Go Listen: Michael A. Stackpole Interview

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Another great author interview. This time J.C. Hutchins interviews Michael A. Stackpole. It covers writing, podcasting, Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, and more.

Podiobooks and Free e-books Harmful?

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Flametoad seems to thinks so (found via TeleRead). He suggests that authors like Cory Doctorow, JC Hutchins and Scott Sigler are devaluing the audiobook and e-book formats, and buying the p-book is “paying for the paper because the content has no value”

I don’t see it. Perhaps these authors value readers. After all, what value does you work have if no one has read it? Cory Doctorow’s books keep showing up in the bookstore. In fact IDW recently bought the rights to do a series of comics based on his works even though the license for those works allows anyone to create such comics non-commercially. Scott Sigler recently managed to sell quite a few copies of his new print book recently. Heck, I bought two (one as a gift).

I have both an audible.com and a podiobooks.com account. Do I value one over the other? Not really. I don’t think most people equate free with no value. Not anymore, if they ever did.

Assassination, Explosions, and Clones! Oh my!

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

I recently finished listening to this podiobook, and I wanted to share my thoughts. But before I jump in, let’s get the “What is a podiobook?” thing out of the way. Podiobooks are audiobooks made available via a podcast feed. More simply, podiobooks are audiobooks available for download online, usually free of charge. They’re the audiobook equivalent to print on demand, in a way.

The book opens with the assassination of the President of the United States by a four year old boy. It’s a powerful scene. The story then shifts to tell the story of seven men, who are all abducted out of their lives by armed men. It’s not until they are all together in one place that it becomes clear that they are, in fact, clones. They’ve been collected together to help track down the person they were cloned from (referred to as John Alpha). Alpha is in some way behind the assassination of the President.

The seven men are the results of an experiment, not only in cloning human bodies, but in memory cloning as well. The scientists at 7th Son have developed a way to take a snapshot of a persons memories, and upload them into another persons mind, wiping it clean. This explains why the seven clones all have the same memories up to a certain point in their lives. As the book progresses we learn of further variations of this technology in use.

I really enjoyed listening to this. The story held my interest, and the author did a good job reading it. He’s obviously not a pro audiobook reader, but I never found his reading distracted from the story in any way. As someone who listens to audiobooks regularly I’m not the hugest fan of the serialized podcast audiobook, but thanks to Podiobooks.com I was able to subscribe to the book from the beginning and wait until it was complete before starting listening.

My only complaint is that although it’s obvious from the Book 1 in the title that the story is not complete, I expected a bit more of a solid ending to this “book”. But the first 19 chapters Book 2 are already available, and I’m excited to start listening to it soon. If any of this sounds even vaguely interesting, I recommend you give it a try. It’s free, so what do you have to loose? Still on the fence? Give this promo a listen.