Escape Pod: Tk’Tk’Tk
This morning I finished listening to Paul reading “Tk’tk’tk“, a sci-fi short story by David Levine about an enterprise software salesman on an alien world far from home. It’s currently nominated for a Hugo. I enjoyed the story (you can also read it online), and Paul’s presentation of it was clear and well done.
The story involves an alien language that lacks vowels, so it’s full of unpronouncable words like “Fthshpk” (a holiday) and “thshsh” (a beverage). To record these words for the story, Paul added sufficient long vowels to make them pronouncable, then the producer used an audio editor to delete the vowel sounds, leaving only the sibilant consonants. The effect works very well – it gives the idea of a non-human language while still being sort of recognizable, at least in the sense that when you hear the same word twice you can tell that it’s the same word again. It helps that there aren’t too many alien words included in the story text.
If this is an indicator of the quality of the rest of the Escape Pod recordings (Paul tells me that it is actually “weaker than their normal fare”), then I expect to be a regular listener.