The SFFaudio Podcast #014

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #014 – Plenty of exciting jibber jabber for you today. It’s a good show, as long as you define good very narrowly.

Talked about on today’s show:
Wall-E, our infamous Wall-E is a criminal post, Bolt, Bill C-61, Brian Murphy‘s review of The Halloween Tree, Poe’s Children, StarShipSofa’s Richard K. Morgan interview, Hour 25, converting m3u into MP3, Coeur de Lion‘s podcast, the difference between “mainstream fiction”, “literary fiction” and “slipstream fiction”, Peter Straub, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, Michael Crichton, James Wallace Harris’ post about Science Fiction as a religion, A Man In Full, Tom Wolfe, Mike Resnick’s Starship series, space opera, David Brin, Startide Rising, the impenetrable Kelly Link, evolution in art, William Gibson‘s literary journey, Charles Stross is for connoisseurs of SF, modern painting’s inaccessibility: Voice of Fire, on an child’s SF education: give them Heinlein, Bradbury and Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, The Call Of The Wild, Goosebumps, Gaiman’s signed poster deal, converting children to my religion: treating books with reverence, audio drama: Johnny Chase: Agent Of Space, review of Queen Of The Black Coast, amateur and professional audio drama, Colonial Radio Theatre vs. Broken Sea Audio Productions.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #011 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #011 – in which our desperate heroes attempt to display the manliness and fortitude, listing all the recent arrivals, and some recent listens.

Talked about on today’s show:
audiobooks, epic fantasy, science fiction, The Runelords, David Farland, Blackstone Audio, Brilliance Audio, Dragonheart, Todd McCaffery, Pern, Penguin Audio, Jim Butcher, Codex Alera, Furies of Calderon, Kate Reading, Random House Audio, The Widows Of Eastwick, John Updike, Peter Straub, Poe’s Children – an anthology, Stephen King, Star Wars – Millennium Falcon, James Luceno, Macmillan Audio, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Michael Kramer, Richard Stark, Books On Tape, Frank Herbert, Heretics Of Dune, the Alan Smithee version of Dune (1984), Neal Stephenson, Anathem (28 CDs long!), The Book Of Lies, Brad Meltzer, Ender In Exile, Orson Scott Card, Team America World Police, Sherlock Holmes Theatre, Yuri Rasovsky, audio drama, 2000X, Repent Harlequin Said The Tick-Tock Man, Harlan Ellison, Mercedes Lackey, Foundation, Wizard’s First Rule, Terry Goodkind, Legend Of The Seeker, SFSignal.com, iTunes, Infinivox, Guest Law, John C. Wright, Audio Realms, Shadow Kingdoms, Robert E. Howard, Fallout 3, and Team America: World Police‘s song we’re gonna need a montage!

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 3 documents the life of H.P. Lovecraft

Online Audio

Online Audio BBC Radio 3BBC Radio 3 will be featuring a must listen documentary this Sunday in the “Sunday Feature” slot…

Weird Tales – The Strange Life Of H P Lovecraft
Radio Broadcast – Approx. 45 Minutes [DOCUMENTARY]
BROADCASTER: BBC Radio 3
BROADCAST: Sunday December 3rd 2006 @ 21:30 – 22:15 (UK TIME)

“Geoff Ward examines the strange life and terrifying world of the man hailed as America’s greatest horror writer since Poe. During his life Lovecraft’s work was confined to lurid pulp magazines and he died in penury in 1937. Today, however, his writings are considered modern classics and published in prestigious editions. Among the writers considering his legacy are Neil Gaiman, S.T. Joshi, Kelly Link, Peter Straub and China Mieville.”

This should be available via the ‘Listen Again‘ feature for 7 days after the broadcast too. This is exciting isn’t it?

Many thanks to Roy, or intrepid UK sleuth, for this exquisite find.

XM Satellite Radio: Audiobook Cafe

January 2nd 2005 sees the first broadcast of a new hour-long radio program called Audiobook Cafe. Set to air once a week on XM Satellite Radio, the show is hosted by full time author and part time audiobook narrator Lawrence Block. Block is mostly known for his award winning mystery and crime novels but his lengthy career has also included a few ventures in to the science fiction, fantasy, and horror realms.

Each installment of Audiobook Cafe includes two author interviews and several audiobook reviews with audio exerpts from the audiobooks covered. Authors already recorded include fantasy authors Peter Straub and Neil Gaiman! This is by no means a program focusing on science fiction and fantasy audiobooks – we wish – but it is still very cool.

Of peripheral interest to this story: The Lawrence Block word factory has produced an interesting article for the New York newspaper The Village Voice, entitled “Abridge This!”. Find it here!

Review of Koko By Peter Straub

Fantasy Audiobooks - Koko by Peter StraubKoko
By Peter Straub; Read by James Woods
2 Cassettes – Approx. 3 hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published: November 1988 – Out Of Print
ISBN: 0671652397
Themes: Fantasy / Horror / Mystery / Vietnam / Serial Killer /

“Koko…” Only four men knew what it meant… Vietnam vets. One was a doctor. One was a lawyer. One was a working stiff. One was a writer. All were as different as men could be – yet all were bound eternally together by a single shattering secret.

A group of Vietnam vets flies back to Asia in search of a former member of their old unit, someone who they think may have become a serial killer, someone calling himself “Koko”. Koko’s motivation and identity are inextricably linked to their tour in ‘Nam, and specifically to one experience they all shared in a Vietnamese village. But in order to discover Koko’s true nature, a few of them may have to die.

Simon & Schuster Audio have used the same cool cover art from the paperback for this audiobook, which is great, but they’ve heavily abridged the novel, which isn’t. Thankfully, the story still works despite the abridgement, and the reader, James Woods, has the chops to become a full time narrator if that Hollywood thing doesn’t work out. Also added to the production is suitably accented music, which works well despite happening at seemingly random intervals. Peter Straub is really able to carve the words into your mind in such a way as to freak you right out of your skin. But it’s not just the words themselves; it’s the characters and the thoughts they have, and the motivations that drive them. It’s certainly a horror novel, but more in the tradition of Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness than Stephen King’s It. What’s really weird though is that Koko won the World Fantasy Award for best novel. Despite lacking any fantastic elements, Koko is more mystery than fantasy and more horror than fantasy. But don’t get me wrong, Koko deserved the award. It’s just that it is so far outside the boundaries of typical fantasy fiction that only a phrase like “speculative fiction” can capture it at all. Were the work not so impressive nobody would bother debating whether it was fantasy or not. It’s definitely worth the debate.

Posted by Jesse Willis