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Vox: SF For Your Ears
by Scott Danielson

Other Vox: SF For Your Ears Columns

Audio Drama
BEYOND 2000
Giant Steps: An Apocalyptic Comedy for the World Wide Web
Mark Time Award
Seeing Ear Theater
Wollcott and Sheridan
Audio Publishers
audible.com
Atlanta Radio Theater Company
Books on Tape
Defiance Audio
Infinivox
Fantastic Audio
Full Cast Audio Books
The Reader's Chair
Recorded Books, LLC
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Star Trek Novels/Audio
Star Wars Novels/Audio
Timberwolf Press
ZBS
SF Talk Radio
Book Crazy Radio
Cosmic Landscapes
The Dragon Page
Hour 25
I-SCI-FI
RadioSciFi
Reality Break - a science fiction talk show
Sci Fi Overdrive
SF On the Radio
Other
ReelBooks
The Teaching Company
Timeship Studio
Voyage's Multimedia Project

Snow Crash Snow Crash is one of those rare novels; one of those that stand out, tall and unique, amongst all the novels I've read in my life. I know of nothing with which to compare it, but I can say that it ranks amongst my favourite novels. Neal Stephenson impressed me both with his fearless, irreverent tone and with the astonishing range of subjects touched by his characters.

Snow Crash reveals a picture of the not-too-distant future, where the only things America is good at are "music, movies, microcode (software), and high-speed pizza delivery." It's a world where people spend part of their lives in the Metaverse, a highly developed yet realistic virtual world where they use avatars of their own design to interact with each other. It's a world divided into burbclaves, or city-states, each with its own identity, laws, and law-enforcement. In stark contrast to this future society, the main character finds himself entangled in a mystery that requires him to explore ancient Sumerian mythology and the roots of biblical religion.

All of this in an extremely fast-paced adventure story. Remarkable. This was an exciting, impressive novel.

For the audio version, Time-Warner selected a first rate reader in Jonathan Davis. I never tired of his effortless inflection changes as different characters spoke -- very important in a quick moving story like this one. The production quality was excellent; I found the sounds used to mark breaks in the text to be particularly effective.

Also available from Time-Warner is Stephenson's next novel, The Diamond Age, read by Jennifer Wiltsie.

NOTES

It's October! Treat yourself to a fright or two...

I've listened to several unabridged audiobooks from Dean Koontz. Of those, my favourites are:

Dragon Tears Dragon Tears, read by Jay O. Sanders, Simon and Schuster, 1993
Two cops have to deal with a vicious enemy with powers beyond their comprehension. It features an excellent performance by Jay O. Sanders.

Intensity, read by Kate Burton, Random House, 1995
Yes, this novel is intense... a killer invades someone's home, but is unaware that there is a guest present.

Fear Nothing, read by Keith Szarabajka, BDD Audio, 1998
Seize the Night, read by Keith Szarabajka, BDD Audio, 1998
Both Fear Nothing and Seize the Night share the same main character -- Jon Snow, a person with a disease that requires him to avoid sunlight. Everything starts when he witnesses some strange occurrences following the death of someone close to him... and he won't stop until he solves the mystery.

Audiobooks made from the works of Stephen King are invariably good. Try:

Delores Claiborne, read by Frances Sternhagen, Penguin Highbridge Audio, 1995
An unforgettable performance by Frances Sternhagen makes this one of my all-time favourites... Delores Claiborne is accused of killing her employer by a man who accused her in the past of killing her husband.

Desperation, read by Kathy Bates, Penguin Audiobooks, 1996
A family gets pulled over in the middle of the desert by a cop... who's not quite a cop.

LT's Theory of Pets LT's Theory of Pets, a live reading by Stephen King, Simon and Schuster Audio, 2001
This new one from Stephen King is a live performance by him of a short story for an audience in England. Find out for yourself LT's theory.

A Night in the Lonesome October, read by Roger Zelazny, Sunset Productions, 1993
A couple of months ago, I found an audio copy of Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October. This audio was recommended to me, and after listening to it, I certainly see why. As far as I can tell, it is sadly out of print, but it's worth the dig if you're inclined to find it. The whole story is told from the point of view of Snuff, the faithful watchdog about a knife-wielding man who is but one of the many players in a macabre game made up of closers and openers... This was great fun.

Copyright © 2001 Scott Danielson

Scott discovered the world of SF audio years ago, when he spent two hours a day in his car. His commute has since shortened considerably, but his love for audio remains.


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