Lately I’ve been indulging in all forms of radio dramas, and I have to confess, I’m addicted. As far as I’m concerned, Book Radio is the best thing to come out of the Sirius/XM radio merge. In fact, I barely listen to music or regular old talk radio in my travels anymore. How could I when I’ve got an endless supply of well produced audio literature to enjoy? For instance, this is what I listened to yesterday:
Harry Nile (6:30 am – 7:00 am) – he’s an old skool gumshoe who always gets his man but never the dame. Tightly produced, with the added benefit of a few unintentional chuckles.
SONIC TALK: Slice of Sci-Fi (7:00 am – 7:30 am) – what it says on the tin. A couple of broadcasters talk about science fiction movies, books and TV. Sonic Talk on other days will interview authors about their books and they really dig-in with discussion of perspective, plot, character, you name it. It’s like taking a masters class on the way into work.
Orson Scott Card’s Universe – Shadow of the Hegemon (10:00am – 10:30 am) – there are occasions where I’ll be on the road at this time, and while I’ve seen this guy’s stuff on the shelves, I’ve never tried it out. I may be changing my mind. The writing is excellent and so are the productions. The most ingeniously sci-fi thing about the show is how quickly it makes time fly.
And then they run some productions that are repeated on my way home. Depending on when I leave, I’ve been listening to:
The Big Read presents The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (4:30pm – 5:00pm) – this chick could write, flat out. Again, it’s something I’d probably never pick up, which is exactly why it’s thrilling now and why my writing will likely benefit as a result.
Alien Worlds by Arthur C. Clarke (5:00pm – 5:30pm) – this production is without a doubt my favorite. Jon Graydon and Buddy Griff (can you get more 50’s than that?) are space captains who, along with Dr. Maura Cassidy encounter all manner of “aliens”, which is a concept I find kind of funny considering that everyone in space is pretty much on equal footing, aren’t they? Well, this crew doesn’t think so. As far as I can tell, they consider space their personal domain (post-WWII politics are a gas), and anyone they encounter is an alien out to destroy them. Check out this summary from a recent, and mostly hilarious episode called “The Sun Stealers”:
Captains Jon Graydon and Buddy Griff, Dr. Maura Cassidy and the intrepid crew of Starlab meet Zarr Khonar, leader of the monster aliens from the Marcab Confederacy. Will Earth freeze over and become a solid mass of ice as the Marcab mine our sun’s energy? Find out as we cross the threshold of the unknown and enter…
…ALIEN WORLDS. The announcer is classic “suit and tie with slicked back hair” and sometimes, half the fun is doing your own running commentary a la Mystery Science Theater. But not always. I’ve just listened to part three of “The ISA Conspiracy”, and it was actually pretty scary. Sure, they have to slather the voices with all sorts of outdated audio tricks (I’m pretty sure Khonar was done by talking into a fan), but you can’t beat the sound effects and sharp direction. Last up, is…
Classic Naxos Audiobooks presents The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (5:30pm – 6:00) – Wilkie can flat out write, as well. It’s rolling, complex stuff that makes you want to slap the reader sometimes and yell, “out with it, fool!”, but once you get into the groove, you’re lost in the spooky tale of a man who is trying to save the woman he loves but keeps running into a mysterious woman he’s seen dressed head-to-toe in white. At one point in the story he’s heard describing another woman sat at a table who was the laziest person he’d ever seen, and figured God must have created her at the same time he created the cabbage. It had me laughing out loud.
Anyway, that’s what I listen to and from work, and when I’m out running errands, or heading to get something to eat at the weekend, or whenever I’m in the car. There are also live theater reads that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, including an LA Theater Works production of Arthur Miller’s The Ride Down Mt. Morgan that was pure class. I’ve also run into a bunch horror sites online such as Darker Projects and a few others, so I’ll give them a few more listens and report my findings when I think I’ve got a handle on which ones are quality, and which ones are not yet up to snuff. If anyone knows of anything out there that I might like, I’m definitely down to hear about it.
As I’ve said in the past, I’m planning on reading some of my own work that you’ll be able to download from this site, and while I work up something new, I may decide to read something from previous titles. I’ve got a trove of screenplays that might suit the format down to the ground, although I’d have to play all the parts and my production values may have to be kind of arty minimalist. It’s not always necessary to imitate, and there are ways around sound effects, but we’ll see how that goes. I can read prose and poetry, as well, which require very little outside of a narrator.
Until then, check out some of those links. I think you’ll dig it. And if you’re a young lady, look out: Buddy likes the ladies.