AUDIBLE Sponsored Conversation with Orson Scott Card, Stefan Rudnicki and Ben Bova

Online Audio has posted a new FREE audio interview/conversation between audiobook narrator Stefan Rudnicki and SF authors Orson Scott Card and Ben Bova. The talk is predominately about the role and value of audiobooks in the greater reading environment. Also covered is Card’s love of audiobooks (he’s a big big fan), Bova’s role in the creation of the Ender franchise and place of religion is science and Science Fiction. You can get the audio for it right HERE (but of course you’ll need to have an audible account).

Audible also tells us that: “Bova’s new book, The Aftermath (Book Four of The Asteroid Wars), is now available in audio at Audible.” That’s one of the many titles produced by Rudnicki for Audio Renaissance. OSC’s next “Ender” novel, A War of Gifts, will be released through Audio Renaissance and Audble October 30th 2007.

BBC Radio 3 talks about Life, But Not As We Know It

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Online Audio BBC Radio 3BBC Radio 3 has an intriguing program available through their Listen Again service. A three part series about the consequences of the existence of alien life…

The Essay – Life, But Not As We Know It
3 Radio Broadcasts – Approx. 45 Minutes [DOCUMENTARY]
BROADCAST: July 16th, 18th and 19th 2007
A biologist, a writer and a philosopher each explore their fascination with the notion of extraterrestrial intelligence and what such a discovery could mean for the future of humanity.

Part 1 – “Biologist Jack Cohen on why the discovery of aliens would change our view of biology, evolution and organised religion.”

Part 2 – “Writer Andrew Crumey delves into our literary past to discover a fascination with alien life dating back to the middle ages and beyond.”

Part 3 – “Philosopher Nick Bostrom explains why he believes that the discovery of aliens would be a disaster for the future of humanity and lead to the end of civilisation as we know it.”

All three parts are available HERE via the BBC Radio 3 Listen Again service for the next few days or so.

Review of Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

SFFaudio Science Fiction Audiobook Review

Recorded Books Science Fiction Audiobook - Parable Of The Talents by Octavia E. ButlerParable Of The Talents
By Octavia E. Butler; Read by Patricia Floyd, Sisi Johnson, and Peter Jay Fernandez
11 Cassettes – 16 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books LLC
Published: 2001
ISBN: 0788749900
Themes: / Science fiction / Dystopia / Post-apocalyptic / Religion /

A good novel is not about one thing, but many. Octavia Butler’s jarring and beautiful Parable Of The Talents affirms this assertion. In terms of plot, it is the story of a religious sect preaching change and space travel; of how that sect develops an idyllic rural settlement in an economically gutted Northern California; of how a powerful group of Christian fanatics crush that settlement; and of how the leader of that sect survives to search for the children stolen in that attack and sew the seeds of her own growing religion. But it is also the story of a mother’s search for her daughter, of a man’s betrayal of his own flesh, and of a woman broken by furtive hostility and shattered trust. It is a story of hope in the face of implacable evil, of freedom amid slavery, perseverance through poverty, and love grappling with hate. It is a story of authentic people–husbands, wives, daughters, and friends–shredded by the power that be in an America gone mad.

What makes this book so terrifying is the plausibility of that madness. America implodes not from external forces such as war and disease, but from her own economic polarization and religious zealotry. Butler’s extrapolations are not wild hyperbole, but a subtle tweak on the headlines you will read in tomorrow’s paper. The effect will leave you awake at night when the rest of your family is blissfully asleep.

The voices that narrate this minor masterpiece are mostly amazing. Patricia Floyd’s portrayal of Lauren Olamina is warm and powerful. Her husband, as read by Peter Jay Fenandez sounds wise and loving, and his interpretation of her brother reveals both his humanity and the frozen center of his heart. The weakest voice is that of Olamina’s daughter, Larkin, whose childish breathiness doesn’t span the full emotional range of her character.

The text has its imperfections, as well. There is a point at which a freakish intervention of nature provides such a perfect solution to such an impossible predicament that my belief crumbled. And after spending so much effort explaining how the America of our experience is dead forever, it seems to revive just fine at the end, without a compellingly plausible cause. As serious as these issues sound, they leave intact a story that will still be shaping your thoughts months after you finish it.

I discovered after listening that this novel is the second in a series, but it stands so well on its own, you won’t have to hear Parable Of The Sower to appreciate it. However, if that book is as sensitive and unsettling as this one, it should be well worth your time.

The Sci Phi Show podcast talks Asimov’s Nightfall

The Sci Phi Show, has podcast that uses the recent 100th episode of Escape Pod and its podcast of Isaac Asimov’s short story Nightfall |MP3| to talk about the philosophies of science and religion. Have a listen to it, then listen to Episode #36: |MP3| (22 minutes 17 seconds) then click on over to The Sci Phi Show forums and post your own thoughts.

Subscribers to the Sci Phi Show’s podcast can use this feed:

LibriVox: The Island Of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

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Science Fiction Audio Book - The Island Of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

Started back in August 2006, the latest Science Fiction classic from is The Island Of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. As with many LibriVox titles this one was a multi-reader audiobook project.

Science Fiction Audio Book - The Island Of Dr. Moreau by H.G. WellsThe Island Of Dr. Moreau
By H.G. Wells; Read by various readers
1 Zipped Folder of MP3 Files – 4 Hours 38 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Completed: March 2nd 2007
The Island of Doctor Moreau is an 1896 science fiction novel written by H. G. Wells, addressing ideas of society and community, human nature and identity, religion, Darwinism, and eugenics.

When the novel was written in the late 19th century, England’s scientific community was engulfed by debates on animal vivisection. Interest groups were even formed to tackle the issue: the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection was formed two years after the publication of the novel. The novel is presented as a discovered manuscript, introduced by the narrator’s nephew; it then ‘transcribes’ the tale.

The StarshipSofa Podcast goes to hell

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Starship Sofa PodcastEnsuring their eternal damnation, hosts Tony and Ciaran stray from their regularly righteous path of Science Fiction author inquisition and instead hotly illuminate the subject of “Religious Themes” in Science Fiction on this week’s show. You can yourself download the damnable show directly |MP3| or should you so choose, subscribe to podcast and begin your own eternal damnation, via this feed: