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Author Topic: EP626: Fire Rode the Cold Wind  (Read 443 times)
Posts: 6054

« on: May 05, 2018, 10:44:12 AM »

Escape Pod 626: Fire Rode the Cold Wind

AUTHOR : Aimee Ogden
NARRATOR : Peter Adrian Behravesh
HOST: Tina Connolly


The brown woman came to Vrau from the sky, without a name of her own.

Piarcu knew that she was nameless, even though the women of his family only whispered it when they thought no one else could hear. It was they who had cared for her when her metal cage crashed down into the ice, they who had peeled her out of her prison and stripped her out of her strange silver suit and dressed her wounds. It was they who had seen her flesh bare of fur or wool, and noted the lack of name marked there.

Not that they would have dared to read that name, if their eyes had fallen on it. They were practiced in the healing arts, and healers did not linger on their patients’ most intimate matters. They took from her empty cups of spineweed tea and used bandages, not her privacy. Piarcu’s mind lingered there, though. He found himself thinking of the stranger’s unmarked skin, more often than he should: found himself distracted at land, at sea, stripped down to his leggings in preparation for a shellstar dive and seized with the notion that he might be the one to press his needleknife to her flesh and offer her the gift of a true name.

For her part, she did not seem concerned about her lack of name. When Piarcu visited her shelter, erected with ice in the lee of her shattered cage and lined with furs and blankets offered by the generous Vrauam, she only ever laughed and said, “My name is Isro Bascardan! That’s name enough for anyone, don’t you think?” And he did not know how to make her see that a use-name was not enough to have, no more than a man could say he had a coat and so had no need of his skin.

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
Posts: 1001

« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2018, 08:56:54 AM »

I really liked the way this story was told. All the subtle world building, using more the things left unsaid than clear explanation. Not a technique I usually like, so this was very, *very* well done!! As to plot, I am not sure it went anywhere. It felt like an excerpt from a larger story. One that I would like to hear, frankly.
Posts: 168

« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2018, 10:16:19 PM »

I like that this is from the atypical perspective of someone who isn't the hero of a story, but a person in the middle, like Calypso in the Odyssey. Piarcu may never know if she's successful, and we may never either. I wasn't sure what to make of the ending, I appreciate Tina's comments on that after the story. I did breathe a sigh of relief when the astronaut did return his affections, as Piarcu's lust for her seemed a little rape-y.

"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."
Jethro's belt
Posts: 50

« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 09:03:10 AM »

A solid tale when nothing you expect actually happens and the ending is left ambiguous, especially in the physical & active part of the story; yet it is still riveting story telling.
A good narration match and after story comment too. 
Posts: 39

« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2018, 06:18:54 AM »

At first I was annoyed that the author never revealed Piarcu's chosen Name.  But then I decided that it was better for me to imagine all the possibilities of what it could have been.  In the after thoughts, Host Tina seemed to imply that Piarcu's chosen Name was Safety.  I went back and listened again to be sure I didn't mis-hear anything and I did not.  We never know his chosen Name.  My take on the ending was quite different than her 3.  I imagine his chosen Name was Adventurous or Courageous or the like.  Then, in the end, he acknowledges that he is not, and never will be, the person he wanted to be.  It is in shame and disappointment that he obliterates his child-self's hopes and dreams and becomes no-one.  ...sadly, in doing so, I feel that he condemns himself to dying old, alone & bitter.  If he ever does take a lover, he/she will see the non-name, be appalled, and the whispers will spread like wildfire and he will be socially outcast.  I guess I could let some optimism in and suppose that Piarcu gets physically cast out as well which initiates a journey toward that equator thing and a new beginning as Tina suggested.

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." A.Einstein
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