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Author Topic: PC005: The Ant King: A California Fairy Tale  (Read 47199 times)

Bdoomed

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Reply #50 on: May 05, 2008, 01:55:31 AM
HAAAAAAAAaaahahahahahahahahahaha!  If anyone has seen Invader Zim (and liked it), i think you'd like this one!  it has the same type of reactions, the surreal, either too calm or too overblown, or just plain wrong reactions.  Its perfect!  I loved it, all of it!  Everyone was so nonchalant about everything, cept Corpse.  :P

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


stePH

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Reply #51 on: May 05, 2008, 03:25:46 AM
HAAAAAAAAaaahahahahahahahahahaha!  If anyone has seen Invader Zim (and liked it), i think you'd like this one!  it has the same type of reactions, the surreal, either too calm or too overblown, or just plain wrong reactions.  Its perfect!  I loved it, all of it!  Everyone was so nonchalant about everything, cept Corpse.  :P

I love Invader Zim.  And it's been on my mind quite a bit lately since I've been playing Psychonauts for free on Gametap ... not only is the atmosphere of the whole game very reminiscent of Invader Zim, but the main character Razputin is voiced by Richard Horvitz, who also voiced Zim (though Raz in the game talks more like Dib).

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising


Bdoomed

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Reply #52 on: May 05, 2008, 03:43:15 AM
:D yay a fellow fan! id start a whole convo here but i dont want to get off topic :P
and boy could i get off topic!

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


stePH

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Reply #53 on: May 05, 2008, 05:12:15 AM
:D yay a fellow fan! id start a whole convo here but i dont want to get off topic :P
and boy could i get off topic!

Start a thread in Gallimaufry ... or maybe even in the general Science Fiction section.  I'll meet you there.  :)

Back on-topic, I didn't find myself thinking of Invader Zim while listening to this story.

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising


Hatton

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Reply #54 on: May 05, 2008, 05:33:41 PM
I think I'll go with Steve's comments of brain-bending.  I got the mythos and the history and even the cheesy play-on-names... but as others have said, the narrative style was too stilted for me... literally hearing, "he said" and "she said" 50,000 times broke the 4th wall for me.

Something else to comment on, not about just this episode but most, is the intro/outro moments; I think the background music is a touch too loud - I'm listening on good quality headphones and the music distracts me from the person.  Not sure if that effect put me in the wrong mindset from the beginning or not.

Hatton

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birdless

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Reply #55 on: May 05, 2008, 08:22:09 PM
When I heard the intro, I groaned, thinking I was going to hate this story. And by all rights, I should have... but I didn't! I just let comprehension, sense and reason go and went with the flow of the narrative and ended up really, really enjoying this story. I didn't make the Persephone connection—like someone else, I thought of Pac Man first, especially with the inclusion of the Adventure references (which made me laugh!). I'm pretty sure there were other references that I missed that would make me like this story even more if I knew what they were, but, regardless, it was just fun. Pure and simple fun.



Windup

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Reply #56 on: May 06, 2008, 05:05:12 AM
This story completely cracked me up. Several times.  And I caught less than half the game references. 

I'm an Iowan (more-or-less the anti-California), though I did live in California for a little less than a year in the early 80's. (BTW, Rachel, if you were here all winter, I feel like I should extend some sort of personal apology for the weather.  I hated it, and didn't have the contrast with San Jose.  Unfortunately, it was just regression to the mean after two soft winters in a row.)

Anyway, I thought it was great fun, and really showed off the broad range of modern fantasy. 

Like many others, I thought Steve was the perfect narrator for this story.

Keep'em coming...



« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 04:21:59 AM by Windup »

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crowsdream

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Reply #57 on: May 07, 2008, 12:29:49 AM
I was really looking forward to this story. I moved away from CA a couple of years ago and I miss it terribly, additionally, I love weird postomderny stuff, but I didn't like this tale. The only thing I really enjoyed was the name "Corpse." It felt like it was rushed and pointless. The weirdness was not nearly weird enough, but rather two dimensional. I did not feel like the author captured anything new or special about California. Maybe spending a large chunk of my life in the state does not help, because the imagery seemed old and trite, even boring, and superficial. I really was hoping for a more substantive and intelligent story. It felt like I was reading bad fan fiction.

That said, the whole "underworld" theme was fascinating, especially because this morning I was thanking the world for the return of persephone. While the reference to the myth might have been intentional, it did not go far enough for my taste.



contra

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Reply #58 on: May 08, 2008, 07:03:27 PM
HAAAAAAAAaaahahahahahahahahahaha!  If anyone has seen Invader Zim (and liked it), i think you'd like this one!  it has the same type of reactions, the surreal, either too calm or too overblown, or just plain wrong reactions.  Its perfect!  I loved it, all of it!  Everyone was so nonchalant about everything, cept Corpse.  :P

I love Invader Zim.  And it's been on my mind quite a bit lately since I've been playing Psychonauts for free on Gametap ... not only is the atmosphere of the whole game very reminiscent of Invader Zim, but the main character Razputin is voiced by Richard Horvitz, who also voiced Zim (though Raz in the game talks more like Dib).

