Wait For The Audiobook

You know how some people review movies by saying, “Enh, rent it on video, not worth going to the theater.” I just discovered the inverse.

Because of the way movies are released, first to theaters, then to DVD, you’d almost never hear someone review a DVD and say, “Wow, it’s great, you should watch it at the theater” because it’s not at the theater anymore. Doh. You just missed the boat.

I recently finished reading (not listening to) “The Long Tail” by Chris Anderson.

The book is getting a lot of press (good and bad). I was quite excited to get a pre-release version of the print book at the recent book expo in Washington DC, and at the time, there was no audiobook available (or imminent I thought).

Now as I’m in the final throes of enjoying the print version immensely, our CEO sticks his head in my office and says, “Hey, this Long Tail audiobook is great, you should listen to it!”

Much like Ted Danson’s character says in “Cheers” when he realizes there was a War and Peace movie, so his reading of the book was unnecessary, my reaction was “THERE’S AN AUDIOBOOK?” Aagh.

I can listen to an audiobook in 1/3rd the time it takes me to read the paper version. And I enjoy it more.

I can’t believe I was so impatient to read the darn thing that I didn’t wait for the (superior) version on audiobook.

So if you’re thinking about reading the Long Tail, take my advice.

Wait for the audiobook.…

Continue Reading →

Maximum Ride – Maximum Volatility

I loved James Patterson’s first Angel Experiment book, “When the Wind Blows”. And although the sequels deteriorated a bit in quality, there were all enjoyable books.

maximum rideSo seeing a new book by Patterson based on the lead character from When the Wind Blows, I rented the first of the “Maximum Ride” books, which I discovered is only loosely based on the same characters in the original series.

Here’s the interesting part (to me at least).

I was captivated, absolutely captivated by the narrator and recording technique used in the first 5 minutes of the audiobook.

Then in the sixth minute, doubt began to set in as something stupid happened. Over the next 30 minutes, about 5 more stupid things happened, as implausible.

Now, here I am listening to a book about humans with wings and I’m calling other plot elements implausible.

Ironic.

Anyway, the plot was sill enough, especially with Max’s constant unwarranted lamentations about her situation, that I pulled out my return box to eject all the CDs and return it 1 disc in.

Then I reconsidered since I didn’t have another audiobook in the car. And lo, my brain went into a kind of post-traumatic stress mode where I just stopped taking the book seriously.

And I’m kind of enjoying it now. I must say, the narration helps a LOT. I’ll probably give it a 3 of 5 when I’m done.…

Continue Reading →

100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories

100 great short short storiesI just discovered that over on one of audiobook discussion forums, they’re running a contest for the best one-paragraph love story.

I’m more the epic romance kind of guy, especially if it involves galaxy-spanning civilizations and/or time travel.

But I was also a HUGE fan of a couple of book anthologies by Isaac Asimov and Martin Greenberg, the first of which was called “100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories” (No audiobook version).

It was a collection of sci-fi short stories under 3 pages each. Great fun.

The requirement to develop a plot, characters, atmosphere… all in 3 pages, resulted in some great stories.

I don’t know what kind of stuff our customers and staff are going to come up with. But I’m sure there will be some gems.

By the way, there’s a gift certificate for free service/books at stake, in case an incentive is needed. Here’s my entry:

Anamemdron gripped his portal gun tightly, only a slight trembling revealing his inexperience. His mission to steal in and out of the capital exposed, he clung to hope of escape as tightly as his young charge clung to his tunic. Barely 16, the princess understood all too well the fate that awaited her should the daring rescue fail. His focus went from the Count to the portal site and back to the Count. With a fully deployed temporal shield, the Count was immune to the one weapon at Anamemdron’s disposal, and he was advancing steadily. The princess began to cry softly, murmuring “I’d rather die than go back…” With a flash of insight, Anamemdron turned his gun on himself, pulling the trigger before the Count’s leap of sudden desperation. And just like that, or rather, five years later, he found himself again with the princess clinging to him. But now very much of age, and VERY grateful for her rescue.

Continue Reading →