the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘sound

Remember when you were a kid, and someone read you a story? Didn’t matter if you liked the story or not, but I bet you enjoyed being read to.

If you’re a parent, I’m sure you read or have read to your kids.  Didn’t matter if you liked the story, but I bet you enjoy the experience of reading to someone.

Ever notice how the feel of the story changes when you read it out loud? When you’re reading out loud, you can control the pace of the words, where the pauses between phrases are,  you can use inflection how and when you want. The words on the page take on entirely new dimensions when they become sounds in the air, and if you are one doing the reading, you can connect with those words in an entirely new way.

I picked up an anthology the other day, and flipped right to a story by one of my favorite authors. One of the many reasons I love her work is because much of it is a combination of organic and cyber, and metaphors that shouldn’t make sense but work perfectly. This is a lady who speaks my language through her words.   This particular story was especially gorgeous, with the words practically making music on the page.  While chatting with my husband that evening, I wouldn’t shut up about how much I loved this story, and that this story was such a perfect example of why I love this author’s work.

I told him This is why I love her work, and I read out loud to him the first few sentences.

That’s really good writing, he said.

So I read a few more sentences.

he said he liked it.

And the entire story is more of that, I told him.

As beautiful as this story is to read to myself, I do wonder how much prettier it would get if I read the entire thing out loud. Would I find a metered pattern in the metaphors? Would a rhythm rise from the words and the pacing of the action?  Would my pace of speaking speed up right at the end, or slow down? During the dialog, would I pause a long time between the lines, as if the characters were thinking about what they wanted to say next? Would I play certain lines for laughs, for sarcasm, or seriously?  So many different ways to experience this (and any) story!

I’m sure plenty of you are thinking “duh, I listen to audiobooks! it’s the same thing that Andrea is talking about!”. That’s *nearly* the same thing, but not quite.  When you listen to an audiobook you are on the listener side of the equation.  What’s I’m getting at is being on the speaker side of the equation.  I do listen to the occassional audiobook, but I often get so distracted by the narrator’s voice that I tend to lose track of what they are saying (yes, i’m weird, but you guys knew that already!)

 

By the way, the story is Synecdoche Oracles by Benjanun Sriduangkaew, out of Upgraded, edited by Neil Clarke.

Silence is golden you say?

How’s this for creepy science fiction in real life:  The anechoic chamber at Orfield Labratories is the quietest place on earth. So quiet you can hear your internal organs.  So quiet, people start to hallucinate after 30 minutes in the room.

The longest that anyone has survived in the ‘anechoic chamber’ at Orfield Laboratories in South Minneapolis is just 45 minutes.

It’s 99.99 per cent sound absorbent and holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s quietest place, but stay there too long and you may start hallucinating.”

Read the rest of the article here. It’s a quick article.

When hubby told me about this the other day, I immediately said “I wanna go!”.  he said people hallucinate there. Now I really, really want to go!

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Apparently it’s China Mieville love fest week on LRR this week. You cool with that?  Cuz I’m cool with that.

This post will make much more sense if you read my other Embassytown posts, On Reading China Mieville and the Embassytown review.

it’s been a few days since I finished the book, and I’m having trouble getting it out of my mind. or getting my mind out of it?  Having a bit of an Alice in Wonderland moment, I’m not quite sure which way ’round that goes.  Anywhoo, I’ve got a bit more I’d like to get off my chest regarding Embassytown, Mieville, aliens, sound, and such.

Also there may be some spoilers here, so if you haven’t read the book, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

After today I should have Embassytown out of my system, mostly.

Read the rest of this entry »


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.