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Author Topic: Pseudopod 96: The Cutting Room  (Read 13681 times)
Bdoomed
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« on: June 27, 2008, 01:25:43 PM »

Pseudopod 96: The Cutting Room

By Shane Jiraiya Cummings

Read by Damaris Mannering

Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae.

The plaque gleamed, caught on the cusp of shadows and fluorescent light. Burnished copper letters. Stark Roman font.

“This is the place where death delights to help the living.” Parrish’s recital of the phrase was now ritual as he donned the second pair of latex gloves. They snapped into place with a satisfying echo that hung in the air. Smells of rubber and disinfectants clung to the place, thinly masking the stench of decay.

The plaque had been there for as long as he could remember, even before the tenure of crazy old Doc Kaufmann, who once famously ate a cadaver’s eyeball, and perversely, taught him everything he knew about forensic pathology.

“Doctor Parrish?” The diener said, throwing his concentration into turmoil.

“What is it, err… Greg, wasn’t it?”

“Gary. The body’s been prepped.”



Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
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DarkKnightJRK
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2008, 06:31:49 PM »

Wow. I've heard of rough sex, but this is just ridiculous!

Sorry. Had to be said.
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Schreiber
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2008, 10:17:32 PM »

A tight story with a funny, well-drawn pair of characters and an appropriately horrifying mulligan.  The only real issue I had was that Greg  -I mean, Gary- seems to get off pretty lightly in the end.
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cuddlebug
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2008, 07:12:04 AM »

Good story, which was very well paced and played with our anticipations in an enjoyable way (sick, ha, calling this 'enJOYable?).

It made me think of a quote from the latest WTT episode mentioning 'Corpses, .... can't keep their hands off each other.'

But I was struggling a lot with the production quality this time, it was almost painful and I stopped at first after less than a minute. When I started getting a headache I decided to check the website for other comments on the audio quality. When I couldn't find any I thought it must have been my iPod and I tried to listen on the dock and it worked a bit better. But still, very bad audio. Would be great if that could be checked more thoroughly in the future, we need our ears to enjoy all the wonderful stories on the casts, so would appreciate a bit more EAR TLC in the future, please.
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Yossarian's grandson
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2008, 04:39:30 PM »

Sheesh. That was the wrong kind of weird.
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Void Munashii
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2008, 12:15:02 AM »

  Short review; What the hell is wrong with this author?

  Shorter review; Ew!

  This story made me feel stupid and a bit queasy. I only sort of think I understand what actually happened, but I was too distracted by the disgusting imagery to pay much attention to it.

  the imagery in the story is fantastic in that I could easily see what all was happening. Unfortunately it was that I could see what was happening that grossed me out. It takes a lot to weird me out, and this story did it quite well. I did not dislike it, but I would not go out of my way to read/hear more like it.
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wakela
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2008, 11:11:50 PM »

This story was effective in setting a creepy mood, and I was relieved that there was more to it that just a corpse waking up or being a vampire.  But I thought the beginning went on for too long, and the characters weren't all that interesting or believable.   They were probably intended to be archetypes rather than fleshed out people, but I still wasn't interested in what happened to them. 

And I second the criticism of the audio.  I'm still not sure what a junior coroner/mortician is called even though they said it enough times. 

Thought I thought the reading was quite good. 
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DKT
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2008, 01:57:56 PM »

That was pretty creepy.  Well done to Shane Jiraiya Cummings. 

The reading was excellent, although I agree about the issues on the sound quality. 

Personally, I'd love to hear more from Apex, whether it be one of their anthologies or their magazine.  I've been a subscriber for almost a year now, and I'll definitely renew when my subscription is up.
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Cerebrilith
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2008, 09:50:51 AM »

Yawn...who didn't see the whole dead girl isn't really dead thing coming a mile away?

What's the motivation to pretend to be dead and trick someone into cutting you up?  If there's more then one of these people why don't they just stay at home and cut each other up if that's their thing?  The girl got up off the table and met her friends out in the hall after all.
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Dwango
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2008, 10:00:32 AM »

Ugh, Yuck, Gross, Ewww!

This piece brought out all the wrong kind of emotions.

