Sci-Five Shorties 02 – “Saya’s Last Gasp”

Did you know I co-present a podcast called SCI-FIVE where we investigate all things SF in approximately 5 mins?  No, well, I do, and it is up to episode 62 already…you should go take a listen:

CLICKY HERE FOR THE PODCAST SITE

Recently we have launched the SCI-FIVE SHORTIES, a series of 4-8 minute new SF themed short stories.  I’ve written a few, and for those interested here is the second one, plus the audio link if you are interested in listening:

“SAYA’S LAST GASP” by Neil Gardner

          ‘Bugger!’ Saya shouted as her fingers, encased in their heavy-work gloves, slipped another few inches. ‘Bugger, bugger, bugger!’ Slip, slip, slip.

There are few, if any, good places to find yourself hanging on to by your fingertips, but for Saya, right now, she couldn’t think of any that could be worse.

‘THREE MINUTES TO ACTIVATION’ the robotic computer voice sounded in her ears, her telepathic communication link to the ship still working in one-direction.  Damn it, why couldn’t they hear her?!

‘Buggeration, buggery, bugger!’ she continued to swear, loudly.  She knew no-one could hear her, but the profanity helped keep her calm, and she kind of enjoyed the idea of what someone would think if they were to suddenly be able to hear her.  The thought of a stream of invective roaring around the ship’s telepathic PA system gave her a momentary diversion, before her mind refocused on her predicament.

This was such a stupid, typically-her way to die.  ‘It couldn’t happen to anyone else, could it?’ Saya thought to herself, the joints in her fingers screaming in agony, the gloves gradually slipping further. Why had she even volunteered to do the job?  She was no system specialist, and she certainly wasn’t the best at zero-g working.  Then there was her habit of losing all sense of direction once outside in space, and of course her general dislike of the cumbersome heavy-work space suits.  Combine all that with her clumsiness, lack of balance and all-round inability to do anything right, and Saya quickly realised just why she was stuck where she was stuck.

‘This is the Captain speaking,’ the warm, mellifluous voice had come over the PA. ‘As you all know we are soon to enter Relativity Drive for the jump to our next destination.  However, the onboard systems tell me that we have 1042 minor faults that need to be repaired before we make the jump.  Since we are on a strict schedule, and the engineering teams need to focus on the most complex tasks, I need volunteers to help fix the small stuff.  If you would like to help, and earn a gratitude chit for your assistance, please telpath my office before 0600. Captain out.’

Saya was a good person.  She cared about her job, her ship and her crewmates.  But sadly she hadn’t made a good impression, ever since she joined up four Relativity jumps ago.  She had been hired as a junior systems analyst and assistant, but it had become very clear, very early on that she had lied on her application.  She had basic systems knowledge, gleaned from years spent in salvage yards and on steamer ships doing the intra-system runs, but she had no clue how a Relativity Cruiser worked.  So she had been downgraded to second assistant environmental systems apprentice, lost two-thirds of her pay, been forced to move in to a shared dormitory with 5 other apprentices, and generally got the scummy end of the hydro-mop.

‘TWO MINUTES TO ACTIVATION’ the computer droned.

She had jumped at the chance to show the Captain and crew that she was made of better stuff, and to earn that gratitude chit.  She was already at MINUS 16 gratitude chits (a new ship record) and desperately wanted to break even before she was inevitably thrown off the ship.

And so she had telpathed her request to volunteer, and then she had waited.  And waited, and waited some more.  Eventually the Captain’s office telpathed to say there was one job left, it was on the outside of the ship’s hull and needed next to no skills except the ability to hold on, turn a spanner clockwise and climb back aboard before the jump occurred.

Saya, although scared and worried about a zero-g external excursion, headed for the appointed airlock, got her instructions from the bored and less-than-amiable engineering assistant, climbed into her heavy-work space suit and headed out in to space.  Sadly she banged her helmet on the steel-girdered airlock door, and broke her telpath antennae, thereby missing the engineering assistant’s hurried warning to ‘Stay clipped on to the guide rail’.

