Meet Boris

One of the cool things about being an American author touring Germany is that at every stop, they have a German actor perform a bit from the German translation of your work. For example, this fellow, Boris Rosenberger, who read for me in Stuttgart and in Tübingen. He did a fantastic job (as did the actress in Saarbrücken, whose first name is Julia but whose last name escapes me at the moment, alas), and I have to say that it’s actually been a lot of fun watching someone else read the work and hearing how they choose to perform the piece. It’s definitely better than I could do, of course, my German being what it is, but it’s also different than what I would do, even if I could do it in German. The actor doesn’t have the same relationship to the work and chooses different ways to hit the notes, so to speak. It makes for a very fun and interesting experience. I recommend everyone try it at least one.

Also, Hollywood casting types, look at this man. He’s hot, people. Make him a star, why don’t you.

17 Comments on “Meet Boris”

  1. I would think it would be tough not to want to “correct” them sometimes. These stories are your kids & I imagine you have a strong sense of how they should sound.

    Critics I could deal with but people telling me what my work ‘means’ would drive me nuts.

  2. Could you perhaps record a small snippet of one of the future readings and post it? Not the whole thing of course, but like 20-30 seconds?

  3. Clarence Rutherford:

    I don’t really mind, actually. I like to hear how people perceive the work differently than I do. And anyway, every reader reads the book differently than I do. Because they are different people.

  4. Benjamin:

    Well, if nothing else, in the movie version of my life, I would like someone who looks like Boris to play me.

  5. For some authors, recording their own audiobooks works great, and for others, it doesn’t. I have a copy of Fahrenheit 451 read by Ray Bradbury, which is really good. He really conveys the feelings of the characters, though he doesn’t have an actor’s voice. I have listened to Zelazny reading Nine Princes in Amber, which wasn’t so great, but I can’t quite put my finger of why it falls short.
    I really enjoyed your reading from Redshirts in Seattle, so I’d like to hear you record some of your own audiobooks. I’d also like to hear Wil’s reading of Fuzzy Nation, but I haven’t had a chance yet.
    One of my favorite audiobook readings is Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly read by Paul Giamatti. I’m really looking forward to seeing Giamatti play Dick in The Owl in Daylight.

  6. D. Paul Angel – I am in my 40’s (the new "20" they say!), am originally from California, and now live in Portland, OR, but would eventually like to "retire" to Hawaii. I am, most definitely, a “Nerd’s Nerd.” I can recite huge tracts of Monty Python, can force Star Wars quotes into nearly any conversation, find serenity amongst fireflies, enjoy hitchhiking to the beach with my towel in hand (remember the Hawaii bit), have found precious little to dislike about Tolkien, and find any argument favoring Picard over Kirk to be both fascinating and most illogical. My foundation in Science Fiction began with Asimov, but Heinlein’s wit brought it to the front of my conscious. Although I am still recovering from the amount of time spent wheeling through Jordan and Sanderson’s epic, I have found long series, such as Scalzi’s, no longer make me feel like an old man (The new 20, right!?). I've always had a love of comics, particularly the far side of Bloom County where Calvin lived, often casting pearls before swine whilst doing the foxtrot over the hedge. Even though I already have 2 puppy-dogs I love, Zack and Satia, I can’t help but think how awesome having a magical creature would be; even if I do worry that caring for it would leave me feeling hagrid. I am more comfortable tweeting than facebooking, and I'm not athletic enough to be a tumblr. I'm also an airplane nerd and a licensed, albeit non-current, pilot. I've travelled enough to know I want to travel more, I've read, cover to cover, The Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, Science and Health, and a smattering of Eastern philosophies, and I was one of the early board members of Cerimon House. I can bake bread from scratch, grill, and cook; and I've failed, miserably, in learning at least 4 different programming languages. I write, commit photography, and am learning the ins and out of drawing and illustration. I have long straddled that shady realm between the wholly physical and utterly imaginative, and I'm working towards taking up residence in the latter. I'm an expert in all forms of philosophocating, but find it is best done with open eyes, compassion, and humor; preferably with pleasant company, snacks, and an ample supply of delicious beverages. I have also been known to make the occasional pun.
    D. Paul Angel

    John,

    My stepson is doing theatre in High School and he asked me to write him a 1 minute monologue* for his audtion. So I cheerfully complied and looked forward to seeing him do it later. When I wrote it, I could hear how it was supposed to be read. i could hear the pauses, the inflections; I knew how it needed to be read.

    He performed it totally differently. It was great! There is something very cool about seeing how someone else interprates your work. I would imagine you’re manically curious as to how the Old Man’s War movie is going to be translated to the big screen, too.

    *I cannot read the word, “monologue” without thinking of the Simpson’s Monorail episode. Monologue! Monologue! Monologue! Monologue!

  7. It must be like hearing a whole new story – especially if it’s in a different language. Very cool.
    I must say, that was a great shot of you with the Ambassador….

  8. When Matt Ruff toured Germany in 1998 for his second novel, “Sewer, Gas & Electric,” the actress who read with him was Franka Potente. This was years before she became famous for “Run, Lola, Run.”

  9. Herr Rosenberger IS rather schon, I agree! ;) And speaking as someone who took two and a half years of German in high school (but sadly retains little of it), I am thrilled to hear your books are getting such great reception to German audiences. I’d love to own more SF/F translated into German myself (and French)–or, SF/F written natively in those languages!

  10. Must be like a musician listening to a cover version of his/her songs. I understand that Pete Townshend (the Who) says that Roger Daltry often interprets his songs differently than what he envisioned.

  11. concurring on the hotness and the need to cast him for hollywood to delight me, I mean us, with awesome hotness.

  12. John, I love how you appreciate the different ways different people read your work. It’s great to know that each reader (actor or no) experiences a piece in a way that’s unique to them. With Boris, I wonder how much of his German cultural background makes for the difference. Would be really fascinating to learn which cultural intricacies most affect the reading of a foreign-written sci-fi novel.

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