Wednesday, October 09, 2002
There's a review of TWO PLAYS FOR VOICES here -- Audio Bomb: Two Plays for Voices.

You seem a fan of audio productions in regards to your own work (such as American Gods, Two Plays for Voices, Coraline, W:CL, etc). Do you enjoy listening to (or even have a chance to listen to) other authors audio productions?
(Asked by one currently listening to Zelazny read his 'A Night In The Lonesome October')

I love the reading of Roger doing "Night In The Lonesome October" -- I listened to it while writing American Gods, whenever I did the washing up in my writing cabin, which meant it took months to hear, as I tended to do the washing up only when I ran out of mugs for tea, but I'd already read the book so wasn't impatient for plot, and just loved hearing Roger read the book. (It nearly convinced me to do American Gods myself, as "October" is all set in England and Roger doesn't even try to do English accents.) I can listen to music while writing. I can't listen to other people telling me stories, so I mostly listen to them while driving.

Generally speaking, if the authors are good readers I very much enjoy audio books read by the authors -- it's such a different experience. You can't speed up or slow down. You just get the story the way the author wrote it.

I tend not to be a fan of abridged work, unless the abridgment was done by the author. (I got a copy of the CASTLE OF OTRANTO, a huge gothic novel, on 2 CDs which were barely more than a "this is what happens". I bought it because it said it was unabridged. We live, we learn.)

If I'm doing a long drive I'll always try and do audio books -- Blackstone audio have an excellent selection of rentable audiobooks on CD (I highly recommend their Huckleberry Finn and their Wodehouse). And I buy a lot of stuff from the BBC as they'll bring things out on audio and then lose them again. I loved Stephen King's readings of Bag of Bones and the bits he did in Hearts in Atlantis - I've had arguments with, for example, my wife, who loves King but doesn't like his reading, whereas I really enjoy it. it's understated, but evocative.

There's a point in October in the Midwest (and in the East of the US too -- I've seen it in rural Pennsylvania) when the skies are perfectly blue, it's sunny enough to make every maple tree glow yellow or orange or red, there's a chill enough in the air to make you wear a sweater, but after a minute's walk you can't remember why you're wearing it, and you're walking in the tinted glow of a Bradbury story. It's the perfect season, as long as you drive a little slower and more carefully and keep an eye out for deer.