Experiments in Ontological Relativism

and Other Brain Farts

Public Domain is Your Friend

Posted by Jason on February 5, 2009

*tap tap* Umm, hello? Is this thing on? *long squeal of feedback*

Oh, I guess it is. Wasn’t sure with all this electron dust lying around. Sorry there haven’t been any new updates here in… well, too long. Those who know me can guess why, what with all the craziness that has been happening lately. But fear not! There is New Stuff Coming(tm)!

I’m a new media junkie. I love seeing all the new ways creative people are finding to integrate technology and art, and spread it out to the world. And I want to be a part of that. I’ve always loved to tell stories; and more than that, I love to share my stories. I really want to be part of this whole podcasting/new media thing, because I think I have some things I’d like to share with the world.

But there are some technical hurdles to overcome, too. I don’t know much about audio engineering, editing, producing… all that fun and exciting stuff. And I don’t want my lack of experience in these matters to get in the way of people enjoying my own content. But, thanks to the wonders of public domain, I think I may have a solution. But first I need your help.

As a learning project, I’d like to take a public domain work and make a podiobook out of it. I think (hope) it’ll be a good way to experiment with audio and make some of the rookie mistakes. Also, I’m sure it’ll help me learn to ask questions I haven’t even thought of yet. Besides, I’ve always enjoyed acting , and this just sounds like fun.

Ideally, I’d like to make this available on podiobooks.com, as well as here. But hey, if it turns out really horrendous, it can quietly slink off to the dark recesses of my hard drive where so many bad projects go to die.

I do need a little bit of help, though. I need help picking a book. I have a couple in mind, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Of f the top of my head, here’s the kind of thing I’m looking for:

  • It has to be in the public domain in the US (duh). I’m also very open to Creative Commons-licensed work, too, though I think I like the idea of digging up some “lost classics.” 🙂
  • Preferably, there isn’t already an audiobook version. It’s not a deal-breaker for me if there is, but I’d like to feel I’m contributing something new.
  • It should be short to medium length. Bonus if it’s a collection of short stories, or something easily broken up into small chunks.
  • It has to be in English. While I can read a couple other languages, I think I read best in this one. Something about it being my first language or some junk like that.
  • It has to be something I’m interested in. Yes, I know this is completely subjective, but it’s still important if I want to finish this!

So I said I had some things in mind already. I’d like to try my voice on The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers. It’s a wonderful, weird, and very influential set of stories that I’ve loved since I first stumbled onto them years ago. I do see that there is already an audio version at LibriVox (though I haven’t listened to it yet), but I think I still might give it a go. Another I’m considering is The Gods of Pegana, by Lord Dunsany. I’m also open to others of his works. Another that I would dearly love to do is The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison, but I can’t find out definitively if it is still under copyright or not.

Do any of these sound good to you? Any you’d prefer (or disprefer)? Any other suggestions? Can I fit more question marks into one paragraph?

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

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