Audible SF/F NOTE: moved to The AudioBookaneers

Another bumper crop of releases this week, ranging from Steampunk alternate history vampires, to vampires in a remote northern Ontario mining town, to a shared world urban fantasy anthology, to the 56 hours that is David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, a literary post apocalypse, a revisionary approach to the Three Wise Men, and more.

Vampire Empire - The Greyfriar By Clay and Susan GriffithNarrated by James Marsters for Buzzy Multimedia Publishing (10 hrs and 39 mins):

1870. A time known as The Great Killing. The vampire clans arose and slaughtered humanity with unprecedented carnage in the northern parts of the world. Millions perished; millions were turned into herd animals. The great industrialized civilizations of the world were left in ruin. A remnant fled south to the safety of the ever present heat which was intolerable to vampires. There, blending with the local peoples, they rebuilt their societies founded on human ingenuity, steam and iron. The year now is 2020. The Equatorian Empire, descendant of the British Empire, stretches from Alexandria to Cape Town. Princess Adele, quick witted, combat trained and heir to throne is set to wed the scion of the American Republic, a man she has never met. Their marriage will cement an alliance between the nations and set the stage for war against the vampires in an attempt to retake the north. Prepared to do her duty she finds herself caught in a web of political intrigue and physical danger.

The Greyfriar, a legendary vampire hunter from the north, appears ready to rescue the Princess and return her home—but he harbors secrets of his own. As the power struggle between the vampires and humans increase Adele and The Greyfriar are caught in the middle, on the run, being hunted, and fighting for not just their own lives, but for future of humanity.”

Originally published in print by Pyr in 2010, this is a long, long-awaited audiobook for me, the past year being the longest since Marsters was announced as narrator. Marsters, whose television roles include Spike on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”, was the long-time voice of Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files series for Buzzy Multimedia. Now Marsters is booked to continue the Vampire Empire series with two more books: 2011’s The Rift Walker and 2012’s The Kingmakers, due out in print this fall. The first audiobook, The Greyfriar, “breathes new life into the Vampire subgenre" according to The Guilded Earlobe; I can hardly wait to jump in.

Welcome to Bordertown: New Stories and Poems of the Borderlands is an anthology edited by Holly Black and Ellen KushnerNarrated by Cassandra CampbellMacLeod AndrewsHolly Black, and Ellen Kushner for Brilliance Audio (18 hrs and 8 mins):

Bordertown: a city on the Border between the human world and the elfin realm. A place where neither magic nor technology can be counted on, where elf and human kids run away to find themselves.

The Way from our world to the Border has been blocked for 13 long years. Now the Way is open once again—and Bordertown welcomes a new set of seekers and dreamers, misfits and makers, to taste life on the Border.

Here are 13 interconnected stories and eight poems—all new work by some of today’s best urban fantasy, fantasy, and slipstream writers: Christopher Barzak, Holly Black, Steven Brust, Emma Bull, Cassandra Clare, Charles de Lint, Cory Doctorow, Amal El-Mohtar, Neil Gaiman, Nalo Hopkinson, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Annette Curtis Klause, Ellen Kushner, Patricia McKillip, Dylan Meconis, Tim Pratt, Sara Ryan, Delia Sherman, Will Shetterly, Janni Lee Simner, Catherynne M. Valente, Terri Windling, and Jane Yolen.

Originally published in print by Tor last year, Tor.com has a brief introduction with links to more information on the shared world of Bordertown.

Infinite Jest By David Foster WallaceNarrated By Sean Pratt for Hachette Audio:

A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts’ halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are.

Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human - and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.

How to describe this “novel”… OK. It’s DFW’s 1996 novel, considered among the greatest English-language novels ever written. In audio, it’s 56 hours and 14 minutes long. That’s about all I have, though Jon Korn at LitReactor tries a little harder when he classifies it as sf. Lastly: “Please note: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.” These are likely the (significant) end-notes, with their own footnotes. But I don’t know for sure, and am not quite ready to drop the 2 credits to find out. I need to date the sample a bit longer before committing to 56 hours.

