Most of these are classics, meaning more than 50 years old, although some are noticeably more recent; but there are so many excellent books included here that pretty much everyone will find goodies for their ears and brain. The collection of links is from Openculture’s Free Audiobooks Archive, and it includes the works of Issac Asimov, JG Ballard, Frank L. Baum, Jorge Luis Borges, Ray Bradbury, William S. Burroughs, Lewis Carroll, G.K. Chesterton, Arthur C. Clarke, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Philip K. Dick… and that only takes us through a few of my favorites out of the first four letters of the alphabet. You can stream these in realtime or download them to load into your favorite media player or burn them to disc if you still have a CD player in your vehicle. There are a ton of free radio drama/audio book resources available online, and this one is a great way to get started.
In honor of the 5oth anniversary, the folks at Future Publishing are hosting a competition for AudioGO, formerly BBC Audiobooks, and they are giving away 50 Doctor Who audio presentations, 25 CDs and 25 digital downloads. These are actually Audiobooks, with a single person reading a novelization, Radio Plays, with a full cast, sound effects, interlude music, and the whole nine yards, Soundtracks from the original TV series with narration to fill in the missing visuals, and several other formats. Some of the soundtracks are from episodes that have only survived in audio form, with the full original cast. They have literally hundreds of them, they have been doing Doctor Who audio stories from the beginning and are still cranking them out. To get and idea what kind of things they involve, you can download the free sampler and listen to 45 minutes worth of excerpts from all the different kinds of programs they produce. The only bad news for this contest is it is only open to residents of the UK (if I was reading the rules correctly), but even if you don’t live there you should grab the free sampler and check out some of the amazing stories you can collect.
The Locus Awards have been handed out for the last 33 years, and often predict who will end up being nominated each year for the Hugo Awards, the prime fan chosen set, and the Nebula Awards, the main industry selected prize group. I should probably also mention that the Nebula Awards will be handed out next weekend in San Jose, CA. for this year. The reason I bring this up is that Worlds Without End posted a wonderful icon/graphics-driven listing of the Locus Fantasy Awards from the beginning on. As usual with such listings, you should look through it for books and stories you might have missed, because these represent some of the best tales created in the last handful of decades.