"John Banks is one of the UK's most prolific audiobook narrators, working for the likes of Big Finish, Audible, Random House and Games Workshop.

He is a true multi-voice, creating everything from monsters to marauding aliens.

He is also an accomplished stage and TV actor."

audible.co.uk 2018

A Lord Among the Stars

Hello...

...I'm John Banks - welcome to my website.

The majority of my working life has been spent in the theatre with companies including
York Theatre Royal, Cheltenham Everyman, Sheffield Crucible, Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange and the National Theatre in London.

Television work includes Emmerdale, Coronation Street, and 'Allo, Allo!'. I have also worked on a number of radio drama and comedy productions with the BBC.

Since March 2009, I have enjoyed playing a huge variety of characters in more than 270* audio-drama stories with Big Finish Productions, together with The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.


There are also details listed here of the 187* audio books & stories I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including audible.co.uk, Hachette, Audible Studios, Podium Audio Publishing, HarperCollins, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at April 2020)

I hope you find something of interest here and come back soon for further updates.


For all posts, reviews and audio samples, please scroll down...

Soul Wars

Games Workshop

Games Workshop

The Revelation of The Word

The Moggotkin of Nurgle

Media Content

This Windows 10 Googleblog is designed and best viewed on Firefox; unfortunately, some media content may not function properly with other browsers or operating systems.

Search This Blog

Angels of Death Preview

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

The Paternoster Gang


"Victorian London harbours many secrets: alien visitors, strange phenomena and unearthly powers.

But a trio of investigators stands ready to delve into such mysteries: the Great Detective, Madame Vastra, her resourceful spouse, Jenny Flint, and their loyal valet, Strax."


 Now there's an appetite whetting opening to an audio drama box set if ever I heard one!  




"If an impossible puzzle needs solving, or a grave injustice needs righting, help can be found on Paternoster Row.

But even heroes can never escape their past..."

There are three stories in this box set from Big Finish and in 'Truth and Bone', by Roy Gill, I'm having great fun playing 'Skark'. Here are some details:

 

3.1 Family Matters by Lisa McMullin
Jenny’s past comes calling at Paternoster Row, as Strax takes care of a guest, and the travelling circus comes to town - spelling danger for some of the gang.

But when family matters intrude on their marriage, the last thing Jenny wants is Vastra having her in-laws for dinner...

3.2 Whatever Remains by Robert Valentine
The Great Detective’s latest case takes Vastra and friends to the Jurassic coast. A local landowner has vanished. The only clue – the footprints of a gigantic creature!

As Strax suffers the attentions of an amorous landlady, Jenny gains an admirer of her own. And Vastra discovers something buried deep...

3.3 Truth and Bone by Roy Gill
Bloomsbury troublemakers Stonn and Tom Foster are back, and in much more trouble than ever before.

Sontar has turned its attention to Earth as Requisitioner Skark looks to retrieve missing soldiers. And Jenny finds Vastra preoccupied with the past, which may lead to a very dark future...



 The cast for these stories includes:

Neve McIntosh, Catrin Stewart, Dan Starkey, 
Ignatious Anthony, Annette Badland, John Banks,
Beth Chalmers, Robert Fitch, Arthur Hughes, Wanda Opalinska, Robert Portal, 
Christopher Ryan, Jack Shalloo & Issy Van Randwyck


Produced by David Richardson & Directed by Ken Bentley

4 Disc box set - length: 238 minutes 


* * * * *

This is my first Big Finish production since 'Sherlock Holmes: The Master of Blackstone Grange", released in March 2018, so after what can only be described as 'a bit of a break', I hope you enjoy these fabulous adventures, which I very much look forward to listening to myself.


...all for now: more just as soon as it happens!

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Senlin Ascends - booktrack edition

"...so, what's a 'booktrack edition'?" I hear you ask and in all honesty, I was wondering exactly the same thing, until audible.co.uk came up with the explanation. As you may be aware, my audio book version of Josiah Bancroft's fantastic story, the first of his 'The Books of Babel' series, was originally available in January 2018 and now, this new addition has seen the light of day. Here's what audible have to say about it:

Senlin Ascends: Booktrack Edition adds an immersive musical soundtrack to your audiobook listening experience!*




The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of luxury and menace, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

 



Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he'll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassins, and the illusions of the Tower. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action. 






*Booktrack is an immersive format that pairs traditional audiobook narration to complementary music. The tempo and rhythm of the score are in perfect harmony with the action and characters throughout the audiobook. Gently playing in the background, the music never overpowers or distracts from the narration, so listeners can enjoy every minute. When you purchase this Booktrack edition, you receive the exact narration as the traditional audiobook available, with the addition of music throughout.


 
























Written by Josiah Bancroft, Performed by John Banks & Produced by Neil Gardner


Length: 14 hours - 15 minutes

©2017 Josiah Bancroft (P)2020 Hachette Audio


* * * * *

Starting with 'Senlin Ascends', followed by 'The Arm of The Sphinx', then 'The Hod King' 'The Books of Babel' series is high up there in my list of all time favourite audio books - at least, of the ones I've had the pleasure of narrating! Rather than tie myself in knots, trying to explain how and why these stories are so unique, immersive and original, here's Josiah himself, talking us through the basics:





I love these stories and hope you will too; time to ascend The Tower of Babel!