ALSO OUT TUESDAY:

EARLIER THIS WEEK:

  • The Singingwood: The Chronicles of Abahrazha, Book 1 By Michael Anthony CariolaNarrated by Cameron Beierle for Books in Motion — 16.5 hours — “When human traders violate the sacred forest belonging to the Tu-Grik-Ng and the alien foliage is brought back to Earth, the results are devastating to both worlds. Introducing these plants unchecked into Earth’s fragile environment proves to be ecologically disastrous and on Abahrazha the Tu-Grik-Ng lament the loss of their most sacred forest, the Singingwood.”
  • Reconciliation: The Bloodlight Chronicles (2010) By Steve StantonNarrated by Kyle Munley for Audible Inc. — 8 hrs and 27 mins — “An alien virus that prolongs life has infected a couple, Zakariah and Mia Davis, and made their blood a valuable black-market staple due to its rejuvenating effects. The eternal virus has not affected their son Rix, and Zakariah is consumed with the search for an active sample to inoculate the teenager against mortality. To succeed, Zakariah surgically wired his brain for the global computer network, a virtual cyber-economy controlled by avatars.”
  • Himmler’s War (2011) By Robert ConroyNarrated by L. J. Ganser for Recorded Books — 14 hrs and 21 mins — WW2-era alternate history: “In the days after the Allies’ landing at Normandy, Adolf Hitler is removed from his position atop the Third Reich, and SS chief Heinrich Himmler assumes control. Meanwhile, the Allies begin grappling with competing solutions for bringing the war to an end. But with a second wind - and a potentially devastating secret super-weapon - the German war machine is primed for a final assault.”
  • Mysteries/Thrillers: The Methuselah Gene (2011) By Jonathan LoweNarrated by Tim Lundeen for Crossroad Press — 10 hrs and 40 mins — “Meet Alan Dyson, a research scientist experimenting with the longevity effects of a newly discovered bristlecone pine tree gene. He thinks he’s being watched and followed. He’s right. When his secret formula is stolen, and all notes are wiped from his computer, his friend—the firm’s computer programmer—secretly tracks the thief to a P.O. Box in Zion, Iowa. Under suspicion, and with his project canceled due to a bizarre death, Alan visits Zion to discover that he’s not the only stranger in town, and that someone has been using the residents as guinea pigs in a chilling medical experiment.”
ALREADY OUT WEDNESDAY:
  • Pattern Scars (2011) By Caitlin SweetNarrated by Claire Christie for Audible Frontiers — originally published in print by ChiZine — 16 hrs and 44 mins — “Nola is born into poverty in Sarsenay City. When her mother realizes that Nola has the gift of Othersight and can foretell the future, she sells her to a brothel seer, who teaches the girl to harness her gift.”
  • Farmer in the Sky (1953) By Robert A. HeinleinNarrated by Nick Podehl for Brilliance Audio — 6 hrs and 34 mins —  ”about a teenaged boy who emigrates with his family to Jupiter’s moon Ganymede”
LATER THIS WEEK:
  • YA: Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand (Viking Children’s and Blackstone Audio, 4/12)
  • Cataclysm Baby by Matt Bell (Mud Luscious Press, April 15) — no audio news for this short novel

SEEN BUT NOT HEARD:

  • Anno Dracula: The Bloody Red Baron by Kim Newman (Titan Books 4/10)
  • Blue Magic by A.M. Dellamonica (Tor Books 4/10)
  • Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books 4/10) — sequel to 2010’s Shades of Milk and Honey
  • Ison of the Islesby Carolyn Ives Gilman (ChiZine Publications 4/10, but in stock and shipping) — sequel to Isles of the Forsaken
  • Lost Everything by Brian Francis Slattery (Tor Books 4/10)
  • Voyage to the End of Time by Joe Fitzpatrick (Tate Publishing 4/10)
  • Westlake Soul by Rio Youers (ChiZine Publications 4/10, but in stock and shipping)
  • Omnibus: A Song Called Youth by John Shirley (Prime 4/10) — “An omnibus of all three novels-revised by the author-of the prophetic, still frighteningly relevant cyberpunk masterpieces: Eclipse, Eclipse Penumbra, and Eclipse Corona. With an introduction by Richard Kadrey and biographical note by Bruce Sterling.”

NEXT WEEK (April 17):

  • Deadfall Hotel by Steve Rasnic Tem (Solaris 4/17)
  • Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders by Samuel Delany (Magnus, April 17, though it’s finally and already arrived at my local bookstore, woo-hoo!)
  • White Horse: A Novel by Alex Adams (Atria/Emily Bestler Books and Blackstone Audio 4/17)
  • YA: The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson (Margaret K. McElderry Books 4/17)

TWO WEEKS (April 24):

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