Friends, welcome back to another installment of Retro Radio Memories. This week we have Devil Car for your listening enjoyment courtesy of MINDWEBS. You might recall we visited this exceptional radio show before with Ray Bradbury’s The Fog Horn a couple of months ago. Our story today takes place in a fascinating post-apocalyptic world where all cars are sentient enough to have feelings and desires. Such as some yearning for freedom from their masters and the factories that built them, becoming wild and dangerous. Hunting down humans, smashing and raiding ‘fuel forts’ and other sentient vehicles for replacement parts and fuel. This is how we are introduced to Sam Murdock and his sleek and deadly vehicle, whose AI is called Jenny…as they seek out the Devil Car.
MINDWEBS was the brainchild of Mike Hanson of WHA Radio in Madison, Wisconsin. A cross between the old time radio shows of old and an audio book, the series began in the mid 70’s and last until the mid 90’s. The show wonderfully presented short stories from legendary authors such as the late Harlan Ellison, Arthur C. Clarke, Richard Matheson, Larry Niven, as well as Neil Gaiman. The great news is Mike Hanson has made available the series once more from his personal tapes, all 169 episodes. More so every Saturday at Midnight you can tune in at 92.7 WMSE to listen to re-broadcasts of the episodes. Then after a couple of weeks after airing the shows are uploaded to Mike Hanson’s Internet Archive page.
Devil Car Was First Published In 1965.
Written by Roger Zelazny, the story first saw print in Galaxy magazine. Zelazny sadly passed away in 1995 but was widely celebrated for his work over the years. Taking home the Nebula award three times as well as the Hugo award six times – in addition he was nominated 14 times each for those individual awards. It is probably fair to say he is best known for the incredible The Chronicles of Amber series. However that is not where I was first introduced to his writing…I got my first taste of his work thanks to a book series that I hold above all others. Wild Cards.
My love and history with this continuing series of anthologies…well…it just might need a podcast to contain everything I have to say about it. Beyond of course that you need to head out right now and pick up the first book for yourself. One of Zelazny’s creations is the fan favorite character, Croyd Crenson aka The Sleeper.
Let’s Get Back To The Subject Of The Devil Car.
Murdock is a character bent on revenge and he is hoping to achieve that goal with a custom made vehicle of destruction. Machine Guns, grenades, missile launchers are all hidden within the sleek beauty of Jenny. Sam has good reason for wanting vengeance too, his brother was murdered by a pack of wild cars 15 years ago. Led by the most hateful and intelligent sentient vehicle to survive the wastelands. A black caddy of death and hatred towards all Human life…
Can Sam and Jenny bring an end to the reign of the Devil Car? Let’s find out together as we enjoy this, the 29th episode of MINDWEBS!