Moby’s Review and information site
A big Thank You to the folks at Moby’s for the great write up and information about the project!
If you haven’t checked Moby’s out yet, do so. There’s some great information about everything sci-fi, from movies to, yup, audio drama!
How to speak Ragi
Not too long ago a few people at Sebastian T Sweet Productions and Audio Cinema Entertainment became aware that Spence Hill, a long time fan of CJ Cherryh and a linguist, had created several “fan” language dictionaries, among them a dictionary of the Ragi language, the language spoken by the Taiben (Tabini’s clan).
We contacted Spence (and also bought the dictionary) and asked him if he’d guest blog for us and tell us how he came to write the dictionary.
Below is what he wrote:
“I have always liked languages. I studied French and Spanish in Jr. high and pulled bilingual dictionaries off the shelves of every library I have ever visited. When my aunt went to Samoa to teach for a few years, she got me a series of books on the Samoan language.
When I read Tolkien, I decided that I, too, could create languages. So, I did. My first language was abysmally naïve, virtually a clone of English grammar with a very clunky lexicon. But, I learned a lot. I have created languages for giants, elves, Andorians, and genetically engineered future civilizations, just to name a few.
I went on to earn a masters degree in theoretical linguistics and have been studying or teaching languages ever since.
So, when I read CJ Cherryh’s Chanur series, I decided that I wanted to write up the language of the Hani, her leonid race. I contacted her via email and she gave her blessings. I think CJ, being creative, doesn’t want to stand in the way of the creativity of her fans. I then “poofed out” Kiffish and Stsho languages for other aliens in this series.
As a moderator of a fan run site dedicated to CJ’s work, I have been asked to continue my “poofing out” of languages, in this case, the Ragi language of the aliens in the Foreigner series. This was a major undertaking as there are so very many instances of Ragi utterances in the book and not a lot of guidance from CJ herself.
I took every incidence of the language and assigned a meaning to them based on the context of the books. It took several years and the help of 7-10 fellow fans. But, the book is written, approved by CJ and now for sale as an ebook.”
If you’d like your own copy of the dictionary just click on the link below or copy and paste it into your brower.
Some of the awesome ladies of ASoIaF:
Arianne Martell, Arya Stark, Asha Greyjoy, Brienne
Catelyn Stark, Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, Jeyne Westerling
Lyanna Stark, Lysa Arryn, Margaery Tyrell, Melisandre
Myrcella Baratheon, Olenna Tyrell, Sansa Stark, Ygritte
Our First Guest Blog!
(please note there are two pictures here. When you place your pointer over Matthew’s photo a spyglass with a plus sign shows up. Click on it and you can see the other picture)
Let us introduce you to British audio drama writer Matthew Elliott. He has written many different shows, and adapted many more. His original character Hilary Caine is produced by Jim French Productions, Inc. in Seattle, Washington. Click on his name to be taken to his full bio.
Below are his musings on writing for audio. (complete with British spellings :) )
After writing 200+ radio dramas, you’d think I’d have this business down, but there’s always something more to learn. This is because radio writing is as much a craft as it is an art – probably more-so, but don’t ask me to state a percentage.
A while ago, I wrote a radio dramatisation of Logan’s Run: Aftermath, based on the Bluewater comic book by Paul J Salamoff, based in turn on the trilogy of novels by William F Nolan (yes, there were three – who knew?). I was pretty satisfied with the job I’d done translating a highly visual adventure for the medium of sound, but it wasn’t until I heard the finished product that I realised I’d overlooked a very important point, one that – thank God – someone else had spotted and corrected before the actors stepped in front of the microphones. Namely, that this is a sequel, and, since there’s no guarantee that the listener has experienced the original story, the writer is obliged to include as much information regarding characters and settings as possible, and as early on in the script as possible. My mistake was to take it as read that anyone purchasing the CD of Logan’s Run: Aftermath would be completely familiar with the set-up of the previous CD,Logan’s Run: Last Day, and so I pretty much jumped headlong into the plot of this new adventure, including only the bare essentials. Fortunately, the necessary adjustments were made, and sufficient back-story was available to the audience, but I couldn’t help but feel the sting of shame that I had failed to take this fairly obvious factor into account.
No such problems with my next major assignment, a dramatisation of H G Wells’ classic novel The War of the Worlds. Of course there will be challenges, but it’s not a sequel, so I won’t have that issue hanging over me. There may, in fact, be a problem with over-familiarity, since everybody is familiar with the basic structure of the story, and its famous ending. What does work to my advantage is that many dramatists choose to set their versions in the present day, whenever that might be. This applies also to radio adaptations, so one set in the proper Victorian era might actually make a refreshing change.
Next, some practical considerations: the protagonist has no name or profession. I’ll have to give him both. Astronomer would keep him close to the action early on. Astronomer it is. Now, should he narrate? Well, most of the time he’s on his own, so it’s probably necessary. Also, who wouldn’t want to have the line “No-one would have believed that in the last years of the nineteenth century”..? Fab. But the fellow does spend too much time on his own, I’ll have to do something about that, even if it means giving him someone to talk to for just a few extra scenes.
Then, something a little daring. In Wells’ novel, the protagonist has a brother living in London, always omitted from adaptations. He vanishes from the story halfway through, but he witnesses some pretty cool stuff, and it’d add some variety to the plot, seeing the Martian invasion from another perspective. And how awesome will those clanking, steampunk alien war machines sound? Oh, there’ll be more to learn along the way, there always is, but rest assured, I’ll have a great time getting there.
The holidays are over and although we’ve been very active on Facebook we’ve been a little remiss here on the blog.
A few of the things coming up:
An interview with CJ about the project at bookyurt.com. Before Christmas CJ was sent the interview questions. She answered them and they’ve been forwarded on so as soon as we’re informed that the interview has gone up we’ll let you know.
Two more interviews with CJ at audio drama review sites.
Guest blogs regarding everything from audio drama to acting for audio drama to adapting for audio drama from some of the leading people in the field.
Mekala McCaughy, our art director is working on a full “sketch book” that we’ll be posting from.
It is my personal goal to find our “Banachi” by March, if not sooner.
Of course, you’ll be kept apprised of everything as soon as it’s available . In the meantime, if you’re so inclined, drop by Facebook and get into one of our discussions. We’d love to have you.
(c)2012 SR Jak
CJ Cherryh Movie in Audio