Sci-Phi Show interviews Rudy Rucker

Jason Rennie’s The Sci Phi Show, has has an exclusive podcast interview with Rudy Rucker. You may recall that The Sci Phi Show ran a short Rucker story called Panpsychism Proved a while back. Jason talks to Rudy about the “singularity”, the philosophical idea of panpsychism (the idea that the entirety of the universe is “mind”), quantum physics, cyberpunk, his novels and his philosophy on book distribution. Have a listen |MP3| or subscribe to The Sci Phi Show’s podcast feed:

April & May New Releases

New Releases

Two years after the first book, comes “book 2” of one of the first podcast novels…

Podiobook - Max Quick 2: The Two Travelers by Mark JeffreyMax Quick 2: The Two Travelers
By Mark Jeffrey; Read by Mark Jeffrey
Published: April 2008 – ????
Five quiet years have passed in Starland, California since the the time of the Pocket. But when a crazed old man shows up with a warning, Max, Casey, Ian and Sasha suddenly find themselves on the run. Max and Ian go through an Arch back to 1912, where a mysterious Machine is under construction that seems connected to Max’s unremembered secret. Meanwhile, Casey and Sasha follow the old man to the strange town of Arturo Gyp. But there is more afoot than meets the eye: the enemies of Mr. E – the nefarious Archons – are abroad. And when Max is at last eye-to-eye with his secret, he realizes nothing will ever be the same again…

Only available as a commercial MP3 download…

MP3 Audiobook - Little Brother by Cory DoctorowLittle Brother
By Cory Doctorow; Read by Kirby Heyborne
MP3 Download – 11 Hours 54 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio / Listening Library
Published: April 2008
ISBN: 9780739372869
Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works-and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems. But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days. When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

Audio comics! Fully dramatized…

AUDIO DRAMA - Justice League of America: ExterminatorsJustice League of America: Exterminators
By Christopher Golden; Performed by a full cast
5 CDs, 1 MP3-CD or WMA Download – Approx. 5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Graphic Audio
Published: May 2008
ISBN: 1599504448
Superman. Batman. Wonder Woman. The Flash. Green Lantern. They are the World’s Greatest Super Heroes, fighting endlessly against corruption and injustice. Each of them is a formidable opponent of evil, but banded together their powers are unmatched. Ever ready, they stand united as the — JUSTICE LEAGUE of AMERICA. When a mass outbreak of super-powered individuals threatens the world, the JLA determines that latent metahuman abilities are being triggered by an alien contagion, one that’s spreading throughout Earth as it transforms its hosts into monstrous engines of destruction. Racing to contain the infection, the world’s greatest super heroes link the parasitic plague to an alien invasion from the team’s earliest days and make a horrifying discovery: the JLA itself is responsible for the imminent disaster they now face.

Said to be a “funny, fast-paced science fiction adventure” this is author Michael Reisman’s first book…

Young Adult Audiobook - Simon Bloom: Gravity Keeper by Michael ReismanSimon Bloom: Gravity Keeper
By Michael Reisman; Read by Nicholas Hormann
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: April 22, 2008
ISBN: 9780739363539
Ordinary sixth-grader Simon Bloom has just made the biggest discovery since gravity–and it literally fell into his lap. Or onto his head, anyway. You see, Simon has found the Teacher’s Edition of Physics, a magical reference book containing the very formulas that control the laws that govern the universe! By reciting the formulas out loud, he’s able to do the impossible–like reverse the force of gravity to float weightlessly, and reduce friction to zoom across any surface! But a book that powerful isn’t safe with Simon for long. Before he knows it, he is being pursued by evil forces bent on gaining control of the formulas. And they’ll do anything to retrieve them. Now, Simon and his friends must use their wits and the magic of science in a galactic battle for the book, and the future of the universe.

