The SFFaudio Podcast #093 – TALK TO: Grover Gardner


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #093 – Scott and Jesse talk to audiobook narrator Grover Gardner about his long career in audiobooks and his work as the studio director at Blackstone Audioboooks.

Talked about on today’s show:
Blackstone Audio, Ashland, Oregon, The Story Of Civilization by Will Durant and Ariel Durant, the Miles Vorkosigan saga, Lois McMaster Bujold, Cryoburn, space opera, the Library Of Congress’ talking book program, Tiger Beat, Alexander Scourby, George Guidall, Displaced Persons, YA, WWII, Flo Gibson, Brilliance Audio, Recorded Books, the early audiobook industry, James Patterson, Books On Tape, Michael Kramer, Barret Whitener, Kate Reading, Bernadette Dunn, Jonathan Marosz, Tanya Perez, Oregon Shakespeare Theatre Festival, Southern Oregon University, Ringworld by Larry Niven |READ OUR REVIEW|, recording audiobooks under pseudonyms (Tom Parker, Alexander Adams), Star Wars, Anthony Heald, the Young Jedi series, Jonathan Davis, recording an abridged novel with sound effects (Star Wars), “hard abridgments”, “in the age of mega companies that shall remain nameless”, do bad books turned into audiobooks harm the audiobook market?, casting an audiobook narrator slightly against the book, digitizing older audiobooks, history, narrating non-fiction, Ross Macdonald‘s Lew Archer series, The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell |READ OUR REVIEW|, Tai Simmons, using an iPad to read scripts, Blackstone Audio maintains an in-house pronunciation guide database, The Tin Drum by Günter Grass, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, Simon Vance, Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick, Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick |READ OUR REVIEW|, Tom Weiner loves science fiction, Brain Wave by Poul Anderson, a new recording of a Robert Sheckley book is coming, Random House still does abridgments, Shelby Foote, Donald Westlake, Grover Gardner’s blog post on Ross Macdonald, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald wrote psychological mystery novels about families (he lets all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out), The Wycherley Woman, The Chill, John D. MacDonald, The Moving Target, The Galton Case, Black Money, the Travis McGee series, Darren McGavin, biography as a genre, Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw, Gildan Media, the Wallander series, The Return Of The Dancing Master by Henning Mankell, Haila Williams, Grover Gardner loved narrating Elmore Leonard audiobook, Patrick Obrien’s, Bernard Cornwell, Maximum Bob by Elmore Leonard, “a slightly square guy”, Harper Audio, Pronto by Elmore Leonard, Justified, the Inspector Montalbano series is “enormously entertaining”, Andrea Camilleri, the Toby Peters series, Stuart M. Kaminsky, keeping track of the character voices (by visualization), “I lived those books”, Fools Die by Mario Puzo, Kristoffer Tabori, what is Grover Gardner’s favourite book?, The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell (it’s Grover Gardner’s masterwork).

Posted by Jesse Willis

4 thoughts to “The SFFaudio Podcast #093 – TALK TO: Grover Gardner”

  1. Hi Jesse & Scott. That was a great interview with Grove Gardner. He certainly has one of the best voices in the business.

    But (there always is a but) I have a question about Bujold’s Vorkosigan books that he has read for Blackstone (one of my favorite series). On the Lois-Bujold list there was a discussion some time ago about his pronunciations of some of the names in the first few Vorkosigan books that he read. The pronunciations were corrected in all the later books, and he was supposedly going to go back and “fix” the earlier titles (time permitting) which is much easier to do in this digital age. Maybe you could pose this as a follow-up question to him. It also raises the question of how often audiobooks get “fixed” these days.

    While we are on the subject of Blackstone audiobooks, maybe you can find out hom many of Poul Anderson’s books they plan to release. I certainly hope they do Operation Chaos which is a much better alternate history with magic than the vast bulk of the urban paranormal crap being put out these days.

    I especially look forward to your interviews with people in the audiobook business, and hope to see many more. Some names that I’d like to hear you interview would be readers like Kate Reading & Michael Kramer and Scott Brick and authors like Orson Scott Card, Allan Dean Foster, Jack McDevitt, David Weber and David Drake.

    I would think that your podcast has become so widely known that you can just “reel them in” ;-)

    Neill Smith

  2. Neill,

    SFFaudio was offered a chance to talk to David Weber recently, around the time when his most recent novel, Out Of The Dark, came out – the problem was I wasn’t nearly familiar enough with his books to intelligently talk with him about his writings. And I believe Scott was on hiatus at the time.

    Scott is fairly expert on things OSC, as he was once an OSC student. There, I’ve at least read a few of his books but I don’t really have any particular questions for him either.

    Scott Brick is a possibility.

    The guy I’d most like to talk to is SF author Edward Wellen, but I need to read more about him, and find out if he’s still alive!

    Funniest part. “widely known”. LOL.

  3. Jesse,

    You are too modest ;-). I’ve never heard of Edward Wellen, but I see you (or your mother?) had a copy of one of his audiobooks for sale with review by you back in 2009. While we are on the subject of missing persons, do you know what happened to Maria Lectrix and her podcast? There has been no new material since March 2010. She did several SF&F novels, including James Schmitz’s Legacy. I wish more of his work would appear in audiobook format.

  4. Neill,

    Yes, Edward Wellen is one of my hobby horses. I sent Luke a copy of Wellen’s longest audiobook MIND SLASH MATTER after Luke reviewed the similarly themed novel by Daniel Suarez. He still hasn’t listened to it (sadly).

    As to Maureen O’Brien, damn, you’re right, her blog hasn’t been updated for ages!

    I figured she was just working on a lot of the religious books she does – but she’s put out nothing for nearly a year!

    Incidentally, I’ve got a box of audiobooks here to give to my mom. There may be more copies of Mind Slash Matter in there. If not, I saw that it was recently put up on

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