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Gaiman on MP3 Audio Books, Mirrormask 171

Posted by Hemos
from the changing-the-world-one-book-at-a-time dept.
A reader writes: "It appears that Neil Gaiman released two of his books (Anansi Boys and American Gods) as books on CD. The interesting twist is that they are being released as MP3 - which for the world of audio books is something pretty new. ". Indeed; MP3 audio books, I think, have given the book publishers the willies because of the DRM issue - anyone else seen this before? And also worth noting that Mirrormask was released in motion picture form and rocks. I think to describe it would be equal parts The Dark Crystal and Myst, combine with Carnivale and a dash of The City of Lost Children.
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Gaiman on MP3 Audio Books, Mirrormask

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    What's it like to grow up with a name like Gaiman?
    It's got to be rough.
  • TFArticle? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Gulthek (12570) on Monday October 17, 2005 @09:36AM (#13809050) Homepage Journal
    The writeup seems to indicate that Gaiman is actually announcing something or recently held an interview, yet the only links in the story are to the front page of his website and to his books.
    • It's been possible to download in MP3 format from Audible.com for a while now. They aren't DRM restricted but I believe they are watermarked so if they're distributed they can be traced back. You can also download and burn to ordinary audio CDs, which I've never done but obviously can't be copy protected.
      • Re:Audible dot com (Score:3, Insightful)

        by grahams (5366) *
        Audible has always used their own in-house DRM format, not MP3, so you got that wrong... (they do have a version of their file format that uses MP3 audio internally, but it is still wrapped in their DRM envelope).

        You can, however, burn the books to unencrypted audio CDs...
        • Re:Audible dot com (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          You can also open the Audible format in Goldwave and convert to mp3. I only do this as a convenience for myself, however. I think Audible has one of the best internet entertainment services around. Much better than iTunes...my online library is HUGE (two audiobooks a month for $20/mo).
          • A way around a DRM method? That's surprising... ;)

            Oh, and I don't disagree that Audible is a fantastic service, I've subscribed for years... I was just pointing out that the parent was wrong in saying that Audible delivers unprotected MP3 files...
        • Re:Audible dot com (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Itchy Rich (818896)

          Audible has always used their own in-house DRM format, not MP3, so you got that wrong.

          That's as may be, but I bought The Hitchhikers Guide series one and two on MP3 from Waterstones last year. This story seems like a non-story to me.

        • You are correct grahams, not sure what I was thinking, I could swear I've seen a download as MP3 option on Audible before... My bad, sorry. Audible is still a great service though :)
    • No, the article points out that his books have been released on Audio MP3 CD, and the links take you to the pages selling those CDs on Barnes & Noble.
    • He mentioned the MP3 CD [neilgaiman.com] on his website in early August. This doesn't seem to have been a "here's an announcement" post as so much as a "how did I miss that?!?!" post. Some quotes:

      I've been lobbying for an MP3 version of books for years -- Harper Audio hesitated for a long time because they were worried about people buying them and then complaining that they didn't play on their CD players

      I hope the MP3 CDs work, and retailers stock and sell them -- as I said, I was the one vigorously lobbying for t

  • by jkind (922585) on Monday October 17, 2005 @09:36AM (#13809051) Homepage
    I find the only Audio books that have any effect on me are the instructional kind. For instance, learning a new language such as through the Pimsleur series.
    I would be interested in knowing if anyone actually prefers the audio format to traditional page flipping.
    In terms of going MP3, wouldn't the author have saved a lot in fees by going OGG, or is acceptance too much of a concern?
    • audio books are the only thing i use my ipod for. really. also, in th epast 10 years i might have "read" 3-4 books. in the past 2 months ive listened to 6? maybe 7? and they were 15 hour books, davinci code, etc. everything from angels and demons to charlie and the great glass elavator. i only listen to unabridged books and i absolutely am ADDICTED to audiobooks.
    • I myself usually have both a regular book and an audiobook in progress, but Audiobooks, even the well acted kind, don't hold a candle to the likes of:
      Big Finish http://www.bigfinish.com/ [bigfinish.com] Fantastic scifi audio (mostly Doctor Who related)
      or
      Noise Monster http://www.noisemonster.com/ [noisemonster.com].
      Anyone wanting something more than an audiobook, but still staying in the audio medium should check out their stuff. It's written and produced directly for the audio, and in the case of Doctor Who from Big Finish, is licensed
    • I have a copy of two Gaiman plays/monologues on CD. They are fantastic to listen to, but I'm not sure I would feel the same about American Gods--mainly because of the length and number of CDs that traditional audio CDs would involve.

      When American Gods was released in print, I was lucky enough to have the first chapter read to me by Gaiman at a signing, and it was fantastic to listen to him read that much of it. But the thought of lugging around multiple CDs (which is traditionally how they come) for one

      • I have a copy of The Lord of the Rings trilogy on CD that is supposedly fantastic, but it's almost a spindle-worth of CDs and I can't get into it because of that--what a commitment. And I'd rather carry around a tattered copy of the book than spend the time ripping them to MP3s that I could dump to my iPod so I could have them on the go.

        I listened to LOTR in audio form a few years ago, and my main thought was, "What the hell? They sing and recite poetry all the bloody time!" Turns out, I just edited all
    • by dave_mcmillen (250780) * on Monday October 17, 2005 @09:57AM (#13809187)
      I would be interested in knowing if anyone actually prefers the audio format to traditional page flipping.

      For certain applications, I find that they're much better. Basically, they're great for "hands free" reading, in situations where you couldn't conveniently (or safely) read a book, like while exercising, doing housework, walking around (remembering to use your eyes extra carefully to subsitute for your occupied ears when, say, crossing streets).

      Also, a good performance by the narrator can do great things for a book. There are some very fine voice actors reading these books, and the best of them are fantastic. Other narrators are, well, less fantastic. It's very much a personal preference issue, though: heated arguments over the quality of the narrator regularly break out in the reviews over at Audible.com. (Like another poster, I use my iPod mainly for audiobooks, and I've been doing Audible's two-books-a-month subscription plan for years, now. Not free, but affordable enough for me.)

      One free audio book I can recommend is "Free Culture" by Lawrence Lessig, which a bunch of people recorded into an audio book, which was permitted by Lessig's release of the book under a Creative Commons license. You can find it over at www.legaltorrents.com. The narrators are enthusiastic rather than skilled, in some cases, but the material is so interesting that it's easy to forgive the occasional lapses.
      • has a decent collection of audiobooks in MP3 format. Free at low bitrates, reasonable at higher bitrates. Many are simply read, not performed. Though the Jeeves series are quite good. There are a few SF also, but mostly classics.

        Big Finish production makes an amazing series of audio books for fans of Dr. Who. These are true audio plays with most of the original cast of the TV series. Many stories are better than what was on the TV shows (until the recent Incarnation in '05, that is). This is truely a
      • Free Culture is a surprising recommendation as an audiobook. I say that because some of the chapters are abysmally bad. A couple of things struck me as I listened to it:

        1. There is no good way to describe a graph and not interrupt the flow of the text. It may be necessary to add text and edit it into the manuscript so it is seamless.

        2. A recorded performance does not have to be done in one take. Several readers flubbed lines and tried to recover as if performing live. For crying out loud, edit out the

    • In terms of going MP3, wouldn't the author have saved a lot in fees by going OGG, or is acceptance too much of a concern?

      Do you have to pay fees to distribute MP3s? That stinks. I though they just charged for encoders/decoders.

      And yes, I would think that if someone is trying to distribute audio to a mass audience, it would help to go with a file format that most people will have a decoder for. That's the problem with these things-- it's a catch 22. Pretty much no one will use it until the decoder is u

    • Audio books are excellent time-fillers for long car trips, where reading a traditional book would give me motion-sickness. It's also a good way to "share" a book with other people; much like watching a movie together with your friends.

      My personal favorites are audiobooks that are staged like radio drama, with multiple voice-actors and sound effects. Listening to these encourages me to use my imagination as if I was reading the book - what do the characters look like? What are they doing now? What was that "
      • Audio books are excellent time-fillers for long car trips, where reading a traditional book would give me motion-sickness.
        Personally, I find that I usually crash before the motion sickness sets in. YMMV.
      • Audio books are excellent time-fillers for long car trips, where reading a traditional book would give me motion-sickness.

        Agreed. My wife and I have listened to a few audiobooks on the trip to LA from SF and back. Great way to pass the time. Unfortunately, some books are better narrated than others, as some have mentioned. Steve Martin's "The Pleasure Of My Company" and Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" are well done. But Ludlum's "Bourne Identity" and "Bourne Supremecy" are often incoherent... the narra
        • Years ago, I stumbled across a whole cache of audiobook-tapes that were dramatizations of short stories by Ray Bradbury. I'm not a big fan of Bradbury's writing - I think he has good ideas, but poor execution. In radio drama, however, that was completely turned around. His sci-fi horror/suspense makes for great radio. I wish I could remember the name or publisher, but it was great stuff.

          If you can dig up any of the old radio-dramas (The Shadow, War of the Worlds, Dimension X, etc.), it's well worth it. Poki
        • There are some Roger Zelazny books that were well done. Some were read by the author himself and some were done with multiple voice actors.

          Currently I am listening to "The Swords of Night and Day" by David Gemmell. The voice actor doing the narrating is excellent.
    • is what the best audio books present. Even the unabridged one, the narrator makes a great deal of difference. For example, the "Rumpole of the Bailey" series and "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" had excellent performances which added to the enjoyment of the written words. In contrast, the "Xenocide" performance was marred by fake Chinese accents that was entirely irrelevant and sterotypical.

      "American God" was fine on audio tape. THe lenth was not a problem to me at all, but I do drive a gr
    • "I would be interested in knowing if anyone actually prefers the audio format to traditional page flipping."

      I don't know if I prefer the audio format, but I do find it entertaining. I've listened to audio books while doing some mind numbing stuff at work. Great way to kill a few hours, but they often leave stuff out of the text version of the book. The Return of the Jedi audio play was kinda neat. Not precisely a book on CD, but it made my drive across country a little more interesting.

      "In terms of goin
    • I can't keep track of the plot, since I can't flip back and forth or ask questions, so I reallly only use audiobooks for stuff that doesn't need a plot - Pimsleur is one such example, another is lectures (the Feynman lectures); right now, I'm listening to "The Majesty of the Law" by Sandra Day O'Connor, and it's only minimally affected by my inability to check previous references to cases.
    • I prefers the audio format to traditional page flipping. I listem during menial tasks like my job.
    • I think it depends on what your reading or the context of the situation (ie school reading or casual).

      I love audio books because I have a very demanding schedule and I just simply can't be in one spot and not be interrupted for very long. In terms of just casual reading, its great. I listened to the Davinci Code that way, and it was fun. However, I think its a little different when its either a required reading or something that you might need to recall for either work/school. I listened to book in that res
    • if anyone actually prefers the audio format to traditional page flipping.

      I prefer it in some situations:
      • while doing housework
      • while cycling on a hometrainer
      • sometimes in the bathtub (though I am more likely to read if the book wasn't expensive)
      • and since my player has a sleep timer: especially as bedtime story until I fall asleep :-)
      • also: if you have to be in the hospital and a) you can't really use your eyes due to the operation or b) you can't sleep for days because you are sweating like
    • In terms of going MP3, wouldn't the author have saved a lot in fees by going OGG, or is acceptance too much of a concern?

      Well, the publisher's and author's number one concern is to sell copies. Anyone can play MP3 files on their digital audio player; not everyone can play OGGs. That would make up for the fees for using MP3, and then some.

  • audiobook mp3s (Score:5, Informative)

    by digitaldc (879047) on Monday October 17, 2005 @09:38AM (#13809064)
    • One of the Star Trek Next Generation DVD sets included a bonus DVD that had two audio books on MP3, one of them read by Jonathan Frakes. This was early 2003. So yeah, releasing audio book to MP3 isn't new.
  • by Chuckaluphagus (111487) on Monday October 17, 2005 @09:40AM (#13809074)
    Saw it this past Friday, it's an amazing movie. The direction and art design is by Dave McKean; his style is absolutely beautiful, but it might throw some people off. I loved it.

    After the show a friend noted that it has a feel very similar to "The Neverending Story", and I think that's accurate.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by QuijiboIsAWord (715586) on Monday October 17, 2005 @09:40AM (#13809079)
    Mirrormask was released in motion picture form and rocks.


    Anyone else wondering exactly how you market Mirrormask brand gravel?
  • by maddogdelta (558240) on Monday October 17, 2005 @09:41AM (#13809080)
    And Baen books [baen.com] has been releasing some of their books as mp3 audiobooks.

    Not huge yet, but let's face it... as far as security is concerned, If you can get the cd, you can rip to mp3. I do that all the time to get books to listen to while I'm running. Angela's Ashes will be playing for me during a marathon this weekend.

