Spring 2021 Book Giveaway: Neil Gaiman

Now through –THIS FRIDAY– March 19th, we’re banding with several other indie creators to give one lucky winner $300 worth of sci-fi and fantasy books.

In an instance I suspect is far from rare, I stumbled onto Neil Gaiman when I borrowed some of my brother’s Sandman comics… and then I kept following what he was doing which, as many of you know, has branched out to just about every storytelling medium from comics to TV to film to audio drama.

If you’ve enjoyed Gaiman’s work, you’ll probably have noted how much he loves to delve into the history and lore of behind whatever type of story he’s telling. You get the sense, from his writing, that his childhood –like many of ours– had the library as a focal point. It’s something that he himself has confirmed in interviews.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane takes a premise of a man returning to his home town for a funeral — something we feel we’ve seen in many a story — and then gives it some fantastical, magic realist twists, sprinkled with events inspired by the author’s own life. It’s a captivating read and, if you haven’t read it before, I think you’ll find it a page turner, especially if you’ve enjoyed Gaiman’s other works.

For a chance to dive into this and other stories, don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway before this coming Friday!

~Bjorn Munson, Artistic Director, JAT

Spring 2021 Book Giveaway: The Martian

Now through March 19th, we’re banding with several other indie creators to give one lucky winner $300 worth of sci-fi and fantasy books.

I was writing yesterday about how one of the prizes for this giveaway is a boxed set of The Expanse, the series of space opera novels made into an the TV series of the same name.

One of the enjoyable aspects of the show –something I understand is in the books as well– is the relatively “hard” sci-fi setting. Ships have to worry about gravity and the lack thereof. There are no ray guns, hyperdrives, or teleporters. Sure, there’s that pesky, physics-defying protomolecule and related shenanigans, but Arthur C. Clarke has your back.

In the realm of hard sci-fi in the very near future, we also have The Martian, which scratched that “science the science” itch I sometime have. It’s kind of like Clarke’s zeal for plausible science matched with Tom Clancy’s zeal for researching technical specifications (as readers of The Hunt for Red October may recall).

The movie’s nice too, but there’s something wonderfully detailed about the novel that makes it a fun page-turner.

For a chance to dive into this and other stories, don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway before this coming Friday!

~Bjorn Munson, Artistic Director, JAT

Spring 2021 Book Giveaway: The Expanse

Now through March 19th, we’re banding with several other indie creators to give one lucky winner $300 worth of sci-fi and fantasy books.

I mentioned on Thursday that part of the fun is getting to share some of the stories you love, but another aspect is including stuff you’d like to win.

For this collection, that includes a boxed set of The Expanse, the series of space opera novels made into an the TV series of the same name.

I happen to love the TV series and am sad to hear we only get only one more season (as of this writing), so one of the things I plan to do once the TV series ends is revisit the story again in novel form. Past experience has taught me to enjoy the story in one medium at a time.

By all the accounts I’ve seen, people are quite happy with the TV adaptation, although they have moved characters and timelines around a bit to keep the ensemble cast relevant to the story. However, it sounds like there’s a lot deeper dives into the characters as you are able to do with a novel. I’d say “I can’t wait,” but obviously I can. There’s no reason you have to though.

For a chance to dive into this and other stories, don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway before this coming Friday!

~Bjorn Munson, Artistic Director, JAT

Spring 2021 Book Giveaway: Octavia Butler

Now through March 19th, we’re banding with several other indie creators to give one lucky winner $300 worth of sci-fi and fantasy books.

Part of the fun is talking with the other creators about what books to include. We all want to weigh in with books that we’ve loved and love to share.

Octavia Butler is one of those authors I love to share. Not unlike a lot of other Gen Xers, I absolutely filled up with stories from Asimov, Bradbury, and Clarke in my youth. And I’d sometimes suggest Bester as an alternate ‘B’ (so I laughed out loud when that joke was made on The Simpsons).

I would absolutely suggest Octavia Butler not only as another ‘B,’ but another author to check out if you haven’t already before. The first novel of hers I read, Wild Seed, was a centuries-spanning epic that I still think about. Next I tackled the Xenogenesis trilogy, and then Parable of the Sower which is part of prize package we have for this giveaway.

Butler’s protagonists are complex, imperfect, and driven in a very human way. The ideas about self and other and the worldbuilding can be dizzying at times, but always truthful.

For Parable of the Sower, readers might find it more than a bit timely. Written in the early 90s, it’s actually set in a 2020s full of climate crisis, wealth inequality, and corporate greed. This is the graphic novel version I hope to tempt my kids with at the right age. Perhaps you know of someone who’d like to check it out as well.

So, for this and other stories, don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway before next Friday!

~Bjorn Munson, Artistic Director, JAT

Spring Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Giveaway!

Spring is in the air and summer reading is fast behind, so –as with previous years– we’re joining with a host of other awesome indie creators in bringing you a giveaway of $300 worth of some of our favorite sci-fi and fantasy books.

We’ll be posting about some of our picks in the days ahead, but don’t wait to sign up for the giveaway! It ends Friday, March 19th!

(Some) American Podcasters: Prepare for Brood X!

We’re slowly recording our second season of Quorum using COVID precautions, which is stretching out our recording sessions into May, which led producer Bjorn Munson to realize we might need to content with Brood X aka the Seventeen-Year Cicada.

The constant hum is unmistakable.

You can check out this article written by Keith Matheny and Georgea Kovanis of the Detroit Free Press for more details.

