Friday, September 26, 2008

The Library has opened...

Not content with releasing a weekly podcast and producing wonderful audio dramas, Jack and Shannon from the Sonic Society have now started to podcast their writing at The Library of Jack and Shannon. They're starting by reading two novels (one written by each, and narrated by the other), releasing a chapter from both books every week.

Shannon Hilchie's book is Hugo and Alice and is about a man whose normal life is interrupted by some fantastical events - who is Alice and why is the government interested in her? Jack Ward's book is The Signet: Book 1 of the Age of Adventure and is a story about a boy's adventures, including being kidnapped by pirates (three times!) and finding himself in another world.

I can't tell you much more than that since they've only released a few chapters, but I'm really enjoying them both! I'm glad that they decided to go for straight readings without background music or other actors - the style works for some podcast novels, but since these are quite descriptive I think it would have been a distraction. I've listened to a number of podcast novels and these are certainly amongst the best written I've heard, as well as being exciting stories - just the thing to curl up in front of a fire with now the nights are getting shorter. So head over to The Library and check out some episodes!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Launch of Echo Fiction

The 'year of audio drama' continued with the launch of Echo Fiction on the first of September. Echo Fiction is a new online store for audio drama created by Xander Davies of Dreamseed productions and their mission is

"to create a powerful platform for audio drama production companies worldwide to come together, pool their creative talent and their audio entertainment productions for a definitive audio drama online store and creators' resource."

There are many titles here from amateur and professionals alike, some to buy and download and some for free streaming. Most, if not all, of these titles can be found elsewhere (either from existing podcasts or to buy through other stores), but it's a well designed website which can only raise the profile of audio drama. I particularly like the fact that it includes audio dramas from such a diverse set of production companies ranging from the amateur to the very successful Big Finish (I was very excited at first until I realised that there are only brief audio clips, but I suppose it may bring some of their large audience to the lesser know productions).

The web site also has other features - a forum, blog, casting calls and articles.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Award News

While I've been away there's been a lot of activity in the awards sphere. The 2007 Mark Time/Ogle awards for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Audio Productions were announced in July. The winners are:

MARK TIME (Science Fiction) - Space Casey Written and Produced by Christiana Ellis

OGLE AWARDS (Fantasy/Horror) - The Stuff of Myth 
Produced and Written by Roger Gregg of 
Crazy Dog Audio Theatre

Full results can be seen on the site - there's a few here I haven't heard yet and am very much looking forward to hearing. Congrats to all the winners, particularly Christianna Ellis for being up there with more experienced professionals.

The Sonic Society held their first 'Uni Awards' this summer for listeners to vote on their favourite shows of the season. Wormwood won all categories across the board, apart from best stand alone show which was won by Sonic Cinema's Firefly: Wedding Day. Although Wormwood is an amazing show, it is a shame that other productions didn't get a look in.

The winners of the Parsec Awards for Speculative Fiction Podcasting have also just been announced. The audio drama categories were won by Space Casey and Billibub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword for short and long form respectively. I have to say that I thought Billibub Baddings was a full cast audio book rather than a drama, though the lines seem to be becoming increasingly blurred. The best short story went to Scott Sigler's Red Man and Mur Lafferty won best story in both novella and long form for Heaven - Season 4: Wasteland and Playing for Keeps.

Well done to all the winners and participants - it looks like I've got lots of great listening ahead of me!

The Return of the Blog!

Wow, it's been a long time! Apologies to anyone (assuming there still is anyone) reading this blog, but various things (change of job, a move back to the UK and some health problems) rather took over my life, and then the longer I left it the more difficult it became to restart. Thanks to all those who contacted me - guilt, it seems, is a good motivator!

With the time away I've had a chance to think - when I decide to start this blog it was before I discovered the other excellent blogs around, and a while before Audio Drama Talk was created. I started it as a way to contact other fans and let people know about the great audio dramas I'd found (and also to get myself writing). Since then I've discovered that there are many more that I'd imagined and that they are rapidly growing in number, which is brilliant but a little overwhelming! Also because of the serialised format, I think people want to know what's good now rather than reviews of finished productions.

So I'm taking this opportunity for a little 'blog revamp' - I'll be concentrating on audio dramas I discover and am listening to (and probably some podcast audio book since I've been listening to those as well recently) as well as general news items.

So thanks for staying with me, and happy listening!