Another juvenile novel, sounds a bit like The Secret World Of Og

Young Adult Audiobook - Puddlejumpers by Mark Jean and Christopher CarlsonPuddlejumpers
By Mark Jean and Christopher Carlson; Read by Sean Kenin
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: April 22, 2008
ISBN: 9780739363379
Ernie Banks, named for the legendary Chicago Cubs shortstop, is a troubled, thirteen-year-old juvenile delinquent. Abandoned on the doorstep of the Lakeside Home for Boys when he was three years old, his only proof that he once belonged to somebody is a vintage Ernie Banks baseball card, a crystal acorn he wears on a string around his neck, and a strange spiral birthmark on the bottom of his right foot. As a last reprieve before being sent to a juvenile detention facility, Ernie is allowed to spend three weeks on a working farm. When Ernie arrives at the home of Russ Frazier, he learns that the widower’s baby was kidnapped years before. Ernie is determined to solve the case. He teams up with Joey, a local tomboy, to investigate clues that lead them on a dangerous journey into a forbidden world of dark secrets, magic puddles, and the cavernous underground kingdom of the Puddlejumpers–eleven-inch-tall water creatures with whom Ernie has a mysterious connection.

Only rarely are audiobooks embargoed, the last one I remember was a Harry Potter, here’s another, I think we can probably guess why it won’t be showing up on shelves early…

Audiobook - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull by James RollinsIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
By James Rollins; Read by L.J. Ganser
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: May 20, 2008
ISBN: 9780739358986
Warning: SPOILERS….
It’s 1957, the atomic age is in full swing, and McCarthy-era paranoia has the nation on edge. But for Indiana Jones, the Cold War really heats up when his latest expedition is crashed by a ruthless squad of Russian soldiers. Commanded by a sword-wielding colonel who’s as sinister as she is stunning, the menacing Reds drag an unwilling Indy along as they brazenly invade American soil, massacre U.S. soldiers, and plunder a top-secret government warehouse. Their objective: a relic even more precious–and powerful–than the mythic Ark, capable of unlocking secrets beyond human comprehension.

Posted by Jesse Willis

CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks talks The Physics Of The Impossible

SFFaudio Online Audio

CBC Radio One - Quirks and Quarks PodcastStar Trek‘s phasers, Star Wars‘s lightsabers, and ships that can travel faster than the speed of light… pure SF? Bob MacDonald, host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks, talks to Dr. Kaku about his book, Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel. Drawing from science fiction for his inspiration, and his training as a theoretical physicist for his analysis, Dr. Kaku tries to figure out what, if anything, is actually impossible. Have a listen |MP3|

Or get the segment via the Q&Q podcast’s segmented feed:

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Master Of Space And Time by Rudy Rucker

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Master of Space and Time by Rudy RuckerMaster of Space and Time
By Rudy V. B. Rucker; Read by Scott Grunden
5 CDs – Approx. 6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9781433207709
Themes: / Science Fiction / Humor / Physics / Quantum Mechanics / Alternate Universe / Time Travel / Robots /

“Madcap inventor Harry Gerber is hopeless when it comes to surviving in the real world. So he uses his genius to twist the laws of science and create his own tailor-made universe.”

Joe Fletcher has a 9-to-precisely-5 job at Softtech, a crappy software company in New Jersey. He hates his job, so much so he’s programmed a piece of software to alert him to the precise nano-second of the completion of his requisite 40 hours a week. On one particular Friday in the futuristic 1990s Joe hoofs it out to the company parking lot for the commute home only to find his former partner, Harry Gerber, an “out-of-it” genius inventor waiting for him. Joe hadn’t seen Gerber, his former partner in their bankrupt engineering firm, in more than a year so he’s rather surprised to see a two-inch tall Harry sitting on the steering wheel of his 1956 Buick. In fact, after closer inspection there are a whole swarm of tiny Harrys in the Buick. Some are standing on the gearshift, others are running around on the dashboard, each is smaller than the next. The Harrys tell Joe about the machine that they will assemble on Saturday that will make them both masters of space and time by Sunday afternoon. Most important for Joe, Harry and his girlfriend, the improbably named Sondra Tupperware, they’ll need to get some red gluons – a kind of subatomic particle found only below the “Planck threshold.” The “blunzer” – the device in question, will grant them the ability to do absolutely anything by just mentally manipulating the very nature of reality – and they know it will work since it already has!

Rudy Rucker is playing with old Heinleinian tropes to good comic effect in Master Of Space And Time. On offer is an homage to The Puppet Masters and I Will Fear No Evil, the former being an alien invasion by brain slugs, the latter being about a man who gets the ultimate in transgendered wishes. There’s lots of original material here too, the writing is Hard SF-lite with lots of physics for undergraduates. It comes off as a comic version of the ultimate power fantasy, or as an SF take on the old “three wishes” tales. One other bit of fun, the chapter names are all either self-referential or jokey. On the net there seems to be quite a bit of controversy about the religious and sexual aspects of the book. I found it hard to understand why that would be – the accusations of ‘homophobia’ and a ‘high-handed, anti-christian’ attitude seem pretty insubstantial, at least based on the content of the novel I was listening to. The whole caper is fun, unpredictable and fast moving. It makes for a breezy listen – it won’t blow your mind, but it will entertain.

