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Signal boost: What should sci-fi or fantasy sound like?

Missing Voices NK Jemisin and Podcastle are looking for a voice actor who is at least black male southern for a new fantasy story about New Orleans that they are about to release in audio book form. You do not have to be a professional voice actor, though if you are, yeah!! Signal boost, pass it along, enter if you got the qualifications. Don’t be shy!!!

Or fantasy. A short story of mine, “Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Beneath the Still Waters”, was published in the UK anthology Postscripts a few months back. I’ve sold the audio rights to Podcastle, which is going to run the story sometime soon — and I’m glad for this, because it’s one of my favorites. See, this story is set in New Orleans, in the days immediately preceding and following Hurricane Katrina. MORE

On top of that Podcastle is looking for readers of all ethnicities anyway: PodCastle Wants You!

PodCastle wants you! We’re continually looking for volunteers of all backgrounds and ethnicities to read the cool stories we’ve bought. So if you’re listening to this, and you’ve ever wanted to read for PodCastle, or any of the Escape Artists podcasts, and you have recording equipment, we’d love for you to send us an audition.

Here’s what you do: Record a sample of you reading something, an excerpt from a story or a book, preferably under five minutes, just so we can get a feel for how you sound. If you can do accents – Creole, Spanish, Southern, Irish, Turkish, French, Japanese – please include that in your audition, and mention it in your email. Then drop us a line at with your audition attached. .wav, .mp3, .aif attachments are preferred. Please mention “audition” in the subject line.MORE


We need realistic representation at all levels — we need to see it, sure, but we also need to hear it. And I’m not talking just about my story here, or just stories featuring black male characters. Where the race of the character isn’t specified, we should be hearing non-white voices as often as we do white ones. If it really doesn’t matter, why not? We should be hearing English speakers with non-English accents, and Southerners whether the story demands “Southernese” or not, and Midwesterners, and Alaskans. We need to hear more people who talk like members of the lower class of whichever culture they come from, and people who talk in all the various creole mishmashes that exist. Because that’s what society is like, dammit. We don’t all speak BBC English and we don’t all sound like actors in a Hollywood blockbuster.* SFF needs to reflect who we are, as well as who we want to be.MORE