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  • gilwilson 3:22 PM on February 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , bigfoot, chupacabra, , Craig Rousseau, cryptozoology, dark horse comics, Elaine Lee, , perhapanauts, short story, Todd Dezago   

    Audiobook Review: “The Perhapanauts in ‘Monsters Among Us, or, Chimaera Wanna Tellya Somethin'” 

    AC_Perhapanauts_Sleeve

    Audiobook Review: “The Perhapanauts in ‘Monsters Among Us, or, Chimaera Wanna Tellya Somethin'”

    Adapted from the graphic novel series The Perhapanauts by Todd Dezago and Craig Rousseau by Todd Dezago and Elaine Lee

    Full Cast Performance

    Published by AudioComics Company.

    Length: 51 mins

     

    I have been a comic book fan for over 40 years (yeah, I’m that old) and have read them for as long as I can remember. Comic books are fun, exciting and even help in the development of vocabulary and reading skills. I knew an English professor that for part of the semester he would hand out comic books and have the class read them and point out the language used is much more than what you would expect. I never took his class but I’m sure it would have been a blast.

     

    So as I grow older I seem to have less time for comic books. Many are available in digital format for reading on the computer and tablets, but even so, time is a limited asset. I have been a consumer of audiobooks for many years and have loved the fact that I can use my work commute, shower time, household chore time and various other times to “read” a good book. Thanks to a few very creative audiobook publishing companies, comic books can now be presented in audio format. One of the difficulties of bringing a comic book to life in an audiobook form is, well, let’s face it, the art work.

     

    To make up for the lack of the visual aspect of the artwork many these publishing companies bring the comic to life with excellent voice actors, stunning sound effects and an all round aural ambiance that make these audiobooks as complete of an experience as absorbing the visual artwork of a comicbook. AudioComics Company does this so well that each time I see one of their creations come available, I jump on it and give it a listen as soon as possible.

     

    This time around I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, I just knew it was an audiobook created by AudioComics based on a comic book. “The Perhapanauts” is a  comic book series featuring the creations of writer Todd Dezago (Sensational Spider-Man, Tellos, Young Justice) and Craig Rousseau (Impulse, Batman Beyond, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane). Adapted from the comics by Todd Dezago and Elaine Lee, the audiobook is a new story based on the existing comics.

     

    What can you expect, well the Perhapanauts team is controlled by the organization called Bedlam, the team isbuilt around characters from cryptozoological tales. The leader is Big, a sasquatch, who has a super-genius I.Q. The rest of the team include; Chooie, a chupacabra, Molly, a ghost, Karl, a mothman and others.

     

    In this audio premiere of the series a new member of the team is told of one of the past about the team’s mission against the shape-shifting Chimaera. While an exciting adventure about how the team uses their unique skills/powers to capture the Chimaera there is something else going on in the telling of the story. Very unique story with some great twists, turns and fun dialogue that make this a series that will get you hooked and wanting for more.

     

    I have added the Perhapanauts comics to my list of to read comics, when time avails itself to me, but until then I’m going to be hanging on the edge waiting for the next in this series from AudioComics Company.

     
  • gilwilson 9:26 PM on December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , short story   

    “The Dive Bomber” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    thedivebomberaudiobook

    “The Dive Bomber”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast performance
    produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours.

    There are so many things to love about these audio releases from Galaxy Audio. I’ll try to touch on all of them, at least all the things that make these stories from the Golden Age my favorite. But, before I do that I need to explain a bit about these stories.

    During the middle of the 20th century, America was treated to short stories by many writers in many genres in the pulp magazine publications. These magazines were nicknamed pulps due to the cheap paper used in printing where the pulp could be seen and felt in the paper. This enabled the publishers to sell them for cheap, usually around a nickel a copy. There were many titles to choose from and many genres. There was science fiction, fantasy, detective stories, westerns and adventures of all sorts. L. Ron Hubbard wrote for all the genres and was one of the most prolific pulp writers.

    Audio Press and Audio Galaxy are releasing all these Hubbard pulp stories on a regular basis and are keeping true to the pulp fiction era. With the printed books they have the pulpy feel but the covers are a sturdier stock so they will look good on the shelf and can withstand multiple readings. The audiobooks are where I fell in love with these classic stories. Each book released is also released in audiobook form and the CDs have the same artwork as the books. The artwork on all the books is a great representation of the over the top graphics from the original pulps.

