LibriVox: Mary Shelley, William Morris and Horace Walpole

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxA recent flurry of furious audiobook cataloging over the past week on has resulted in a massive new library of old SFF listens! Here are three old novels, almost ancient in fact. Now before you get too excited, they will be rather difficult listening for beginners – but, for a select few connoisseurs, these are priceless gems.

First up, from the author of the first Science Fiction novel….

LibriVox Science Fiction Audiobook - The Last Man by Mary ShelleyThe Last Man
By Mary Shelley; Read by various
32 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 18 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Published: October 9th, 2008
The Last Man is an early post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by Mary Shelley, which was first published in 1826. The book tells of a future world that has been ravaged by a plague. The plague gradually kills off all people. Lionel Verney, central character, son of a nobleman who gambled himself into poverty, finds himself immune after being attacked by an infected “negro,” and copes with a civilization that is gradually dying out around him.

Podcast feed:

Next, the first modern Fantasy novel (chosen from our 2nd Annual SFFaudio Challenge and nearly a year in the making) way to go Cori!

LibriVox Fantasy Audiobook - The Wood Beyond The World by William MorrisThe Wood Beyond the World
By William Morris; Read by Cori Samuel
12 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 5 Hours 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: October 9th, 2008
The Wood Beyond The World is a fantasy novel by William Morris, perhaps the first modern fantasy writer to unite an imaginary world with the element of the supernatural, and thus the precursor of much of present-day fantasy literature. His use of archaic language has been seen by some modern readers as making his fiction difficult to read, but brings a wonderful atmosphere to the telling. Morris considered his fantasies a revival of the medieval tradition of chivalrous romances. In consequence, they tend to have sprawling plots of strung-together adventures. In this story, Walter leaves his father and his own unfaithful wife and sets sail in search of adventure. This he finds aplenty, encountering love, treachery and magic in the Wood of the title and travelling through the Mountains of the Folk of the Bears. But can he find happiness and peace by means of this Quest?

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And, The forerunner for both, the first gothic novel!

LibriVox Gothic Novel - The Castle Of Otranto by Horace WalpoleThe Castle of Otranto
By Horace Walpole; Read by Great Plains
6 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 4 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Published: October 6th, 2008
The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by Horace Walpole. It is generally held to be the first gothic novel, initiating a literary genre which would become extremely popular in the later 18th century and early 19th century. Thus, Castle, and Walpole by extension is arguably the forerunner to such authors as Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, Daphne du Maurier, and Stephen King.

Podcast feed:

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC7’s The 7th Dimension re-airs I Am Legend

BBC 7's The 7th DimensionBBC7’s The Seventh Dimension is rebroadcasting their unabridged reading of Richard Matheson’s classic 1954 novel I Am Legend! This mournful tale combines Science Fiction, Horror and Noir. It is, simply put, awesome.

When Robert Neville finds he is immune to the plague that has decimated the Earth’s population, he encounters unimaginable evil as he searches for a cure.

The reading starts Thursday January 11th 2007 at 6.30pm UK time. With a repeat at 12:30am that evening. Look for following episodes for the next eight weekday evenings. The narrator is Angus MacInnes, you may recognize his voice as that of Gold Leader from the original Star Wars movie. [LISTEN TO A CLIP]

Review of Soundings by Jeff Green


Audio drama - Soundings by Jeff GreenSoundings
Radio drama by Jeff Green
1 MP3-CD – 7.75 hours [AUDIO DRAMA]
ISBN: 0788763334
Date Published: 1998
Themes: / Science Fiction / Fantasy / Radio drama / Private Investigator / Atlantis / Christmas / Vigilante / Psychiatry / Plague / Sound /

Jeff Green has really created something special here. Included in Soundings are eleven full cast radio dramas. The stories are very good, and the sound? Fantastic. Green really knows how to tell stories in this medium. Sound is used to excellent effect – it is not there to enhance the story in many cases, it is a vital part of the story itself. In “Somebody Talking To You”, voices heard through the media have effects on people. The sound of those voices stays with me. In “Spaxterback”, a computer creates an image of a person known only through the machine’s memory of past media (comic books, television, etc.). The conversations between computer and Spaxter sound both powerful and intimate. In “Vigilante”, a TV obsessed psychic kills people he’s sees on the news – the sound of him flipping through the channels in search of a victim is disturbing indeed. And in “Flash”, the sound of the characters being shown visions of what might be past lives is mesmerizing.

I enjoyed the stories as well. “Plague”, the story of the survivors of a plague that forces them to live under domes, was a particularly excellent example, though I would have preferred less exposition in the form of news stories (though they were riveting) and a longer drama to tell the story instead. I enjoyed “Spaxterback” which I mentioned earlier, for its dialogue between creator and created. “Psychotherapy” was a twisted pretzel of a horror story made even more enjoyable if you are a fan of Edgar Allen Poe. “Xmas is Coming to the District of Drudge” is an atypical Christmas story that reminds us all to live a little.

The actors did a great job at keeping everything believable, and the music was first-rate. This is some fine storytelling. I really enjoyed it.

Check out Jeff Green’s Stranger Media website for a rich multimedia experience.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson