Across the Zodiac : The Story of a Wrecked Record

Willy Ley encountered this Mars story in a German translation, and, failing to find the English original (possibly hampered by looking for it under the title Beyond the Zodiac, but Percy Greg was apparently a well-known English author), considered that it might be actually German.  The confusion was not helped by the fact that author Greg presents himself as translating a found manuscript.  Sam Moskowitz considers it the genesis of the Mars romance so characteristic of the early period of modern science fiction.

Continue reading “Across the Zodiac : The Story of a Wrecked Record”

Armageddon 2419 AD

Philip Francis Nowlan

This novel was edited together from two novelettes (one with the same title, the other entitled The Airlords of Han) which appeared in 1928—29.  The first part, in fact, was published in the same issue of Amazing Stories as the first part of The Skylark of Space.  And that’s why I’ve chosen to read it now, rather than later.

There is also a 1978 version available, “specially revised and updated for the modern reader” (or rather, heavily rewritten) by of all people “noted science fiction critic and Hugo Award winning author Spider Robinson”. I missed my chance to ask him about this at the Kansas City Worldcon, where he was Guest of Honor.


Money is the sincerest form of flattery.

The Skylark of Space

Edward Elmer Smith, PhD
and Lee Hawkins Garby

There is a sense in which Skylark is the science fiction novel.  Its influence on the whole genre cannot be overstated.  It launched the writing career of “Doc” Smith, and pioneered any number of things which became cliche later.  As a result, I’m really pleased to have read it for you — and not at all pleased by the technical problems which left the recording sounding as though I was at the bottom of a well the whole time!


Continue reading “The Skylark of Space”


Various Authors

In 1933—34, a “round robin” novel, with each successive chapter by a different author, was published in the fanzines Science Fiction Digest & Fantasy Magazine.  I first encountered the chapters by A. Merritt and Doc Smith in anthologies of their respective works.  It so happens that Doc’s chapter is a direct sequel to Merritt’s, which made it obvious to see what was going on, & led me to suspect the existence of more stories. Continue reading “Cosmos”

The Moon Pool

Abraham Merritt

I have now recorded The Moon Pool, by Abraham Merritt.  It was a gruelling effort, requiring more than 10 hours.  But that means plenty of shows!


  • 2017-02-17, HNtW 008, Foreword, Chapters 1—4 (no show on the 14th owing to my error)
  • 2017-02-21, HNtW 009, Chapters 5—8
  • 2017-02-24, HNtW 010, Chapters 9—11
  • 2017-02-28, HNtW 011, Chapters 12—15
  • 2017-03-03, HNtW 012, Chapters 16—18, plus introduction by Silverberg to U. of Nebraska Press edition
  • 2017-03-07, HNtW 013, Chapters 19 & 20, plus New York Times book review
  • 2017-03-10, HNtW 014, Chapters 21—23, plus beginning of Part 3 of Citadel of Lost Ships by Leigh Brackett
  • 2017-03-14, HNtW 015, Chapters 24—26, and remainder of Citadel of Lost Ships Part 3.
  • 2017-03-17, HNtW 016, Chapters 27—29, and a brief discussion of Auf Zwei Planeten by Kurd Lasswitz, courtesy of Willy Ley.
  • 2017-03-21, HNtW 017, Chapters 30—33, and a brief discussion of the powers of two.
  • 2017-03-24, HNtW 018, Chapters 34 & 35, concluding The Moon Pool, and Parts 4 & 5 of Citadel of Lost Ships, which thus also concludes.
  • 2019-04-02, HNtW 058, Chapters 1—3 of the novelette The Moon Pool, as published in All–Story Weekly, 22 June 1918 (rebroadcast 2020-04-21 to correct order of segments)
  • 2019-04-05, HNtW 059, Chapters 4—7, completing the novelette

Continue reading “The Moon Pool”

A Princess of Mars

Edgar Rice Burroughs
(as Norman or Normal Bean)

It’s hard to say anything about Burroughs’ classic yarn, the foundation of the “planetary adventure” genre, that hasn’t been said before, elsewhere, and better.  But think!  It was the first story he ever sold, and if he had never written any more, would probably still be remembered as a landmark.

This was the first book I read & recorded for this project, and the original recording is quite rough. When I decided to read the two immediate sequels, The Gods of Mars and The Warlord of Mars (all three novels were bound together by the University of Nebraska Press in an attractive omnibus edition entitled Under the Moons of Mars, the title under which “Princess” was serialized in All-Story Magazine), I chose to read all three books in order, and make my re-recording of A Princess of Mars a Patreon exclusive.


Continue reading “A Princess of Mars”

Hear Now the Words!

This is in the nature of an experiment, albeit a protracted one.

Having come up with the idea of “live–action audiobooks”, or live–streaming myself reading, I realized that the recordings I was making in the process could be edited & sent out later as audio transmissions.  aNONradio seemed like an ideal venue for this, in no small part because of its archive feature.

This is, then, a long–form spoken-word program, consisting mostly of my reading of classic science–fiction novels.  I hope you enjoy!

  • aNONradio timeslot :  15h UTC, Tuesdays and Fridays
  • Streaming on Toobnix : planned for 2200 UTC Sundays, ending with a call–in period during aNONradio OpenVoIP (listen for announcements)
  • PayPal : encourage the storyteller by leaving a tip
  • Patreon campaign :  tip the storyteller on a recurring monthly basis, and receive rewards — at the lowest tier, $1/month, you can download the individual story chapters (some free samples are available here)
  • Twitch streaming :  discontinued now that Toobnix is working
Major works read so far :
Shorter works read so far (as fillers, et cetera) :
  • Citadel of Lost Ships, Leigh Brackett (shows 002, 004, 005, 007, 014, 015, 018)
  • Shambleau, C.L. Moore (shows 038, 039)
  • Lorelei of the Red Mists, Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury (shows 040, 041, 042)
  • The Blind Spot, Austin Hall and Homer Eon Flint ― this is actually a full novel, but I have read only the first 10 000 words so far (show 060)
  • Columbus Was a Dope by Robert A Heinlein ― perhaps his shortest story, and I did not seek the permission of his literary estate before reading it, but I don’t think they’re going to be too harsh to me. Live and unedited here.
  • A Sherlock of the Skies (1912) by Rene Mansfield ― live and unedited (with illustrations and re–typed text) here.
  • The Flying Scarab and the Seventh Heaven (1911) by the same Mansfield, here.
Related and Incidental Material