Here's a link to the audible.co.uk sample: Senlin Ascends booktrack edition  


...all for now; more just as soon as it happens!


  

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Chains of Blood: The Chaos Cycle Book 1

A quick update on an audio book released yesterday from Podium Publishing and available via Amazon & audible. Here are some details:

Chains of Blood

The Chaos Cycle, Book 1


He thought he was born Rylan Marshall...until he found out he wasn’t.

Rylan was attacked, his young son murdered, his baby daughter taken. But his assailant left him with two gifts: the gift of magic...and an oath to darkness.





Gil Archer is the son of a legend and one of the most powerful battle mages in the Lyceum. He is sent on a mission to recover Rylan, but ends up on a far more dangerous path.

And war is coming for them both.

Will Rylan use his newfound power to make a stand, or will his oath to darkness guide him to the enemy? And will Gil live up to the legacy of his father, or will his fate lead him to a much darker destiny?

If you love grimdark fantasy filled with vivid realism, brutal warfare, and raw emotion, this new adventure is just for you.





Xiana & Rylan
 

Produced by Neil Gardner & Performed by John Banks


Length: 13 hours - 40 minutes




Darien

©2019 ML Spencer (P)2020 Podium Publishing


Artwork by: Felix Ortiz 



I'm very pleased that this project came together in the way it did. I was originally approached by Podium Publishing over a year ago and because they're based in Los Angeles, I think they assumed I would record form a home studio, as many American narrators have been doing for years and (familiar theme manifesting itself here!) many UK based narrators are now having to consider, myself included! 

Unfortunately, after much discussion, that first project didn't get off the ground, so I was particularly delighted to hear from them again earlier this year, offering Chains of Blood. Long story short, we arranged to record the book in Neil G's Ladbroke Audio studios, with Neil co-producing; we had great fun with it and the finished product is now available. It's Book 1 of, I think, a trilogy, so fingers crossed that we get to record Books 2&3!




...all for now; more just as soon as it happens!


 

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Mr. Atkinson's Rum Contract


Good afternoon and welcome to today's lockdown-update. Despite the enforced 'inactivity' of the last few weeks, officially announced here in the UK on the evening of 23rd March, I've actually been pretty 'active'. 

As I mentioned in the last update, my industry, like many others, has effectively closed down for the time being and none of us can work, with the exception of those narrators and actors who have access to a home studio and are able to record 'remotely'. I've been doing my very best to acquire the necessary basic kit to record from home and there's still much to do. I've been learning how to use the recording equipment I now have and that's going well, although the learning curve is initially, quite steep. 

The most critical element in the whole set up, is of course, the actual recording environment. The electronic gadgetry required to record to professional industry standard, can be severely compromised by a badly 'sound-proofed' room. Creating a workable recording room is a considerable technical challenge and so, as a speedy and hopefully professional sounding alternative, I've been researching the kind of audio booth which can be bought as a self-assembly kit. I'm pursuading myself that to acquire such an isolation booth would be a 'sound investment' (sorry...), so if I can find something that will not only do the job, but also physically fit into my house, that looks like the next logical step to take. At the moment, I have created a makeshift temporary 'studio' environment, which sounds fine, but would easily pick up the sound of passing cars, barking dogs, grass cutting and any one of a thousand other things my equally locked-down neighbours might come up with; so a proper solution has to be found soonish as I'm losing work, which never sits well, whatever the reason.

Just before lock-down kicked in, I recorded the audio book detailed below, for Harper Collins. It was published in all formats on 16th April and is available to download via amazon and audible:



Richard Atkinson was in his late 30s and approaching a milestone he had long feared - the age at which his father died – when one day he came across a box of old family letters gathering dust in a cupboard.

This discovery set him on an all-consuming, highly emotional journey, ultimately taking him from the weather-beaten house of his Cumbrian ancestors to the ruins of their sugar estates in Jamaica.
Richard’s searches led him to one forebear in particular, an earlier Richard Atkinson, a brilliant but flawed West India merchant who had shipped all the British army’s supplies (including thousands of barrels of rum) during the American War of Independence and amassed staggering wealth and connections along the way. ‘Rum’ Atkinson died young, at the height of his powers, leaving a vast inheritance to his many nephews and nieces, as well as the society beauty who had refused his proposal of marriage; 40 years of litigation followed as his heirs wrangled over his legacy.

Drawing on their personal correspondence, Richard writes with rare candour about his worldly ancestors and their involvement in the slave trade – for, like many well-to-do Georgian families, the Atkinsons’ wealth was acquired at a terrible cost, through the blood, sweat and lives of enslaved Africans. When the first of the Atkinsons sailed to Jamaica in the 1780s, the island was the jewel in the imperial crown; when the last of them returned to England in the 1850s, it was an impoverished backwater. This vivid tale of a single family, their lives and loves, set against a panoramic backdrop of war, politics and slavery, offers a uniquely intimate insight into one of the most disturbing chapters in Britain’s colonial past.



