The SFFaudio Podcast #460 – READALONG: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #460 -Jesse, Paul Weimer, and Maissa Bessada talk about Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Talked about on today’s game:
the television series, Lenny Henry, Chef, tribes of homeless people in London, the novel, a little sandwich, what book would you take to a desert island?, The Sandman, not the way that things usually run, in the back of Paul’s mind, a full and visceral fall into London Below, the audio drama, Paul buys too many ebooks and audiobooks, Paul’s poor little TV, a new life in the world below, the sewer folk, the comic book adaptation, sadly and tragically, Glen Fabry, Preacher, DC Vertigo, Door has a keyhole over her eye, a completely different vision, insane, shot on videotape, early Doctor Who, Paterson Joseph, Mr Croup and Mr Vandermar, working hard to say bad things about Neverwhere, a children’s book for adults (true about everything Neil Gaiman writes), a metaphor for homelessness, Mr Stockton, Richard’s career as a security analyst, a metaphor for going inside yourself, looking for a critique, real damn good, a sketch, suggesting rather than telling, when Gaiman goes spare he goes better, Charles Dickens, here comes the pressure, the new illustrated edition, William Morrow Harper Collins, Chris Riddell, illustrations throughout, long noses, an eye, a branch twining through the pages, taking you down into it, the Angel Islington, Door is a child, Anesthesia, parallel characters, packed with illustrations, old-wordiness, “entwined”, Jesse’s book fell through the cracks, allusions to semi-mythical literary stuff, referencing earlier materials, The Graveyard Book, The Lord Of The Rings, Alice In Wonderland, Coraline, WONDERFUL, Neil Gaiman tattoos, we completely agree Neil Gaiman is awesome, Gaiman speaks to people, The New Mother by Lucy Clifford, why is it called Neverwhere?, physical place that has never existed in time, that fairy tale fantasy title, Stardust, reflective, gods and angels, pixie-like elfin girls, killers with knives, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, a murder of a family, a knife in the darkness, the backstory of this book, getting the same stuff in a different package, writing about marriage, a hand in the darkness, consider how London Below works, an unperson, utterly cut-off, social interaction, hitting Paul in the feels, nobody gives a damn if I live or die, tapping into fundamental fears, deep and true mythic social stuff, the beginning and the end, so much really works, very H.P. Lovecraft, Celephaïs by H.P. Lovecraft, disconnection with reality, the doubt, the ordeal, the trial, a subversion reading that’s IN the text, on the train platform, suicide, potent stuff, if they wanted to film it again today, too sensitive, romanticizing homelessness, if you’ve ever gone camping, romantic in the theoretical or in retrospect but there’s no romance in reality, too empathetic, an issue, defenses built up, its very very hard, people are strong even when they’re strong in the wrong ways, a problem you can’t easily fix, homelessness, many kinds of failures, Jessica’s reaction to Door’s body lying there, getting taken, a horrible thing to say “the all have homes, really”, generosity of strangers, it depends on how sympathetic you are, the book version, Jessica is not a monster, misplaced priorities, interested in the wrong things, exemplars of humanity, Aurora, Ontario, bags bags bags, she’s starving, “no thank you, I’m fine”, housing costs, pets, smoking, not enough money, schizophrenia, forbearance, neat hoarding, Jesse doesn’t have any doilies, if you don’t have a plant there’s something wrong with you, if you are not able to conform yourself, if it was not for a social safety-net more would be homeless, falling through the cracks of the bureaucracy, not a romantic story of homelessness, Lir (the musician), you always need another favour in you pocket, I don’t think he’s 100% reputable, rats and fur, a good craftsman, well polished, his turns of phrase are virtually perfect, a long list of things that are in (or not) a room, how Croup and Vandermar are alike, who they are without how they came to be, a very small world, Hunter, a little bit “dodgy” in the same way rats are a little bit covered in fur, How The Marquis Got His Coat Back, the Marquis de Carabas is from Puss In Boots, the sewer as a river, a non-existent person, the last door is opened by the Marquis, its clear to Paul, mutual friends, the Marquis came back from the dead, Richard left and returned, we’re going to lie-in, seeing it all laid out, Dante’s Inferno, the Marquis is like Virgil, Dracula, Frankenstein, Transformers, a tiny bit from the audio drama, the 15th century, they’re time travelling psychopaths, The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe, Valdemar wants “Dead things. Extra teeth.”, we’ve never killed a marquis before, Men?, if you prick us do we not bleed?, no, the timelines, his watch and his debit card stop working, bubbles in time and space, three thousand years ago, the remnants of a Roman legion still camped, more fantastical elements, more 12th century England, no allowance for Jesse, Jesse was in competition with homeless people, Dungeons & Dragons modules, a quasi-homeless industry, if you want to help the homeless increase the bottle deposit, 2018 vs 1980 money, people don’t like to be condescended to, Jesse’s penurious poorness, a trunk full of bottles is a treasure, they wear weird clothes, pushing shopping carts around, its not only about homelessness, choosing your own way to live, Richard’s apartment is taken away, he has a duty to his fiance but a greater duty to a stranger, there re just some things that are wrong, the difference between rude and cruel, we’re dangerous as humans, you have to be sensitive, invisible people, standing at an intersection asking for money, you have to look away, horror, too sensitive a soul, the people who don’t see it, when Jessica sees and can almost remember Richard’s name, is Mr Stockton an angel in the world above?, angel investor, the restoration of an angel, a kind of underdeveloped parallelism, a media guy, Rupert Murdoch, he’s a monster, “I’m in banking”, oh my god…how can you live like that?, being Neil Gaiman, being Maissa, being a creator of a whole universe of characters is fun, choosing a life of mystery and adventure, a life of horror, a recipe for making money, Jessica is more down that path, no pet names, choosing you life, pre-history, the trolls he has on his desk, that’s lampshaded, TV Tropes, Spaceballs, replacing an actor, Iron Man, “I’m here, get over it”, you look different, no answer, that’s how you write the story, the fortuneteller, destiny, the trolls, his new office, the nice cup of tea, Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, talk about the mice, vastly intelligent pan-dimensional beings, the rats, ratty, Neil Gaiman’s book about Douglas Adams, “yes, this!”, zany but controlled, Gaiman has much more discipline than Douglas Adams, procrastinating, Dirk Gently, Last Chance To See, Starship Titanic, the very Englishness, the parallels that happen, the incompetent of the group, Arthur Dent, madcap adventure, Richard levels up, surviving the ordeal, he had empathy for himself, like Door’s sister, the bracelet, the level of humanity, Jesse am unashamed about reading this urban fantasy, the number of times “duck” comes up, “duck under”, like water off an oiled duck, poor towel substitutes, a small yellow rubber duck, inside the silver box, another velvet, a duck’s egg, why are there so many ducks in here?, a weird little affectation, somewhere in between the size of a duck and a planet, plotting’s not my thing, let’s see where this goes, Gaiman can do it line after line, incredibly talented at the job of knowing how to tell the story, being Neil Gaiman, Paul Cornell’s Shadow Police novels, a cameo.

