DIARY OF OTTO KANDINSKY AUDIOBOOK STATUS: LOCKED
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Preview The Diary of Otto Kandinsky audiobook
Listen to the first 3 journal entries:
00 -- Opening Credits
The Diary of Otto Kandinsky - a companion novel to the Heavenfield series - written and narrated by I G Hulme.
01 -- Recruitment
I have managed to steal this small notebook and have determined that I will write down a journal of the events that have befallen myself and my fellow comrades, in the vain hope I suppose that some day these words may be read, and the world discover some of the amazing secrets it holds hidden.
Though I don’t suppose anyone would view what I have to say as more than the fevered ramblings of a madman. But this is the truth - and though it may seem as though I describe the workings of a dream, I can only say that it is a dream from which I have yet to awake. And besides that it is more of a nightmare I inhabit.
My name is Otto Kandinsky, and if anyone should ever discover this book, then please, I implore you to find a way to contact my family to let them know of the incredible fate which has befallen me. Please contact [name and address omitted]. If you ever
read this my Mother and Father, know that I love you and think of you always through this hell that I have been caught up in...
Duration: 21min 52s
02 -- Chosen
What a change in fortune can be had within a single day! This morning (or evening, for I have no concept of time in this dark cell) I was near the end of hope. I had awakened in darkness to the most terrifying noise - a deep subterranean rumble that
shook the walls and threatened to drive me mad with fear. And then, as quickly as it had begun the noise had ceased and I was left in my solitude. I felt so bereft I actually began to contemplate taking my own life.
And then I had the visitation that changed everything. A man, old with a shock of white hair and beard opened the door to my cell. I can still remember how he stood before me, silent and unmoving. His eyes bore into me and then would dart away as
if following things unseen. That old man seemed to look deep within me, with a force I have never felt before.
“I am Doctor Albrecht Henschel,” he said to me, finally breaking the long silence. Then he spoke again, and I will never forget his words: “We are chosen, you and I. Chosen. For all your life you have pondered your existence, asked for meaning.
Well, we have been blessed, for we have been shown meaning - we can from this moment live our lives with purpose. We are protectors of existence - of all life. Come with me friend, and I will show you the Truth.”
Duration: 35min 29s
03 -- Maia Part 1
Well, so much for Doctor Henschel’s words - how I was swept up with his promises! Any illusion that we ‘The Chosen’ might be rewarded an easy life was soon swept away.
From the first day of leaving my cell I have been put to work as a common labourer. We have endured fourteen hour shifts without break - pouring concrete, breaking rocks, hauling building materials and tunnelling - endless tunnelling. And though the never-ending routine of the last few back-breaking weeks may have disheartened my comrades, I am still convinced I made the right decision when I followed Henschel
through that Gateway. So I do not complain - not like that coward Rusayev - I don’t know why he agreed to work, but somehow he was convinced (though like the others he would not speak of his encounter with Doctor Henschel). For a year he made my life a misery at the Military Academy - what ill-fate that I am to be stuck with him here.
But I digress. The weeks have passed like a blur - I fall onto my bed each night exhausted, and it is only now, on our first rest day that I have summoned the energy to write. I am exhausted - as I said , we have been put to work like animals, but each of us works of our own accord - for another chance to see the land of the Holy Ones. Each day we get to pass through the Gateway, and each day as we stagger on weary to our place of work, I catch a glimpse of that world in all its heart-stopping beauty. Every day the view seems to have shifted subtly, to have changed before my eyes into ever-more graceful and wondrous shapes.
So, for this beautiful Land I work, I dig, I carry - to protect this fragile world...
Duration: 35min 29s
The Diary of Otto Kandinsky is a companion novel to the Heavenfield series, and takes the form of a series of journal entries from a young soldier, recruited to the Exile cause.
Set in the times before the first Heavenfield novel, when the Exiles built their Fortress and began to build up their fighting strength, it follows Otto through his training to become a member of the notorious Wraith squads, messianic warriors tasked with assassinating key figures around the globe in an attempt to put a stop to all Heavenfield research.
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The Diary of Otto Kandinsky
Kidnapped and forced to fight...
An unwilling soldier caught in a desperate war in the shadows.
Fighting an enemy they can never hope to defeat...
The Diary of Otto Kandinsky is a companion novel to the Heavenfield series, charting events before and up to the end of the first novel. As such, it can be enjoyed as part of the series or as a stand-alone story.