I wondered why I loved this story.  I live in Glasgow Scotland... its not exactly LA.  but then I love Zim, and Psychonauts. (if you don't know the game watch the review by  Yahzee at http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/zeropunctuation/1368-Zero-Punctuation-Psychonauts )
I loved the insanity of all of this; and yes... its all very zim.  I agree. 

My mind didn't bend at all at the speed that the world moved at, how fortunes changed or LA being as fake as games.  Thats the main thing this game made me think about.  That LA is as fake as a computer game; it's brilliantly unreal.  I loved the getting of a magical sword on ebay.  This story said that hollywood stories were all... erm... stories.
>_>Let me try that again. 

This work of fiction said that all tales of sucess in hollywood are movies in their own right. Fantastical, brilliant, And made up.

Good stuff.

Though this story could be set in the middle of the escape pod ep ''Save Me Plz'' (EP124) and make sense without it having to be LA....

But hey...

---
Mike---Glasgow.  Scotland.-->


zoom

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Reply #59 on: May 09, 2008, 02:07:34 AM
I have been listening to Escape Pod for about 6 months and PodCastle since it started.  I frequented the old BBS scene, played Zork, and spent hours playing Legend of the Red Dragon.  I was one of the earliest users of Mozilla browsers on the East Coast, back when only Universities really had access to the net.  Plus, I play forumwarz which draws heavily on these types of themes.  For all of these reasons, I should have loved a story that brought back these memories.

However, this story was by far the worst I have heard.  Steve narrated great, and I liked the intro, but Stan was a completely unlikeable character.  He was a disgrace to nerds everywhere because he let stuff happen to him.  He had no particular ambition or marketable skills.  Sheila was a gold digger waiting for her chance and clearly had no feelings for Stan.  What kind of "Fairy tale" is that?  The epilogue was needed, though.  It was rather like getting to hear the jury pass a unanimous verdict of guilty for all characters involved in the story, who had committed fictional homicide against the characters that could have been.  Justice in a way...

That being said, characters like these people are celebrities in reality TV these days.  Its no wonder I hate reality TV so much.






RKG

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Reply #60 on: May 09, 2008, 02:11:59 AM
There were some hilarious images and characters.  Stan going to a waterpark with a sword.  The Ant King on the couch chomping dorritos.  Vampire trying to help Stan navigate through the tunnels.  Vampire and Corpse pretty much cracked me up whenever they spoke.  And Steve's reading was great -- I'm not sure how much I would've enjoyed it without Steve's reading.

My favorite image in the story is when Corpse, the androgynous anti-social anarchist, is waiting patiently for the light to turn green on the ride. 

Reminds me of my all-time favorite newspaper headline (from the Minneapolis Star&Tribune, circa 1985):  "Anarchists Organize for March"

Second to the praise for Steve's reading - another fine performance.

rkg  101010


kathnich

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Reply #61 on: May 13, 2008, 12:07:38 AM
Obviously I was wrong. Upon finishing this story, I thought to myself "what the hell?"

It took you that long?  I think I started thinking that about 10 minutes in.  Never got over it.

Maybe not quite geeky enough for this one.



Chey

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Reply #62 on: May 13, 2008, 01:41:47 PM
I could not get into this one at all.  The first escape artists podcast I've turned off due to story and not technical issues.  Which suprised the hell out of me.  I'm a huge fantasy fan, my bookshelves will prove it.  Perhaps it was just the type of story.  This reminded me of Charles de Lint's urban/fantasy mix, or Gaiman's Anastzi Boys.  Neither of which I enjoy. (Though I loved Gaiman's other things)

It was just too confusing.  Overly, uneccessarily, confusing.

Podcastle is sitting at 2 good ones so far for me. (Come Lady Death and Run of the Firey Horse)



Deaf Leper

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Reply #63 on: May 14, 2008, 03:31:00 AM
I just feel like, this early in the Podcast, there should be a little more "fantasy" in the fantasy. Not that every story needs to be wizards, warriors amd white horses, but I guess I was just expecting a bit more of those kind of stories out of the gate. But I'm really not trying to define or limit the genre. Really, I'm not!
This story certainly qualified as fantasy, as opposed to any notion of reality. It held my interest, but I was left having to admit that I had absolutely no idea what had happened, or if anything was supposed to have actually happened.
And even though Rachel Swirsky said said she didn't think the story was that weird in her intro, I'm inclined to respectfully call b.s. Not that weird? I wouldn't be shocked if David Cronenberg was working on the screenplay as we speak.

