(MM6) Production Notes

Not much to say today. You’ve probably recognized a few voices from the HPMoR podcast, but one voice you probably don’t recognize is Alexander Jackson, because he sounds pretty normal as Officer Kennedy. You’d never realize that’s what Voldemort sounds like, when he’s not being eeeeevil!!! :) Check out the credits at some point to see the names of all our fine voice actors!

SFX: 1940’s Office, commotion

Intro/Outro – Handlebars, by Flobots
Superman Spotting – Maybe, by The Ink Spots
Calhoun’s Club – Lone Digger, by Caravan Palace
Luthor Manor – Boccherini’s MinuettoMozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

(MM5) Production Notes

Very minor spoiler for this week’s episode below.

I really love how Lois’s dislike of Superman colors her narrative whenever he’s around. The poor guy is just trying to be helpful, and the first thing she thinks is “yeah, no duh!” I think Alexander made a point of doing this, both because it’s good characterization (when you dislike someone, you tend to be very critical of anything they do), and because the typical reader will be coming into this story with very positive pro-Superman feelings. In order to show Lex’s side sympathetically, there needs to be a fair bit of push against that.

I also love the contrast in the very next scene, where Lex and Mercy mirror that Superman/Lois interaction. But in this one, Lex internally acknowledges that Mercy is extremely competent and probably doesn’t need the instructions at all, and admires that about her. We aren’t given Mercy’s thoughts, but based on their interactions (and the rest of the novel) I imagine that she’s far more understanding of Lex’s reminder and isn’t put out by it. Their entire relationship feels very mutually-admiring and respectful of agency (to me). #LexAndMercyRelationshipGoals

SFX: 1940’s Office, explosion, phone, radio click

Intro/Outro – Handlebars, by Flobots
Luthor Manor – Boccherini’s Minuetto

(MM4) Production Notes

(some minor spoilers for chapter 4 follow)
This is where I really fell in love with this story. Because good vs evil is boring, but good vs good is awesome. My inner utilitarian (and thus inner Effective Altruist) is absolutely on Lex/Lois’s side. Punching criminals is a TERRIBLE misuse of super-powers! Do something that actually matters!

But on the other hand, my inner humanist is totally on Superman’s side. I don’t want some god-being imposing his ethics on us!

And in Superman’s defense, the world really is freakin’ hard. You set out trying to create a classless utopia for all mankind, and before you know it you’ve murdered 20 million people and grossly multiplied human misery by strangling the growth of much of the world. You know what’s safe? Stopping rapes and murders. That, at least, doesn’t generally lead to civilizational collapse. Afterall, Superman can’t forsee all the consequences of his actions–he isn’t God. (Very interesting that he believes in one though. What does he think God’s excuse is? Or is Superman limiting his interference because he believes in God, and figures the ol’ diety has a very good reason for not fixing the place, and therefore doesn’t want to screw up His plan? To re-purpose Weinberg “Good people do good things and evil people do evil things. But for a demi-god to fail to do the most good, that takes religion.”)

Anyway, seeing both sides so clearly and agreeing with both makes me want to see both sides win, and that really amps up the whole story. Now it’s tragic no matter how it turns out, because everyone involved is good, and if they could just team up wouldn’t the world be better? But they can’t. If they could, they wouldn’t be who they are.

(Well, except Lex. He’s still mostly evil.)

In non-Metropolitan Man news – I forgot to ask Ada Palmer a question during last week’s interview that I really wanted to ask. So she answered it in email instead. :) For anyone else who’s interested… (minor spoiler about a character’s name)

“I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, and so I’m very curious – why did you choose to go with Jehovah rather than Yahweh?”

I wanted to use the Latinized version of the name, rather than the one closer to the Hebrew, because the Latinized version was used in the French Englightenment, and reflects the fact that his upbringing and background, and Madame’s whole project, are very much tied to the Latin and Christian tradition, and to heterodox and contrary thinkers within that tradition–Diderot, de Sade, Nitezsche–rather than the Hebrew tradition or Hebrew thinkers.

But when he signs his own name, he does spell his first name in Hebrew, the second in Greek, the third in Latin, the fourth in French, and the last in English, so his name is also an historical linguistic genealogy of the overlaid cultural traditions that shaped him:

יְהֹוָה‎ Ἐπίκουρος Donatianus D’Arouet Mason

Actually, when writing his name, he usually leaves out the vocalization marks on the first name and just uses the tetragrammaton.  More info than you needed, but I thought you’d find it nifty!

And I did. :)

SFX: construction, street corner, boom, city rooftop 3

Intro/Outro – Handlebars, by Flobots
Luthor Manor – Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

(MM3) Production Notes

Not a lot of background music or ambiance on this one, as there was a lot of narration. I could have maybe come up with bank music? But I wasn’t sure what sort of music would be playing in a bank in the 30s, if any.

I did fail to mention last week that Superman/Clark is in fact voiced by Nathan Bowman (NSPB) of the Worm Audiobook Project! Most fans of Rationalist Fiction are also fans of Worm, so if you haven’t heard/read it yet, give it a try. It is HUGE so you have many hours of listening, should you want them. :)

SFX: Alley Ambiancebending metal, tommy gun, bank panic

Intro/Outro – Handlebars, by Flobots
Luthor Manor – Boccherini’s Minuetto

(MM2) Production Notes

Wow. A truck of personal chaos crashed into my life over the last 24 hours. Sorry this episode is a few hours late! That probably won’t happen again.

I must mention that Bram Bakker began a Metropolitan Man podcast of his own a couple months ago, which I was unaware of. :( I feel terrible, I didn’t mean to step on his project. I wish him the best, please take a moment to check it out if you’re interested in another take on this story. He is very graciously providing the voice of Perry White for my version, thank you Bram!

SFX: Door Open/Close, 1940’s Office, extra typewriter, typewriter bell, wind, beach, short whoosh, longer whoosh, elevator, Rooftop 1, Rooftop 2Rooftop 3, footsteps

Intro/Outro – Handlebars, by Flobots
Luthor Manor – Boccherini’s Minuetto, Mozart’s Eine Kliene Nachtmusik

(MM1) Production Notes

And we’re back! It’s been weird getting back in gear… with such a long hiatus I’ve very slowly accumulated most of the voice work I need, and gathered a lot of the background SFX and some of the music. This first episode coalesced over two months. Going back to putting one out every two weeks will be interesting.

As you can see there are some major changes to the website. I hope they are for the better. I’ve moved the SFX and Music credits to these Production Notes posts, and will be moving all the SFX to a running list on a single page over time. This is mainly so I don’t have to keep digging up old links for SFX I reuse a lot. :)

Those of you into audio fiction may recognize the voice of Mercy Graves, who is played by Kate Baker of the Clarkesworld podcast. I met her at WorldCon and she kindly agreed to lend me her voice, for which I’m crazy grateful! Clarkesworld puts out some amazing SF, if you need more audio fiction in your life, it’s a good place to go. There’ll be another SF podcast celebrity in the podcast later on, and of course Anaea Lay of Strange Horizons helped out back in the HPMoR days.

SFX: Cocktail Chatter, Street Ambiance, Door Open/Close, 1920s Speakeasy

Intro/Outro – Handlebars, by Flobots
Skylight Club 1 – Dapperblook, by Insane In The Rain Music
Skylight Club 2 – Ice to Meet You, by Insane In The Rain Music
Luthor Manor – Boccherini’s Minuetto