    What makes the audiobooks so great is the superb production behind each one. The books are not merely read to the listener, instead Galaxy Audio has brought back that old-time radio thriller genre from the same time period as the pulps. Everything from the narration to the character acting is so well done that as a listener you will feel as though you are in the middle of the story standing next to the over the top characters created by Hubbard.

    In each production there is a full cast performance by some excellent voices that are able to capture each character perfectly. The sound effects keep the story rolling and help the listener get lost in the story and the music keeps the mood flowing as the change in chapters or stories come in.

    The books can range from novellas to several short stories which come together to make a nice pulp fiction book or a two-hour performance. This book, “The Dive Bomber” is a single story or novella and is full of some great air adventures which will keep you on the edge of your seat through the entire story.

    Originally published in the July, 1937 issue of “Five Novels Monthly,” and tells the story of daredevil pilot, Lucky Martin. Lucky has designed a new bomber plane that the Navy is interested in. The only problem is that, during each test run, the plane crashes. When a representative of a foreign nation approaches Lucky to purchase the design, Lucky turns him down. With all the crashes the Navy determines the design is flawed and that they will not be purchasing the planes. This could ruin Lucky, once again the representative approaches but this time when Lucky turns him down the foreign powers flex their might by kidnapping Lucky’s girlfriend and threatening him to finish. Lucky will never allow his design to go to a potential enemy and will do everything he can to save his girl, and his plane.

    Daring test flights, air battles and sabotage make this story an adventure to not be missed.

     
  • gilwilson 10:34 PM on November 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , audio-visceral, , , , jeffrey hatcher, short story, steve hendrickson   

    “The Man Who Murdered His Mother-in-Law” by Jeffrey Hatcher 

    “The Man Who Murdered His Mother-in-Law”
    by Jeffrey Hatcher
    Performed by Steve Hendrickson
    Produced by Audio-Visceral Productions
    35 minutes 21 seconds.

    Well first let me start out by saying I may have found a new audiobook go-to source. Audio-Visceral Productions, at least if this story is a true representation of their work, does what is needed to keep an audiobook fun to hear.

    I was intrigued by the name of the company, it sounds almost creepy. Then when I found out this production was only about half an hour in length, I thought that would be a nice introduction. I’m really glad I gave it a chance. This production not only had an intriguing story but the production behind this audio short-story kept the story flowing and even made it easy to get lost in the story. The sound effects used in the story were subtle enough to not overpower the story but made it sound as if I were right in the middle of the story walking along with the characters and taking part of the story. But what made this even more interesting was the performance of Steve Hendrickson.

    Steve Hendrickson read the audiobook, but wait, he did more than that. Hendrickson actually performed the story, providing different voices for each character and even acted out the parts with all the emotion and nuances of a full cast performance. At times he was able to change his voice enough that I was fooled into thinking another actor was voicing some minor parts.

    The combination of Steve Hendrickson’s excellent voicework and the perfect production make this short story well worth the purchase price of 99 cents. Through the audio-visceral website you can link to the cdbaby website and purchase this for that price. I would probably pay more for this nice of a production, but they are committed to keeping their stories affordable. You go, Audio-Visceral.

    As for the story itself, it is very simple in nature, but with a few twists and turns that keep you wondering until the very end. With the title being “The Man who Murdered his Mother-in-law,” you pretty much know what’s going to happen, but I’ll warn you…not quite.

    The main idea of the story is that of a man and woman dating and when the woman’s extremely rich mother finds out she is about to die, they all visit the family’s attorney who tells them the problem with such a large amount of money tied up in assets and after the government gets their cut the family would not have much of an inheritance. There is a loophole in which the woman could give leave the estate to her husband and no taxes would cut into the money. This is where the man and the “mother-in-law” decide to get married and that way the man and the woman’s daughter could live happily ever after. However, once the newlywed May/December couple weds, the man finds that the tests were wrong and he is forced to seek out an alternative method.

    The end of the story is full of twists and turns that even down to the last second of the story you will be wondering what happens next. Great mystery, great storytelling and excellent production work together to make this a must hear audiobook.

     
  • gilwilson 11:45 AM on November 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: allen davis drake, , , , benjamin button, , , , classic fiction, , cloud mountain studios, f. scott fitzgerald, short story   

    “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

    “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
    by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Read by Allen Davis Drake
    Produced by Cloud Mountain Studios (2009)
    1 Hour 9 Minutes.

