Escape Artists
August 18, 2018, 06:58:30 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Pseudopod 408: Knife Fight  (Read 3486 times)
Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4852


Mmm. Tiger.


« on: October 19, 2014, 04:33:17 PM »

Pseudopod 408: Knife Fight

by David Nickle.

“My piece of advice: look seriously at all the candidates in the next election wherever you live, because your vote counts.”

DAVID NICKLE is a Bram Stoker award winning author of several novels and numerous short stories–most recently, “The ‘Geisters” from ChiZine. He is also the head of the Toronto City Hall Press Gallery, where he has worked the last four years covering Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. His story collection Knife Fight and Other Struggles from ChiZine Publications is coming out as the podcast goes live, on October 21.

Dave Robison‘s buttery man-voice has been making the rounds on the internet of late, appearing on a recent episode of the Drabblecast, as well as performing in the exceptional “Hidden Harbor Mysteries” audio drama (produced by Bryan Lincoln and written by Jay Smith). He’s slated to narrate the audio book for Tim Marquitz’s novel DEMON SQUAD: RESURRECTION, and rumor has it he’ll be narrating some of the premium content at EscapePod as well. Founder and host of the Roundtable Podcast, Dave is stretching his creative legs, collaborating on a novel with Alasdair Stuart and Colin F. Barnes slated for release sometime in 2015. He figures he’ll get a full night’s sleep sometime around 2019.



“There are only ever two combatants in a knife fight, and each combatant is allowed a knife.

The knives are to be provided by the combatants, in a keen, clean condition free of rust. Other objects—scissors, hammers, axes, surgical instruments—shall not be considered knives for the purposes of the knife fight.

Combatants shall arrive stripped to the waist, and well-lubricated so as to keep the knife fight from becoming a wrestling match, which is unseemly.

Goose fat is considered an acceptable lubricant for the purposes of a knife fight.

Victory in the knife fight is usually decided by the drawing of first blood.

Combatants shall avoid their opponents’ faces, hands, and throats, confining their strikes to parts of the body usually covered by appropriate business attire.

In the event that both combatants draw blood from one another in the same instant, the knife fight shall be considered a draw and entered into the Records as such.

To the victor go the spoils.”




The Journey Into kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/763571195/edgar-allan-poe-meets-ken-scholes-a-journey-into-e/posts

The Ghostwoods Books Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/960264226/ghostwoods-books-our-2014-15-list-of-6-to-8-books


Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
Logged

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
DaveRobison
Extern
*
Posts: 4



WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2014, 11:14:12 AM »

Narrating this one was a unique experience for me (a common occurrence here at Pseudopod, one of the many reasons I always say "yes" when asked).  Smiley

The prose was marvelous but the inflection and cadence that emerged for me as I read it pushed me into a unique voice, one I haven't used before in narrations. I'm usually more thoughtful and less instinctive with my vocal choices, but this story had an almost dream-like quality... the extreme zoom-in on minute details then an abrupt pulling back to a conceptual or arching perspective was extremely effective in the context of the tale, but made for some hazardous articulation zones.

I try to make sure my narration supports the story... this time I'm not sure I hit the mark.

Did it work for you? Or did I completely derail the story?
Logged

The Roundtable Podcast... Literary Alchemy, one podcast at a time
Workshop your story idea with some remarkable people.  Visit http://www.roundtablepodcast.com to learn how.
thespectre
Extern
*
Posts: 1


« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2014, 03:35:23 PM »

Great narration.  Inflections were perfect for the story. Good job! 
Logged
DaveRobison
Extern
*
Posts: 4



WWW
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2014, 11:16:16 PM »

{whew} Thanks, Spectre  Grin
Logged

The Roundtable Podcast... Literary Alchemy, one podcast at a time
Workshop your story idea with some remarkable people.  Visit http://www.roundtablepodcast.com to learn how.
adrianh
Hipparch
******
Posts: 744



WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 03:20:02 AM »

Well… this was just lovely. Great story. Great narration. Had me from the first couple of sentences right until the end. Kudos all round.
Logged
ElectricPaladin
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1005


Holy Robot


WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2014, 01:25:28 PM »

I've been thinking about this story in the context of the death of Ben Bradley, the executive editor of the New York Post and the man who spearheaded the attempt to take down Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal (the original X-gate). Bradlee felt very similar to the combative journalist in this story, in that he really went to bat to destroy the presidency of a man who had abused his authority and no longer deserved it.