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere Issue 1 Page 10

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere (Preferred Text)

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere BBC Radio Drama

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #219 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Derelict by William Hope Hodgson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #219 – The Derelict by William Hope Hodgson; read by the wonderful Mike Vendetti. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the story (1 hour 13 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Mike Vendetti, and Sam Gafford (from the William Hope Hodgson blog).

Talked about on today’s show:
Most popular stories, Audible.com, Out Of The Storm by William Hope Hodgson, The House On The Borderlands, one of the best novels of the twentieth century, a classic of Science Fiction and Horror, The Ghost Pirates, The Boats Of The “Glen Carrig”, The Night Lands, one of the best horror novelists ever, WWI, Belgium, Ypres, Mike did the Vietnam thing, Ambrose Bierce, a love hate relationship with the sea, the merchant marine, why didn’t Hodgson join the Royal Navy?, Sailing Alone Around The World by Joshua Slocum, the sea as an evil monster, a hair pin as a deadly weapon, the sea becomes your god, an indifferent sea, H.P. Lovecraft, a lappet rather than a tentacle, the same basic take on how the universe works, Supernatural Horror In Literature,

Of rather uneven stylistic quality, but vast occasional power in its suggestion of lurking worlds and beings behind the ordinary surface of life, is the work of William Hope Hodgson, known today far less than it deserves to be. Despite a tendency toward conventionally sentimental conceptions of the universe, and of man’s relation to it and to his fellows, Mr. Hodgson is perhaps second only to Algernon Blackwood in his serious treatment of unreality. Few can equal him in adumbrating the nearness of nameless forces and monstrous besieging entities through casual hints and insignificant details, or in conveying feelings of the spectral and the abnormal in connection with regions or buildings.

