William Tenn has died

SFFaudio Online Audio

“There’s too much beauty in religion to let go of it just because you don’t believe in god.”
-William Tenn

SFSignal.com is reporting that William Tenn has just died. You won’t find much written about Tenn (or his alter ego Philip Klass) on the internet. I figure that’s mostly because he wasn’t a very prolific novelist (the default format for most fiction readers). But if you like SF he’s probably someone you should know about.

I think I first read Tenn back in the early 1990s. It may have been his story The Liberation Of Earth. I really got into Tenn in 2004.

Back in 2004 podcasting hadn’t really started. LibriVox.org didn’t exist and audio fiction on the internet was actually quite hard to find. One of the best stories I found back then, and one of my favorite stories that I discovered by chance, was On Venus, Have We Got A Rabbi! by William Tenn. I reviewed it in 2004 |READ OUR REVIEW|.

The story was recorded as part of an interview with David Garland of WNYC’s Spinning On Air. Astonishingly, the ancient file and directory are still there and still online at WNYC’s website. But, like almost all audio back in the bad old days of the interweb it was in the still nigh-unworkable REALAUDIO FORMAT. Getting it to work may still be a serious problem – it didn’t work for me without some serious fiddling. Here’s the hour long show |REALAUDIO|

In the WNYC interview Tenn describes himself “an enlightened pessimist” and “a skeptic in every way.”
But that may be under-stating it. He may be best described as a combination of Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain – but working primarily as a satirist in the field of Science Fiction.

His novel, Of Men And Monsters, is a truly terrific read and would make a wonderful audiobook.

It takes place in the future where the Earth has been invaded by giant aliens who have destroyed most of humanity. People now live in the walls of the aliens homes like mice divided into different groups and tribes where two types of religions have branched out; one that is devoted to technology from the past and the other that is trying to learn and decipher the aliens’ technology. [summary by Cynical-C]

Also available, via the Orthopedic Horseshoes podcast, are some snippets from Confluence 2008
with William Tenn talking about Theodore Sturgeon. |MP3|

Posted by Jesse Willis

Orthopedic Horseshoes-Virtually a virtual mini-convention

SFFaudio Online Audio

Orthopedic HorseshoesOrthopedic Horseshoes are Herb Kauderer and Alan Katerinsky.  It’s a podcast where they talk about things and talk to people, or as they say “A show where cranky old men discourse  on American Society and media.”  I listened to their last podcast entitled “Putting Lipstick on a Science Fiction Convention” and didn’t find them cranky at all.  Here’s what it’s about:

The episode features interviews with Anne Cecil about starting a convention, renowned SF author William Tenn (Philip Klass) about Theodore Sturgeon, and Nebula-winning author Mary Turzillo about her poetry collections Your Cat & Other Space Aliens, and Dragon Soup.
Cohosts Herb & Al try to capture the flavor of a Science Fiction convention by bringing their interviews from Confluence 2008. They also discuss filking, science, socializing, the hospitality suite, “Betelgeuse Bridge,” and NESFA Press.

I can vouch for the total righteousness of William Tenn and  for NESFA Press.

MP3|Podcast Feed|Site

Posted by The Time Traveler of the Time Traveler Show

Review of On Venus, Have We Got A Rabbi! by William Tenn

On Venus, Have We Got A Rabbi!
By William Tenn; read by William Tenn
56 minutes – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: WNYC Radio [“Spinning On Air” with host David Garland].
Published: Nov. 22nd 2002 [LISTEN TO THE ARCHIVED SHOW IN REALAUDIO at WNYC]
Themes: / Science Fiction / Satire / Humor / Jews / Religion / Venus /

“Milchik, the TV repairman, speaks for all Jews on Venus and in the Universe.”

William Tenn (aka Philip Klass), gets the royal treatment he so well deserves on David Garland’s WNYC radio show. Remarkably well prepared, Garland teases out some delightful and informative anecdotes and stories from Tenn, it makes for a riveting interview. Garland has also seen fit to gift us with a delectable reading of one of Tenn’s stories read by the author himself!

William Tenn’s stories always have the same effect on me, as the story progresses a smile grows wider and wider across my face. On Venus, We Have A Rabbi! is laugh out loud funny. Perhaps knowledge of Jewish history would be helpful, I don’t know, but I enjoyed the heck out of it. And thankfully unlike another WNYC reading, this novelette is free of music, Tenn’s hilarious reading of his own story is almost perfect. He stumbles only once over one word, but otherwise he reads his tale like a professional narrator.

I sure hope Garland keeps up the great programming. Radio like this makes me wish I lived in New York.

Posted by Jesse Willis

One of the nice things about public radio is often…

One of the nice things about public radio is often their hosts are able to persue their own interests. David Garland, the host of the WNYC (New York City’s National Public Radio affiliate) program SPINNING ON AIR populates his weekly two hour broadcasts with music, interviews and readings. Garland has worked in comics, is a successful musician and lyricist, and has read science fiction and fantasy extensively. When he interviews his guests, his abundant familiarity with their work makes the interviewees comfortable and able to talk in depth – something typically absent from commercial radio. Subjects covered on SPINNING ON AIR have included filk music, science fiction in music, science fiction satire, science fiction movie music, and readings of both science fiction and fantasy fiction. New shows air Fridays from 9PM-11PM EST on 93.9 FM in New York City. You can also listen online, or listen to archived shows.

Here are some of the most interesting shows of the last three years:

Music and Science Fiction – Jul. 12, 2002

LISTEN TO THE ARCHIVED SHOW:

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/spinning/episodes/07122002

Science Fiction Author William Tenn – Nov. 22nd 2002

LISTEN TO THE ARCHIVED SHOW:

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/spinning/episodes/11222002

Catskin (a fantasy story by Kelly Link) – Oct. 31, 2004

LISTEN TO THE ARCHIVED SHOW:

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/spinning/episodes/10312003

Philip K. Dick Loved Music, and Music Loves Him – Jan. 02, 2004

LISTEN TO THE ARCHIVED SHOW:

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/spinning/episodes/01022004