Author Topic: PC006: Hotel Astarte  (Read 39322 times)

eytanz

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Reply #25 on: May 09, 2008, 01:06:12 PM

Here's a picture of Columbia. Ack, bad picture! I removed the link! Don't go there!

Now I'm curious.

Quote
A better picture.



And quite apropos.



Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #26 on: May 09, 2008, 01:17:19 PM
I think it was a white supremacist site.



Biscuit

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Reply #27 on: May 12, 2008, 10:27:37 PM
This was like listening to a painting. It didn't matter what the story was.


DKT

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Reply #28 on: May 12, 2008, 10:52:04 PM
I'm in the camp that started out meh on this one, but really got into it right around the time Jacob Philadelphia died.  The story wouldn't let go of me after that point. 

Nice reading, too.


kathnich

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Reply #29 on: May 12, 2008, 11:57:12 PM
There were a lot of interesting associative images and ideas in this one, but I think overall I fall in with Ocicat and Listener.  I think having the myths of Astarte and Adonis up front was a bit distracting, because I kept trying to find the links and parallels with those myths instead of just letting the allegory play out on its own.

I agree with you on this.  I sort of see the parallels, but they're not that prominent and don't crop up 'til near the end.  So listening for them throughout was distracting.

What I heard and liked was some similarity to Carl Sandburg and his various stories mythologizing America.



JoeFitz

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Reply #30 on: May 13, 2008, 02:40:40 AM
I'm not really sure if I enjoyed this piece.

Unfortunately, I thought it fell into the absurd at times and that ruined the mood for me. The J.P. Morgan broker buying US Steel was hilarious and also just weird. I'm all for an allegorical retelling, but this seemed a might bit over-wrought.

re: reading French movies. I assumed it meant the movies had subtitles.

As a closing, I'm not pleased with the racial epithet used in this story. In my humble opinion, it added nothing to the story and I almost stopped listening. YMMV.



eytanz

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Reply #31 on: May 13, 2008, 03:07:33 AM
As a closing, I'm not pleased with the racial epithet used in this story. In my humble opinion, it added nothing to the story and I almost stopped listening. YMMV.

I disagree (about it adding nothing, not about your reaction). I thought it added a layer to the conflict between Philadelphia and the board; it showed that it was personal in more ways than one, even if his love for Columbia was the main issue. It was also historically accurate, and I think it fit in with the allegory as well. I don't think it was accidental that the warlock was Jewish, and I don't think it was unimportant that fact about him was the source of contempt.



JoeFitz

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Reply #32 on: May 13, 2008, 04:05:17 AM
As a closing, I'm not pleased with the racial epithet used in this story. In my humble opinion, it added nothing to the story and I almost stopped listening. YMMV.

I disagree (about it adding nothing, not about your reaction). I thought it added a layer to the conflict between Philadelphia and the board; it showed that it was personal in more ways than one, even if his love for Columbia was the main issue. It was also historically accurate, and I think it fit in with the allegory as well. I don't think it was accidental that the warlock was Jewish, and I don't think it was unimportant that fact about him was the source of contempt.

I do not disagree that the idea the Board had contempt based in part on racial prejudice adds something to the story, I merely dispute the particular epithet was necessary to convey that idea.



Windup

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Reply #33 on: May 13, 2008, 04:36:21 AM

I started off not being sure if I would like this one or not.   I initially picked at a couple of details, like the thousand-acres of row crops in the 20's, but it stopped bothering me once the mythic tone set in -- part of the mental reset from Escape Pod to Podcastle.  I got very comfortable with the idea that the relationships between, say, the regions and their iconic representatives were going to be ill-defined, just like that between the Greek and Roman dieties and their areas of responsibility. 

An area of mental speculation I've enjoyed lately is the whole question of how history becomes myth -- how the hard facts on the ground are gradually shaped into narrative by time, selective memory, and societal need. This was an interesting look at the process.  Not to mention that the language was beautiful and the characters were engaging. 

As I'd say to my Illumio RSS feed organizer: "More Like This." (Please.)

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birdless

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Reply #34 on: May 13, 2008, 05:00:34 AM
re: reading French movies. I assumed it meant the movies had subtitles.
Also, this was, what, in the years preceding and into 1929? The first talkie wasn't until 1927, so, yeah, most films were read back then. Of course, they were also watched, so... it was a strange choice of words. Before The Jazz Singer, did they really say, "Hey, you wanna go read a movie tonight?" :P



eytanz

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Reply #35 on: May 13, 2008, 06:56:00 AM
I do not disagree that the idea the Board had contempt based in part on racial prejudice adds something to the story, I merely dispute the particular epithet was necessary to convey that idea.

Necessary? I'm not sure about that, but I thought it was effective and not gratuitous.