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zZzacha

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Reply #64 on: May 22, 2008, 11:37:33 AM
Oo, I loved this story! Great references to the 90s corporate bussiness, the games, even Greek mythology [as I read on this forum..] in a wonderful surreal world [I'm always a sucker for that].
The story is full of nicely put puns and jokes and even though I must have missed half of the references, it was great fun listening to it, especially since it was so very very well read by Steve Eley!

It is never too late to be what you might have been.


netwiz

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Reply #65 on: May 25, 2008, 10:30:57 PM
I thought this was just superb. I thought the storyline was great, the oddball stuff was great, it was all great. I like it when really weird stuff happens but it just gets treated as normal. More please.



sonata

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Reply #66 on: June 03, 2008, 11:03:44 PM
I was very pleasantly surprised with this one!

I originally wasn't very inspired to listen to this story since the summary really didn't interest me--it seemed to surreal and abstract to really catch and hold my attention. But when I finally did get around to listening to it, I enjoyed "The Ant King" so much!

It was funny and heartfelt and so unexpected.

Great choice, PodCastle. One of the best so far.



lieffeil

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Reply #67 on: June 16, 2008, 10:35:09 PM
It made me laugh, a lot. In public.
And it made me want a gum ball...
That marks a good story.

...you've got three metric seconds.


deflective

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Reply #68 on: June 16, 2008, 10:50:19 PM
get more gumballs from this american life 357: the truth will out. the podcasts are only available for week, so grab it quick if it's still up.

it has a solid urban fantasy story near the beginning, had me thinking of this story.



Cerebrilith

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Reply #69 on: June 17, 2008, 12:38:42 AM
That story from This American Life was much better then this one, in my humble opinion anyway :-)



Ocicat

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Reply #70 on: June 18, 2008, 10:51:07 PM
Heh.  When I was listening to that story This American Life, I was thinking that it would have made a great Podcastle episode.  I didn't pick up on the gumball connection though, at least not consciously.



Sandikal

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Reply #71 on: June 21, 2008, 11:23:11 PM
I thought this was a terrific story.  Frankly, I was really hesitant to even try PodCastle because I was afraid that all of the stories would be medieval dungeons, dragons and wizards fantasy.  I was delighted that the first story I listened to was none of these.  It was funny and fantastic.  I'm going to be seeking out more of this author's work.

For the record, I love Charles de Lint and I like the Neil Gaiman works I've read.  I hated "The Golden Compass" and got totally bored and stopped reading "The Lord of the Rings" a couple of chapters into the second book.  "The Ant King" kind of reminds me (sort-of, not-really) of "Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold" by Terry Brooks. 



Schreiber

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Reply #72 on: July 19, 2008, 07:05:33 AM
Quote
Frankly, I was really hesitant to even try PodCastle because I was afraid that all of the stories would be medieval dungeons, dragons and wizards fantasy.

I'll admit that I felt the same way about Podcastle when I first heard Escape Artists was branching out again.  Not that there's anything wrong with dungeons, wizards, and dragons.  I just had a sneaking suspicion that PodCastle would be more limited in scope, less bold when it came to breaking convention, and just generally less topical than EscapePod or Pseudopod.  I was very wrong.

I'll be honest...I love EscapePod and Pseudopod.  I listen to them both every week.  Stephen Eley, Ben Philips and Alisdaire Stuart do fantastic work.  But I feel that right now, over these last couple months, this podcast has been the strongest of the three.  Maybe that's just because it's newer and still feels it has something to prove.  Maybe my tastes run in different directions than I thought they did.  Or maybe -and I think this last one is probably the case- the genre of "fantasy" is broader and more inclusive than science fiction or horror.  EscapePod used to tackle everything.  Then Pseudopod started tackling everything that was too dark for EscapePod.  Now PodCastle seems to be tackling everything that doesn't have to do with serial killers or aliens, and that's a pretty broad range of topics.

Anyway, all that to say I'm enjoying PodCastle and look forward to more stories.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2008, 07:08:22 AM by Schreiber »



wossName

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Reply #73 on: July 20, 2008, 09:14:58 PM
I was really hesitant to even try PodCastle because I was afraid that all of the stories would be medieval dungeons, dragons and wizards fantasy.

That's so true. I was thinking "great, I can't even keep up with EP, now I need to subscribe to one about elves if I want to hear another Squonk the Dragon story?". How wrong I was. :)
The Ant King is one of my two favourite stories so far.

P.S.: Still waiting for that Squonk the Dragon story...



wintermute

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Reply #74 on: July 21, 2008, 03:02:04 PM
Apparently, Squonk will be grandfathered in on EscapePod.

Science means that not all dreams can come true