Once outside the ship, Saya had worked her way towards the small hatchport that needed 3 of its 4 locking bolts refastened.  She had a small digital heads-up display in her helmet counting down the minutes until the ship would blast in to Relativity Drive and span the vast distance to its next port of call.  She sill had 30 minutes to get the job done and get back inside the ship. ‘No worries, easy as anything,’ she had told herself.  But while confident in her ability to tighten 3 locking bolts in no time at all, she was starting to get concerned as to why she couldn’t hear anything from the ship’s telepathic PA system.  She should have been getting all sorts of messages and updates.  She ran a quick diagnostic on her suit and was dismayed to see that it was damaged.  The telpath comms system was broken.  the onboard diagnostics was able to get the system working in one-direction only. ‘Oh well, its not like they need to hear from me, is it?’ Saya had told herself.

‘ONE MINUTE TO ACTIVATION’ came the voice of the computer

Quite how she had forgotten to attach herself to the guide rail, Saya couldn’t think.  And why she hadn’t remembered that she was using a power-wrench, she really couldn’t say.  But put those two things together, add in the build-up momentum of the ship as it prepped for its Relativity Jump, and you ended up with Saya, gripping on for her life, to the exterior hull of a spaceship, slipping towards the engine mounts and about to be either [a] left behind to float in space until she died of asphyxiation, or [b] fall into the engine mounts just as the Relativity Drive powered up and she was atomised in an instant.

‘Bugger me, bugger me, bugger me! Won’t SOMEONE hear me?  Please, I need help! Don’t fire up the engines. I’m still out here….’ she screamed, gasping for breath, desperate to be heard.  She felt the vibrations in the hull building, her gloved hands slipping.  She screamed once more…

‘Oh come on you bastards, you must know I am here…help!’

The Relativity Drive powered up.

‘Oh bugger,’ she gasped.

(c) Neil Gardner, 2012

Sci-Five Shorties 01 – “The Sound Within”

Did you know I co-present a podcast called SCI-FIVE where we investigate all things SF in approximately 5 mins?  No, well, I do, and it is up to episode 62 already…you should go take a listen:

CLICKY HERE FOR THE PODCAST SITE

Recently we have launched the SCI-FIVE SHORTIES, a series of 4-8 minute new SF themed short stories.  I’ve written a few, and for those interested here is the first one, plus the audio link if you are interested in listening:

“THE SOUND WITHIN” by Neil Gardner

          Inside the space was cavernous, a behemoth of structure, its size close to unfathomable for the untrained mind.  Within the space there seemed to be no height, no width and no breadth.  The space itself appeared limitless, without end…without start.

Outside of the space was darkness.  Inside the space was limitless light. The boundary between the two was at once indistinct and yet as undeniable as the space itself.

Determining the structure of the space, the purpose of the space, the meaning of the space was a daunting task.  Where would you start? And how would you know when you had finished? From where would you begin the task, and where would you conclude it? By what criterion would you attempt to define the space? And to what would you make comparison?

The space was.  The space is. The space is everything.

Yet within the space there was nothing.  No up or down, or left or right.  The space, while illuminated by the fiercest white light, was utterly devoid of anything to see by that light. The space existed, but it was impossible to describe such existence using any explainable distinguishing features.  The space was just…the space.  It existed, therefore it was.

The space from within appeared devoid of function or purpose.  In fact it seemed devoid of anything, except the light, and its own existence. From without the space was an all encompassing light that defined the darkness around it.  The darkness was, because the space was.  One defined and delineated the other.  Without one there might not be the other.  Did the space, therefore, describe the darkness? Or did the darkness inform the space, give it substance and form?

Outside the space was silence.  The darkness said nothing. No sounds emerged, no sounds escaped. The darkness remained inviolate.

Inside the space the nothingness of the light was considered to be the completeness of existence.  Light was the space, and the space was the endless bright, furious light.

