Summer Reading Giveaway: The Spice Always Flows

As readers of the mailing list and the blog entries earlier this week know, we’re doing a Summer Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Bundle Giveaway.

One of the books I felt compelled to pitch –and which is in the giveaway– is Frank Herbert’s Dune. I confess, I first encountered Dune in the form of the hot mess that is the ‘84 David Lynch movie. It was cut and crafted into a holiday blockbuster form that turned out to be just a bust, but it wasn’t for me when I first saw it in the theater. Amid the weirding modules and other embellishments, the distinct worldbuilding of Herbert came through for me.

Here we had a future that also felt ancient. People’s actions were dictated not only by what happened in the plot, but because of an array of factions scheming against one another (listeners of Rogue Tyger will definitely recognize the notion of “great houses.”).

When I finally got around to reading the book some years later, I gained a whole new appreciation for the depth of the worldbuilding. Some of that is captured by the 2000 mini-series. I often think an ideal version would be the ’84 cast doing the 2000 script. Of course, next year, there will be a new version that I’m looking forward to given the director’s previous sci-fi efforts.

Of course, there’s still the book which is part of the giveaway that runs until July 12th. More inspirations tomorrow.

~Bjorn Munson, Jabberwocky Audio Theater

Summer Reading Giveaway: Inspiration and The Expanse

As mentioned yesterday, we’re joining forces with a bunch of other creators for a Summer Reading Giveaway which, just like us, is focused on science fiction and fantasy.

One of the things I like to do, when we all make suggestions on what goes into the gift package, is to pick items that I’d really love to get for myself.

Now, since it’s all about books, one of the books in the bundle someone will win includes Leviathan Wakes, the first of what is currently eight novels, with a ninth slated for next year.

The authors (James S.A. Corey is a pen name for Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) give us a sprawling, yet ultimately human story of Earth beginning to move beyond its home into the solar system.

I know this because of being an avid watcher and fan of the TV series which started on SyFy and has, thankfully, been picked up by Amazon. It’s my plan to, whenever the series ends, to start the novel series and the enjoy the story all over again from a new angle.

Although Rogue Tyger is far more fantastical than the pervading hard sci-fi elements on display in The Expanse show (they are very aware of gravity and real-life physics, for two examples), the characters and the larger actions of the society around them are definitely inspirations. There’s also a character we’ll meet in the season two finale of Rogue Tyger that I named back in 2010 for an actor who now appears in The Expanse. I feel vindicated and I love whenever I see ’em on screen. You’ll know it when you hear their name.

Anyway, if you were to win the summer book bundle, perhaps your interplanetary journey with the crew of the Rocinante could begin now. Remember, the giveaway only lasts until July 12th.

~Bjorn Munson, Jabberwocky Audio Theater

New Giveaway –A Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Collection– Runs through July 12

As those of you who subscribe to our mailing list know, we’re in summer reading mode with another giveaway.

We’ve teamed up with a bunch of other awesome independent writers and artists to give someone a treasure trove of beloved, award-winning sci-fi and fantasy books!

Read ’em yourself for the first time or fifth time or give some as gifts.

Over the next week and a half, I’ll be posting a series of articles on a number of my favorite and formative sci-fi and fantasy books.

Jabberwocky: What’s in a Name?

We’re closing in on the end of our Alice in Wonderland giveaway (it ends this Friday), so I figured we’d do one more Alice-inspired article. One question we may not have answered on this site is why it’s called Jabberwocky Audio Theater.

The most immediate answer would be that JAT takes its name from Team Jabberwocky, my production company. But then, you ask, why did I name my company “Team Jabberwocky?”

Well, the “team” part is easy. Any theater or film project is assembling a team or sorts. And back in 2004, I was planning to assemble a team for the 48 Hour Film Project. I knew I wanted “Team Something,” but what was the something?

I recalled that when I was doing classical theater, I often warmed up my voice reciting “Jabberwocky” the poem by Lewis Carroll. Your average Shakespeare play has a host of words you generally don’t bandy about with in everyday life (apart from the fellow theater geek reading this and saying, “That’s not true!”). It’s also fun to recite, to feel the words move around in your mouth, to try and press here and there and imbue the meaning into terms that Carroll made up and make sure they sound true (because, of course, ‘frabjous’ and other terms are wonderfully truthful and sound like they mean).

So I decided on Team Jabberwocky and, when it came time to form a company, that’s the name I chose. It has a touch of the fantastical without taking ourselves too seriously (though we do take our productions seriously).

