Tag Archives: BBC

Brilliance Audio, BBC, Unicorns and Felicia Day

You know what’s surprising? If you google “Unicorns and Felicia Day” you don’t get any direct hits.

I find myself oddly proud to be the first.

With less than a week to go, Worldbuilders is still going strong. We’ve raised more than 92,000 dollars for Heifer International so far, and I’m hoping we can break 100,000 by the end of the week.

So remember, if you donate on our team page before Dec 13th, Worldbuilders will match 50% of your donation. Plus you have the chance to win all sorts of cool swag like this:

Y’all know about The Guild, right? If you’re geeky enough to have discovered our fundraiser, I kinda already assume you know about the Guild.

But even if you do know about The Guild, you might not have heard about this yet, as it’s pretty new:

  • A copy of The Guild comic written by Felicia Day and illustrated by Jim Rugg.

Over the years I’ve come to think of The Onion’s A.V. Club as the gold-standard of reviews. This isn’t just because they gave my book one of the best reviews ever. It’s because if the reviewers in the A.V. Club think something is crap, they aren’t afraid to say so, at great length, and with many scathing words.

So read the following blurb with that in mind.

“Seamlessly integrates with the web series’ mixture of discomfort humor and deep understanding of-and wry sympathy for-gaming nerddom.” -The Onion’s A.V. Club

  • Five copies of the full-cast BBC radio dramatization The Adventures of Sexton Blake.

I’ve gushed about this on a previous blog. And after buying at least a dozen copies to give away as gifts I couldn’t help myself from picking up another five just to donate to Worldbuilders.

I do this in order to share the joy with as many people as possible. If you’ve ever read a Sherlock Holmes story you’ll laugh your ass of at this BBC production of the Adventures of Sexton Blake.

Anyone who’s been reading my blog for any amount of time knows how I feel about Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. Let’s just take that as read, shall we?

I’ve picked up five copies just for Worldbuilders this year because if you haven’t watched it, you really need to. And if you have watched it, but haven’t caught the musical commentary on the DVD then you’re really missing out.

Next we’ve got some lovely audiobooks from Brilliance audio.

  • A copy of the unabridged audio book of Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind. Read by Sam Tsoutsouvas.

While I never made it to the end of Goodkind’s series, I do have a certain fondness for this first book. I read it in 1998, back when I was having a bit of a creative slump. Reading this book for the first time jazzed me back up a little and got me back into working on The Name of the Wind.

“Wonderfully creative, seamless, and stirring.” – Kirkus Review

Whenever I read Catherynne Valente’s stuff, I’m made uncomfortably aware of the fact that she’s probably way smarter than me.

That said, she writes a hell of a book, and I was proud to discover she was one of the other authors who was writing for Scalzi’s Unicorn Pegasus Kitten chapbook.

While I haven’t listened to the audio version of Palimpsest, I have read it. Valente has a gorgeous use of language and she’s created a completely unique world. Plus the book is kinda sexy. Plus it has an awesome cover. Plus extra points for use of the word “palimpsest.”

“Overflowing with poetic images and epic repetition, Valente’s story washes us to an unexpected shore. –Regina Schroeder for Booklist.

First off, this is written by Bill Willingham. So you know you’re in for a good time.

Second off, this is actually a Fables novel. So you know you’re getting to explore a well-developed world with a cool mythic underpinning.

Lastly, this book is read by Wil Wheaton.

So there you go. Even before you consider the fact that this is in a neat collector’s tin, you’ve already got a trifecta of cool.

  • An unabridged set of Vol 1 and 2 of The Baroque Cycle: Quicksilver and King of the Vagabonds by Neal Stephenson. Read by Simon Prebble.

“BBC announcer/Shakespearean actor Prebble’s performance is wonderfully nuanced. His authoritative narration, combined with his chameleon-like facility for character and accent, is nothing short of enchanting… The experience of listening to this audiobook is something rare, as it’s a literary tale that brings history, science and philosophy to life in a heartily entertaining fashion.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A copy of the unabridged audio book of Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Read by Arthur Morly. Stories by Neil Gaiman, Robert Silverberg, Kage Baker and many more.

“The 23 stories not only capture the unique feel of Vance’s dying universe but stand individually as one of the strongest gatherings of writers to pay homage to one of their own. This is highly recommended.” – Library Journal (starred review)

  • A copy of the unabridged audio book of Wolfsbane and Mistletoe: Hair Raising Holiday Tales edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner. Read by MacLeod Andrews and Tanya Eby. Stories by Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Carrie Vaughn, and more.

