Five Free Favourites #15: The 5 first appearances of SFFaudio Podcast semi-regulars

SFFaudio Online Audio

Five of my favourite podcasts, of our first 100 shows, include the first appearances of SFFaudio Podcast semi-regulars. This list is actually in order of how frequently they were on the podcast in those first hundred episodes.

Five Free Favourites

1. Luke Burrage first came to my attention through his Science Fiction Book Review Podcast. I had listened to his review of Robert J. Sawyer’s Hominids, and we talked about it on SFFaudio Podcast #022. Since then Luke’s been one of our most frequent guests.

The SFFaudio Podcast#028 – |MP3|-|POST| – Scott and Jesse talk to Luke Burrage of the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast

Other Luke Burrage podcasts in the first 100 episodes:
#034, #035, #051, #064, #065, #073, #076, #084, #097, #098


2. Gregg Margarite was the first friend I actively solicited over the internet. I just found that every LibriVox audiobook he was narrating was exactly to my tastes.

The SFFaudio Podcast#034 – |MP3|-|POST| – The SFFaudio Podcast #034 – READALONG: The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan

Other Gregg Margarite podcasts in the first 100 episodes:
#035, #042, #056, #073, #076, #082, #084, #087, #094, #098


3. The prolific Julie Davis runs several blogs and podcasts – most of which I follow avidly. I think I first heard her as a narrator on StarShipSofa in 2008, she then began narrating audiobooks for SFFaudio Challenges.

The SFFaudio Podcast #019 – |MP3|-|POST| – Scott and Jesse talk to Julie Davis of the Forgotten Classics podcast

Other Julie Davis podcasts in the first 100 episodes:
#029, #036, #056, #061, #072, #076, #077


4. Brian Murphy is one of my all time favourite bloggers. The great writing on his The Silver Key blog, which I extolled in this post back in 2008, drew us to him as a reviewer and in our 17th episode we convinced him spend an hour with us.

The SFFaudio Podcast#017 – |MP3|-|POST| – Scott and Jesse talk to Brian Murphy of The Silver Key blog

Other Brian Murphy podcasts in the first 100 episodes:
#025, #034, #042,


5. I first heard of Professor Eric S. Rabkin, a professor of English Language and Literature University of Michigan, back in 2003 when Scott sent me his first lecture series, Science Fiction: The Literature of the Technological Imagination |READ OUR REVIEW| from The Teaching Company. I was blown away. Then, after hearing the second second lecture series, Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind: Literature’s Most Fantastic Works, in 2009, we invited him on to the podcast. Since then Rabkin has metaphorically delivered a series of intellectually concussive blows to our collective consciousnesses. We love to get Eric, as we now call him, on the show.

The SFFaudio Podcast#044 – |MP3|-|POST| – Scott and Jesse talk to Professor Eric S. Rabkin of the University Of Michigan

Other Eric S. Rabkin podcasts in the first 100 episodes:
#051, #095

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: The Great Courses (The Teaching Company) Summer 2011 Catalogue

New Releases

The Teaching CompanyAs promised, I’ve got a complete scan of the latest Teaching Company catalogue – and I did it before the prices expire! Strangely this catalogue comes not from a random discard, but instead from my mom, who had it come in her mail. She’d never heard The Teaching Company, or this catalogue of “The Great Courses” and she has no idea how she got on their mailing list!

It isn’t fair. I want to be on that list!

Here’s the Summer 2011 catalogue of The Great Courses |PDF|

And as usual it’s just lousy with educational goodness. Among the many lecture series that struck me as cool sounding were:

How To Become A Superstar Student, 2nd Edition (Page 11)
The Art Of Teaching: Best Practices From A Master Educator (Page 21)
Games People Play: Game Theory In Life, Business and Beyond (Page 31)
The Wisdom Of History (Page 37)
Books That Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life (Page 39)
The World Was Never The Same: Events That Changed History (Page 41)
Classical Mythology (Page 51)

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: The Teaching Company

New Releases

The Teaching CompanyWe’ve talked about The Teaching Company before on SFFaudio, we’ve even had one of their professors on our podcast (Eric S. Rabkin). But I’d never gotten one of their catalogues before. I found this one…

The Teaching Company 2011 |PDF|

…abandoned, back in January. I began pouring over it, looking for more great listens. Sadly I’m afraid I didn’t get my new scanner in time for you folks to enjoy the amazing sale prices in it, but if I promise that if I get another catalogue I will scan it in a more timely manner.

