Life, work and academia have intervened to complicate my schedule a lot in the past few weeks, as you may have noticed from the slackening pace of posts on this blog, but The Valley of Forever, my science fiction story podcast, is still going. The latest episode, Episode 11, “Sole Survivor,” went up last night. In case you haven’t checked your podcast account(s) recently, you can find the whole show here: Podomatic, iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn.com, and Stitcher.
This is quite a sad episode. Alternating from the story of Dale and how he found the Valley of Forever, narrator Marcus describes the progression of his life after returning from a life changing–and time bending–trip to Mexico in 1995. With everything seeming to be going for him initially, Marcus is struck down by a series of tragedies that isolate him from his family and loved ones. This episode also explains the origin of the character of Alex, unseen so far throughout the whole series, who is the person to whom Marcus is narrating the story of his life over the course of numerous recordings. Admittedly this is a much slower-paced installment, but it’s a heartfelt and emotional one, and important for what comes later.
Making Episode 11 was a curious experience. I am “playing” the character of Marcus, and while I hope my voice acting may be getting a bit better, this episode was a challenge given the emotional nature of the story for the character. I also faced an interesting technical challenge. Most of this episode supposedly takes place in an airport concourse, and I had to “build” the soundscape from a host of recordings (all in Creative Commons 0, or public domain, licensing status, which limits what I can choose from). I’m especially proud of the loudspeaker announcements you can barely hear in the background. If you listen hard, you might catch some oblique references to a certain television show I sometimes talk about on this blog! And, as always, the wonderful music of George Kay and the narration of Lesley Ann Fogle at the beginning round out the feast for the ears.
I hope it will not be another three weeks before I can get Episode 12 online. But, whenever that happens, until then enjoy the series, keep listening, sharing and commenting, and thanks as always for your support.