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The Order of Oddfish


Odd-Fish audiobook has dropped!

May 1, 2009

I’m in the middle of listening to Jessica Almasy’s masterful audiobook of The Order of Odd-Fish, which is available now! (That’s Jessica above.)

Hoo man oh nelly, Jessica’s good! When I was first told that Audible was producing an audiobook for The Order of Odd-Fish, I kinda wanted to be the reader myself. Not anymore. Jessica nailed it. She’s a terrific actress, with a million voices and accents—how does she keep track of them all and keep them consistent? She did a much better job than I ever could’ve done. (I especially like her languid, flirtatious Aunt Lily.) Jessica’s comic delivery and timing makes me laugh out loud at my own book—which either means I’m an incredible narcissist, or that Jessica Almasy has got the goods. She’s got the goods!

It turns out Jessica is the winner of 2008’s Audie Award for her reading of the audiobook for Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine. An award-winning reader! What a stroke of luck that I got her. I also liked this delightfully odd video of hers I found on YouTube:

Thanks for doing a first-rate job, Jessica! The next time you’re in Chicago, look me up. I owe you a drink, or a trip to Hot Doug’s.

So The Order of Odd-Fish Week on Murphblog comes roaring to a triumphant conclusion. In Part Four I answer his lightning-round questions (“Team Edward or Team Jacob?” “Motley Crue or GN’R?” “Mario Kart or Simpsons Road Rage?”), but the real treat was the video of Paul and his darling, hilarious two-and-a-half-year-old daughter reading together from Odd-Fish! It’s achingly cute, especially when she growls “VENGEANCE!”

In Part Five of Odd-Fish week, Paul proposes a contest: for you to make your own specialty for the Order of Odd-Fish! Prize is a personalized, autographed hardback of Odd-Fish from me, plus a CD of the Odd-Fish mix tape / soundtrack, and—Paul’s idea—if you’re a writer, a “first-pages” critique from me. (For what that’s worth!) Some contestants have already submitted their invented specialties in the comments section. The competition is stiff!

Thanks, Paul, for hosting such a fantastic Odd-Fish week on your blog! I’m looking forward to meeting you in real life.

And now: more entries in the Write Your Own Ending For The Strange Ship Part 2 Contest. Today’s endings come from Katie Nagy and Alex Hait.

Katie’s ending reveals that the bubble gum monster is a force of chaos who works for neither side. Probably impatient with the endless squabbling of both the moneymen and the strange ship monsters, he ties them all up, probably just to get them to calm down and talk reasonably about their problems. But the bubble gum monster learns that lone wolves are soon running dogs. The droid 5-0-6 saves the day with his inimitable style. But I’ll let Katie tell the story, with her great drawings and—wait a second! Is her bubble gum monster a cyclops—just like the moneyman whose shell was broken? Suddenly new levels of gnostic meaning open before me. WHAT ARE YOU TELLING ME, KATIE?! I have a feeling you’re toying with us all.

The bubble gum monster also figures prominently in Alex Hait’s ending. Alex is an extraordinary artist: the battle scene is marvelously unhinged, especially his many-limbed space ship. But I particularly love his bubble gum man, who grins maliciously as he wraps up Carziperes, Diploziperes, and Zarzit in a huge bubble (which also seems to make the monsters fall asleep). Look at his feral glare in the last frame. What does he intend to do with the three monsters now that they are wrapped up in his bubble? The story ends, and our imagination is left to supply the horrifying denouement. Alex, like Katie, realizes that some questions are better left unanswered.

Thanks, Alex and Katie, for your great endings!