Brilliant books; brilliant readers; brilliant audiobooks!

Audio publishing is, without doubt, the most fun you can have in the book world without a free bar – I mean, where else can you sit and listen to a former member of the Rocky Horror band give voice to a squirrel that sounds like it’s been taking coke (or at least overdosing on red bull)? We’re slowly recording more and more Gollancz titles for release as unabridged downloads, so we’re really pleased to have this chance to tell you a little more about some of our favourite recordings, and to give you a sense of what we have coming up this year!

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie – read by Steven Pacey (Del Tarrant from Blake’s 7!). This was the first unabridged Gollancz title we recorded, and it is still one of our best. I don’t think any other reader could balance Abercrombie’s mix of deep and delicate characterisation, elegant phrasing and anarchic violence quite as well as Steven has. All of Abercrombie’s books are available with Steven at the reins – and they’re (literally) bloody brilliant!

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch – read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (star of Sirens and Star Stories). There’s no-one cooler than PC Peter Grant except, perhaps, the man who reads his lines. Aaronovitch’s books are great fun and very exciting, and his background in TV made them perfect for the audio world.

Kobna’s reads for Rivers of London and sequel Moon Over Soho are works of a measured, dead-pan genius, and they’re a wonderful choice for anyone who hasn’t tried an audio (or a Gollancz book) before.

Kobna has recently taken on another challenge for us: reading Alastair Reynolds’ fabulous new novel Blue Remembered Earth. This is a tough read for any actor, with the action spreading from the plains of Africa to the very edges of our solar system, but Kobna has pulled it off with remarkable aplomb.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris – read by Johanna Parker. We can’t take all the credit for this brilliant audiobook as the recording was handled in the USA, but Johanna has the perfect Southern tones that bring Sookie and Bon Temps to life. It’s sultry, sexy and very entertaining. All of the Sookie Stackhouse novels are available for download.

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – read by Michael Kramer. This is another audiobook we share with the US, and another bout of action-packed fun! All of Brandon’s Mistborn books (The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages) are available for download, along with The Alloy of Law and The Way of Kings. If you were to listen to them all, back to back, then you’d find yourself in Brandon’s worlds for almost five and a half very enjoyable days . . . made all the better as the wonderful Michael Kramer sounds a little like the film trailer voice-over man!

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi – read by Rupert Degas. Deep science, quantum prisons, ship to ship communications, ship to person communications and more than twenty very distinct characters, each with their own voice . . . Little wonder that our producer described The Quantum Thief as the most challenging audiobook he has ever recorded. You wouldn’t know that by listening to it, though, as audiobook legend Rupert Degas has given us a real masterpiece of a recording, and you can tell he enjoyed every minute too!

As for our fourthcoming 2012 projects . . . Well, Rupert Degas’ reward for recording The Quantum Thief is the privilege of reading all 75 hours of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. He’ll follow that up for us with Dmitry Glukhovksy’s post-apocalyptic Russian novel Metro 2033. Exciting just isn’t the word!

We’re finally bring audio editions of Kristen Cashore’s novels to the UK too – with Emma Powell recording Graceling and Fire for release in April, so you can listen to them just in time for the release of Bitterblue in May.

And finally, my personal favourite. We’ve just finished recording and released Elspeth Cooper’s remarkable debut Songs of the Earth, read by Allan Corduner. Allan is a fantastic reader (he also narrated The Book Thief), and his reading of Cooper’s novel is deep, dark and utterly compelling. We’ve been looking for an excuse to work with Allan for a long time, and we’re so pleased that we could partner him up with such an exceptional book.

Well I hope that’s given you some inspiration to listen to a few of our titles, and there are many more already up for sale. We’re looking to grow our list all the time, so if there is anything you would really like to see (or should that be hear?) recorded, leave a comment to let us know!