That said, I think it definitely stood out, partially because of the audio medium. For me, at least, reading (any) racial epithet in a written story does not usually cause an emotional response, but hearing it spoken aloud makes it shocking. While I do not think it detracted from the story, I did certainly find it salient while I was listening, in a way that perhaps exceeded the author's original intention.



Chey

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Reply #36 on: May 13, 2008, 01:48:09 PM
A solid 'meh' from me.  I enjoyed the ending, I like alternative history.  A while back Escape Pod ran a story with Stalin as the head of the US during the depression.  This reminded me of that concept, and caused me to warm to the story.

But between the exposition and the convluted world building at the beginning I found myself slightly lost and a bit annoyed.  Beautifully painted prose is wonderful, but I need something to grab and keep my attention.  Instead I was distracted by word choices, attempting to visulize what the author was describing, and trying to find the connections from the intro to the story. 

Just a thought.  It would me more enjoyable if the explination of the myth referenced in the story came after the story.  Alistar in Pseudopod has fantasic outros, so I don't think an intro is required to make the podcast fly.  And if I hear about the extras going into the story after I've had a chance to get my own impressions clean, it would make the story more enjoyable.  Rather than feeling like I've missed the joke somehow.

The reading was good though.  :)



Sleestaxx

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Reply #37 on: May 13, 2008, 05:08:28 PM
i just wanted to say the story rocked! I would have to learn three additional languages to express how much i liked this story.
i only wish i could be surrounded by stories that spoke to me like this one did. I can not think of a single story that ever was like this one.

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Void Munashii

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Reply #38 on: May 13, 2008, 05:17:19 PM
A solid 'meh' from me.  I enjoyed the ending, I like alternative history.  A while back Escape Pod ran a story with Stalin as the head of the US during the depression.  This reminded me of that concept, and caused me to warm to the story.


  Which story was that? I don't remember that one, and I thought I had heard them all.

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stePH

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Reply #39 on: May 13, 2008, 05:25:14 PM
A solid 'meh' from me.  I enjoyed the ending, I like alternative history.  A while back Escape Pod ran a story with Stalin as the head of the US during the depression.  This reminded me of that concept, and caused me to warm to the story.


  Which story was that? I don't remember that one, and I thought I had heard them all.

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Planish

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Reply #40 on: May 14, 2008, 09:40:29 AM
Well.
For the first five minutes or so, I thought "meh", but I persevered.
It just went downhill. It would engage me for a few sentences at times, but didn't have any momentum, and I didn't care about any of the characters.

Somehow it reminded me of the episode of ST:TNG where some entities took over the Enterprise and several of the main characters had to wear these masks and act out some ancient myth. That was painful.

This was the most difficult PodCastle story I've listened to.
The second- or third-most difficult if you include EP and PP stories.

Quote
Quote
A better picture.


And quite apropos.
Yes it is. Or this one:

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Anarkey

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Reply #41 on: May 14, 2008, 03:04:54 PM
I LOVED this story!  Yay!  Thanks, PodCastle.  Interesting setting, gorgeous descriptions, mythic resonances.  All in all, very nice, and nicely done.

That said, I have to agree with other posters in the wandering attention issue.  I kept realizing that I'd missed two minutes of text and having to rewind.  The story kept losing me.  I don't really know if this was a momentum issue in the writing, or whether it was the reader, or possibly some combination thereof.  The reading was delivered in a very regular monotone, practically without inflection and I'm leaning toward casting blame in that direction, but I honestly don't know, maybe there wasn't enough tension in the story to keep me engaged.  But I was interested even if it wasn't continuous interest and I kept dutifully rewinding and listening again and again until I had it.  And I loved it in almost every aspect.  I even liked that it wasn't high pressure go go go and I could leave it and then come back to it (it took me about four days to listen to in its entirety, going over some parts many times).  Seems to me that in contrast of tone and pacing, it was a perfect followup to Ant King, demonstrating PodCastle's commitment to exploring different aspects of fantasy.  That was certainly different from the listening experience I normally expect.  But it was very satisfying and I think it has strong potential for re-listens, and things I can go back to and be refreshed with again I value very highly.

One thing I thought was weird though, maybe someone can explain...the knife JP uses to cut the Prince with is obsidian the first time he uses it, but later the Prince is using it to slice apples and it's silver.  What does this mean?  Anyone know?

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corydodt

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Reply #42 on: May 14, 2008, 08:39:46 PM
Well, I thought this piece was brilliant.  My favorite PC story so far.  When the warlock started laughing out loud uncontrollably at the end, as I saw the pieces coming together, I was laughing the same way.



eytanz

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Reply #43 on: May 17, 2008, 01:58:44 PM
One thing I thought was weird though, maybe someone can explain...the knife JP uses to cut the Prince with is obsidian the first time he uses it, but later the Prince is using it to slice apples and it's silver.  What does this mean?  Anyone know?