The trouble is - and maybe this is a sign of how terribly cynical my country's politics have made me - I didn't think the mayor was all that bad. So, sure, there's your standard amount of nepotism, and the mayor's method of choosing advisors and appointees is... idiosyncratic, to say the least. But the fact is that he was getting shit done. If the city was suffering for it - if he was running it into the ground - I'd be more sympathetic to the knife-fighting journalist... but honestly, as the inhabitant of a country where people are literally dying because of one party's unwillingness to cooperate, you can't really expect me to come down too hard on a mayor who is, despite some weird habits and bog-standard low-level corruption, managing to actually serve his people.

What about freedom? What about principles?

I don't know, man. Ask me again when my country isn't falling completely to shit.
Logged

Captain of the Burning Zeppelin Experience.

Help my kids get the educational supplies they need at my Donor's Choose page.
Dwango
Matross
****
Posts: 165



« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 02:39:37 PM »

Narration was superb.  I just love hearing Dave say "knife fight".

The story, well, it had me more laughing than fearing what was happening.  The idea of middle aged men covering themselves with goose fat, fighting half naked in a parking lot, just seemed to surreal to take seriously.  I was distastefully wondering at the how the woman would fight, half naked or swim top?  I get this is a commentary on how government gets obsessed with the battles and ignore the real work of running the government, but the weird events that happened to the town that were hardly explained made it harder to focus on the tragedy of these two "leaders" focusing on their fights over the actual job.  The audience getting cut in the act made it go further down the road of ludicrousness that I just couldn't take the final act as seriously as it's gravity should portend.
Logged
albionmoonlight
Matross
****
Posts: 213



« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2014, 09:13:58 AM »

I thought that "Knife. Fight." totally worked.  It added to the narration, and it is not an obvious way to go with it.  Kudos there.

One random question.  Why goose fat?  That's a kind of obscure grease, but the story kept noting it over and over.  I think that I must be missing an obvious reference.
Logged
The Far Stairs
Peltast
***
Posts: 127



WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 06:09:56 PM »

I adored this story. It was so surreal, and the narration couldn't have been better. I don't think you were supposed to take it seriously, but I'm not sure. There were details that seemed intentionally comedic, like the greeting card industry folding and crippling the economy. I got the impression that the author wanted the reader to laugh and be unsettled at the same time.

The metaphor of the knife. fight. was so obvious that, in a way, it didn't even seem like the point of the story. I mean, the story was obviously making a point, but I think it was also just illustrating a world that was heightened and weird and dreamlike. I didn't feel like the story had aspirations to be super profound; it just sort of casually pointed to the metaphor and said, "You can take something from this if you want to. Or not."

I just want to hear more stories set in this bizarre and comedic and creepy universe. My favorite part was the "atrocities" that were never really explored or explained. I wanted to hear more descriptions of those, even though they were tangential to the plot.

Great writing. Spooky as hell, and just close enough to reality to be disturbing on several levels.
Logged

Jesse Livingston
Head of Historical Archives
The Far Stairs
www.athousandlifetimes.com
bounceswoosh
Matross
****
Posts: 305


« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2014, 08:28:30 PM »

This one didn't grab me. I'm glad I'm in the minority.
Logged
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8660



WWW
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2014, 10:14:04 AM »

I didn't care for this one.  It did cross my mind too, that the mayor despite his obvious problems, was getting stuff done.  I'd be pretty happy to have a politician that could manage that, where "stuff" doesn't involve using taxpayer money to pay to build pro sports stadiums, and which doesn't involve shutting the government down and putting tons of people out of work for that time but still paying the politicians because the parties can't agree on a budget, and doesn't involve politicians voting their own salaries up even though they fail to accomplish anything.