There are dozens of amazing educational options in there. Among the many lecture series that stuck me are:

The Story of Human Language by Professor John McWhorter
Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning by Pofessor David Zarefsky
The Joy of Science by Professor Robert M. Hazen
The Life and Writings of C. S. Lewis by Professor Louis Markos
A History of Hitler’s Empire by Professor Thomas Childers
Classical Mythology by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
The Great Ideas of Philosophy by Professor Emeritus Daniel N. Robinson
No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life by Professor Robert C. Solomon

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #053


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #053 – Jesse and Scott are joined by Anne Frid de Vries of the Anne Is A Man blog for a talk about his wonderful podcast review blog.

Talked about on today’s show:
Anne Is A Man blog, reviewing podcasts, Five Free Favourites #4, Five Free Favourites (on Anne Is A Man), a Dutch person living in Israel, podcasting as “a new universe”, or “a secret world”, BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time, OPML files, iTunes, trading podcast subscription feeds, Dan Carlin, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, “History and Science Fiction go together like ham and cheese”, radio shows vs. podcasts, Dan Carlin’s Common Sense, interviews in different media, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CBC, Tapestry, Spark, APM’s Speaking Of Faith, Canada wins!, Mary Hynes, Ideas, TVO’s Big Ideas, Hunting For Robin Hood |READ OUR REVIEW|, Writers And Company (on a re-imagining of Robin Hood), WNYC’s RadioLab, Robert Krowlich, Krulwich On Science, The Do It Yourself Scholar blog, UCSD podcasts, Victor Maganga‘s courses on East Asian Political Thought and Politics And Warfare, Yale podcasts, Stanford podcasts, the rationales of rating and reviewing audio, Harriet Klausner, Google’s PageRank, reading good books twice, Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, Professor Hubert Dreyfus @ U.C. Berkley, the Greek and Judaic traditions, Nate DiMeo’s The Memory Palace, what’s wrong with radio!?!, radio in Canada, radio in the USA, radio in the Netherlands, radio in Israel, iTunes in Uzbekistan, The Teaching Company, where do you do your listening?, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: Robots Podcast, Talking Robots Podcast, “The Future Of Artificial Intelligence“, “Robots: Chaos Control“, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: Carve Her Name With Pride: The Story Of Violette Szabo, S.O.E. operations, the film version of Carve Her Name With Pride, Dan Carlin’s series on The Ostfront, ‘WWII is the Iliad of our times’, the western front of WWI, Anne’s Pick Of The Week: New Books In History podcast, Marshall Poe, Jared Diamond, Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of A Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

SFFaudio Review

Another short story! Will he ever stop?

Audiobooks - The Classic Tales PodcastThe Cask of Amontillado
By Edgar Allan Poe; Read by B.J. Harrison
17 Minutes – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: The Classic Tales Podcast
Published: 2008
Themes: / Horror / Murder / Revenge / Pride / Bricklaying /

It must be understood, that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.

From the two birds, one stone department, this classic story by Edgar Allan Poe. I wanted to read it again because it is the first story covered in a Teaching Company course I bought a while back called Masterpieces of Short Fiction, taught by Michael Kransky. I selected this particular audio version because I like the stories I’ve heard on B.J. Harrison’s The Classic Tales Podcast, and expected that he’d be particularly good with this one. I wasn’t disappointed! Very well done.

I’m enamored with this story, and not because I’d like to brick someone in myself. It’s a perfect little story, and horrifying. An inner portrait of a murderer, who calmly does his thing, and is disturbingly resolute. At one point, Fortunato refuses to speak to him. All he hears is the jingling of the bells on the victim’s cap in the dark. The story works so well.

The Teaching Company lecture was good. I looked at the Wikipedia entry for “Cask” and learned that Poe wrote this story as a response to a rival named Thomas Dunn English. The explanation is very clear, and things like the wild masonic gesture made by Fortunato make sense in that context. The lecture didn’t mention that, even though the origin of the story was discussed. Kransky said that it’s origin lay in an anecdotal story that Poe heard about someone who got buried alive, combined with class envy. Does the Wikipedia article overstate the case? Something to look into.

I’d love a course on the science fiction short story. I wonder which stories should be included in such a course? Click here to see which stories Michael Kransky included in Masterpieces of Short Fiction.

And be sure to check out B.J. Harrison’s The Classic Tales. I got this story from, which is where The Classic Tales go after they are podcast. Here’s the podcast feed:

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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


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,, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast show on The Invisible Man and More Invisible Men,, 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,, 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
DELL - The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James

Posted by Jesse Willis