Produced at RNIB Camden Studios by Tom Harrison & Narrated by John Banks


 Running length: 12 hours - 40 minutes


©2020 Richard Atkinson (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited


As a neat little segue, during the recording of Mr. Atkinson at the RNIB studios, I was asked if I'd like to contribute to an RNIB Connect Radio program, hosted by author Red Szell. Now, as the idea of the interview was to talk about my various audio adventures, including the Mr. Atkinson story, I thought it churlish to say anything other than a gleeful - 'yes'!

The interview can be heard below; my ramblings start from around the 32 minute mark:





* * * * *

Just to round off today's posting; Thursday at 8pm here in the UK, has become the time we all briefly step out of our houses and flats, to applaud NHS staff and thank them for the amazing work they are doing at the moment, under incredibly difficult and dangerous conditions, dealing with this awful C-19 pandemic, which has impacted on all of us.

Over the last couple of months, my friends Christopher, Oliver and Tamara, along with family members, Sasha, Jamie, Benjie, Isabelle and Alex, have all had the coronavirus and have all, mercifully, come through without need of hospitalisation, which, as I'm sure you will appreciate, is a great relief. 



Keep safe & stay well.


...all for now; more just as soon as it happens! 


Sunday, 29 March 2020

Lockdown...

Good afternoon and thanks for stopping by. What strange times we're living through at the moment; the reality of a pandemic - a great subject for drama, but probably not something any of us could imagine as an actual event. Echoes of the drama series 'Survivors', which I recorded a few years ago with Big Finish, serve to remind me, that our current circumstances are not so far removed from something only previously imaginable as a work of fiction.

I don't want to drone on about Covid-19 in this update, but how could it go unmentioned? I can only hope that the goodness of human nature, which is already expressing itself around the world, will help to bring us all to a greater appreciation and understanding of each other, to highlight how inter-dependant we are and the degree to which we share our little lives together on this spinning ball in space.

A regular update on these pages would mention latest audio releases and other stuff I've been involved with. In perspective, perhaps that's not the most important thing going on at the moment, although it does seem to me, that a little distraction, a short 'time-out' is always welcome and listening to an audio book, or a bunch of actors pretending to be Space Marines, might just be as good a means as any of taking one's mind to another place for a while, as we all hunker down and wait for this awful virus to play itself out.




Lockdown here in the UK, meant that I had to work at maximum effort and minumum time wastage, in order to complete the recording of an audio book; we managed it after an intense two days in the studio and at some point in the next few months, I hope it will be released on schedule, along with it's release in other formats. Alas, I'm still not allowed to say what the recording was of, or indeed what other things are in the publication pipeline; what I can say is that it's one of four books, three audio dramas and an animation series,* scheduled for release over the next few months.

Most of the studios I work with, if not all, are now closed and the only new audio work being produced, is by narrators who have access to a 'home studio'. At the moment, I don't have a home studio, but I'll have to put that right, just as soon as it becomes possible to acquire the necessary materials and electronic gadgetry to build one. I recently worked for a Los Angeles based audio publisher and I'm sure the majority of their narrators work from home, as the practicalities of getting to a pro studio in the United States, could be daunting. I'm grateful that they not only invited me to record with them, but also engaged a producer and hired a pro studio for me here in the UK. Fingers crossed they don't regret their investment!




Like most of us who are currently keeping to ourselves at home, I'm getting on with all the day to day things that normally get overlooked or ignored. I can't pretend it's as much fun as my day job, but I'm grateful to be well and able to keep myself usefully occupied.

There's an awful lot of text here and so far, not much in the way of illustration: perhaps I'll just throw in a couple of my favourite images from the world of Warhammer to liven things up...

Stay well, take care and happy listening; that's...


...all for now: more just as soon as it happens!



NB: * the animation series, Angels of Death, (see Preview 2 above) could be delayed as a result of  the lockdown.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

The Regent's Shadow

An island of calm, amidst a tempestuous sea - otherwise known as Sunday afternoon! And quite a sunny one it is here in the UK; after several consecutive weekends of storm and torrential rain, with many people and communities still suffereing the effects of extreme weather and flooding, the sun has finally broken out and there's a definite feeling of Spring in the air.

But you haven't come here to listen to a weather update and it's just as well, because there's so much to mention in this posting, I don't know if it will all fit on the site, it might just break the internet!

The first thing to mention and, in fact, the main reason I thought I should post an update, is the release yesterday of Chris Wraight's second volume of his Vaults of Terra series, The Regent's Shadow. To coincide with the novel and audio, there is also the release of a fabulous set of miniatures, depicting Sister of Silence, Aleya, performed in the audios by Emma Gregory and my character, Valerian, performed by, well... me! Having performed quite a number of Warhammer characters, I know there are several miniatures already available; but there's something very exciting about having a miniature created for a character no one else has ever played and I'm thrilled that the decision was made to go ahead with Valerian - can't wait to start building and painting! Now, if someone would create a miniature of Endryd Haar of The Backshields...