And then something extraordinary happened.  From deep within the space, from the very heart of the light, there came a sound. It lived for but a heartbeat of time, and then it was gone.  Gone, but not forgotten.

An eternity of space and light passed.  And just as the sound became a nano-spot of a fragment of the merest suggestion of a memory…it happened again.  This time it lasted for a whole second.  It defined the time of its duration and gave life to speculation.  Was sound going to supplant the light within the space? Did the light create the sound? Why was the sound longer this time?

Before answers could be formulated, the space rang out with the sound once again.  It grew in strength and volume, in amplitude and tone.  The sound ran laughing around every part of the space and back again, seeking the edges of the space and marking the boundaries of its existence.  The light, previously everything within the space, exploded in to a myriad colours, refracting through the lens of the all-encompassing sound.  Together the sound and the spectrum of light burst and fractured and exploded throughout the space.  The space had no time to come to terms with this new experience, as sound and light, sharing and joining and merging and mutating, reached the place where the darkness lived, and with one sudden gasp of momentum…spewed forth from the space into the darkness.

Now the space and the darkness are joined.  A river of sound and light gushes between them.  Space is defined by its birthing of colour and the reflections and echoes of the sound.  The darkness is now no longer entirely dark, and knows the joy of both light and sound.  Slowly, ever so slowly, the space and the darkness are creating something new, something different, something else.  In time there will be no more space, there will be no more darkness.  Then…what will be, will be what has come before, and what will come next, will be a space all of its own.

(c) Neil Gardner, 2012

The BIG PAIR Podcast #10 – Riches From Persia

This episode features a one on one chat with top British actor blokey RICHARD COYLE (Going Postal, Prince of Persia, Coupling).

You can hear Richard reading HP LOVECRAFT’S “At The Mountains of Madness” on BBC Radio 7, from the 1st to the 5th November at 2pm/6pm/midnight.  Produced by me, abridged by Paul Kent, music by Jon Nicholls – an extended version will be out as a digital download audiobook in time for Xmas!!

The Big Pair Podcast – Ep 9 – Arthur Tells (Pony) Tales

Another new BIG PAIR PODCAST reaches your ears, and as promised, this ep features a chat with Arthur Darvill, who can currently be seen playing Rory, Amy pond’s boyfriend/fiance in Doctor Who.

Arthur & Neil chat about Dr Who audiobooks, what he thinks of Rory and the now infamous pony tail, working in the theatre with Matt Smith & Christian Slater, music and composing, and all manner of stuff from Arthur’s life.

The Big Pair Podcast – Ep 8 – Toot Talking Time

The Big Pair goes on a sunny daytrip to glorious Brighton on the south coast of the UK to visit the inner-sanctum of master of words, king of the running gag, father of far fetched fiction, Mr Robert Rankin Esq.  They talk about The Bumper Book of FICTS, the Japanese Devil Fish Girl, conventioneering, artwork, bluebottles, auctions for charity, future books and how much the complete works of Shakespeare weigh as downloads!

The BIG PAIR Podcast – Ep 6 – Debbie Does Audio!

Another in our occassional series of specials…this episode, Neil Gardner chats one-on-one with actress, comedienne and star of “Voyage of the Damned”, Debbie Chazen, about audiobooks, We Are Klang, Calendar Girls, Dr Who and fighting breast cancer.

PLUS…some sneak audio peaks at some of the summer releases from Spokenworld Audio, the new name in audiobooks and audio productions online.

Debbie as Foon van Hoff (c)BBC

The BIG PAIR Podcast #5 – Welcome, Mr Rune!

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JUST CLICK THE BIG PLAY BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THE PODCAST!

The BIG PAIR Podcast is back with episode 5, and this time we are giving you a complete FREE episode of the highly popular “The Brightonomicon” audio series starring legendary actor David Warner. Not only that but there is the result of our Doctor Who “The Last Dodo” competition, AND a whole new super-sized competition to enter.

