Author Topic: PC690: The Gannet Girl  (Read 611 times)


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on: August 03, 2021, 06:04:33 PM
PodCastle 690: The Gannet Girl

Author: Frances Rowat
Narrator: Kaitlyn Zivanovich
Host: Summer Fletcher
Audio Producer: Peter Behravesh

Previously published by On Spec magazine.


Show Notes
Rated PG

They said Castermay’s mother had held sea-glass in her mouth when she’d lain with the girl’s father, and that was why Castermay was standoffish and still, tongue weighted by salt and sand, and eyes the colour of the leeside lichen found on the chalk rocks in the saw-bladed grass. Castermay was not warmly welcome in the village longhouse where she lived with the other children who had no brothers or sisters, but her mother’s work was too valuable for her to be turned away.

Her mother lived down on the beach in a small hard house built on a flat rock between high tide and low, the roof of which was a favored perch for gannets. Four times a year, clear sky or storm, she walked into the waves and cut herself to bleed for the sea with a heavy bone knife, and so the sea within a day’s sailing was thick with life. The village sustained itself, and had more to cure with smoke or salt and trade uproad and inland, and losses to the sea were lighter than they might otherwise have been.

Castermay worked like any other child of an age to do so; she pulled in her own weight and more on the days she worked the nets, and her fingers were sure and her knots were firm, if ungainly. When she did not work, she walked the strip of rough beach between high tide and low with her mother, or spoke with the gannets that rested on the roof.

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Scuba Man

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Reply #1 on: August 04, 2021, 10:53:46 PM
I found the back-and-forth between…
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
otherwise it was gloriously atmospheric. Incidentally,
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I’ve never heard something like that before. Nice!

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Álex Souza

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Reply #2 on: August 11, 2021, 09:33:37 PM
Good story, but I have some notes.

The beginning is kinda like a fairy tale, with a summary of the MC’s life, and the rest of the story is a twisted fairy tale  of sorts. An orphan child protagonist, a witch, talking to animals...the setting is very "fairy-taly", but with some twists.

The fairy tale narration has its cons though. The one that caught my eye was the weak descriptions. Think about the Sea Witch for instance: “[she] had no bones, and no skin, but hung together within herself as a jellyfish might.” The image could’ve been better conveyed here.

I had an issue with the MC, Castermay. She's too stoic. On the one hand, her character deviates from the norm that we see in fairy tales; on the other, she just doesn’t feel human. That means she’s not belieavable. Maybe the author has tried too hard to write a deviation of a fairy tale protagonist.

I had to google "gannet", and I found out that, in British English, that's slang for greedy person.

Finally, this reminded me of Ponyo (2008) a bit. Even the theme of "care" is present. Too bad that's one of the wrost Ghibli films ever.

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