October 20, 2017

Podcast: “Steal the Stars” – A Sci-Fi Thriller

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Podcast: “Steal the Stars” – A Sci-Fi Thriller

Steal the Stars is the story of Dakota Prentiss and Matt Salem, two government employees guarding the biggest secret in the world: a crashed UFO. Despite being forbidden to fraternize, Dak and Matt fall in love and decide to escape to a better life on the wings of an incredibly dangerous plan: they’re going to steal the alien body they’ve been guarding and sell the secret of its existence. Steal the Stars is a noir science fiction thriller in 14 episodes, available worldwide on all major podcast distributors through the Macmillan Podcast Network. Listen to the first episode here, and subscribe to Steal the Stars at any of the following links:  iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Please click on the arrow below to listen to Episode 1 of “Steal the Stars.”

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September 8, 2017

Podcast: “The Ferryman” Part I

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Podcast: “The Ferryman” Part I

Last month, Ruby Fink and I presented a 90–minute workshop on podcasting at the Willamette Writers Conference to keenly interested authors. Ruby heads Faux Fiction Audio, a podcast production company, and is my partner in podcasting my fiction. She’s also developing podcasts for other authors and publishers because podcasting, or audiobooks, is becoming a Pretty Big Deal in Media Land. Which is why I love finding podcasts for you to listen to each month. In my endless search for ever more interesting audio I came across “The Ferryman,” our offering this month. It’s one of the more bizarre listening experiences in the genre and I wish I could tell you more about it, but whoever  created it – and I suspect the name “Nic Antoine” is a nom de plume [a nom de mic??] – remains…

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August 31, 2017

August Bonus Podcast: “King Solomon’s Mines” by H. Rider Haggard

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August Bonus Podcast: “King Solomon’s Mines” by H. Rider Haggard

As we bid adieu to August and prepare to surrender to September, one last LibriVox audiobook to treat your ears, one of the great adventure stories of all time: King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard. The notion of finding a long-lost treasure is a literary archetype which found itself reborn in the “Indiana Jones” movies, and it’s a powerful and captivating story – whether on page or screen. Sir Henry Rider Haggard [British; 1856-1925] was a major proponent of the “discovery of a lost world” genre, and is best known for King Solomon’s Mines and She, both of which have been made into movies several times. This LibriVox recording was done by a terrific narrator, John Nicholson. Here are the first 5 chapters. Be sure to visit LibriVox and download the entire novel.  

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August 25, 2017

Podcast: “A Princess of Mars”

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Podcast: “A Princess of Mars”

Edgar Rice Burroughs {1975-1950] may be best known for creating Tarzan, King of the Apes, but his tales of John Carter on Mars [which he called Barsoom]  are, to my mind, more exciting. We meet John, a cowboy and Civil War vet, when he steps into a cave in Arizona and emerges on Mars. This is how the novel,  A Princess of Mars, the first John Carter story, begins and it packs a real wallop. [Spoiler alert: It was made into a pretty darned good 2012 movie, “John Carter,” starring Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins in the lead roles.] Here is a short, clever intro and the first five audio podcast chapters of “Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 1915 novel,”A Princess of Mars,” from LibriVox, where you can download the entire audiobook for free. It’s read exceedingly well by several…

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August 18, 2017

Podcast: “Emma” by Jane Austen

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Podcast: “Emma” by Jane Austen

We continue our Librivox recordings this month with a lovely reading of Jane Austen’s Emma, read by Sibelia Denton. This is the story of a “handsome, clever, and rich” young woman and her awakening and her struggles with love and relationships. Herewith the first three chapters of one of the most beloved Jane Austen novels, first published in 1815 but which has been adapted again and again on stage and screen. You can continue your listening here.

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August 11, 2017

Podcast: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Podcast: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This novel, first published in 1908, is a classic story of Mary Lennox, a quiet, withdrawn little girl who goes to live with her uncle. He lives in an enormous house which possesses a – yes, a secret garden, about which Mary grows intensely curious. Perhaps because of this fascinating novel, the secret garden has assumed the mantle of an archetype for the spiritual quest. We present here the first three chapters of The Secret Garden, read by Kara Schallenberg in this Librivox recording. If you like what you hear, you can download the entire work here. My three favorite Goodreads friends all give Kara’s reading five stars. Please click on the arrows below to listen to the first three chapters. More great Librivox stories in store for you in the coming weeks!  

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August 4, 2017

Podcast: A Rare Sherlock Holmes Story

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Podcast: A Rare Sherlock Holmes Story

Greetings, Podcast Fanatics! Here’s a Sherlock Holmes short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle you may have missed in your readings: “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist,” drawn from the book The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Published in 1903, this and other stories followed the fabled detective after he had purportedly been killed by the evil Professor Moriarty. It caught my attention because I’m an avid cyclist and wanted to see what the master [indeed, how often does one get English nobility for their writing?] dealt with the bicycle, which was a relatively new invention at the time he wrote. So here it is, and do let me know what you think of it! This is a LibriVox recording by Raynard. Please click on the arrows below to listen to “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist”…

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July 28, 2017

The “Tiny Dreams” Podcasts, Part the Fourth

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The “Tiny Dreams” Podcasts, Part the Fourth

Here you are, listeners, the fourth installment and final episodes of “Tiny Dreams.” We hope you’ve enjoyed listening to these audio tidbits and will take a bit more of your time to sample the longer audio dramas from ZBS Media. As I mentioned at the outset, the stories of Jack Flanders and Ruby, The Galactic Gumshoe, were important landmarks in my appreciation for the audio storytelling media. A great deal of new content has been developed at ZBS since my early days of discovery in the 1970s. While you can buy and download individual shows at zbs.org,  the serious listener [such as yours truly] will want to go to zbsmedia.com  for streaming media. Here you have access to everything we’ve ever done, for $5 a month, or $55 a year. Once again, Fictional Cafe hats off to…

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July 21, 2017

The “Tiny Dreams” Podcasts, Part 3

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The “Tiny Dreams” Podcasts, Part 3

Dear FC audio aficionados: Return with us now to those thrilling episodes of “Tiny Dreams” we’ve posted here the past two weeks and partake of nine [count ’em, 9!] more. In case you missed Part 1 and Part 2, click. “Tiny Dreams” were commissioned from ZBS Media as a series of short pieces for a group of radio stations, what they call “Triple A,” — commercial rock & roll radio!  The challenge for the ZBS people was figuring out how to tell a story, take someone on a little adventure (or trip into dreamland), and bring them back again, and do it all in 90 seconds!  The stories were inspired by the strange movies that are projected inside our brains while we’re asleep.  They’re truly original in concept, and also good for a few smiles…

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July 14, 2017

Podcast: ZBS’s “Tiny Dreams” Part 2

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Podcast: ZBS’s “Tiny Dreams” Part 2

Original art by Genevieve Shapiro, http://gentoons.com/ Welcome to Week 2 of “Tiny Dreams,” very short podcast stories which will appear here at the FC every Friday evening in July. I encourage you to visit the ZBS website, where you will find a treasure trove of fun listening. More about ZBS in coming weeks. A Short Introduction to “Tiny Dreams” by Tom Lopez, ZBS Earlier this year, we were commissioned to do a series of short pieces for a group of radio stations, what they call “Triple A,” commercial rock & roll radio!  And so our writer, M. Fulton, spent two days listening to one of their stations.  He woke up the next morning with an idea, a series of dreams that could be inserted between songs. The one restriction he was given – the pieces had to…

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