A couple of years ago, Kurt wrote a short story for a collection edited by Neil Gaiman — his first work of science fiction — with a Christmas peg buried deep inside. When we decided to create a radio version of "Human Intelligence" to air on Christmas, Kurt and I abridged it and turned it over to a producer named Jonathan Mitchell to realize: cast, direct, sound design, mix, and whatever else it is we do to make radio. It was performed by Melanie Hoopes, John Ottavino, and Ed Herbstman. The result still makes me cry a little bit.
"Human Intelligence" is featured this week in a slightly revised version on The Truth, the fiction podcast Jonathan produces with a group of performers. They use improvisation, recording on location, and top-notch sound design to redefine what radio drama can sound like.
We feel a certain family pride in The Truth. Two of its advisors, Peter Clowney and Kerrie Hillman, are former colleagues, and we go way back with Jonathan Mitchell. He's reported for Studio 360 on the real bionic man, the constructal law, the voyeuristic photographer Michele Iversen, the great zombie controversy, director Michel Gondry, and lots more. If anyone can pull radio drama out of the creaking-door-sound-effects era for good, we think he's the man.