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Author Topic: PseudoPod 767: Death Has Red Hair  (Read 251 times)

Bdoomed

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on: July 27, 2021, 01:37:48 PM
PseudoPod 767: Death Has Red Hair

Author: Greye La Spina
Narrator: Dennis Robinson
Host: Scott Campbell
Audio Producer: Chelsea Davis

“Death Has Red Hair” was originally published in Weird Tales in September of 1942. This story is surprising in being an early entry that is unabashedly feminist with multiple shades of “street harassment” on display.



We three men were hugging the open fire closely. The raw chill of that November night had closed in around us and the blazing logs yielded grateful warmth.

Peter Murray was leaning forward in his chair, looking absentmindedly into the leaping flames that sent flickering shadows to dancing on the walls behind us. Hank Walters was staring at Peter and I was watching both my guests with curious speculation that had risen in me since that afternoon’s encounter.

I could have sworn that Hank’s black eyes held an expression at once envious and inimical as he bent his gaze sourly on Peter’s handsome, perplexed young face. I was both dismayed and sorry, for the older man possessed a weapon that might cut the brightness out of Peter’s life; Magda Farrar was his. foster-daughter and his ward, and to young Peter she symbolized and embodied everything desirable in life.

“Come out of it, you two,” growled I, irritated and uneasy at their silence. “This is a shooting party, not a wake.”

Peter’s bright blue eyes turned from the fire. He met my gaze and chuckled.




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Álex Souza

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Reply #1 on: August 14, 2021, 11:32:45 PM
The narrator is very talented. He used some kind of hillbilly-ish American accent that I couldn’t identify. His change of voice from when he reads the title to when he starts the story is notorious. Although weird at first, I personally liked it; it dragged me into that world a little more.

The author has the addiction to comment on every single line of dialogue, which she does by using adverbs. Although she’s used a diverse set of adverbs for this, the repetition made it go a little over the top. I’d cut that if I were her editor. Also, the narrator didn’t seem to follow the dialog tags, for his tone didn’t match what the descriptions said.

The climax was kinda weak, but I liked this story because its theme reminded me of stories like Medusa or the Japanese urban legend Kuchisake Onna or La Llorona from Latin American folklore. Women seeking revenge after being subdued by men are all over mythologies and urban legends, from all over the world. The girl having red hair and the will o’ wisp made me think about Irish folklore. That put, I think the author lost the gold opportunity of giving this story a modern American feel (other than the accents). If she tried to do that, I've failed to see it.

The protagonist is also a weird plot device. He's like a Gary Stu, and I don't understand why he's even there in the story if he's also the narrator. If I were the editor, I'd cut him too.

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Fenrix

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Reply #2 on: August 18, 2021, 12:56:12 AM
That put, I think the author lost the gold opportunity of giving this story a modern American feel (other than the accents).

It worth noting here, and with a number of your other reflections, that this story is about 80 years old. I think it was already pretty subversive for a woman to get a story like this about catcalling and revenge. Even if the author set it in a modern setting, that would still be several generations ago.

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


DennisRobinson

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Reply #3 on: August 18, 2021, 02:06:46 AM
The narrator is very talented. He used some kind of hillbilly-ish American accent that I couldn’t identify. His change of voice from when he reads the title to when he starts the story is notorious. Although weird at first, I personally liked it; it dragged me into that world a little more.

Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed my read of the story.



Álex Souza

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Reply #4 on: August 18, 2021, 08:28:30 PM
That put, I think the author lost the gold opportunity of giving this story a modern American feel (other than the accents).

It worth noting here, and with a number of your other reflections, that this story is about 80 years old. I think it was already pretty subversive for a woman to get a story like this about catcalling and revenge. Even if the author set it in a modern setting, that would still be several generations ago.
I noticed the story's age, and I wasn't going to read the story until I read the author's bio (something I usually don't do). But I wasn't commenting specifically on the year that the story takes place. It's hard to explain, but I was thinking about rewriting the myth. It's certainly not easy and it isn't certain that it would make the story any better. I just thought it would dope. I also can't think of any examples right now :o  Maybe Jennifer's Body and the succubus?

OK, I better call it a day :-X :-X :-X :-X :-X

The narrator is very talented. He used some kind of hillbilly-ish American accent that I couldn’t identify. His change of voice from when he reads the title to when he starts the story is notorious. Although weird at first, I personally liked it; it dragged me into that world a little more.

Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed my read of the story.
Oh, is it really you?  :o Kudos again, great narration. And I've seen your picture: anyone ever told you you look like Macaulay Culkin? :P :P

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DennisRobinson

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Reply #5 on: August 25, 2021, 02:30:18 AM

[/quote]
Oh, is it really you?  :o Kudos again, great narration. And I've seen your picture: anyone ever told you you look like Macaulay Culkin? :P :P
[/quote]

Haha yup it's really me. I was invited to check out the forums after the episode went up. Hahaha no, I've been told I look like a few celebrities (even had a security guard chase me a couple blocks without me knowing because he thought I was Ashton Kutcher back in the day) but not that one. I see him on one of my favorite youtube channels (Redlettermedia) from time to time, but never thought that. Thanks! :P



Scattercat

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Reply #6 on: September 02, 2021, 08:18:55 AM
I'd never thought of will-o-wisps as particularly angry before.  Straight murdering someone for harassment is a Mood though.

Dude was amazingly committed to a strategy that cannot possibly have ever worked well, even with a lot of internalized misogyny.  He's so confident that women love it when you steal their hats and threaten them with guns that he sulks for an entire day about being interrupted.  Like, even assuming he's managed to bully people into sex before, it wouldn't have gone great for anyone involved.  Hank has never once had a good lay, is what I'm getting at.  He's like someone who's only ever eaten McDonald's lecturing about how to cook beef.