Despite him getting stuff done, though, it is perhaps a troubling metaphor for how it actually works to have political matters decided by a pissing contest between competing alpha males.  The mayor resembled Putin in my head.

But all of this kind of fell by the wayside when trying to make the idea anything but funny of your average career politicians stripping to the waste and lubing themselves up with goosefat and slashing at each other in a parking garage until they are weezing from the exhaust fumes.  (Why didn't the knife fight just get won by the guy who happened to be less resistant to chugging those fumes?)

The end effect didn't really end up horrific to me, more comical, and I didn't get the impression that's what it was trying to do.
Logged
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8660



WWW
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2014, 10:14:51 AM »

{whew} Thanks, Spectre  Grin

Nah, your reading was quite good.  I thought it enhanced the text.
Logged
TrishEM
Matross
****
Posts: 173



« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2014, 03:39:45 AM »

The narration seemed perfectly suited to the story, pulling me into it without any distractions.

I was having a little trouble at first with the idea of everyone going along with the knife fights, but suddenly I got the image of the bullying, alpha mayor as being Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, who until recent months displayed an amazing ability to make people take him seriously and to get down on his level to try to fight him, and I could totally see him as this mayor, with just a few twists in the fabric of reality. It made the story alarmingly vivid after that, picturing Rob Ford stripping and greasing up and slashing his foes -- gah! Ack!

After a pause for brain bleach, I'll also mention how much I liked the dogged journalist, who after people kept ignoring his exposes on the mayor finally decided he had to fight him physically, but it turned out that he wasn't fighting for power for himself, but trying to free the city. Unfortunately, the system was too entrenched, and the heir-apparent didn't have any better ideas than to pick up the knife and start it all over again. Sad, but felt very real.
Logged
Metalsludge
Palmer
**
Posts: 67


« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2014, 05:12:27 PM »

I've been thinking about this story in the context of the death of Ben Bradley, the executive editor of the New York Post and the man who spearheaded the attempt to take down Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal (the original X-gate). Bradlee felt very similar to the combative journalist in this story, in that he really went to bat to destroy the presidency of a man who had abused his authority and no longer deserved it.

As a native of the Washington area, I have to point out that Bradlee was at The Washington Post, not a New York Post. I'm sure it was just a slip of the keyboard when it was written otherwise, but I just gotta remind folks that New York is not our only city here, with all due respect to our sister city up north.  Smiley
Logged
ElectricPaladin
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1005


Holy Robot


WWW
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2014, 05:14:05 PM »


I've been thinking about this story in the context of the death of Ben Bradley, the executive editor of the New York Post and the man who spearheaded the attempt to take down Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal (the original X-gate). Bradlee felt very similar to the combative journalist in this story, in that he really went to bat to destroy the presidency of a man who had abused his authority and no longer deserved it.

As a native of the Washington area, I have to point out that Bradlee was at The Washington Post, not a New York Post. I'm sure it was just a slip of the keyboard when it was written otherwise, but I just gotta remind folks that New York is not our only city here, with all due respect to our sister city up north.  Smiley

Yes, just a slip of the keys.
Logged

Captain of the Burning Zeppelin Experience.

Help my kids get the educational supplies they need at my Donor's Choose page.
TrishEM
Matross
****
Posts: 173



« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2018, 11:21:54 AM »

With the election of Rob Ford's brother Doug as Premier, Nickle wrote a column about what Toronto and Ontario can expect. His tone is more bemused than belligerent.
https://www.toronto.com/opinion-story/8658324-premier-doug-ford-brings-a-new-world-to-toronto/#.WxqVtiA21ss.twitter

But in the reply-tweet, he linked to this story!
Logged
Sgarre1
Editor
*****
Posts: 1183


"Let There Be Fright!"


« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2018, 12:34:24 PM »

Thanks for the heads up!
Logged
Fenrix
Curmudgeonly Co-Editor of PseudoPod
Editor
*****
Posts: 3715


I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.


« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2018, 05:42:22 PM »

As someone who's spent a lot of time dealing with local politics, my love for this story is boundless.
Logged

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!