Escape Artists

PodCastle => Episode Comments => Topic started by: Heradel on September 14, 2010, 07:14:16 AM



Title: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Heradel on September 14, 2010, 07:14:16 AM
PodCastle 122: Kingspeaker (http://podcastle.org/2010/09/13/podcastle-122-kingspeaker/)

by Marie Brennan (http://www.swantower.com/)

Read by Diane Severson (http://www.divadianes.blogspot.com/)

Originally published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies (http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/) (Text available here (http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/story.php?s=4))

The king had come to Anahata.

I met him for the first time in the sacred garden of the Temple.  Passing through an archway of fire, I found myself on a path of flower petals, which bruised delicately beneath my bare feet.  Two attendants clothed me in a robe of more petals, fragile silk holding blossoms of the flowers for which the days are named.  Still barefoot, I proceeded, marking along the path the measured steps of my dance.

For that moment, they say, I was the Goddess Triumphant, but I felt no difference.  Only nervousness, that I might misstep in some way.

They had removed the wax at dawn, and even the tiny, faint sounds I had heard since then were a balm for my mind and soul.  Soon, I would hear more.  A new voice awaited me.

Rated PG: Contains a Kingly Voice.

This episode of PodCastle is proudly sponsored by M.K. Hobson’s debut novel The Native Star.
(http://pseudopod.org/wp-content/images/tns-podcastle_2.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553592653?ie=UTF8&tag=demimonde-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0553592653)
Read the Prologue (http://www.demimonde.com/books/the-native-star/prologue/) and Chapter 1 (http://www.demimonde.com/books/the-native-star/chapter-one/) online and listen to Chapter 2 (http://podcastle.org/2010/09/10/podcastle-preview-the-native-star/) now. Enjoy!


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Unblinking on September 16, 2010, 08:31:16 AM
Ooh, first commenter, how often does that happen?

This one was okay.  I thought she had an interesting situation being the Kingspeaker, though the arrogance of the monarchy annoys me that this person is supposedly so higher above regular people that his voice can't be allowed to be heard--obviously that's not a flaw of this story since it's a reflection of a typical monarchy.

But I wish there had been some fantasy element.  Other than made up countries and the (I think) made up occupation of the protagonist.  I'm not saying that everything here has to have magic, but I'm just personally more likely to get into it if it has some kind of supernatural element.

And I couldn't help thinking about all the ways a less scrupulous kingspeaker could abuse her role.  Slip the king a little something to make him ill, speak for his request to be isolated in his bedroom only seeing his kingspeaker, and the king withers away while the kingspeaker makes all his decisions for him using his voice.  Not that that's a flaw in the story either, it's just that I doubt that every kingspeaker would be as responsible with her power as this one.  Some details reminded me of Brandon Sanderson's Warbreaker, but not in any bad way.

So, all of my comments boil down to that I didn't find anything objectively bad about the story, it just wasn't suited to my tastes.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: astyanax on September 16, 2010, 08:56:58 AM
I agree. I liked the story but not overly so. It was a good concept but it just didn't grab me.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: DKT on September 16, 2010, 05:18:32 PM
Hey everyone - a note about the outro!

Since I recorded it, stuff has exploded with I <3 Escape Artists. We've got a bunch of different authors committed to it, so I created a special thread for it in the Administrivia section (http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=4344.0). If you've PM'd me already, you're cool - you don't need to comment over there, too (unless you really want to). I just point to it because I'll probably be updating stuff about the extra stories there, and it's an often overlooked area of our forum :)

Also - welcome to the new forumites! Do come on over and introduce yourself in this thread (http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=76.0) if you feel so inclined :)

That's all I got - Looking forward to reading what you all thought of this weeks story!


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Max e^{i pi} on September 16, 2010, 06:27:57 PM
This was a nice story, but too predictable. I saw the ending coming from a mile away, and even some of the plot elements.

The whole "I have no voice, but I am the King's voice" is interesting, but it was played out a little too hard in my opinion. It ended up being "I have no mind, I am the King's mind".

On the other hand, from a literary point of view you could have a field day with this piece.
How often have we felt in a similar situation, where we are in control, but can't show it? Or the opposite, having to maintain the illusion of control, without actually having any?


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: kibitzer on September 17, 2010, 07:39:44 AM
Well I enjoyed this one very much. The idea of a KingSpeaker was interesting and while the whole was fairly standard fantasy fare, I thought it was well done. A nicely drawn world for a short story.

For some reason, it reminded me of Pseudopod 150, Break the Vessel (http://pseudopod.org/2009/07/10/pseudopod-150-break-the-vessel/).

Discuss.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: ElectricPaladin on September 17, 2010, 08:32:30 AM
I liked it in Beneath Ceaseless Skies and I liked it more here. I really enjoy the sense of the main character struggling with her own belief system and coming up with a way to survive. She isn't about to step outside of the customs that have defined her life, so she needs to find a way to... bend them a little. It's a very real struggle that people deal with in the real world, and I enjoy seeing it played out here.

I also always appreciated how the king doesn't have to be totally infantalized for the kingspeaker to find her power. He's a good man, just inexperienced, and she needs to take care of him for a minute, embodying his best qualities for him until he finds his courage. A lot of stories in this vein, I think, would be tempted to turn the king into a jerk or a wimp to make the kingspeaker look good, but Brennan knows she doesn't have to do that.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: danooli on September 17, 2010, 08:49:14 AM
I also always appreciated how the king doesn't have to be totally infantalized for the kingspeaker to find her power. He's a good man, just inexperienced, and she needs to take care of him for a minute, embodying his best qualities for him until he finds his courage. A lot of stories in this vein, I think, would be tempted to turn the king into a jerk or a wimp to make the kingspeaker look good, but Brennan knows she doesn't have to do that.

this is a great point.  and, i think that pinpoints why i really liked this story. 


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Loz on September 17, 2010, 01:25:13 PM
I liked it but didn't love it. It only really took off for me at the end when it reaches the obvious climax of the Kingspeaker speaking for the King, but then it just rushes to the final full stop. I wanted more of the conflict between the tradition, the Kingspeaker exists only to speak the words of the monarch to other people, to this possibly dangerous new situation, is what the Kingspeaker does good or bad, good for bad reasons, bad for good, etc etc, can the King trust her, if he can't, what can he do when he presumably has no means to communicate with people but through her... The set-up was okay but I think the truly interesting ideas the story brought up weren't addressed.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Heradel on September 17, 2010, 10:32:39 PM
I also always appreciated how the king doesn't have to be totally infantalized for the kingspeaker to find her power. He's a good man, just inexperienced, and she needs to take care of him for a minute, embodying his best qualities for him until he finds his courage. A lot of stories in this vein, I think, would be tempted to turn the king into a jerk or a wimp to make the kingspeaker look good, but Brennan knows she doesn't have to do that.

this is a great point.  and, i think that pinpoints why i really liked this story. 

Yeah, I also liked how the the two characters' relationship ended up looking more like a symbiosis than anything else. I'd agree with Unblinking that the magic and gods element is a bit light -- ok, yes, you have the horses and portents thing, but they're not quite fully on the fantastic side of the line. And there wasn't much in the Kingspeaker-making that you couldn't imagine the Greeks doing (I mean the setting was all very ornate and magical, but not clearly magic). That said, I certainly didn't miss the magic, and would honestly want to hear a bit of how the system came to be.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: alllie on September 18, 2010, 05:59:04 AM
It was a well written story. It was interesting. It held together. But I couldn't get over the fact that I hated the king. I hate all kings. I hate the idea of kings. I hate the idea that some inexperienced kid was given power just because he had half the DNA of the previous person who had power. Even the inexperienced girl given the role of Kingspeaker had more smarts than this unqualified kid. What this entire country needed was guillotines, not kings or kingspeakers. 


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: stePH on September 18, 2010, 10:49:48 AM
It was a well written story. It was interesting. It held together. But I couldn't get over the fact that I hated the king. I hate all kings. I hate the idea of kings. I hate the idea that some inexperienced kid was given power just because he had half the DNA of the previous person who had power. Even the inexperienced girl given the role of Kingspeaker had more smarts than this unqualified kid. What this entire country needed was guillotines, not kings or kingspeakers. 

