Pixel Scroll 1/18/17 There’s A Pixel Scrolled Every Minute

star-trek-discovery

(1) STILL AT THE DOCK. Unless you subscribed to CBS All Access especially to see this show, it won’t be a crisis for you: “Star Trek Discovery delayed, no longer has a release date”.

Those looking forward to Star Trek Discovery’s promised streaming debut in May will have to wait even longer. According to the The Hollywood Reporter, the premiere has been pushed back right as production is due to start and CBS finishes casting and script rewrites.

“This is an ambitious project; we will be flexible on a launch date if it’s best for the show,” a CBS rep said in a statement. “We’ve said from the beginning it’s more important to do this right than to do it fast. There is also added flexibility presenting on CBS All Access, which isn’t beholden to seasonal premieres or launch windows.”

“This is an ambitious series.”

The 13-episode Discovery was originally slated to premiere this month on CBS, but was pushed back to allow the producers to better “achieve a vision” fans of the franchise would appreciate. Since then, however, the series has been dogged by a slow casting process, as well as the departure of former showrunner Bryan Fuller.

(2) WHO IS #2? A few weeks ago Theodora Goss told her Facebook readers that she was one of two Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship recipients. I have now been able to learn the name of the second recipient from a contact at the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University Oregon.

Roxanne Samer is a postdoctoral scholar and teaching fellow in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She holds a PhD in critical studies from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Samer coedited with William Whittington the book Gender, Sexuality, and Media: Audiences and Spectatorship, which is under contract with the University of Texas Press. She is also the editor of “Transgender Media,” a special issue of Spectator: The University of Southern California Journal of Film and Television Criticism 37.2 (Fall 2017). She will visit UO Libraries’ SCUA to do research toward fleshing out her dissertation, Receiving Feminisms: Media Cultures and Lesbian Potentiality in the 1970s, for publication as a book.

(3) POST-KINDERGARTEN GRADUATE STUDIES. Jason Sanford explains, “All I really need to know I learned from science fiction and fantasy stories”.

For example, from Arthur C. Clarke I learned that the ultimate destination of all humans is extinction. Even if some parts of humanity transcend reality, as in Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End, humanity as a species is destined to eventually disappear from this universe.

From Isaac Asimov I learned that even if our ultimate fate is to disappear, humanity can have an amazing ride while we exist.

From Ursula K. Le Guin I learned that culture shock can be both a way to awaken you to new intellectual horizons and to kill you….

(4) BLURB SEASON. Maya Kaathryn Bonhoff continues filking her way through the components of published fiction with “There’s a Bimbo on the Cover Verse 6: There’s a Blurb on the Cover” at Book View Café.

Verse 6:
There’s a blurb on the backside of the book.
There’s a blurb on the backside of the book.
There’s one story on the cover; inside the book’s another.
There’s a blurb on the backside of the book.

Blurbage (as I like to call it) is the collection of stuff one finds on the covers of one’s novel. If you publish with a mainstream house as the Café staff does, you are not always—dare I say almost never—in control of what goes on the cover. Blurbage (as I an using the term) is composed of several parts: …

(5) SOMETIMES THEY DO GET WEARY. Oliver Langmead tells his readers at Fantasy-Faction “Why I Don’t Like Dragons”.

As of recent years, I’ve found myself going through dragon fatigue. Much in the same way as zombies and vampires, it feels a little bit like we hit peak dragon a while ago (pun intended). This isn’t to say that dragons can’t be great. Sure they can. Just like zombies and vampires can be brilliant from time to time, when somebody finds a really refreshing angle on them, or when we’re talking about classic texts. Just that… in fantasy, the literature of the impossible, sometimes it can feel like writers are playing it a bit too safe.

(6) THE SOUND OF MUSING. Larry Correia has a great post about making choices that help stories succeed in more than one medium: “Ask Correia #17: Writing for the Ear, Tweaking Your Writing To Work Better in Audiobook Form” at Monster Hunter Nation.