This is exactly what horror should do, make you squirm and feel terribly uncomfortable.
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Cerebrilith
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« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2008, 10:20:58 AM »

I feel so very salty and jaded that I was bored by this story when the rest of you seemed to have been so creeped out by it.  Just goes to show what reading a four foot stack of Brian Lumley's Necroscope novels before you even finish puberty will do to you years down the road.
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deflective
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« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2008, 02:04:13 PM »

If there's more then one of these people why don't they just stay at home and cut each other up if that's their thing?  The girl got up off the table and met her friends out in the hall after all.

i didn't see the point of her friends either. fetish voyeurs? we already get that she's not human (at least not wholly), the faces at the window really didn't seem to add anything.

the rest of the story was quite strong tho. i like the direction that pseudopod has been taking over the last month.
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Void Munashii
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« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2008, 07:36:14 PM »

I feel so very salty and jaded that I was bored by this story when the rest of you seemed to have been so creeped out by it.  Just goes to show what reading a four foot stack of Brian Lumley's Necroscope novels before you even finish puberty will do to you years down the road.

  Just because I found it gross does not mean I found it particularly compelling. I thought the imagery was good, but the story itself did not really grab my interest, which may go towards my feeling that I do not totally understand it.
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Listener
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2008, 05:53:13 PM »

Reading: skillful, but the voice of Dr. Parrish made me think something more sinister was going on from his side.  Also, the audio issues.

Story: WAY too much attention paid to the woman's breasts.  It was actually distracting.  I'm sure they distracted Gary, too, but I think it could've been done less ad the point still made.  The twist wasn't at ALL obvious (eyeroll), and toward the end I really wasn't caring so much about the story.  I think it would've been stronger if Dr. Parrish was in on the woman's... whatever it was that happened.  I mean, I know what happened, but everything felt like it was breaking down.

*shrug* didn't really like it.  Not saying it was bad, but I just didn't like it.
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goatkeeper
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2008, 09:14:59 PM »

Story had me fading out a lot.  I didn't find it very engaging.

Reading:  Best on Pseudopod yet.
Audio Quality:  Worst on Pseudopod yet.
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Thaurismunths
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2008, 09:20:14 PM »

Not very deep, but pretty hot.

With all the build up I was expecting more action between the doctor and the assistant.
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koda
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« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2008, 08:50:22 AM »

I dug it.

Any time I think about people in morgues I choose to believe that they are all pretty. 

1, because of the “last dance with mary jane” tune. 
2, I think it would be far easier to do tha autopsy on a skinny person…
and 3, they are the competition!  (kidding, kind of… =)

and besides.. scary/sexy is the best kind!
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eytanz
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2008, 05:00:55 PM »

I was unimpressed by this one. The premise was ok, but the beginning dragged on a lot - there was a lot of repetition of arrogant, short-tempered doctor and oafish assistant - and then once the action started, the doctor was disposed off really quickly and without a struggle. Which was a shame, since he was by far the most interesting of the two characters. And most importantly, while somewhat unsympathetic, he was an effective viewpoint character for the first half, and without him there was no-one for me to relate to. I think the story would have been *far* better if the doctor was awake for the second half - Gary could have tied him up or something - then all the character build up we get for him could have actually, you know, been useful for something.
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contra
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« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2008, 03:34:50 PM »

I was on my lunchhour as I played this one.  I was just browsing the net, and about 10 minutes in wikipedia made my mind drift, and I came in again towards the end... and there was a definate "... the hell!" moment as I realised what was going on.

I relistened to it yesterday and it still make be go WTF part way through.

Sorry. 
You lost me.

I'll try again next time.
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The Dunesteef
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2008, 01:00:55 AM »

I have to agree with the folks who went with the Eww review here.  There's good disturbing and bad disturbing, and this was bad disturbing to me.  But that's just me.
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Sgarre1
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« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2008, 08:17:23 PM »

Actually, I'm kinda on the fence but leaning towards liking this.  The reading was superb.  I liked the compactness of the concept and the lack of a full explanation.  I'm surprised that some feel that you could see a "twist" coming, because I thought this did a nice job of not at all falling into the "twist" trap some writers can't shake.

Generally, sexual material is a tough sell as it's so particularized, not to mention the combination with graphic autopsy imagery in this case. This struck a pretty good tone between disgust and luridness. It leaves you feeling dirty.

If there's more then one of these people why don't they just stay at home and cut each other up if that's their thing?  The girl got up off the table and met her friends out in the hall after all.

i didn't see the point of her friends either. fetish voyeurs? we already get that she's not human (at least not wholly), the faces at the window really didn't seem to add anything.

the rest of the story was quite strong tho. i like the direction that pseudopod has been taking over the last month.

I assumed they were the lustful, wanton dead not lucky enough to be getting autopsied, so they at least showed up for the show.  I didn't assume they were anything human.  I thought it had a nice touch of Ramsey Campbell.

Interesting to compare this to Georg Heym's "The Dissection".

Thanks For Listening
“Because no one has more thirst for earth, for blood, and for ferocious sexuality than the creatures who inhabit cold mirrors.”
Alejandra Pizarnik, “The Bloody Countess” (1968)




 
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JoeFitz
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« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2008, 09:30:17 PM »

I really did not appreciate the lurid descriptions in this piece. So she's pretty, and dead (or not). Pretty people die too. Move on.

It read like what someone would image a medical student's wet dream after too much tequila. Not particularly horrifying, nor very interesting. I guess the exploitation of the body by the doctor and the assistant were part of the idea, but this story did not have much meat - if you'll pardon the expression.

Not what I expect from PP.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2008, 12:31:37 PM »

I really like that PP seems t be heading for a more graphic approach.  Maybe it's just the way the stories have come up, maybe it isn't.  Audio horror needs to reach through the headphones and throttle me.  A horror twist alone doesn't do it.
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SteveCooperOrg
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« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2008, 05:28:23 PM »

Damn, you guys are harsh. Wink

I thoguht this piece featured some excellent descriptions. By that I don't mean what was being described per se, but the language used to describe everything was very clear all the way though. I wasn't left wondering, as I sometimes am, what precisely was going on. That, I think, added to the impression that it was a very *graphic* story.

I wanted to know more about the girl-creature. What was she? Why did she creep into a morgue? If she has the ability to heal herself and control minds, why not get someone else to cut her somewhere more private? Why risk something like being shoved in a chiller then cremated? This may not have been the point of the piece, but I'm always interested in new beasties and powers, and for me the promise of the piece was "I'll tell you what this girl is."

I think, rather, the point was in the eroticism of the men and the girl, but I sorta missed that as I was watching for the reveal. I feel like I was watching a striptease, and all the while thinking it was a magic trick. As each piece of clothing fell away, I thought "nope, she's not hiding a bunch of flowers there, either."

Maybe I'm just jaded, and dismemberment necrophelia erotica just isn't enough. Hey ho. I'll just have to wait for a pseudopod story featuring sado-necro-pyro-pedo-bestiality*.

    Steve

* Having abusive sex with dead baby animals. On fire.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 05:31:10 PM by SteveCooperOrg » Logged
DKT
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« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2008, 06:02:30 PM »

It's been brought up in another thread that the woman is a prostitute, mainly that the two guys outside the door are her Johns.  I didn't hear it that way at all at first, but maybe I'm missing something?
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2009, 11:37:54 AM »

This one didn't really grab me.  The characters were too one dimensional--the fact that the assistant was uncertain and not particularly bright and the doctor was a narcissistic A-hole was pounded into my brain much too much.  I didn't really get why she kept coming in for autopsies.  Not enough info, and not in a way that adds mystique, but in a way that makes me think there really is no reason, it was just added in to make a series of events for a story.]
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Millenium_King
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« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2010, 07:30:47 PM »

This one was good.  Very sick and gut-wrenchingly graphic at times.  Well done.  I was especially pleased the woman wasn't something lame like a vampire or zombie or something.  I half expected her to be alive - which would have been horrible too.

My gripes are largely versimillitude:  (1) With such an unusual corpse, I cannot imagine the doctors would have proceeded with the autopsy.  Live people have been carted into morgues before and an absence of rigor should have made such experienced examiners nervous. (2) when the initial cut is made, the incision bleeds.  The doctor should have noticed this inconguity immediately.  The argument could be made that he was already under her power, but why didn't Gary notice?  Corpses do not bleed.
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