Today marks the release of the first of a series of eight podbooks, a seven part miniseries, "Dispatches From the Romulan War" produced as a "Save Enterprise" project, followed by a special presentation from the House of L'Stok! Listen to them live on the TrekUnited Audio Center or download them from the Twelve Trek Days of Christmas web site. Come with us as we break new ground producing full cast audio narrations of innovative Star Trek fan fiction!
What Star Trek fan has not watched a fan film or listened to a fan produced audio drama and thought to themselves - I wish I could do that! Many of us have written fan fiction, some better than others, but all of it written from the heart! What few people realise is that there is a step they can take towards creating or participating in that does not take years of their lives and thousands of dollars to make. Turn your fan fiction into an audio book ... or better still a podbook!
Podbook is a contraction of Podiobook, a word coined by Evo Terra of The Dragon Page and Slice of Scifi to describe serialized audio books which are made available in podcast format. I used this term especially because I wanted to make the distinction between the two, the reason being that, unlike the system at Podiobooks.com, ours are not set up to be sent out automatically.
However we do have something almost as good! Courtesy of TrekUnited you can listen to the episodes, or dispatches, online in the TrekUnited Audio Centre. As I've said, this production is an official Save Enterprise project, the text is taken almost verbatim from a fan fiction serial submitted by members and its purpose is to maintain the profile of Star Trek: Enterprise in the eyes of fans.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to listen to the news reports that might come from the Romulan War?
View the Podbooks in the TrekUnited Audio Center.
Download the PodBooks from the Twelve Trek Days of Christmas webpage.
Stylistically this is a 'full cast audio book" which means that the spoken parts for each character are portrayed by a different voice actor. As such it places us in an enviable position, halfway between an audio book and an audio drama. An audio book is a narration which is produced to convey the authors written text as if you had the book in your hands - it takes the place of the internal voice you hear when reading. Audio drama, on the other hand, is the "theatre of the mind"- a drama that you experience blindfolded! The script is written as a dramatic production with the cast and crew working to bring the writer's work to life with the help of sound effects and music.
Because of the nature of the texts - media reports - we have read them as narrations and yet , by careful choice of voice actors who have given dramatic deliveries and clever use of music and ambient sound, they can be listened to as a dramatic representation of the news reports!
Would the cast and crew take their curtain calls, please?! The players, in this series are (alphabetically) :
- David Ault - Jasim Khatami; Ensign, Columbia NX-02
- Thomas Frazier - Juan Ramirez; Reporter, Earth News Network
- Kim Gianopoulos - Rebeca Sanborn; Lieutenant, Starfleet News Feed
- Larry Nemecek - James L. Anderson; Editor, Santa Rosa Chronicle, Santa Rosa, New Mexico
- C. Eleiece Krawiec - T'sel; Reporter, Vulcan Information Directorate
- David Maciver - Rek Tson; Andorian chancellor
- Jeff Robinson - Admiral Garrett Black; Commander, Starfleet
- Alasdair Stuart - Charles Carmen; Reporter, Earth News Network
- David Ault, who you might know from his starring role in The Byron Chronicles and his roles in Star Trek: Defiant, Star Trek: The Section 31 Files and Star Trek: Lost Frontier, three seminal Star Trek audio dramas that have been an inspiration to me.
- Thomas Frazier, my friend and aficionado of Old Time Radio.
I also want to highlight the contributions of Tyler Edwards, as project manager, and Derek Kessler as editor of the TrekUnited fan fiction project, "Dispatches From the Romulan War", for their patience and their dogged determination to see this production through.
If luck has anything to do with this production, our biggest break has been in being able to link up with Aric Hutfles, an up-and-coming young comic book artist, who has given us our superlative covers! Aric has shown fantastic commitment to providing us with the cover that we have wanted in a comic book style. I have been absolutely blown away by his talent and work ethic and you will be too when you see Aric's ten page comic, "TNG: Damaged" which we will be featuring on Day 10 of the Twelve Trek Days of Christmas.
However by far the biggest contribution, the person without whom this series would have been a total loss, is our Sound Editor, Cathy Rinella, 'Merodi' of Merodi Media, who recently produced The Adventures of Radioman for the WCBE 90.5 FM, Columbus Green Fundraiser. She totally threw herself into this project, producing draft after draft during late night sessions that have brought the writer's and directors ideas into "the theatre of the mind". Her technical ability and aesthetic choices have been impeccable and I have no hesitation in commending to you this fresh, young talent!
We hope you enjoy our series and if you do, just think how much better the story of the Romulan War would be as a professional production, perhaps as a direct-to-DVD series? Hmmm?