Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Audio Art

Blindsight is coming out as an audiobook from Recorded Books; check out the cover art by Leonard Likas (© Recorded Books, LLC):



Notice anything unusual for a Watts-type book? Notice anything unusual for a story set a half light-year from the nearest star, set in the dark and shadowy borderlands of interstellar space?

Notice the rich, radiant colors? WTF?

Well, Leonard took his lead from the synesthesiac's eye. There's a brief scene near the end of Blindsight where we get a hint of what Sarasti or Michelle might see if they looked outside, and it's beautiful. So's this artwork: an inventive departure from the usual dark, glum Wattsiness, and a nice addition to the Gallery.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Alehkhs said...

Please tell me that they approached you to do the reading...

April 24, 2008 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Nooo! The colors are making me lose my will to be a morbid, pessimistic fatalist!

(It is a cool cover, though.)

April 24, 2008 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger has said...

"Notice anything unusual for a Watts-type book?"

I find your lack of puke-green border... disturbing.

April 24, 2008 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger Derek C. F. Pegritz said...

Ummm...that looks nothing at all like Rorshach. The thing is clearly a twisted, tortured crown-of-thorns kind of construction, not an array of magnetite spicules.

As a synaesthete myself, I find the colors in the illustration very pleasing...despite the slight squeal of yellow (I loathe, LOATHE the horrific nauseous squeaking of yellow). But if anything, I like the dark between the stars more than you do, hence the reason I like the cover of the novel so much. All that wonderful, bass-heavy black.

April 24, 2008 at 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to think of the appropriate person to read the book, but most of them are dead,

1) The voice of doom himself, Pa Cartright (Sorry, I'm gapping on the actor's name)
2) the man who will sell no wine before it's time, Orson Wells
3) You can have my gun when you can pry it from my cold dead hands, Chuckie Heston.

But, truthfully, the twisted part of me would really like to hear either Paul Lynde or Elmer Fudd read it. (and I do know that Elmer Fudd is not dead).

KM

April 24, 2008 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger Keippernicus said...

This may put me in a bad light but whoever reads it will have a shining thread of evil woven into their voice to do justice to the awesome malevolence of Sarasti and Rorscach's readouts.

My first pick would be Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith, Elrond)

If nothing else its because of this line: "In the Kuiper you're a synthesist. Here you're mass. Do what you're told."

Side note, I googled "blindsight" to mine that quote and the first hit was for a film about mountain-climbing tibetan teenagers. What kind of a world do we live in...sigh...

April 25, 2008 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

Alehkhs said...

Please tell me that they approached you to do the reading...


No, they haven't. That would have been cool, and I personally think I have a not-bad reading voice. Others, however, have described as "too nasal" for such gigs (and it must be admitted, I would not grieve if my nose were a bit smaller). Besides, they've got professional readers to do this. (Of course, the CNIB also presumably used professionals to read the stories in their audio rendition of Ten Monkeys Ten Minutes and you know, I was not that impressed.)

My contract gives me "consultation" on who the narrator is, but they went ahead and recorded it without contacting me. Over the years I've had a number of agents basically say that even if I do get this or that clause embedded in a contract, it really doesn't make any difference because the publisher can still go ahead and drop the ball and what am I gonna do? Sue them?

Still, Recorded Books is highly regarded, and my attitude has always been to give the other guy the benefit of the doubt until the evidence suggests that you shouldn't (Tor being an example in this latter category). In all likelihood, whoever RB has retained will be just fine.

Overall, though, this raises the evident reality that contracts in this business aren't really worth shit no matter what they say. Arabesque, for example — the publishers putting out the Russian edition of Blindsight — have refused outright to honour a clause they stuck into the contract themselves, one that obligated them to pay me interest if they were late in paying my advance. They were extraordinarily late, but seemed almost offended that I would even expect them to honor the terms of their own contract. They offered no real excuse, beyond reporting that they'd never honored that clause with any of their other authors so why start now? And what am I gonna do? Sue them?

Derek C. F. Pegritz said...

Ummm...that looks nothing at all like Rorshach. The thing is clearly a twisted, tortured crown-of-thorns kind of construction, not an array of magnetite spicules.


This is true — but then, Thom Pringle's various (unpublished) depictions of Theseus didn't look much the way I described the ship either (check out the Gallery page, if you haven't seen them; they're really quite beautiful). Literal tech verisimilitude isn't a huge sticking point for me, so long as the overall work evokes the thematic mood of the tale. Likas evokes one facet of the story that no one else has taken on yet.

As a synaesthete myself, I find the colors in the illustration very pleasing...despite the slight squeal of yellow (I loathe, LOATHE the horrific nauseous squeaking of yellow). But if anything, I like the dark between the stars more than you do, hence the reason I like the cover of the novel so much. All that wonderful, bass-heavy black.

If you don't mind me asking... are you color-blind, as well as synaesthetic? I was talking to a color-blind synaesthete the other day (assuming he wasn't just some dude yanking my chain), and he tells me the two conditions often occur together.

Wisely Anonymous said...

1) The voice of doom himself, Pa Cartright (Sorry, I'm gapping on the actor's name)


You mean Lorne Greene. From the first Battlestar Galactica. I don't know. Nice voice, but his association with that show might Clockwork-Orange all the pleasure out of the recitation for me.

2) the man who will sell no wine before it's time, Orson Wells
2) You can have my gun when you can pry it from my cold dead hands, Chuckie Heston.


Either of those would be good, if they weren't both dead.

But, truthfully, the twisted part of me would really like to hear either Paul Lynde or Elmer Fudd read it. (and I do know that Elmer Fudd is not dead).


I would pay double to hear any of my words recited by Elmer Fudd. And maybe even Sylvester (the cat, not the Rambo guy).

Keippernicus
said...

This may put me in a bad light but whoever reads it will have a shining thread of evil woven into their voice to do justice to the awesome malevolence of Sarasti and Rorscach's readouts.

My first pick would be Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith, Elrond)


Man, Hugo Weaving might even work in the role of Sarasti, in some magical parallel universe where they turn Blindsight into a movie...

April 25, 2008 at 5:03 PM  
Blogger wildgoose said...

Only slightly off-topic, I've just come across the following fascinating blog post concerning a book about the Origin of Consciousness. So just in case anyone is interested, here it is:

http://blog.plover.com/brain/Jaynes.html

...which splits. So here's the TinyURL:

http://tinyurl.com/5zhmll

May 9, 2008 at 1:17 PM  

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