“Fresh, interesting tales…[that] star some of the more famous series characters like Sookie Stackhouse.” – Alternative Worlds

“A captivating collection…offers up the Christmas spirit in a wonderfully wicked way.” – Darque Reviews

  • A copy of the unabridged audio book of Many Bloody Returns edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner. Read by Luke Daniels and Teri Clark Linden. Stories by Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong and more.

“Thoroughly enjoyable…a toothsome collection of birthday treats you will not want to miss.” – Monsters and Critics

“Toothsome” is a word you don’t hear enough anymore. I’m going to make a point of using it today…

  • A copy of the unabridged audio book of Death’s Excellent Vacation edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner. Read by Christopher Lane and Amanda Ronconi. Stories by Charlaine Harris, Katie MacAlister, Jeaniene Frost and more.

“Harris and Kelner’s third short-story anthology sends paranormals on vacation… Sarah Smith, Daniel Stashower, L.A. Banks, Lilith Saintcrow, and Sharan Newman also contribute quality work, and readers will find this collection a great sampler for discovering authors they’ll want to follow.” – Publisher’s Weekly

  • A copy of the unabridged audio book of Intrigues: Book Two of the Collegium Chronicles by Mercedes Lackey. Read by Nick Podehl.

“Lackey makes a real page-turner out of Mags’ and the collegia’s development… this book’s outstanding characters, especially Mags, will greatly please Valdemar fans.” – Booklist

  • Two copies of the unabridged audio book of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, read by Nick Podehl. Signed by the author.

I had to get a special pen to sign these. I actually left the house. I don’t like to do that very often, so you better appreciate it.

  • A copy of The Last Unicorn DVD. Signed by author Peter S. Beagle.

This movie was made back when an author could actually be directly involved in creating a movie. Since Peter was actually had a hand in this project, it’s surprisingly true to the novel. Both in the tone of the story and the text of the dialogue itself.

This is a really great movie. It was animated by Rankin/Bass, the same folks that did the original animated Hobbit movie. It’s got a great score, and is very faithful to the spirit of the original novel. It’s sweet, mythic, tender, and frightening in places, just like any good old fashioned fairy tale is supposed to be.

*     *     *

Lastly Conlan Press has donated a couple unique items that I can’t help but auction off.

What we have here are original film cells from The Last Unicorn movie. Each of them in a clear protective envelope signed by Peter S. Beagle himself.

If you want more details about the cells, or if you want to order a specific set of cells as, you can check out Peter S. Beagle’s newsletter over here.

  • The Last Unicorn 35mm Vintage Film Cells. Signed by Peter S. Beagle.

This is what Beagle’s signature looks like on the protective envelope.

When I think of all the magician characters I’ve read over the years, only a few really stand out. Gandalf is the first of these, of course. But after that comes Merlin, Pug, and Schmendrick.

To see more pictures or to bid on this Vintage Film Cell featuring Schmendrick the magician you can follow this link.

This cell shows a classic Rankin/Bass landscape with the unicorn on the hillside at night.

To see more pictures or to bid on this Vintage Film Cell from the Last Unicorn, you can follow this link.

And here we have a cell with a close-up of the unicorn herself.

To see more pictures or bid on this Vintage Film Cell from the Last Unicorn, you can follow this link.

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Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win these cool audiobooks and hundreds of others like them.

In addition to that, Worldbuilders is matching 50% of all donations made on our Team Heifer page before Dec 13th.

For more details about Worldbuilders, the auctions we’re running, and the other donated books, you can head over HERE.

Posted in Dr. Horrible, Felicia Day, Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat34 Responses

The Adventures of Sexton Blake

Let’s get right to the point here….

This, is awesome.

If you like things that are awesome, you should buy it, listen to it, then probably buy it again just to give away to your friends who also like things that are awesome.

Need more reasons? Fine, here you go…

First, it’s BBC. So you know it’s not crap right off the bat.

Moreover, it stars Simon Jones. (Who many of you know as Arthur from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.) He absolutely nails the comedic timing of Blake all the way through this.

Secondarily, this is the best the best radio drama I’ve ever come in contact with.

Sixth and lastly: It’s cleverly written, brilliantly acted, and directed with a smooth, fast-paced clarity I’ve never experienced before.

Thirdly, I have bought no less that eight copies and given them all away as gifts.

And, to conclude, I’d like to officially add the director, Dirk Maggs, to the very short list of people I would unreservedly trust to do an alternate-media version of The Name of the Wind.

pat

Edit: I’m removing all “First” posts in order to nip this behavior in the bud. I did it as an ironcial-type joke in the last blog, and didn’t mean to establish a trend.

