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Author Topic: PC004: Goosegirl  (Read 26352 times)
cuddlebug
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« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2008, 05:52:21 AM »

I think the original witch was a villain. She took what was not hers and was willing to kill to keep it.


She was willing to threaten to kill. It was pretty unclear to me from the actual confrontation whether she had it in her (anymore?)

Quote
Another quibble that the "old king" and the "young princess" hook up. I think I would have liked it better if the "old king" was just the prince's older brother, who had been widowed without an heir, leaving the younger prince next in line.

The story made a point of stressing that the king wasn't really old (he had the prince when he was very young), and she was relatively old for an unmarried princess. I think he was in his forties and she was in her mid-twenties. Not a small gap, but not a particularly unconventional one.


See, that kind of thinking really bugs me. How shallow are we when we are having an "ugh" or "oh, that's strange" moment, when hearing that the "old/relatively young king", who has fathered a son etc. etc. now falls in love with a young (although as we find out, not actually quite as young) goosegirl, who - 'oh no, how can she' - falls for him too. Strange things, preconceptions and stereotypes. I blame it all on SOCIETY.  Wink

And frankly, I would pick the unconventional over the usual 'pretty girl falls in love with handsome prince and they live happily ever after' story any day.
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eytanz
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« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2008, 08:01:55 AM »


The story made a point of stressing that the king wasn't really old (he had the prince when he was very young), and she was relatively old for an unmarried princess. I think he was in his forties and she was in her mid-twenties. Not a small gap, but not a particularly unconventional one.


See, that kind of thinking really bugs me. How shallow are we when we are having an "ugh" or "oh, that's strange" moment, when hearing that the "old/relatively young king", who has fathered a son etc. etc. now falls in love with a young (although as we find out, not actually quite as young) goosegirl, who - 'oh no, how can she' - falls for him too. Strange things, preconceptions and stereotypes. I blame it all on SOCIETY.  Wink

Huh? What sort of thinking bugs you? Are you responding to me, or are you responding to JoeFitz?

JoeFitz was making a value judgement about the relationship; I wasn't, I was merely trying to point out that the author had  anticipated his reaction and tried to diffuse it in the text.
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2008, 09:19:34 AM »

A little quibble that the king and princess who were apparently genuine, decent people were unable to keep their offices but the power-hungry and envious took over.

I agree; it's too realistic, and this is supposed to be a fantasy story  Grin
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cuddlebug
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« Reply #43 on: April 27, 2008, 03:59:17 PM »


Huh? What sort of thinking bugs you? Are you responding to me, or are you responding to JoeFitz?

JoeFitz was making a value judgement about the relationship; I wasn't, I was merely trying to point out that the author had  anticipated his reaction and tried to diffuse it in the text.

Yeah, and that bugs me. Obviously we all have certain images in our head when thinking of 'a princess', 'a king', 'a witch' etc. We automatically make assumptions as to age, looks, character, ... I grew up with Grimm's fairy tales and loved them, but I have to admit, they did screw me up a bit when it comes to installing ideas of romance, chivalry, good vs evil etc. ... in a child's mind.

What bugs me is that an author would feel the need to make the relationship between the 2 main characters more believable by feeding our preconceptions and images.

My point was that I prefer stories that challenge these images, stories that make me realize how I myself am guilty of stereotyping .... If a story does that and destroys the effect and takes it back by saying, but, well ... actually he is not that old and she is not that young, then I am a little disappointed. Which does not mean I did not like the story as a whole.

PS: I am still trying to figure out how to quote properly, sorry if that was confusing.

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Roney
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« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2008, 04:47:55 PM »

The problem with viewing them as villain and victim is that they are so jumbled up that neither is who they are before — they both are going through this period of disquietude where they're neither one nor t'other, and eventually both emerge as new people.

Yes and no.  One thing I really liked about this story was being so close to the receiving end of one of these identity-mashing spells.  The witch was having a little bit of trouble with her dual history but -- being the caster -- had a reasonably coherent narrative of who she had been and who she was now.  The goose girl was left trying to piece together an identity from whatever fragments of the two people that the spell had left behind.  And yet the witch was anxious and paranoid and desperate to cling to her new position, whereas the goose girl was able to find what was important to her own happiness.  I got the impression from the story (although I don't think it was made explicit, so it may be my own interpretation) that this difference in attitude was mostly due to their original personalities, which the spell hadn't been able to overrule.

You could draw all kinds of unpleasant reactionary conclusions from this line of thought but, well, that's fairy tales for you.  I'm guessing that the original was just as bad.  (I haven't read it, but the bones of the story seem quite clear behind the flesh of this version.)

Anyway, it's a fascinating premise for exploring some nature vs nurture questions and I'd have loved to see it fleshed out a little more.  This is the second story (the other being "For Fear Of Dragons") that I've felt has been constrained by the formalism of the fairy tale format to take its potentially fascinating premise and reduce it to crude moralizing.  Which is the long-winded way of saying "I enjoyed these modern fairy tales but I wanted them to be more like SF."
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Roland
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« Reply #45 on: April 30, 2008, 02:39:26 PM »

I too did not already know the story of the Goosegirl and I think this story assumed you knew it beforehand, because I found it quite hard to follow in places and had to rewind a couple of time.
Overall it was OK, but not for me it did not have the spark to peek my interest.
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JoeFitz
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« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2008, 03:26:55 PM »

JoeFitz was making a value judgement about the relationship; I wasn't, I was merely trying to point out that the author had  anticipated his reaction and tried to diffuse it in the text.

I did make a value judgment. The King is eloping with his son's fiancee!

I'll give the author credit, though, for reversing and somewhat subverting the traditional power structure by the end of the story. At the beginning, he is the King (albeit in disguise) and she's a simple goosegirl. By the end, the woman turns out to be a powerful witch and he's just a swineherd. That being said, she remains very vulnerable and he knows the secret that could have her killed.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 09:32:08 PM by JoeFitz » Logged
birdless
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Five is right out.


« Reply #47 on: May 05, 2008, 02:50:37 PM »

Coming late to the party, but I'm going to have to go with the "Ditto Windup" party. I really liked it, and I wasn't at all familiar with this story beforehand. I enjoyed the gradual reveal, and never had to rewind it.
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Deaf Leper
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« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2008, 10:31:48 PM »

I thought it was great, and knew nothing about the story going in. I had to use my thinking cap for this one, not just my imagination, and it just felt really accesible.
Good narration, too. And Rachel Swirsky's intro was her best to date, though I might suggest the music be toned down during it. The music itself is really cool, but it seems just a bit overpowering when I'm trying to hear the introduction.
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"I used to think I was serving humanity....and I pleasured in the thought. Then I discovered that humanity does not want to be served; on the contrary it resents any attempt to serve it." - Jubal Harshaw
sonata
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« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2008, 09:52:17 PM »

This is the first PodCastle I haven't really enjoyed. I just felt pretty ho-hum all thoughout regarding the characters, the plot, etc.

However the narrator did a great job, and the intro was very insightful and well done. The intros are definitely getting better and better.
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Archie
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« Reply #50 on: June 20, 2008, 07:35:03 AM »

Liked it. I thought the lack of exposition fitted the main characters dilemma. Nice resolution and I can see why the swine herd would want to be just that.

A winner and one I will keep to relisten to.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2009, 01:34:18 PM »

Not a bad story, and I realize it was intended to be confusing, but it was too successful on that count.  I just kept on being confused.  Especially about the king/prince thing.  Were they the same person merged like the witch/princess?

I do like unreliable narrator stories, and I liked the way the fragmented personalities made two completely different characters than the story started with.
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