    Every so often I find myself going back and revisiting a classic, this time around it was a strange set of circumstances to getting this audiobook.  I have always tried to get my son interested in audiobooks and having to compete with the videogames and television the lack of pictures make it hard for me compete.  This time around I lucked out.  We had an upcoming 2 hour drive and I knew I’d have to find the perfect audiobook.  I know what you’re thinking,  if I have a hard time competing with TV and Videogames how is this classic story by F. Scott Fitzgerald going to get his attention.  Well, here’s where it gets funny.  We never saw the movie based on this story starring Brad Pitt, and probably never will but my son and I are fans of a TV show based on Mad Magazine.  “Mad” airs on the Cartoon network and just like the magazine features parodies everything including movies.  There was one skit in which he and I found pretty funny titled “The Curious Case of Benjamin Batman,” in which Batman was aging backwards.

    So we had that as a start then a friend sent me an email with a link in which I could download several classic stories in audiobook form.  The choices ranged from “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” to “Treasure Island” to “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” and including this story.  So loving the classics I downloaded all I could.  (After all they were all free, and were professionally produced, not the lower quality found on Librivox and others.)

    So with him now curious about the story and the long car trip planned we listened, and we were entertained.

    First of all the gist of the story is that Benjamin Button is born a 70 year old man.  His father is embarassed and flabbergasted and at first does not know how to accept this medical curiosity.  The hospital wants Mr. Button to immediately remove the abomination and after buying a suit for his new born son takes him home and life begins at the end for Benjamin Button, having to go to school at the proper age (based on birth) Benjamin is a site in schoolboy shorts at the age of 65.  His life progresses backwards as we follow him to college and then marriage where he falls in love with a 20 year old woman as he appears to be 50.  He then goes off to fight in the French and Indian War and comes back a younger man.

    The story is based on a quote from Mark Twain, “Youth is wasted on the Young.” and a conversation between Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  The reader delivered the story with skill, keeping my 10 year old son and myself interested in the story and delivering the comedic scenes with just as much ease as the scenes when trying to be able to live as a married man who is growing apart from his wife due to the reverse aging and the turning over the family business to his son because he is getting too young.

    The story is fun and at times and poignant at others and sometimes both.  A great view of the life of man.

     
    • Laurie 8:23 PM on November 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      My 7 year old daughter is in love with this story. We got her the graphic novel this past spring and she loves reading it. Maybe you could see if your son likes the graphic novel as well as the audio.

      I love that the youth can appreciate Fitzgerald.

      Like

  • gilwilson 8:41 PM on July 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , short story, swashbuckling, under the black ensign   

    “Under the Black Ensign” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “Under the Black Ensign”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio (2008)
    Approx 2 hours.

    Back when I first started listening to these audio book productions of tales from the days of Pulp Fiction, or Stories from the Golden Age, I was only interested in the Science Fiction and Fantasy tales, but soon I was curious to hear some of the other genres because of the high quality of performance and production put into these books.

    Galaxy Audio produces each story from the days of pulp fiction magazine into phenomenal performances that will remind you of the early days of radio.  The characters created by Hubbard are already well rounded and over the top and the voice actors bring each character to life, each one sounding like a character from the mid-20th century, just like the high drama and suspense stories that were on the radio at the time.   The vocalizations, the sound effects and the original music all come together to bring you a true theater of the mind performance.

    Once I had listened to all the sci-fi and fantasy stories I started then listening to the back issues of these audio pulps, and no matter what genre I heard, I was entertained and enjoyed the great story.  Hubbard wrote many stories during the time of the pulp magazines and in many genres.  This time around we dive into a sea adventure, but even more exciting (I was especially looking forward to listening to this one) a pirate adventure.

    Originally published in “Five Novels Monthly” August,  1935, “Under the Black Ensign” could be called the perfect swashbuckler romance.  Set in the Caribbean of the 17th century this story blends piracy, British men-of-war, a girl of aristocratic birth disguised as a boy, and an officer unjustly stripped of rank.

    Tom Bristol’s career as first mate of the Maryland bark Randolph abruptly ends during shore leave when he is press-ganged into serving aboard the British HMS Terror.   Back in the day the crews of naval vessels were the underlings and treated as such.  One day onboard the Terror Bristol drops his marlin spike while working aloft and it nearly falls on a Lord who is on his way to take over a fort and prison in the Caribbean.  The Lord, being the hoity toity well-to-do royalty type, thinks Bristol was attempting to assassinate him orders Bristol to be given 100 lashes (a punishment that would bring death.

    Just as Bristol is about to receive his lashes, the vessel is overtaken by pirates and after the melee Bristol is seen to be tied to the mast and given the opportunity to join the pirates.  Bristol is one of the valuable few that understand navigation on the high seas.

    When Bristol is confronted by another pirate that wants to commit mutiny he kills the mutinous scalawag.   His new pirate mates desert him quickly after he’s found guilty of killing a mutinous pirate and unwittingly harboring a woman on board.   The woman was actually Lady Catherine who escaped the Spanish by disguising herself as a boy.   Bristol is then marooned on a deserted island, with nothing but a small supply of water, a gun and just enough bullets to kill himself.

    The woman is put off toward more civilized confines but she steers her boat toward the island where Bristol is alone and they set up camp to decide what to do.  As fate would have it Bristol watches a Spanish ship battle a Dutch slave ship and abandon the Dutch ship and its cargo.  Bristol and the lady row out to the ship and free the slaves, who are sailing men themselves.   Bristol now has a crew and they manage to seize a ship through trickery and he sets out for revenge against the pirates and the British on his own vessel sailing under the black ensign.

    Great swashbuckling, pirates, battles, and dames what more could you ask for.  This story beats any Pirates of the Caribbean story you’ll find.

     
  • gilwilson 10:29 PM on November 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , short story, , , ur   

    “UR” by Stephen King 

    “UR”
    by Stephen King
    Read by Holter Graham
    Produced by Simon & Schuster Audio, 2010
    approx 2 hours

    It is  a running joke that Stephen King can take any inanimate object and turn into a vassal of evil, and in this short story King seems to perpetuate that bit of humor.  In the past he’s had a possessed car, lawnmowers, household appliances, and more, now King has turned the latest form of literature, the e-book, or more specifically Amazon’s Kindle, into a bringer of evil.

    Stephen King wrote this story specifically for the Amazon Kindle e-reader and was previously only available as a Kindle download, now Simon and Schuster have released the book in audiobook form.  Being a huge King fan, I almost bought a Kindle just to have this story but I’m still a hold out for buying an e-reader.  So, when it came out in audiobook form I jumped at the chance to listen.

    Holter Graham does a great job performing the book.  He captures the eeriness in the story and does a great job voicing the different characters.  His voice is very captivating and keeps the listener in the story.  In a very interesting not, Holter Graham is not a stranger to King’s work, he starred in the film “Maximum Overdrive”  which was written and directed by Stephen King.  Graham played the kid, Deke.

    In “UR,” a Midwestern English instructor, Wesley Smith, has recently broken up with his girlfriend and is haunted by her parting shot, “Why can’t you just read off the computer like everyone else?”  In trying to create an atmosphere that could lead to reuniting with his girlfriend, the coach for the college’s ladies basketball team, Wes logs on to his Amazon account and orders a Kindle.  The Kindle arrives the next day via “One Day Delivery” which Wes did not request.  The other odd thing is that the Kindle comes out of the box with no instructions and is pink in color (at the time the Kindle only came in white).

    Once Wes powers up the Kindle he finds a menu for UR functions.   The UR functions seem to be various alternate realities.  At this point, King does one of the things I love about his books and stories, he ties in this story to his Dark Tower Mythos.  Each reality is a different level in the tower.  In one reality Wes and colleagues discover that the Bay of Pigs conflict led to nuclear annihilation of the Earth.   Wes’ colleagues are another English teacher and a student.

    Wes decides to look at UR Local, which is stated to be under construction.  UR Local will only download local papers from future dates and is governed by Paradox Laws which are enforced by the “low men in yellow coats” (remember “Hearts in Atlantis”?).   When Wes and his student explore this function they discover that the Lady’s Basketball team is involved in a tragic accident with a drunk driver.  Can they stop this drunk driver? Can they avoid the low men?  You’ll have to find out for yourself.

    As to purchasing a Kindle…well I’m still undecided…probably so, as long as it’s not pink.

     
  • gilwilson 10:35 PM on September 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , short story,   

    “All Frontiers are Jealous” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “All Frontiers are Jealous”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast Performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours

    If you are and adventuring sort then you need to check out the adventure stories from L. Ron Hubbard.  These stories are all being re-released by Galaxy Press and in audio book form by Galaxy Audio.   Each story contains some excitement, thrills and chills while telling a bit about a time in world history when we were a bit naive about goings on in the rest of the world.

    If you choose to go the audio book route (which I highly recommend) you will get even more of an adventure thanks to the superb talent at Galaxy Audio.  Highlighting the mystery and suspense of Hubbard’s stories, Galaxy Audio has a great cast of voice talent to bring the characters to life.  Along with the talented cast there are great sound effects and original incidental music that keeps the story flowing with cinematic ease.