Basically from roughly mid-May and for the following month or so, billions upon billions of these grape leaf-sized bugs will emerge and mate. Perhaps because of this single-minded obsession, they will ignore all ideas of social distancing. Now, they don’t have any stingers and are not poisonous, so despite their red-eyed appearance making them look like extras in an insect-themed eco-disaster movie, they’re harmless. If you have a dog, they’ll likely like the snacking options as you go on your walks.

But it’s the mating calls of billions of cicadas which is why we thought it’d be good for some of you audio producers to prepare. Because there’s sound-proofing and sound-prooding, and for those of you who don’t have a nice hermetically-sealed whisper room, you might want to plan your recordings accordingly!

Back to the Future with Audio Theater

The New York Times did a piece this past weekend about all sorts of old radio theater you can listen to on the Interwebs for free.

Old Time Radio aka Vintage Radio is, of course, one of the inspirations for Jabberwocky Audio Theater (along with Mind’s Eye productions and some others). So if you like old time radio, you should definitely check out what we suggested they check out: The Big Broadcast every Sunday from 7-11pm ET on WAMU 88.5 FM (luckily, they keep their shows archived for about four weeks so you can check things out).

And if you want to tell the Times that there’s a bunch of wonderful contemporary audio theater, hey, that’s good too.

Quorum Season Two is In Production!

Amazingly, this isn’t our whole cast from our virtual table readings in January

After plenty of time spent casting in the Fall, we returned from the holidays getting ready to product the second full season of Quorum (the first season and an ‘interlude’ are available to listen to already if you want to catch up).

The Gambler’s Tale: All That Glitters picks up with poker player and ad-hoc sleuth Jimmy Harmon almost a year later and in a new city, Los Angeles. While the city and its dangers might be new, you’ll find the mayhem and cliffhangers are what you’ve come to expect.

We have a cast of 28 actors voicing about 56 roles through a labyrinthine story that spans 10 episodes (just like season one). The picture above is from our virtual table read, which took two sessions considering it’s over 200 pages of script. That was late January.

Now we’re going through the slow, but steady process of recording each of those 28 actors. It’s a change from our usual style of gathering everyone together, but COVID demands we take those precautions — and we’ve been excited about the performances we’ve captured already.

Look for the next season of Quorum this Fall on WERA-LP 96.7 FM and on fine podcatchers everywhere.

Listen Live! Rogue Tyger – Episode 30: The End Run, Part 5 of 5

Join us on WERA-LP 96.7 FM just about now (4:15pm ET)  as we conclude our second season of Rogue Tyger.

Rogue Tyger cover by William R. Coughlan

Narrowly escaping enemy agents in the Imperial capital on Acheron, the crew of the Tyger search for a safe haven for themselves and Princess Nalini.

Cast (in order of speaking):

Announcer: William R. Coughlan
Nalini al Zamin: Sophia Medley
Taquermeraphan 651: William R. Coughlan
Shen Enling: Yasmin Tuazon
Tormar: Phil Amico
Aidan Vosky: Nick DePinto
Naveed: Neil Conway
Lady Shohreh: Samantha Merrick
Baker: Bjorn Munson
Grainne Kochowa: Erin Goldstein
Reg Macorum: Brooks Tegler
Grand Duke Khalil al-Zamin: Phil Amico
Crier: Matt Bostaph

Crew:

Recorded at Big Ben Studios by Matt Bostaph.
Music was composed by John Maestri and arranged by Jason Chmiola.
Supplemental Recording at Tohubohu Productions in Burke, Virginia.
Dialogue editing by Maurice Malde.
Sound effects editing by William R. Coughlan.
Written and directed by Bjorn Munson.

Listen to the Episode Live!

Length: 15:45
Rated AD-PG, so parental guidance is suggested. Contains sci-fi related action, nasty smells, alcohol drinking as Vic fully avails himself of an open bar, and sudden, but inevitable betrayal.

Rated AD-PG (Audio Drama “PG”)

Listen Live! Rogue Tyger – Episode 29: The End Run, Part 4 of 5

Join us on WERA-LP 96.7 FM just about now (4:00pm ET)  as we continue our second season of Rogue Tyger.

Rogue Tyger cover by William R. Coughlan

In space, amid the wrecks of hundreds of past space battles, the Tyger faces an enemy armada. Beneath the Imperial capital on Acheron Prime, the remaining crew try and get Princess Nalini to safety.

Cast (in order of speaking):

Announcer: William R. Coughlan
Aidan Vosky: Nick DePinto
Shen Enling: Yasmin Tuazon
Nalini al Zamin: Sophia Medley
Taquermeraphan 651: William R. Coughlan
Tormar: Phil Amico
Grainne Kochowa: Erin Goldstein
Reg Macorum: Brooks Tegler
Jochi Bortay: Bjorn Munson
Sylvia Malabar: Carol McCaffrey
Redback # 1: Neil Conway
Redback # 2: Corporal Wilhelm
Goon: Brooks Tegler
Vic Ratha: Francis Abbey

Crew:

Recorded at Big Ben Studios by Matt Bostaph.
Music was composed by John Maestri and arranged by Jason Chmiola.
Supplemental Recording at Tohubohu Productions in Burke, Virginia.
Dialogue editing by Maurice Malde.
Sound effects editing by William R. Coughlan.
Written and directed by Bjorn Munson.

Listen to the Episode Live!

Length: 12:49
Rated AD-PG, so parental guidance is suggested. Contains sci-fi related action and peril — and Aidan almost says a naughty word.

Rated AD-PG (Audio Drama “PG”)