Five Free Favourites #8

SFFaudio Online Audio

I’m Scott Danielson, and I’m currently not under investigation for a single impropriety. I’m one of the original members of the team here, and am the Reviews Editor. I love a great novel read by a great narrator – can’t get enough – and I also love great audio drama. Most of my listening time is spent with commercial audiobooks, and below are some of my favourites amongst the high-quality stuff I’ve found on the web for free.

Five Free Favourites

NPRKrulwich on Science (NPR)
In a highly entertaining and wonderfully sounding manner, Robert Krulwich covers the world of science at the rate of one story per month. As a sample, I picked a story called “Lucy’s Laugh Enlivens the Solar System”, which is about what really happens to the radio noise we humans pump out into space. Find it here and enjoy!
Star Ship SofaThe Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate by Ted Chaing (StarShipSofa)
Jesse picked this one in his first Five Free Favourites, but I simply can’t help picking it again. Ted Chiang is easily my favorite active short fiction writer. Highest on my audio wishlist is a well-narrated version of Stories of Your Life and Others. This story is well-narrated, with James Campanella performing. Go get it here.
Escape PodThe 43 Antarean Dynasties by Mike Resnick (Escape Pod Episode 101)
I haven’t subscribed to Escape Pod for a while, because I simply don’t have the time to keep up with all the audio fiction being published nowadays, but I always keep my eye on them and grab stories that interest me. “The 43 Antarean Dynasties” by Mike Resnick is an absolute gem about some self-centered humans taking a tour of an alien site. Steven Burley and Gregg Taylor of the Decoder Ring Theatre turn in a fine narration. Find this one here.
A Study in Emerald by Neil GaimanA Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman (
Neil Gaiman is an example of an author who does an excellent job reading his own material. This story won a Hugo Award and is available at no cost through Audible. Sherlock Holmes, Cthulhu, Neil Gaiman… what are you waiting for? Find it here.

Earshot - Audiofile MagazineEarshot! by Audiofile Magazine (podcast)
Earshot is a great way to keep up with what’s hot in the audiobook world as a whole (not just science fiction and fantasy). The daily short excerpts, provided by Audiofile Magazine help me discover new narrators and new audiobooks. Find the podcast here.
Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Five Free Favourites #1

SFFaudio Online Audio

Inspired by the idea that most visitors don’t dip into our 5 years worth of archives, here’s a new feature:
Five Free Favourites
…in which we’ll post about five different audio favourites. I’d be willing to bet any of these 5 will make your ears happy. In fact, I’m so confident you’ll like them I’ve already started thinking about another five more. And, I’ll be soliciting contributors to put together similar lists of their own. Here’s my first batch…

Hour 25Night On Mispec Moor
By Larry Niven; Read by Warren James
Intro |MP3| Part 1 |MP3|, Part 2 |MP3| – [UNABRIDGED]
Created: October 31, 2001
Larry Niven isn’t just the master of Hard SF, he’s also the master of Hard Fantasy and Horror! This story is a story which includes all three. It’s about an “outworld mercenary” who finds himself a lone survivor of his routed army. After fleeing into a moor, his pursuers suddenly stop, they dare not follow him into “Mispec” at night. This is a creepy, clever and very memorable short story. The sound quality isn’t ideal, but you’ll certainly enjoy the content.

Audiobook - Infidel by Roger GreggInfidel
By Roger Gregg; Performed by a Full Cast
Podcaster: The Sonic Society
Podcast: April 2007
Sonic Society #62 (Infidel part 1 of 4) |MP3|
Sonic Society #63 (Infidel part 2 of 4) |MP3|
Sonic Society #64 (Infidel part 3 of 4) |MP3|
Sonic Society #65 (Infidel part 4 of 4) |MP3|
Though it’s probably easier classified as “historical” I’d call it a Horror from History. Crazy Dog Audio Theatre’s Infidel fictionalizes the very real events of the 5th Crusade (1217-1221 ad) in this transformative audio dramatization. Sir Hugh of Beauvais and his brother Sir Philip are knights. They’ve enlisted themselves in the fifth campaign to free the holy lands. This is modern audio drama at its finest. It’s also available in a CD set which you can get HERE.