Read your stuff out loud.

I don’t do this as much when I’m writing the first draft, but when I am editing, I will usually read everything aloud. Dialog that is unnatural, stilted, or weird is going to be obvious when you hear it, even if it looks okay when you see it.

If your family thinks you’ve gone insane, close the door or turn your radio up and get talking. Even if your writing isn’t going to get turned into an audiobook, this is still a valuable exercise to weed out stupid dialog or awkward descriptions. You don’t need to do voices, or be loud, just muttering it to yourself will usually reveal the awkward bits.

Keep in mind however, that in either format you do not want to write exactly like people talk. That’s because in real life most speakers use a lot of uhm… err… uh… pauses and brain farts.

If you write all those noises down that people make when they’re thinking of what to say, it becomes annoying for the reader. I try to use that stuff sparingly in fictional dialog, and when I do, I try to use it only when it is going to tell the reader something about that character. So if you’ve got somebody where it is important to convey their awkwardness, nervousness, or hesitancy, do it, but try not to overdo it. A realistic amount of ums and urrs will annoy readers and waste your listener’s time. Same with affections like ending every sentence with know what I’m saying? A little bit goes a long way. A good narrator is going to convey those character traits, and in written form you can convey that stuff through the story you tell around them.

Oh, and that one liner that sounded really super cool in your head? Reading it out loud will help you realize if it actually sucks.

(7) GAUTIER OBIT. His most notable role was a rock star, but he’s also known as a robot: “Dick Gautier, Who Played a Rock Star in ‘Bye Bye Birdie,’ Is Dead” reports the New York Times.

Dick Gautier, a comic actor best known for his Tony-nominated performance as a vain rock ’n’ roll star in the Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie” and his recurring role as a robot with a heart on the television show “Get Smart,” died on Friday in Arcadia, Calif. He was 85.

A spokesman, Harlan Boll, said the cause was pneumonia.

Mr. Gautier had the square-jawed good looks of a leading man. But he also had a wild sense of humor — he began his career as a stand-up comedian — and for more than 50 years he was primarily a scene-stealing supporting player on sitcoms.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • January 18, 1644 — John Winthrop documented the first known unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings in North America.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born January 18, 1882 — A. A. Milne

(10) WINNIE-THE-POOH DAY. And by a stunning coincidence, this is also Winnie-the-Pooh Day.

One of the cuddliest holidays around has to be Winnie the Pooh Day, celebrated on the birthday of author A A Milne. It’s one special anniversary fans just can’t bear to miss! Every year, the occasion is marked with events such as teddy bears’ picnics, featuring plenty of honey on the menu.

The only remaining question is whether someone will be along in a few minutes to tell us that the author is foisting off unwonted xtianity on the public, like the last time I posted something from the calendar.

(11) HERE’S MUD IN YOUR EYE. Observer says “NASA’S Rover Discovered Some Mud Cracks That Could Be Really, Really Important”.  But can they be that important? Did anyone threaten to move to another country when this made the news?

In recent weeks, scientists used NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover to examine slabs of rock cross-hatched with shallow ridges. All signs lead them to believe they’re mud cracks, which makes them the first to be confirmed on the Red Planet by the Curiosity mission.

“Even from a distance, we could see a pattern of four- and five-sided polygons that don’t look like fractures we’ve seen previously with Curiosity,” said Curiosity science team member Nathan Stein in NASA’s announcement. “It looks like what you’d see beside the road where muddy ground has dried and cracked.”

If this interpretation holds up, it would be evidence that the ancient era (three billion years ago) when these sediments were deposited included wet conditions, followed by drying. High resolution images have pointed to the existence of deltas, gullies and river valleys on Mars, which is why scientists view it as one of the places in our solar system most likely to be/have been home to alien life. (There are three others, according to NASA director of planetary science James Green).

(12) FAKE NEWS. This virtual award may not exist, but it was hotly contested: “The Shippy Awards 2016 Winners”

SHIPPY! Why yes, that is a drawing of a trophy that does not exist. IT IS THE MOST COVETED MADE UP TROPHY IN THE UNIVERSE.

AND NOW, LET US ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS OF THIS GLORIOUS DRAWING OF A TROPHY THAT DOES NOT EXIST!

Ultimate Ship Honors Best Ship of the Year

Feyre and Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas with 40.4% of the vote

Runners up: Kaz and Inej from Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, with 22.2% of the vote

This was by far the most highly voted category, but as you can see, one ship rather ran away with the competition.

Shippiest Book

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas with 37.7% of the vote

Runner up: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo with 37.2% of the vote

(Are you sensing a pattern/theme-ish thing? Get used to this pattern/theme-ish thing.)

And there are many more ship-themed categories.

(13) NOT A COINCIDENCE. Rich Horton shares his “Hugo Nomination Thoughts, Short Fiction: Novellas” at Strange at Ecbatan.

One more note to begin with – though I participate with a lot of enjoyment in Hugo nomination and voting every year, I am philosophically convinced that there is no such thing as the “best” story – “best” piece of art, period….

The other obvious point to make is that the great bulk of these stories are those that I included in my yearly anthology. There are a few that didn’t make it, for reasons of length, contractual situation, balance, or even that I might have missed a story by the deadline for the book.

(14) PAGEVIEWS. Sarah A. Hoyt gives nine pieces of good advice about “How to Build a Web Presence” at Mad Genius Club.

6- Post EVERY DAY.  If, like me this last week, you have to go AWL, have guest posts.  You’ll still lose readers and some of them won’t come back, but it’s better than dead air.  (Trust me.)  I don’t know why post every day works, except through “be habit forming.”

7- Police your community.  I actually have had to ban very few people, but remember the “drunken uncle at the wedding.”  If a poster is just there to attack and is making other people uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to ban him.  He might not be doing anything wrong, but his right to express himself doesn’t trump your right to have your normal commenters enjoy themselves. Also, if the community gets in an unpleasant rut, nudge them.  My commenters once, while I was asleep, misunderstood something someone posted and attacked.  He got defensive and they ran him off the blog.  You don’t want that, particularly if it’s someone interesting.

People who say they’re not responsible for the tone of their comment sections are disingenuous or clueless.  You can police just enough, intervening to break up things just enough that you keep it from becoming a snake pit without neutering it.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]

87 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/18/17 There’s A Pixel Scrolled Every Minute

  1. (13) Rich Horton shares his “Hugo Nomination Thoughts, Short Fiction: Novellas”

    Somebody should probably break the news to Mr. Horton that Penric’s Mission, by Lois McMaster Bujold, is a Novel at 45,300 words, and “The Jewel and Her Lapidary”, by Fran Wilde, is a Novelette at 16,880 words.

    I appreciate reading his thoughts on all the stories he’s listed. I hope that he’s going to do the same for Novelettes and Short Stories.

  2. (13) On RSR, we list the actual word count (as best we can) but we defer to the publisher on the category, unless the divergence is extreme.

    The upper limit on novella might be worth raising. I’m not sure anyone can get anything under 50,000 words published as a novel these days. Or maybe even under 70,000.

  3. Greg Hullender: (13) On RSR, we list the actual word count (as best we can) but we defer to the publisher on the category, unless the divergence is extreme.

    Tor.com has changed the category for “The Jewel and Her Lapidary” to Novelette (see bottom of page here).

    ETA: Also, Penric’s Mission is well above the 40,000 +/- 10% word count for Novella, so if it makes the ballot in that category, it will be disqualified.

  4. @JJ

    ETA: Also, Penric’s Mission is well above the 40,000 +/- 10% word count for Novella, so if it makes the ballot in that category, it will be disqualified.

    The limit is 20%, not 10%. However, there’s also a 5,000-word limit, and that disqualifies it by 300 words.