So here goes with the details of what's on offer, along with videos from author Chris Wraight and designer of the miniatures, Samir Battistotti:

The Regent's Shadow

Book 2 in the Watchers of the Throne series 


A new day has dawned for the Imperium, but not everyone sees the light. The Custodian Guard and Sisters of Silence must battle not just Chaos, but those who do not share Regent Guilliman's vision.... 


As Guilliman, Regent of Terra, heads off to lead the Indomitus Crusade, he leaves behind a world still in turmoil, beset by cult activity. Stripped of its huge armies for the galactic offensive, recovery is precarious. The Custodians do what they can while keeping the Palace secure, and the Sisters of Silence rebuild their citadel on Luna. When the warship Phalanx returns, it seems that stability will at last be assured. 

However, as reconquest forces push out further into the slums, they come across signs that another mysterious foe is active. The truth dawns - not every enemy is corrupted by Chaos, for there are many on Terra who do not share Guilliman’s vision of a new order, and the prospect of a Terran civil war looms...


 


Performed by John Banks, Emma Gregory and Penelope Rawlins
 
Written by Chris Wraight & Produced by Matt Renshaw

Running time: 11 hours - 52 minutes. 

 

 

 

©2020 Games Workshop Limited (P)2020 Games Workshop Limited

 

* * * * *

And the second thing I'd like to mention today and something which came as a bit of a surprise to me, is the availability of several audio anthologies, many of which, I appear to be involved with. Once again, here are some details:



From the heart of an alien-haunted space hulk to a war-torn shrine world and the wastes of Armageddon, the Adeptus Astartes bring the Emperor's wrath to mankind's enemies.


The Adeptus Astartes are humanity's champions, superhuman warriors armed with the finest weapons and clad in mighty armour. They defend the Imperium of Mankind from all its myriad foes – the alien, the heretic and the daemon. There are a thousand Chapters of Space Marines across the Imperium, each with its own traditions and ways of waging war, but all have one thing in common – their total dedication to eradicating their enemies in the name of the Emperor.

This audio drama anthology contains seven stories of the Space Marines. Discover how the Blood Angels, Salamanders, Crimson Fists, Black Templars, Scythes of the Emperor, Iron Hands and Mortifactors Chapters wage war against mankind's enemies in action-packed, full-cast audio dramas with immersive sound effects and music.

Taker of Heads by Ian St. Martin. Narrated by John Banks
The Madness Within by Steve Lyons. Narrated by Toby Longworth*
Heart of Rage by James Swallow. Narrated by Toby Longworth.
Fireborn by Nick Kyme. Narrated by Toby Longworth
The Glorious Tomb by Guy Haley. Narrated by Toby Longworth, Jonathan Keeble, Ian Brooker, Gareth Armstrong
Daedalus by L J Goulding. Narrated by John Banks, Antonia Beamish, Robin Bowerman, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Toby Longworth & Luis Soto
The Calculus of Battle by David Guymer. Narrated by John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Toby Longworth and Luis Soto.

Approx running time 6 hours -55 minutes               *Narrated by me rather than Toby!





Discover some of the dedicated servants of mankind's Imperium – Assassins, Commissars and Inquisitors – as they battle the many foes of humanity across eight audio dramas.


In the sprawling Imperium of Mankind, everyone serves the Emperor in their own way. From the Inquisitors who hunt the hidden enemies of humanity in the dark places of the galaxy to the brave soldiers who stand on the front line, and the Imperial Assassins who can change the tides of war with a single shot, each has a part to play in preserving the Imperium.

This audio drama anthology contains eight stories of the agents who dispense the Emperor's justice. You'll find two tales of Imperial Assassins plying their deadly trade, one of an Imperial Commissar haunted by ghosts of his past, and five stories about agents of the Imperial Inquisition, including the famous and feared Inquisitors Eisenhorn, Ravenor and Greyfax.

Kill Shot by Ben Counter* . Narrated by Tom Alexander, John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Emma Gregory, Matthew Hunt, Deeivya Meir, David Seddon and Joe Shire
Judge of the Wastes by David Annandale*. Narrated by Tom Alexander, John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Emma Gregory, Matthew Hunt, Deeivya Meir, David Seddon and Joe Shire
The Interrogation of Salvor Lermentov by Chris Wraight*. Narrated by Tom Alexander, John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Emma Gregory, Matthew Hunt, Deeivya Meir, David Seddon and Joe Shire
Eye of Night by Gav Thorpe. Narrated by Annie Aldington, Gareth Armstrong, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Emma Gregory, Matthew Hunt, Jonathan Keeble and Melvyn Rawlinson
The Emperor's Judgement by Joe Parrino. Narrated by Tania Rodrigues, Beth Chalmers, Jonathan Keeble, Ian Brooker, Robin Bowerman
Thorn Wishes Talon by Dan Abnett. Narrated by Jonathan Keeble, Gareth Armstrong, Lisa Coleman, Jane Collingwood, Rupert Degas
Master Imus's Transgression by Dan Abnett. Narrated by Jonathan Keeble, Gareth Armstrong, Rupert Degas
Regia Occulta by Dan Abnett. Narrated by Gareth Armstrong, Jonathan Keeble, Lisa Coleman

*As part of the Agents of the Imperium anthology

Approx running time 5 hours - 38 minutes





The Imperial Guard represent the very best of mankind – its indomitable spirit, ordinary men and women refusing to give up in the face of all the horrors of the galaxy.


Across the war-torn galaxy, the Imperial Guard are a bastion against the enemies of mankind. From the elite veteran drop troops of Elysia to the fierce Catachan jungle fighters, and from Valhalla's ice warriors to the crews of mighty battle tanks, the many regiments of the Astra Militarum defend the Emperor's realm against all who would tear it asunder.

This audio drama anthology contains seven tales of the brave soldiers of the Astra Militarum. A three-part story delves into intrigue surrounding Sergeant Zachariah of Elysia as he faces traitors. Two outrageous adventures of the infamous Commissar Ciaphas Cain, Hero of the Imperium, take him and his warriors into danger after danger, a tank crew faces terror in real time, and Catachan Colonel Straken faces cultists on a jungle world.

Scions of Elysia by Chris Dows.Narrated by John Banks, Stephen Perring, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Melvyn Rawlinson, Jonathan Keeble
Renegades of Elysia by Chris Dows. Narrated by John Banks, Matthew Hunt, Stephen Perring, Cliff Chapman, Jonathan Keeble, Steve Conlin
Martyrs of Elysia by Chris Dows. Narrated by John Banks, Stephen Perring, Jonathan Keeble, Cliff Chapman, Matthew Hunt, Steve Conlin, Melvyn Rawlinson
Titans' Bane by Chris Dows. Narrated by Penelope Rawlins, Cliff Chapman, Ken Bradshaw, Steve Conlin, Andrew Wincott, Matthew Hunt
Dead in the Water by Sandy Mitchell. Narrated by Toby Longworth, Lisa Bowerman
The Devil You Know by Sandy Mitchell. Narrated by Toby Longworth, Gareth Armstrong, Jonathan Keeble, Angus King, Harriet Kershaw
Waiting Death by Steve Lyons. Narrated by Toby Longworth

Approx running time 6 hours - 26 minutes





The Dark Angels are among the most steadfast and noble of the Space Marines – but their dark secret, the Fallen they relentlessly hunt, always threatens to bring an end to their legacy of honour…


No matter the foe, regardless of the odds, the proud warriors of the Dark Angels stubbornly refuse to accept defeat. Descendants of the First Legion, they stand foremost amongst the Chapters of the Space Marines, mankind’s mightiest defenders. None fight with more grim determination than the Dark Angels, and their renowned special companies – the Deathwing and the Ravenwing – are held in awe by allies and enemies alike. Yet behind their devotion to the Imperium lies a dark obsession…

This audio drama anthology contains six tales of the Dark Angels, their missions to defend mankind and their relentless hunt for the mysterious Fallen. Within these tales, you'll be introduced to some of the greatest heroes of the Dark Angels – Chapter Master Azrael, Chief Librarian Ezekiel, Interrogator-Chaplain Asmodai, Deathwing Master Belial and Company Master Balthasar – as they face their greatest trials and darkest moments. You'll also see the Dark Angels through the eyes of mortal warriors who face the Space Marines' wrath after an encounter with the arch-Fallen, Cypher.


The Rage of Asmodai by C Z Dunn. Narrated by John Banks, Steve Conlin, Jonathan Keeble, Toby Longworth and Saul Reichlin
Holder of the Keys by Gav Thorpe. Narrated by Toby Longworth
Accept No Failure by Gav Thorpe. Narrated by Gareth Armstrong, Ian Brooker, Jonathan Keeble, Toby Longworth
Trials of Azrael by C Z Dunn. Narrated by Gareth Armstrong, Tim Bentinck, Clare Corbett, Chris Fairbank and Luke Thompson.
The Ascension of Balthasar by C Z Dunn. Narrated by Jonathan Keeble, Sean Barrett, Tim Bentinck, Saul Reichlin, Jane Whymark
Malediction by C Z Dunn. Narrated by Sean Barrett, Rupert Degas, Saul Reichlin

Approx running time 5 hours - 21 minutes



The Raven Guard are extraordinary stealth troops, striking from the shadows after misdirecting their foes with subterfuge and wiles. These are their stories.


The Raven Guard are the Sons of Corax, and in the art of shadow warfare they are without equal. Theirs is the way of stealth, subterfuge and misdirection, ensuring their enemies are unaware of the true danger they face until it is far too late.

This audio drama anthology contains seven tales of the Raven Guard. In these stories, you'll discover the secrets of the mysterious Shadowmasters, witness a descent into a mysterious labyrinth haunted by an unseen foe, experience war against the tyranids, learn how the sons of Corax connect to humanity, and more.


