Got a real kick this morning listening to three of the four shortlisted stories for this year’s BSFA award for short fiction on the always exciting Starship Sofa podcast. Thought all three readings were well done and showcased the stories well, and urge anyone who is eligible to vote for the BSFA awards to get on over there and have a listen. For those who prefer to read rather than listen, all four of the shortlisted pieces (including Peter Watts’ The Things which is missing from the Starship Sofa podcast) will shortly be landing on the doormats of BSFA members in the annual awards booklet.
On a personal note, it was both thrilling and weird to hear Arrhythmia being professionally read. Thrilling because I think reader Simon Hildebrandt has nailed the tone and mood of the story, but weird too because there’s more to this particular story than just words. It was conceived with specific melodies and background music, but it would have been both impossible and wrong to try and be proscriptive about those, so the result is similar to the feeling you get when hear someone singing Happy Birthday or Auld Lang Syne to a different melody than the one you’ve been used to every night. Of course only I, and a small number of people that have heard me perform bits of the story, know the melodies that I had in mind when I wrote it, so this is purely a personal reaction and therefore almost entirely irrelevant. But it’s interesting to me anyway.