ghost stories, the frame story, the spontaneous generation of life, The White People by Arthur Machen, Frankenstein, The Eclogues by Virgil, a recipe for wasps, dead matter, The Voice In The Night (Hodgson’s most famous story), don’t come any closer!, the mold taking over, Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People, The Terror Of The Water Tank, Hodgson in the bookstore, Night Shade Books, The Hog, where is the manuscript?, Brown University, Lord Dunsany, Sam Moskowitz, S.T. Joshi, a gathering of papers, the Titanic, the “nautical” theme, travel by sea, Cpt. “Sully” Sullenberger, radio telegraphy, Widow’s walk, Why I Am Not At Sea, the romance of the sea, personal abuse, physical culture, ‘all those reports are untrue’, Slocum may have been on the other side, Hodgson was a hunk, photography, Hodgson’s gym, directing artillery fire, too early, diet and exercise, Super Man and the superheroes, Gladiator by Philip Wylie, 98-pound weakling, Charles Atlas, sailor, soldier, writer, photographer, what didn’t he do?, Hodgson’s family, religion, Blackburn, Downstairs On A Bicycle, Harry Houdini, a flurry of stories and novels, a hungry rejected writer, where did this writing come from?, a notoriety seeker, Arnold Schwarzenegger, good reviews and poor sales, The Night Lands is incomparable, Olaf Stapledon, the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey, H.G. Wells, The Bookman magazine, Edgar Allan Poe, Hodgson’s women, The Dream Of X, writers rights (copyright), short stories sell better, writing order vs. publication order, The Ghost Pirates is Sam’s favourite, seeping dimensions, Mike is fast, outside sales, Mike Vendetti audiobooks on Audible.com, Robert E. Lee, text was meant to be read aloud, music and reading were social activities, actors are turning to audiobooks.

The Derelict by William Hope Hodgson

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #161 – READALONG: Among Others by Jo Walton

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #161 – Jesse, Scott, Tamahome, and Jenny (of Reading Envy) talk about the Nebula-winning novel Among Others by Jo Walton.

Talked about on today’s show:
What does ‘Among Others’ mean?, “the most meta book ever”, Jo on Coode Street, what’s your favorite book?, Interlibrary Loan, the Welsh accent of the audiobook, is there a plot?, “it’s post-fantasy”, list of sf books referenced, how many have you read?, books in The Canon, Jo’s Tor blog, no cyberpunk, The Litany of Fear from Dune, learning about Judaism, Roger Zelazny, Luke’s review of Lord Of Light (not Amber), 1960’s – 1980’s only, getting book recommendations, no internet!, Harlan Ellison in The Comics Journal, used bookstores, “I’d rather have a Heinlein than a headmistress!”, non-fiction too, Plato (The Socratic Method), the fairy world, Virgil, acupuncture, were the fairies ‘real’?, Among Others on The Writer And The Critic with Cat Valente, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Tempest, grief, did Mor steal her sister’s identity?, The Wizard Of Earthsea, do the book choices reflect themes?, we want an index, karass (see Cat’s Cradle), I, Claudius, Chi, other Nebula nominees, God’s War has bugs, Embassytown, Jo Walton on series, Jo on the Hugos, we’re waiting for the hugo novella blog series, The Paper Menagerie (online audio), how well read do you have to be to appreciate Among Others?, Hyperion, “it’s a book-love book”, which books from the list will you read next?, The Wind’s Twelve Quarters is the best, old Delany, Sturgeon’s A Touch Of Strange, what’s that Sturgeon novel with three brains in a jello mold on Mars internet??, James Tiptree Jr., The Dispossessed (Luke’s review), Stand On Zanzibar is on audio, length of books, Jo’s Small Change series is on audio, Tor is drm-free, don’t forget Baen and Angry Robot and Nightshade, the kindle hit Wool is optioned for a movie, “umm…no”

I happened to have this old paperback:

James Tiptree Jr. - Out Of The Everywhere (cover)

Posted by Tamahome

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis AUDIO DRAMA

SFFaudio News

Focus On The Family, an “American evangelical tax-exempt non-profit organization” has been creating audio dramas that I’ve been completely ignoring (probably unjustly) for years.

It looks like they’ve got some terrific source material and some solid acting expertize for their most recent project, an audio dramatization of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. More details |HERE|.

It may be that The Screwtape Letters was written as a response to Letters From The Earth by Mark Twain – certainly the two books take the epistolary form and are set in a Bangsian Fantasy world. Twain’s take was skeptical athiesm, Lewis’s was was rational apologetic. Call and response?

In the June 6, 1962 issue of The Christian Century published C.S. Lewis’s answer to the question:

“What books did most to shape your vocational attitude and your philosophy of life?”

