Episode 199: Holocaust House by Norbert Davis, part 3

In which Doan solves all the puzzles.
Episode 199, Holocaust House, part 3
(download or listen via this link)
Book Information
Podcast Highlight


A sale to help raise money for a son's surgery...

My son needs surgery. Not planned surgery but that kind of kick-in-the-gut surprise surgery that is halfway between, sure okay and It’s An Emergency.
Heather Ordover is truly one of the most generous and giving people I know ... this is a deserving cause. Please take a look at her sale to help her raise money for her son's surgery.

Or, you know, you could always just drop something in her tip jar. That works too.


The Book J.R.R. Tolkein Read to His Children: Snergs

Pssst! All fans of The Hobbit! And lovers of fantasy, in general...

My latest offering for "Project Kaitlyn" (stories for my niece) is an unabridged reading of The Marvellous Land of Snergs (1927) by E.A. Wyke-Smith, which J.R.R. Tolkien read to his children and acknowledged as a sourcebook for his The Hobbit. This is a most clever and delightful story. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Take Tolkien’s: “I should like to register my own love and my children’s love of E.A. Wyke-Smith’s Marvellous Land of Snergs...”
What's even better is that you don't have to take anyone's word for it.

Amy H. Sturgis, writer of the words above, read this book not only for her niece, but is generously sharing the files with all of us. She is a superb narrator as anyone who regularly listens to StarShipSofa knows. Just click through and download.

If you want to know more about the book itself, Amy's review on Goodreads is here. I have only listened to the first half-hour and already can see the great appeal of this clever, whimsical book which combines just the right amount of reality and sweetness, while never underestimating the intelligence of the reader.

A lot to say based on one half-hour? Yes. But all true. Download for yourself and give it a try. After all, J.R.R. Tolkein can't be wrong.

4 Things Science Fiction Needs to Bring Back

Beginning with optimism.

A great list from Cracked.com.

Keep in mind that this is Cracked and they will use offensive language. Count on it.

Still, it is a great list and perhaps the reason why I still enjoy listening to old science fiction from LibriVox. It's usually got those four things.


Episode 197: Holocaust House by Norbert Davis, part 1

In which we meet the unique team of Doan and Carstairs.
Episode 197, Holocaust House, part 1
(download or listen via this link)
Book Information


Norbert Davis

Holocaust House (Doan and Carstairs #1)
The Mouse in the Mountain (Doan and Carstairs #2)
Oh, Murderer Mine (Doan and Carstairs #3)


Episode 196: The Beckoning Fair One, Part 3

In which Oleron investigates the unnatural happenings.
Episode 196, Beckoning Fair One, part 3
(download or listen via this link)
Book Information
  • Story rating: G, although creepy
  • This story is in the public domain and you may get it free at Project Gutenberg.
Podcast Highlight
The History of English


Free Jack Vance ebook!

Jack Vance is not only a great sf writer, but a great American writer. He started out writing fairly standard pulp adventure sf (albeit very clever and well-written pulp), but over the years, his eccentric writing style, biting view of human nature, humor, and skill at building strange new worlds became more and more important, although they are still allied closely with pulp adventure and tons of plot in a small space. He never loves his sentences more than the whole. He’s a lot like Cabell, if Cabell had written better women and had had more interest in sf and sense of wonder.

Cabell would never have written a character saying, “I would offer congratulations were it not for this tentacle gripping my leg.”


Anyway, his friends and relatives have made an ebook of The Chasch (aka City of the Chasch) available for free, till the end of August. What a deal! It is part of the thrilling ‘Tschai’ or ‘Planet of Adventure’ series, in which an interstellar scout investigating an old distress call shipwrecks in the middle of an undeveloped planet full of alien (and alien human) cultures, and has to get to the spaceport. It turns out that all of the planet’s alien species (native and not) have variously enslaved or formed odd relationships with the descendants of humans that landed on the planet, so it’s not easy to get around. The weird societies which have resulted, and how the main character disrupts them by his actions, are pretty much the star of the show. There are four books in the series. ...
Maureen from Aliens in This World sums up why you want to try this book. (She says more about the author and his work so do click through.) Pick up the ebook at Jack Vance's site. You do have to register and log in, but it is simple.


Free Audiobooks: "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" and "A Tale of Two Cities"

Every week SYNC gives away a contemporary book paired thematically somehow with a classic novel. This is directed at YA readers to get them to listen to a book if they won't pick one up to actually read.
What is SYNC?
  • SYNC is the audiobook publishers’ and AudioFile Magazine’s commitment to introducing the listening experience to the young adult audience.
  • SYNC will give away 2 FREE audiobook downloads each week for 10 weeks this summer.
  • The weekly SYNC audiobook pairings will offer a popular Young Adult title and a related Classic.
  • SYNC hooks readers by introducing a free download of a Young Adult “first in series” or prolific author.
  • SYNC demonstrates that Required Reading can be completed by listening.
YA or not, they've featured some interesting books. I've been tempted. However, until this week none of the books have tempted me enough to make me fight my way through the jungle of the specialized download software needed to get the files ... Overdrive Media Console.

However, I love Simon Preeble who lured me through "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" when I simply couldn't get into the printed page. He narrates "A Tale of Two Cities" which is a book I adore. 

Also, I have had "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" on my To Read list since trying a sample on my Kindle. So both those made it worth picking up the machete and venturing into the jungle. It wasn't easy.

It certainly wasn't "organic" and I had to feel my way, but I finally got that darned software to download mp3 files. Those files did pop right into iTunes when I clicked them, so it was all worth it in the end.

These stories will be available for a week so drop by SYNC and check it out!


Episode 195: The Beckoning Fair One, part 2

In which Elsie is threatened and Oleron has an encounter.
Episode 195, Beckoning Fair One, part 2
(download or listen via this link)
Book Information
  • Story rating: G, although creepy
  • This story is in the public domain and you may get it free at Project Gutenberg.
Podcast Highlight
Simon Mayo's Confessions