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Author Topic: PC008: The Osteomancer’s Son  (Read 31378 times)

birdless

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Reply #40 on: May 26, 2008, 03:13:10 AM
I enjoyed the story quite a bit... though for some reason it made my fingers feel greasy...

Like old fried chicken.

Is that normal?  ???
Seriously, TAD, how often have you been accused of being normal?
;D ;)



Windup

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Reply #41 on: May 26, 2008, 04:13:24 AM
I enjoyed the story quite a bit... though for some reason it made my fingers feel greasy...

Like old fried chicken.

Is that normal?  ???
Seriously, TAD, how often have you been accused of being normal?
;D ;)

And did the charge stick?? ;)
« Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 11:03:26 PM by Windup »

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AmoryLowe

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Reply #42 on: May 26, 2008, 10:45:21 AM
I read this story when it originally came out in Asimov's. I enjoyed it when I first read it, and Ben Phillips was the perfect reader for the story. He seems to pull off the 'lovable smartass' better than any other reader I've ever heard.

As for the story it, I thought it was a great little diatribe on how people can use their children to live out their own dreams and desires, and the effects it can have on the children after the parent is long gone and the child has to deal with the aftermath of their parents affect on them.

While it wasn't the best story on Podcastle so far (lady death is still so far the best for me), it was definitely a really good story.



contra

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Reply #43 on: May 26, 2008, 11:00:16 PM
This story felt like the pilot for the TV show 'Dresden files' ( I have't got around to the books bet, so I wont make the comparison to that).  ie, while it worked as a pilot, and it gave us an idea of the universe were in, really there is so much more.
If you have seen the extended pilot, it is a lot better.  This story may benefit from the same.

I liked it, but I want more.  I want more now...

So I suppose it worked

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Mike---Glasgow.  Scotland.-->


Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #44 on: May 27, 2008, 10:18:21 AM
I enjoyed the story quite a bit... though for some reason it made my fingers feel greasy...

Like old fried chicken.

Is that normal?  ???
Seriously, TAD, how often have you been accused of being normal?
;D ;)

And did the charge stick?? ;)

@birdless:  VERY rarely.

@Windup: I didn't even need a lawyer to beat that one.

I think if I ever met a "normal" person, they'd probably scare the daylights out of me.  Either that, or by being so unusually normal, they would blend into the parade of oddities that normally surrounds me.  ;)

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Listener

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Reply #45 on: May 27, 2008, 12:54:14 PM
Did he become the most powerful osteomancer in the west by being careless?

Villain Downfall seems to come from being too smug or too stupid. (Dang, it took ONE ship to blow up my Death Star? How did I not see that coming, especially when I did it myself when I was ten years old?!)

Wow.  I totally didn't make that connection until just now... I guess Phantom Menace was just that forgettable... So forgettable that even Darth Vader forgot it.

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DKT

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Reply #46 on: May 27, 2008, 06:14:48 PM
This story felt like the pilot for the TV show 'Dresden files' ( I have't got around to the books bet, so I wont make the comparison to that).  ie, while it worked as a pilot, and it gave us an idea of the universe were in, really there is so much more.
If you have seen the extended pilot, it is a lot better.  This story may benefit from the same.

I liked it, but I want more.  I want more now...

So I suppose it worked

See, this is part of what I love about this story (and other stories that do similar things on the sister 'casts) -- the "OMG I want to go explore more of that world for a year" feeling.  To me, that's a mark of a good story.  I love it when some stuff is only hinted at, and there's so much left for my own imagination to explore.  So long as the story is complete, of course.


MacArthurBug

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Reply #47 on: May 28, 2008, 02:00:11 AM
squee!  I'd read this before, and the reading got the "feel" of the authors voice dead on. GOOD story. More like this one please?

Oh, great and mighty Alasdair, Orator Maleficent, He of the Silvered Tongue, guide this humble fangirl past jumping up and down and squeeing upon hearing the greatness of Thy voice.
Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.


Austineze

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Reply #48 on: May 31, 2008, 02:50:09 AM
This story is the reason I signed up at the forums here. I have been a listener to EscapePod since last July, and PodCastle here since its debut, but this story is the only one that will not be deleted off of my iPod to make room for other, newer stories. It is the first one that I felt was worth several listenings just to capture the details and nuances of that world.

If I had to nitpick, I agree that the "showdown" was lacking. I was truly expecting that the hero's most powerful magic would merely allow him to escape, not actually defeat the master there in his own lair.

Keep up the good stuff - this is why I own an iPod!   ;D



Chivalrybean

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Reply #49 on: June 04, 2008, 12:19:11 AM
This story was crackin! Get it... ah.... never mind.

Like many PC stories I do like, it took me a while to like it, but overall this is my favorite action oriented piece.

I should make sure Norm Sherman heard this one...

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Planish

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Reply #50 on: June 08, 2008, 06:18:35 PM
Not my favourite PC story so far, but still two thumbs up.

I liked the U-turn I got when Daniel dismisses the usefulness and/or authenticity of the dragon turtle powder the vendor was trying to sell him, and then he says (to us) "I’ve experienced the genuine stuff. It’s in my bones." That was the Rabbit Hole for me.

The business with his father making use of the kraken spine instead of keeping it to sell for cash was an excellent way to introduce the father. You learn what he does, and you learn a lot about his character. It also sets up the Chekovian Gun for the finale, without spoiling it. It did distract me for a bit when I learned that his name was "John Blackland" because it kept reminding me of Prince/King John of England, aka "John Lackland".