[fb] Stephen Karnas likes this. [/fb]

 ;D


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Talia on September 18, 2010, 05:47:41 PM
I ended up liking this more than I thought I would initially. The prose is of a style that tends to turn me off. But ultimately I found the protagonist intriguing. She was not a slave, she didn't even think of herself as imprisoned, or anything of the sort, she honestly felt she was playing an important role and was finding fulfillment in helping her King be the man she believed he was.  This wasn't a story about someone losing her identity because of the role she plays, but of someone in a way redefining their identity to fit their role in life.

It was a well written story. It was interesting. It held together. But I couldn't get over the fact that I hated the king. I hate all kings. I hate the idea of kings. I hate the idea that some inexperienced kid was given power just because he had half the DNA of the previous person who had power. Even the inexperienced girl given the role of Kingspeaker had more smarts than this unqualified kid. What this entire country needed was guillotines, not kings or kingspeakers. 

I would guess you're not going to pick up Brandon Sanderson's latest book, 'The Way of Kings,' then. :p Unless the said 'way' is 'fed through a woodchipper' :p

Do you hate royalty in fiction in general? what about real life royalty of the past? (Queen Elizabeth frowns on your shenanigans! :p).


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: alllie on September 18, 2010, 06:57:54 PM
It was a well written story. It was interesting. It held together. But I couldn't get over the fact that I hated the king. I hate all kings. I hate the idea of kings. I hate the idea that some inexperienced kid was given power just because he had half the DNA of the previous person who had power. Even the inexperienced girl given the role of Kingspeaker had more smarts than this unqualified kid. What this entire country needed was guillotines, not kings or kingspeakers. 

I would guess you're not going to pick up Brandon Sanderson's latest book, 'The Way of Kings,' then. :p Unless the said 'way' is 'fed through a woodchipper' :p

Do you hate royalty in fiction in general? what about real life royalty of the past? (Queen Elizabeth frowns on your shenanigans! :p).

I guess I don't understand the attraction some people have for these unelected tyrants. Even the best of them did not deserve their position and many of them caused great suffering and death through their wars and incompetence.

Still, I'm a big fan of Tanith Lee and she has occasionally written of rulers and Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series deals with royals, but Miles is such a great character that my democratic instincts were not offended.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: ioscode on September 20, 2010, 11:56:55 AM
I was also a little turned off by the style for the first part of the story.  Kind of an attempt at surreal extravagance that ended up a little to airy for my taste.

It definitely ended up interesting though.  I like the ambiguity about just how much the Kingspeaker is the kings voice.  Maybe she abused her power, or maybe there really is more of a supernatural mind meld kind of thing going on.  Maybe that was this Kingspeaker experiencing it for the first time.  Or maybe my imagination is running away with me...


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Unblinking on September 20, 2010, 12:44:15 PM
It was a well written story. It was interesting. It held together. But I couldn't get over the fact that I hated the king. I hate all kings. I hate the idea of kings. I hate the idea that some inexperienced kid was given power just because he had half the DNA of the previous person who had power. Even the inexperienced girl given the role of Kingspeaker had more smarts than this unqualified kid. What this entire country needed was guillotines, not kings or kingspeakers. 

I tried not to let that bug me too, but I"m totally with you there.  It bugged me that the commoners were considered too low to even hear his voice because, like you said, arbitrary bloodlines.  But, I figured, that's just a new facet to historical monarchies, so I can't really knock the author or the story for it.  I can knock humankind for coming up with such a concept.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: stePH on September 20, 2010, 11:38:54 PM
It bugged me that the commoners were considered too low to even hear his voice because, like you said, arbitrary bloodlines.  But, I figured, that's just a new facet to historical monarchies, so I can't really knock the author or the story for it.  I can knock humankind for coming up with such a concept.

That actually put me in mind of Kevin Smith's film Dogma, in which the Archangel Metatron spoke to humans on God's behalf, because the unfiltered Voice of God would  annihilate humans ("we went through three Adams before we figured that one out.")


