Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rish Performs "The Case of the Vanishing Boy" on Audible

So, one of the two first jobs I got doing audiobooks has now shown up for sale on  This one is "The Case of the Vanishing Boy" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.  It is the first story in a series of "Spade/Paladin Conundrum" mysteries that the author has published in the last few years, and when I first signed on, I was excited at the prospect of being the voice for all of them.

First off, Ms. Rusch is an author I've actually heard of, which probably translates to other people having heard of her, which probably translates to her having fans.  That probably translates to more folks wanting to buy her work than your average self-published writer, and that probably further translates to more audiobook sales than usual.  That could be lucrative, as well as fun.

Secondly, the writing was really good, and performing the story was pretty fun.  The story is centered around a Science Fiction/Fantasy convention, and the main character, "Spade," is the man you'd want to hire to make sure everything goes well.  He's a huge guy with a clever mind, and watches over a convention every weekend to troubleshoot, and occasionally, to solve mysteries.  He meets "Paladin," a tiny, attractive young woman who also frequents conventions, tracking down stolen merchandise, missing equipment, and in this case, missing persons.

They team up to solve the mystery of a disappearing teen, and lots of geek-centric fun is to be had.

Rusch is a pretty big name in SF circles, and her husband, Dean Wesley Smith, briefly instructed Big Anklevich in the ways of the Force and that gun kata stuff that was a thing for a while.  Unfortunately, I have yet to meet her, or interact with her in any way, and I'd rather be in contact with the writer themselves rather than a third party.  You know what I'm talking about.

Even though this was one of the first jobs I got back in January, I've had several more projects come and go before getting the final sign-off on this one.  Only after having done a lot of these things, did I really appreciate the quality of writing in the story, and the fact that, of the two KKR stories I have produced, there was not a single typo, grammatical error, or nonsense sentence to be found in either.

Plus, she's a really clever writer, with a very amusing voice.  Her stuff has personality, and sounds really genuine, as though she knows exactly what fan conventions are like, and the kind of people who go to them.  Of course, she also wrote a Sci-Fi murder mystery that felt just as genuine, and I'm fairly sure she's never lived on a space station.

Unfortunately, since it was the first project I started on, and the learning curve has been so sharp, I'm not sure how great-sounding my reading is.  Surely not crappy enough to cause me not to recommend it, but like the very first story we did on the Dunesteef, I'm haunted by the fact that the sound quality and editing is at a level way below what we'd do nowadays.*

I had a great deal of trouble with this production, and it did pretty much all it could to break my will.  But I'm still doing audiobooks, so I guess I got back up again.

Anyhow, the story can be found here: Case of the Vanishing Boy. It's for sale, along with an impressive chunk of her fiction (short stories and novels) and non-fiction, and yeah, I get a little portion of every copy it sells.**

I don't know if I am still in the running to record the rest of the stories in this series (my gut tells me I'm not), but if you can't get enough of mysteries among geek culture (especially those read by me), pick it up and tell me what you think. Who knows, I may be the only one who sees the defects in the file. And that would be nice.

Rish Outfield, Audiobook Nerd

*To the point that I often ask Big if we can re-do that story someday, knowing what we know now. Not sure that's ever going to happen, but I'll keep at it.

**Not that that is why I'm hyping it. I'll be happy to plug the stories I don't get a percentage of, and I've hesitated to plug a couple that I would be paid for.

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