Posts Tagged ‘metatropolis’

Adapting audio to print for Subterranean Press: Water to Wine

Last year, I participated in the audio anthology Metatropolis: Cascadia from Audible.com.  It was a shared world anthology, built on a story by Jay Lake about what might happen to the Pacific Northwest in the future.   Because the stories in the anthology were written specifically for audio, it shaped many of the choices I made when writing it.

For instance, I began writing it in third person, but decided to rework it into first person because I think that lends itself to audio fiction.  There are emotional nuances available to a first person narrator which are somewhat removed for someone speaking in third person.

Because I knew it would be spoken, I treated it like a giant monologue and included “stage directions” for how I wanted lines to be read by the narrator, Kate Mulgrew. [1. Allow me to insert a moment of fangirl squee that Captain Janeway read my story.] In fact, the first thing on the page was this:

[Note to reader and director. Because this is audio, please cut all the lines in brackets unless you need them to distinguish characters. I put them in to attribute dialogue lines where I thought there would be some ambiguity or, occasionally, as stage directions for how I’d like a line read.]

In practical terms that means that Ms. Mulgrew saw things like this.

Lizzie scowled. “Of course it’s the wine.” [sarcastic]

After the audio version came out, I went back through the story and adapted it to the written page.  This meant writing additional material to cover the emotional content that a narrator’s voice can deliver. So that line above now reads:

Lizzie scowled and let the sarcasm flow. “Of course it’s the wine.”

The story is the same, but it is adapted for a different medium.  It was an interesting experience to tackle the same idea for two different forms of prose.

If you’d like to read the results, the print version is now available at Subterranean Press. Here’s a teaser:

Water sprayed out from beneath the wine barrel, carrying the faint stink of sulfur with it. I suppose it’s crazy to have a fondness for the smell of rotten eggs, but that means cleanliness in the wine industry. I shut off the hose and wrestled the barrel off the ancient Gamma-Jet, rolling it to the racks outside the cellar door so it could drain in the sun. I tend to grunt whenever I heave a barrel off the ground and let it drop onto the metal frame. It’s not the weight so much — an empty barrel weighed about a hundred pounds — but the size is awkward. I’ve seen men who can’t do this, and take a certain delight in being able to heft them. My hands are constantly getting nicked from where the metal hoops at the ends catch me, and the scarring would ruin any chance at a career as a hand model. As if I would leave the winery voluntarily. Still there are days when a physically easier job would be welcome.

You can read the whole story at Subterranean Press » Fiction: Water to Wine by Mary Robinette Kowal.

METAtropolis: CASCADIA | audible.com

WOOT! Today is release day for the audio anthology METAtropolis: Cascadia. I love audio fiction and have been waiting to get my hands– er… ears on this for months now.  I’m happy on every release day, but there are some anthologies that I would anticipate and want copies of even if I didn’t have a story in it. This is one of those.

The provocative sequel to the Hugo and Audie Award-nominated METAtropolis features interconnected stories by today’s top speculative fiction writers, performed by a galaxy of Star Trek ® stars.

As the mid-21st century approaches, the Pacific Northwest has been transformed — politically, economically, and ecologically — into the new reality of Cascadia. Conspiracies and secrets threaten the tenuous threads of society. The End of Days seems nearer than ever. And the legend of the mysterious Tygre Tygre looms large.

METAtropolis: Cascadia is the creation of Hugo and World Fantasy Award nominee Jay Lake; Mary Robinette Kowal, winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; New York Times best-selling author Tobias S. Buckell; Hugo Award winner Elizabeth Bear; Aurora Award winner Karl Schroeder; and critically-acclaimed author Ken Scholes.

The team of narrators is any sci-fi fan’s dream: Star Trek’s Rene Auberjonois (“Odo”), Kate Mulgrew (“Capt. Kathryn Janeway”), Wil Wheaton (“Wesley Crusher”), Gates McFadden (“Dr. Beverly Crusher”), Jonathan Frakes (“Cmdr. William Riker”), and LeVar Burton (“Geordi La Forge”). Jay Lake, who also served as Project Editor, introduces this stunning sequel, written and produced exclusively for digital audio.

You can check it out at METAtropolis: CASCADIA | audible.com AND they have really nifty extras, like the cast talking about the recording process.

METAtropolis: Cascadia website is live with narrator interviews!

I have been excited for a while about METAtropolis: Cascadia.  First, I liked the premise of the anthology. Then the TOC of writers was awesome company. When they announced the all Star Trek cast of narrators I nearly squeed myself.

Now? The website is live and it has interviews with the narrators about their process in reading the stories.  In particular, I like what LeVar Burton has to say, “Storytelling is storytelling.”

Check out the site, in particular the interviews with Jonathan Frakes, Kate Mulgrew (my narrator!), Wil Wheaton, LeVar Burton, and Gates McFadden are really interesting.

Can you tell I’m looking forward to release day? November 16, the day before our 9th anniversary.  Now if only it were willow or pottery…

Audio Sampler: Kate Mulgrew reads “Water to Wine” for METAtropolis:Cascadia

I know you like shiny things. And you do, right?  Shiny, shiny, shiny things.

One thinks of shiny as being a visual thing but lo! it can refer to audio as well.  For instance: I have the first five minutes of Kate Mulgrew reading my my audio novelette, “Water to Wine.”

Water To Wine” by Mary Robinette Kowal. Read by Kate Mulgrew

The full story is part of the audio anthology METAtropolis: Cascadia from Audible. It comes out on November 16th, but in the meantime. Shiny!  I’m sooooooo very happy with her reading.

As an added bonus, Tobias Buckell also has an audio sample of Wil Wheaton reading his story.

Kate Mulgrew is narrating my story in METAtropolis: Cascadia!

Did you ever have to sit on a piece of news that was SO COOL and you wanted to tell everybody, but couldn’t?  I knew that the METAtropolis: Cascadia project was working on an all Star Trek cast for the narrators but couldn’t say anything while they got them lined up.

And then! Then this interview with Kate Mulgrew popped up in my google alert. She says,  “I just did one and I loved it.  It was about a … it was about a vineyard.”  Yes. That’s right. Kate Mulgrew — Captain Janeway from Voyager — narrated “Water to Wine” and she said she loved it.

I spent a fair bit bouncing around because even if I weren’t a fan, she’s PERFECT for the story I wrote.

But I had to hold my squee down because Audible, understandably, wanted to announce all the narrators at once. So, here, let me show you the awesome narrator list.

In order of appearance.

  • THE BULL DANCERS by Jay Lake
    Narrated By: Rene Auberjonois (“Odo”)
  • WATER TO WINE by Mary Robinette Kowal
    Narrated By: Kate Mulgrew (“Capt. Kathryn Janeway”)
  • BYWAYS by Tobias S. Buckell
    Narrated By: Wil Wheaton (“Wesley Crusher”)
  • CONFESSOR by Elizabeth Bear
    Narrated By: Gates McFadden (“Dr. Beverly Crusher”)
  • DEODAND by Karl Schroeder
    Narrated By: Jonathan Frakes (“Cmdr. William Riker”)
  • A SYMMETRY OF SERPENTS AND DOVES by Ken Scholes
    Narrated By: LeVar Burton (“Geordi La Forge”)

METAtropolis: Cascadia goes on sale Nov. 16…  Not that I’m counting the days or anything.