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Dairmid on September 21, 2010, 07:03:08 AM
While fairly standard in some ways, I thought it had all of the elements of a great fable: the snake sending them in the 'wrong' but necessary direction, the inexplicable appearance of the two horse, the king coming into his own (albeit with some help); a defining moment in the history of this world. I also liked the conflicted heroine who, while having no voice, nonetheless found her voice speaking for the king, who became a true king through her bold choice. Thoroughly enjoyable all around.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Unblinking on September 21, 2010, 08:44:42 AM
That actually put me in mind of Kevin Smith's film Dogma, in which the Archangel Metatron spoke to humans on God's behalf, because the unfiltered Voice of God would  annihilate humans ("we went through three Adams before we figured that one out.")

Yup, that came to mind too.  In that case it was justifiable because God is God, not just a random human, and it's not just snobbery, your head will actually explode.  I'd rather not allow my head to explode, so I appreciate being given the opportunity to avoid this.

Another association:  Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson where the God King never speaks to the public.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: momerath on September 21, 2010, 07:09:22 PM
It bugged me that the commoners were considered too low to even hear his voice because, like you said, arbitrary bloodlines.  But, I figured, that's just a new facet to historical monarchies, so I can't really knock the author or the story for it.  I can knock humankind for coming up with such a concept.

That actually put me in mind of Kevin Smith's film Dogma, in which the Archangel Metatron spoke to humans on God's behalf, because the unfiltered Voice of God would  annihilate humans ("we went through three Adams before we figured that one out.")
I believe that has a basis in the Bible.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: stePH on September 22, 2010, 09:38:26 AM
That actually put me in mind of Kevin Smith's film Dogma, in which the Archangel Metatron spoke to humans on God's behalf, because the unfiltered Voice of God would  annihilate humans ("we went through three Adams before we figured that one out.")
I believe that has a basis in the Bible.

Debatable. I've read from Genesis through Leviticus, and sometimes "an Angel of the LORD" speaks to a person; other times "the LORD" appears to be speaking directly to them.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Unblinking on September 22, 2010, 11:12:59 AM
That actually put me in mind of Kevin Smith's film Dogma, in which the Archangel Metatron spoke to humans on God's behalf, because the unfiltered Voice of God would  annihilate humans ("we went through three Adams before we figured that one out.")
I believe that has a basis in the Bible.

Debatable. I've read from Genesis through Leviticus, and sometimes "an Angel of the LORD" speaks to a person; other times "the LORD" appears to be speaking directly to them.

Wasn't his voice the one emanating from the burning bush, for one?


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Atras on September 22, 2010, 12:26:41 PM
I really enjoyed this story.  I thought it was going to get a little more sinister, or worse: turn into a love story between the voice and the King - (complicated masturbation, really) but I liked it.

Also, the reader was really good.  I could listen to her read all day and be very happy.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Wilson Fowlie on September 22, 2010, 10:14:55 PM
It bugged me that the commoners were considered too low to even hear his voice because, like you said, arbitrary bloodlines.  But, I figured, that's just a new facet to historical monarchies, so I can't really knock the author or the story for it.  I can knock humankind for coming up with such a concept.

That actually put me in mind of Kevin Smith's film Dogma, in which the Archangel Metatron spoke to humans on God's behalf, because the unfiltered Voice of God would  annihilate humans ("we went through three Adams before we figured that one out.")
I believe that has a basis in the Bible.

Not really, at least not the Metatron him(it?)self.  According to Wikipedia (which you can take for what it's worth, although the source they cite is the Encyclopedia Brittanica): There are no references to him in the Jewish Tanakh (Old Testament) or Christian Scriptures (New Testament). Although he is mentioned in a few brief passages in the Talmud, Metatron appears primarily in medieval Jewish mystical texts and other post-scriptural esoteric and occult sources.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: kibitzer on September 23, 2010, 04:29:53 AM
Metatron, however, is a secret part of Transformers myth.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Max e^{i pi} on September 23, 2010, 12:51:40 PM
From what I understand, Metatron is the female aspect of god in Jewish mythology.
It's confusing, but has something to do with protecting and nurturing.
But I think we tangented...

