Review of Archetype by M.D. Waters

SFFaudio Review

ArchetypeArchetype (Archetype #1)
By M.D. Waters; Read by Khristine Hvam
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publication Date: 2 February 2014
[UNABRIDGED] – 10 hours, 22 minutes

Themes: / dystopia / reproduction / romance / near future / suspense / thriller /

Publisher summary:
Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.

Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men – one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which….

This audiobook kept me listening until I finished. I couldn’t stop! Comparisons to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood are unavoidable with this book, but in this world where women are valued and imprisoned in order to bear children, M.D. Waters has also added in an element of romance. This means descriptions of the men Emma is interested in, and sex. I don’t mind romance, but I think if I were a woman being controlled and manipulated by men, I would be less obsessed with marriage and sex. But Emma has very little memory, and at first no reason not to trust her husband. All she wants is to get past her accident and back to normal life.  She can’t fully recover because of her dreams.

I can’t say much more without giving it away, and the best part about the book is how all the details are revealed. Archetype is suspenseful and creepy up until the end, and the end leads nicely into the setup for the next novel (Prototype) while being its own self-contained story.

I enjoy Khristine Hvam as a narrator – I had listened to her performance of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and her voice is well suited to a near-future dystopian romance.

Posted by Jenny Colvin

The SFFaudio Podcast #216 – AUDIOBOOK: The Pit And The Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe


Edgar Allan Poe's The Pit And The Pendulum
The SFFaudio PodcastSpoken Freely Presents: Going Public ... In ShortsThe SFFaudio Podcast #216 – The Pit And The Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe, recorded by Paul Michael Garcia for Spoken Freely: Going Public In Shorts.

Experience Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling short tale of the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition.

The story is also available on right now.

Previously, Gabrielle de Cuir’s narration of Prince Bull by Charles Dickens is HERE. And next up, will be Dick Hill’s narration of Two Illuminating Stories: The Story Of The Bad Little Boy, and The Story Of The Good Little Boy by Mark Twain, that’s HERE.

Then, check out the full Spoken Freely Presents: Going Public … In Shorts compilation which will be available on June 30, 2013 over on – all proceeds for which go to Reach Out And Read.

The Pit And The Pendulum - illustrated by Byam Shaw

The Pit And The Pendulum - illustration from an ad in Amazing Stories, August 1928

Mark Summers illustration of The Pit And The Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

The Pit And The Pendulum - from Puck, May 26, 1909

The Pit And The Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe from Psycho, Issue 7

[Thanks Xe!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #215 – Xe Sands and Spoken Freely (Going Public In Shorts)


The SFFaudio PodcastSpoken Freely Presents: Going Public ... In ShortsThe SFFaudio Podcast #215 – Jesse talks to narrator Xe Sands about Spoken Freely: Going Public In Shorts.

Talked about on today’s show:
Xe is a family name, xenon, a rare poisonous gas, a noble gas, the Going Public project, poems, stories, D.H. Lawrence, Banned Books Weeks, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Peter Davies, Little Fictions, Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper, first person narration, changing sides, Herland, The Pit And The Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe, suspense, Paul Michael Garcia, 36 stories, 1 essay, Simon Vance, 1 speech, Dion Graham, Abraham Lincoln, blog hopping throughout the month of June,, verklempt, Xe Sands narrates literary fiction, general fiction, and romance, beefcake, a melodramatic emotional journey, Magnificence, The Vanishers, The Bostonians by Henry James, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, Three Days To Dead, Hexes and Hemlines, cozy mysteries, Washington, Juliet Blackwell, a familiar pig, literary fiction vs. general fiction, W.W. Norton, Anton Chekhov, Digital Divide: Writings for and Against Facebook, YouTube, Texting, and the Age of Social Networking by Mark Bauerlein, the culture of SoundCloud, bulletin board systems, here’s what happens when a spider lands on you when you’re recording a love theme, Xe Sands on Twitter is @xesands, coffee, how to start on Twitter, pre-reading, pronunciation, questions, post-apocalyptic Seattle, Tarnished And Torn, The Cursed (League of the Black Swan, #1) by Alyssa Day, Reachout And Read, Cassandra Campbell, Dick Hill, Mark Twain, Luke Daniels, Philip K. Dick, Kevin Hearne, Patrick Lawlor, The Lottery Ticket by Anton Chekov, next year?,, Amanda Leduc.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Quitters, Inc. by Stephen King

