Commentary: Where do you listen to audiobooks and podcasts?

SFFaudio Commentary

Where do you listen to audiobooks and podcasts?

I listen to a lot of novel length audiobooks while walking.

Pitt River Dyke, British Columbia

I listen to audiobooks when walking to work, from work, or walking a dog.

Short stories are for folding laundry, cooking or loading and unloading a dishwasher.

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time with Melvyn BraggCBC Radio One - IdeasEntitled Opinions (about life and literature)

Depending on the length of the trip I either listen to audiobooks or podcasts while driving. Short podcasts are no good for long drives. So for longer drives I listen to BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time, CBC Radio One’s Ideas, or WKZU’s Entitled Opinions.

TVO Search Engine with Jesse Brown - Audio PodcastCBC Radio - SparkFreakonomics

There are a few podcasts I consistently like to hear only on weekday mornings, like TVO’s Search Engine, CBC’s Spark, and WNYC’s Freakonomics. They somehow just seem to set the right tone – and that tone just doesn’t work for me in the evenings.

The Memory Palace with Nate DiMeoToday In Canadian HistoryEli Glasner On Film

Some podcasts, like The Memory Palace, Today In Canadian History, and Eli Glasner On Film are so short I reserve them almost exclusively for walking to or from a car.

TriangulationGweekFresh Ink

At the gym, while pumping iron, I tend to listen to interview podcasts like TWiT’s Triangulation, or Boing Boing’s Gweek. On the stationary bike I watch G4’s Fresh Ink because that’s a video podcast.

BrokenSea Audio Presents: OTR Swag CastRadio Drama RevivalDecoder Ring TheatreI listen to audio drama almost exclusively in the evening. OTR Swag Cast, Radio Drama Revival, and Decoder Ring Theatre, are turned on in the minutes before I go to sleep.

Forgotten ClassicsUvula AudioNew Books In Public PolicyI listen to a couple of shows, Forgotten Classics and Science News Update, almost exclusively while getting dressed or clipping fingernails and toenails. I also listen to podcasts while in the bathroom – and that’s where my big pet peeve with podcasts comes most to a head – too many are just too quiet.

While brushing my teeth and when showering you need a decent volume to overcome the white noise of running water. I can’t listen to New Books In Public Policy in the bathroom, it’s volume is just way too low.

Where do you listen? And what do you listen to there?

Posted by Jesse Willis

Human Intelligence: A Holiday Tale – adapted from a story by Kurt Andersen

SFFaudio Online Audio

From Stories: All-New Tales (edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio) here is an “audio cinema adaptation” (a reading with sound effects) – produced by Jonathan Mitchell for WNYC’s Studio 360. I was looking throughthe reviews of the paperbook. This Xmasy Science Fiction story got top marks from all the reviewers!

Stories: All New Tales edited by Neil Gaiman and Al SarrantonioHuman Intelligence: A Holiday Tale
By Kurt Andersen; Adapted by Jonathan Mitchell; Performed by Ed Herbstman, John Ottavino and Melanie Hoopes
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [DRAMATIZED READING]
Podcaster: Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen
Podcast: December 23, 2010
“…a geologist meets an explorer from another planet who has been studying humans for the past 1,600 years.”

[Thanks to Barry Haldiman for the find!]

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

NPR: Blade Runner – Dreams of Electric Sheep

SFFaudio Online Audio

There’s an old NPR/WNYC piece on Blade Runner that casts the fear of Nexus 6 androids on Earth as a kind of allegory for racism and slavery. Perhaps we could coin a term for this. How about, “The Plastic Peril”? Although that sounds a bit too much like a reference to Autons.

Dreams Of Electric Sheep
By Phillip Martin
June 29, 2007
25 years ago this week, Blade Runner debuted in American theaters. It was set in a Los Angeles of the future, but its portrayals of race and racism had plenty of resonance in 1982. Reporterlooks back on a classic of cyborgian social criticism.


[via HuffDuffer and Adactio]

Posted by Jesse Willis

William Tenn has died

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

WNYC: RadioLab – AV Smackdown

SFFaudio Online Audio

May 19th’s broadcast of WNYC’s Radiolab program asked the question: Which is better, RADIO or TELEVISION. To determine the answer an audience was asked: Which is better at pictures? Which medium is better at emotions?
Which is more fun? |MP3|

The results of the contest might have been different had it been a question of video vs. audio, rather than TV vs. radio.

I’ve occasionally thought that if I was forced to choose between losing my eyes or losing my ears my answer would depend on whether I’d have some audiobooks at my bedside in the hospital.

[via Adactio]

Posted by Jesse Willis