Listen To Genius: Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti

SFFaudio Online Audio

I listened to a great episode of BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time about Christina Rossetti recently. I was fascinated by their brief discussion of her poem Goblin Market. Melvyn Bragg and guests described it as:

‘celebrated, fascinating, bizarre, extraordinary, powerful, strange, lascivious, and religious.’

I tracked down a reading, a very good one, and I think you’ll agree it is really amazing!

This poem is totally sexual, yet does not feature a word of sex. Full of lesbianism, incest, fruit and at least nine kinds of wow!

Listen To Genius!Goblin Market
By Christina Rossetti; Read by Kate Reading
1 |MP3| – Approx. 23 Minutes [POETRY]
Publisher: Redwood Audiobooks (Listen To Genius)
Published: 2008?
Source: Listen To Genius
Lizzie and Laura are two innocent sisters inhabiting a beautiful “per-raphaelite” fairy tale pastoral land. They hear the calls of the goblin men, sample the fruit once, buy’s a curl of her hair. First published in 1862.

Here’s a |PDF| featuring illustrations by Rossetti’s brother.

And behold a snippet from John Bolton‘s gorgeous 1983 comics adaptation of Goblin Market:

Goblin Market ilustration by John Bolton

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 3: Night Waves – The Avengers

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Avengers - Steed and Peel

The Avengers was (along with Have Gun – Will Travel) one of my mom’s favourite shows. I can really see the appeal. “It starts with a frenzy of bongos!” Indeed, BBC Radio 3’s Matthew Sweet hosts a wonderful intellectual celebration of The Avengers for the “flagship arts and ideas programme” Night Waves. Recorded for the fiftieth anniversary retrospective, this is a must listen for fans of the series. The show is currently available via the Listen Again system (or whatever they’re calling their limited time streaming system these days). And, just like the show they’re celebrating this retrospective is “extraordinarily sophisticated and extraordinarily playful”.

BBC Radio 3Night Waves – The Avengers at 50
1 Broadcast – Approx. 45 Minutes [DOCUMENTARY/DISCUSSION]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 3
Broadcast: April 20, 2011
Matthew Sweet dons his kinky boots to investigate the phenomenon that was The Avengers, 50 years after it first hit Britain’s television screens. As well as its regular cavalcade of cyborgs, spies and megalomaniacs, The Avengers seemed to present a new action figure: the liberated single female who, week after week, proved to be deadlier than the male. But, asks Night Waves, how progressive was the series’ sexual politics? Was Diana Rigg in her leather cat suit a male fantasy or a feminist icon? And did Honor Blackman always play second fiddle to Patrick Macnee? Matthew has assembled a crack team of thinkers to ponder these mind-bending questions: fans Bea Campbell and Sarah Dunant; historian Dominic Sandbrook; and one of the masterminds behind The Avengers, screenwriter Brian Clemens.
Presenter/Matthew Sweet, Producer/Stephen Hughes

[Thanks Eric!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Suck It Wonder Woman by Olivia Munn and Mac Montandon

SFFaudio Review

MACMILLAN AUDIO - Suck It Wonder Woman by Olivia Munn and Mac MontandonSuck It, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures Of A Hollywood Geek
By Olivia Munn and Mac Montandon; Read by Olivia Munn
4 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Puiblisher: Macmillian Audio
Published: July 2010
ISBN: 9781427209825
Themes: / Autobiography / Sexuality / Oklahoma / California / Japan / Robots / Zombies / Pie /

Sample |MP3|

Today’s hottest geek and host of G4’s Attack Of The Show dishes her unique brand of humor of on everything from Star Wars, gadgets, and her love of banana cream pie. Olivia Munn is an actress, comedian and television host, best known for being the face of the G4 network. She also occasionally likes to get dressed up as Wonder Woman. SUCK IT WONDER WOMAN is her paean to Geeks everywhere. Using her trademark humor in essays like THOUGHTS ABOUT MY FIRST AGENT’S GIRLFRIEND’S VAGINA she skewers what it’s like to live in Hollywood. In “SEX: WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOURSELF HAVE MORE OF IT” she frankly gets down to the business of getting it on. In “WHAT TO DO WHEN THE ROBOTS INVADE (YES, WHEN!),” Olivia offers valuable information on… what to do when the robots invade! And just when you thought she couldn’t get any more Geeky, she can. This book also includes an Olivia Munn timeline of great moments in Geek history and her answers to the Unofficial Geek FAQ. Is it any wonder that Olivia Munn is quickly becoming the most powerful Geek on the planet? SUCK IT WONDER WOMAN is a humorous look at geeks, gadgets, Hollywood, and huge heapings of banana cream pie.