SFFaudio Review

Quitters, Inc.
By Stephen King; Performed by Eric Roberts
Publisher: Phoenix Audio
Published: January 1, 2006
ISBN: 1597770779

Themes: / horror / suspense / quitting smoking /

Publisher summary:

“Dick Morrison’s life has become a nightmare of addictions, filling his days with overeating, overworking, and smoking way too much. When an old friend tells him about a surefire way to quit, he’s more than willing to give it a shot. But what Dick doesn?t know is that Quitters, Inc. demands a high price from anyone who strays from their rigid rules?like a few volts of electricity for the nearest and dearest…or maybe a missing thumb? Forced to choose between his desperate need for cigarettes and the dire consequences of giving in to his addiction, Dick must decide just how important another drag really is.”

Stephen King’s short story “Quitter’s Inc.” was originally featured in the author’s 1978 anthology Night Shift, which also included the story “Children of the Corn.” The audiobook version of “Quitter’s Inc.” features Academy Awards nominated Eric Roberts (actress Julia Roberts’ brother) and was originally released by Phoenix Audio as part of Otto Penzler’s “Greatest Mysteries of All Time” series.

Soft jazz accompanies the initial narrative complementing a bar scene conversation between the main character Dick Morrison and an old buddy. Dick’s let himself go, smoking, overeating, etc. His friend Jim leaves him a card for Quitters, Inc; a low-profile firm that helped him quit smoking using secret techniques. Eventually, Dick’s curiosity gets the better of him and the story details the firm’s unorthodox techniques. The soft jazz picks up again later in the story during a segment that quickly highlights later scenes from Dick’s life and again at the conclusion.

The story is approximately 45 minutes and can be easily enjoyed in one listening session from a single CD.

Review by Dan VK

The Pit And The Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe (as read by Xe Sands)

SFFaudio Online Audio

Xe Sands recorded this classic horror story as a Halloween treat – and we certainly appreciate it, but I couldn’t help but laugh the maniacal laughter of a monomaniac when I learned that although the story was indeed originally published in October, 170 years ago, it was actually published as a Christmas story!

The Pit And The Pendulum was first published in The Gift, a Christmas And New Year’s Present for 1843.

And here’s Byam Shaw’s chilling illustration, again not particularly Christmasy, from Selected Tales Of Mystery:
The Pit And The Pendulum - illustrated by Byam Shaw

[Thanks Xe!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

AudioGo: YouTube trailer for Great Classic Suspense (Five Unabridged Tales)

SFFaudio News

Do you recognize the voice of this narrator?

Perhaps you will if you were, like me, a fan of a particular Canadian TV show (that also aired on CBS in the mid 1990s).

The narrator is Geraint Wyn Davies. He was the star of Forever Knight, a terrific “Crimetime After Primetime” late night drama that promised, and delivered, an odd blend of cop show and vampire mystique.

Hmmmm… now that I think about it, Forever Knight could have been set within the same universe as True Blood (prior to the invention of Tru Blood).

The collection includes five of the greatest stories of American classic horror. The richest of language is used to create extraordinary atmosphere — gloom, darkness, solitude, despair-and the relentless feeling of impending doom.

Table of contents:
The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe
Ethan Brand by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Yellow Sign by Robert W. Chambers
The Upper Berth by F. Marion Crawford
An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

Posted by Jesse Willis