Posted in audiobooks, cool things, recommendations | By Pat56 Responses

On the Road

Dear Pat,

I won’t be able to make any of your readings over the next two weeks, but I was wondering. How do you get ready for something like that? I’ve done a little public speaking in the past, and it terrifies me. I can’t help but think that it must be a million times worse if you’re reading your own stuff to a huge roomful of people.

So that’s my question. What does an author do to get ready for a public reading?

Best of luck on your trip.

Dan

The truth is Dan, I’ve wondered the same thing myself.

I mean, I know how *I* get ready for a reading. But I wonder what other authors go through when they’re getting ready.

A lot of authors I’ve talked to admit to having public speaking jitters. Some of them downright hate it. But that’s not a problem for me. Public speaking is old hat. I’ve done commencement addresses, sermons, lectures, and more panels than you can shake a stick at.

Plus I used to do improv comedy. And let me tell you, after you’ve done improv comedy, no other type of public speaking will ever scare you. It’s like a trial by fire.

In general, I imagine other authors think about regular things before a signing tour. They worry about who’s going to show up, or what they’re going to read. Maybe they dither over what sort of shirt they’re going to wear.

Me, I worry about my hair.

At least that’s what I’ve been doing for the last several days. I’m about to leave on a little signing tour, 8 readings in 9 days. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m looking forward to seeing who shows up.

The problem is, I haven’t had a haircut in about 8 months. It’s something that never occurs to me until I have to make a public appearance. Normally every 3-4 months I’m forced to brush up against the edges of civilization. I go to a convention, or a wedding, or something, and so I get a haircut to clean myself up for that.

But lately I’ve been so busy with revisions and the new baby that I haven’t done any of those things. And that means almost a whole year without a haircut. That means that I look like a cross between a hobo, John the Baptist come out of the desert, and a particularly shaggy Muppet. I look, in fact, like one of those green men statues. Except not green.

Normally I’m fine with this. But when I make public appearances I feel bad showing up looking all wodwo. I feel like if people show up to see me, I should try to groom myself down to the point where I won’t frighten small children.

But here’s the problem. This week when I tried to make an appointment for a haircut with the only person I trust to cut my hair and beard… but she couldn’t fit me in to her schedule. And I can’t trust some random barber. Last time I did that the fucker sheared me like a fucking sheep.

So now, the day before I drive off to do my signings, I’m faced with an awful choice. Show up looking like the crazy guy at the bus station, or risk a haircut that would make a prison barber wince. I still haven’t decided…

The other thing that I think about before I go on a trip like this is what I’m going to listen to in the car. I’ve become a sucker for audiobooks lately, and this trip is going to put me behind the wheel for almost 40 hours.

So I’ve got a return question for some of you out there. Do you have any good audiobooks to recommend? I’ve already listened to everything by David Sedaris, Neil Gaiman, and Garrison Keillor.

Here. I’ll start things out with a recommendation or two of my own.

The BBC dramatization of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

These BBC audio productions of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are really great. What’s even better is that they contain different materials than the original books. That means even if you know your the source material inside and out, you can still be pleasantly surprised.

The later ones weren’t done my Adams himself. But I have to say (and this is something that you will probably never *ever* hear me say again) I liked the ending of the final audiobook better than I like the ending of Adam’s original novel.

I know. Blasphemy.

Anyway. Trust me. These are brilliant. Share and enjoy.

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde.

I listened to this just recently, and I was absolutely blown away by it.

That said, I don’t know how I’d describe the entirety of it to someone.

It’s funny without being goofy. It’s clever without being pretentious. It’s original without being desperate. And it has an element of what I consider the divine ridiculousness: a delightful, subtle, strangeness that is funny while still touching on some underlying truth.

I feel like I should say more about it, but I can’t think of what else to say. Except, perhaps, that it’s probably the best book I’ve read in a year or so. And Sarah really liked it too, if that sways you at all…

So what about you guys? Do y’all have any good audiobooks that you can recommend? I’m going to need a few more before I’m done with this trip….

P.S. I’m asking for audiobooks, mind you. Don’t recommend a book that you liked and you’re thinking *would* make a good audiobook. The narrator makes a huge difference in these things, so don’t tell me it’s good if you haven’t listened to it yourself.

pat

Posted in appearances, audiobooks, Fanmail Q + A, my beard, recommendations | By Pat253 Responses
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