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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
SciFiAudio
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

The Voice from the Edge: Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral by Harlan Ellison, read by the author. Fantastic Audio, runs approx. 5 hours.
The Voice from the Edge: Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral Harlan Ellison's voice has been as busy as his pen. He recently appeared as narrator in the excellent Beyond 2000 series of radio shows (more on that in a future column) and was one of the readers in the Arthur C. Clarke short story collection I reviewed in November.

Here, he reads his own material in a collection made for audio, The Voice from the Edge: Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral. Ellison is an excellent performer. His voice adds even further energy and character to each story.

There are 11 masterful stories here, with a bit of commentary by the author. Every one was a gem, but those that stand out most for me were the title story "Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral," the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning "Jeffty is Five," and the incredible "The Function of Dream Sleep." His "Rat Hater" out-Sopranos the Sopranos. These stories defy categorization and are all moving. Ellison is a master of the form, and this audio collection is a treasure.

The Elephants of Posnan and Other Stories by Orson Scott Card, read by several different readers. Fantastic Audio, runs approx. 9 hours.
The Elephants of Posnan and Other Stories Here is another diamond from Fantastic Audio. The Elephants of Posnan and Other Stories is a collection of fiction from Orson Scott Card, many of which appeared in his 1990 Maps in a Mirror collection. Two of the stories are read by Card himself (another talented reader) and the rest by various others, notably Michael Gross, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Roddy MacDowell, and Scott Brick. Every story is wonderfully performed; there wasn't a weak link in the bunch.

This collection could be viewed as a summary of Card's career in science fiction. Due to his penchant for rewriting stories into longer works, there are original, short versions of some of his greatest work here. "Ender's Game," for example, is presented here in the original version as published in Analog in 1977. This was Card's first published science fiction story, and in its novel length it has grown to be one of science fiction's finest works. Read by Michael Gross, it makes for fine listening.

This 12-story collection also contains "The Lost Boys," an emotional story of loss, which was later expanded into a novel of the same name. "Prentice Alvin and the No-Good Plow," an epic poem, is here too. "Unaccompanied Sonata" rings of Card's later Songmaster, even though the novel wasn't directly based on the story.

Also here is the title story, a thought-provoking tale of elephants and their role as inheritors of the earth. The last story is an excellent mainstream tale of desire called "Feed the Baby of Love."

All the stories are a testament to Card's ability as a storyteller -- I thoroughly enjoyed this collection.

NOTES

A Brief History of Time The Universe in a Nutshell How about some stunning non-fiction? Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time made for great listening in an unabridged version performed by Michael Jackson (no, not THAT Michael Jackson...). Hawking's follow-up, The Universe in a Nutshell, was released on abridged audio by Audio Literature and read by Simon Prebble. I'm still sorting it all out in my head -- fantastic, thought-provoking, paradigm-shifting... great stuff.

Copyright © 2002 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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