Author Topic: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories  (Read 7362 times)

Heradel

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PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« on: October 24, 2008, 09:52:39 AM »
PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories

By Vylar Kaftan.
Read by Jack Mangan (of Jack Mangan’s Deadpan).

The fourth of our Halloween features, which will be continuing through October 31.

We’re mixing punch when he asks us about scars.

“Everyone has at least one,” our guest says. “They’re always good stories, too.”


Rated R. A touch of horror.
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eytanz

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 01:34:37 PM »
I think this would have been a much, much better story if it ended just after the punch bowl spoke and just before it was smashed.

deflective

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 06:07:41 PM »
i really liked the image of the jogger's scar, the whole passage leading up to it was well constructed.

the story lost some of its appeal when people stopped showing their scars and just talked about how they were hurt. even if it wasn't a physical scar it would have been more poignant if they displayed frown lines, stooped shoulders, or an ingrained compulsion.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 06:20:48 PM by deflective »

Kaa

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2008, 08:49:20 PM »
I think this would have been a much, much better story if it ended just after the punch bowl spoke and just before it was smashed.

What he said.  I was going to say exactly the same thing.  This was one of the very few 'miniatures' (/flash stories) I've gotten into on Podcastle/Pseudopod/Escape Pod, and I was very much enjoying it.

And then they smashed the punch bowl and I said, "WTF?"

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eytanz

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2008, 03:58:54 AM »
I felt that the punchbowl's speech was a marvelous comic counterpoint to the previous speeches, that, by appearing silly and pretentious made all of them seem more substantive and real. Ending the story there would have made it be a minor surreal masterpiece. But most of this impact was taken away by the bizzare behavior afterwards - that took the surrealness of the story over the top, and instead of the finely balanced piece I thought we had, it just became inaccessible.

thomasowenm

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2008, 06:17:34 AM »
I had the pleasure of listening to this in 2 chunks.  ( I know it's a minature, it just happened that way.)  I stopped right before the cat spoke and then picked it up today.  Up to that point I had thought it was the best escape artist piece to come along in quite a while. Discussing the way scars actually shape you, whether emotional or physical.  But then the cat spoke, the house spoke, the punchbowl spoke.  While it didn't spoil the story it took it down from very moving to just good. 

the punch bowl melee I really didn't understand,  I can see them getting pissed off, because "nobody likes a smart ass," but the orgy of cutting themselves afterword took away the poignancy of the story.

the story lost some of its appeal when people stopped showing their scars and just talked about how they were hurt. even if it wasn't a physical scar it would have been more poignant if they displayed frown lines, stooped shoulders, or an ingrained compulsion.

I 100% agree.  Showing the outward effect of an inward scar would have been truly masterful.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 11:35:15 AM by thomasowenm »

MacArthurBug

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2008, 06:29:30 AM »
I was good up until the cutting- that's when It was "WTF. EEw cutting? Really? How nessesary was that?"  didn't like that bit, thought the cat was streaching it too- but the first little bit was okay.
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Rain

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2008, 11:00:26 AM »
The story was ok but the reading was a huge drawback, i was frankly bored to tears listening to it

Hatton

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2008, 09:46:14 PM »
I felt that the punchbowl's speech was a marvelous comic counterpoint to the previous speeches, that, by appearing silly and pretentious made all of them seem more substantive and real. Ending the story there would have made it be a minor surreal masterpiece. But most of this impact was taken away by the bizzare behavior afterwards - that took the surrealness of the story over the top, and instead of the finely balanced piece I thought we had, it just became inaccessible.

Like most of the stories that I've heard on PC this month, this one started off and my mind went into "find the fantasy" mode.

Then the cat spoke, then the inanimate objects, then the concept of the party... spoke.

And then, like every snobbish brat I've ever heard, the punchbowl spoke.  I didn't expect the shattering, I expected a ship.  I *really* didn't expect the cutting.

The dead Irishman showing up put a good "Halloween" themed ending on it though.

Over all, +1 for making good points, +1 for keeping in the Halloween theme, -1 for aggressive use of force against a newly purchased party dish and -1 for the unnecessary seconds of "new scar creation."... oh, and +1 for reminding me to look at my navel!
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Listener

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2008, 07:42:09 AM »
I didn't really feel any tension in this story, and the catalyst was never adequately explained.
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ryos

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2008, 04:27:15 PM »
This story started out as a poignant exploration of the pains and sorrows of mortal life, jumped the shark when the cat started talking, and spiraled downward from there. After the bewildering ending, I was left scratching my head and wondering why the author decided to write a strong beginning and then flush it down the drain.

If you average my reaction over time, it would probably come out to "meh". Since endings are more important than beginnings, I give it two enthusiastic thumbs down.

Edit: Wow, I see I'm not alone. I may as well have just written "me too." :)
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 04:32:08 PM by ryos »

Ragtime

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2008, 10:50:04 AM »
This one seems to fall into the category of "standard Saturday Night Live routine," where someone think up a really funny joke, they tell it once, and then run it into the ground by the end of the shtick by repeating it several dozen more times in the space of several minutes.

If there were a Saturday Night Horror, this would be a recurring bit.

Dwango

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2008, 03:22:49 PM »
I was going to repeat some similar opinions as stated previously in this thread.  Then I realized that less is more and I didn't want to ruin some pretty good observations.

ajames

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2008, 02:38:59 PM »
I really didn't like this one, until they smashed the punch bowl, then I was like, "Brilliant! I get it now! Great!!"

No, just kidding.  ;D

I give the author credit for taking some chances, I loved the statement about some scars not being the kind you can see, but this story really wasn't my cup of tea, joe, or jack from beginning to end.

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2009, 01:04:09 PM »
Too literary for my tastes.

No characters, no plot, just a bunch of depressing stories like a special themed edition of Reader's Digest.