The SFFaudio Podcast #008


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #008 – here there be podcasts – we’ve adorned ourselves in too much gold, now we can’t move! So join us on our 8th show, where we’re always etymologically correct.

Scott: Oh ya right. I just forgot something man. Uh, before we dock, I think we ought to discuss the bonus situation.

Jesse: Right.

Scott: We think… we think we deserve full shares.

Jesse: Right.

Scott: Pass the cornbread.

Topics discussed include:, METAtropolis, Jay Lake, John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Karl Schroeder, Mr. Spaceship, Philip K. Dick, Stefan Rudnicki, Wonder Audio, Anne McCaffrey, The Ship Who Sang, Michael Hogan, Battlestar Galactica, 18th Century Spain, Cascadia (Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and sometimes Idaho), Detroit, “Turking”, The Turk (the chess playing automaton), alternative economy, Kandyse McClure, infodump, shared world, Brandon Sanderson, hard fantasy, Elantris, Larry Niven, The Magic Goes Away, manna, unicorns, dragons, Dungeons & Dragons, Mistborn, Robert Jordan, The Wheel Of Time, Writing Excuses Podcast, Howard Tayler,, Dan Wells, The Dark Knight, Aural Noir, The New Adventures Of Mike Hammer, Stacy Keach, Mike Hammer, Full Cast Audio, Red Planet, Robert A. Heinlein, Bruce Coville, Mars, Heinlein’s Future History sequence, the Red Planet TV miniseries, Princess Academy, Shannon Hale, Blackstone Audio, The Collected Stories Of Philip K. Dick Volume 1, and Volume 2, Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, David Farland, Runelords, Collected Public Domain Works Of H.P. Lovecraft,, October, Ray Bradbury, “Autumn ennui”, AUTHOR PAGES, LEIGH BRACKETT, FREDERIC BROWN, JAMES PATRICK KELLY, BBC7,, Beam Me Up Podcast, MACK REYNOLDS, Robert Sheckley, Religulous, Constantine’s Sword, The Ultimate Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction: The Definitive illustrated Guide edited by David Pringle, space opera, planetary romance, Julie D., Forgotten Classics podcast, The Wonder Stick, time travel, alien intrusions, metal powers, Slan, The Demolished Man, comedic SF, aliens, artificial intelligence, “cosmic collisions”, Deep Impact, cyborgs, dinosaurs, the dying Earth, Gene Wolfe, elixir of life, immortality, Roger Zelazny, Robert Silverberg, genetic engineering, nuclear war, overpopulation, parallel worlds, robots, androids, Joanna Russ, Ben Bova, space travel, suspended animation, teleportation, transcendence = the Singularity ?, Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke, religion, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Monica Hughes, Crisis On Conshelf Ten, Hard SF, cyberpunk, psychology, New Wave, lost races, military SF, science fantasy, shared worlds, steampunk.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Dreaming Void by Peter F. HamiltonThe Dreaming Void
By Peter F. Hamilton; Read by Toby Longworth
20 CDs – 23 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Audio UK
Published: February 2008
ISBN: 9780230709829
Themes: / Science Fiction / Aliens / Artifact / Nanotechnology / Politics / Singularity / Space Travel /
AD 3580. The Intersolar Commonwealth has spread through the galaxy to over a thousand star systems. It is a culture of rich diversity with a place for everyone. Even death itself has been overcome. But at the centre of the Commonwealth is a massive black hole. This Void is not a natural artefact. Inside there is a strange universe where the laws of physics are very different to those we know. It is slowly consuming the other stars of the galactic core – one day it will devour the entire galaxy. Inigo, a human, has started to dream of a wonderful existence in the Void. He has a following of millions of believers and they now clamour to make a pilgrimage into the Void to live the life they have been shown. Other starfaring species fear their migration will cause the Void to expand again. They are prepared to stop them no matter what the cost. And so the pilgrimage begins…

The Dreaming Void is a very big book and it’s an even bigger audiobook. Peter F. Hamilton’s story is one of the better recent SF stories that I’ve experienced in any form, full of fascinating settings, situations, and ideas. It has many fully realized subplots and varied characters, too many. What could have been at least two brilliant stories, one of the commonwealth dealing with the potentially disastrous consequences of an attempted pilgrimage into the Void, and one of the much more low-key story of Inigo’s dreams, is instead merely a long opening to a longer trilogy.

The main plot(s) of the story are wonderful. It is science fiction as it should be. It takes the imagination to new vistas, mixing newer ideas (the Void, gaiafield, etc) with core traditions of SF (space travel, aliens, etc). Indeed, the basic story is nearly perfect but with all the stretching, it greatly overstays its welcome. Somewhere around the twelve hour mark, listening to The Dreaming Void became a chore. If I had not already committed so much time to the story, I would have quit then.

Final analysis: The Dreaming Void is just too big a novel, filled with many unnecessary subplots and distractions. It is far too easy loose track of the multitude of characters inhabiting this enormous beginning to the “Void Trilogy.” Yet, it is far from a hopeless audiobook. Throughout the epic story, the skill of both author and the reader are quite apparent and each part of the story is interesting. I am still of very mixed opinions about the story. I will look for more stories written by Peter F. Hamilton and more read by Toby Longworth, but only if they are about half this length or shorter. However, the audiobook might well be worth the effort for someone who has a lot of free time and is willing to take notes.