Also in this episode:

* The Adventures of Dave Crampon pt 2
* A Spot Of Poetry
* Real People
* Jingles a go go!
* Shameless pimping

Places, people and things worth checking out:

THE BLOG – https://hokusbloke.wordpress.com
TWITTER – http://www.twitter.com/hokusbloke
FACEBOOK – http://www.facebook.com/radiobloke

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THE BRIGHTONOMICON – http://tinyurl.com/yzz4qs9
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 1 – http://tinyurl.com/yjbqnny
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 2 – http://tinyurl.com/yhdn9ub
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 3 – http://tinyurl.com/yj4gwvy
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 4 – http://tinyurl.com/yh4hjyd
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 5 – http://tinyurl.com/yzzkacp
Dr WHO THE FOREVER TRAP – http://tinyurl.com/yg2rgll
SARAH JANE ADVENTURES THE SHADOW PEOPLE – http://tinyurl.com/ygsu8ky
SARAH JANE ADVENTURES THE WHITE WOLF – http://tinyurl.com/ylex8ee

 

THE INSIDEOUTCAST – http://insideoutcast.mevio.com/
BOXROOM PODCAST – http://theboxroom.mevio.com/
SCIFI LONDON PODCAST – http://www.sci-fi-london.com/audio

Enjoy, share the links and enter the competition!!  Don’t forget, you can also subscribe via iTunes and get each new episode automatically.  Just clicky the button below:

Neil Gardner - The BIG Pair Podcast - The BIG Pair Podcast

N 🙂

The BIG PAIR Podcast – Ep 4 – Dr Whooooo, Ooh, Dr Who!

Click to jump to the podcast site

You can now listen to the podcast by clicking the play button above!

The BIG PAIR Podcast is back with episode 4, and this time we are giving up most of the show to a chat and Q&A session with Kate Thomas, Dr Who Audio director & producer from BBC Audiobooks. She talks about her favourite Who stories, making Who audio adventures, what’s coming up next and much more.

There is also a kick-ass competition in which YOU could win a signed copy of “Doctor Who – The Last Dodo” 2xCD audio adventure from BBC Audio. Signed by Kate who directed it, and read by Freema Agyeman.

Also in this episode:

* The Adventures of Dave Crampon
* Dr Hill’s Cabinet of Curiosity
* Real People
* Jingles a go go!
* Shameless pimping

Places, people and things worth checking out:

THE BLOG – https://hokusbloke.wordpress.com
TWITTER – http://www.twitter.com/hokusbloke
FACEBOOK – http://www.facebook.com/radiobloke

THE BRIGHTONOMICON – http://tinyurl.com/yzz4qs9
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 1 – http://tinyurl.com/yjbqnny
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 2 – http://tinyurl.com/yhdn9ub
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 3 – http://tinyurl.com/yj4gwvy
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 4 – http://tinyurl.com/yh4hjyd
DR WHO HORNETS’ NEST Ep 5 – http://tinyurl.com/yzzkacp
Dr WHO THE FOREVER TRAP – http://tinyurl.com/yg2rgll
SARAH JANE ADVENTURES THE SHADOW PEOPLE – http://tinyurl.com/ygsu8ky
SARAH JANE ADVENTURES THE WHITE WOLF – http://tinyurl.com/ylex8ee

THE INSIDEOUTCAST – http://insideoutcast.mevio.com/
BOXROOM PODCAST – http://theboxroom.mevio.com/

Enjoy, share the links and enter the competition!!

N 🙂

A Short Visit

Well, hullo there!  I’ve been lax in my recent postings.  Why?  I’ve been up to my neck in radio programme making and Dr Who audio adventure editing!

