Sunday, June 29, 2014

Are You Listening?

My drive to work has been much enriched by listening to podcasts. And I've recently added to that enjoyment by adding radio plays to my journeys.

I must have been 16 or so when I found out one of the radio stations was going to broadcast a BBC adaptation of one of my favourite books, Asimov's Foundation. It was on around midday, and I happened to be home. I threw a cassette tape into Dad's stereo and recorded it.

Unfortunately, what I didn't realise until the end of the broadcast was that this was only one part of an eight part series, and the rest would be played while I was at school. I played that tape a great deal but was never able to hear the rest. Later, of course, I heard Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (albeit in the abridged format on vinyl) and loved that as well.

I've started listening to Foundation again. I've transferred my Hitchhiker's Guide to mp3 ready for the future. And I've delved well into the past and downloaded a bunch of episodes of Dimension X from the 1950s. This series features a lot of well known stories by famous writers.

The BBC currently has Dangerous Visions, a series of SF radio plays. The most recent being Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.

And on the near horizon stands Night Terrace, an Australian production featuring some well known Australian talent.

Radio plays suit SF so well. I find they don't date as much as many old TV shows, as the visual aspects are left to the listener's imagination.

Mostly, they take the the monotony out of a daily drive. I'm on two weeks' term break now, most of which will be devoted to writing. But when I need a break from words on the screen, a short radio play and a coffee will re-energise me.

Any other radio play suggestions?

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