Monday, December 14, 2009

Desert Rain

A long time ago, Pat Murphy and I co-wrote a story called, "Desert Rain." Pat was by far the more senior and more skilled writer in this collaboration, and over quite a long period she dragged me into completing the piece. (The vast majority of its virtues are due to her, and its flaws to me.) We sold it to the Bantam original anthology, Full Spectrum III. Gardner Dozois reprinted it in The Year's Best Science Fiction, Ninth Annual Edition (my only story appearance in that series). I've always liked that story, and I greatly enjoyed and learned an enormous amount from working with Pat, who is now a friend I never see and often miss. As with most past work, though, this piece tends to fade in my mind next to the work in front of me.

Thus, it was with some surprise that I read last night an email message, which came via my Web site, from a guy at Carnegie Mellon (I'm not giving his name because I have not yet received permission to do so). He said I might be interested in the fact that he had a class take a stab at building the kinetic, music-playing sculpture that Pat and I (again, the best parts from Pat) had the lead character in "Desert Rain" create.

Here's a video of what the CMU team built. It take a over a minute to get going, but please wait and watch the whole thing; I think you'll be glad you did.

At the risk of emitting an unmanly squee, I have to say that I find this intensely awesome. It is very cool to see people working to bring to life a creation of our minds in a story we wrote so long ago.

Well done, CMU folks! You made my day.

And, Pat, should you happen to read this, thanks again for this story, for making this cool creation possible, for everything.


Michelle said...

That is so cool, they captured the sound perfectly. Congratulations all round to everyone. How rewarding to see something you created come to life.

Mark said...

Thanks for the kind words. The CMU guys did a neat thing.

Ticia said...

All day I've been trying to think of the right words to express how incredibly wonderful I think this is. I've given up. There are no words.

Mark said...

Thanks. I also think it's quite cool.


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