Release Week: Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed, Oliver Wyman narrates a Swanwick masterwork, and the return of Neil Gaiman Presents

My most anticipated release of a packed week in audiobooks is Throne of the Crescent Moon By Saladin AhmedNarrated by Phil Gigante for Brilliance Audio [IndieBound MP3-CD link | iTunes Audiobook link]:

Published concurrent with the DAW hardcover, Ahmed’s debut is a welcome new voice in fantasy. Beginning with a short, dark prologue of torture which introduces us to a powerful, evil raiser of ghuls known as “the gaunt man” and his jackal-faced assistant, we are then introduced to our atypical hero, Dr. Adoulla, ghulhunter: set in a teahouse rather than an inn; set with cardamon tea and a book of poetry rather than stew and a tankard of ale; set with a 60-year old, portly, tired protagonist who longs for retirement rather a group of young adventurers longing for fame and treasure. Haunted by a lingering dream of his beloved city run through by a river of blood — a vision introduced in more sinister detail by the jackal-faced ghul in the prologue — Adoulla nonetheless finds the strength to… stand up from his tea and face the day. In terms of the audiobook, Gigante’s characterizations really are something here, from the voices of demonic jackal-ghuls to Adoulla, to a far-flung cast of characters from cross-eyed restaurateurs to the regal Falcon Prince, beggars, on and on. The principal narration is performed in a tone which fits both the dark and yet somehow also, in its way, playful content, as Ahmed’s abiding love for fantasy and D&D as source material are evident. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of this first book in a series. Related: Ahmed is the subject of today’s “Big Idea” piece on Scalzi’s Whatever blog.

Today also brings Stations of the Tide (1991) By Michael Swanwick to audio, narrated by the outstanding Oliver Wyman for Audible Frontiers — “a masterwork of radically altered realities and world-shattering seductions.”

 

And it’s not the only Swanwick which Audible Frontiers published today, as 2002’s Bones of the Earth is also out, narrated by Kevin Pariseau, along with 1993’s The Iron Dragon’s Daughter (above right), narrated by Eileen Stevens. The latter, a World Fantasy, Locus, and Arthur C. Clarke Award finalist, is a book I’ve heard a lot about and look forward to finally getting a chance to “read”.

Today also marks the return of Neil Gaiman Presents after an almost 2 month hiatus with The Adventures of Doctor Eszterhazy By Avram DavidsonNarrated by Robert Blumenfeld, and White Apples (2002) By Jonathan CarrollNarrated by Victor Bevine:

 

A few words from Neil on The Adventures of Doctor Eszterhazy: ”We picked the Eszterhazy stories for Neil Gaiman Presents because I wanted to convey the joy and delight of Avram Davidson’s short stories. This is the first place all of the Eszterhazy stories have been collected together, including “The Odd, Old Bird”, which was not part of the print edition of The Adventures of Doctor Eszterhazy, but could be found instead in the collection The Other Nineteenth Century. If you love fantasy, if you love alternate worlds, or if you just love good stories well-told, that’s who Avram Davidson is – someone who knows a great deal more than you do and is damned if both of you aren’t going to have a great time in Scythia-Pannonia-Transbalkania.”

A few words from Neil on White Apples: ”In his performance, Victor Bevine manages to convey three aspects of Vincent’s personality: the womanizing hedonist he was in life, the now-dead fellow trying to control his rising panic who realizes his one-night-stand knows today is his mother’s birthday; and, ultimately, the loving, heroic family man who undertakes a big task for the sake of his unborn son and – incidentally – the rest of humanity. That’s a tall order for any narrator, but I wasn’t surprised when the accomplished actor Victor Bevine made the character come alive.”

ALSO OUT TUESDAY:

  • Ragnarok: The End of the Gods By A. S. ByattNarrated by Harriet Walter for Brilliance Audio — concurrent with the US hardcover from Grove Press, out last year in the UK — “In this brilliant retelling of the Norse myth about the end of the world, the award-winning author of Possession and The Children’s Bookunleashes a story of the destruction of life on this planet and the end of the gods themselves. As the bombs of the Blitz rain down on Britain, one young girl is evacuated to the countryside. She is struggling to make sense of her new life, whose dark, war-ravaged days feel very removed from the peace and love being preached in church and at school. Then she is given a copy of Asgard and the Gods – a book of ancient Norse myths – and her inner and outer worlds are transformed.”

