DECEMBER 4-10, 2013: We’re well into the quietest weeks of the year in terms of the publishing schedule, but still a few stellar audiobook picks for you this week from anthologies to collections to children’s books and a classic short novel as well as the latest from Dean Koontz and Scott Sigler. In ‘audiobook news’ my eyebrows went up to finally see Nicola Griffith’s Hild on pre-order listings, though under narrator Pearl Hewitt instead of the previously-announced Anne Flosnick. It appears I have been invoking the wrong narrator to “read like the wind” for weeks now! Hewitt will be new to me, but I’ll follow Griffith’s foray into literary historical fiction under whomever’s voice. Well, perhaps not Gilbert Gottfried’s. Anyway. Speaking of “read like the wind”, Pat Rothfuss’ Worldbuilders charity has catapulted past its $50,000 stretch goal, a Paul and Storm performance of “Write Like the (Name of the) Wind”, a re-casting of their George R.R. Martin song in honor of the wait for Mr. Rothfuss’ third Kingkillers novel. It’s fun. So enjoy that, and enjoy this week’s audio picks. And go check out Worldbuilders!
PICKS OF THE WEEK:
As I mentioned in the lead last week, this week would bring (and has brought) a huge, 25.5 hour anthology: Tails of Wonder and Imagination edited by Ellen Datlow, with stories by Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oates, Susanna Clarke, Lawrence Block, Tanith Lee, Lewis Carroll, Charles de Lint, Jeffrey Ford, Kelly Link, Michael Bishop, Lucius Shepard, Elizabeth Hand, John Kessel, Graham Joyce, John Crowley, Catherynne M. Valente, Carol Emshwiller, Susanna Clarke, Theodora Goss, and yet more, narrated by Teresa DeBerry, Jeremy Arthur, and Cynthia Barrett for Audible Frontiers, first published by Night Shade Books in 2010. “What is it about the cat that captivates the creative imagination? No other creature has inspired so many authors to take pen to page. Mystery, horror, science fiction, and fantasy stories have all been written about cats. From legendary editor Ellen Datlow comes Tails of Wonder and Imagination, showcasing 40 cat tales by some of today’s most popular authors. With uncollected stories by Stephen King, Carol Emshwiller, Tanith Lee, Peter S. Beagle, Elizabeth Hand, Dennis Danvers, and Theodora Goss and a previously unpublished story by Susanna Clarke, plus feline-centric fiction by Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, George R. R. Martin, Lucius Shepard, Joyce Carol Oates, Graham Joyce, Catherynne M. Valente, Michael Marshall Smith, and many others. Tails of Wonder and Imagination features more than 200,000 words of stories in which cats are heroes and stories in which they’re villains; tales of domestic cats, tigers, lions, mythical part-cat beings, people transformed into cats, cats transformed into people. And yes, even a few cute cats.”
Nocturnal: A Novel by Scott Sigler, narrated by Phil Gigante is one of the more ambitious self-published audiobooks yet. Sigler, no stranger whatsoever to self-publishing, has tapped one of the industry’s best — Gigante has read thrillers by Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, and Daniel Silva, and fantasies by Terry Brooks, Drew Karpyshyn, Kevin J. Anderson, and (a very enjoyable listen) Saladin Ahmed, and is the award-winning voice of Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series — to narrate for his own Empty Set Entertainment. Sigler originally podcast the novel in 2007, and it was picked up by Crown (Random House) for a print edition last year. “Homicide detective Bryan Clauser is losing his mind. How else to explain the dreams he keeps having – dreams that mirror, with impossible accuracy, the gruesome serial murders taking place all over San Francisco? How else to explain the feelings these dreams provoke in him – not disgust, not horror, but excitement?As Bryan and his longtime partner, Lawrence ‘Pookie’ Chang, investigate the murders, they learn that things are even stranger than they at first seem.”
Cat o’ Nine Tales: The Jane Yellowrock Stories by Faith Hunter, Narrated by Khristine Hvam, collect Hunter’s short fiction in her Jane Yellowrock series. “For the first time – in one Audible-exclusive collection – it’s 13 stories of Jane Yellowrock, the shape-shifting skinwalker and vampire hunter for hire whose business card reads, “Have Stakes – Will Travel”. Jane carries inside her the soul of her Beast, the mountain lion’s soul which merged with hers when she accidently performed black magic as a child. Now, she and her Beast stalk the dark streets of New Orleans, bringing rogue vampires true death. In Cat o’ Nine Tales, you’ll discover how Jane turned into a big cat for the first time; how she and Molly became friends; how Rick LaFleur got his tattoos. You’ll go along on some of Jane’s early vamp hunts. You’ll even hear two short tales through Bruiser’s eyes.” The release is out the same day as a non-fiction guide, The Jane Yellowrock World Companion, and the individual short stories are available standalone as well.
Innocence: A Novel by Dean Koontz, Narrated By MacLeod Andrews (Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim, Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart, Steven Gould’s Jumper, John Green and David Levithan’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson, E.C. Myers’ Fair Coin) for Brilliance Audio is out concurrent with the print/ebook release from Bantam. The infinity-times bestselling Koontz is back with a new standalone novel, perched in between and around more than a few genres. “He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen. She dwells in seclusion, a fugitive from enemies who will do her harm if she is ever found. But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance—and nothing less than destiny—has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.”
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK: Continue reading