My company, Ladbroke Productions, has had a busy month, with our ground-breaking investigative series “Inside The Bermuda Triangle” airing in mid-Sept, our archive hour prog about Peter Scott “Scott of Slimbridge” airing in late Sept and World Service repeating our religious doc “Twin Sisters, Two Faiths” a week ago.  While all that was happening we made a medical doc (no pun intended!) with Dr Phil Hammond called “Metaphor For Healing” which airs on Radio 4 on 27th Oct; a classical music history programme called “Hidden Composers” which airs on BBC Radio 3 on 31st Oct; and I’ve produced a doc about British Asian marriage problems called “Home Grown” which airs on BBC Radio 4 this Wednesday 14th Oct at 11am.

Alongside all that good stuff, I’ve been continuing to edit together the final 2 episodes of the brand new Tom Baker Doctor Who audio Adventure “Hornets’ Nest”.  We finish the final editing this week, and then they head off for duplicating and shipping.  You can get hold of ep 3 “The Circus of Doom” on Nov 5th, and eps 4 & 5 “A Sting In The Tale” & “Hive of Horror” on Dec 5th.  It’s been great fun these past 6 months bringing Tom back as the Doctor.

So what next?  I am producing a new religious doc called “Protected By Faith” presented by John Waite and airing on Radio 4 in mid-Dec.  It is about the Vatican art conservationists.  My colleague Neil Rosser is making a Radio 2 doc called “Development Hell” with Adam & Joe all about films that never got made, as well as a 6 part series about Elvis also for Radio 2.

We are also pitching for BBC radio 2, 4, 7 and World Service work for next year, so it’s brains in gear and lots and lots of raw proposals.

So busy busy.  But I’ll be back soon with more from the KINGDOM OF SNURF, more Doctor Who shenanigans, more FICTS, more toot talking and more THE BIG PAIR PODCAST.

Stay hoopy 🙂

http://www.ladbrokeradio.com

The BIG PAIR Podcast – Ep 3 – Nobody Puts Baby In The Muller Corner!

There’s a whole new episode of THE BIG PAIR PODCAST now available for you fine folks to take a gander at.

http://bigpairpodcast.mypodcast.com/2009/09/The_BIG_Pair_Podcast_Ep_3_Nobody_Puts_Baby_In_The_Muller_Corner-240145.html

Click to jump to the podcast site

Click to jump to the podcast site

In this ep:

*An exclusive chat with Dr Who audio director/producer KATE THOMAS
*NEW Jingles!
*Some Tom Baker treats
*More comedy skits
*A rant about scifi literature & awards
*EXCLUSIVE first listen of HP Lovecraft short horror story
*More Real People
*More Cabinet of Curiosities
*LONGER running time!
*Part one of surreal audio reading “Roughcheese Came Riding”
*More more more, how do you like it?!

It’s getting longer too! Thanks to Agent manny’s intervention and a jam incident (don’t ask!) the episode is just shy of an hour long…so you get MORE for your MONEY (except you’ve not paid anything…so it’s an even BETTER deal!!)

Have a listen, send some thoughts, feedback, whatever…and please help spread the news and big up the subscriptions.

Next episode I hope to have more from the mighty Paul Kent, a special famous guest, and a whole load more toot…PLUS, chapter 2 of “THe Wonderful Wizard of Oz” read by the gorgeous Sarah Douglas.

Woot!

N 🙂

The BIG PAIR Podcast #2

Click to jump to the podcast site

Click the duck to jump to the podcast site

the BIG PAIR podcast returns for another teaser episode before launching in to the full on fortnightly splendour to come.

In this ep:

*More silliness
*More jingles
*More comedy skits
*A rant about Star Wars
*Talking toot about audiobooks with Paul Kent
*EXCLUSIVE first listen of chapter one of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”
*More Real People
*More Cabinet of Curiosities
*More more more, how do you like it?!

Don’t forget to check out the blog and the FICTS store, plus our friends at The Boxroom podcast:

https://hokusbloke.wordpress.com
http://www.zazzle.co.uk/hokusbloke*
http://theboxroom.phpbb3now.com/index.php

Do let us know what you think and send us some audio for the next ep.

And please subscribe…iTunes is best, but there are many other options 🙂

Neil G & Paul K 🙂

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