The Geld by George Mann. Narrated by Toby Longworth, Matthew Hunt, John Banks, Steve Conlin, Adrian Wheeler, Jonathan Keeble
Soulbound by George Mann. Narrated by Toby Longworth, Steve Conlin, Matthew Hunt, John Banks, Tim Bentinck, Emma Gregory
Labyrinth of Sorrows by George Mann. Narrated by Sean Barrett, Rupert Degas, Saul Reichlin
Helion Rain by George Mann. Narrated by Toby Longworth
Alone by Joe Parrino. Narrated by Jonathan Keeble, Robin Bowerman, Gareth Armstrong
Loss by Joe Parrino. Narrated by Jonathan Keeble, Gareth Armstrong, Robin Bowerman, Ian Brooker
With Baited Breath by George Mann. Narrated by Toby Longworth and Ramon Tikaram.

Approx running time 6 Horus - 49 minutes



Mankind rightly rules the galaxy – but there are many aliens who would see that reign end, from the savage orks to the subtle aeldari…


Many are the xenos foes who plague mankind's Imperium. Ancient races which once ruled the galaxy, such as the aeldari and necrons, lurk in the darkness, awaiting their chance to reclaim what was once theirs. Younger races like the upstart T'au Empire grow in power and influence, ever eager to topple humanity and take their place. And across the galaxy, the savage orks wage brutal war, fighting all in their path simply for the joy of battle.

This audio drama anthology contains eight tales of the aeldari, the orks and the T'au Empire. From the adventures of a greenskin mekaniak and his madcap entourage to a journey into a shattered aeldari craftworld and a tale of a war-damaged t'au bent on revenge, each of these immersive audio dramas will give you new insights into the aliens of the 41st Millennium.


Prophets of Waaagh! by Guy Haley. Narrated by Tom Alexander, John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Matthew Hunt, Jonathan Keeble, David Seddon & Joe Shire
Hand of Darkness by Gav Thorpe. Narrated by Gareth Armstrong, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Emma Gregory, Matthew Hunt, Jonathan Keeble, Toby Longworth, Penelope Rawlins and Melvyn Rawlinson.
Asurmen – The Darker Road by Gav Thorpe. Narrated by Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Steve Conlin, Toby Longworth, Penelope Rawlins and Genevieve Swallow.
Klaw of Mork by Guy Haley. Narrated by Jonathan Keeble, Ben Allen, Kris Milnes, Peter Noble
The Iron Devil by C L Werner. Narrated by Gareth Armstrong, Joe Absolom, Michael Fenner, Luke Thompson
The Kauyon by Andy Smillie. Narrated by Toby Longworth
Howl of the Banshee by Gav Thorpe. Narrated by Annemarie Gaillard, Harriet Kershaw, Susie Riddell, Caroline Sheen
The Path Forsaken by Rob Sanders. Narrated by Sean Barrett, Gareth Armstrong, Lucy Brown, Clare Corbett, Martyn Eliis, Paul Panting

Approx running time 6 hours - 59 minutes




The Space Wolves are among the mightiest of mankind's defenders, savage and brutal warriors who always fight for what is right, no matter the cost. 

From their unassailable polar stronghold, the Fang, on the frozen death world of Fenris, the Space Wolves cast off into the Sea of Stars seeking out Mankind’s most vicious enemies to defeat in glorious battle. Each Space Wolf is a warrior of legend whose heroic deeds are recorded in epic sagas.

This audio drama anthology contains seven tales of the Space Wolves. In these stories, you'll discover the moment the Chapter changed forever, ride across the frozen tundra, experience battles with orks, drukhari and more, witness the infamous Lukas the Trickster at work and see the dynamic between the sons of Russ and their rivals in the Dark Angels.


Thunder from Fenris by Nick Kyme. Narrated by Toby Longworth
The Art of Provocation by Josh Reynolds. Narrated by John Banks, Jonathan Keeble and Toby Longworth.
Parting of the Ways by Chris Wraight. Narrated by Jonathan Keeble, Ian Brooker, Steve Conlin, Robin Bowerman, Gareth Armstrong
Iceclaw by Ben Counter. Narrated by Peter Noble, Toby Longworth
Doomseeker by Nick Kyme. Narrated by Toby Longworth and Ramon Tikaram.
Deathwolf by Andy Smillie. Narrated by Sean Barrett, Rupert Degas, Chris Fairbank, Charlotte Paige, David Timson
Vox Tenebris by Robbie MacNiven. Narrated by John Banks, Steve Conlin and Toby Longworth.

5 hours - 36 minutes

* * * * *


And that just about wraps things up for this posting. I'm having a very busy period of recording at the moment and there's lots more in the pipeline, so I hope that you enjoy some or any of the above audios and that you'll visit the site again to check out further updates. In the meantime, that's...

 

...all for now; more just as soon as it happens!

 

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Neon

Good afternoon and welcome to a sunny, spring like day here in the UK, after a very wet and stormy few weeks. I've been fortunate to have been able to work largely from home during the worst of the bad weather, as I've had a mountain of prep to do for two quite challenging audio books. The first of those books went into the studio last Thursday and was completed yesterday, so today, I'm allowing myself a little 'time out' to catch up on other stuff that needs my attention - like this blog!

