Edgar Allan Poe all over BBC7 this week

SFFaudio Online Audio

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7 It’s a busy week over on BBC7 with FIVE whole Poe programs playing! All this is in celebration of Poe’s 200th birthday. If Poe were alive today he’d be a rich man, not because any of his writings are still in copyright, but rather because he’d be able to rake in dough just by doing dramatic readings of his own work. But, since he isn’t still alive [as far as YOU know] we’ll just make do with these…

The Strange Case of Edgar Allan Poe
In this imaginative and mysterious drama by Christopher Cook, one of Poe’s own early creations, the detective C. Auguste Dupin investigates the bizarre and strange death of the writer. First broadcast in 1988, it stars John Moffatt and Kerry Shale and is directed by John Powell.
Sunday at 10am and 8pm

The Pit and the Pendulum
Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling short story was first published in 1842. Read by David Horovitch, it is the tale of the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition. The story was abridged by Richard Hamilton and directed by Emma Harding.
Sunday at 11am and 9pm

The Tell-tale Heart
In another of Poe’s atmospheric short stories, a man coldly calculates and commits what he believes is the perfect murder. When he is confronted by members of the constabulary, will his own heart incriminate him? Directed and produced by Clive Stanhope for CSA Word, this classic example of Gothic fiction is read by Richard Pasco.
Sunday at 11.15am and 9.15am

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Gold Bug
Set in 1838, this is Poe’s story of piracy, slavery and a treasure hunt. It was dramatised by Gregory Evans and first broadcast in 2001. Starring Clarke Peters, John Sharlan, Rhashan Stone and William Hootkins, it is directed by Ned Chaillet.
Saturday at 6pm and Midnight

The Fall of the House of Usher
Our final Edgar Allan Poe offering is read by Sean Barrett. A man’s descent into madness seems bound to the house of his ancestors. It is a Radio 7 commission and was first broadcast in 2003.
Thursday and Friday at 6.30pm and 12.30pm

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Starship: Pirate by Mike Resnick

SFFaudio Review

Starship: Pirate, Book 2 by Mike ResnickStarship: Pirate, Book 2
By Mike Resnick; Read by Jonathan Davis
Audible Download – 8 Hours 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: April 2008
Themes: / Science Fiction / Space Opera / Galactic Civilization / Aliens / Piracy / Crime / Military SF /

Seeking to find a new life for themselves, Cole and comrades remake the Teddy R. as a pirate ship and set sail for the lawless Inner Frontier. There, powerful warlords, cut-throat pirates, and struggling colonies compete for survival in a game where you rarely get a second chance to learn the rules. But military discipline is poor preparation for a life of pillaging and plundering, and Cole’s principles limit his targets. Seeking an education on the nature of piracy, Cole hunts more knowledgeable players: the beautiful but deadly Valkyrie, the enigmatic alien fence David Copperfield, and the fearsome alien pirate known as the Hammerhead Shark.

Avast! All hands take heed of this fine awdio-booke! It be a speedy chaser to Starship: Mutiny – and who among ye haven’t read that yet? The scurvy lot who han’t yet, ought! Those who ha, read on.

Writer of the booke be one named Resnick, he be an experienced one, charting a course that leads to high adventure and much profite. There be little ballast for this be a fast journey. But I forewarn thee, there be parts where you’ll feel clapped in irons (unable to stop listening).

The keel of this story be straight and true. Though to be fair there was one leak into the bilge (a repeated line missed in the editing). Skippering the narration of this yarn be a yank of some experience. Jonathan Davis, he who tole the story of the Teddy R. and crew from the first booke (Starship: Mutiny), returns to bedevil the shores of many star systems again. Me spyglass reports that he be crewing the next booke, Starship: Mercenary as well. That be a good thing. Behind this yarn be Audible Frontiers. A new publisher of some new repute. And their stocks look unto being a great treasure trove of riches – fit nigh for many a plundering (mind ye though there be DRM). Better, and fitter, just sign your X and get an account. It be a wise move me hearties.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Queen Of The Black Coast adapted from the story by Robert E. Howard

