Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rish performs "Dead Men Don't Cry" by Nancy Fulda over at Audible

We've all heard that dead men poop, grow hair, and fingernails . . . but do they cry?

This musical question is answered in a short Science Fiction Mystery story by Nancy Fulda.  I really have no memory of auditioning for this story, or how I came to take this job, except that there was a weekend when I auditioned for a half dozen projects, just because I was bored with what I was currently doing.  I ended up reading Nancy Fulda's short story, and thinking it was pretty well-written, so I was happy to produce it in audio.

The Aldabaran colony has enjoyed independence from Earth, but now the Earthlings have come, like unwelcome landlords, with their list of demands.  When Kimball's old mentor is killed in a seeming attempt to assassinate the Earth ambassador, Kimball has only hours to prove his friend's innocence, and try to prevent retribution by those nasty imperialist Terrans.

I've said before (and I'll stand by it, fists tightly clenched), that the only person who gets closer to a short story or novel than the person producing it for audio is the writer herself, and having read this through again and again in the process of completing my version, I was surprised by how much depth was jammed in here. 

It's gonna sound insulting to any of you who aren't Nancy Fulda (and heck, maybe even to her as well), but this would've been a perfectly acceptable story without the emotion, thought, and subtext that lurks between the lines.  It was short, with a few well-defined characters, and was really tightly-written, but there was a lot going on, with politics between poor colonists and rich, powerful Terran imperialists, with Kimball's internal struggles about his mentor's true intentions, and some great world-building that, frankly, I'm surprised would be in such a short piece.

I like fun, simple Science Fiction stories (or maybe Space Opera is what I like, and eff you for pointing out the difference), and this one has intrigue and shoot-outs, but it also had nuance to it, stuff I didn't notice till I was editing it.  It made me want to seek out Ms. Fulda's other work, maybe hit her up for a story for my nearly-flatlined fullcast podcast.

Later I discovered it was a finalist for the Writers of the Future contest, so it ain't just me.

I don't make money from these short stories, it seems, so I suppose I'm really only doing them for fun.  Regardless, this was the last short story project I've taken on, everything else being either novels or paid works I don't get profit participation in anyway.**

Here's the link:

I've done a bit of audio work for stories that I have problems with, and a couple that just plain suck.  But this one was rock solid, and if I'm not careful, it'll make me look at my own work and say, "Might there be another level to this than simply A plus B equals C?"

Loki forbid that ever happens.

Rish Outfield

*Though the first Kristine Kathryn Rusch story I did, "Killer Advice," was definitely one of them.

**I probably ought to focus on pieces that will make me money in the future, but it's so tempting to take on these projects, since they're similar to what I've been doing for the Dunesteef and others these last six years, and so, foolhardy or not, I doubt this will be my last.

No comments: