StarShipSofa No 341 Sean McMullen

June 11, 2014 by acpracht

Coming up…


Main Fiction: “The Firewall and the Door” by Sean McMullen

Entanglement technology had brought the final frontier as close as the living room. All we had to do was get an uncrewed probe out to whatever was to be explored, and the entangled telepresence established in its computers would provide practically instant communication. Everything was easy. Too easy. People took the wonders for granted until something went spectacularly wrong.
Sean sold his first stories in the late 1980s and has become one of Australia’s top Science Fiction and Fantasy authors. In the late 90s he established himself in the American market, and his work has been translated into Polish, French, Japanese and other languages.The settings for Sean’s work range from the Roman Empire, through Medieval Europe, to cities of the distant future. His work is a mixture of romance, invention and adventure, while populated by strange but dynamic characters.

His novelette Eight Miles was runner-up in the 2011 Hugo Awards and his next novelette Ninety Thousand Horses won the Analog Readers’ Award in 2013.


Narrator: Logan Waterman

Logan has a degree in Technical Theatre from California State University, and has worked in many theatres, large and small, professional and amateur. He has also worked for Apple computers, sold hot tubs and comic books, and prepared court documents. He has taught sword-fighting for the stage, and ran lights for a local band, until they broke up.
He currently works, tangentially, for the legal system, watches a lot of science fiction television, listens to a lot of podcasts, and reads a lot of science fiction novels. And comic books. He hopes to make a bit of money from voice acting and narration someday.
Logan currently lives in Northern California with Grendel, a huge black beast whose primary occupations
are sleeping, and stalking the fish in the aquarium, and Morgana, a small fluffy Queen who rules her domain with an iron paw. The fish remain unimpressed.



  1. sounded like it’d be a great story but I couldn’t listen more than ten minutes due to the subpar narration. It was quite distracting. Sorry Sean, such a shame. I hope Tony can source better readers like he’s used in the past.

  2. Amc,
    I would gladly invite you to contact me at, if you would like to help us out as a volunteer narrator.
    If your intention was simply to criticize rather than help, I’d add the following:
    -This isn’t Logan’s strongest narration, I’ll grant you that. But it’s also not an abomination, as your comment would seem to suggest.
    -Logan is one of my workhorses. He gets the job done, with quality, by the date he says it will be done. I rely heavily on reliable narrators such as Logan, so it irks me to see them criticized.
    -This was Logan’s 8th narration for the Sofa. His previous work has included BSFA award-winner “Adrift on the Sea of Rains” (which was an huge, arduous story), “Something Real” by Rick Wilber, and “Descartes’ Stepchildren” – one of my favorites. If you liked those, why only commenting now to say something negative?
    -Logan, and all our narrators, are volunteers. StarShipSofa is free to you. I’m consistently amazed by those who criticize free content, without at least couching it in a “Thank you.” If you want 100% pro quality audio every time, go subscribe to Audible.
    That’s my piece.
    -Adam, asst editor

  3. The story seemed slow for the first 10 minutes but it moved very fast after that thanks to the groundwork it was busy setting up. Good writing at the finish. I liked it a lot; the narrator was a good fit for the story.
    I wish I could narrate, but my voice violates at least one part of The Hague Conventions.

  4. Great story. On of my favorites ever on your cast. A court drama, a detective story, a first contact, a believable AI and some great human touches. Thank you Sean!

  5. A well developed tale, teasing out the main story idea gradually.
    (I’ve been a fan of Sean’s since his first post-apocalypse pro-librarian novel)