Friday, January 30, 2015

Rish Performs "Lallia (Dumarest 6)" on

In 2013, I managed to produce audio versions of the first five "Dumarest of Terra" books for sale at Audible.  They're short books, and even though the chapters are long, five books in a year is a totally achievable goal.

In 2014, I managed one.  I think the publishers were pretty sure I was never going to get any of them done, because they hadn't even created cover art when I finally finished the project, "Lallia."  But now it's done, and available for purchase.

Each of these E.C. Tubb books tell the tale of Earl Dumarest, an adventurer, traveler, and hero, and the many people he encounters while searching for his long lost homeworld, a forgotten planet known as Earth.  In this one, Earl is forced to sign up to work on a small ship so he can get offworld, and gets to know a group of strangers, including a violent drunk, a religious zealot, a wide-eyed innocent, a gambler, a manic-depressive, and a woman accused of being a witch.

Here be yon link:

Last year was a difficult one for balancing obligations, work, podcasting, and creating audiobooks (both for free and for a paycheck).  I got a few of them done, but there is still a list of projects I've committed to that aren't even close to finished (or started yet).  Among them, are more Dumarest books.  We'll see if I can do better in the coming months.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Rish Performs "So You've Decided To Adopt A Zeptonian Baby" on Podcastle

I don't know if this will be the last time I get to appear on PodCastle, the Fantasy Fiction Podcast, but I'm happy to have been able to read a story as part of their superhero flash fiction special this week.  Along with Mur Lafferty reading "The Sea City Six (Where Are They Now?)" and Sean D. Sorrentino reading "The Colors," I got to do the short piece "So You've Decided To Adopt A Zeptonian Baby" by David Steffen.

Host/editor of PodCastle, Dave Thompson has been very friendly toward me for the last little while, even mentioning that his kids listen to my performance of "The Christmas Mummy" every Rosh Hashanah, and I've appreciated the chance to appear on his show,* which gets, oh, a million times as many listeners as my own.  Usually, he'll pick a story that he thinks I'll do a good job with (or an amusing job, at least), and so I get a lot more funny, entertaining stories, than parables about womens' reproductive rights or the solipsism of a first-world country.

This was no exception.  "So You've Decided To Adopt" is a brief self-help instructional piece about the struggles parents of super-powered alien children are going to encounter.  After absolutely no deliberation, I decided to perform it in the voice of my favorite dead "Saturday Night Live" cast member.  Hopefully, somebody else will get a kick out of it.  Besides me, I mean.

Check it out at this link!

I do mention that this may be my last appearance on PodCastle because Dave Thompson recently announced he was stepping down from running PodCastle, to pursue his own endeavors, or raise his children, or spend a three-to-five stretch in jail.  Having tried my hand at podcasting a time or two, I have no earthly idea how someone could produce a weekly show the way he does, and it would be neat if he wanted me involved in whatever projects he goes on to do.

Except for the jail time.  I would never make it on the inside.

Rish Outfield

*Recently, somebody asked me why I would even WANT to be on somebody else's show, since it takes away from the time (and energy) necessary to do my own show.  But the truth is, there's only so much gas in the tank for doing Dunesteefs and Outcast and That Gets My Goats, where the motivation has to come from within.  If somebody else sends me a story (and a couple of them have been stinkers, don't get me wrong) and invites me to do it for their show, well, that's a chance to be a "very special guest star" or do a walk-on part (or whatever Hollywood comparison you want to make), and as soon as that job's done, it's done, with my focus now going back to my own stuff.  Those are usually pretty fun.  It's the assignments that never end that are the really daunting ones.

Besides, maybe somebody hears my reading on another show, and decides to check out my show because of it.  Then the money will just come pouring in.  I think.  It hasn't happened yet, but it could, couldn't it?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Commander Gant on "Star Trek: Outpost"

You know, I watched "Star Trek: The Next Generation" from the very first episode.  I noticed early on that every single character on that show eventually got their own episode, every single season, and in reading up, it was fascinating how difficult it was for the writers to come up with an interesting spotlight episode on, say, Wesley, or Deanna Troi, or Doctor Crusher.  But they certainly did try.*  Perhaps they were eager to avoid the shortcomings of "The Original Series," where Uhura never had anything to do . . . ever(?).

I bring this up because, over the years, I have had the pleasure and difficulty of voicing the character of Commander Gant on "Star Trek: Outpost," which is a long-running serialized audio drama set in Roddenberry's universe.  It's an enormously elaborate and detailed show, with every episode running an hour or so, and airing on a pretty regular schedule.  And in the most recent episode, "What Price Survival," is as close as we've come to giving the Tellarite Gant his own show.

In this episode, Gant and another engineer beam over to a derelict spacecraft, and end up exposed to an alien life form of the type that the Enterprise(s) always seemed to run into: the kind that takes over the body of a crewman in order to express itself.  But what happens when that invader refuses to leave?  (I don't know; I receive these scripts, and the episodes are released about five minutes after I get my lines in)

Here's the link, if you'd like to check it out (though it is Episode 65, so . . .).

I never felt the Tellarites got enough screentime on any of the Star Treks, so it's been fun to see how many different ways the writers can make Gant argue or question orders, which is typical of his species, but would make him a huge pain in the arse to work with.