After an energy sapping ten-day mark up, the second of the two books now needs to be my prime focus and I'll continue to work on it until it too goes into the studio next Tuesday. One of the trickier aspects of this book, is that it's the third in a series and has a number of recurring characters, going back to 2017, when they were first recorded. I have some voice samples to refer to and indeed, the full recordings, which I'm now listening to in an attempt to remind myself of how I voiced the original characters. As I have some time and the bulk of prep is already done, I also have the luxury of being able to simply re-read the text and familiarise myself with the actual story!

Full details of these books will become available nearer publication; as ever, I'm limited in what I can say about them until details are released by the publisher. However, what I can talk about, is the release later this week, of Neon, the first book from new author, G.S. Locke. Here's some info:

NEON


A detective desperate for revenge. A hitwoman with one last job. A killer with both on his list.




Detective Matt Jackson has reached the end. His beloved wife, Polly, is the latest victim of 'NEON' - a serial killer who displays his victims in snaking neon lights - and he can't go on without her.



Unable to take his life, Jackson hires a hitwoman to finish the job. But on the night of his own murder, he makes a breakthrough in the case, and at the last minute his hitwoman, Iris, is offered an irresistible alternative: help Jackson find and kill NEON in return for the detective's entire estate.

What follows is a game of cat and mouse between detective, hitwoman and serial killer. And when Jackson discovers it's not a coincidence that all their paths have crossed, he begins to question who the real target has been all along....


Narrated by John Banks

Written by G.S. Locke & Produced by Javier Cruz

Length: 9 hours - 4 minutes

 
©2019 G. S. Locke (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group


NB: for some reason, as I play back the Soundcloud clip above, it doesn't sound at all good on this computer, although it sounds fine on my iPad - why? - I have no idea; your guess is as good as mine!


* * * * * 


The next several weeks are looking very busy I'm glad to say, with some lovely stuff coming up, that I'm very much looking forward to. Thanks as ever, for stopping by; that's...


...all for now; more just a soon as it happens! 


PS: In response to a recent Tweet about his fabulous novel, The Puppet Show, author M.W Craven, said that the audio book version was: "Expertly narrated by the annoyingly talented John Banks", to which I said, I would use the quote on my blog-site - so here it is - thanks Mr. C!

 

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Angels of Death

Good evening and welcome to today's update!




The beginning of the month saw the release of three audiobooks on the same day, since when, things have gone a bit quiet in terms of 'what's new', though I'm pleased to say, it has been a busy and interesting time, both in the recording studio and preparing for future projects. I must also say, there's some very interesting stuff coming along the pipeline and, as ever, I can't wait to give details here, just as soon as I am able.






With that in mind, you might have noticed over the last several months, a few subtle hints about a 'top secret project' which I'm most excited about and which I have been very much looking forward to revealing details of. On Thursday of this week, I was fortunate to see an extended version of the trailer featuring the Blood Angels, which appears below. It was first shown in public at the Las Vegas Open 2020:



As far as I'm aware, the animation series, Angels of Death, from which the trailer is taken, is still a 'work in progress' and final confirmation of a release date is yet to be given. Needless to say, I'll be talking about this series much more when details become fully available.




Another recent item of interest, is the recording of a new 'ident' for Warhammer. To quote Andy Smillie, Head of the Warhammer Media Team: 

“We really wanted a Warhammer ident so that, when people are watching one of our shows, they’ll know that what they’re seeing is part of the Warhammer brand. It’s a mark of quality, if you will, something to tie what you see on your screen to the Warhammer hobby and to Games Workshop.” 




* * * * *

So, exciting times ahead and I'm now preparing a number of audio projects all the way through to April and with any luck, I hope some of them at least, will be of interest.


...all for now; more just as soon as it happens!

Thursday, 9 January 2020

The Shadow Saint

Good afternoon! This month's audio releases continue with today's publication of Gareth Hanrahan's second Black Iron Legacy story, The Shadow Saint.

Here are some details:

The Shadow Saint

With his acclaimed debut, The Gutter Prayer, Gareth Hanrahan introduced a world of sorcerers and thieves, broken gods and dangerous magic. Now, this epic tale continues in The Shadow Saint, the gripping second novel in the Black Iron Legacy.



As the Godswar draws ever closer and tensions within the city escalate, how long will the people of Guerdon be able to keep their enemies at bay?





Written by Gareth Hanrahan, Produced by Neil Gardner & Narrated by John Banks

audio book length: 19 hours & 39 minutes


©2020 Gareth Hanrahan (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK


* * * * *

In the ancient city of Guerdon, three thieves - an orphan, a ghoul and a cursed man - are accused of a crime they didn't commit. Their quest for revenge exposes a perilous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born.





A centuries-old magical war is on the verge of reigniting, and in the tunnels deep below the city, a malevolent power stirs. Only by standing together can the three friends prevent a conflict that would bring total devastation to their city - and the world beyond.
 

 
Written by Gareth Hanrahan, Produced by Neil Gardner & Narrated by John Banks

audio book length: 16 hours & 57 minutes 



©2018 Gareth Hanrahan (P)2018 Hachette Audio UK
 
 
...all for now; more just as soon as it happens!