Posted by David Tackett

Sci-Phi Show interviews Rudy Rucker

Jason Rennie’s The Sci Phi Show, has has an exclusive podcast interview with Rudy Rucker. You may recall that The Sci Phi Show ran a short Rucker story called Panpsychism Proved a while back. Jason talks to Rudy about the “singularity”, the philosophical idea of panpsychism (the idea that the entirety of the universe is “mind”), quantum physics, cyberpunk, his novels and his philosophy on book distribution. Have a listen |MP3| or subscribe to The Sci Phi Show’s podcast feed:

James Patrick Kelly wins Nebula Award for his podcast novella Burn!

SFFaudio Online Audio

James Patrick Kelly receives a Nebula Award for his novella BURN

Congrats to SF author, and all around cool guy James Patrick Kelly! His novella Burn has just WON the NEBULA AWARD for BEST NOVELLA! That’s him receiving it above. Jim had released Burn as both a paperbook (through Tachyon publications) and as a FREE podcast last year. To make the podcast even more accessible Jim re-jiggered the 17 separate podcasts of the entire novella into just 4 handy-sized MP3s – and it is still completely unabridged! Get them now…

By James Patrick Kelly; Read by James Patrick Kelly
4 MP3 Files – 5 Hours 49 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: James Patrick Kelly’s Free Reads
Podcast: 2006
Download the novella: Part 1|MP3| Part 2|MP3| Part 3|MP3| Part 4|MP3|*

And don’t forget, you can catch plenty more Jim Kelly short stories on Jim’s Storypod podcast (available exclusively through

*New links to the files on Internet Archive (the originals crashed Jim’s site)

Review of Antibodies by Charles Stross

SFFaudio Audiobook Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Antibodies by Charles StrossAntibodies
By Charles Stross; Read by Jared Doreck and Shondra Marie
1 CD – 54 Minutes 16 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Infinivox
Published: 2005
ISBN: 1884612474
Themes: / Science Fiction / Singularity / Conspiracy / Artificial Intelligence / Parallel Worlds /

– Click HERE to hear a sample –

“Damn it, Bob, I really had high hopes for this world-line. They seemed to be doing so well for a revelatory Christian-Islamic line, despite the post-Enlightenment mind-set.”

The announcement of the solution to the traveling salesman problem heralds the imminent destruction of humanity. No more salesman; no more problem. The story begins when a computer programmer is notified by RSS feed that all NP-complete problems lie in P, and thus computer encryption is forever compromised. Knowing the disaster for what it is, he flees, but with this being such a hard-takeoff he might not make it.

Stross’ ideas are hard, cold, pure, and funny, but it is his storytelling – the effectiveness of the complete tale – that elevates his perspective SF ideas into Science Fiction excellence. This is the kind of fiction I love; thought provoking with shrewdly surprisingly but necessary consequences of the premise. Stross goes from alpha to omega faster than you can guess, and in so doing delivers a solid entry into SF’s growing dialogue about The Singularity. Antibodies reminded of Isaac Asimov’s similarily elegant short story Living Space. Also refreshing is a humourous conspiracy that explains why Microsoft Windows-based computer viruses are so prevalent.

Allan Kaster, who runs the Infinivox wing of Audiotext, has put deep thought into this tale’s production. The narrators, Jared Dorek and Shondra Marie, pair up to deliver the action in this first-person perspective masterpiece of SF. Marie reads all the female voices and Dorek all the male. When each speaks the role of the hero and heroine, they do so in an amalgamated accent that is implied by the text. The production is carefully woven with transition music designed to show textual scene transitions and time passing. But it is the story that elevates this audiobook to SFFaudio Essential status. With a running time just shy of one hour you aren’t likely to have a more quintissential Strossian experience on audio.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The ::overclocked:: podcast

SFFaudio News

The ::overclocked:: podcast is waycool. Though it covers tech, science and lots of other things it is the “sci-fi” content that interests us most. Far more intellectual than nearly every other non-fiction podcasts that talks about science fiction ::overclocked:: doesn’t dwell on TV and movies as much as concepts and developments in modern Science Fiction literature. The man behind this cool Seattle based podcast is Bluejack, he’s also a contributing editor to the The Internet Review Of Science Fiction. Three ::overclocked:: podcasts defintely worth listening to are listed below:

The Singularity
Show #024
: The Singularity has been one of the most challenging new ideas in science fiction: challenging for writers to approach in interesting ways, as well as a challenge to everyone’s beliefs about the significance of humanity. This show discusses some of the specifics of Vinge’s idea, and presents some objections. It also takes a quick look at what the concept has meant for science fiction.

Post Humans
Show #017: Science Fiction has long explored ideas about the next step in human evolution: steps that we will consciously choose; science isn’t quite catching up on all fronts, but scientists are undermining the very notion of consciousness.

Genre Purists
Show #006
Reading stuff that might or might not be in the spirit of science fiction (or related genres) brings some new insight to bear on the age-old topic, debated by Genre Purists everywhere, of what is science fiction? Or what should it be?