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:
Trying to do science in a hostile environment.
Original Text is available in the February 2015 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction, and isn’t available free online right now.
Credits (in order of appearance):
Alexia – Ella Barrett
Ivan – Steven Zuber
MI6 Agent – Brian Jones
Uri Pushkin – Mike Ellis
Technician – Drewy Nucci
Music: Overgrowth, Espionage, Losing All Control, Far Above The World, ChillOut
SFX: Klaxon, Boom Rumble, Body Drop, AK47, Pistol, Alarm, Zap, Window Slide
Podcast: Play in new window
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!!
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.
Valuable Humans In Transit
SFX: Incoming Android, Violent Landing, Sirens, Helicopter
Podcast: Play in new window