When this audiobook arrived I didn’t recognize the author or what exactly it was. I’d seen Attack Of The Show, and at least one of the episodes of The Daily Show in which she appeared, but something dimly pinged and I decided to give it a listen. Maybe part of it is that I’ve been a sucker for biographical audiobooks since I first stumbled across Michael Caine’s amazing reading of his autobiography What’s It All About?. Since then I’d read maybe a half dozen more. I’m sad to say most were only marginally interesting, but they never sucked, and I’ve found you can learn a hell of a lot about history by hearing about individual lives. The only biography that’s come as close to recreating that first experience was perhaps, rather strangely, a Blackstone Audio version of The Most Dangerous Man In America: Scenes From The Life Of Benjamin Franklin by Catherine Drinker Bowen. Weird huh? Yeah, Michael Caine and Benjamin Franklin have very little in common, other than being male and speakers of English. What they do share, however, is a kind of an ineffable interestingness. Caine’s story was full of a bewildering matter-of-factness, performed by the actor himself, and offered dozens of surprises and a whole lifetime’s worth of experience in the movies in less than three hours. Franklin, that auto-didactic man of letters, inventor, humorist and well … you’ll just have to go listen to the audiobook yourself … was completely and utterly amazing. Olivia Munn, and her book Suck It Wonder Woman are, on the other hand, entirely and completely effable. And by that I don’t only mean that there’s a lot of potty mouth in this audiobook.

Suck It Wonder Woman is potty mouthed and full of dirty stories about crazy people in Hollywood. There are also brief chapters on seemingly random, hip-sounding dos and don’ts. I’m not sure why these bits were added in. The audiobook works best when operating in the more serious storytelling sections. Munn’s description of herself as a child are fun and retrospectively insightful. One chapter, relating her relationship with her grandparents, is highly poigniant. That isn’t fluff. But not all of these stories are all that serious either. Her relating meetings with celebrities (named and unnamed) are surprising and frightening. And while the generalities of Munn’s life story, so far, aren’t particularly unique, she has some fun tales to tell. Munn makes for quite a sympathetic figure in all of the specifics of her life. And, her almost puppy-like eagerness to tell you about it, with her narration, is very endearing. When she relates her sadnesses, you are truly disheartened. But, as Munn reminds us, we can’t be too downcast, there’s always pie.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #050 – READALONG: The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #050 – Jesse and Scott discuss The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James.

Talked about on today’s show:
An excerpt from the lecture: Masterpieces Of The Imaginative Mind (Lecture 6: H.G. Wells: We Are All Talking Animals) by Professor Eric S. Rabkin, James thought novels ‘must explore an individual’s psychology’ but H.G. Wells asserted novels ‘must explore the great social forces that shape all of us.’, The Teaching Company, The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James, Blackstone Audio’s version, PaperbackSwap.com, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast show on The Invisible Man and More Invisible Men, LibriVox.org, LibriVox’s FREE version of The Turn Of The Screw, Stephanie Beacham, War Of The Worlds, The Time Machine, Donald E. Westlake, John Irving, James Lee Burke, Pat Conroy, literary fiction, ambiguity, deliberate ambiguity, the framing sequence, Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, outlining the plot, country estates, England, governesses, orphans, corruption and contamination, ghosts, Christmas, Why is it called The Turn Of The Screw?, Is this a double ghost story?, if the governess is crazy doesn’t that make the story pointless? sexism, solitary decisions may not be wise, what happens to Miles? The Innocents (1961), sexuality, James called The Turn Of The Screw “a shameless potboiler”, adaptations and interpretations, The Turn Of The Screw (2009), The Others (2001), Marlon Brando’s prequel The Nightcomers (1971), Thomas Kuhn, incommensurable literary paradigms?, Margaret Atwood, literary Science Fiction, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Handmaid’s Tale, governess stories, tutors, teachers, surrogate parents, William Makepeace Thackeray‘s Vanity Fair, Johdi May, The Turn Of The Screw (1999), is the governess an unreliable narrator?, The Adventure Of The Copper Beeches by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, Mystery and Science Fiction are very closely aligned, tales of ratiocination, Edgar Allan Poe, The Turn Of The Screw in comics, Pocket Classics, Oscar Wilde, The Importance Of Being Earnest, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: The Innocents, Blackadder II, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow as read by Martin Jarvis, RadioArchive.cc, The Turn Of The Screw BBC radio drama, Saturday Night Theatre.

The opening of The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James – Pocket Classics edition (ISBN: 0883017393):

Pocket Classics - The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James (ISBN: 0883017598)
The Turn Of The Screw - illustration by Lynd Ward
The Turn Of The Screw - illustration by Lynd Ward

Posted by Jesse Willis

A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou has Aye and Gomorrah by Samuel R. Delany

SFFaudio Online Audio

A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou - a Resonance FM podcastThe second series of A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou is underway, and the podcast radio show (on Resonance FM 104.4 FM in London, U.K.) has out-done itself by recording a terrific and moving reading of Aye and Gomorrah by Samuel R. Delany. Victoria de Rijke joins Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions to talk about the story and Delany in general. This is insightful listening about one of the most well written and unusual stories in all of Science Fiction.

Aye, and Gomorrah by Samuel R. DelanyEpisode 11 – Aye, and Gomorrah
By Samuel R. Delany; Read by Elisha Sessions
Podcast – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: September 23rd, 2008
Winner of the 1967 Nebula Award for best short story. First in Harlan Ellison’s seminal 1967 anthology, Dangerous Visions.It takes place in a world where astronauts, known as Spacers, are neutered before puberty to avoid the effects of space radiation on gametes. They are fetishized by a subculture of ‘frelks’, those attracted by the Spacers’ unattainability and unarousability (‘free-fall-sexual-displacement complex’). The mischief-loving Spacers exploit this for amusement and money — and possibly out of loneliness and a desire to recapture their lost sexuality. The story tells of a Spacer’s poignant meeting with a female frelk.

The previous show presents a J.G. Ballard short story, a tough one, not quite as easily accessible (which is saying something)…

Track 12 by J.G. BallardEpisode 10 – Track 12
By J.G. Ballard; Read by Elisha Sessions
Podcast – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED?]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: September 16th, 2008
A Science Fiction short story about electromusic? Yup. A retelling of Poe’s The Cask Of Amontillado? Very likely. Fully comprehensible? Maybe. Published in a 1958 issue of New Worlds.

And, the first show, of the second series, has a classic Robert Sheckley tale, only 5 pages long, but also a massive epic [I just wish there wasn’t any background music or SFX during the reading]…

Zirn Left Unguarded, The Jenghik Palace in Flames, Jon Westerley Dead by Robert SheckleyEpisode 09 – Zirn Left Unguarded, The Jenghik Palace in Flames, Jon Westerley Dead
By Robert Sheckley; Read by Elisha Sessions
Podcast – 1 Hour [UNABRIDGED?]
Podcaster: A Bite Of Stars, A Slug Of Time, And Thou
Podcast: September 10th, 2008
“It’s got swords, vast space battles and God’s receptionist.”

The one bad thing about this podcast (other than the lack of title and author name at the beginning of the story) is there are no direct links available (for hotlinking), you’ll have click through or subscribe to the podcast to get the files – which likely means about 75% 60% of the people who listen to podcasts via direct links won’t get to hear it. Slug Of Time guys, it’s time to fix that!

Here’s the podcast feed for the few of you who know how to use it:

http://freakytrigger.co.uk/slugoftime-podcast/feed/

Posted by Jesse Willis

2 Classic Frederik Pohl tales narrated by Spider Robinson

SFFaudio Online Audio

Spider On The Web - Spider Robinson’s podcastSpider On The Web has some amazing content for us this month. Disappointed at the number of short stories available in audio form Spider Robinson has a plan to solve this. He’s sought out and received permission to read some of his favorite SF short stories. Stories from some of the most influential SF writers of all time! The first is what Spider Robinson describes as “what very well may be the ultimate science fiction short story.” Folks, he ain’t just blowing smoke with that line. Frederick Pohl’s 1966 short story Day Million is a real contender for that accolade! Influential as hell, short, amazing, stunningly futuristic and still modern (except in addressing its audience). A tale will blow your mind! The second story by Pohl, We Purchased People, first published in 1973, has even more taboos broken in it. In fact, far more taboos in are broken in We Purchased People than you can shake any unmentionable body part at. This one was entirely new to me, but upon reflection I think it may be just as powerful. Frankly, it’s more frightening than hell. Science Fiction as Horror.

Day Million and We Purchased People by Frederik PohlDay Million and We Purchased People
By Frederik Pohl; Read by Spider Robinson
1 |MP3| – Approx. 67 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcast: Spider On The Web
Podcaster: August 2008

Here’s the podcast feed:

http://www.spiderrobinson.com/iTunes_feed.xml

Posted by Jesse Willis