LibriVox: Space Prison by Tom Godwin

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxSpace Prison (first published as: THE SURVIVORS) is a new audiobook of an old pulply paperback by Tom Godwin! Narrator extraordinaire Mark Douglas Nelson, has courteously posted it to LibriVox.org for the use by anyone for anything. Being that this is now a public domain audiobook you can do pretty much anything you can think of with it.

Me? Oh, I’m old fashioned. I’ll just be listening to it.

Here’s the teaser:

“One of the truly unusual novels of science-fiction—a vivid portrayal of the deadliest planet ever discovered!”

And here’s the Wikipedia description:

The Survivors is a science fiction novel by author Tom Godwin. It was published in 1958 by Gnome Press in an edition of 5,000 copies, of which 1,084 were never bound. The novel was published in paperback by Pyramid Books in 1960 under the title Space Prison. The novel is an expansion of Godwin’s story ‘Too Soon to Die‘ which first appeared in the magazine Venture.”

LIBRIVOX - Space Prison by Tom GodwinSpace Prison
By Tom Godwin; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
12 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 5 Hours 59 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: December 21, 2009
AFTER TWO CENTURIES….The sound came swiftly nearer, rising in pitch and swelling in volume. Then it broke through the clouds, tall and black and beautifully deadly — the Gern battle cruiser, come to seek them out and destroy them. Humbolt dropped inside the stockade, exulting. For two hundred years his people had been waiting for the chance to fight the mighty Gern Empire … with bows and arrows against blasters and bombs!

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/3659

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[Special thanks too AnnSterling and Laurie Anne Walden]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Candlelight Stories: A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

SFFaudio Online Audio

Candlelight StoriesI first experienced Alessandro Cima’s narrative abilities back in 2005. Back then podcasting was barely a toddler – still wobbly legged, with novel length podcasts being few an far between. Cima was reading his own young adult Pirate Jack.Here’s the “Pirate Jack” pitch:

Young Jack Spencer sees his father’s boat-building business destroyed by a powerful land developer. Then Jack unearths three ancient scrolls that propel him on a dangerous adventure through time in search of a pirate treasure. When Jack finds himself aboard the pirate ship Revenge he enters a life or death world of ship battles, jungle islands, prison escapes, gold, and treachery.

It was and is a compelling pirate adventure story (with some fantastic elements). If you’ haven’t heard it you can check it out through the same podcast feed as his latest project. He’s about a third of the way through this novel…

A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice BurroughsA Princess Of Mars
By Edgar Rice Burroughs; Read by Alessandro Cima
Podcast – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Candlelight Stories
Podcast: 2009
This is the first John Carter of Mars novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author of the Tarzan books. It was his first novel, published in 1917 and it’s a work of rip-roaring science fiction that has inspired many of the great writers in the genre. The story concerns soldier John Carter who is mysteriously transported to the red planet where he fights to protect his princess against impossible odds and many peculiar creatures. The book is very much a product of its time, with outdated ideas about the red planet and outdated social ideas. But if you can just go along for the adventurous ride, you are in for a sci-fi space opera swashbuckling treat.

Podcast feed:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/CandlelightStoriesAudio

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Lone Star Planet by H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxMy friend Luke Burrage, of the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast, has been talking with me about the Planetary Romance subgenre of Science Fiction. We’re both big fans of it. It’s an old genre, probably best sired by Edgar Rice Burroughs with his novel A Princess Of Mars.

Here is the definition of Planetary Romance from the introduction to The Ultimate Guide Of Science Fiction: The Definitive Illustrated Guide (edited by David Pringle):

PLANETARY ROMANCE: a romantic adventure story set on a colourful alien planet, often involving an element of swordplay (or science fiction equivalent).

I bring this all up because the most recent Planetary Romance to draw my attention is one that’s Texas-sized in scope, but short in length (running under 3.5 hours). And of course the necessary swordplay element has naturally been replaced by gunplay – it is a planet full of Texans after all!

LibriVox - Lone Star Planet by H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuireLone Star Planet
By H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
5 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 3 Hours 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: October 25, 2009
New Texas: its citizens figure that name about says it all. The Solar League ambassador to the Lone Star Planet has the unenviable task of convincing New Texans that a s’Srauff attack is imminent, and dangerous. Unfortunately it’s common knowledge that the s’Srauff are evolved from canine ancestors—and not a Texan alive is about to be scared of a talking dog! But unless he can get them to act, and fast, there won’t be a Texan alive, scared or otherwise!

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/lone-star-planet-by-h-beam-piper-and-john-j-mcguire.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

And, if you’re looking for more terrifically narrated Planetary Romance audiobooks you couldn’t do better than to start with another one read by Mark Douglas Nelson … The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer.