The Pyramid of Amirah
By James Patrick Kelly; Read By James Patrick Kelly
1 |MP3| – 18 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Jim Kelly’s Free Reads
Published: June 28th 2008
Surrounded by boxes of goody-goody bars, her only food, Amirah lives alone in what was once her parent’s house. Its her home now, and she’s honoured to become a pyramid girl. During the day she vacuums up the limestone dust that drifts down onto every flat surface, at night she leaves the lights on all the time, even when she sleeps. As the years pass the light bulbs start to burn out one-by-one and Amirah wonders if the meaning of her living entombment will ever come. This is a live recorded version, I’m highly moved by this enigmatic “Fantasy.” This is one is extremely powerful. I think about it often.

Star Ship SofaThe Merchant And The Alchemists Gate
By Ted Chiang; Read by James Campanella
Podcaster: StarShipSofa
Podcast: 2008
Time travel, Ted Chiang, and a terrific narrator. These three combine into an absolutely unmissable listen. A wonderful SF novelette it conjures a 1,001 Nights-like atmosphere with a By His Bootstraps story-logic.

By David D. Levine; Read by Paul Tevis
Podcaster: Escape Pod
Podcast: May 18th 2006
I’ve heard Episode 54 of Escape Pod maybe a half dozen times and I’m still very impressed with it. I’m convinced Levine’s tale will become an enduring SF classic. It takes a very Jack Vance like situation, some truly alien aliens, and throws a human everyman into their society – it demonstrates a couple of real world psychological phenomenons – and all the while it is highly entertaining. Can you really ask for more than that?

What Five Free Favourites would you recommend?

Posted by Jesse Willis

StarShip Sofa interviews Ted Chiang

SFFaudio Online Audio

StarShip Sofa StarShip Sofa interviews Ted Chiang. |MP3|

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[via SF Signal]

Posted by Charles Tan

StarShipSofa wants you to pick the BSFA Best Short Story of 2007 winner

SFFaudio Online Audio

Star Ship SofaStarShipSofa now puts her money on the line and tries to pick the winner of the BSFA Best Short Story 2007.

Join Tony and guest listener Fred as they blast off into the unknown and try and name the winner. Someone help them – please!
If you missed any of the other posts, here are all stories and links to mp3’s:

Pop over to the StarShipSofa forums and cast your vote. You can subscribe free via iTunes or direct from the StarShipSofa website.

Subscribe to the podcast via this

Posted by Tony C. Smith

StarShipSofa and the BSFA

SFFaudio Online Audio

Star Ship SofaStarShipSofa and the BSFA are now hitting the home stretch with Day Four. Today the Sofa brings you Ted Chiang’s story The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate. This was first published in September’s F&SF 2007.

O MIGHTY CALIPH AND Commander of the Faithful, I am humbled to be in the splendor of your presence; a man can hope for no greater blessing as long as he lives. The story I have to tell is truly a strange one, and were the entirety to be tattooed at the corner of one’s eye, the marvel of its presentation would not exceed that of the events recounted, for it is a warning to those who would be warned and a lesson to those who would learn.

So that leaves only one story to go. Be sure not to miss it tomorrow, then pop over to StarShipSofa Forums and cast your vote on which one you think will win the BSFA Best Short Story 2007.

Join the StarShipSofa today and subscribe free via iTunes or direct from the StarShipSofa website and collect all five short stories that are up for the award.

Subscribe to the podcast via this

Posted by Tony C. Smith

BBC7 wants us to: Understand

Online Audio

BBC 7's The 7th DimensionBBC7’s the 7th Dimension is re-airing one of my favorite’s from their archives. A terrific story, an unabridged reading of Ted Chiang‘s novelette Understand. It follows in the tradition of Daniel Keyes’ Flowers For Algernon and was first published in “Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine” in 1991. This production has been previously broadcast on BBC7 a few times. If you haven’t already heard it, have a listen, you won’t be sorry.

Understand by Ted ChiangUnderstand
By Ted Chiang; Read by Rashan Stone
4 half-hour segments – Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
BROADCASTER: BBC Radio 7 / The 7th Dimension
AIRING: Weekdays from July 17th to July 20th 2007
Leon is a former coma victim, who has gone experimental medical treatment to repair the massive trauma his brain recieved after he was trapped under ice for more than an hour. He’s regained consciousness, found he has all of his faculties back and a whole lot more.

All four parts will be available via the Listen Again service for six days after each broadcast.

Jesse Willis