SFFaudio Review

Broken Sea Audio Productions AUDIO DRAMA - Queen Of The Black Coast based on the story by Robert E. Howard (original art by John Bucema and Ernie Chan)Queen Of The Black Coast
Based on the story by Robert E Howard; Performed by a full cast
7 MP3s – Approx. 3 Hours 30 Mintues [AUDIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: Broken Sea’s Hyborean Sagas
Podcast: June 2008 to December 2008
Themes: / Fantasy / Piracy / Magic / Noir /

Okay so the cover art for this one isn’t official, not in the slightest. But, since I’m making it for my own collection I thought I’d share with you. The original art came from my personal copy of issue 100 of Marvel Comics’ Conan The Barbarian. It was rendered by John Buscema and Ernie Chan as the final instalment of the Belit story, which had run since issue 58. Those Marvel comics are what got me into the original Robert E. Howard stories to begin with. And, Queen Of The Black Coast is my favourite Conan story. And, now this is my favourite amateur audio drama.

Bill Hollweg, who spearheaded this project, has faithfully adapted Howard’s original narrative. There are changes, but not too many, and when they exist it’s to make it work as an audio drama. This is the tale that gave Conan his gigantic melancholies. It’s a noir fantasy, rich and powerful, pulpy and inspiring. Conan, a northern barbarian, is on the run from the law and hops aboard an outbound ship. Soon after he’s fighting off pirates, and next becoming one himself. Meeting the Belit, the “queen” of the black coast, he begins a passionate romance with the rash and selfish pirate queen. Their adventures together, his loyalty, and her lust for treasure, lead them up a poisoned river, and ultimately to their doom. It’s bloody wonderful.

The audio tapestry is as rich as any amateur audio production ever recorded – with sound effects and music, narration and acting, all at the top of its form. But, the show wasn’t an instant hit with me. Stevie Farnaby’s Conan turned me off at first. His voice just wasn’t right. Episode 1’s acting, where we first hear his raspy growl, was cartoonish, too brutish, not right. But as episode 2 rolled in, and episode 3 rolled on, and episode 4 became 5, and 6 became 7, I came to the conclusion that Stevie Farnaby is the voice of Conan and I was wrong about what Conan sounded like. I’d been voicing him in my head for about 25 years, he didn’t sound like Stevie Farnaby’s Conan. Other fine work includes the narrator Ralph Walters. He’s the voice of the Zombie Astronaut and about a dozen other characters on the Freqency Of Fear podcast. He’s quite a vocal chameleon and does excellent work here. Other actors include director Bill Hollweg himself, voicing much of Belit’s crew, and Charlene Harris as the titular queen. One thing to remember going into this folks, none of the actors were in the same room when this was recorded. They did their lines in a quiet room with no feedback. This is a huge problem in amateur audio drama – the acting can often feel stiff – I’m happy to say this rarely happens in QotBC. Highly recommend listening for fans of Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3| Part 3 |MP3| Part 4 |MP3|
Part 5 |MP3| Part 6 |MP3| Part 7 |MP3|

Podcast feed:


Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Adventures of Red Cloud

Science Fiction Audio Drama - The Adventures of Red Cloud starring Traci Elizabeth LordsThe Adventures of Red Cloud
By Larry Weiner; performed by a full cast
2 CDs – 2 hours [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Radio Repertory Company of America
Published: 2004
ISBN: 0966039297
Themes: / Science Fiction / Audio Drama / Espionage / Piracy / Prostitution / Humor /

The Adventures of Red Cloud is an audio drama starring Traci Elizabeth Lords, Brinke Stevens, and James C. Leary, along with a full cast and crew. Traci Elizabeth Lords is mesmerizing as the sexy Wendy McCloud, who trades professions – from hooker to spy – in order to find her father’s killer. Lords is both funny and sultry as her character fights anger management problems and uses her feminine wiles to infiltrate the inner circle of a group of pirates and achieve her vengeful goals.

The script is witty, and all of the actors turn in nice performances. The score works well, and the effects professionally done. What’s not to like? I found this audio drama very entertaining and am looking forward to more from the Radio Repertory Company of America.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson