Son of the Black Sword is an Audie Award finalist, Best Fantasy 2016



The Audie Awards are to pick the best audiobooks of the year. Son of the Black Sword is one of the finalists for Best Fantasy. The winners will be announced in May. Good luck to all the nominees.

This is a good year for my narrator, Tim Gerrard Reynolds, because he’s up there twice, competing against himself. I did that one year, with both a Monster Hunter novel and a Grimnoir novel as finalists (I won!). Tim deserves it, he really did a fantastic job. He was a real pro to work with, and he turned in a compelling performance.

I do really well in audio. I think my writing style translates over well for the medium. I’ve made a bunch of best of lists every year, hit the top of the Audible bestseller list a few times, and I believe this is the 6th Audie Award I’ve been nominated for. I’ve won two. (if I could do proportionality in regular books what I do in audio, I’d move up to the C list!)  🙂

I’ve been remarkably blessed with good narrators. Audible Studios has done a fantastic job picking the right narrator for the right series, every time. In this case, Tim Gerrard Reynolds just has the perfect tone for epic fantasy. He nails it.

When I talk about writing business stuff, I often refer to people as pros, and that is like the ultimate compliment. Tim reached out beforehand and wanted to talk about every name and pronunciation, and this one was a real challenge because the setting is inspired by India and southeast Asia, so many of the names sound really different to the western ear from how they’re spelled. (in reality, Ashok sounds more like Oh-shoke, but to an English reader it’s going to be Ash-ock. Sort of like in America my last name sounds like Korea instead of Qoh-whey-ah 🙂  ) Lots of the names I had no idea, so Tim had to improvise.

He made it sound awesome.

But I’ve been really lucky with all of them. Professionals, the lot of them.

Oliver Wyman is the narrator of my Monster Hunter series, and he has just gotten better and better with every book. For those books you need a sort of irreverent, smart ass, tough guy vibe, yet still needs to switch between a whole mess of different (and sometimes really weird) voices. Oliver is great. At one point he even plays a character as a very convincing Christopher Walken.

Then I’ve got Bronson Pinchot for the Grimnoir Chronicles and Dead Six series, and he is just phenomenal. He’s got a range, but he brings this incredible depth of emotion to the characters that just blows you away. Bronson was also up for the Best Actor Audie one year for his work on Grimnoir. His craziest performance ever though? Big Eddie.  Holy moly. The Big Eddie scenes from Dead Six… You just need to listen to them.

For my Warmachine novels I got Ray Porter. Ray is a pro. His performance on Into the Storm was excellent, When he asked what the main character sounded like in my head, I told him young Frank Sinatra. And Ray nailed it. He’s recording the sequel now.

I’ve had other narrators for short stories and novellas (speaking of which, check out Gabra Zackman’s performance on the novella Instruments of War, holy moly, she is good), and Audible Studios has never let me down. Every narrator they have ever paired me up with has always been excellent.

A special thanks goes to Steve Feldberg and his crew, who puts all this stuff together behind the scenes. Steve, and all of his people I’ve ever dealt with, have been great communicators and solid professionals. It has been a wonderful partnership. I love working with Audible.


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18 thoughts on “Son of the Black Sword is an Audie Award finalist, Best Fantasy 2016”

  1. Huh, interesting. I apparently split the baby on your last name between standard English and Portuguese pronunciation.

  2. Awesome!! Once I found out that I could “Add Narration” to my e-books from Amazon, I’ve gone back and got the audible for a LOT of stuff. I really liked Tim Gerrard Reynolds’ rendition of Son of the Black Sword. Although so far my favorite has been Bronson Pinchot and the Grimnior. I didn’t know he did the Dead Six novels…. so I just added the narration on those too. Can’t wait (Believe it or not, I now have a backlog on listening to audibles!)

    Too bad Amazon doesn’t have the add narration thing for Instruments of War, I would love to listen to that too.

  3. Congratulations Larry.

    Bronson’s performance in the Grimnoir series was amazing, but like classical music, it can sometimes have too much dynamic range for the car. There are places where he gets very quiet and then it’s hard to hear the words over the engine noise.

  4. Confession. I’ve never read a single MHI, Grimnoir or Dead Six book. I’ve listened to them all – multiple times. Being a voracious listener who devours at least a book a week, I can say with expert authority that MHI, Grimnoir and Dead Six books are expertly read. So much so, you forget you are listening to a narrator as the characters come to life through voice. Bronson is amazingly good – freaky good, actually. And Reynolds? He could read the phone book and spellbind you. Quite honestly, I don’t typically enjoy straight fantasy (save for the old standards like Tolkien) but between the writing and Reynolds, Son of the Black Swords is one of the only modern fantasy books I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

  5. Well, the book was great and the narrator is great as well. I’ve been fond of Tim Gerald Reynolds since the Riyria books.

    My job consists of a lot of time spent doing mundane activities (running non-life threatening machines) that do not require lots of brain power, so I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books. I am very pleased with all of the narrators you’ve employed with your series.

    Best of luck with the Audie Award. The Son of Black Sword was one of two books that I listened to twice in a row. The other being The Martian.

  6. I actually found your books through Audible. I picked up Monster Hunter International one day and could not stop listening. I have a few paperbacks, but Oliver Wyman really draws you into the story. Can’t wait for the next one

  7. +1 for Bronson Pinchot, after Grimnoir I buy books he narrates just because he delivers a fantastic tale. Matterhorn was amazing!! That said, I 100% approve of all your narrators. Keep it up!!

  8. Your audio books are the reason I got a Audible subscription. Bronson Pinchot performance as Faye is incredible. Larry thanks for some of the best stories in the business!

  9. I agree that your writing translates to spoken word very well. Nowadays when you publish I just buy the audio edition. Should we cross paths, I’ll be the guy asking you to autograph my phone screen.

    Hey, what about MHI earbuds?

  10. Congrats on the nomination, but this seems like the perfect place to ask something I’ve been wondering about for a while:

    How DO you pronounce your last name?

  11. Congratulations on the nomination Larry! I purchased the audiobook version of “Son” as an addon to the Kindle edition because it was only a few extra bucks. I really was just curious about it as I’m not usually into audiobooks, but I ended up loving it! Tim’s voice is simply fantastic and he does a great job conveying the world you built. It was so good that I will most likely “read” only the audiobook when the next chapter comes out. Great stuff.

    p.s. I always pronounced your name something like “Co-ray-uh”.

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