    WSFS Constitution section 3.2.8

    ETA I’m glad they fixed it for “The Jewel and Her Lapidary.”

  5. Per your suggestion, I left Rich Horton a note explaining this.

    ETA He’s actually the man who inspired Eric and me to create Rocket Stack Rank in the first place. We sat next to him at the Sasquan business meeting in Spokane in 2015 and we told him we would review stories for each other. He said we ought to share that. On the drive back to Seattle, we discussed how we might make it work, and we started building it the next morning.

  6. Greg Hullender: The limit is 20%, not 10%. However, there’s also a 5,000-word limit, and that disqualifies it by 300 words.

    How bizarre, I know I got that “+/- 10%” from somewhere — but trying to search for it has pretty much proven to be a futile task. Thanks for the correction, and thanks for letting Horton know.

  7. (4) There’s a news piece in my scroll that’s six years old
    There’s a news piece in my scroll that’s six years old
    It is true and it is witty
    It made me write this ditty
    There’s a news piece in my scroll that’s six years old

    (6) Apparently, reading things out loud was really important to Robert E Howard. He did quite often while writing his stories, preferably with his window open.

  8. 2016 Book reports, anyone?

    Join by Steve Toutonghi. Basic premise is that a technology exists for people to Join their consciousnesses and become a new individual with multiple bodies.

    This book has a lot of ideas. And tries to weave them all into a cracking story, with varying levels of success. There are several infodump-type sections to get the reader up to speed on an aspect of the setting, or flashback-type sections to explain character background or motivation all at once. The writing is very plain, and the characters not the most well-drawn.

    The story and exploration of the key ideas regarding individuality and mortality are interesting, and kept me entertained.

    I was trying to decide if this book was going to be 3 or 4 stars, and then the final part knocked it solidly into “3” territory. Felt kind of rushed and abrupt. Not enough filling in of motivations, or final evaluation of consequences

    Everfair by Nisi Shawl. Steampunk alt-history about a country that forms in the Congo. Chapters are short, leap forward in time (sometimes by years), and jump between several PoV characters. Unfortunately this means the characters weren’t distinct enough, or I didn’t feel enough connection to them, for me to really care what happened to them. I’m sure this is a very lovely book for a lot of people, but something was lacking for me and I abandoned after 50%. Aww. I was looking forward to this one, too.

    After Atlas by Emma Newman. Peripherally related to Planetfall, this is a murder mystery/procedural set on Earth 40 years after the Atlas ship left.

    Reading this was much like reading an urban fantasy. Breezily written, reasonably interesting mystery, fascinating world building mostly kept to the background. A feeling of being pulled along from chapter to chapter by cliffhangers. Like the author is getting me to chase the shiny keys they’re dangling in front of my face.

    In keeping with Planetfall, it goes off in unexpected directions and ends with a hilarious tragedy.

    This was fine, and if there’s ever a third book I might check it out and see if it ties together some of the threads between books one and two.

  9. (5) SOMETIMES THEY DO GET WEARY.
    Strange premise, in a way – they talk about vampires and zombies being old hat in a way that makes it seem that yeah, now dragons are, too, but dragons were overdone before vampires were barely even on the scene, and definitely before zombies were overdone – hell, that wasn’t the case until 2005 or so! Regardless, I dig how the author immediately admits the headline is meant to raise hackles, and then explains the point, which is valid.

    (6) THE SOUND OF MUSING
    It takes a lot of discipline (for me, at least) to force oneself to read your writing out loud, but it’s always an excellent idea.

  10. (14) PAGEVIEWS.

    Absolutely agree on those tips, they are very good. Most important are write every day (keeps people visiting), vary what you write about (keeps them from being bored) and use humour.

    One addition: Don’t be afraid to add pictures to illustrate your points or to add humour.

  11. I have to admit that I’ve gotten “dragoned out” to the point where seeing a dragon on a book’s cover almost always lowers my interest in taking a closer look at it. (One exception: the Lockwood covers for Marie Brennan’s Lady Trent series.)

  12. (6) Good advice. I once had an eReader format (I think Microsoft Reader) which would automatically have a computer voice read the book aloud, which struck me as a useful thing for getting the flow of text right. There was a fuss about Kindles doing the same thing a couple of years back – people worried that having a Dalek read out books would kill the market for professionally narrated audiobooks I think – is that still a possibility?

  13. JJ and Greg — thanks for the corrections on the word lengths. Just to nitpick (though not seriously!), I’ll note that The Jewel and Her Lapidary is eligible as a novella (being well within the 20% or even 10% limit), and as it was published as its own standalone book, people might think of it that way. (Like I did!)

    I agree with Greg that raising the word count limit for novellas — to something like 50K — might make sense.

    I’ll note in advance that two of my short story choices are right at 7500 words, and might be considered novelettes, but I’ll be listing them as short stories.

  14. @Nickpheas
    On a person level…no. I find that the experience of consuming a book by audio is even more complicated than reading a book, because the narrator adds a second dimension of quality issues than the actual text itself. A narrator I really enjoy can improve material, conversely even a favorite book can, on a re-read via an audiobook narrator I do not like can make the experience painful for me.

    AS an example, I listened to a version of “The Call of Cthulhu” read by Darkest Dungeon’s Wayne June, and it was immensely better than a librivox version I had also listened to. June made the story an even better experience for his voice for me.

    I would not want a Dalek reading all of my audiobooks.

  15. I would not want a Dalek reading all of my audiobooks.

    “I’m sure this Jane Austen novel had less extermination in it last time I checked….”

  16. (13) NOT A COINCIDENCE.

    Interesting thoughts from Horton. FWIW, my thoughts on his list:
    The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe”, by Kij Johnson – yep, one of my favourites of the year
    “The Vanishing Kind”, by Lavie Tidhar – only just read this in the last couple of days but it’s extremely good, a noir atmosphere alt-history. I’m not sure if it’s making my top five yet, need to let it sink in a bit.
    “Lazy Dog Out”, by Suzanne Palmer – I had to go remind myself of this one – I’d left myself a note that it was very good, but it’s obviously not stayed with me. I remember a very fun adventure story with a good ending, but perhaps nothing extra to make it stand out.
    “Maggots”, by Nina Allan – haven’t read this but I like Allan’s work (and she has a good column in Interzone too) so onto the never-ending list it goes.
    Penric’s Mission, by Lois McMaster Bujold – as noted a bit too long for novella and also I prefer Penric and the Shaman.
    Technologies of the Self, by Haris A. Durani – I know absolutely nothing about this, anyone read it?
    The Jewel and Her Lapidary, by Fran Wilde – I liked this but not quite as much as Horton does. It was good but I’d place several other tor novellas ahead of it by a nose.

  17. “It. Is. The Darcy. The Darcy is an enemy of the Daleks! Exterminate. Exterminate!”

  18. No comments from me about board games today, I think.

    You didn’t have a Clue when you took the Risk to say that yesterday, but that’s Life. Sorry!

    Hungry Hungry Hippos.

  19. *cough, cough*

    I don’t do zombies. Just don’t. Any horror at all is a major question, but in the right circumstances, I’ll give it a chance. Don’t feel any obligation to finish it if it doesn’t justify its claim on my time fairly quickly.

    No zombies.

    Have reached the “just let me die now” stage, so recovery is probably just around the corner.

  20. If dead actors faces can be resurrected for movies then how long until their voices are on a regular basis?
    (I suppose those from the silent era will be saved from that ignominy.)

  21. If dead actors faces can be resurrected for movies then how long until their voices are on a regular basis?

    If anything, simulating realistic-sounding voices is even harder than simulating realistic-looking faces and movements. Ever notice how many amateur CG shorts have no vocals?