[Thanks also to libraryanne and James Christopher]

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases – Wonder Audio, Leiber and Weinbaum

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Did you know you can get either of these titles, as well as any other Wonder Audio title for free?  Just sign up at Audible.com/WonderAudio

The Night of the Long KnivesThe Night of the Long Knives
By Fritz Leiber; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
3hr,  37 min.- [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audio
Published: 2009

Available at Audible & iTunes

A Deathlander’s life is a rough one. Atomic radiation, murder and sex preoccupies the sparse inhabitants of what used to be a great portion of America’s West. Kill or be killed is the law of this sickened land. Multicolored radioactive dusts floats in the atmosphere of this nuclear desert.

When Ray Baker meets a woman on his sojourn, he doesn’t know if he wants to kill her or sleep with her. Ray doesn’t understand his urge to murder. But he feels it like all the other Deathlanders. Just as he knows the girl feels it. Laying down their arsenal of weapons will leave them both vulnerable. The cost of a moment of intimacy may lead to the last moments of their lives. And what to do when the act is over, and both their minds turn back to murder.

Parasite Planet: The Ham & Pat StoriesParasite Planet: The Ham & Pat Stories
By Stanley G. Weinbaum; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
3hr, 47 min.- [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Wonder Audio
Published: 2009

Available at Audible & iTunes

The short and meteoric career of Stanley G. Weinbaum produced many instantly hailed classics. None had the breadth of wonder, and adventure with philosophic insight as the trilogy of stories that feature Ham Hammond and Patricia Burlingame.

Parasite Planet begins with Ham Hammond trekking across the surface of Venus. The environment is parasitic, filled with bizarre alien life forms like the lasso throwing Jack Ketch Trees and the doughpots, a mindless omnivorous ball of animate cells that devour all living things in their path. When Ham meets the contentious Patricia Burlingame, they have to march across Venus to safety. It’s not clear what is going to kill them first, Venus’s hostile environment or each other.

In The Lotus Eaters, Ham and Pat are on a special scientific expedition to the dark-side of Venus. They discover a strange warm-blooded plant. The most disconcerting thing about the plant is when it begins speaking English and waxing philosophically.

The Planet of Doubt brings the duo to Uranus on another special scientific expedition. The cloudy shrouded terrain strikes terror into the heart of Ham as tries to find the lost Pat who he hopes is still be alive!

Posted by The Time Traveler of the Time Traveler Show

Five Free Favourites #3

SFFaudio Online Audio

Five Free Favourites
Five more faves, five more of my best bets. These are stories to make your mind say “yum yum” and your wallet say “nightie-night”…

1.
Mech Muse - After A Lean Winter by David FarlandAfter A Lean Winter
By David Farland; Read by Rick Jelinek
1 |M4A| File – Approx. 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: MechMuse
Podcast: Spring 2006
I’m very pleased to see all the released MechMuse stories still available online. Of the dozen or so of stories released, I think this one is my favourite. It’s set six months or so after the events of H.G. Well’s The War Of The Worlds and features a protagonist named “Jack London,” who like the other residents of the Yukon, is still struggling against a Martian menace that still survives up there.

2.
The Time Traveler Show - Beyond Lies The Wub by Philip K. DickBeyond Lies The Wub
By Philip K. Dick; Read by Mac Kelly
1 |MP3| – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: The Time Traveler Show
Podcast: December 2006
The best Xmas gift I received in 2006 was this podcast short story! This was Dick’s first ever published tale, it’s one of his best too. And, I find holds up to multiple listenings. I recommend it often. Knowledge of Homer’s Odyssey is recommended.

3.
Librivox Audiobook - The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose FarmerThe Green Odyssey
By Philip Jose Farmer; Read by Mark Douglas Nelson
10 Zipped MP3s or Podcast – 6 Hours 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: December 2006
Publisher: LibriVox.org
This FREE audiobook was created on a dare. As one of the titles from the first SFFaudio Challenge I asked budding narrators to make single-voiced audiobooks from a list of public domain titles. This was the very first to meet the challenge – it is also one of the best. Set on a grassy plain on an obscure alien planet – it’s fast, funny, and makes for quite a romp. A novel in the spirit of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court

Subscribe using this feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/the-green-odyssey-by-philip-jose-farmer.xml

4.
Science Fiction Audiobook - Star Surgeon by Alan E. NourseStar Surgeon
By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Scott D. Farquhar
14 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – 5 Hours 25 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Podiobooks.com
Published: October 2007
Dal Tigmar is an alien doctor with a sort of interstellar Médecins Sans Frontières. As a recent graduate of the Galaxy’s most prestigious medical school, on Earth, he’s been trained to treat every disease in the book. But racism isn’t a disease even he can treat. This is a real peppy 50 year old novel, that still crackles with energy. It plays out like a typical Heinleinian juvenile, minus the lectures. You’ll love it.