Here was C.S. Lewis’s list:

1. Phantastes, A Faerie Romance For Men And Women by George MacDonald |GUTENBERG|
2. The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton |GUTENBERG AUSTRALIA|
3. The Aeneid by Virgil |LibriVox AUDIOBOOK|
4. The Temple: Sacred Poems And Private Ejaculations by George Herbert
5. The Prelude; Or, Growth Of A Poet’s Mind by William Wordsworth
6. The Idea Of The Holy by Rudolf Otto
7. The Consolation Of Philosophy by Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius |GUTENBERG|
8. Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell |GUTENBERG (ABRIDGED VERSION)|
9. Descent Into Hell by Charles Williams |GUTENBERG AUSTRALIA|
10. Theism and Humanism by Arthur James Balfour

Given Lewis’ stuggle with both Christiainity and atheism is it not curious that The Bible doesn’t show up on that list? Probably not. It may have been #11.

[via the Audiobook DJ blog]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Blackstone Audio’s $5 audiobook sale – STUNNING DEALS

SFFaudio News

Blackstone Audio Five Dollar Overstock SaleBlackstone AudiobooksCan anyone resist Blackstone Audio’s just announced $5.00 clearance sale?

This comes not a month after they announced their $9.99 overstock sale!

$5 for an audiobook.

That’s the deal of the year people!

Admittedly, not all of the available titles in this sale are unabridged, but they mostly are. There are a dozen SFF titles, plenty of crime, mystery and noir as well as a shelfload of history audiobooks. There are even a couple of audio dramas in there.

Here’s just a smattering of what excited me:

THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; read by Ben Kingsley
THE AENEID by Virgil; read by Frederick Davidson
BABYLON BABIES by Maurice G. Dantec; read by Joe Barrett
THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London; read by Ethan Hawke
CASINO ROYALE by Ian Fleming; read by Simon Vance
CHRISTOPHER’S GHOSTS by Charles McCarry; read by Stefan Rudnicki
A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT by Mark Twain; read by Carl Reiner
CRIMINAL PARADISE by Steven M. Thomas; read by Patrick Lawlor
THE DEAL by Peter Lefcourt; read by William H. Macy
DEATH MATCH by Lincoln Child; read by Barrett Whitener |READ OUR REVIEW|
DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA by Miguel de Cervantes; read by Robert Whitfield
EVIL, INC. by Glenn Kaplan; read by Glenn Kaplan
THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX by Elleston Trevor; read by Grover Gardner
FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley; read by Julie Harris
FRANKENSTEIN, OR THE MODERN PROMETHEUS by Mary Shelley; read by Simon Templeman, Anthony Heald, and Stefan Rudnicki
HOW TO SURVIVE A ROBOT UPRISING by Daniel H. Wilson; read by Stefan Rudnicki |READ OUR REVIEW|
HUCK FINN AND TOM SAWYER AMONG THE INDIANS by Mark Twain and Lee Nelson; read by Grover Gardner
I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson; read by Robertson Dean |READ OUR REVIEW|
I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves; read by Frederick Davidson
THE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS by Jack Finney; read by Kristoffer Tabori
IT’S SUPERMAN! by Tom De Haven; read by Scott Brick
JAMES BOND BOXED SET by Ian Fleming; read by Simon Vance
KING KONG by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper; novelization by Delos W. Lovelace; read by Stefan Rudnicki |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE by Richard Condon; read by Christopher Hurt
THE MARTIAN CHILD by David Gerrold; read by Scott Brick
MARTIAN TIME-SLIP AND THE GOLDEN MAN by Philip K. Dick; read by Grover Gardner
MILDRED PIERCE by James M. Cain; read by Christine Williams
MYSTIC WARRIOR by Tracy and Laura Hickman; read by Lloyd James
PETER PAN by J.M. Barrie; read by Roe Kendall
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY by Oscar Wilde; read by Simon Vance
THE PRESTIGE by Christopher Priest; read by Simon Vance
QUANTUM OF SOLACE by Ian Fleming; read by Simon Vance
RINGWORLD’S CHILDREN by Larry Niven; read by Barrett Whitener |READ OUR REVIEW|
ROCKET SHIP GALILEO by Robert A Heinlein; read by Spider Robinson |READ OUR REVIEW|
SUPERMAN RETURNS by Marv Wolfman; read by Scott Brick |READ OUR REVIEW|
SWEENEY TODD AND THE STRING OF PEARLS by Yuri Rasovsky; read by a full cast
TARZAN OF THE APES by Edgar Rice Burroughs; read by Ben Kingsley
THE TEN-CENT PLAGUE by David Hajdu; read by Stefan Rudnicki
THERMOPYLAE by Paul Cartledge; read by John Lee
THE THREE MUSKETEERS by Alexandre Dumas; read by Michael York
THE TIME MACHINE by H.G. Wells; read by Ben Kingsley
THE TRIAL by Franz Kafka; read by Geoffrey Howard
UTOPIA by Sir Thomas More; read by James Adams
V FOR VENDETTA by Steve Moore; read by Simon Vance |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by H.G. Wells; read by Christopher Hurt
WHERE’S MY JETPACK? by Daniel H. Wilson; read by Stefan Rudnicki |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE WINTER OF FRANKIE MACHINE by Don Winslow; read by Dennis Boutsikaris
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO NARNIA by Jonathan Rogers; read by Brian Emerson

Posted by Jesse Willis

Blackstone Audiobooks Overtstock Sale

SFFaudio News

Blackstone Audiobooks Overstock SaleBlackstone AudiobooksSFFaudio receives FREE audio media in the mail on a regular basis. They generally arrive unsolicited (though sometimes not) and we take it that their arrival equates with a tacit understanding that we’ll either mention the receipt on the website and/or review the audiobook or audio drama. That’s the extent of our formal relationship with any publisher or retailer. We do not use affiliate links to Amazon, or any other audiobook retailer. This lack of affiliation means that we can never feel pressured into reviewing an audiobook or audio drama more positively (or negatively) than we might otherwise.

Now, with all that said, I think I can speak for most of the folks who work at SFFaudio and say that we are all especially fond of Blackstone Audiobooks.

There are a few reasons for this BA love. Blackstone picks great books to turn into audiobooks, pairing them with terrific narrators, and then releases them in DRM free version. That’s really all what you want from a publisher. But that isn’t the end of it. Every so often they blow-out audiobooks that are cramming their wharehouse space. And that’s why right now they’re offering 237 different audiobooks for just $9.99 each.

That’s a STUNNING DEAL my friends!

And, if you buy two audiobooks (or more) you’ll even get FREE SHIPPING (within the USA). Here are just a few of the many titles they’ve got for sale right now:

THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; read by Ben Kingsley
THE AENEID by Virgil; read by Frederick Davidson
ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll; read by Michael York
THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London; read by Ethan Hawke
A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT by Mark Twain; read by Carl Reiner
FRANKENSTEIN, OR THE MODERN PROMETHEUS by Mary Shelley; read by Simon Templeman, Anthony Heald, and Stefan Rudnicki
I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson; read by Robertson Dean |READ OUR REVIEW|
IT’S SUPERMAN! by Tom De Haven; read by Scott Brick
KING KONG by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper; novelization by Delos W. Lovelace; read by Stefan Rudnicki |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE MARTIAN CHILD by David Gerrold; read by Scott Brick
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY by Oscar Wilde; read by Simon Vance
THE PRESTIGE by Christopher Priest; read by Simon Vance
THE PRINCE by Niccoló Machiavelli; read by Patrick Cullen
ROCKET SHIP GALILEO by Robert A Heinlein; read by Spider Robinson |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE SPARTANS by Paul Cartledge; read by John Lee
SWEENEY TODD AND THE STRING OF PEARLS by Yuri Rasovsky; Performed by a full cast
TALES OF BEATRIX POTTER by Beatrix Potter; read by Nadia May
TARZAN OF THE APES by Edgar Rice Burroughs; read by Ben Kingsley
THE TEN-CENT PLAGUE by David Hajdu; read by Stefan Rudnicki
THERMOPYLAE by Paul Cartledge; read by John Lee
THE TIME MACHINE by H.G. Wells; read by Ben Kingsley
THE TRIAL by Franz Kafka; read by Geoffrey Howard
UTOPIA by Sir Thomas More; read by James Adams
V FOR VENDETTA by Steve Moore; read by Simon Vance |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by H. G. Wells; read by Christopher Hurt
WE WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT TOMORROW WE WILL BE KILLED WITH OUR FAMILIES by Philip Gourevitch; read by Jeff Cummings
WHERE’S MY JETPACK? by Daniel H. Wilson; read by Stefan Rudnicki |READ OUR REVIEW|
THE WINTER OF FRANKIE MACHINE by Don Winslow; read by Dennis Boutsikaris
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO NARNIA by Jonathan Rogers; read by Brian Emerson

Posted by Jesse Willis