January Whispersync Deal roundup: Frontera, The Thirteenth Step, Bitterwood, Katia Fox, The Lives of Tao, Embedded, and much, much more

With less than 10 days left in the month, perhaps it’s time to finally get the January Whispersync Deal roundup out into the world. [UPDATE: Since this post has drawn some new readers who may be unfamiliar with Whispersync for Voice, in brief: after (or at the same time as) buying the Kindle edition you can add on the narration if an enabled Audible edition exists, often for a steep discount on even the member/credit price.]

First, a handful of currently running Kindle Countdown Deals that will bump back up in price soon:


The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery by Michele W. Miller, read by Gabrielle de Cuir for $0.99+$1.99 — Zombies are not typically my bag, yet somehow I’ve read or otherwise heard or gotten to a lot. I wasn’t expecting too much from a self-published book, but de Cuir as narrator piqued my interest enough to check it out and I ended up enjoying this quite a lot. While there are some “staples to the point of trope” of the genre here (motley cast of characters assemble! bring in zombies! scare and run! sometimes we lose somebody! oh by the way some other human survivor’s are either going psycho, or trying to reinstate the 50s!) there’s also some really unique wrinkles, the main one being that for some reason, alcoholics and others with an addiction gene have some level of resistance to being detected by the zombies. There’s also the “THANK GOD SOMEBODY FINALLY” character who has actually read Max Brooks, and we get the fun of comparing notes a bit between fiction and (this fictional) reality. Also, on that “motley crew” this one has a lot going for it. It’s diverse in age, race, gender, sexuality, nationality, disposition, goals. And de Cuir brings it all to life, with some additional nice production touches such as radio static effects, that really take this audiobook up a couple notches. Even if you’re reading this after the countdown deal has expired, it’s still quite a bargain at $3.99+$2.99.  It’s a refreshingly original wrinkle in the zombie apocalypse subgenre — who knew that Alcoholics Anonymous would be ready for this? Continue reading

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The 33 most missing audiobooks of 2014

Three thousand two hundred sixty-seven. That’s how many science fiction and fantasy audiobooks were added to Audible.com’s US listings alone in 2014, and the larger number of new speculative fiction audiobooks — which include GraphicAudio, independent (for example The Maze of Games and Eric Flint’s “Islands”), and other titles not available at Audible (for example Cory Doctorow’s Homeland and Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free), physical-only releases, podiobooks, and English-language audiobooks released in other countries, to name a few, not to mention the many sf/f titles shelved under “Fiction” or “Mysteries and Thrillers” or of course young adult and young reader titles —  is nearly impossible to catalog. (I tried, as usual, this year with the release week coverage, but even so missed quite a lot.) And, of course, while The AudioBookaneers focuses on science fiction and fantasy, there were quite a few fantastic books without dragons or spaceships in them this year, too.

First, a warning. This article is a long over-wrought mess. Second, before I get to those “most missing in audio” books which came out last year and did not make it into audio at all, I’ll start with highlighting a few that actually did come to audio, albeit overseas:

A Man Lies Dreaming | [Lavie Tidhar] The Islands of Chaldea | [Diana Wynne Jones]

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My Top 10 Audiobooks of 2014


Always look forward to The Guilded Earlobe’s picks:

Originally posted on The Guilded Earlobe:

In the past, I used to offer my favorite 20 audiobooks of the year. This, of course, when I was listening to nearly 200 audiobooks a year. In 2014, I listened to maybe 80-90 audiobooks in total, and the idea of doing a top 20 seemed ridiculous. So, instead, I offer you my 10 favorite audiobooks(with a few honorable mentions thrown in for good measure.). Despite the lower number, my choices were quite hard. I think 2014 was a great year for apocalyptic fiction and my list definitely reflects that.

Choosing my favorite audiobook of the year incredibly hard. I knew it would come down to a battle between two novels. One was a simply mind blowing exploration of Post Apocalyptic fiction. For me, I thought Station Eleven was brilliant, and worked on so many levels. Mandel’s ability to blend together multiple storylines with a menagerie of complex and wonderful…

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Pulling the Future Toward Me


Congrats to Dave (and co-editor Anna) on 5 amazing, ridiculously amazing and wonderful years of PodCastle fantasy stories:

Originally posted on Annnnnnnnnd Welcome Back!:


Today at PodCastle, we just published one of my absolute favorite stories of 2014: “Makeisha in Time,”  by Rachael K. Jones, read by the amazing K. Tempest Bradford. You should go listen to it ASAP for two reasons:

1) It’s an incredible piece of fiction, and I hope you all get a chance to listen.

2) Anna Schwind and I announce some big news after the story: we will be stepping down as editors of PodCaslte.