That should be a real word.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Peg leg Pete on September 23, 2010, 02:11:13 PM
The story reminded me a bit of one of Gulliver's Travels.  In that part of the story, the kings develop ears so large that they flop down and block out sound. A special caste is invented to flap the ears of the rulers so suplicants may be heard. This had some of the same elements, but the added concepts of the ruler too pure to be heard by human ears also seems to ring with bits and pieces of historical elements as well, particularly the Egyptian pharohs. Overall, I really enjoyed the story.  Well written, and well told.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Scattercat on September 26, 2010, 01:43:05 AM
[comment redacted lest your eyes all be burned from your skulls upon beholding its divine perfection]


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: ElectricPaladin on September 26, 2010, 01:48:54 AM
From what I understand, Metatron is the female aspect of god in Jewish mythology.
It's confusing, but has something to do with protecting and nurturing.
But I think we tangented...

That should be a real word.

No, I think that's Ahserah, or posibly the "bat kol" that you're talking about. Metatron is pretty much just an angel, as far as I recall.

Of course, kaballah is some weird stuff. Have you ever heard about Lilith, Sammael, Adam, and the Shabbat Bride wife swapping every Friday? Weird, weird stuff...


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: stePH on September 26, 2010, 10:25:06 AM
Of course, kaballah is some weird stuff. Have you ever heard about Lilith, Sammael, Adam, and the Shabbat Bride wife swapping every Friday? Weird, weird stuff...

I used to be quite the Crowley/Golden Dawn fan, and even a low-level OTO member, but I don't recall hearing any such thing. Mostly studied Tree of Life and gematria. Hmm, maybe I need to look back into Qabala; should be at least as entertaining as the Bible.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Lionman on September 29, 2010, 03:18:40 PM
I liked how the story boiled down into what became Man and Woman are made One.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: ElectricPaladin on September 29, 2010, 03:26:36 PM
Of course, kaballah is some weird stuff. Have you ever heard about Lilith, Sammael, Adam, and the Shabbat Bride wife swapping every Friday? Weird, weird stuff...

I used to be quite the Crowley/Golden Dawn fan, and even a low-level OTO member, but I don't recall hearing any such thing. Mostly studied Tree of Life and gematria. Hmm, maybe I need to look back into Qabala; should be at least as entertaining as the Bible.

Man, you have NO idea. Are you at least 35 and married, though? According to tradition, if you're younger or singler, the divine sex content will blow out your brain and leave you crazy or dead.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: zcarter80 on September 30, 2010, 01:32:02 AM
 The narration was excellent, and the story was what i have come to expect of podcastle's high standards.The thought of being someones voice is a tricky thing when you look at it. To repeat whats spoken to you and to be the one people watch as they try to anticipate what words may come next it can be nerve wrecking. Public speaking is already tough enough with a speech prepared and memorized but to be uncertain as to weather or not the words you say are going to cause a riot or a cheer must be far worse. they captured the anxieties the main character must have felt quite well. i think the king may have needed more development and it surprises me that they didn't marry and live happily ever after but all in all i think it ended as it should have. Keep up the good work here people.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: jjtraw on September 30, 2010, 03:04:31 PM
I really enjoyed this one. A couple posts said it was predictable, and yes, I could see the ending coming - but watching it unfold was just perfect. I really do enjoy hearing stories here where religion is portrayed in a positive light. Even as I get the feeling that, were the point of view different, the happenings would be a lot more sinister.

The heroine, a woman who has no voice of her own, and is completely accepting of her role - unsettling, but very well done.

Makes me want to know more about how this world works.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: stePH on October 01, 2010, 09:22:44 AM
I used to be quite the Crowley/Golden Dawn fan, and even a low-level OTO member, but I don't recall hearing any such thing. Mostly studied Tree of Life and gematria. Hmm, maybe I need to look back into Qabala; should be at least as entertaining as the Bible.

Man, you have NO idea. Are you at least 35 and married, though? According to tradition, if you're younger or singler, the divine sex content will blow out your brain and leave you crazy or dead.

41 and married, and thanks for the warning :-)


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: CieBird on October 02, 2010, 03:29:13 PM
I really liked the idea of Kingspeaker, but had a thought.  Was it always that the Kingspeaker was a female to the male king?  With a relationship that close, it seems that the next logical step would be that the Kingspeaker becomes the mother of the next king.  I don't want to say 'the king's wife', but she is closer than any other person the king knows. I think it is an interesting relationship and would like to see it explored further.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: kibitzer on October 02, 2010, 06:51:43 PM
I really liked the idea of Kingspeaker, but had a thought.  Was it always that the Kingspeaker was a female to the male king?