  22. The voices of dead actors used to be heard fairly regularly in animated cartoons, where it was easier just to go for someone’s distinctive voice than to come up with a new character sound. They didn’t even wait for the actors to pass on in the Hanna-Barbera heyday, and there were complaints from the actors (and their lawyers, I believe).

    P.G. Wodehouse did a very amusing story that took aim at his former friend A.A. Milne (after Milne had turned on Wodehouse for making a radio broadcast in order to get out of German-held territory during the War). “Rodney Has a Relapse” can be found in the golf omnibus volume of Wodehouse stories, along with a lot of golf tales. I expect these will prove to be amusing, as they’re by Wodehouse.

    That reminds me that golf is as overdone in comic strips as dragons are in fantasy. Also, a friend in the 70s used to threaten to make the most fannish piece of fanart ever, Darth Vader on a dragon. I dare say it’s been overdone by now, too.

    In conclusion, I quote a brief snipped of mine that Randy Byers kindly ran in CHUNGA some time back:

    in which we leave our hero

    He sat at his table, dregs of Victory Hunny unlicked on his cheeks. He sat very still, not even brushing away a fat fly that came to inspect the glistening stickiness on his face. He tried to hum a hum, but all he could think of was “Three fours are fifteen.” And sometimes it came out “Three fours is fifteen,” and he didn’t know which was which. Owl came by with a Very Important Message about the Progress in the War Against Heffalumps and he listened attentively to it.

    It didn’t matter. He knew that the Heffalumps would be defeated, just as he knew they would always be fighting them. It did not bother him a bit to hold both these thoughts fervently. He smiled slightly and hummed, “Three fours are fifteen.” He would do anything for Christopher Robin. He would give Eeyore over, just as Piglet had given him over, and for the same reason: love. The love of wonderful Christopher Robin, from whom all goodness flowed.

    A tear twinkled from one eye and slowly tickled its way down his cheek. Winston Pooh was happy, happier than he’d ever thought possible. He was a Silly Old Bear.

  23. A good voice over artist can imitate the voice of a dead actor better than CGI can reproduce their image (at least, right now).

    For example, Anthony Hopkins looped some of Laurence Olivier’s lines when Spartacus was restored in 1991. And Maurice Lamarche dubbed Orson Welles’s lines in Ed Wood.

  24. Re: The advice to read your work outloud is excellent (for stories and for essays!). I also tell my students it can be very useful if they have a friend or family members who is willing to do it to listen to somebody else reading your work outloud to you!

    Re: Dragons, zombies, etc.

    But has anybody done ZOMBIE DRAGONS yet? Inquiring minds want to know. (I tend to love dragons, less so zombies, except for Mira Grant’s zombies–I love both her series–and also the White Trash Zombies series by Diana Rowland in which the protagonist/point of view character’s life is improved when she is zombified).

  25. @Bill: If you’re at all familiar with the Big Finish Doctor Who audio productions, Frazier Hines does an amazing Pat Troughton impression. He does scenes between Jamie and the Doctor where he switches “live” between the two characters in conversation.

  26. (5) SOMETIMES THEY DO GET WEARY.

    I agree with Otis Reddingwhen young girls get weary, try a little tenderness.

    You got to

  27. Often when I am in a buying mood for a book, I will not buy something with an elf on it. Or has a cat on it. A dragon. And combinations of these. AM I will not buy a book that features a cat with butterfly wings on it.

  28. 4) I remember commenting once in a book review that the back-cover blurb had clearly been taken from an early draft because it described a completely different story from the one in the finished book.

    12) I see that the Shippy Award voters are extremely limited in their reading choices. 🙂

    @ Mark: Much easier and cheaper to hire a good impressionist.

  29. My “favorite” back-cover copy was on Lin Carter’s Beyond the Gate of Dream, published by Leisure Books. To quote in full:

    Beyond the Gate of Dream lay a world so incredibly beautiful and deadly that only the bravest and most imaginative men dared to enter, for it was said that once in that enchanted place — of loveliness and evil — a man could never fully regain control over his mind and body. A thrilling other-world novel by one of the best writers of fantasy in the world.