Why? Well, this is a decision Anna and I have been considering for some time now, and it’s a personal one for both of us. For my own part, it’s really pretty simple. I need to chase down some different dreams. I want to spend more time writing my own short fiction, and I want to write a novel. Or: novels. Writing a novel is a dream I really want…

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Release Week: Rudy Rucker’s Software, Michael Underwood’s The Younger Gods, Daniel Abraham’s The Price of Spring, Shae Ford’s Dragonsbane, Mary Rickert’s The Memory Garden, Russell H. Greenan’s It Happened in Boston?, Multiverse, and Rick Wilber’s Field of Fantasies

DECEMBER 17-31, 2014: I went ahead and extended this pair of weeks one extra day to give a clean cutoff to 2014. It was a fantastic year of audiobooks (and of course Dave and I will be here with some best-of-the-year picks in due course) and 2015 looks every bit as packed as we consider a preview of what’s to come. In the meantime, the last half of the last month of 2014 had some surprises, with all eight picks again coming off the “seen but not heard” listings — though a few of them are from just a few months earlier in the year. Also out and well worth checking out are Catherina Asaro’s Undercity, Walter Jon Williams’ Dread Empire’s Fall series, Mike Allen’s The Black Fire Concerto, Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, and Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s This Shattered World. In “seen but not heard” to wrap up the year are Stephanie Ricker’s The Battle of Castle Nebula, Astrid ‘Artistikem’ Cruz’ The Last Superhero, and Guy Adams’ For a Few Souls More. Happy New Year!


Software: Ware, Book 1 | [Rudy Rucker] The Younger Gods | [Michael Underwood] Continue reading

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Release Week: Steve Erickson’s Zeroville, Jane Smiley’s The Greenlanders, Robert W. Chambers’ The Maker of Moons, and Luisa May Alcott’s A Whisper in the Dark

DECEMBER 10-16, 2014: For the first time in (at least recent) memory, all four of my picks for the week come off the “never before in audio” list, with none of the books even being released this decade and some being well out of copyright in text, and all under some of the best narrators in the field. There’s still more backlist audiobooks and even more concurrent new releases also out this week, from the 50-audiobook “The Saint” series in its mind-boggling entirety to David Drake’s Skyripper to Jane Yolen’s Sword of the Rightful King, from Frank Tallis’ creepy The Voices to Kate Milford’s Greenglass House, to paranormal romance (Elizabeth Hunter’s The Scribe) and Nobel Prize winner fiction, to still plenty more where all that came from. Meanwhile, just a few days ago on December 24th, a new Baen Audio Books production was out just in time for your holiday enjoyment, as Baen’s Free Radio Hour podcast debuted Larry Correia’s “Detroit Christmas”. After all, what goes with the holly and the ivy better than a Tommy gun? (And for those curious about the behind the scenes of a full cast, sound effects and original score production, there’s a short video for you.) Speaking of audiobooks with high production values, the current Humble Bundle is a pay-what-you-want offer on a huge batch of Doctor Who audiobooks, including seasons voiced by David Tennant and Colin Baker. Enjoy!


Zeroville by Steve Erickson The Greenlanders | [Jane Smiley]

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Release Week(s): Carbide Tipped Pens, The Godless, The Strange Library, Winterswim, The Martian Race, The Winter King, Ari Marmell’s “Hot Lead, Cold Iron”, and Cory Doctorow’s “Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free”

NOVEMBER 26-DECEMBER 9, 2014: A fantastic and wide-ranging fortnight of releases for you to start December, including epic fantasy, hard sf, Arthurian legend, a whimsy from Murakami, a GraphicAudio magical noir, non-fiction, and more. Do check out some of the “also out” listings as well such as Kazuaki Takano’s A Genocide of One, Richard Parks’ Yamada Monogotari, and Felicia Hajra-Lee’s The Niantic Project: Ingress for Google’s Niantic Labs, and plenty of mysteries and thrillers besides, including Moriarty, MacDonald, and Raymond Chandler, and! a free Larry Correia “Grimnoir Chronicles” short read by Bronson Pinchot. Unfortunately there’s some absolutely fantastic books in the “seen but not heard” listings as well, including Jenn Brissett’s Elysium, Chris Bucholz’ Severance, Shannon Page and Jay Lake’s Our Lady of the Islands, N.K. Jemisin’s The Awakened Kingdom, Jim C. Hines’ Rise of the Spider Goddess, and the PW-year’s-best-lsited anthology The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women. Early December also brings the Audible availability of Jeff VanderMeer’s Area X omnibus of his Southern Reach trilogy. And I’ve added another absolutely huge round of “added” titles for 2015 in the “coming soon” listings, though quite a few have large variability for measurements of “soon”. Enjoy!