    (For you national socialists at RIAA, no, I am not posting the mp3's. This is for my own fair use)

  • by standards (461431) on Monday October 17, 2005 @09:42AM (#13809092)
    The interesting twist is that they are being released as MP3 - which for the world of audio books is something pretty new.

    My local public library has had a special section for MP3-based audio CDs for at least a year now. The only issue is that many traditional CD players in homes and in cars can't play MP3 CDs. But I'd rather have one MP3 CD versus 15 traditional audio CDs. Admittedly, it's a pretty darn good local library.

    And regarding DRM - hell, regular audio CDs aren't DRM'd, so the execs don't need to worry about theft from an MP3 CD any more than they have to worry about theft from a regular audio CD. After all, an MP3 is only one rip away.
    • I had the same experience a few months ago when I stopped at my local library before a road trip. I was amazed that they carried MP3 Audiobooks, so I grabbed a couple of them. No DRM, worked great on the car MP3 CD player, and displayed normally on the computer as well. When I went to check out, the librarian was apparently just as shocked. She asked, "This is an entire book?!" Apparently, the stock the shelves, but never open the covers.

  • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Monday October 17, 2005 @09:43AM (#13809102)
    MP3 audio is supported in the latest Digital Talking Books standard used by the Library of Congress (ANSI/NISO Z39.86). The LOC is looking for contractors now to produce DTBs for the blind and visually imparied, so you'll be seeing a lot of these (or perhaps hearing them) soon. Digital distribution of talking books should result in more affordable equipment for playing the media and easier mass duplication.
  • Another place for MP3 audio books is Project Gutenberg [gutenberg.org].

    They have collections [gutenberg.org] of both human read mp3 audio books [gutenberg.org] and computer read mp3 audio books [gutenberg.org] (kind of weird).

  • by chiark (36404) on Monday October 17, 2005 @09:45AM (#13809110) Homepage Journal
    Isis publishing has been releasing compressed format audio books for a couple of years. It makes sense, after all would you prefer 1 disc, or 11 discs, if you're manufacturing and shipping the things? OK, they currently use WMA, but at least they're trying :-)

    If you put the stuff out on CD it will be ripped, end of story (no pun intended). If you can reduce your costs significantly and provide the same thing, then why not do it? It's not like audio books need --alt-preset extreme applied to 'em, is it?

    MP3s of audio books are excellent for long car journeys, etc, so more power to the elbow of those making them: I'll keep buying them.
  • Not for nothing, but I'd wager that the bookworms among us, audio form notwithstanding, are a little less likely to wear t-shirts with the DeCSS code, plus it would make a lot more sense to keep things simple in the format most likely to be supported by CD players (in this case, most often car radios which tend to be newer than Joe Audiobookguy's hi-fi back home).

    Also, in addition to being a whole to-do schlep for publishers, DRM-like functions have had history with pissing the public off (remember that

  • Wasted Time (Score:2, Redundant)

    by halo8 (445515)
    I spent 2 hours commuting EVERY DAY
    and i allready feel thoes are wasted hours of my life, if i was using public transport i could be reading.
    i have an MP3/WMA/CD player in my car (really nice but affordable JVC)

    i would love LOVE LOVE to listen to say.. A brief history of time, or the dune books or something like that on an MP3/CD

    any by saying LOVE.. i do mean $$$PAY$$$
    $40 a book?
    • One word: Usenet (audiobook, spoken-word)
    • I spend almost the same amount of time and listen to books from Audible.com when I'm not carpooling. DRM and all aside, the prices can't be beat. New releases, unabridged, can be got for $10 each if you subsribe to the 2-books-a-month plan. They have sales a few times a year as well where all books are $10.

      I'm always one of the first to complain about DRM, but I can tolerate Audible's. You actually get something for it with them. Books are are 25-40% of their list price and you and download them rather
      • I'm always one of the first to complain about DRM, but I can tolerate Audible's
        And they let you burn an audio CD anyway...
    • Are you a member of your local library?

      Most have decent collections of audio materials on tape and / or CD --- when I was commuting like that, I paid $20 to get a membership in a library near my workplace in addition to the membership I already had in the local library (they weren't reciprocal) and usually managed to have a sufficient selection to keep my mind occupied during the commute --- did get some audio books as gifts, and bought a few others at need, but using the library kept it affordable.

