Escape Artists


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Author Topic: PseudoPod 612: WEIRD SCIENCE HORROR ISSUE #2: Mofongo Knows  (Read 1847 times)


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PseudoPod 612: WEIRD SCIENCE HORROR ISSUE #2: Mofongo Knows

by Grady Hendrix
Narrated by Ant Bacon
Hosted by Alasdair Stuart and Karen Bovenmyer

“Mofongo Knows” was first published in The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination

Show Notes

“We at Pseudopod would like to dedicate this story to all of them: Cheetah, Lancelot Link, Mojo Jojo, Monsieur Mallah, Bobo the Detective Chimp, Gorilla Grodd, Comrade Dmitri-9, Cornelius & Zira, Konga, Mighty Joe Young…and all the rest…and most of all, of course, to Kong…whom we all owe an apology…he must have been a great bloke.”

Please check out Grady’s next novel — a Faustian bargain signed with heavy metal power chords — We Sold Our Souls.

Off the muddy tracks between the House of Shadows, the Freak Out and the Gravitron, where passengers are pummeled with physics until they puke, behind the generators that push power to the Top Spin, the Zipper and the Rainbow, back where the night air is so thick you can chew it–stale cotton candy, old dough fried in rancid oil, the ripe aroma of the IQ Zoo with its pathetic poultry who plink pianos with their beaks–here in the jumble of shooting galleries and hoopla trailers, next to skeet ball concessions leaning against Crystal Lil’s Refreshment Emporium lies the secret heart of the fair: MOFONGO: GORILLA OF THE MIND.

Listen to this week's PseudoPod.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


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Reply #1 on: September 19, 2018, 12:21:46 PM
I really like a circus/ freakshow setting - my favourite TV show is Carnivale. This story started a bit weirdly, but I loved the bittersweet elements that came later. Not sure if Podcastle wouldn't have been a better fitting podcast for this one, but whatever.


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Reply #2 on: September 19, 2018, 09:03:47 PM
I loved narrating this story. The themes and characters are so beautifully designed and the acceptance of the inevitable is explored in a profound but delicate way. Mofongo is/was the most heartbreaking megalomaniac ape I've encountered for some time  ;)

I hope everyone enjoys the episode!


C.S. Walker

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Reply #3 on: September 20, 2018, 04:59:04 AM
I found the audiobook version of The Mad Scientist's Guide To World Domination by chance at Goodwill a couple years back and loved it. This was a story I was happy to see again in a different format.

Hearing this story, I think about Terry Pratchett's Silver Horde, that group of geriatric barbarians who were just a bit too good at being heroes to die properly. And I get why some people would wonder why this was run here and not Escape Pod, but I think behind the sci-fi hijinx, or overshadowing them, is an almost Ligottian kind of horror of the mundane, of knowing that nothing Steve or Mofongo did mattered, or was remembered, and now it's just a matter of waiting for an inglorious, anonymous death devoid of drama or meaning. There's no enemies waiting in the shadows because nobody cares if they still exist. Every world-shattering battle is a best a footnote for trivia collectors, a piece of garbage kicked under a chair in a trailer. How can a villain brilliant and powerful enough to bend reality to his whims be defeated by a Yale lock for 30 years? The same cocktail of apathy, habit and refusal to change that grinds us all under if we don't pay attention and catch it. That's the horror here. And oof.... man.


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Reply #4 on: September 27, 2018, 07:02:31 AM
I just love this story so much. Loved it in TMSGtWD, love it here. The silliness of this Mojo Jojo-like greatest ape with a dull clod of an antagonist (or hero) instead of a trio of adorable girls, the pathos of the horrible apathy they've both sunk into after years of not mattering anymore, and then Mofongo rouses to his crazy cartoony violence at the end, which just feels so incredibly fitting.


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Reply #5 on: September 28, 2018, 12:48:31 PM
So it's obviously not the focus of the episode, but one of the things I loved about it (and there were many), was the subtle commentary on how affection between men is sublimated into violence.