  • Dragon Season (1991) By Michael CassuttNarrated by Eric Michael Summerer for Audible Frontiers — “Air Force lieutenant Rick Walsh has just gotten off a 12-hour flight from Guam at the Tucson Airport. All he wants right now is too see his girlfriend, Maia, and maybe have a short rest before reassignment. What Lieutenant Walsh finds instead is a month-old infant and a mystery that spans two universes.”
  • The Star Country (1986) By Michael Cassutt Narrated by David Marantz for Audible Frontiers — “In the near future, war has torn the United States apart. Small communities barely scrape by amidst climate change and economic collapse. … Some small hope has arrived in the form of the Hocq, a group of aliens on a mission to bring their advanced knowledge to Earth.”
  • Conjure Wife (1943) By Fritz LeiberNarrated by Victor Bevine for Audible Frontiers — “Professor Norman Saylor considered magic nothing more than superstition. Then he learned that his own wife was a practicing sorceress.”
  • World Divided: Book Two of the Secret World Chronicle By Mercedes Lackey (and several others), Narrated by Nick Sullivan for Audible Frontiers — concurrent with print publication from Baen

  • Guardian of NightBy Tony DanielNarrated by Victor Bevine for Audible Frontiers — concurrent with print publication from Baen — “For alien Commander Arid Ricimer, there was no going home. His species was winning the war with Earth, but the civilization he had fought for was gone, destroyed from within by ideologues and bureaucrats. So he does the only thing that makes sense to a person of integrity—he attempts to defect to Earth with his officers and an entire spaceship, a vessel that mounts a superweapon of almost unimaginable power.”
  • The Summer Isles By Ian R. MacLeod Narrated by Steve Hodson for Audible Frontiers — Nominated for the John C Campbell Memorial Award. Sidewise Award for Alternate History. World Fantasy Award.
  • Control Point: Shadow Ops, Book 1 by Myke Cole, narrated by Corey Jackson — urban military sf
  • YA: Cold Cereal By Adam RexNarrated by Oliver Wyman for Harper Audio — From narrator Wyman: “Maybe the best children’s book I’ve ever read. Period.”
  • Non-genre: Codex (2005) By Lev GrossmanNarrated by Jeff Harding for Random House Audio (2008) — audiobook available in the UK previously, now available in the US — “ About to depart on his first vacation in years, Edward Wozny, a hotshot young investment banker, is sent to help one of his firm’s most important and mysterious clients. His task is to search their library stacks for a precious medieval codex, a treasure kept sealed away for many years and for many reasons. Enlisting the help of passionate medievalist Margaret Napier, Edward is determined to solve the mystery of the codex-to understand its significance to his wealthy clients, and to decipher the seeming parallels between the legend of the codex and an obsessive role-playing computer game that has absorbed him in the dark hours of the night.”

OUT EARLIER THIS WEEK:

LATER THIS WEEK:
MISSING IN ACTION:
  • Non-genre? Infinite Jest (1996) by David Foster Wallace — I have no idea how this massive tome of footnotes and endnotes will be translated into audiobook format, but I have to admit to more than a certain amount of curiosity as to the answer — looks like I’ll have to wait longer, as though it was supposed to be coming this week, no sign yet
  • The Mirage: A Novel by Matt Ruff (Harper, Feb 7, 2012) — “11/9/2001: Christian fundamentalists hijack four jetliners. They fly two into the Tigris & Euphrates World Trade Towers in Baghdad, and a third into the Arab Defense Ministry in Riyadh. The fourth plane, believed to be bound for Mecca, is brought down by its passengers. The United Arab States declares a War on Terror.”
  • The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett (Feb 4, 2012) — no audio news
  • Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders by Samuel R. Delany (Magnus Books, Feb 7, 2012) — no audio news — looks like the book itself has been re-scheduled (again) to May 1
  • Anthology: Robots: The Recent A.I. edited by Rich Horton and Sean Wallace, with stories by Rachel Swirsky, Elizabeth Bear, Aliette De Bodard, Catherynne M. Valente, and Cory Doctorow (Prime, Feb 7, 2012) — table of contents — no audio news
  • Shadow Light (Beautiful Beings #3) by Kailin Gow (Feb 7, 2012)
  • The Order of the Scales: The Memory of Flames, Book III by Stephen Deas(Feb 7, 2012) — out in the UK last year, book IV should be out (in the UK) this year as well
  • Anthology: Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom edited by John Joseph Adams, with stories by Peter S. Beagle, Jonathan Maberry, Catherynne M. Valente and Tobias S. Buckell (Feb 7, 2012) — no audio news

NEXT WEEK (Feb 14):

TWO WEEKS (Feb 21):
  • Echoes of Betrayal by Elizabeth Moon (Brilliance Audio, 21 Feb 2012) — simultaneously released with the hardcover
  • Satantango by László Krasznahorkai and translated by George Szirtes(New Directions, Feb 21, 2012)
  • Non-genre: The Technologists by Matthew Pearl (Coming February 21, 2012) — The Civil War is over, and MIT is founded…
  • Non-genre: Stirred by J. A. Conrath and Blake Crouch, from Brilliance Audio (2/21/2012)
  • Exogene by T. C. McCarthy, read by Bahni Turpin for Blackstone Audio (Orbit, 28 Feb 12) — sequel to 2011’s Germline
  • The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett (Orbit, Feb 21, 2012)
  • The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron (Orbit, Feb 24) — no audio news
THREE WEEKS (Feb 28):
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