I normally refer to Turtledove's "Case of the Toxic Spelldump" when talking about this type of story, ...
Aw. I wanted to make that comparison first. :'(

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Void Munashii

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Reply #51 on: June 09, 2008, 05:09:42 PM

I normally refer to Turtledove's "Case of the Toxic Spelldump" when talking about this type of story, ...
Aw. I wanted to make that comparison first. :'(

  Wow, you're the first person I've ever seen admit to reading that book.

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http://mallvillestory.blogspot.com


Planish

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Reply #52 on: June 10, 2008, 12:29:49 AM
  Wow, you're the first person I've ever seen admit to reading that book.
Are you kidding? I made it required reading for my two sons.
It's a hoot.

I feed The Pod.
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DarkKnightJRK

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Reply #53 on: June 12, 2008, 04:27:26 AM
Villain Downfall seems to come from being too smug or too stupid. (Dang, it took ONE ship to blow up my Death Star? How did I not see that coming, especially when I did it myself when I was ten years old?!)

10 years old? They never showed Vader in the movies before he became Vader. ???

*lives in Denial*

Anyway, I dug this one--I more prefer the type of fantasy stories that are about the more "modern" world then the usual sword-and-sorcery fare.

Also, I love this little bit:

"Is that a Sphinx?"
"Yes, one of three that was ever found."
"What happened to the other two?"
"I smoked them."

That and the "what's left of you I will drink down with green tea!" made me laugh. He was stereotypical and the final fight was kind-of too short, but damn was the Hierarch was a funny villian. ;D



yicheng

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Reply #54 on: July 09, 2008, 03:32:45 PM
...
I thought of that, but I don't think it works. Two reasons:

A - It's mentioned that the guards that are there are extremely powerful. Specifically, it's mentioned that the guys standing outside the warehouse are "not rent-a cop security", and that they are "the best money could buy" (around 12 minutes), and that the guys inside the warehouse "have received advanced training" and have "tasted deep magic" (around 26 minutes).

B- I can't think of a way to rationalize the heirarch using the police to get rid of magical opponents whose abilities he could forsee (like the father), but going alone to face unknown threats. Did he become the most powerful osteomancer in the west by being careless?

A - I get the impression that the invisibility glasses that Daniel wears were one of a kind, from a kind of magic that the Hierarch had not known about.  The Hierarch did specifically make a comment about how it was very clever that he used two seperate kinds of magic for invisibility.  It's highly possible that John Blackland, before he and the rest of the cabal were killed, was planning to use those to either filtrate the Hierarchy or help someone else infiltrate the Hierarchy, most probably to assassinate the Hierarch.

B - The name given to the assassination of the osteomancer's cabal was called the Night of the Long Knives.  In the real world, the Night of the Long Knives of 1934 was a political power grab against the Nazi SA and other dissenters by the Nazi SS, who answered only to Hitler.  Thousands of people were arrested, assassinated, imprisoned, and/or tortured into false confessions of treason, and then summarily executed.  While it is possible that the Hierarch *could* have taken out most of the Osteomancers individually by himself, he could not have personally killed more than a few before the rest of the Osteomancer's Cabal were alerted and took measures to escape or protect themselves.  It had to be a fast decisive coup to simultaneously arrest/kill as many of Hierarchy's political enemies as possible before they could react.  It is also important to realize that it's been a span of 6~10 years (since Daniel was still a young boy when his father died) since that night and when Daniel finally confronts the Hierarch.  It's highly possible that in the intervening years, while the Hierarch has been consolidating power and smoking every magical bone he could find, that he has let his guard down from megalomania or just gone out-of-his-gourd from long term exposure to osteomantic magic. 
 
Personally, my take is that John Blackland was *not* a well known Osteomancer before his death, although we can guess that he was a relatively important figure in the Cabal.  From Daniel's description it seemed like his father was a black sheep, and perhaps John had taken steps to hide the extent of his powers from the Hierarchy.  It may very well have been that John Blackland was *the* leader of the Cabal, and forced the police to kill him so as to not reveal the other members, and possibly to save his son from becoming a high-value target of the Hierarchy.  As for the final showdown, put yourself in the Hierarch's shoes.  You have a thief who's gotten past most of your best defenses, wearing very powerful magic that he obviously did not craft himself.  Do you 1) kill him immediately and never find out who sent this stooge, until maybe next time when it might be a handful of powerful osteomancers here to assassinate you?  or do you 2) capture him alive and see if he gives up some information before you drink his incinerated remains with tea?  While it could have been written a bit better, I thought it was fairly that the Hierarchy was attempting to subdue Daniel alive, and was taken utterly by surprise by Daniel's counter-attack.



Myrealana

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Reply #55 on: August 04, 2008, 08:19:00 PM
I loved this one. The mix of exposition and actions was excellent. I particualrly enjoyed the descriptions of Daniel's interaction with his father.

Yeah, the bad guy did get caught in a bit of classic bad-guy monloging. Good thing he did, or the story would have had a much sadder ending. ;)

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Lionman

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Reply #56 on: August 18, 2008, 05:56:45 PM
I have to say this is one of my favorite stories from PodCastle to date.  I thought it was well-told, and well-read.  But, then again, I'm probably a sucker for a story where the underdog overcomes the "evil overlord" as well as the father whose willing to do anything for his child...and in this case, more than one generation.

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Unblinking

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Reply #57 on: November 19, 2009, 07:52:01 PM
Overall, this one was fun.  It had the feel of the Pseudopod stories about the book collector, magic in a modern world.  The exposition was done well--it served to characterize and build up important details gradually so they didn't overwhelm.

But, there were a couple things that brought down my enjoyment:
-The sunglasses were so powerful as to make most of it fall flat tension-wise.  Nobody but the Heirarch had any kind of defense for them?  He didn't put much thought into the abilities of his guards if they can't penetrate known invisibility spells in any way whatsoever.
-The resolution was too easy.