Here’s a quick survey of new Science Fiction and F…

New Releases

Here’s a quick survey of new Science Fiction and Fantasy audiobook releases:

Blackstone Audio

Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card, read by Stefan Rudnicki, Unabridged

Stefan Rudnicki reads this deeply affecting novel by Orson Scott Card. It’s a great novel, and in Rudnicki’s hands it will be treated well.

Ringworld’s Children by Larry Niven, read by Barrett Whitener, Unabridged

Another novel from Larry Niven! Definitely a welcome sight. I’ve heard Barrett Whitener read several books, and have enjoyed him very much. This release is a darned good excuse to revisit the whole series. Blackstone also carries the first Ringworld novel, read by Patrick Cullen.

Recorded Books

Horizon Storms by Kevin J. Anderson, read by George Guidall, Unabridged

This is Book 3 of Anderson’s The Saga of the Seven Suns. In a way, it’s like a fantasy epic series only in a science fiction setting. I’ve heard Book 2 and Guidall is wonderful with this (and pretty much all other) material.

Audio Renaissance

The Dragon’s Son by Margaret Weis, read by Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle de Cuir, Unabridged

This is a sequel to Weis’ first solo effort, Mistress of Dragons, which was a good audiobook. In these, there is a powerful Dragon Parliament which has agreed to keep their hands out of human affairs, but someone of dragon kind has broken that oath. Let the hunt begin!

Dune: The Battle of Corrin by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson, read by Scott Brick, Unabridged

Kevin Anderson is a busy man! I haven’t followed the Dune prequels, but this is the last of the second prequel trilogy, and Scott Brick is an excellent reader.

All of the books above, except for Lost Boys and Horizon Storms, are also available on-line at Audible.com.

I wish you all good listening!

I will compile a similar new-release list for post monthly – if you have a release you’d like me to mention, please contact me here.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

UPDATE: This has been moved up a day to Wednesday,…

SFFaudio News

UPDATE: This has been moved up a day to Wednesday, January 7.

Robert J. Sawyer will be cohosting the full two hours of CBC Radio’s Toronto afternoon drive-time show “Hear and Now” with Avril Benoit on Thursday, January 8, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. “Hear and Now” is carried live on CBC Radio One Toronto, 99.1 FM, and is available through the Internet here.

Also, the radio show “Sci-Fi Overdrive” last week featured an interview with Robert J. Sawyer, and this week includes an interview with Orson Scott Card. The SciFiOverdrive website makes archived shows available for streaming.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Science Fiction Audiobooks - Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Stefan Rudnicki, Gabrielle De Cuir, David Birney and others
10 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Fantastic Audio
Published: 2002
ISBN: 1574535145 (Cassette) – 1574535366 (Audio CD)
Themes: Science Fiction / Military / Space / Youth / Politics / Alien races /

In the not too distant past, the Earth survived a war with the Buggers, an insect-like alien race. One military man, Mazer Rackham, was able to make the difference in the war for humanity, but it is widely feared that the Buggers will be back. To prepare, the government has taken to monitoring the Earth for the next military genius. Everyone who is considered a candidate is taken from their families at a young age and placed into an orbital Battle School. Ender Wiggin, at 6 years old, is considered to be the best candidate – Ender’s Game is his story.

Ender’s brother (Peter) and sister (Valentine) also play a large role. They are both older than Ender, and both extremely intelligent. They also were both passed over for Battle School, one for being too dangerous and one for being too compassionate. They have their own way of influencing the events of the world, even though they are no longer considered for the military.

The Battle School is centered on a game in which teams (armies) of kids fight each other in a zero-g environment. They carry guns that shoot low power lasers and wear suits that react to those lasers by freezing wherever they are hit. By playing the game, the students are training in three dimensional combat, and the competition aboard the Battle Station is fierce.

Ender not only deals with the other students in this competition, but also the teachers of the School as they place him in more and more difficult circumstances. The story has much to say about means and ends, both personal and political.

Even though I had read it three times over the past 14 years, I was glued to this audio version as if I didn’t know what was going to happen. The audio is a treat. Stefan Rudnicki performs the main narrator duties, while a number of others perform the conversations amongst the adults, which occur at the beginning of each chapter. Orson Scott Card also recorded a postscript in which he discusses the origins of Ender’s Game as a novel. First-rate.

Review of Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobooks - Enders Game by Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Stefan Rudnicki, Gabrielle De Cuir, David Birney and others
10 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Fantastic Audio
Published: 2002
ISBN: 1574535145 (Cassette) – 1574535366 (Audio CD)
Themes: / Science Fiction / Military / Space / Youth / Politics / Aliens /

Science Fiction Audiobooks - Enders Game by Orson Scott CardSpeaker for the Dead
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Stefan Rudnicki, Gabrielle De Cuir, David Birney, Scott Brick, and others
14 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Fantastic Audio
Published: 2002
ISBN: 1574535153 (Cassette) – 1574535609 (Audio CD)
Themes: / Science Fiction / Military / Space / Politics / Alien races / Religion /

Orson Scott Card wrote a pair of novels in the 1980’s that swept both the Hugo and Nebula Best Novel awards two years in a row (1986 and 1987 Hugo, 1985 and 1986 Nebula). These two novels are Ender’s Game and its sequel, Speaker for the Dead.

These books were released previously in abridged editions, which can still be found out there, but these Fantastic Audio unabridged editions completely eclipse those in both quality and content. They are multi-voice recordings, but not of the type where several actors take parts and speak for certain characters. Instead, the narrator changes with point-of-view changes in the novel, which occur chapter to chapter. I found this extremely effective with these novels. These unabridged editions also contain material read by Orson Scott Card, explaining the origins of the novels.

Ender’s Game takes place after a war between Earth and a race of aliens called “The Buggers” by most of humanity. Earth was saved during that war by the decisions of a brilliant military man named Mazer Rackham. The powers that be on Earth decide that the Buggers are definitely going to return, and immediately start searching for the next military genius. Ender Wiggin, 6 years old, is a boy they think might be the one.

Speaker for the Dead is a completely different kind of novel, both in subject matter and tone. Ender Wiggin is now a bit older, but still reeling from events in the previous novel. He visits a planet named Lusitania, where mysteries abound among the indigenous alien race on the planet and one particular family that studies them.

Both of these audiobooks are first-rate. The narrators do an excellent job telling the stories, which translate very well into unabridged audio. Though tastes certainly vary, Ender’s Game is consistently mentioned as one of the finest works of science fiction, and this audio version is an excellent way to experience it, or re-experience it.

Both of these audiobooks are available on audio cassette, audio CD, or for download at Audible.com.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

And now, a short intermission… Due to some ot…

SFFaudio News

And now, a short intermission…

Due to some other obligations (i.e. my day job), I’ll be out of town the week of Sep. 7th. SFFaudio will be back on Sep. 15th with some new posts.

Some of the things we’re working on – a comprehensive list of audio editions of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy award-winning fiction, reviews of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead on unabridged audio, and Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, also on unabridged audio.

Back soon!

Posted by Scott D. Danielson