What a find! A poet I admire passed this along to me, and it was too good not to share — 47 hours of science fiction radio classics that Open Culture recently added to its Spotify page. You’ve got to be a Spotify member to hear these, but signing up is free and easy. (Spotify also makes it easy to reset your password if you’ve forgotten it, as I did.)
Right at the top of the list is Orson Welles’ famous/infamous 1938 broadcast of his radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds.” (Yes, this the show that made people believe that martians were actually invading. How’s that for “fake news?”)
Welles’ broadcast was actually the first classic radio I’d ever heard, when I was a kid in the 1980’s. I’d gotten it on a pair of cassette tapes for either Christmas or my birthday, along with an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” If those strike you as weird presents, I was a weird kid.
I loved those tapes — the Poe recording was so good it genuinely scared me. (The narrator really nailed it.) If I happen across that online, I’ll be sure to post it here.