That was implied -- I seem to recall a reference to the old King and his female Kingspeaker -- but not spelled out as an absolute. I agree, an interesting dynamic.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Unblinking on October 04, 2010, 09:17:50 AM
I really liked the idea of Kingspeaker, but had a thought.  Was it always that the Kingspeaker was a female to the male king?  With a relationship that close, it seems that the next logical step would be that the Kingspeaker becomes the mother of the next king.  I don't want to say 'the king's wife', but she is closer than any other person the king knows. I think it is an interesting relationship and would like to see it explored further.

On an unrelated note, I like your avatar.  :)


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: dmcaleer on October 08, 2010, 05:04:04 PM
Enough already with repeating stories we've already heard on Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Starship Sofa, Clarkesworld magazine, Fantasy magazine, etc.  Most of us get all the podcasts.  Escape Artists seems to have gone to copying a lot of stories already on other podcasts -- don't know why, wish they wouldn't.  if you really want to give a boost to another podcast, give them a shout out in your intro.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Scattercat on October 08, 2010, 06:35:03 PM
I don't listen to any story podcasts other than the EA ones and Dunesteef.  When there is a primarily written form, I read the stories instead.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Swamp on October 08, 2010, 07:04:46 PM
I don't listen to any story podcasts other than the EA ones and Dunesteef.  When there is a primarily written form, I read the stories instead.

Not even the Drabblecast? :o  With as many drabbles as you have posted or that been read by Norm, I find that hard to believe.  ;)


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Scattercat on October 08, 2010, 09:09:49 PM
I don't listen to any story podcasts other than the EA ones and Dunesteef.  When there is a primarily written form, I read the stories instead.

Not even the Drabblecast? :o  With as many drabbles as you have posted or that been read by Norm, I find that hard to believe.  ;)

Oh, right.  And the Drabblecast.

Point is, I don't listen to the podcasts at all the other magazines listed, so the complaint that "everyone" does so is spurious.  Frankly, I can tear through a half dozen written stories in the time it takes me to listen to just one, so podcasts are deeply counterproductive for me.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Unblinking on October 11, 2010, 08:46:11 AM
Oh, right.  And the Drabblecast.

Point is, I don't listen to the podcasts at all the other magazines listed, so the complaint that "everyone" does so is spurious.  Frankly, I can tear through a half dozen written stories in the time it takes me to listen to just one, so podcasts are deeply counterproductive for me.

I find the opposite is true for me.  It seems like if I'm just sitting down somewhere, I always have something else I need to do.  But I listen to podcasts when I'm doing low-cognitive tasks like household chores or interstate driving.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: kibitzer on October 11, 2010, 08:52:16 PM
+1 Unblinking.

For me, it's getting to and from work on public transport; walking the dogs; car trips longer than, say, 15 mins. With the walking, I can and have and do read while I walk but the audio is easier. Also: a well-read story is just a complete delight. There is something very powerful about the spoken word and done well, such a story can send chills down your spine, make laugh out loud, or quietly cry.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Unblinking on October 12, 2010, 08:58:53 AM
+1 Unblinking.

For me, it's getting to and from work on public transport; walking the dogs; car trips longer than, say, 15 mins. With the walking, I can and have and do read while I walk but the audio is easier. Also: a well-read story is just a complete delight. There is something very powerful about the spoken word and done well, such a story can send chills down your spine, make laugh out loud, or quietly cry.

On a sidenote, I also sometimes get strong associations in my brain between the story I am listening to and the action that I am doing at the time.  For instance, a particular stretch of road across South Dakota makes me think of The Button Bin.  The line at the post office sometimes makes me think of Hell is the Absence of God, or sometimes that story about the mostly venom-proof religious cult (I can't think of the name).

When I was a kid, we had a little 8 inch old black and white TV and then a bigger 25 inch color TV.  Sometimes in the summer I'd put them in the same room and play video games while I listened to re-runs of TV shows.  So, for instance, there is one particular level of The Illusion of Gaia with a jungle setting associated with an episode of Star Trek TNG where Riker falls in love with a member of an asexual alien race.  Whenever I think of one, I think of the other in tandem.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Scattercat on October 12, 2010, 01:05:00 PM
I have the same thing.  It's particularly strong in this one stretch of road about a hundred miles northwest of Charlotte (which is where I heard and was annoyed by "Now + N, Now - N" and with Splinterstone Valley in Loch Modan over in World of Warcraft, where the really annoying chain of Trogg quests was made easier by "The Dinner Game."


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Gamercow on October 18, 2010, 10:54:56 AM
On a sidenote, I also sometimes get strong associations in my brain between the story I am listening to and the action that I am doing at the time.  For instance, a particular stretch of road across South Dakota makes me think of The Button Bin.  The line at the post office sometimes makes me think of Hell is the Absence of God, or sometimes that story about the mostly venom-proof religious cult (I can't think of the name).

I have done a very unscientific study on this, and have found several people that this holds true for, including myself.  For instance, back when I was commuting to Boston, I read Zodiac one very hot summer, and I still associate that book with riding the silver line out to the pier where I worked.  For podcasts, I will always associate "Will You Be An Astronaut" through "On the Eyeball Floor" with a road trip to a wedding in PA I went to last year.  Even just the title of one of those stories pops up an image of where I was. 


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Gamercow on October 18, 2010, 10:57:04 AM
Back to the story itself.  I liked this one, but it won't stick around in my brain for long, I don't think, as it did not bring up much that was new or different.  I could see where it was going, but it was written well enough that I enjoyed the ride.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Maplesugar on October 19, 2010, 12:39:08 AM
I have the same thing.  It's particularly strong in this one stretch of road about a hundred miles northwest of Charlotte (which is where I heard and was annoyed by "Now + N, Now - N" and with Splinterstone Valley in Loch Modan over in World of Warcraft, where the really annoying chain of Trogg quests was made easier by "The Dinner Game."

Oh goodie- I am so glad that someone else listens to EA stories while WoWing. 


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: stePH on October 20, 2010, 04:20:48 PM
I don't listen to any story podcasts other than the EA ones and Dunesteef.  When there is a primarily written form, I read the stories instead.

I now listen only to the EA story podcasts, as both Variant Frequencies and Clonepod have gone off.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Heradel on October 25, 2010, 07:39:59 PM
The discussion as to the deliciousness of maple sugar may be found here: http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=4492.0


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: yicheng on November 03, 2010, 12:18:44 PM
While I generally enjoyed the story, it felt very very toned down in terms of plot and character dimensionality.  The Kingspeaker "has no voice", "only speaks words belonging to the King", etc, etc.   We are continually reminded of this fact like a mantra, until it gets rather annoying.

I also thought the plot "twists" were rather obvious.  The Bandit King evading the King's army and seemed rather obvious tactic, akin to the classic boxing duck & weave.  Any general that didn't at least counsel the king to properly scout out the location of the enemy and to protect his supply line ought to have his head lopped off.  And how exactly does a massive army moving through your countryside, looting and pillaging, escape your detection?  Contrary to popular belief, it is *extremely* difficult to massacre everyone in a village/town (e.g. Darfur, Nanking, Stalingrad).  Even assuming you take everyone by surprise and none of the local guards manage to ride out for help or light a signal fire, there's always some little kid that manages to escape into the forest, some old woman hiding out in a cellar, or some guy that manages to play dead.  Always.  One of those people would have surely stumbled down the road to warn the city.

And assuming that for a moment the Band King's army was disciplined enough to make their way unnoticed to the *Capital* of the country, it doesn't make any sense that he wouldn't have kept some sort of vanguard to watch for any ambushes, which again is a rather obvious tactic.


Title: Re: PC122: Kingspeaker
Post by: Unblinking on November 04, 2010, 08:57:05 AM
Contrary to popular belief, it is *extremely* difficult to massacre everyone in a village/town (e.g. Darfur, Nanking, Stalingrad).  Even assuming you take everyone by surprise and none of the local guards manage to ride out for help or light a signal fire, there's always some little kid that manages to escape into the forest, some old woman hiding out in a cellar, or some guy that manages to play dead.  Always.  One of those people would have surely stumbled down the road to warn the city.

That's a good point.  Being completely thorough would take a long time, long enough to starve out the lurkers.