Sci-Fi Radio

was a relatively modern effort. It was produced out of Commerce, Texas, and broadcast on National Public Radio during 1989-90. The producers drew their inspiration from some of the best stories from some of the best science fiction authors of the 20th century, including Ray Bradbury, Roger Zelazny, Henry Kuttner, and Poul Anderson. There is an impressive array of sound, and while the acting was occasionally amateurish, at least the stories were—for the most part—ones which no one else had thought to produce before.

Sources used to create my own log and double-check titles, dates and cast members: Internet Speculative Fiction Database.

Currently this archive contains 21 of 21 plotlines and 5 reviews

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John Dickson Recommends:
Call Me Joe | Close Encounters with the Deity | Home Is the Hangman

Ballad of Lost C'Mell, The

Year: 1989
Duration: 45 min
Genre: Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cordwainer Smith

It is the distant future, and humans have re-engineered certain animal species to possess both intelligence and quasi-human form. These mutants are restricted to a second-class status, so when the feline daughter of their recently deceased leader has the audacity to fall in love with a high-ranking human statesman, her affections endanger the status quo of society.

Reviews:

Call Me Joe

Year: 1990
Duration: 40 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Poul Anderson

On a moon of Jupiter, scientist Edward Anglesey - a paraplegic - combines ESP with a thought projector to link with the mind of a genetically engineered pseudo-Jovian, as part of a project to colonize the surface of the gas giant. But is the project endangered by Anglesey's jealously guarded attachment to the Jovian, through whom he finds the empowerment to transcend his disabilities?

Reviews:
Wow, this one was pretty cool. I hadn't seen, heard, or read anything like this one which is why I probably liked it. It was definitely an interesting idea and had a really cool ending. I liked how they used dialogue between the men to explain what was going on. Definitely a good listen. It was also kind of funny to hear the many borrowed sound effects. I believe I heard one from Star Trek and one from V the mini series. --- Barry Howell

Excellent production! One of my personal favorites. A very unusual premise, and a difficult one to pull off, but if you've read the original story you won't be disappointed. --- Jeff Dickson

Close Encounters with the Deity

Year: 1989
Duration: 20 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: Michael Bishop

Demetrio Uraza, an aging and crippled physicist whose genius is comparable to Einstein's, decides to spend his remaining years on a deep space pilgrimage, seeking to discover God in the singularity of a black hole.

Reviews:
Very well done piece, well acted and achieves an ethereal atmosphere with the music. The actor portraying Uraza succeeds in presenting us with a character full of both pathos and humor. One of the series' best efforts. --- Jeff Dickson

Cold Equations, The

Year: 1989
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Space Travel
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Tom Godwin

Classic story of a space pilot on an emergency medical run who finds himself carrying a stowaway. His shuttle, however, does not have enough fuel to land with the extra weight.

Versions of this story also appeared on X Minus One , Future Tense, Exploring Tomorrow, and the CBC pilot Faster Than Light.

Reviews:

Dark Benediction

Year: 1989
Duration: 60 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Walter M. Miller, Jr

A space-borne plague has swept the Earth, whose victims go insane. Civilization has broken down, and the survivors fragmented into small bands of armed paranoiacs with scant better grip on rationality than the victims.

Reviews:

Diary of the Rose

Year: 1989
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ursula K. LeGuin

A future psychologist is forced to question her own social ethics when she is assigned to diagnose the paranoid mania of a patient accused of disaffection to the State.

Reviews:

Field of Vision, The

Year: 1990
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mars
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ursula K. LeGuin

Only two astronauts have returned from a fateful mission to Mars, suffering from sensory overloads and incapable of describing what they encountered in the Martian ruins.

Reviews:

Frost and Fire

Year: 1989
Duration: 60 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Human colonists struggle to survive on a world where radiation has truncated their life spans to a mere eight days, and those divided into daytimes of searing heat and nights of unendurable cold.

Reviews:

Grantha Sighting, The

Year: 1990
Duration: 20 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Avram Davidson

A old country couple in the Ozarks find themselves the recipients of First Contact.

Reviews:

Home is the Hangman

Year: 1990
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Robots / Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Roger Zelazny

An intelligent robot dispatched to explore the far reaches of space returns to Earth with the intention of destroying its creators for the crime of playing God.

Reviews:

Houston, Houston, Do You Read?

Year: 1990
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: James Tiptree, Jr

A space crew caught in a time vortex emerge to find the future Earth populated only by women. They are the only men, but instead of being welcomed by a supposedly love-starved planet, they are treated like a malignant cancer.

See also: 'When It Changed' (Mindwebs)

Reviews:
A thought-provoking look at the 'monsters' we men keep locked within our souls, and what happens when they are set free. Excellent sound effects and music; better than average acting for the series. At times, 'radio transmissions' between the ships are garbled, but 'Houston' does this is a way that still makes the transmissions intelligible—no easy task. Beware: this was originally broadcast as two separate 30-minute episodes, but some versions available to collectors are missing the final 15-minutes from part one. [7/10] --- zM

I'm Scared

Year: 1989
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Jack Finney

A radio DJ receives a tape in the mail from a man who is convinced that the linear structure of Time itself is starting to go awry.

Reviews:

Impostor

Year: 1990
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Robots / Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Philip K. Dick

After Mankind has finally abolished war, the Earth finds itself besieged by the alien 'Outspacers'. Only a protective force field about the world prevents large scale invasion - but one scientist finds himself the supposed target of a small scale invasion when paranoid authorities are convinced he is an alien robot armed with a powerful bomb.

Reviews:
I haven't seen the movie yet but after hearing this show I might just have to check it out to see how they handled it. It reminds of one of Arnold Schwarzeneggar's movie 'The 6th Day' where he is cloned and you are not sure if he is the clone or himself. I am sure they probably got their idea from this short story though. All and all a good show which fooled me at the end. --- Barry Howell

Light of Other Days, The

Year: 1989
Duration: 15 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Bob Shaw
Awards: Hugo (nom), 1967; Nebula (nom), 1967

A traveling couple stop at a remote farmhouse in response to an advertisement for 'slow glass' a unique type of glass through which light takes may years to pass. Thus a viewer can watch events from decades ago unfold as if they were currently happening.

Reviews:

Sales Pitch

Year: 1989
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Humour / Robots
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Philip K. Dick

Fed up with the fast pace of life in a future where consumerism has run rampant, a man flees to the depths of interstellar space, only to be pursued by a prototype android intent on selling itself to him - whether he likes it or not.

Reviews:

Shape

Year: 1990
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Humor / Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Sheckley

A race of strictly regimented, shape-shifting aliens feel compelled to invade and conquer Earth, but every scouting mission to our planet has disappeared without a trace. A squad of elite commandos is sent in find the answer.

Reviews:

Sundance

Year: 1989
Duration: 40 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Silverberg

In preparation for colonization, an alien world must first be cleansed of the Eaters, millions of herbivores which feed on the planet's precious oxygen-producing plants. But one Native American member of the team begins to suspect the Eaters may just be sentient...

Reviews:

Twonky, The

Year: 1990
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Henry Kuttner (as Lewis Padgett)

An alien technician temporarily 'displaced' to Earth constructs a 'twonky' that looks like a common stereo, much to the dismay of its purchaser, who soon learns the true meaning of the phrase caveat emptor.

Reviews:

Vintage Season

Year: 1989
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Time Travel
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore

A couple with a mundane, everyday house to sell find themselves unwilling landlords to a trio of renters who are anything but mundane and who seem to have a particular and uncommon interest in their home. And they are not the only ones - another equally odd group also want exclusive rights to the house, at any cost.

Reviews:

Wall of Darkness

Year: 1989
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Arthur C. Clarke

The inhabitants of an alien world have always known an impenetrable boundary in the form of a great soaring wall which must, they theorize, separate them from the secrets of the Universe. Until now...

Reviews:

Yanqui Doodle

Year: 1990
Duration: 30 min
Genre: War / Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: James Tiptree, Jr

American 'supersoldiers' whose skills and endurance have been enhanced by drugs struggle through detox as they recover from battle wounds in a field hospital.

Reviews: