Real short notes today.
* Many thanks to everyone who tried out for Voldemort, I’m pleased with the results and grateful at how many people were willing to put themselves forward!
* I just returned from a LessWrong meetup in Denver. These things are really cool, if you’re near Denver and would like to come to one drop me a line. It looks like we’ll be doing another one the first Tuesday of next month.
* Also, if you’re going to Denver Comic Con this year, I’m helping to coordinate the Author Track Panels. I’ll be in room 203 most of the day all three days, feel free to say hi!
* Yes, I know Harry complains a couple times about how slow they are going. Compared to how fast Quirrell could whip through the corridor, it’s probably slow. But compared to how long it would take a level-appropriate party to work through the corridor, this is definitely a speed run.
I have updated the available roles file to list the final available roles for HPMoR. They are mainly Death Eaters, plus of course Voldemort. Be warned – spoilers in that file, if you haven’t read the text yet.
Speaking of which, here is a link to the first Voldemort scene from a Very Potter Musical, if anyone was looking for a possible inspiration. Seriously, any assistance I could get on the Voldy front would be helpful.
I know I never had a background hiss to denote Parseltounge-speech before. I stretched my enunciation a bit and really stressed all the S’s, and I felt that was enough. The characters spoke in Parseltounge in long blocks, and it was telegraphed by people turning into snakes, and so forth. But in the coming chapters Harry and Quirrell drop in and out of Parseltounge a lot, sometimes multiple times in a single paragraph. Sometimes the lines don’t contain any S sounds. And to make matters worse, Harry’s Slytherin Side thinks at him a few times… and his Slytherin side talks like Draco, who also stretches his enunciation, so it sounds kinda Parseltounge-ish. So, yeah, I figured it was important to be much more explicit. Hope it works for everyone.
He’s OK, or at least, as OK as one can be considering the circumstances. It turns out my mother had been a bit hyperbolic in her distress, he didn’t lose his whole finger, only up to the first knuckle. Safety Third!
And if you haven’t backed up in a while, do so soon. I try to do so every six months, and I was just a little past that line. I figured I’d wait a few more weeks until I heard what corrections are needed on the updated prior episodes, fix them, then backup everything at once. That was a terrible idea. I’m ridiculously happy that I’d already uploaded everything, and that I keep my writing in the Cloud. Right now everything is a pain in the ass, but at least I still have an ass at all! (metaphorically)
Also, you guys are great. I received six submissions for the two Hufflepuff parts in this episode. I already have people sending me samples for Oliver’s lines, months in advance, and I haven’t even updated the available roles file yet! I’m feeling overwhelmed in a good way, thank you all! :)
People who’ve read Red Legacy as originally published may notice a minor change in the audio version. Specifically, the line “You think because you gave birth to her” has been changed to “You think because you pushed her out of your cunt.” When I originally wrote the story that was the wording I used. I spent some time worrying about the word. I know how vulgar and emotionally-loaded it is. But Marya is resorting to violence, and she’s using the most verbally violent words she can at this point. Alternatives felt flat, or silly, or weirdly sexual, and I didn’t want that; I wanted angry and vicious. There are some amazing stories out there, fairly recent works by Swirsky and Johnson, that use the word, so I thought it would be OK. But of course I am nowhere near the caliber of Swirsky or Johnson. And those stories of theirs that used the word were not published in Asimov’s. I was politely informed that Asimov’s has a policy of never printing that particular word, and strongly avoiding other less-vulgar but nonetheless still vulgar terms for female anatomy.
Obviously there was no way I was turning down an opportunity to be published in freakin’ Asimov’s over a single word, so I cut it out. But I don’t have that restriction in my podcast, so it’s back in for the audio version. :)
The list of updated HPMoR episodes is as follows:
It occurred to me that I am the proud possessor of the audio rights to a story that’s appeared in Asimov’s SF, and that I have a podcast, and the next step was obvious. :) I’ve already posted twice about the story (although the second link contains spoilers for part two!! Be ye warned!), but there was one thing I learned that I forgot to include in the TIL post, so I’ll say it here instead:
I’ve lived my life in a world where childhood leukemia isn’t a death sentence. It still sucks hugely, please don’t think I’m saying it’s not a big deal, it’s awful. But all the common forms have very good survivability rates nowadays (nearly 90%!). So I thought I would have my work cut out for me to find a fast-acting and hard-to-cure terminal disease that strikes in childhood, when I started writing this. I was very wrong. As recently as a handful of decades ago (certainly in the time period Red Legacy is set in) leukemia killed the shit out of kids. :( It was almost invariably fatal, and could kill in a matter of months or even weeks. I didn’t realize what a scourge this was, and I’m glad we’ve become so good at fighting it now. Fuck cancer, and huzzah for science.
BTW, no-hassle tweets re my fiction writings, if you’re interested.
I knew this would probably happen eventually, and now it has… the podcast project has altered how I read HPMoR. It’s much harder to get wrapped up in a chapter than it used to be. Before, I was in the world by sentence 2. Now I keep thinking “How am I going to phrase this? How will this sound? What sound effect should I insert here? Who all will I need to contact to do the voices? How long before they can get the recordings back to me?” It’s made it a little less enjoyable to read. I got past it eventually and finally lost myself in the story again (yay!), but it took me more than halfway through the chapter to do it.
On balance, I’m glad I started the podcast when I did. It’s led to a lot of other great things in my life, and I’m now 103 chapters closer to finishing it than I would have been if I’d waited until it was fully published to start. But there’s a tiny bit of regret mixed in, that now there’s this process working in my head, distracting me, putting a touch of distance between myself and this awesome fic. Can’t have everything, I guess. :)
But daaaaaaaaaaaamn am I excited to see the final arc!!!!! So… hard… to… wait!!