    Setting aside describing Lin Carter (much as I respect him as an editor & anthologist) as “one of the best writers of fantasy in the world”, the book Beyond the Gate of Dream is, in fact, a short story collection.

    I can only assume the blurb was written based solely on the title, without any idea of what words were actually going between the covers.

  30. The question of audiobooks is complicated for me because I often (usually?) consume entirely different types of things in audio versus print. Context is one of the big drivers. I listen to audio in four contexts:

    1. As an anti-insomnia aid. For this, I need familiar texts (i.e., nothing new where I actually want to know what happens next) with pleasant voices and no traumatic shouts or sound effects. (Ask me how I confirmed that last item.) Faves: the works of Jane Austen and Frances Hodgson Burnett read by Karen Savage via Librivox.org.

    2. On my commute or other nearby driving. This is largely filled by “talk show” podcasts, to avoid having a short work of fiction broken up into multiple sessions. But occasionally I do a binge-catch-up of Podcastle.org if I’ve gotten behind. This is my primary exposure to new short fiction, filtered by the specific outlets I listen to. Voice is less important than intelligibility, though a well-matched voice is more enjoyable. I rarely DNF (due to the illegality of fiddling with my smart phone while driving!) though there have been rare occasions when I found I’d prefer silence for the rest of the drive than what I was listening to.

    3. During exercise or yardwork. Short fiction, especially some of the longer pieces. Back before I started reading e-books on the treadmill, I listened to a number of longer audiobooks, primarily “classics” where I find I don’t have the focused attention to read them in print, especially for more historic writing styles. (Dante’s Divine Comedy, the unabridged version of Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, Cavendish’s The Blazing World, that sort of thing.) This category also works for…

    4. ROAD TRIP!!!! I don’t get in quite as much long-distance driving these days as I used to, but it’s a great opportunity to sink into longer recordings.

    The thing is, there’s very little overlap between the texts I’m likely to read in print and the ones I’m likely to listen to in audio. Part of it is literary style, part is the nature of my engagement, part is just down to a matter of time allocation.

    One interesting illustration of this is that I’m listening to the Serial Box series “Tremontaine” in audio rather than reading the text version and–especially given that the audio is strongly dramatized rather then being read relatively neutrally–I’m a bit fascinated by trying to sort out how the different medium affects my reception. From one angle, I find the dramatized reading style rather intrusive and off-putting (especially the voicing of Diane). But from another angle, I’m not sure that Tremontaine is a text that I’d have moved up on my to-read list if I were consuming it via print. Additionally, the episodic nature of the series fits more with my listening habits. I can add it into my commute rotation and keep up with the weekly episodes, but if I’d been planning to read it, I’d probably wait until I was between existing reading projects rather than keeping up weekly.

    As I say, I find the consideration of audio vs print fascinating, but I suspect for me the two aren’t in competition.

  31. (5) Huh. I’m not so much tired of dragons as I am tired of cliches.

    Dragons. Zombies. Pirates. Cthulhu. All have been done nearly to death to the point where it’s really difficult to do something that isn’t cliche-ridden, unless you’re doing some sort of parody or other self-aware genre fiction (and those are ridiculously hard to do well enough to be entertaining).

  32. For example, Anthony Hopkins looped some of Laurence Olivier’s lines when Spartacus was restored in 1991. And Maurice Lamarche dubbed Orson Welles’s lines in Ed Wood.

    Additionally, all of David Niven’s lines in Curse of the Pink Panther were looped by Rich Little.

    And, of course, Maurice LaMarche was using his Orson Welles voice when he played The Brain, in Pinky and The Brain..

  33. I liked it better when I thought it was an original voice. Even knowing that it’s Welles, I just don’t seem to ‘get’ it—even though LaMarche’s ‘Welles’ in ED WOOD worked perfectly for me. Maybe it’s a software problem.

Comments are closed.