In Master Of Space And Time narrator Scott Grunden has some of the funniest lines ever read in an audiobook. At one point early in the novel he’s performing the sounds of a ginormous iguana-cum-Godzilla, (WHEEEENK-WHEEEENK- WHEEEENK! GUH-ROOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOO!) the scene goes on an on. Another treat, at the point at which Joe is switched bodily into his idea of the most sexy woman in the world Grunden changes his voice even when his cadence doesn’t. It pleases the heck out of me that Blackstone is venturing a little farther back in time for many of its new Science Fiction additions. Master Of Space And Time was first published in the 1984, I had no clue it even existed until this audiobook edition came out. Look for a film version of Master Of Space And Time sometime in 2009 with a screenplay by Daniel Clowes of Ghost World fame.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Eifelheim by Michael Flynn

SFFaudio Review

Eifelheim by Michael FlynnEifelheim
By Michael Flynn; Read by Anthony Heald
2 MP3-CDs – 17.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2007
ISBN: 1433206129
Themes: / Science Fiction / Philosophy / Religion / Catholicism / Aliens / Physics / First Contact / Black Death /

“Eifelheim” is a novel that’s not in a hurry. It’s a multiple course meal that offers helpings of philosophy, science, and religion at a leisurely pace that’s refreshing in today’s hurry-up climate. It was also a Hugo nominee for Best Novel of 2007.

The novel takes place in two times. In “Now”, two live-in scientists discuss and compare their findings on seemingly different subjects. One of them is investigating the absence of people in Eifelheim, a German town whose population disappeared during the 14th century. According to calculations of population patterns, this is a mathematical anomaly. The other scientist, a physicist, is trying to figure out why the speed of light is slowing down. That these two things are related is part of the story.

In the 14th century, a parish priest named Father Deitrich, who is dealing with the beginnings of the Black Death in his area, experiences first contact with an alien race that appears in his town of Eifelheim. Father Deitrich is a smart, compassionate priest, and, as he considers the aliens God’s children, he befriends them and cares for them as he can.

The focus occasionally switches back to the two scientists from “now”, who have conversations that shed light on the happenings in Eifelheim in the past. The main charm of this novel for me was the realistic portrayal of this honorable priest, and his culture. It portrays a medieval religion that was considered the source of all knowledge, and as such, the priest’s logical reasoning makes for compelling listening. To readers who enjoy philosophy and speculative science, and the history of both, it would be hard to find a modern novel more interesting.

Author Michael Flynn provides historical and physics notes at the end of the novel, and thanks should go out to Blackstone Audio for including them here in the audiobook. Narrator Anthony Heald does a tremendous job with the narration. He’s an excellent match with the material, handling accents and characters with unobtrusive skill. Choices he made with the alien voices were particularly effective.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Bill DeSmedt’s Singularity

Podcast - The SingularityI got the honor of meeting Bill DeSmedt author of the podiobook Singularity, at WorldCon! Bill just wrote in and said: “I promised to get back to you once I’d gotten the schedule for the final few episodes of the Singularity podcast worked out. The final ‘episode’ of the podcast will be a Q&A session with the author (me), hosted by Paul Fisher. Questions must be submitted before Oct 28th, and the best one wins an autographed copy of Singularity.” Thanks Bill!

Here’s the schedule:

Episode 41 (Ch 40: Project Report) — 09/25 (Monday)
Episode 42 (Ch 41: The Singularity) — 09/30 (Saturday)
Episode 43 (Ch 42: A Stitch in Time) — 10/05 (Thursday)
Episode 44 (Ch 43: Le Mot Juste) — 10/10 (Tuesday)
Episode 45 (Ch 44: Last Row on the Chessboard) — 10/15 (Sunday)
Episode 46 (Ch 45: Mopping up) — 10/20 (Friday)
Episode 47 (Epilog: The Bridge) — 10/25 (Wednesday)
Q&A Episode — 10/31 (Tuesday)

And you can check out Paul Fischer’s new MP3 promo for Singularity HERE!

posted by Jesse Willis