Free @ Harper Audio: Richard Matheson, Neil Gaiman, Marcia Talley

SFFaudio Online Audio

Harper Audio, as part of their “Summer of Books” promotion, is giving away three must download short stories from their recent and upcoming audiobook releases. These are “limited time” releases, so download them right away.

Harper Audio - Road Rage by Richard Matheson, Stephen King and Joe HillDuel (from Road Rage)
By Richard Matheson; Read by Stephen Lang
1 |MP3| – Approx. 63 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: February 2009
“Driving to San Francisco, a businessman finds himself the victim of a deadly game being played by the driver of a huge, mysterious truck. Later to become Steven Spielberg’s classic 1971 film.”

Harper Audio - Fragile Things by Neil GaimanA Study In Emerald (from Fragile Things)
By Neil Gaiman; Read by Neil Gaiman
1 |MP3| – Approx. 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: September 2006
Alluding to both the Sherlock Holmes canon and the Old Ones of the Cthulhu Mythos, this Hugo Award winning short story will delight fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.P. Lovecraft, and of course, Neil Gaiman. A Study in Emerald draws listeners in through carefully revealed details as a consulting detective and his narrator friend solve the mystery of a murdered German noble. But with its subtle allusions and surprise ending, this mystery hints that the real fun in solving this case lies in imagining all the details that Gaiman doesn’t reveal, and challenges listeners to be detectives themselves.

Harper Audio - Two Of The Deadliest edited by Elizabeth GeorgeCan You Hear Me Now (from Two Of The Deadliest)
By Marcia Talley; Read by
1 |MP3| – Approx. 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Harper Audio
Published: July 2009
“Need can make men desperate, but greed, in my experience, makes men stupid.” – From a new collection of short stories featuring “Lust, Greed, and Murder from Outstanding Women of Mystery”

[via Mary Burkey’s Audiobooker blog]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Hard Case Crime’s December 2009 release

Aural Noir: News

Hard Case Crime RibbonHard Case Crime has a near stranglehold on my paperback budgeted dollars. One reason is that they’ve got so many great titles that never get audiobooked. Another is their choice of cover art. A Hard Case Crime cover never fails to please. This is probably why I’m doubly excited to see they’re doing one book that is already an audiobook! Their choice for a December 2009 release, a classic reprint, surprised me and made me laugh.

Check out this accurate (but very misleading) description from HCC editor Charles Ardai’s email:

“It’s the very hard-boiled story of a man murdered by a blast from a sawed-off shotgun to the face at point-blank range; of a criminal on the run from Chicago who comes to a dirty Pennsylvania coal-mining town and winds up locking horns with the corrupt Masonic lodge that runs the town; of a Pinkerton detective who sets out to clean up the town; and of the doom that pursues a man across an ocean and leaves him at the mercy of the world’s most ruthless criminal mastermind. It’s a story narrated by a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, whose partner in investigating the twisted plot is a drug addicted private investigator with a brain like a steel trap.

And wait till you see the cover — Glen Orbik has really outdone himself here, with his portrait of a gorgeous, bosomy dame in a transparent negligee watching with horror as a man with a brand on his arm appears in her doorway.

And the author — it’s one of the best-selling authors in the world. His books have been made into movies, computer games, comic books; they’ve sold tens of millions of copies. He’s not someone you’d think of as a Hard Case Crime author in a million years!

Now, I can hear you out there, saying, ‘Come on, Ardai — if you’re gonna spill, spill already. What’s the name of the damn book?'”

Did you guess it?


Hard Case Crime - The Valley Of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan DoyleThe Valley Of Fear
By A.C. Doyle (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Publisher: Hard Case Crime
Published: December 2009
ISBN: 084396295X

-The legendary classic re-presented, Hard Case Crime style
-Edgar Award winner Leslie Klinger on The Valley Of Fear: “The first real hardboiled detective story.”
-By the best-selling author of The Lost World
-Inspired by a true story!

Here’s my own review of this book (from a now unavailable podcast version):

The Valley Of Fear is one of the least adapted of the original Sherlock Holmes novels, it has only appeared on screen three times, as opposed to the eighteen adaptations of The Hound Of The Baskervilles. Likely much of the reason for the disparity lies in the structure of The Valley Of Fear, which breaks the traditional narrative mystery to go into a massive backstory that preceded the crime in question, this backstory includes neither Watson nor Holmes and so when adapted it would have the primary characters off-screen for more than half the film!

Looked at as a novel and a mystery on its own The Valley Of Fear works very well. There are in fact two mysteries in it. The first mystery I was able to ratiocinationalize quite satisfactorily but the second which took me by surprise, it was by means of a clever misdirection. The story itself is set in 1888 London and in the USA a few years prior to the extended flashback sequence. In the first half of the novel Holmes and Watson employ their typical inductive detection strategy, then after solving the primary crime we are treated to a lengthy explanation as to how the murder they have solved came to happen in the first place. The second half, was inspired by true events and is quite enjoyable once you get into the change of pace.

Here are just a few of the audio versions currently available:


Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC R2 / The Hunt For Sexton Blake

Aural Noir: Online Audio

BBC Radio 2RadioArchive.ccHere’s a reminder that tonight sees the beginning of The Adventures Of Sexton Blake in a six week run on BBC Radio 2. But if you’re still not sure who this Blake bloke is, I’ve got the solution. Using my amazing skills of research ( I’ve uncovered a July 28th, 2009 documentary about this Sexton Blake character. It’s called The Hunt For Sexton Blake and runs a full hour. Interested parties can find the well seeded torrent for it through It’s filed in the “factual” section there. Here’s the description:

BBC Radio 2 - The Hunt For Sexton BlakeWho exactly is Sexton Blake? People under the age of 45 might ask that question, but anyone older is likely to have read one of the 4000 stories by over 200 authors, or seen the films, the stage adaptations, the many TV shows, or listened to his adventures on radio.

Sexton Blake is one of the most famous and long-lived fictional detectives and adventurers of all time, who battled opium smugglers, bandit chiefs and the Kaiser. In his heyday he was more widely read than Sherlock Holmes – enjoyed by working people all over the British Empire – and whilst Holmes features in very few stories, Blake appeared in thousands.

In this hour long profile and exploration of Blake’s impact, David Quantick talks to author Michael Moorcock, who used to edit the Sexton Blake Library; Jack Adrian a former writer; and comic book illustrator Kevin O’Neil, who co-created The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and other heroes.

That Blake didn’t have the same critical recognition, could be attributed to the fact the stories were published in cheap magazines, rather than in proper books. Or because the writers themselves didn’t move in the right circles, to make friends and influence people. While Ian Fleming had been to Eton and Sandhurst, the Blake authors were a rag tag bunch of eccentrics, whose own lives were worked into the tales. Michael Moorcock tells David that the Blake writers were puzzled at how James Bond was liked by critics, when the early novels were badly plotted and featured cartoon-like villains hiding in volcanoes.

David also hears about the Blake author who vanished under mysterious circumstances. The writer’s wife sent in his remaining Blake manuscripts without saying he’d disappeared, and then passed off her new partner’s work as that of her dead husband. It wouldn’t take Sexton Blake to tell you there was something fishy going on there!

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 2: The Adventures of Sexton Blake

Aural Noir: Online Audio

BBC Radio 2This just in… The Adventures Of Sexton Blake starts broadcasting on BBC Radio 2 next Friday night (July 31st at 9.15pm U.K. time) for six weeks.

Sexton Blake may not be a super familiar name to everyone today but according to wikipedia and a few fansites that wasn’t always the case. Created in 1893 Blake was an instant hit when he was born and made resident of Baker Street in the very month Sherlock Holmes was “killed off” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Perfectly Normal productions said this new production should also be available on the BBC iPlayer – and we checked, it’s already showing up as a Radio Downloader subscribable show.

Here’s the trailer |MP3|

The Adventures Of Sexton Blake

Sez Weir (who did the sound design and composed the music for the show):

“Whilst [The Adventures Of Sexton Blake is] more fantasy and crime than straight science-fiction, it stars Simon Jones, better known as Arthur Dent from the classic radio series, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. Following broadcast, the show will then be available in a much extended form on CD and as a high quality special edition download from our site.”


The Adventures Of Sexton Blake The Adventures Of Sexton Blake
Based on the character created by Harry Blyth; Performed by a full cast
6 Parts – Approx. 90 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 2
Broadcast: Fridays @ 21:15-21:30 beginning July 31st 2009
Britain’s iconic and most prolifically chronicled sleuth explodes back into action in a brand new series of thrilling Adventures packed with incident and hilarity! – The name that spells HURTLING ADVENTURE! –
SEXTON BLAKE, (Simon Jones, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) and his plucky assistant TINKER (Wayne Forester, Captain Scarlet), aided by MRS BARDELL (June Whitfield, Absolutely Fabulous) battle Diabolical Masterminds, Beautiful Thieves and Dastardly Assassins. – The name that spells DOOM for VILLAINY! – Nearly four decades after his last public incarnation, Sexton Blake remains an icon, a contemporary of Sherlock Holmes who outlasted his fellow Baker Street Sleuth to become hugely popular through books, films and radio during the 20th Century. In his 100-plus years of existence Blake has been portrayed in every possible way, from jobbing detective to Britain’s Saviour. This new series weaves new, fantastical and very funny tales set in a brightly coloured early 20th century world such as that portrayed in the 1920s Union Jack stories, where villains are inevitably dastardly and it’s a matter of course to resolve a case in a sabre-duelling climax atop an exploding zeppelin. – The name that spells … SEXTON BLAKE!

SIMON JONES……Sexton Blake, Adventuring Detective
WAYNE FORESTER……Tinker, his Plucky Assistant
JUNE WHITFIELD……Mrs Bardell, their Doughty Housekeeper
GRAHAM HOADLY……Professor Kew, a Spindly Cackler
LORELEI KING……Miss Elizabeth Mary-Louise Tarabelle Beauchamp
SIMON TREVES……Inspector Coutts Of Scotland Yard
FELICITY DUNCAN……Miss Terry, Window-Leaping Adventuress
SUSAN SHERIDAN……Mrs Hudson, Housekeeper To A Neighbouring Detective
MALCOLM BROWN……Count Ivor Carlac, a Villainous Juggernaut
PHILIP GLASSBOROW……Cyril, A Grim Assassin
OSCAR SHARP……The Frantic Caller
WILLIAM FRANKLYN……The Mysterious Waiter

We got vids too…

I’m really digging this!

[Thanks to Paul Weir and Roy!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Orthopedic Horseshoes – James Morrow, Geoffrey A. Landis, & rememberences of Hal Clement

SFFaudio Online Audio

Orthopedic Horseshoes

The episode features scientist/author Diane Turnshek talking with hosts Al and Herb about fostering young writers, first conventions, and bad singing.  Al interviews Nebula and World Fantasy Award winner James Morrow about epiphenomenon, really cool titles, The Philosopher’s Aprentice, and The Last Witchfinder.  Herb has a chat with poet and Nebula winner Mary Turzillo, and NASA scientist and Hugo & Nebula winning author Geoffrey A. Landis; covering the nature of thought, Marvin Minsky, Joyce, Beckett, David Ives, rocket science, and fond memories of Hal Clement. 

In addition, the November episode of Orthopedic Horseshoes, “It Takes Two Murders to Make a Straight Line” is available at ThinkTwice.  The show features a discussion of mysteries (including SF mysteries) and mystery conventions, with guests jan howard finder speaking on Arthur Upfield’s mysteries,  ethicist Dr. Gordon Snow on security and the future of detective fiction, and renowned filker and Holmes scholar Carl William Thiel on why we love Sherlock Holmes.

MP3|Podcast Feed|Site

Posted by The Time Traveler of the Time Traveler Show

The SFFaudio Podcast #013


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #013 – We’ve got an absolutely unique interview with the incredibly cool Mister Ron from the Mister Ron’s Basement podcast! Mister Ron has a podcast devoted to humorous fiction from the 19th and early 20th century.

In the interview we talked about Mister Ron’s podcast, H.G. Wells, Sherlock Holmes spoofs, August Derleth, Solar Pons, O. Henry, Stephen Leacock, Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, Edgar Allan Poe, Benjamin Franklin, Bud Grace, Piranha Club, Stanley Huntley, A Journey To The Sun, Pfaff’s Beer Cellar, Mortimer Thomson, podcasting,

Also talked about on today’s show:
Audiobooks, The Little Book, Selden Edwards, The Accidental Time Machine, Joe Haldeman, time travel, James P. Hogan, Thrice Upon A Time, movies, what’s right with Frequency, what’s right and wrong with the Star Wars: Clone Wars movie, and what’s worrisome about the new Star Trek movie trailer and finally what’s playing this week on BBC7.

Posted by Jesse Willis