Oh yeah, I remember being puzzled at that, but then I forgot about it (it's the sign of a good story when I forget a possible nitpick). I don't know if this was an authorial slip or an intentional shift. Anyone have any idea?



Shotobouv

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Reply #44 on: May 26, 2008, 04:26:24 PM
Really a blah story, might be a better read then an audio story.

I really don't get how you can sleep with someone, go to meet other people, allow your self to be killed not to reveal their location. Yet, somehow later be traveling with them. What did she do, mail the child to a dead guy?

Just no.



eytanz

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Reply #45 on: May 26, 2008, 04:29:53 PM
I really don't get how you can sleep with someone, go to meet other people, allow your self to be killed not to reveal their location. Yet, somehow later be traveling with them. What did she do, mail the child to a dead guy?

I'm really unsure what you are trying to say here - could you please elaborate a bit?



Shotobouv

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Reply #46 on: May 31, 2008, 05:41:33 PM
I really don't get how you can sleep with someone, go to meet other people, allow your self to be killed not to reveal their location. Yet, somehow later be traveling with them. What did she do, mail the child to a dead guy?

I'm really unsure what you are trying to say here - could you please elaborate a bit?

Sure, from what I cared to remember, you had Licorice marry and sleep with Columbia at the Hotel Astarte. Then he leaves to get killed and not reveal her where abouts. So, Licorice is now the dead wizard, or what ever his name is now, and goes back to the midwest. The dead wizard/Licorice, whatever his name is, returns to New York with his son. How did that happen? His son has his own heart and his moms, Columbia.

I think I should have turned the story off after 7 minuets, I would have been better off.



Anarkey

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Reply #47 on: June 01, 2008, 12:13:43 AM
Sure, from what I cared to remember, you had Licorice marry and sleep with Columbia at the Hotel Astarte. Then he leaves to get killed and not reveal her where abouts. So, Licorice is now the dead wizard, or what ever his name is now, and goes back to the midwest. The dead wizard/Licorice, whatever his name is, returns to New York with his son. How did that happen? His son has his own heart and his moms, Columbia.

I think I should have turned the story off after 7 minuets, I would have been better off.

I'm like eytanz, a little puzzled about whether you wish to have the plot explained to you or not.  You posit questions that can be easily enough answered, saying these questions are what cause the story not to make sense as though they aren't answered, but then imply you have no interest in those answers anyway.  I honestly can't figure out whether you want to know or not. 

That said, I can clarify one point straight off: there's no real indication that Licorice is from the midwest or has ever been there before he's summoned by the King.  So he's not going "back".  He's going there for the first time.  The Hotel Astarte is back East, but Columbia flees to the midwest after he disappears that night.  Licorice goes there because he's been summoned by the King's spellcasters and the story dates indicate that a couple of decades have passed (the passages are dated, so it's easy enough to look up how much time has passed exactly, I'm just being lazy and so not looking it up atm).

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Shotobouv

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Reply #48 on: June 01, 2008, 11:03:59 PM
Sure, from what I cared to remember, you had Licorice marry and sleep with Columbia at the Hotel Astarte. Then he leaves to get killed and not reveal her where abouts. So, Licorice is now the dead wizard, or what ever his name is now, and goes back to the midwest. The dead wizard/Licorice, whatever his name is, returns to New York with his son. How did that happen? His son has his own heart and his moms, Columbia.

I think I should have turned the story off after 7 minuets, I would have been better off.

I'm like eytanz, a little puzzled about whether you wish to have the plot explained to you or not.  You posit questions that can be easily enough answered, saying these questions are what cause the story not to make sense as though they aren't answered, but then imply you have no interest in those answers anyway.  I honestly can't figure out whether you want to know or not. 

That said, I can clarify one point straight off: there's no real indication that Licorice is from the midwest or has ever been there before he's summoned by the King.  So he's not going "back".  He's going there for the first time.  The Hotel Astarte is back East, but Columbia flees to the midwest after he disappears that night.  Licorice goes there because he's been summoned by the King's spellcasters and the story dates indicate that a couple of decades have passed (the passages are dated, so it's easy enough to look up how much time has passed exactly, I'm just being lazy and so not looking it up atm).

Just didn't care about the story, tried to, but just could not. Found all the name changes back and forth annoying, and then the 2 hearts.

I really think this story would have been better to read then to hear.




Archie

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Reply #49 on: June 20, 2008, 12:39:56 PM
I loved this one. A dead warlock who died for love and comes back for revenge...how can that ever make for a bad story! Then layer in the history and the mythology and it's a straight 10 out of 10!

Marvelous!