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

M.W.Craven: Fluke

New Year, new post, new adventures... welcome to all and many thanks for stopping by. 2020 already feels well under way and as I write, I have two audio books prepped and ready to record in the next couple of weeks, along with an audio drama, the script of which, I haven't yet seen, so a treat in store no doubt and I can't wait to get stuck in to reading it.

In the meantime; January has three audio releases, recorded at the end of last year, the first two of which, are written by M.W. Craven, award-winning author of The Puppet Show and Black Summer.

Here are some details:

Born in a Burial Gown

 



The first gritty thriller in the Avison Fluke series by M. W. Craven, the acclaimed author of The Puppet Show.

Detective Inspector Avison Fluke is a man on the edge. He has committed a crime to get back to work, concealed a debilitating illness and is about to be made homeless.

Just as he thinks things can't get any worse, the body of a young woman is found buried on a Cumbrian building site. 




Shot once in the back of the head, it is a cold, calculated execution. When the postmortem reveals she has gone to significant expense in disguising her appearance, Fluke knows this is no ordinary murder.

With the help of a psychotic ex-Para, a gangland leader and a woman more interested in maggots than people, Fluke must find out who she was and why she was murdered before he can even think about finding her killer.

D.I. Avison Fluke: Book 1
 
Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins

Body Breaker

 



The second dark and twisted thriller in the Avison Fluke series by M. W. Craven, the acclaimed author of The Puppet Show.

Investigating how a severed hand ends up on the third green of a Cumbrian golf course is not how Detective Inspector Avison Fluke has planned to spend his Saturday. So when a secret protection unit from London swoops in quoting national security, he's secretly pleased.



But trouble is never far away. A young woman arrives at his lakeside cabin with a cryptic message: a code known to only a handful of people, and it forces Fluke back into the investigation he's only just been barred from.

In a case that will change his life forever, Fluke immerses himself in a world of New Age travellers,corrupt cops and domestic extremists. Before long he's alienated his entire team, has been arrested under the Terrorism Act - and has made a pact with the devil himself. But a voice has called out to him from beyond the grave. And Fluke is only getting started....  

 
D.I. Avison Fluke Book 2 
 
Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins 


Both audiobooks produced by Neil Gardner and narrated by John Banks

©2019 M. W. Craven (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK 



...all for now; more just as soon as it happens! 


Ultramarines

Psychic Awakening

Warcry: Death or Glory

Warhammer 40,000

Flight. Redefined.

Reviews & comments:

The Malazan Empire

Over the course of this 8 book series, the amazing John Banks has had to create and voice 648 distinct characters!

Neil Gardner - producer

The Door In The Wall & War of The Worlds

Not often I buy another version of an audiobook I own, but after hearing John Banks' narration of The Door in the Wall by Ladbroke Audio, I had to buy their version of The War of the Worlds. Banks has a great reading voice.

Andy Frankham-Allen - writer

The Books of Babel: Senlin Ascends, Arm of The Sphinx & The Hod King

Mr. Banks does superb work, and I recommend the audiobooks wholeheartedly!

Josiah Bancroft - writer

Mervyn Stone: The Axeman Cometh

John Banks is a voice genius...

Nev Fountain - writer

Mervyn Stone... played by the note-perfect John Banks.

Matt Hills - Reviews in Time and Space

Dr. Who: The Sleeping City

I also must draw attention to John Banks who is an exceptional voice artist and in this one story performs more characters that I can count. ... it is listening to episodes like this one that really do let his talents shine through.

Tony Jones - Red Rocket Rising

Highlander:

...playing several parts, was the brilliant Big Finish regular John Banks - it was as if there were about 40 different actors in the other booth.

James Moran - writer

I went for the best of the best and brought in voice artiste extraordinaire John Banks.

Paul Spragg - producer

Vienna:

...also features the mind - bogglingly versatile and reliable John Banks

Jonathan Morris - writer

Dead Funny:

The acting is first rate… wonderfully played by John Banks as Richard – his impersonation of Eric Morecambe is worth the admission money alone.

Beverly Greenberg: Bolton Evening News

Mr. Happiness:

This early and unfamiliar play by David Mamet is a character study of a 1930s radio counsellor, dispensing suave advice to his devoted listeners. John Banks brings out the wry comedy of this – comedy quite unappreciated by the character – with a clever range of gesture and vocal tone.

Jeremy Kingston: The Times


All My Sons:

This is a beautifully crafted piece ...and it affords a wonderful opportunity for John Readman* to do his All-American Boy act as Chris Keller. This most polished and well observed performance as the blighted son of a blighted father must rank as one of his finest accomplishments yet. ( * see Profile)

The Stage

The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes

Kudos should also go to John Banks. Lestrade can be a thankless part, but Banks rose to the challenge, playing a pivotal role in this decades long arc.

Raissa Devereux - SciFiPulse

The Judgement of Sherlock Holmes

John Banks is multi-tasking, both as the superb Lestrade and also the villainous and no doubt moustache twirling Sebastian Moran. They sound completely different and I bow to his talent.

Sue Davies - SFcrowsnest


Further reviews and comments are included with specific postings throughout the site.

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015