content by

Susan Dunman

Being Dead Can’t Stop this Ace Detective: Death Warmed Over (Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.) by Kevin J. Anderson

“Cases don’t solve themselves.” That’s the motto of Private Investigator Dan Chambeaux, both before and after his untimely murder by an unknown assailant. The gunshot to the back of his head by a .32 caliber pistol left a fairly nasty exit wound on his forehead, but if he pulls his fedora down low, no one is the wiser.

As a newly risen zombie, Dan is determined to identify his murderer and bring him or her to justice, which is why he immediately lumbers back to his office from the graveyard. There he finds things just as he left them, so he continues his previous investigations with Robin, his lawyer-partner, and Sheyenne, his deceased girlfriend who is now a poltergeist settling in as the office secretary.

[Dead clients can be so demanding]

A Different Kind of Audiobook. Foreshadows: The Ghosts of Zero

Stories have always been a source of inspiration for musicians, but this illustrated cyberpunk anthology turns the tables by using music as an idea catalyst for the authors of these stories. A group of twenty-eight authors, musicians and graphic artists have combined their talents under the name of “The Very Us Artists” to create Foreshadows. It’s a near-future world that is dark and gritty, but not without hope.

For this project, the musicians got first crack at describing the Foreshadows world. How will life change as society continues to deteriorate, mega-corporations vie for world dominance, and technology blurs reality with fantasy? Nineteen songs later, the music-makers had their answers and then invited various authors to select a song they liked and write a story to go along with it, reflecting that author’s perception of Foreshadows society. This unique approach gives those who purchase the book an intriguing bonus, as all of the songs are included on a CD in the back of the book. Those who prefer to download an e-book will receive the text and an MP3 file of the music.

[Every song has its story …]

Born for Mars: Spaceman

A new Vertigo mini-series from DC Comics brings together the talents of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso (of 100 Bullets fame) to tell the story of Orson, a would-be astronaut genetically engineered to travel to Mars. But in this near-future world (disturbingly much like our own) the economy has collapsed and the space program is eliminated. Orson is reduced to scavenging for scrap metal from derelict ships floating in a no-man’s zone rife with pirates and other undesirables. His one-man salvage trawler isn’t in much better shape than the junk he collects, making each day a struggle to survive.

[Singing the spaceman blues…]

Reading at the Speed of Sound: The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor

Philip Blake had no plans to become a sadistic tyrant when the world changed into a feeding ground for the undead. In fact, before the outbreak of the zombie plague, Philip is just a good ol’ boy from Georgia with some anger management issues and a seven-year-old daughter whom he adores.

When folks begin turning into “biters,” Philip rounds up a couple of friends, his older brother, Brian, and Penny, his precious daughter. Together they head out toward Atlanta, a rumored safe-haven against the ever-growing zombie horde.

Those who can’t get enough Walking Dead from the television show and/or the comic series will truly appreciate this imaginative exploration of how The Governor came to be. Co-authors Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, along with narrator Fred Berman, immerse listeners in a physically and psychologically horrifying landscape of violence perpetrated by humans and non-humans alike. The result is a dark, mesmerizing journey which transforms Philip Blake into what will become The Governor.

[Shuffling feet and an audio clip…]

Reading at the Speed of Sound: Go Mutants!

It’s tough being a teenager. It’s even tougher being an unappreciated alien living on Earth. And when, like J!m, you’re both of these things at the same time, there’s enough adolescent angst to nuke the planet. In fact, nuking the planet is exactly what humanity did years earlier in order to defeat an alien invasion led by J!m’s father. Now, J!m and his mother live in a run-down section of town and try not to attract attention.

Unfortunately, that’s not easy when you look like J!m, with his blue-gray skin, periwinkle lips, independently rotational ears, and “his forehead was quite high, approximately ten inches, and bulging with brains, but even this evoked the slick upswept hairstyle favored by singers and delinquents, without the hair. A girl with enough imagination might find him attractive in a rugged, sun-dried sort of way. The girls at J!m’s school did not possess that much imagination.”


It’s a Whole New World: Flashpoint #1

It’s usually not a good idea to sleep on the job, no matter how hard you’ve been working to crack the case. But when Central City Crime Scenes Investigator Barry Allen (aka the Flash) wakes up, he finds there’s a lot more to worry about than a screaming boss. For starters, he’s lost his superpowers and no one has ever heard of the Flash, Superman, or the Justice League. But folks do know about Batman, whose proprietorship of the famous Wayne Casinos seems to be more important than his role as Caped Crusader.

[Read more…]

Blast From the Past: Superman vs Muhammad Ali

Two undisputed champions are forced to fight it out when alien invaders demand a title match between Earth’s greatest fighters. The winner will face their own champion, a muscle-bound behemoth bio-engineered to pound others into the ground. And the stakes couldn’t be higher for this fist-fest—the fate of planet Earth rests on who is declared the final winner.

