sam513 & Valuable Humans In Transit

Two stories by Sam Hughes.

Sam Hughes writes and blogs at qntm.org, and may be best know for Ra.

Note: I AM PUBLISHED!! Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Feb 2015 issue. The story is “Red Legacy” on page 48. Some notes, as well as links to different e-formats, are over at my personal blog.

Original Text:
sam513
Valuable Humans In Transit

SFX: Incoming Android, Violent Landing, Sirens, Helicopter

(Production Notes) sam513 & Valuable Humans In Transit

If only I hadn’t bought this house, I would have enough extra time to keep doing the podcast *and* insert the new voices! :( I’m sorry to let everyone down. In the meantime, here is some other rationalist fiction which I wanted to put into audio format, only to discover that someone else had already beat me to it! Hopefully it will help cover some of the time that I’m not producing anything. All three are very good.

The Cambist and Lord Iron

The Secret Number

The Dragon Tyrant

And did I mention that I managed to get published? :) It’s not available in audio, but if you’re into reading text, I have written some down.

Essays 4

Strengths and Weaknesses

Full Text:
Your Strength as a Rationalist
Universal Fire
Fake Explanations
Tsuyoku Naritai! (I Want To Become Stronger)

Audio instructions on how to add your voice to the podcast are here.

The file of available minor roles is here: Misc HPMoR Roles

Text of the instructions and tips are at the Voicing A Character page, including the links to basic sound recording software.

(Essays 4) Production Notes

The audio medium has it’s advantages, but there are quite a few disadvantages as well. There are quite a few good posts (or “essays”) of Eliezer’s that I doubt I’ll ever podcast, because they contain illustrations or graphs which can’t be translated into audio. Even the ones that are translatable lose something. People who haven’t seen one in it’s original format probably don’t realize that they are often heavily inter-linked, to remind a reader of points made earlier. For example, this line from Fake Explanations contains a separate link for each word: “And as we all know by this point (I do hope)” It has led me on many a groovy multi-hour wikiwalk.

In unrelated news, I recently toured a local sports stadium as part of a corporate event. We got to see the press room, with fancy audio equipment! I posed with one of the microphones, putting on a “serious broadcaster” face. There’s nothing like photo-bombing coworkers to remind you not to put on airs. :)

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(Words of Love) Production Notes

I first read this story a looooong time ago. I don’t even recall how long ago, but it’s entirely possible it was near the date of original publication. It stuck with me. It was one of the first stories I read that eschewed good-vs-evil in favor of “almost no one is evil, almost everything is broken.” I figured if the story had enough lasting power that I still occasionally thought of it, I could certainly podcast it here, and the incredibly generous Mark Rudolph was ok with me doing so. If you want to check out his other work, he has another story and a poem at Strange Horizons as well.

I’m kinda surprised I was able to find “Words of Love” actually. Not until recently have I started to retain the names of stories, novels, and authors. I grew up with a library card, and thus my reading materials were impermanent. They always disappeared when I was done. I didn’t have many friends as a child, so I didn’t have anyone to discuss the stories with and so no reason to be able to identify them with short labels such as Title or Author. If a related topic ever came up in conversation I’d simply describe a story’s plot or premise. I never realized what a disservice this was to the author, and never changed that habit. It wasn’t until I joined a book club a few years ago that I actually started to pay attention to such things as “Title” or “Author” and now I wish I’d been doing it all along.

Finding “Words of Love” was a process that came and went in fits and starts over a number of years, with much Googling and brain-wracking. I’m still surprised it happened. From vague memories of a plot and a world, to a direct link to the original publication is quite a feat, and one I haven’t been able to replicate often. The internet rocks.