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X Minus One: Complete

Narrated by: Philip K. Dick
Length: 51 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

X Minus One was a half-hour science fiction radio series broadcast from April 24, 1955 to January 9, 1958, in various time slots on NBC. Initially a revival of NBC's Dimension X (1950-51), X Minus One is widely considered among the finest science fiction dramas ever produced for radio. The first 15 episodes were new versions of Dimension X episodes, but the remainder were adaptations by NBC staff writers, including Ernest Kinoy and George Lefferts, of newly published science fiction stories by leading writers in the field, including Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein, Frederik Pohl, and Theodore Sturgeon, along with some original scripts by Kinoy and Lefferts.

Episodes of the show include adaptations of Robert Sheckley's "Skulking Permit", Bradbury's "Mars Is Heaven", Heinlein's "Universe" and "The Green Hills of Earth", Pohl's "The Tunnel Under the World", J. T. McIntosh's "Hallucination Orbit", Fritz Leiber's "A Pail of Air", and George Lefferts' "The Parade". 

The program opened with announcer Fred Collins delivering the countdown, leading into this introduction (although later shows were partnered with Galaxy Science Fiction rather than Astounding Science Fiction):

"Countdown for blastoff.... X minus five, four, three, two, X minus one.... Fire!" [Rocket launch SFX] "From the far horizons of the unknown come transcribed tales of new dimensions in time and space. These are stories of the future; adventures in which you'll live in a million could-be years on a thousand may-be worlds. The National Broadcasting Company, in cooperation with Street and Smith, publishers of Astounding Science Fiction presents...X Minus One.

©2018 BN Publishing (P)2018 BN Publishing

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great collection in SERIOUS need of chapter labels

122 classic sci-fi radio dramas (though some are repeated), including original introductions and advertisements. The stories can be hit or miss (and some are EXTREMELY dated given these were recorded in the fifties), but the hits are amazing samples of the genre. Even the ads can be a fascinating look into the past. My biggest complaint is that the chapters of the Audible version are not in any way labeled, so there's no way to find the story you're looking for. I skipped through, adding bookmarks identifying each story, and that alone was almost enough to earn the Gold Stenographer Badge (as well as Mount Everest for the sheer length of the book). Ray Bradbury is listed as the author for the book overall, but he's only one of many.

The stories included are also available individually, and a few of them in collections by author. Buying the full set is cheaper, but probably harder to navigate.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Great

No issues with the program or quality of the transfer to audible. Only wish the episodes were titled so that knowing and finding specific episodes would be possible.

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Terrible

I like to listen to audio books when driving. Couldn’t listen to this book because the sound effects were too loud to hear the actors. I gave up
After two episodes.

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  • Curious
  • 11-22-19

Step back in time

Most of the stories have one idea developed, often using humour. The ideas were original and each episode, for me, held my attention and passed quickly.

The most quirky part was the 1950's backdrop with the 1950's viewrs, attitudes and treatment of females, alcohol, smoking and other differences such as race. See the future through the filter of the past - an enjoyable step back in time.