News: Bronson Pinchot to narrate Jeff VanderMeer’s Authority, Book 2 of The Southern Reach; and Xe Sands to narrate Wendy Webb’s The Vanishing

Two narrator castings to pass along this morning, the first is both the most recent and what I’ll be listening to in the wee hours of May 6: Blackstone Audio has tapped Audie-Award winning narrator Bronson Pinchot to narrate Authority: The Southern Reach, Book 2 by Jeff VanderMeer, released fairly quickly on the heels of Annihilation, read by Carolyn McCormick, which was released in February. I’ve listened to many of Pinchot’s audiobooks (from non-fiction like How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick’s Robotic Resurrection to the wide-ranging accents of Tim Powers’ On Stranger Tides and Last Call, to Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree), and think he’s a perfect casting for this surreal exploration of the secretive The Southern Reach, the organization charged with investigating Area X, seen through the eyes of third-generation government agent John Rodriguez, better known in the book simply as ‘Control’. Here: “The bone-chilling, hair-raising second installment of the Southern Reach Trilogy. For thirty years, a secret agency called the Southern Reach has monitored expeditions into Area X—a remote and lush terrain mysteriously sequestered from civilization. After the twelfth expedition, the Southern Reach is in disarray, and John Rodriguez (a.k.a. “Control”) is the team’s newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and more than two hundred hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets of Area X begin to reveal themselves—and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he’s promised to serve.”

 The Vanishing

I saw this second casting about a week ago, but it’s been one I’ve been looking forward to hearing news of since hearing Wendy Webb read from her novel The Vanishing about a month ago and learning that an audiobook edition was coming. Tantor Audio has cast Xe Sands to read The Vanishing, Webb’s “Haunted Minnesota Manor House” novel. I enjoyed Sands’ narrations on Valya Dudycz Lupescu’s Chicago-set The Silence of Trees and have less than a month to wait to see how well she handles Minnesota as the audiobook is due April 8: “Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: caretaker to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired…and who the world believes is dead. When she arrives at the Sinclairs’ enormous estate on Lake Superior, Julia begins to suspect that there may be sinister undercurrents to her “too-good-to-be-true” position. As Julia delves into the reasons of why Amaris chose to abandon her successful writing career and withdraw from the public eye, her search leads to unsettling connections to her own family tree, making her wonder why she really was invited to Havenwood in the first place, and what monstrous secrets are still held prisoner within its walls.”

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