Ariel: the unabridged, DRM-free audiobook of the classic swords-and-sorcery post-apocalyptic adventure

I've just finished listening to the fantastic unabridged audiobook adaptation of Ariel, Stephen Boyett's classic post-apocalyptic swords-and-sorcery adventure novel that was just reissued. The recording was produced by Deyan Audio, and read by Ramon De Ocampo who really nailed it. The incidental music came from Boyett's wife, Maureen Halderson, who clearly has a handle on how to produce the accompaniment to the much-loved tale.

Ariel is a natural for adaptation to audiobook -- a nonstop, tightly plotted adventure novel with lots of exciting, well-told combat sequences that De Ocampo just nails. And, of course, the book is available as a DRM-free download (Boyett's something of a copyfighter, which makes it great all around.

Incidentally, Boyett's holding a competition in which he's asking for readers to send in photos of their "ganked out" original copies of Ariel (mine's much-loved and has been read literally dozens of times), with the owners of the most beat-up copies winning signed new editions. Sweet deal!

Ariel audiobook

Free Sample Chapters

See also: Ariel: post-apocalyptic sword-and-sorcery adventure that rocked my world


  1. Review from Audible:

    “It is funny to hear the reader and writer at the end of the book (in an interview) talk about how important rhythm is to a good book. The audio editing killed any of that that existed. It is painfully obvious when two reading sessions come together because there is almost no gap in sentences. Ruined this book for me. Editing notwithstanding, I would give this a 3.”

    Cory care to comment? Seems like a fairly specific gripe.

  2. Something about the mix of the music in the first sample chapter… felt like Shenmue to me. I didn’t like Shenmue at the time, but I think I’d like this book adapted into a game by Yu Suzuki.

  3. What a difference a price makes. I had first thought it was $7.99 and was getting my credit card out.

    Turns out the page, due to it’s design, makes the “additional format” price much more noticeable than the product you’re actually looking at. They should fix that.

    The real price was $39.99. Wow! And that’s just for a pure digital copy – no CDs, no tapes, no cases, no liner notes, just bits. There’s no way I’d ever spend anything close to that for an audio book.

    Penguin: if you want me to buy an audio book please reduce your prices – dramatically.

    Audible: $27.97 is still way expensive for something I’d listen to once.

  4. Island, is Emusic a good seller? I’ve never heard of them. Just wondering what your experience with them was.

  5. Cinemajay: eMusic is a good seller. No DRM, plain-vanilla mp3 files. Their pricing structure has gotten considerably more wonky and confusing over the past few months, but they’re still worth checking out.

  6. #10 – that’s three more than a lot of people, but I get your point. And $40 is an OUTRAGEOUS sum to be charging, DRM-free or not.

  7. FANG etc.: As far as I can tell JASONGNC pulled that $40 figure out of his butt. The retail on the very link he responds to is $27.99. When you visit it, the other books listed for sale on the same page are priced $17.49, $24.49, $24.49, and $27.99.

    Granted that ain’t cheap, but it’s not exactly an outrageous imposition to click a link in order to substantiate a claim (and by the same economical gesture eliminate a display of ignorance).

  8. #11 – I’ve been an emusic subscriber for 7 years now, but only on their music plan. And their prices on music are pretty good, but not nearly as good as they were 3 months ago…

    I’ve never seriously considered the book aspect of their service. The $39.99 price seen on Penguin encouraged me to type “Ariel” into the emusic search box, and I was happy to see it was there.

    It amazes me that there is such a wide disparity in prices – $9.99 to $39.99 – for the same audio files.

  9. Maybe everybody knows this except me: if you buy it from Audible, it’s tightly DRM’d. I sure didn’t like having to install the “Audible Download Manager” software.

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