So there you go. In part, because of the whimsy and inventiveness inherent in Carroll’s work on the Alice books, that’s why we’ll eventually be doing an adaptation of them and why the Alice in Wonderland giveaway is part of our promotions right now as we await the debut of our 2019 season.

I’ll close with a recital of “Jabberwocky” by Christopher Lee, who did such a wonderful job of voicing the creature himself in the Tim Burton movie (I shared a clip yesterday). Enjoy!

~ Bjorn Munson
Artistic Director

The Many Voices in Alice

One of the reasons we’re so keen to do an adaptation (maybe a couple of adaptions) of the Alice books is because we know our company of actors will dive into the various voices with relish.

So even if we hold off on the musical version of Alice in Wonderland we talked about yesterday, we know we could have no end of fun with characters like the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, and so many additional characters that are often cut from the feature film adaptions (the books can be quite episodic, which we think will lend itself to an audio mini-series.

Of course, there are all the visuals we don’t get, but rewatching the various films as we got ready for the Alice in Wonderland giveaway, I really enjoyed Sterling Holloway’s take on the Cheshire Cat. I know he’s most often thought of as the voice of Winnie-the-Pooh, but his distinctive voice is just right in all sorts of roles.

Of course the modern Tim Burton films are so visual effects-heavy, that they’re almost animated films in and of themselves… and again, they have some great vocal talent. Listen, for example, to the oft underrated, never duplicated Christopher Lee as the Jabberwock:

I should mention that all three of the films are part of the giveaway we’re running, which ends this Friday, so certainly sign up if you’re feeling a little mad.

~Bjorn Munson
Artistic Director

The Sound of Mad Music

We mentioned in last week’s Alice in Wonderland giveaway announcement is that one of the reasons we think it’s a great fit is both are name and that we’re almost certainly going to do an adaptation of the Alice books sooner rather than later.

One of the ideas we’ve been thinking about is doing it as a full-blown musical version, possibly availing ourselves of JAT regular Brooks Tegler, whom you might recall contributed some great jazz music to Quorum.

What you may not know is the Disney Alice in Wonderland created its own jazz standard in the form of the theme.

When we realized that, we realized a very jazz-based Alice in Wonderland might just be what we should aim for. What do you all think?

Oh, and don’t delay on the giveaway. It only lasts until this Friday, February 8th.

Some of the giveaway prizes...

Tuesdays Make Great Unbirthdays!

Chesire Cat
I mean, if you’re reading this on Tuesday. If not, other days work as unbirthdays too!

So many of you have discovered us thanks to the Doctor Who Giveaway we participated in last year, so when it came for many of the same indie creators decided to do an Alice in Wonderland-themed giveaway, we had to join in.

It’s rather in our name, after all.

Goodies goodies goodies

Not only that, if you’ve been keeping up on our news, we’re going to go more fully into fairy tales and fantasy later this year with the debut of two new anthology series: Though the Looking Glass (guess where we got that title from?) and Through a Glass, Darkly.

Frankly, we’re kind of tempted by all the goodies one could win, so we hope some of you are too (and even if you don’t win, you’ll learn about all sorts of cool indie fantasy creators and their works. But don’t be late! The giveaway ends on February 8th.

More goodies.

Delia Derbyshire and the Doctor Who Theme

A good theme song gets you into the mood for the show ahead. We love John Maestri’s theme for Rogue Tyger to that end.

What with the current Doctor Who sweepstakes we’re supporting, we thought of the memorable Doctor Who theme in all its incarnations over the decades.

Josh Jones over at Open Culture has a nice piece linking to some videos which gives you some of the background on the creation of the original theme — along with a montage of all the variations of the theme.

We’re looking forward to see how they’re going to adjust the theme for the newest Doctor.

In the meantime, if you like the idea of winning $250 worth of Doctor Who swag, the sweepstakes closes this coming Tuesday, July 17th.

Doctor Who Giveaway!

In case some of you haven’t listened to JAT Chat #1, one of the influences for the format of Rogue Tyger and its cliffhanger endings was the classic Doctor Who serials.

So when the opportunity came to team up with a bunch of other indie creators for a Doctor Who sweepstakes, we said yes! We’re lovers of Doctor Who in one form or another and it’s found a way into our writing. We are also all looking to find new readers (or in our case, listeners), so that’s our insidious master plan. Nothing like the Daleks.

To sign up, go ahead and visit this site before July 17th.