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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

Foundation by Isaac Asimov Read by Larry McKeever, Books on Tape, 6 hours
Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov Read by Dan Lazar, Books on Tape, 8 hours
Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov Read by Dan Lazar, Books on Tape, 8 hours

Foundation Ah, Asimov. He remains one of my favorite SF writers. The Foundation Trilogy is a science fiction classic, written in the 50s.

Hari Seldon is a psychohistorian. He has developed mathematical methods of predicting the actions of masses of people, effectively predicting the future. When his calculations predict the fall of the Empire, the Empire moves to protect itself. The fall is unpreventable, says Seldon, so the next best thing is to protect humanity's knowledge so the period of approaching chaos is as short as possible. Foundation is a planet on the edge of the galaxy, set up and filled with scientists in order to create an Encyclopedia of all human knowledge. These books are filled with political intrigue and maneuvering and are brilliantly plotted.

These three audio versions are all straight narrative readings. Larry McKeever performs the first book, and does an excellent job. Dan Lazar performs the next two, but I found him a bit difficult, as there was no discernable distinction between characters. I enjoyed revisiting the trilogy, and Books on Tape has all of the Foundation books (all of the rest read by McKeever) and some of Asimov's short fiction as well.

Deathstalker by Simon R. Green Episode 1: The Man Who Had Everything, Performed by Richard Rohan, Terence Aselford, Colleen Delany, Nanette Savard, Defiance Audio, 3 hours

Deathstalker New from Defiance Audio is Episode 1 of the Simon R. Green's Deathstalker series. The concept is new in my experience -- they've taken Green's book and made 5 audio episodes, and are selling each episode for approximately half of what the same amount of listening would cost if it were a Star Trek or Star Wars audio. The episodes are published a month or so apart. An excellent idea.

The material itself is in the Star Wars tradition -- there is an Empire and rebellion, swords and technology. Owen Deathstalker, the main character, finds many forces suddenly arrayed against him. His allies are few, and the Empire is large, but rebellion is inevitable.

The audio is done very well. This is a multi-voice recording, sort of a cross between a straight reading and audio drama. The main narrator is excellent, as is much of the supporting cast.

The Spock vs. Q Collection An Alien Voices Production starring Leonard Nimoy and John DeLancie, Simon and Schuster, 2 hours

The Spock vs. Q Collection Spock vs. Q is a recording of Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek's Mr. Spock) and John DeLancie (Q) performing in front of a live audience at a convention. Each one takes on his Star Trek role, and they embark on a hilarious performance. It's practically stand-up comedy. Spock's logic and Q's emotion appear in stark contrast as they verbally joust with each other for nearly an hour. I laughed out loud several times. Nimoy and DeLancie appeared to have great fun doing this -- the live audience certainly enjoyed it. I would have loved to have been there.

This set contains three CD's -- the first if the live recording of Spock vs. Q (1999), the second is a live recording of Spock vs. Q: The Sequel (2000) and the third contains about six minutes of video footage (in .mpg format) of the performance.

Star Trek: The Last Roundup by Christie Golden Read by David Kaye, Abridged, Running Time Approx 3 hours, Simon and Schuster Audio

Star Trek: The Last Roundup Because Star Trek is still evolving on the big and small screens, Star Trek authors often find gaps to fill in the Star Trek timeline. This story is no exception; it takes place between the films Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Star Trek: Generations.

Captain Kirk is now at Starfleet Academy. He's a teacher and a celebrity, which causes him some predictable trouble and unease. His nephews (George's sons) want to found a new colony, and ask Kirk for his assistance. Kirk readily agrees, eager as always for some adventure. He calls a couple of friends; both Scotty and Chekov also agree to come.

The rest of the audio is typical Star Trek adventure, with appearances by Spock, McCoy, Sulu (as Captain of the Excelsior), and Uhura. I enjoyed it because it was Star Trek, but I longed for more.

David Kaye is a wonderful reader. He skillfully brought to life the various and well-known characters as well as a couple of very interesting new ones. It was well-produced and enhanced with sound effects throughout.

NOTES

A new science fiction talk radio show premiered on the internet on July 18th. It's called I-SCI-FI and can be found by clicking the link in the link list on the upper left of this page. The show is broadcast live (and accepts phone calls) on Thursday nights at 9pm Eastern, and each show is archived and made available for listening at any time.

SciFiAudio.com has some free listening material available on their site, including readings by Robert J. Sawyer from his excellent book Hominids.

Defiance Audio is also planning to release a series of BattleTech titles in the same fashion as the Deathstalker titles... several volumes, very well-priced. The first of these is due in September.

SciFiAudio will also be at ConJose providing on-the-scene coverage, author readings and interviews, and up-to-the-minute reporting on the Hugo Awards results.

Copyright © 2002 Scott Danielson

Scott discovered the world of SF audio years ago, when he spent hours a day in his car. His commute has since shortened considerably, but his love for audio remains. By trade, he's an electrical engineer. Aside from reading and writing science fiction, his hobbies include community theater, where he can often be found behind the soundboard or (much less often) on the stage.


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