Otto is recruited to the Exiles as an unwilling fighter, his loyalty to the "Holy Land" keeping him in the struggle against ever-stronger forces that assail them.
He witnesses every horror the Heavenfield can produce, from the ghosts that prey upon the unwary in the shadows of the Great Ruins to the Cold Ones, immense creatures of nightmare shapes that stalk the Ghost fields feeding upon the fallen...
A companion story to the acclaimed Heavenfield series.
Contains: Violence, horror, mild drug reference, strong language.
This guy should get a big reward like a Nobel Price for literature. I am dead serious. To me this is like a mix of a very deep dealing with World War 1 and 2… any big horrible war – from a soldier’s perspective, then there is something like Aliens part 2 and Stanislav Lem. And who knows what. It teaches us something about fear. But also many other important things. This compares to some of the best I have EVER heard or read or seen. Thanks!! Unforgettable. The whole series.
What a wonderful comment to receive – thank you! 🙂
Absolutely fantastic sound design and score as well. A very nice voice to listen to and perfectly recorded and mixed!
I could go on (and on, and on) about how much I loved this book, and I probably will at some point here. [EDIT: OK, I DID go on and on; I couldn’t help it. 🙂 I’ll post the same to Amazon very soon.] For now, though, I just want to thank Mr. Hulme for such an astounding listening experience. I’ve enjoyed audiobooks and audio drama for almost thirty years — as well as a wide range of podcasts more recently — and I can safely say that The Heavenfield and The Diary of Otto Kandinsky are among my favorite productions.
I will certainly buy the print edition of The Diary when it’s available — because the Heavenfield books are beautiful in their own right — but for me, the audio productions deliver yet another level of immersion: positively stellar narration, sound effects, music, and mixing.
And apart from my raves for the audiobooks’ technical aspects, I simply can’t get enough of the Heavenfield universe (multiverse?). The Heavenfield’s debut volume offered a glimpse of the [rare, fleeting] tranquility and [overwhelming] horror of the Holy Land, but The Diary of Otto Kandinsky plunges us into a first-hand journey through Hell itself.
It’s a postmodern Dante’s Inferno, but it’s also a top-notch fictional military memoir à la Karl Marlantes’s Matterhorn. It captures the most intriguing and awe-inspiring aspects of H.P. Lovecraft, but with none of Lovecraft’s failings. Its heavy-industrial technology is reminiscent of James Cameron’s near-future aesthetic (e.g., Aliens, The Terminator): realistically utilitarian and brutalist machines, powerful yet believably fallible in the corrosively harsh world they must traverse. It is intensely personal and philosophical science fiction, but it also transitions — effortlessly and frequently — to gripping, relentless, and harrowing sequences of action and cosmic horror. Its characters are human and relatable: flawed but endearing, often terrified but remarkably resilient, enthralled but inevitably altered (and scarred) by the wonders and terrors they encounter in the Field.
[Minor spoilers follow.]
Finally, I love all of the mysteries as yet only hinted at: the nature and identity of the General’s secret force, the ancient God Wars, the Muse, and more. But I also love the surreal and horrific details that could happily remain unexplained and unknowable: the sea of grasping hands beneath the Bloodfields … the towering, kilometer-wide pillars of fire … the creeping, ensnaring masses of bones near the American entry point in the Dead Plains … how Devil’s Rock is said to grow taller with every death that occurs upon it … the simple, chilling discovery that the Heavenfield’s endless red dust is actually dried blood (!!).
As I said, I could (and did) go on and on, but for now I’ll close here. For all these reasons and more, I wish Mr. Hulme all the success, accolades, and wide fanbase that his work so richly deserves!
Update: I just saw that The Diary IS available in hardcover via Amazon. Ordered!
Eek! I didn’t even realise myself that it was on Amazon!
How did it get there – I still haven’t had the proof yet!
Haha, oh well, let me know how you get on with your order. If you have any trouble I’ll try and look into it. 🙂
Will do … if Amazon’s ship date is in error, it’s no problem. I’d certainly rather they wait until you’ve had a chance to review it!
Wow, what a fantastic piece to read – thank you Derek!
It’s funny, it gave me chills reading you describing some of the scenes – it was such a blur writing and recording it that it is still unfamiliar to me in places too. I can’t wait to get a chance to listen back to it all.