Carbide Tipped Pens by Ben Bova, Eric Choi The Godless: A Novel | [Ben Peek]

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9 Science Fiction and Fantasy Audiobooks by Women of Color You Must Hear

Making the Internet rounds yesterday was a new list from Buzzfeed of 19 Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels by Women of Color You Must Read and as headline-bait listicles go it’s actually pretty good. (Of course one may quibble, but those that I have read that are on this list are fantastic books.) Here’s an audiobibliophile tour of the list:


Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, read by Lynne Thigpen for Recorded Books — One of the absolute all-time best books and audiobooks I’ve ever encountered. “God is change. That is the central truth of the Earthseed movement, whose unlikely prophet is 18-year-old Lauren Olamina. The young woman’s diary entries tell the story of her life amid a violent 21st-century hell of walled neighborhoods and drug-crazed pyromaniacs – and reveal her evolving Earthseed philosophy. Against a backdrop of horror emerges a message of hope: if we are willing to embrace divine change, we will survive to fulfill our destiny among the stars.” Get: [Audible] Continue reading

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December Whispersync Deal Roundup: Hurley, Jemisin, Walton, Rothfuss, Lawrence, Lynch, Sanderson, and much more

I keep putting off compiling the December Whispersync Deal roundup, but (1) a good chunk of titles are only on sale through Dec 14 and (2) I already missed passing along both that Andy Weir’s The Martian was on sale for $3 and that Rachel Aaron’s The Spirit Thief was on sale as well as John Shirley’s Everything is Broken, on and on… and since I’ve no idea when/if some of this deals will disappear, I had better get on it! In that frame of mind, first up here’s some deals on some fantastic, highly-recommended titles where I just don’t know when they’ll return to their regular prices: (UPDATE DEC 5: To include the new crop of Big Deal titles which are on sale through Dec 21.)

God’s War: Bel Dame Apocrypha, Book 1 | [Kameron Hurley] The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms: Inheritance Trilogy, Book 1 | [N. K. Jemisin]

Kameron Hurley’s God’s War (Bel Dame Apocrypha, Book 1) for $1.99+$3.99 — OMGWTFBBQ is basically the Twitterverse reaction to the Kindle price drop on the first book of Hurley’s Arthur C. Clarke and Nebula Award nominated Bel Dame Apocrypha series. I first heard of Hurley via Jeff VanderMeer’s 2011 year-end roundup for Locus, where he described the “bug-based tech/magic” and “muscular prose” of the book, and I’ve had this on my daily watch list for just this who-kn0ws-who-screwed-up price break. Read by Emily Bauer for Audible: “Nyx had already been to hell. One prayer more or less wouldn’t make any difference… On a ravaged, contaminated world, a centuries-old holy war rages, fought by a bloody mix of mercenaries, magicians, and conscripted soldiers. Though the origins of the war are shady and complex, there’s one thing everybody agrees on – there’s not a chance in hell of ending it. Nyx is a former government assassin who makes a living cutting off heads for cash. But when a dubious deal between her government and an alien gene pirate goes bad, Nyx’s ugly past makes her the top pick for a covert recovery. The head they want her to bring home could end the war–but at what price? The world is about to find out.”

A year earlier, the eye-opening fantasy debut everyone was talking about and nominating for awards – and which I perhaps predictably learned about via VanderMeer’s year’s best roundup for Locus that year — was N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy Book 1) and it’s also on sale, for $1.99+$3.49 read by Casaundra Freeman for Brilliance Audio: “Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.” (For completists, do check out VanderMeer’s list from 2009 also. Just saying.)

Among Others | [Jo Walton] Outlander | [Diana Gabaldon] Continue reading

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Release Week: Mira Grant’s Symbiont, Brandon Sanderson’s Legion: Skin Deep, Tobias Buckell’s Mitigated Futures, and Bronson Pinchot reading David Drake’s Grimmer Than Hell

NOVEMBER 19-25, 2014: An overall very, very quiet week in publishing, but with a standout concurrent new release (Mira Grant’s Symbiont), two glimmering backlist collections (Buckell and Drake), the return of Sanderson’s Legion (for free! read by Oliver Wyman again!), and a few more titles well worth noting (an indie fantasy superstar in the making in Jacob Cooper, anthologies Robot Uprisings and Night Shift, Bernard Cornwell’s Grail Quest novels, Costello and Hautala’s Star Road, and a huge pile of Akashic’s “Noir” anthologies) make for plenty to pick from. Enjoy!


Symbiont | [Mira Grant] Free: Legion: Skin Deep | [Brandon Sanderson]

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