New Releases – Wonder Audio, Leiber and Weinbaum

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Did you know you can get either of these titles, as well as any other Wonder Audio title for free?  Just sign up at Audible.com/WonderAudio

The Night of the Long KnivesThe Night of the Long Knives
By Fritz Leiber; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
3hr,  37 min.- [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audio
Published: 2009

Available at Audible & iTunes

A Deathlander’s life is a rough one. Atomic radiation, murder and sex preoccupies the sparse inhabitants of what used to be a great portion of America’s West. Kill or be killed is the law of this sickened land. Multicolored radioactive dusts floats in the atmosphere of this nuclear desert.

When Ray Baker meets a woman on his sojourn, he doesn’t know if he wants to kill her or sleep with her. Ray doesn’t understand his urge to murder. But he feels it like all the other Deathlanders. Just as he knows the girl feels it. Laying down their arsenal of weapons will leave them both vulnerable. The cost of a moment of intimacy may lead to the last moments of their lives. And what to do when the act is over, and both their minds turn back to murder.

Parasite Planet: The Ham & Pat StoriesParasite Planet: The Ham & Pat Stories
By Stanley G. Weinbaum; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
3hr, 47 min.- [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audio
Published: 2009

Available at Audible & iTunes

The short and meteoric career of Stanley G. Weinbaum produced many instantly hailed classics. None had the breadth of wonder, and adventure with philosophic insight as the trilogy of stories that feature Ham Hammond and Patricia Burlingame.

Parasite Planet begins with Ham Hammond trekking across the surface of Venus. The environment is parasitic, filled with bizarre alien life forms like the lasso throwing Jack Ketch Trees and the doughpots, a mindless omnivorous ball of animate cells that devour all living things in their path. When Ham meets the contentious Patricia Burlingame, they have to march across Venus to safety. It’s not clear what is going to kill them first, Venus’s hostile environment or each other.

In The Lotus Eaters, Ham and Pat are on a special scientific expedition to the dark-side of Venus. They discover a strange warm-blooded plant. The most disconcerting thing about the plant is when it begins speaking English and waxing philosophically.

The Planet of Doubt brings the duo to Uranus on another special scientific expedition. The cloudy shrouded terrain strikes terror into the heart of Ham as tries to find the lost Pat who he hopes is still be alive!

Posted by The Time Traveler of the Time Traveler Show

Review of Solution Unsatisfactory

Solution Unsatisfactory
Adapted by Daniel Taylor from the short story by Robert A. Heinlein; Full Cast Production
1 CD – 68 Minutes UNABRIDGED
Publisher: Atlanta Radio Theater Company
Published: 2003
ISBN: 0929483316
Themes: / Science Fiction / WWII / Nuclear Holocaust / Time Travel /

Solution Unsatisfactory describes an American supersecret project to develop an atomic superweapon that proves vital to the Allied triumph of World War II. ‘So what,’ you say. ‘That’s old news.’ And you’d be right, the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 were the final nails in the coffin of WWII. But what’s weird is, Solution Unsatisfactory was published in 1940, a full half decade before the atom bomb was even known to exists by the general public. What’s more, Heinlein’s story goes on to foresee the coming cold war with the Soviet Union and the concomitant race to arm with atomic weapons. Heinlein’s story doesn’t actually foretell the same events that happened, but the similarities are pretty eerie.

Daniel Taylor and the Atlanta Radio Theater Company have gone to great lengths to perform this difficult-to-adapt tale. Heinlein’s original short story is full of lots of exposition and less dialogue, and it takes place over a number of years, so Taylor has been forced to use propaganda radio transmissions and news bulletins to inform dramatically. The dramatization sounds crystal clear, performances are impactful and it follows the spirit of the text quite faithfully. The audiobook comes packaged in a DVD style amaray case with liner notes on the inside – a very cool idea. For the longest time the colourful cover art really baffled me, I figured it was like a Rorschach, but actually its not projective at all, I just was looking at it wrong. ARTC should be proud of themselves, Solution Unsatisfactory is a chilling reminder of how prescient science fiction can be, and more importantly, how it can serve as a warning.

Also included on the CD are two other shorter dramatizations. The Assassins by Gerald W. Page, a time-travel tale which is highly enjoyable, though predictable. It starts off at a convention of scientists where the topic of the day is to change the present by means of selective historical assassination. It ends in a familiar place. The final dramatization on the CD is the whimsical Grandma’s Diary by Daniel Taylor, which is neither SF or Fantasy, but entertaining.

As with other ARTC productions Solution Unsatisfactory needs a particular environment for maximum enjoyment. Cut out ambient background noise – use snug fitting headphones or a very quiet room (no white noise producers like ceiling fans for instance) with a solid pair of high fidelity speakers.

Posted by Jesse Willis