You may actually work with a Tellarite already, and not even realize it.


*Indeed, it's fair to say that every single character on TNG (with the possible exception of Captain Picard) got at least one bad episode during the show's seven year run.  And Equal Opportunity programme if there ever was one.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Rish's "A Lovely Singing Voice" Finally Available on Amazon

Hey kids, remember that sprawling tale I wrote--and published--right here on my blog last year?  Well, I always intended to put it out in a more professional version* but allowed a busy schedule and no cover art to waylay me.

Well, the ever-faithful Gino Moretto came through with some cover art, and while no drawing can convey the sinister nature of Brekkyn Manion, his work was exactly what the doctor ordered.
As a reminder: "A Lovely Singing Voice" is the lengthy story of Tanissa Gunn, who meets a spoiled, lonely girl while visiting her father over the summer.  While her dad is at work, Tanissa and Brekkyn get to know one another, and we discover that Brekkyn always gets whatever she wants . . . always.

Here is the link, along with the usual author's note at the end:  Thanks!

Rish "Lovely Signing Voice" Outfield

*Sorry that it's taken this long; maybe I'm reverting to my spineless ways.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Podcast That Dares Not Speak Its Name 9: "...Comedy Is Hard"

This episode is unlike any I have done before.  It's a lengthy (sprawling? interminable? endless?) essay recorded in one sitting.  The topic is Comedy.  What is off-limits in making people laugh, and do I know the difference between being funny and being offensive?  Can I keep on a single topic for more than five minutes?*  And what does Fake Sean Connery think?

If you've ever wanted a glimpse inside my head, here it is.  You've been warned.

To download the episode, right click RIGHT HERE.

Music for this episode was "Across the Divide" by Kevin McLeod, from

*Spoiler alert: no.

P.S.  It may not be apparent, but this episode wasn't just a bitch session, an hour of whining, or an invitation to a pity party.  If it wasn't at least somewhat interesting, and produced absolutely no laughter, then I did something wrong.  Either that, or you weren't listening with both ears.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Rish's story "The Pen Was Mightier" on The Way of the Buffalo

Some time ago, I'm not sure when, I must've sent my short story "The Pen Was Mightier" over to Hugh O'Donnell and his podcast "The Way of the Buffalo," because this week, he wrote to tell me the story was up and ready to go.

This was a nice surprise.  I used to have a major fear of sending my stories out to magazines and podcasts, and then, when I discovered self-publishing, I never had to get over that particular fear because, now, I could just publish them myself.  Hey, it works for Drac Von Stoller, and that guy has as much talent in his little finger as I have in my . . . wait, that guy has no talent at all.*  That's the point I was trying to make, sorry.

Anyway, I've been self-publishing a bit (not nearly as much as I ought to, but I'm trying), getting over my fear of sharing my work, and here TWOTB is to remind me that it's really cool when somebody else does it.  Hugh was the first place to run my story "Subtext," and Dave Robison's grand reading of my tale "Old Man River" is on there too.  His podcast has been around a while, this is his (Star Trekky) seventy-ninth episode, and I really ought to ask him if he needs a promo or a silly voice for his show.

"The Pen Was Mightier" is a light and silly tale about a writer who obtains a magic pen that creates only inspired art.  It's not hard to guess where I got the idea, but it's short, and it's cute, and it's available to listen to right here.  Thanks.

Rish "You're givin' away Penis Mightiers?" Outfield

*Do you know about this guy?  He's a writ--no, no, I gotta put it in quotes--he's a "writer" who consistently publishes his almost-stories which are usually one or two page present tense recaps of campfire tales and urban legends, but with absolutely no editing, pacing, grammar, or even a simple spell check.  His output is prodigious, and when I first got into audiobook production, I discovered a slew of his projects in search of narrators, and was frankly, bowled over when I attempted to audition for one.  No worries about pacing, character, depth, symbolism, or suspense, these stories hadn't passed the fourth grade checkpoint of Are there paragraphs?  Did you capitalize words or punctualize sentences?  Are they complete phrases or just jammed together strings of partially-digested writing?  Is there an ending to your story?  Does writing "The End" partway through count as an ending to your story?  Does your title give away the ending of your story?  Can people lick too?  Are you sure you mean "Your going too regret it?"  But hey, you have cover art, and that looks pretty good.

Anyway, I wouldn't be wasting my few remaining minutes before I have to go to work with this if it hadn't been for an interview I read with the guy.  Turns out he's a middle-aged man rather than an eleven year old with internet access, and he shocked me--I mean absolutely bowled me over--by not caring that his stories are really, really badly written and could be fixed with a simple seven or eight minute edit on each one, but doesn't care about all of that stupid stuff.  "A good story is a good story," he said to the interviewer, "and I don't think a person cares about how it's spelled or typed up if he's reading a good story."  And you know, maybe he has a point there (I'm willing to bend a little bit on this one) . . . IF it were a good story he was talking about here.  But his stuff is just awful, not even caring if it's in the same tense all the way through.  Big Anklevich's kid fancies herself a writer, and having read a couple of her stories for school, I'd be much more comfortable planting that moniker on her than on Drac Von Stoller.  She at least knows how to put a period on the end of a sentence.