Tag Archives: podcast

Beetle-Cleaned Skulls Live on Escape Pod

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“Beetle-Cleaned Skulls” on Escape Pod, as read by Trendane Sparks

Exciting day today as Escape Pod has published my science fiction short story, “Beetle-Cleaned Skulls” on their site, both as a text version and a 30-minute audio version read by professional voice talent Trendane Sparks.

This is an exciting milestone,  my first SFWA-qualifying sale and the first one to go live. It’s also the second time I’ve heard my own work in audio form read by others. It’s exciting to hear a skilled narrator reading your own work, while at the same time your own clumsy phrasing and poor word choices is cringe-inducing.

The story itself is set in the Astral Diadem, the same broad setting used by most of the other work on this page. The Rapport that feature prominently in this one are mentioned tangentially in “Faster Than Death”, (previously published in the Shattered Space anthology). The same setting also appears in “The Eater of Stars” forthcoming in Ride the Star Wind, as well as 7-8 other shorts currently making the rounds.

Beyond that, I won’t say too much about “Beetle-Cleaned Skulls” itself. You’ll have to go and read or listen to the story yourself.

Beetle-Cleaned Skulls Placed

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“Perform each instruction in its proper order.”    The Codex of the Rapport

Escape Pod today accepted my sci-fi short story “Beetle-Cleaned Skulls.” That might sound like a horror story but it’s not, it’s more or less science fiction featuring robots and humanoids doing their thing on a faraway world. I don’t know when the story will be posted yet but will update again when it’s live.

 

It’s exciting because it’s my first SFWA-qualifying sale. I’m doubly excited because it will be published as a podcast as well as text, recorded by a professional story reader. I don’t know who yet and probably won’t until it’s published. Books on tape, podcasts, and other forms of audio are fantastic ways to take in fiction and something I enjoy listening to all the time.

Some great contemporary speculative fiction podcasts include Escape Pod, Podcastle, Cast of Wonders, 600 Second Saga (which ran a flash piece of mine last year), and many others. There’s also a great deal of public domain science fiction available on YouTube and elsewhere, much of it read by volunteers for the blind but enjoyable by all. Among these, Librivox stands out.

Often, I create audio versions of my own work during the drafting process with text-to-speech software. This helps highlight errors, repetitions, and other gaffes you might otherwise miss in revision. I use Balabolka for that which is free and even if the audio quality isn’t the best it also allows pronunciation edits. Those are great for invented words, which turn up a lot in fantasy and science fiction.

Balabolka uses Microsoft Speech API’s phonetic alphabet to express speech in phonemes. For example, Isarra, the name of the star system in the story, is represented in MS API as:

<pron sym=”iy – s – ao – r – ah”/>

In IPA, you’d probably write that: /i.sɔɹˈ.rə/. The simple explanation is it sounds like the Spanish surname Ibarra without trilling.

Image montage credits: ESO, Wikimedia, and Wikimedia.

‘Popcorn Bargain’ Now Live

I’m excited to announce that my flash fiction ‘Popcorn Bargain’ mentioned in the last post is now live as an audio story on 600 Second Saga and can be enjoyed in iTunes and other fine podcasting venues, as well. A complete list of links is here:

The story is ably ready by Mariah Avix of  600 Second Saga. It’s a short listen so please enjoy, share, and subscribe on iTunes.

Popcorn Bargain on 600 Second Saga

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Jenna had just curled up with a bag of hot popcorn when the nightmare appeared…

I’m pleased to announce that a flash fiction story of mine has been selected to be read by Mariah Avix of 600 Second Saga and will go live this Friday. So be sure to check out the list of links below to listen to the story as soon as it goes live, this Friday, October 21st, at 4 PM PST / 7 PM EST.

The story is called ‘Popcorn Bargain’ and is a short, (hopefully) amusing piece with a theme quite fitting for Halloween. At less than a thousand words, it’s quite short too and as the title of the podcast suggests, listening takes less than ten minutes. I’ve heard a preview of Mariah’s reading too, and it’s great. So please give a listen when it launches!

Or just go to 600 Second Saga
How to listen to podcasts