      ``Librar
  • He did write in his journal that he thinks the mp3 audiobooks haven't caught on yet. He's done a pile of signings, and as of the DC Book Fest, he said he had only signed one mp3 CD of Anansi Boys.
  • Bad format, though (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lauri Alanko (66)
    MP3 is not really optimal for speech. E.g. speex [speex.org] would provide much better quality/bitrate ratio. Sadly, speex is not very well supported. (I would love to have a digital portable recorder with a built-in speex codec.)
    • "Bad" is a little strong here: "Sub-optimal" might be more accurate. MP3 can do a pretty good job, so it may get widely adpoted in talking books because it's "good enough".

      But I took a look at your cited link, and you may get that portable recorder someday. Looks like there is speex support for several major DSP chip families (TI, Analog) and embedded processors (ARM) + some industry sponsorship.

  • Wouldn't that be more like, "Gaiman's press agent calls Hemos on his cellphone, which he has on speed dial ever since the first time that /. editor fell all over himself gushing about his client" ?

    "A Reader Writes" Wow. Not even the pretext of format or decorum any more.
  • Indeed; MP3 audio books, I think, have given the book publishers the willies because of the DRM issue

    Jimmy, thats a cute costume....but what is it??

    I'm a book on MP3! BOOO!

  • I wasn't too impressed with MirrorMask. Visually and aurally it's very nice, but the story would be better off as an adventure game.
  • DIY (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Short Circuit (52384) *
    I converted "Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Two Towers" to MP3 for my mom to listen to in her car. At 64kbps mono, you can comfortably fit all 15 CDs of either book to fit on one CD.

    It reduces disc switching, which is a potentially serious issue when she's driving.
    • I still wonder if it's not already a potentially serious issue to listen to an audio novel while driving your car. You're paying attention to the movie, not to the driving. After all, weren't cellphones (even hands-free) found dangerous while driving [nyud.net]?
  • Maybe I'm asking for too much, but I though Mirrormask was visually stunning, really really gorgeous, but its plot managed to seem both hackneyed and non existant at the same time and the acting was a serious wet blanket on the whole experience.

    It was basically Labyrinth turned inside out sans Jennifer Connely and David Bowie.

  • Logical (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hwestiii (11787) on Monday October 17, 2005 @10:33AM (#13809457) Homepage
    MP3 has always seemed like a logical medium for audio books to me. Ever since my wife and son caught the Harry Potter bug a few years ago, they will buy not only the dead-tree version, but also the audio version on CD.

    Its always struck me as particularly wasteful that these things were available only as conventional audio. A single book can span 20 or more CDs.

    That has always seemed somewhat wasteful to me. I'm presuming that an audio CD of a person reading a book is availing itself of the full harmonic range that would also be applied to a more elaborate production, like a symphony orchestra or a rock or jazz band that would make much fuller use of that range.

    Voice telephony is based on transmitting only a narrow band of the harmonic range used by most human voice communication. Putting that narrower range together with the compression techniques available through MP3 or other similar audio formats, it seems to me that number of disks needed to store one of these books could be slashed to a small fraction of what are produced now.

    This may only have a negligible effect on the final price of the item, and the popularity of MP3 enabled CD players may not have hit the critical mass needed to make this sort of thing profitable yet, but I'd think that enough popular releases, like Harry Potter or some others, might actually stimulate their adoption, or at least speed it up beyond the current rate.
  • I watched Mirrormask with my girlfriend* and two friends last weekend. The visual design was fantastic -- truly beautiful and inventive.

    On the other hand, Gaiman's responsible for the plot, and the plot ... sucked. It was basically a regurgitation of a bunch of ideas that have been done elsewhere, better. Child has problems with parent; child goes into dreamworld where their parent is represented by some significant figure; child resolves their issues with parent. Happy ending.

    It might do as an OK child
    • The thing I liked about it was that it starts with that basis, but then the whole quest might have just been a weird dream and not actually important; nothing that was supposed to have happened outside the dream world (fighting with her father, destroying drawings, etc) seems to have actually happened, Mom doesn't seem to have been affected or particularly saved, the guy she meets doesn't recognize her, and so forth.

