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Author Topic: Pseudopod 85: Living in Sepia  (Read 17519 times)

Unblinking

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Reply #25 on: November 03, 2009, 06:41:53 PM
I gave this story a try but after seemingly endless scene description without any substantive content:  next.



Millenium_King

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Reply #26 on: July 22, 2010, 12:57:06 AM
I thought a long and hard about this one, but in the end I have to give it a negative reaction.  Although it was good, I can specifically enumerate what it did wrong, but I have very little to say about what it did right.

Firstly, the language: this bugged me the most.  The diction nor tone is nowhere near the hifalutin prose of someone like Johnathan Swift - yet it seemed to make fumbling attempts every now and then.  The inclusion of such "thesaurus words" made the prose seem jarring in some places, particularly when held in contrast to such simplistic phrases as "some stuff" or the in-narration swear words.

The story starts, as many seem to, with a length stretch of description regarding the character and the setting - but not so much as a hint of plot.  This structure is one of my least favorite: 70% characterization & backstory (ie. "slice of life") followed by 30% actual plot.  I appreciated the subtle characterization (particularly regarding the molestation) but was off put because, well, what else was there to this story?

And what of the plot?  The comparison to The 6th Sense is obvious - but in a larger sense, the person who turns out to be a ghost is an old hat.  The unreliable narrator was a nice touch (which has warded off my accusations of withheld information), but I really didn't see much originality or substance to the story in the end.  Likewise, the woman's madness plays out in the typical manner: paranoia that leads to murder.

To see a more subtle, disturbing vision of a woman losing her grip on reality and subsequent (implied) suicide there is nothing better than Ray Bradbury's "The Cistern."  I think he has another, similar story of a woman who dies of a bizarre mix of ennui and dread in Mexico, but I cannot for the life of me remember the name.  It might have been "En La Noche" - anyone else read that story?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 01:04:14 AM by Millenium_King »

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Sgarre1

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Reply #27 on: July 22, 2010, 06:34:14 AM
Quote
I think he has another, similar story of a woman who dies of a bizarre mix of ennui and dread in Mexico, but I cannot for the life of me remember the name.  It might have been "En La Noche" - anyone else read that story?

I haven't read that one but could it have been "The Next In Line" (husband and wife visit Mexican catacombs with mummified peasants - wife slowly goes mad as trip continues) or possibly "Interval In Sunlight" (although the wife doesn't die, she just succumbs to the inevitability of her passive agressive relationship with her husband who's jealous of her nascent writing career)?

“In order for a thing to be horrible, it has to suffer a change you can recognize.”
Ray Bradbury, “The Next In Line”



Millenium_King

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Reply #28 on: July 22, 2010, 09:55:39 PM
"The Next In Line" that's it - thanks!  I couldn't find my damn copy of The October Country but I thought it was one of the ones in there.

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