December 27, 2021

Vegvísir now has an audio version!

Now you can enjoy spooky Martian weirdness… in your ears! The audio version of my debut short story Vegvísir (Wayfinder) just dropped on the Clarkesworld website and podcast feed.

Vegvísir is the featured story on Clarkesworld this week, with an amazing audio version, read by Kate Baker. If you’ve been waiting to listen to this story, now is the time!

You can read it here and listen to it here. You can also check out the full podcast feed for Clarkesworld (you should subscribe, short SFF is amazing in audio form and Kate is a wonderful narrator) and the full archive of episodes.

One of the best things I did for my editing routine over the last couple of years was to get into the habit of reading things aloud to myself - it really helps you to find the flow of the story and avoid awkward sentence constructions. It also helps find overused words or phrases. I suspect I might have overused regolith’ in this one.

But there’s something very different about hearing someone else read your work. It’s a very, very strange experience. I think something about it, especially with a good narrator, short-circuits the part of my brain that lets me recognise that I wrote something. So I enjoy it on a different, slightly less self-critical level. It’s cool.

It was also a blast, again, working with the Clarkesworld team. This story features several Icelandic words and even (spoilers) a stanza from the Poetic Edda, so I helped the team out by tracking down pronunciation guides and videos of Icelandic people and old Norse specialists reading the key words and phrases aloud. I think Kate did a fantastic job on those particular words and on the whole emotional tone of the story.

As I’ve noted before, Vegvísir is the first short story I’d tried submitting in 15+ years, so to see it published so quickly, by such a high profile magazine and with this terrific audio version to boot has been an absolute dream first publication experience.

Both the audio and text versions are free to access on the Clarkesworld website, but you can also buy Kindle, ePub and PDF versions, or sign up for a subscription from $3. It’s a really, really great SFF magazine, publishing short stories, novelettes and non-fiction every month and there’s a Discord server for subscribers if you go the Clarkesworld Citizens route.

I’d love to hear what you thought of the story and the audio version - feel free to follow and say hi on Twitter.

If you’re a SFWA member voting in the Nebulas, Vegvísir has been added to the Nebula reading list (!) and I’d be delighted if you voted for it. You can find it on the reading list here.

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