Originally released in 1978, this story was published in a special, oversized edition. Illustrated by Neal Adams and co-written with Denny O’Neil, it became an instant classic and it’s easy to see why. The colorful artwork is action-packed and instantly grabs your attention, plus the portrayal of Muhammad Ali is a class act all around. In November, 2010, DC Comics released this title again, in its original size in hardcover facsimile and deluxe editions. 

[Ladies and Gentlemen and…Things]

Reading at the Speed of Sound, Episode 6: The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but somebody’s got a grudge against Santa and The Fat Man may not be around when it’s time to load up the sleigh. This hard-boiled detective novel comes straight from Kringle Town, delivering a holiday mashup that uses humor to carry a unique story of the meaning of Christmas. The 11-minute podcast includes clips from the audiobook and comments from narrator Johnny Heller and author Ken Harmon. Be sure and give a listen!

Librarian by day, at night Susan is the audiobook reviews editor for SF Site. For more info about audiobooks, visit her site at Audiobook DJ.

Reading at the Speed of Sound, Episode 5: Starstruck by Elaine Lee

When an influential prime minister is abducted from her home planet, it’s time for the United Federation of Female Freedom Fighters to step in and save the day. Saving the day will not be easy, but it’s definitely easy to get a kick out of listening to this audio adaptation of an Off-Broadway play that eventually became a comic book series. AudioComics brings this comical send-up of sci-fi to life and the podcast offers clips from the audio drama, as well as a discussion from some of the performers sharing their thoughts about the production. Be sure and give a listen!

Librarian by day, at night Susan is the audiobook reviews editor for SF Site. For more info about audiobooks, visit her site at Audiobook DJ.

Finding Earth’s Secret History: Absolute Planetary: Book One

It’s a strange world—so says Elijah Snow, and he should know. He’s been recruited by a mysterious organization called Planetary to assist in its efforts to uncover Earth’s secret history. The pay’s not bad at one million dollars a year for life, especially considering Elijah has already lived 100 years, while aging only half that number.

The enigmatic Snow has many other secrets, as do his two new team members, Jakita Wagner and The Drummer. As the three of them carry out the clandestine plans of Planetary, they become increasingly intrigued by the artifacts uncovered from their efforts in “mystery archeology.” Unbelievable secrets are revealed as the group methodically works to map the secret history of the 20th century.

[Secrets are for sharing]

Reading at the Speed of Sound Podcast, Episode 4: Audiobook Review of Alan Goldsher’s Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion

Alan is a life-long Beatles fan who decides to write the definitive oral history of the zombie Beatles. Risking life and limb for interviews and tell-all stories, he delivers the goods about a brain-obsessed band and their blood- soaked rise up the charts. This hilarious mashup offers an ingenious take on the Beatles legend and narrator Simon Vance brings it to life (or death, depending on your perspective) with an incredible audio performance. This review includes clips from the audiobook, as well as comments from the narrator and author. Be sure and give a listen!



Librarian by day, at night Susan is the audiobook reviews editor for SF Site. For more info about audiobooks, visit her site, AudiobookDJ.

Reading at the Speed of Sound Podcast, Episode 3: Audiobook Review of Dexter Palmer’s The Dream of Perpetual Motion

Harold Winslow finds himself floating high above the city of Xeroville in a magnificent zeppelin with only the disembodied voice of his childhood sweetheart and the frozen corpse of her father to keep him company. Of course, there’s also the crew of mechanical men who work tirelessly to keep the machine flying forever, but they’re not much company. In a situation like this, Harold has plenty of time to reflect on the circumstances which brought him to this point. Narrator William Dufris skillfully tells Harold’s tale, giving each character a voice that feels right for this machine-age world and its increasingly unbalanced inhabitants.

Librarian by day, at night Susan is the audiobook reviews editor for SF Site. For more info about audiobooks, visit her site, AudiobookDJ.


Reading at the Speed of Sound Podcast, Episode 2: Audiobook Review of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

When Alice first followed that rabbit, I’ll bet she had no idea her story would be as popular today as it was back when it was first heard in 1862.  Because it was originally told by Charles Dodgson to three girls (including one named Alice) during a boating trip, what better way to experience it again today than by listening to the story? And although I’m sure Dodgson did a lovely job entertaining his young audience, I’m willing to bet he didn’t sound quite as good as Michael York, the narrator for this audio production.


Librarian by day, at night Susan is the audiobook reviews editor for SF Site. For more info about audiobooks, check out her site, AudiobookDJ.

Reading at the Speed of Sound Podcast, Episode 1: Audiobook Review of The Sword-Edged Blonde

Imagine  Sam Spade in a medieval fantasy, decked out in tunic and broadsword. That incarnation would be a dead ringer for Eddie LaCrosse, the no-nonsense detective who tells this genre-bending tale with a cool confidence that would make any Private Investigator proud, no matter the time or place. Clips from the audiobook help give you an idea of how the production actually sounds. Give it a listen!


Librarian by day, at night Susan is the audiobook reviews editor for SF Site. For more info about audiobooks, check out her site at AudiobookDJ.

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