Author Topic: Pseudopod 186: Ankor Sabat  (Read 36178 times)

ancawonka

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Reply #50 on: April 08, 2010, 05:46:20 PM
Quote
Oh, and learn your early 20th century horror tropes!

Care to summarize?  I've already learned more than I ever knew just from this thread. ;)



lastofthelight

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Reply #51 on: April 17, 2010, 11:10:36 PM
I, for one, loved this story. It combined my enthusiasm for Lovecraft, and my yearning for a good old fashioned fairy tale. Lovecraft, too, is an author that one tends to hate or love. Perhaps the best authors are. Frankly, I think the people who were criticizing this so harshly at the beginning fail to differentiate between bad writing, and writing they just happen to not like. Its pretentious of them, and rather arrogant.



tinroof

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Reply #52 on: April 18, 2010, 12:49:10 AM
On the other hand, mightn't it be just as pretentious to fail to differentiate between good writing, and writing you just happened to like?

I'm pretty agnostic on this story, 'cept for my peeve with the ending. But, y'know. At least most of us listed reasons. :P



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Reply #53 on: April 18, 2010, 05:08:48 AM
Yeah, the ending is like fifty DKP minus; the rest of it was kind of meh.  I love language, but as I said above, this story put its foot in its mouth a couple of times with the big and impressive words in places where they didn't need to be and weren't comfortable fits. 

I mean, you can't ever say anything 100% objective about any work of art, but that ending monologue was pretty tiresome by almost any measure.  I don't think you can chalk the lukewarm reception on this story entirely up to Tha Hatahz.

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Millenium_King

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Reply #54 on: August 29, 2010, 05:34:26 AM
This is long overdue, but for those of you who do not know, I am the author of this one.  I'd like to thank every person here for their comments (positive and negative).  I'm very happy with the discussion this one generated.  If anyone would like to read (hear) any more of my fiction, I have two stories over at Cast Macabre.  The first is the flash piece "The Joining" and the second... well, I didn't actually write the second one.  It was written by Mr. Helmut Finch who, I assure you, is a very real person.  That story is "What they Consumed" and is narrated by none other than the (in)famous Mr. Alasdair Stuart!

Speaking of Al, I'd like to thank him for an excellent intro and outro on "Ankor Sabat."  I'd also like to thank Ben for his stellar narration and Pseudopod and Escape Artists as a whole for making me, for the first time, a published author!  You guys rule.

I also have a blog here if anyone is interested in following me.  I list my Top 10 Pseudpod Episodes there too.

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


snap-hiss

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Reply #55 on: September 01, 2010, 08:06:44 PM
I just re-listened to this story the other day and it lent it's influence for a most interesting dream.

I greatly enjoyed it, and look forward to checking out your other work.

Swing by the Prehistory Ranch.


Millenium_King

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Reply #56 on: September 02, 2010, 06:23:55 PM
I just re-listened to this story the other day and it lent it's influence for a most interesting dream.

High praise indeed!  I am very happy to have a fan!

"What they Consumed" is probably one you'll enjoy then - it's a lot more Lovecraftian than Ashtonian, though.

There's also a connected story to "Ankor Sabat" called "The High Priest" making the rounds.  I'll be sure to make some shameless plugs should it be accepted anywhere.

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


orrin

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Reply #57 on: September 21, 2010, 07:58:28 PM
Not a lot to add to this discussion, but I just got around to listening to this one and liked it a fair bit. I've not read a ton of Clark Ashton Smith, but I thought it nailed the Smithian/decadent tone pretty well, with just enough self-awareness to not strike me as too forced. A good one.

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Millenium_King

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Reply #58 on: September 30, 2010, 05:15:31 AM
Hey thanks Orrin!  Coming from you, high praise indeed.

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


Umbrageofsnow

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Reply #59 on: January 21, 2011, 06:57:37 AM

 It might have been miscegenation, but I'm not sure.  It was something where he just threw out a Lovecraft-sounding word in a not-quite-appropriate context.  (He used miscegenation, for instance, to describe one of the twisted mockeries of women who had been reshaped and tormented into a monstrous form.  Either they started as human and were warped, in which case no breeding took place, or they were actually monsters in and of themselves, in which case they had bred true to their monsterhood and no interbreeding took place.  It wasn't entirely clear from the story which of those it was; I got the impression of the former, personally, given the Magic Sensory Deprivation Closet.)


"The product of miscegenation between human and animal stock." seems to be proper usage to me.  And that is the only one in the story.  It may have been something else, but just listened to this, and nothing really jumped out at me.

Anyway, here are my feelings on the story, reposted from my blog:

It was a bit slow getting started, and a tad confusing at first, but once we have our hero on his quest, it moves along pretty well. The meat of the story is Lord Galen's attempt to rescue his TrueLove™ from the evil priest, and to play the game the priest challenges him to. And this is absolutely the best thing about this story.

Although I've seen some criticizing this as generic horrific heroic fantasy, I beg to differ. There is an actual point, with themes and all that, rather than just some sap running off and having terrifying but meaningless adventures before dying or whatever the standard is. My favorite bit of resonance, is how we tend to put our loved ones "up on a pedestal" and imagine they are perfect. This story addresses that in two ways: both the tendency to remember the past fondly and forget all negatives of past romances, and in the present tense, to put a love up on a pedestal where they could never achieve that level of perfection if you were to look at them with unbiased eyes. Either way we can be sorely disappointed if we examine our past or present loves too closely while remembering only our ideal image, not what attracted us in the first place.

That said, although I liked the story at heart, want to defend it from attackers, and will certainly be looking out for more stories from Rink, I know I'm looking at my idealized version that ended about two minutes earlier. When I take this story down off the pedestal and inspect her, I remember that the end completely ruined it for me. A nice, thoughtful ending was all set up, and then we had to flash back to a long speech explaining everything to the point where it not only feels disrespectful to the intelligence of the reader, but actively detracts from the thematic internal dialogue I was having. It isn't just a case of Bondvillianitis, but the author going in to pound one last nail into the poor horse's coffin, missing, and smashing a hammer right through the rather pretty looking box. The story is shallower, and oddly less sinister, for the sinister, explanatory ending. (To be fair, Lovecraft and pals were often guilty of this, so it nailed the writing style...)
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 07:03:15 PM by Umbrageofsnow »



Millenium_King

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Reply #60 on: February 05, 2011, 04:28:07 AM
Thank you for your review Umbrage of snow!  It sounds like you enjoyed the story - it was a fun one to write.  I found your blog and I have been reading through it and enjoying it immensely.  You sure review a LOT of stories.

If you'd like to see more of my work, you can find links to all of my published works on my blog.  I might be so bold as to sugges "What they Consumed" which is another of my (fumbling, perhaps?) attempts at the "classic, pulpy" horror story.  (Also available in print!)

Also for you, and anyone else who enjoyed "Ankor Sabat," I have a spot of good news:  Cast Macabre will be producing a companion piece to it entitled "The High Priest" sometime in the near future.  I will be sure to shamelessly plug it once it comes out.

I'm also going to show up on Pseudopod again soon: my flash story "King" was recently accepted.

Thanks for listening!

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


Millenium_King

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Reply #61 on: March 15, 2011, 05:35:26 AM
For everyone who enjoyed this story, Barry over at Castmacabre has released the absolutely AMAZINGLY well produced and narrated follow-up:  THE HIGH PRIEST.

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


Millenium_King

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Reply #62 on: May 15, 2011, 05:09:56 PM
A little more shameless self-promotion here:  "The High Priest" and Castmacabre have been nominated for a Parsec Award!  Fingers (and tentacles) crossed that they will win!

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


Fenrix

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Reply #63 on: May 20, 2011, 04:52:15 AM
I've drug my feet on listening to this one, as I wanted to ensure I gave it a fair shake. I didn't want to let any feelings for the author and his acerbic tone in other threads muddling my opinion. Park me in the spot next to Lowky, as I dug the story but not the expositional ending. I don't think the ending added anything to the tale. The language was well served by being read, and Ben did his usual great job. The story plodded for a bit early on, but really took off once arriving at the citadel. The parade of the harem was maleficiently fascinating. The rejection and degradation at the end made it a truly awful story. So, basically, a lot of the things I love PseudoPod for.

I also gave the follow-up story a listen afterwards. The production value was great, and those who enjoyed the fecund language of Ankor Sabat should go download it. However, I found the story less compelling as it was more action-oriented, and could have been better served by a more oblique sex interlude.

Oops, just realized this went into "What are you reading" and not this thread...

Clark Ashton Smith readings at

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/spoken-word/

I can definitely recommend "The Maze of Maâl Dweb" (which has something like a sequel in "The Flower-Women") and "The Empire of the Necromancers".  "The Door To Saturn" is surprisingly funny!  "The Dark Eidolon" is very outre.

First you expose us on the forums to the Black Mass and now this. This makes completing the last 5% or so of PseudoPod that much more difficult.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 04:53:53 AM by Fenrix »

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


Sgarre1

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Reply #64 on: May 21, 2011, 12:54:12 AM
Ahhh, and then try to make your way through "Mindwebs" (I'm not a sci-fi fan and even I'm enjoying them)



Millenium_King

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Reply #65 on: May 21, 2011, 09:16:54 PM
I've drug my feet on listening to this one, as I wanted to ensure I gave it a fair shake. I didn't want to let any feelings for the author and his acerbic tone in other threads muddling my opinion.

Yes... er...  Apologies to all for that.  As I read my older posts, I'm not sure exactly why I was such an asshole.  I could make empty excuses regarding the difficult time I was having in my life back then, but they are just that: empty excuses.

So apologies to all concerned.  I'll try not to be such a jerk anymore!

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


kibitzer

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Reply #66 on: May 22, 2011, 02:29:53 AM
I've drug my feet on listening to this one, as I wanted to ensure I gave it a fair shake. I didn't want to let any feelings for the author and his acerbic tone in other threads muddling my opinion.

Yes... er...  Apologies to all for that.  As I read my older posts, I'm not sure exactly why I was such an asshole.  I could make empty excuses regarding the difficult time I was having in my life back then, but they are just that: empty excuses.

So apologies to all concerned.  I'll try not to be such a jerk anymore!

I'm still a jerk but less than before. I hope. You should read some of my early postings.

Actually, no. Don't do that. [embarrassed]


Millenium_King

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Reply #67 on: April 15, 2012, 10:27:09 PM
My darkest thanks to everyone who enjoyed this story!

Finally, it is available in print!  It is collected in the new anthology Torn Realities available on Amazon.com!  Much thanks to Paul Anderson and Post Mortem Press for believing in my harrowing vision.

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


Unblinking

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Reply #68 on: August 21, 2014, 01:20:20 PM
I named this my #11 favorite Pseudopod episode:
http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2014/08/podcast-spotlight-pseudopod/



Fenrix

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Reply #69 on: August 21, 2014, 08:31:52 PM
I have set aside October to read all the Zothique stories by Clark Ashton Smith. I'll have to toss this one into my queue again for a relisten.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”