Adapted by Julie Hoverson from the short story by H.P. Lovecraft and Kenneth Sterling
When Kenton Stanfield takes a job on Venus hunting for power crystals, he finds the hazards of the job too much to handle.
- Kenton Stanfield - Reynaud LeBoeuf
- Frederick Dwight - Cole Hornaday
- Marshall Miller - Pat McNally
- Dana Manners - Julie Hoverson
- Supply Clerk - Marge Lutton
- Recorder - Beverly Poole
Music: Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech.com) Recorded in Conjunction with ART (American Radio Theater) Editing and Sound: Julie Hoverson Cover Photo: Julie Hoverson
"What kind of a place is it? Would you believe it's a mining colony on the steamy jungle planet we call Venus?"
Within the walls of Eryx
Adapted by Julie Hoverson from the original story by H.P. Lovecraft and Kenneth Sterling.
This was the second story I ever tried to adapt - the first one I did as an audio drama. I had previously adapted The Thing on the Doorstep into a short film script - which I much later rewrote into an audio drama, and that will come up when it comes up. This one was also one of the original ten episodes I put together for the series.
You can see, I was starting with an easy writer to adapt.... H.P. Lovecraft. HAH!
Since then, I have actually adapted a LOT of Lovecraft, and one of the reasons his writing is so hard to translate into other mediums is that much of his genius is in his actual use of words, and unless you quote his long descriptive passages word for word, you lose that. And if you do quote large chunks of it, you might as well just make an audio book. I try and walk a fine line.
As an aside - I know the title of the story is actually "IN the Walls of Eryx", but that always bothered me as being incorrect - the RATS are IN the walls (in the story The Rats in the Walls). These guys are WITHIN the walls - between the actual walls, you know?
In the Walls of Eryx was one of HPL's many collaborations and rewrites. Little is known of Kenneth Sterling, the high school student and aspiring writer who sought Lovecraft's help, but he was clearly a sci fi fan - Eryx is unusual among Lovecraft's works as being a pure scifi story, with very little horror or mythos or mythical background to it, even if Lovecraft is generally credited with a complete rewrite and expansion of Kenneth's original idea.
In the 1930s, when this was written, a common sci fi trope was that Venus was a steamy jungle planet, often populated by some lizardy species, and it appears as such in this story. The other details are fairly unique to Eryx.
Since the original story was all one man's report, technically written out, I had to pull scenes from his story and create them, and the characters in them, from whole cloth. Not to mention adding somebody - "Miss Manners" - he could report in to throughout the story, to add some audio texture when Kenton was technically out on his own, as well as the voice for his "recorder" unit, which also functions as a sort of encyclopedia, and helps break up the heavy data dump of "this is how Venus works".
Perhaps the weirdest thing to try and portray in audio is the very "visual" presence - or absence - of the walls themselves. A maze of invisible walls. Or the native Venusians - whose weird cries were originally geese, if I remember correctly. I think I slowed them down and ran them backward, or something like that.
I also chose to tell this story vastly out of order, to give a sense of foreboding from the very start, as the audience hears how bad Kenton is doing, winding down, but still without giving away how it will ultimately end. To make the time shifts clear, since they happen throughout the story, I created three different background ambiances for his log entries - since they have no other point of reference - each with his breather machinery getting a bit clunkier and running down.
Beyond that, everything rested heavily on Reynaud LeBeouf, the actor playing Kenton, to create the stages of the character's downward spiral. We did record each set of scenes separately, out of order, essentially, so all the chatty beginnings were all at once and the weak and wearied end at the end. Rey is one of my core group of go-to actors, and you'll hear him a lot in 19 Nocturne Boulevard.
This was also recorded with the help of A-R-T - American Radio Theater - and many of the actors in it were part of that group. A-R-T is a group of old time radio enthusiasts who focused on re-creating old episodes and working on the occasional newer play. Having been part of the group for years before ...
08/26/21 • 35 min
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