      I think it's a great subversive movie. She wants to run away from the circus to real life, a
  • I wish public librarys would had an online function simliar to audible.com Since i listen to so many books, my audible bill is kinda expensive (around 50$ a month!) id LOVE for the public library to offer an audible type service. not sure how they would do it but it would be great.
  • The government subsidizes the blind (ostensibly the largest market) to buy audiobooks. This allows the audio book companies to charge extraordinarily high prices which makes it high for the rest of us. I suspect that if the subsidy went away it would dramatically lower the price and increase the number of audiobooks that are sold. But I also suspect that it would be very hard to stop subsidies for the blind politically.
  • I saw Mirror Mask a couple of weeks ago. While it's a great movie to look at, Gaiman needs to leave things like plot and dialog to someone else. Find a good screenwriter! Concept, art, and execution were fantastic, but the plot was fragmented and a complete snooze.
  • by LilGuy (150110)
    I've seen it a couple times before, but I'm not sure whether or not it was legal.

    O BTW : I finally got an office job that I can sit here and waste company time at! KUDOS TO ME!
  • by AaronStJ (182845) <AaronStJ@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:11PM (#13810154) Homepage
    I saw Neil Gaiman at a book reading/signing in Seattle, where he talked about the mp3 audio book. Apparently Gaiman had to fight hard with his publishers to get the book out on mp3. The publishers were worried about an MP3 CD having no protection against copying and sharing whatsoever. But in Gaiman's own (paraphrased) words "Most people, when they buy the audiobook, the first thing they're going to do it carefully rip it and put it on their iPod. So why can't we just do most of the work for them?"

    So once again, it's a case of the artist fighting for better access for the listener/reader/watcher, against the wished of the business execs. They claim they're trying to protect the artist but when artists have to fight for things they want, like mp3 audiobooks, CC-licensed book, and torrents of albums, it gets pretty easy to see through the lies.
  • There's been lots of mp3 Audiobooks.

    Fictionwise [fictionwise.com] has been selling mp3 audiobooks for at least a year, maybe two.

    Baen [baen.com] has been selling mp3 audiobooks and including them for free on CDs included in some volumes for about as long.
  • Check out Conlan Press [conlanpress.com] for the audiobook of Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn, being offered in downloadable MP3 format, book-on-CD format, MP3 CD format, or both mp3 and book-on-CD.

    (Note that the book-on-CD version never has shipped, even though it's been months since people placed their pre-orders. Apparently they've been having pressing problems.)

    Folks might be interested to know, by the bye, that Beagle is in a financial dispute with the company that has the rights to the animated version of The Last U [conlanpress.com]
  • And also worth noting that Mirrormask was released in motion picture form and rocks. I think to describe it would be equal parts The Dark Crystal and Myst, combine with Carnivale and a dash of The City of Lost Children.
    Making it as derivative as humanly possible. Any further attempt at derivation would require creation and make it less derivative.

    Apologies to William Gibson.
  • A couple of other good audio books as MP3's are Scott Sigler's [scottsiger.net] EarthCore and Ancestor. He's been releasing them as a podcast, one episode a week. EarthCore is now complete, you can download the whole thing. Ancestor just started a few weeks ago. He went direct to podcast with these, and EarthCore generated enough interest that he got a book deal out of it. Dead tree edition is available in November.
  • Mirrormask was released in motion picture form and rocks. I think to describe it would be equal parts The Dark Crystal and Myst, combine with Carnivale and a dash of The City of Lost Children.

    Labyrinth, The Wizard of Oz, and Alice's Adventures under Ground all play into this movie. Dark Crystal has similar artistic tones, but it has a "real" plot - the characters are actually trying to do something as opposed to getting the hell out of a messed-up world. Can't say I've seen Carnivale or City of Lost Ch

  • Ok, since everybody's throwing out suggestions of their favorite audiobooks, I guess I'll toss out mine. The Hitchhiker's Guide series read by Douglas Adams is absolutely amazing -- it's pretty awesome to listen to DNA's take on what the characters should sound like, and his sense of comic timing in print is enhanced by his sense of comic timing in audio.

    The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett are great in audio -- especially the "We Free Men" series, in which reading the mangled Nac-Mac-Feegle semi-Scots
  • One is much longer. Even if people pirated audiobooks, the time it would take to read them all and listen to them all would be prohibitive. I dont think book publishers really have that much to fear since major/popular books have already been converted to ebooks for many books and magazines are already pirated worldwide. Personlly I do not think they have much to worry about, books are huge investments of time, smaller books or quick reads may get hit a bit more but, larger books, no one could possibly
  • MP3 audiobook rental at http://www.kitabe.com./ [www.kitabe.com] They mail them to you, along with a post-paid mailer to return them in. Variable monthly fee based on how many books you have out at a time, starts at $13/mo. Turn-around is about four days, since it goes by first class mail. I have a subscription, and love it.

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