Audiobook Shorts by P.E. Rowe
This is a new and speculative project, inspired by my regular visits to the best futurism podcast/video channel out there, Science & Futurism with Isaac Arthur (SFIA). I'm going to try and write a fictional story each week based on the theme for the week on the SFIA podcast and produce it as an audiobook short/video. I have no idea what will result, but if some good stories come out of it and people like them, I'll keep producing them and post them here as well as on video sharing platforms. Stories are linked below.
I took a hiatus from writing sci-fi during my MFA program. As much as I love the genre, it just didn't mesh with the personal and artistic lessons I was trying to learn through the MFA grind. Over the past few years, I've been ruminating on a series of sci-fi novels, the first of which is forthcoming (The Lifeboat, hopefully summer or fall 2022). More so than my Last Horizon series, this series takes itself a little more seriously and attempts to stay more in the realm of hard sci-fi than my earlier stories. And being a writer, not a physicist (or scientist of any kind for that matter), I needed a lot of help with many of the concepts portrayed in the story. I was lucky to find Science and Futurism with Isaac Arthur, which would easily be one of my favorite YouTube channels even if I didn't write sci-fi. Isaac's ability to grasp, explain, and -- even more impressively -- frame very difficult concepts in science in ways that are entertaining and easy-to-follow helped to make research for my latest space adventure much more approachable than it would otherwise have been. So this project -- writing a fictional story of the week based on Isaac's topic -- I'm hoping will be a way to keep the fictional juices flowing while offering up an homage at the same time.
I'm fully prepared to get a lot of things wrong in the process, especially the science. You're going to faceplant quite a bit along the way as a writer. Anyone who's ever been in a workshop will understand the reality of the scrutiny that comes with a discerning readership. And the timeline and public nature of this project makes it seem a bit like running across a tightrope with no net. On such a tight deadline, there's just no way to research all the little ins and outs I would normally do with a story or novel. And if the writing weren't difficult enough on that timeline, there's the recording and editing and "artwork." If I do some good things in the storytelling and writing department and entertain a few readers/listeners along the way, I'll be happy. In the first two weeks, I've already misinterpreted a theme and gotten some physics wrong in my first two stories, so I'm expecting that trend to continue along the way. The way I see it, if I keep writing, eventually this blind squirrel might discover something worth digging around for and hopefully learn a lot in the along the way. Thanks for joining me in the process!