5.
X Minus 1X-Minus One: The Lifeboat Mutiny
Based on the story by Robert Sheckley; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: NBC Radio
Broadcast: September 11, 1956
Provider: Archive.org
I find a lot of X-Minus One hit or miss, but this Robert Sheckley story works. In fact, I’ve used the script for it twice just this month! Kids love it, adults love it. It’s funny, and it’s FREE! My only nit-pick is that the actor playing the lifeboat is not emotional enough – he totally underplays the scripted dialogue. When I do this part, I always play it highly emotional.

I’m still soliciting podcasters and bloggers for their lists, if you’ve a batch of five free faves you think just can’t be ignored, either post em below, or send me an email.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer

SFFaudio Audiobook Review

LibriVox - The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose FarmerThe Green Odyssey
By Philip Jose Farmer; Read by Mark Nelson
10 MP3s or 10 OGG Vorbis files – 6 Hours 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: December 2006
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Themes: / Science Fiction / Space Opera / Planetary Romance / Swashbuckling / Pirates / Slaves / Planetary Ecology / Panspermia / Humor /

Alan Green is a space traveler stranded on a barbaric planet. He’s been taken as a slave and made a consort to an insipid and smelly queen. His slave-wife, though beautiful and smart, nags him constantly. He’s given up hope of ever returning to Earth when he hears of two astronauts who have been captured in a kingdom on the other side of the planet, and sets out on an action-packed journey on a ship sailing across vast grasslands on rolling pin-like wheels in a desperate scheme to save them and return home.

This audiobook was created on a dare. Back in November 2006 I challenged anyone to make an unabridged single-voiced audiobook from a list of titles of public domain Speculative Fiction novels that had not been previously released as audiobooks. This is the first audiobook to complete the aforementioned “SFFaudio challenge.” With its completion, the narrator, has won himself a copy of Galactic Pot Healer by Philip K. Dick as read by Tom Parker. Congratulations Mark! Now, on to the review proper…

The Green Odyssey roughly parallels the adventures of the original Odysseus, except that the Mediterranean sea here is instead a sea of grass on an endless plain on an obscure alien planet. Perhaps most original in this tale are the ships that sail that grass sea of this land-dominated planet. The idea of sails and roller ships to ply the prairie between cities is a neat one (something similar was used the Dragonlance AD&D module Dragons Of Ice by Douglas Niles). The lead character, Alan Green, is a Earthman who has been shipwrecked (or is that “spacewrecked”) on a planet inhabited by a branch of quasi-medieval Homo sapiens sapiens. If his alien origins were to be revealed they’d think him a demon. For two years already he’s been enslaved and humbled. The worst of it is his being forced into the bed of a lusty, but fickle, Duchess. Her merest whim would mean his death, so when Green hears of two strangers, like himself, who’ve come from the sky in a strange ship, his ears perk-up. Upon further investigation it seems the two “demons” are being held in a distant city. With a death sentence not too far in their futures, Green hatches a shrewd escape plan with a wily merchant. His only problem – his adopted family wants to go with!

This is a exuberant adventure. It reminds me of vintage Poul Anderson, in fact the whole novel is a kind of an inverse of Anderson’s excellent The High Crusade. Its also funny, in the same smile and smirk way, and lets not forget another of its vitures, The Green Odyssey is quick! I often think this, the classic short novel of the 1950s and 1960s, is the perfect length for SF. Moreover, Farmer has scripted lots of fun details for fans of both Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs – the colloquial language is also full realized and amusing. Now a word of caution, this is by no means a classic on the scale of To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Jose Farmer’s best know work. That said, it is absolutely and addictively listenable – I plowed straight through the 6 hour running time with nary a dry spell. Since it is FREE, thanks to the good efforts of Mark Nelson, I can unreservedly recommend it even to people who’d otherwise give it a miss.

Mark Nelson has a real narrators voice. He puts as much characterization into the various characters into this exposition heavy novel as is probably possible. Sound is good, loud enough and pretty clean of noise. Two minor problems, Mark pronounces a word wrong and there is one line repeated, I’d guess the latter got missed in the editing, the former is almost inevitable. I’ve heard professional productions far less “professionally” produced. I am looking forward to hearing a lot more public domain SF novels from Mark!

Editors note:
In a last minute email Mark has said that he does indeed expect to be reading more Science Fiction for LibriVox in the months ahead. He’d prefer titles that “haven’t been done commercially, just to increase the variety of audiobooks out there”. But here’s the problem he’s having; Mark is not super-familiar with the Science Fiction from the 50’s and 60’s. His reading thus far has tended to read much more recent. And so he asks that we come up with with some recommendations. Recommendations, in fact, from what he calls “the knowledgeable” – Hey! That’s you guys out there! So, which public domain Science Fiction novels from the 1950s and early 1960s would you like to hear Mark read?

Posted by Jesse Willis