It is humbling to be spoken of in the company of such fantastic authors and creatives – and wonderful to hear you speak so eloquently about it – you have obviously connected very deeply with the story and describe it in a way that I (being so wrapped up in it) am unable to. Would you mind if I quoted some of your words when describing the book?
Many thanks again for your support!
I G, I’d be honored if you used my words in any way. I’m recommending The Heavenfield novels to friends and family who enjoy speculative fiction, and I’m happy to help “boost the signal” in any way I can. Best wishes, and thank you again!
Thanks Derek – and thanks for the great review on Amazon too! 🙂
Absolutely! And for the record, I received notification that Amazon just shipped my order of The Diary in hardcover … hopefully they didn’t jump the gun by releasing it for sale before you could review it. (I’m sure it will be great, but it’s just the principle of the matter!)
Great stuff – keep me posted how it turns out. 🙂
Ian, it arrived today and looks fantastic, so no worries on that account. I still wish that Amazon would have been more clearer with you about when it would be released for sale. In any case, though, it’s a fantastic addition to the series!
(Aggh, “wish Amazon would have been clearer” … I hate it when incomplete edits make me look illiterate. 🙂 )
Ah, that’s brilliant! Glad it looks okay – I should get my proof through soon! 😉
You’ve got the first ever copy! 🙂
I am excited and bummed for the Otto story to end.
Yeah, I think I’m a bit the same! I seem to be dragging out the editing of the last episode – I keep working on it but I just can’t seem to bring myself to finish it! I’ve already re-recorded it twice!
But I am really pleased with the way the story has turned out in the end, and I am excited to get stuck into the recording of The Dead Man’s Feast.
I’m going to to a bit more editing to the final chapter now – hopefully I’ll get it released in the next few days!
OMG…. just binge listened to the Otto I’ve been away from for TOO long. I’m back on track and now craving a new episode even worse than before. Every time I start to get a vision of where the story might be headed, it changes in front of my eyes, just as if the Heavenfield has twisted it and me along with it.
I’ve so missed the Holy Land, and now I’m back and fully immersed again, but you never do truly leave it, do you.
Jennifer – how great to hear from you! Glad to hear that you’re back, and hope that you are keeping well.
I’m doing exactly the same at the moment – going through all the episodes from the beginning again. The story keeps surprising me too!
You’ll be glad to hear that I’m sat in front of my microphone right now, ready to record the next episode!
Thanks for your kind words Jennifer.
Going early to bed tonight for some high quality pre-sleep sensation. Tnx for ep. 15.
Enjoy! Let me know if you get some weird dreams out of it!! 😉
Loving how the story is going! Thanks I G!
Glad you’re enjoying the story! 🙂
Haha, I just read this first post, and for a moment thought somebody didn’t like the story! 😉
Great to hear that you’re enjoying it though Jennifer. I agree with what you say about how personal Otto’s experience of the Heavenfield is. I think that’s the feeling I wanted to achieve really – that sense of somebody struggling to come to terms with a reality that has rules we don’t understand.
I had my own binge-listen myself when I was making up this new web-page, and I think I’ll go back and remaster some of the earlier episodes, and maybe join the smaller entries together to make the lengths a bit more consistent. Now that I’m getting back into my stride with the audio production, I think I could make the soundtrack a bit better for the early chapters. I was really pleased how the last couple of entries sounded, and 7.1 especially – I think that one’s quite dramatic.
There have been some moments while writing these stories that have really surprised me, and I always like that; I feel like I’m reading them as I’m writing if you know what I mean; I always think of myself as the Heavenfield’s biggest fan!
I’m just editing the narration of 7.2 now, so hopefully that should be out soon.
Meant for the above to be here. I’m loving how personal and up close Otto brings us to the Heavenfield. We get to experience it and that is what makes this audiobook unique. I’m excited to see where we go from here.
I’m enjoying it so much!
All the episodes are incredible and 7.1 was awesome with the pictures it gives I’m gonna have to listen again… I.G. this is brilliant work and your voice has this stacatto to it that is mesmerizing in its own right.
Just love the Holy Land and Otto’s story.
I was supposed to be in bed ASLEEP over an hour ago, but I just did an Otto mini binge. I have 7.1 to listen to but I must go to bed…. First thing in the a.m.
Haha, sorry to keep you awake Jennifer – normally people tell me my voice sends them to sleep! 😉
Glad you are enjoying the story; I think it’s starting to go off in some interesting directions in the chapters I’m writing at the moment.