If you love Ellen Kushner's Riverside novels, which began with the classic Swordspoint, then prepare for ecstasy. The third novel, The Fall of Kings, is out today in audiobook from Neil Gaiman Presents. And it features Kushner reading along with Gaiman. We've got an excerpt.
Kushner is narrating all her Riverside novels for Neil Gaiman Presents, in what she describes as:
lavish audio productions by SueMedia featuring multi-layered soundscapes, and original music composed for the series by young Hollywood composer Nathanael Tronerud . . . and a cast including Simon Jones (the original Arthur Dent in Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and audiobook star Katherine Kellgren (Bloody Jack), who bring the characters to life in key scenes, as if you fell asleep while I was reading to you, and started dreaming them.
The first in the series, Swordspoint, won an Audie Award this year. The second, The Privilege of the Sword, featured cameos by Felicia Day as the heroine, and series producer Neil Gaiman as a naughty artist. Kushner says Gaiman loved doing it so much, he wanted more. Gaiman explains:
If you are new to the world of Riverside, I hope the richness of THE FALL OF KINGS will surprise and delight you, with multi-voiced scenes set like jewels in the gold of Ellen Kushner’s own narration. And the fans of previous novels will recognize the show-stealing voices of Katherine Kellgren, Simon Jones, and Nick Sullivan, along with a strong supporting cast. I myself had a cameo role in THE PRIVILEGE OF THE SWORD, and enjoyed it so much that I campaigned for a larger role in THE FALL OF KINGS…and landed it!
So we walked into the studio that afternoon, to find Neil looking a bit white around the gills from having just recorded all of another book already. We got him some tea with honey, and then, trooper that he is, he looked at us and said: 'Right. What's my character for Kings sound like?'"It's a wizard!" I said. "You know. . . you've written that character before. And so have I.""Kind of like Merlin," our producer, Sue Zizza, added helpfully."But a sexy Merlin!" I insisted."A Sexy Wizard who sometimes turns into a Bear!" Delia explained.Which, of course, nailed it. And Neil walked into the studio, and nailed it, too.