lost broadcast, no known copies now exist.

And I should also mention, that a sequel, Rogue Justice, first published in 1982, was also broadcast on BBC Radio 7 earlier this year as a five-part abridged reading (also read by Jayston).

Neat eh?

Posted by Jesse Willis

Video trailer of X-Minus One OTR

SFFaudio News

X-Minus One videoIt isn’t often that we direct you towards video, SFFaudio is above that de rigeur tripe, but this vid just might be worth a look. X-Minus One fan Jason Pichonsky has animated a trailer of several X-Minus One stories!

There was an odd byproduct of seeing the video – it was strange enough to see someone else’s visualizations of familiar stories that we’re designed to be heard – the images are compelling but I kept trying to navigate away from the site – and when I did, to my repeated astonishment, the images disappeared from my mind every time! It is almost as if a video, once seen, drives out imagination. Check it out for yourself, we aren’t hosting the original YouTube video, but you can view it HERE.

[via Zombie Astronaut]

2 versions of A Pail Of Air up on Zombie Astronaut

Online Audio

MP3 webzine - Zombie AstronautThe Zombie Astronaut has again posted up two adaptations of the same script, this time its Fritz Leiber‘s classic short story A Pail Of Air.

Alfred and Effie live on an Earth that has been knocked off it’s orbit and is drifting without the warmth and light of the Sun. The last radio station went off the air a year before their son, Bud was born. They survive in an apartment building, slowly burning what coal they can find to keep warm and keep the air from freezing. Then one day when Bud went out to get a pail of frozen air, he saw a light moving through the building across the way…

WNBC X-Minus One |MP3|
WMUK Special Projects Future Tense |MP3|

Posted by Jesse Willis