“Eight O’Clock in the Morning” by Ray Nelson

SFF Audio do some seriously good readings of classic short stories. Check out episode #146 for the brilliant story “Eight O’ Clock in the Morning” (read by the talented Greg Margarite). It’s followed by a discussion with the author, Ray Nelson, who talks about story-craft, writing porn for hire, giving Phillip K. Dick acid trips, and hanging out with Ursula K LeGuin. It’s treasure for your ear-holes!

I love this story. It’s one to listen to if you are interested in learning how to deliver a strong, unsettling story in spare prose (my favorite kinda story). Check out the first-paragraph reader hook and how its heavily baited with curious details. How can you not read on after this opening?

At the end of the show the hypnotist told his subjects, “Awake.”

Something unusual happened.

One of the subjects awoke all the way. This had never happened before. His name was George Nada and he blinked out at the sea of faces in the theatre, at first unaware of anything out of the ordinary. Then he noticed, spotted here and there in the crowd, the non-human faces, the faces of the Fascinators. They had been there all along, of course, but only George was really awake, so only George recognized them for what they were. He understood everything in a flash, including the fact that if he were to give any outward sign, the Fascinators would instantly command him to return to his former state, and he would obey.

Word on the web is that Cloverfield director Matt Reeves is to write and direct a film adaptation. I approve! There’s an earlier adaptation called They Live (1988), which I haven’t seen because I am a terrible person, but I intend to find this and upgrade myself soon. Especially as it looks so 80s-hilarious. Gold.

UPDATE Aug 2015:
I watched They Live shortly after writing this blog post, absolutely adored it (how had I not seen this film before!?), and gained a new appreciation for the brilliance of Rowdy Roddy Piper. So a few weeks ago, when he was invited to record a live podcast in LA with his very good friend Steve Simone, I was pretty excited to go see him. And it was beautiful: a warm evening full of tales about giants, crazy adventures, and family. The love and wamth was just pouring out of this guy. Seriously, don’t think I’ve smiled so much in ages.

Here is one of the many lovely moments: Are we shaking hands for too long?

Then, just a couple weeks later, he is gone. Arrgh, this universe. RIP, Rowdy Roddy Piper. What a loss.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *