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Hear That? SPECIAL EDITION: Rainforest Writers Village

Welcome to a special edition of HEAR THAT?, a look at some of the best audio fiction you’ll ever hear on the internet. This is a longer post than usual that focuses on some of the attendees of the Rainforest Writers Village on the south short of Lake Quinault in Washington state. There are a greater number of links to some fine stories, and while I may not be able to give an in depth review of each story rest assured that you’ll like what you hear.

The brainchild of Patrick Swenson, author of the forthcoming The Ultra Thin Man and driving force behind Fairwood Press, the Rainforest Writers Village began in February 2007 with the idea of giving writers a place to focus on writing far from the interactions and distractions of daily life. Writers from all over the US and Canada make the trek each year to spend 4 1/2 days with little internet access, almost no cell reception, and 20+ other liked-minded individuals to do what writers do best – write. Plant the butt in the chair and get the words on the page.

This year I had the privilege of being one of those writers and was amazed by how many names on the roster I recognized from some of my favorite podcast genre fiction. Even better, I can now put faces with those names, and count many of them (the people, not merely their faces) as some of the quirkiest, silliest, most wonderful people I know. So, in no particular order, here is a sampling of some great audio fiction written by the 2013 attendees of the Rainforest Writers Village:

Brenda Cooper:
* “My Father’s Singularity”, Clarkesworld, narrated by Kate Baker (heartfelt and lonely)
* “In Their Garden” , StarShipSofa, narrated by Liz Ann Herd
* “My Grandfather’s River” , Escape Pod, narrated by Stephen Eley

Ted Kosmatka:
* “Cry Room”, Pseudopod, narrated by Peter Piazza (easily my favorite of Ted’s stories, and I thanked him for writing it at our introduction this weekend)
* (with Michael Poore) “Blood Dauber”, StarShipSofa, narrated by Nathan Lowell
* “The Color Least Used In Nature” , StarShipSofa, narrated by Nicholas Camm

David D. Levine:
* “Moonlight on the Carpet”, Toasted Cake, narrated by Tina Connolly
* “Tk’tk’tk”, Escape Pod, narrated by Paul Tevis
* “Citizen Astronaut”, StarShipSofa, narrated by Kevin Hayden (great character-driven story about near future Mars exploration, very believable)
* “Babel Probe”, The Drabblecast, narrated by Norm Sherman
* “Floaters”, The Drabblecast, narrated by Norm Sherman

Christie Yant :
* “The Three Feats of Agani”, PodCastle, narrated by Stephanie Morris (also appears at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, wonderful myth-cycle story and how it applies to a young girl too soon an adult)

James Van Pelt:
* “The Hurt Club”, Every Day Fiction podcast #64, narrated by Folly Blaine (terrific flash fiction about justice, dares, and graveyards)
* “The Last of the O-Forms”, The Drabblecast, narrated by Norm Sherman

Liz Argall (cabin roomie extraordinaire, and fellow member of Horrific Miscue Seattle):
* “The Rugged Track”, PodCastle, narrated by Tina Connolly
* “A Study in Flesh and Mind”, Pseudopod, narrated by Philippa Ballantine (how long can you hold absolutely still and not give up hope?)
* “Dear Ms. Moon”, Toasted Cake, narrated by Tina Connolly

Andrew Penn Romine (fellow Clarion West 2010 graduate):
* “The Parting Glass”, Lightspeed magazine, narrated by Joe Barrett

Nancy Kress (a wealth of podcasts to her credit, too many to list, so here are a few highlights):
* “Ej-Es”, Escape Pod, narrated by Sheri Mann Stewart (engaging story with a wealth of insight into language and culture; the last line broke my heart)
* “End Game” , Escape Pod, narrated by Stephen Eley
* “Eliot Wrote”, Lightspeed Magazine, narrated by Jim Meskimen
* “Clad In Gossamer”, PodCastle, narrated Paul S. Jenkins
* “The Flowers of Aulit Prison” , StarShipSofa, narrated by Amy H. Sturgis (dark and beautiful)

* Christopher Reynaga (frequent narrator for podcasts, definitely check him out):
* “I Only Am Escaped Alone To Tell Thee” , The Drabblecast, narrated by Graeme Dunlop (Moby Dick meets Cthulu, well worth the read and the narration is incredible)

Daryl Gregory:
* “Unpossible”, PodCastle, narrated by Peter Wood (touching story about returning to a simpler time)

Jack Skillingstead:
* “Bean There” , Escape Pod, narrated by Jim Van Verth
* “Are You There” , StarShipSofa, narrated by David Munger (The best tale of loneliness I have ever heard or read.)

Randy Henderson (Master of Wit, fellow member of Horrific Miscue Seattle):
* “Surviving the Ebookalypse”, Escape Pod, narrated by Roberto Suarez
* “The Most Epicly Awesomest Story! Ever!!” , Every Day Fiction podcast #80, narrated by Folly Blaine (More fun than a barrel of purple prose.)

And last but not least, yours truly:
* “Going To The Chapel” , The Drabblecast, narrated by Lauren Synger
* “Blue”, The Drabblecast, narrated by Norm Sherman
* “On Being Mandy”, Pseudopod, narrated by Tina Connolly

There you have it, a sampling of internet audio prose by some of the attendees of the 2013 Rainforest Writers Village. No doubt there are podcasts I missed; if you like, take a moment and leave a comment and link in the comments section. There are too many good stories waiting to be heard not to share them.

As always, if you like what you hear on any of these podcasts, leave a comment in their forums section or make a donation to help keep them afloat. In their own way, the podcasters work as hard as the authors to produce stories you’ll love. Whether audio books or podcasts, audio fiction is accessible and is a great way to enjoy fine fiction of all sorts.

Until next time, keep your ears open!

2 comments to Hear That? SPECIAL EDITION: Rainforest Writers Village

  • Shawn McAllister

    Thank you for the wonderful write up on the Resort. I run the front office at the Resort. I have worked over 15 years for the Morrison’s and love it there. We love having all the writer’s that come to enjoy the Rain Forest. What a great group!

  • Sandra Odell

    You are most welcome. It is a lovely village and the staff treated us like royalty.

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