Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Dirk Gently!

Following on from the dramatisation of Douglas Adams's first Dirk Gently book last year, the second book - The Long, Dark Tea-time of the Soul - is now being dramatised on BBC Radio 4. Harry Enfield (British comedian), Billy Boyd (Pippin from LotR) and Peter Davison (the 5th Doctor) are back as Dirk Gently, Richard McDuff and Simon Draycott who become involved with some Norse gods. I enjoyed the first episode (though I'm afraid it's not online anymore) and am expecting the rest of it to be as good as the first series (which is also available to buy now in shops).

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!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A shiny Valentine's Day!

The good folks at Sonic Cinema have finally given in to the fans' requests for an encore to the hugely popular Firefly: Old Wounds (a fan fition audio drama for Joss Whedon's Firefly). "Wedding Day" focuses on Simon and Kaylee and is set after the movie Serenity - Simon gets himself in trouble on an unknown planet, while Kaylee deals with some family issues and discovers that someone has been making some arrangements concerning her...

The first episode can be found at the Sonic Society website or podcast, with the second (and final) part being released next Thursday.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Performance!

If you're in London in March you should definitely considering buying tickets for The Sixth Annual Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture. Not only does it include a lecture in aid of "Save the Rhinos", but it also includes a live performance of parts of the radio plays. Details are below (thanks to for the info)

I'm just upset that I'm not going to be in the UK!

"The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature"

will be followed by

A 30th ANNIVERSARY LIVE PERFORMANCE of radio script material from


performed by members of the ORIGINAL CAST
Wednesday 12 March 2008 at 7.30pm
Royal Geographical Society, South Kensington, London

Artists hoping to take part include:
Simon Jones as Arthur Dent
Geoffrey McGivern as Ford Prefect
Mark Wing Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox
Susan Sheridan as Trillian
Roger Gregg as Eddie
Stephen Moore as Marvin The Paranoid Android
With a Very Special Guest as the Voice Of The Book

The funniest and most thought-provoking science fiction comedy ever was premiered on BBC Radio 4 on March 8th 1978. This live 30th anniversary performance of script material from the series reunites original cast members who worked on all the "phases" of Hitchhikers, from Primary to Quintessential.

This is a celebration of all that was unique and astonishing about Douglas Adams' talent, in aid of his favourite cause, SAVE THE RHINO INTERNATIONAL and distils the essence of his greatest creation into a live event, performed on stage with music and sound effects as if a classic audience radio recording.

Produced by Dirk Maggs & James Thrift

For tickets and further details contact Fiona at Save the Rhino 0207 357 7474

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Colonial on Sonic Society

Colonial Radio Theatre, winner of many awards and producer of many productions ranging from classics to westerns and comedies, is bringing 12 of its shows to the Sonic Society podcast throughout this year. This is the only place you can hear them on the internet, so keep an eye (or ear!) open for them. Confirmed so far are "Powder River", a long running western in February, "Father Brown", murder mystery dramatisations for March, and episodes of the comedy "The Dibble Show" in April.

I've heard lots of good things about Colonial, but haven't heard any of their dramas yet, so I'm definitely looking forward to hearing this!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Fall of Troy

I don't normally re-listen to audio dramas I've already heard, but I'm making an exception for this fantastic version of "Troy" on BBC7. It tells the story of the fall of Troy and the Trojan war through the various characters in a very atmospheric and poetic way. There's also some wonderfully haunting music.

The first episode is up for a week, followed by the next two.

Troy - King Priam and his Sons
The first of Andrew Rissick's trio of compelling plays re-telling the story of events leading up to, and following the fall of Troy. As the Trojan King and his wife expect their second son, the Gods warn that disaster looms if the child lives. A distinguished cast includes: Paul Scofield, Toby Stephens, Emma Fielding, Oliver Cotton, Ian Hogg, Michael Maloney, Geraldine Somerville, Julian Glover and Saeed Jaffrey. First broadcast in 1998, the director was Jeremy Mortimer.
Sunday 13th Jan

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Happy 2008!

Welcome to the new year - now's a good time to welcome any newcomers to the world of audio drama. There's so much stuff out there to listen to, some of it great, and some of it, well, not so great. And then there are the things that everyone else seems to love, but aren't really your taste. So, where to start?

The BBC produces many wonderful dramas which are available at BBC R4 and BBC R7. All programs are available to 'Listen Again' by streaming from the website for a week after broadcast.

For podcast audio drama try the Sonic Society and Radio Drama Revival - they podcast shows from different production companies, so you're bound to find something you like. Another great source of audio dramas is Dramapod which is a directory where you can search for dramas by genre, and rate and review what you've listened to.

Happy listening!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Talk Audio Drama!

Now there's a brand new place on the web now to discuss your favourite audio dramas - Audio Drama Talk. The good folks at the Sonic Society suggested the idea and Marcus Beattie has put it into practice, and very good it looks too.

The forum allows you to discuss your favourite shows, chat to fellow audiophiles and get advice about doing your own production - see you over there!