    This book, “All Frontiers are Jealous,” which was originally published back in June of 1937, sweeps the listener away to a time when the Dark Continent, Africa, was just starting to get railroads to connect the major cities.  An American engineer, Dan Courtney, surveying the route of Sudan railway in Africa, saves a girl from the fierce tribe of Dinkas.  In the process he kills a man and upon searching the man’s body finds a badge marking him as a “Diamond Cop,” part of an international police force to fight the lucrative diamond smuggling business.  Knowing he’s in trouble deep he proceeds to try to rescue the woman’s companion.   Courtney, sneaks into the village of the Dinkas and in order to escape with his life takes on the tribal chief in a face-to-face encounter.

    As is typical with all of L. Ron Hubbard’s stories from the Golden Age, there are some twists and turns that he explores that keeps you wondering what will happen next and not until the very end does the full story come to light.

    As a reader/listener in the 21st century, going back to these early 20th Century writings seem at first odd.  Some of the the writings may seem stereotypes of the people, and some unfairly so, but given the time, they make complete sense.   Hubbard didn’t write anything to offend anyone and none of it is offensive, it just makes you realize the differences that can exist within a 70 year time frame.

    Keeping honest with the times and writing style all the books in the Stories from the Golden Age series allow the reader/listener to escape and enjoy some simple adventures.  Perfect for the person who likes to have fun while reading or listening to a good book, and fun you will have.

     
  • gilwilson 2:50 AM on June 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , psychic powers, , , short story, the tramp   

    “The Tramp” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    Podcast (to listen to review click here)

    “The Tramp”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast Performance
    produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours.

    Once again we get the treat of some superb audio book production from another Story from the Golden Age from Galaxy Audio.  Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press have been releasing the many short stories and novellas which were previously published in the pulp-fiction magazines of the mid-twentieth century into their own pulps and audio pulps.

    I say audio pulps because that seems to be a fitting description due to all the audio book releases are about 2 hours in length and contain one or more stories within the many genres Hubbard composed his fictions during that time.  Another thing that makes the moniker stick is the production.  The sound effects, music and voice acting all meld to create a unique sound that hasn’t been heard since the early radio programs from that same era.  Hubbard’s characters and stories are all over the top and larger than life (that’s what makes these stories so fun) and the actors voicing the characters act with that in mind.  The music produced is perfect for each story and the sound effects are subtle, believable and unique.

    This story originally was told in 3 parts in “Astounding Science Fiction”, September, October and November of 1938 and is the only story in this release.   “The Tramp” begins with a police chase as a small town USA sheriff, after getting a heads up on gang activity among vagrants riding train cars through the Midwest finds “Doughface” Jack hitching on the rails.  As Jack tries to run away the eager sheriff shoots and hits Jack in the head.  The town’s doctor happens to be nearby and immediately takes Jack back to his office.  There the doctor discovers the bullet aimed for jack has destroyed the top of his skull, being a small town doc and only able to work with what is on hand manages to fix Jack up.  The surgery is a bit bizarre in that the doc has to sew the two halves of Jack’s brain together and then replace the skull with a silver bowl.

    When Doughface Jack recovers a couple of days later, he wakes to find himself in the small room that can be called a hospital in this small town.  In one bed a patient is dying of cancer and in another a woman is recovering after losing her eye and receiving multiple injuries after being in a car crash the night before.  The nurse comes in and Jack “cures” her of a mole on her chin.  Very strange soon Jack cures the cancer patient, the crash victim and causes the doctors body to regress to being 40 years younger.

    The doctor realizes this may have something to do with his surgery process, but even more so to a process called “mitogenetics.”  The explanation of mitogenetics is that in an onion field only onions grow, the onions “communicate” through mitogenesis and kill out weeds and heal each other.  Some professors whisk “Doughface” Jack to New York to study him.  The small town doc is worried because…not everyone is an onion.

    True enough after venturing out on his own Doughface Jack discovers that not only can he heal but when he is frightened, he can also kill.  When Jack meets up with a vindictive, formerly blind beggar woman his troubles begin.  She seems to want to use Jack to get back at those that mistreated her.   Soon Jack and the “Witch Woman” are on their way to Washington D.C. to take over the country.   Can he be stopped?  How do you stop someone with such a strong psychic power?  Pick up this audiobook and enjoy the great story and find out.

     
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