Hear Blade Runner, Terminator, Videodrome & Other 70s, 80s & 90s Movies as Novelized AudioBooks

It is the year 2019. The world is over­crowd­ed. Decay­ing. Mech­a­nized. Android slaves, pro­grammed to live for only four years, are tech­no­log­i­cal mar­vels — strong, intel­li­gent, phys­i­cal­ly indis­tin­guish­able from humans. Into this world comes a band of rebel androids. Desparate to find the mas­ter­mind who built them, bent on extend­ing their life span, they will use all their super­hu­man strength and cun­ning to stop any­thing — or any­one — who gets in their way. Ordi­nary peo­ple are no match to them. Nei­ther are the police. This is a job for one man only. Rick Deckard. Blade Run­ner.

Thus opens the nov­el Blade Run­ner: A Sto­ry of the Future. But even if you so enjoyed Rid­ley Scot­t’s Blade Run­ner that you went back and read the orig­i­nal nov­el that pro­vid­ed the film its source mate­r­i­al, these words may sound unfa­mil­iar to you, not least because you almost cer­tain­ly would have gone back and read Philip K. Dick­’s Do Androids Dream of Elec­tric Sheep?, the real object of Blade Run­ner’s adap­ta­tion. When the movie came out in 1982, out came an edi­tion of Do Androids Dream of Elec­tric Sheep? re-brand­ed as Blade Run­ner: Do Androids Dream of Elec­tric Sheep? — and out as well, con­fus­ing­ly, came Blade Run­ner: A Sto­ry of the Future, the nov­el­iza­tion of the adap­ta­tion.

Who would read such a thing? Movie nov­el­iza­tions have long since passed their 1970s and 80s pre-home-video prime, but in our retro-lov­ing 21st cen­tu­ry they’ve inspired a few true fans to impres­sive demon­stra­tions of their enjoy­ment of this spe­cial­ized form of lit­er­a­ture. “They’re spe­cial to me because when I was younger there were a lot of films I desired to see but didn’t get to, and the nov­el­iza­tions were sold at the Scholas­tic Book Fairs,” says enthu­si­ast Josh Olsen in an inter­view with West­word, who describes his books of choice as “adapt­ed from films, or ear­ly drafts of films at least, locked with short dead­lines and print­ed cheap­ly and per­func­to­ri­ly and end up being part of the movie’s mas­sive mar­ket­ing uni­verse. Basi­cal­ly, it’s the lit­er­ary equiv­a­lent of the McDonald’s cup from back in the day.”

And so we have Audio­books for the Damned, Olsen’s labor of love that has tak­en over thir­ty of these nov­el­iza­tions (all out of print) and adapt­ed them yet one stage fur­ther. You can hear all of them on the pro­jec­t’s Youtube page, from Blade Run­ner: A Sto­ry of the Future (an easy start­ing place, since the nov­el­iza­tion’s scant eighty pages make for a lis­ten­ing expe­ri­ence con­sid­er­ably short­er than the movie itself) to The Ter­mi­na­tor to Video­drome. And if you’d like to spend your next cross-coun­try dri­ve with such cher­ished kitsch clas­sics as Pol­ter­geist, The BroodOver the Edge, or The Lost Boys in unabridged (and unsub­tle) prose form, you can get them on their fea­tured audio­book page. This all deliv­ers to us the obvi­ous next ques­tion: which bold, nos­tal­gic Mil­len­ni­al film­mak­er will step for­ward to turn all these extreme­ly minor mas­ter­works back into movies again?

via Metafil­ter

Relat­ed Con­tent:

700 Free Audio Books: Down­load Great Books for Free

John Lan­dis Decon­structs Trail­ers of Great 20th Cen­tu­ry Films: Cit­i­zen Kane, Sun­set Boule­vard, 2001 & More

Moviedrome: Film­mak­er Alex Cox Pro­vides Video Intro­duc­tions to 100+ Clas­sic Cult Films

Col­in Mar­shall writes else­where on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­maand the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future? Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.


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Comments (4)
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  • M-R says:

    I am an AVID audio book lis­ten­er, because I have lost the abil­i­ty to read books. :-(
    It should be under­stood that, with­out excep­tion, and regard­less of the qual­i­ty of the book, THE most impor­tant thing about mak­ing audio books is the nar­ra­tor: where the nar­ra­tor does­n’t enthral, the book is lost.
    I should dear­ly love to lis­ten to all of these, but …

  • Jon Olsen says:

    The name’s Jon Olsen, not “Josh Olsen.”

    Thanks for lis­ten­ing!

  • Susan Ritter says:

    I agree, Please who ever is read­ing these books stop.

  • cooper says:

    good day

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