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Author Topic: EP184: As Dry Leaves That Before the Wild Hurricane Fly  (Read 17252 times)

Russell Nash

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on: December 25, 2008, 11:24:36 AM
EP184: As Dry Leaves That Before the Wild Hurricane Fly

By Mur Lafferty.
Read by Christiana Ellis (of Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts, et al.).
Special Closing Music: “Chiron Beta Prime,” by Jonathan Coulton.

Comet and Cupid were fifteen, and took after their father, both spending the most time in the workshop tinkering with Father’s tools. Christmas was coming soon and they were preparing their yearly trip to the same orphanage that had cared for them. With nine children to raise on his own, Claus could no longer adopt, but he still found it very important to care for the children in any way he could. So he took a load of toys to the children every year, with his children helping him distribute.

Their siblings sat around their great sitting room, some crowding on sofas, some sitting on chair cushions or arms, and Rudolph, the baby at eleven, sat at his father’s feet. He was an imposing man with a barrel chest and wild white hair and beard. When he would get excited about a project, his blue eyes would twinkle and he’d look like a madman.


Rated G. Contains Santa revisionism and aerial combat.



Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!



Russell Nash

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Reply #1 on: December 25, 2008, 11:25:53 AM
Merry Christmas Everyone

from the Moderators of the EA Forums.



dmooring

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Reply #2 on: December 25, 2008, 06:42:21 PM
Steve's back!  Escape Pod is back!  Mur Lafferty's Christmas story tradition is back! 

This is my first post, so you know, I really am very happy about all of the above.  I almost couldn't tear myself away from the story to open presents with my husband and daughter and get my stuffing made and the bird into the oven (I know my priorities, and I did, but then I got right back to the 'cast.)

Did I say how happy I am?  Great Christmas present to have EP back, and back with a great new Christmas story.

Steve -- on a personal note, Escape Pod was the first podcast that intrigued me enough to download and listen to it.  Now I subscribe to 13 different ones (including Podcastle because I enjoy fantasy, but not Pseudopod because I don't like horror)!  I get a great deal of enjoyment out of every one that I listen to during my commute.  I get through most of them every week, and play catchup on weekend mornings while I drink my coffee.  That's thanks to you!  I'm really glad you're back with us.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2008, 06:44:20 PM by dmooring »



Zathras

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Reply #3 on: December 25, 2008, 06:46:17 PM
Great idea!  My daughters were listening with me, but it was a little slow for a 7 year old and a 5 year old.  It seemed a little slow, to me, too, but I still enjoyed it.

Great to see Escape Pod back in gear.

I hope everyone's day was as good as mine!



Wonko

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Reply #4 on: December 26, 2008, 03:10:02 AM
Let's see here. Mur Lafferty, Steampunk Santa, Jetpacks, Zeppelins, and an (evil) Nikola Tesla.

I'm pretty sure that it's impossible NOT to like this.



Void Munashii

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Reply #5 on: December 26, 2008, 05:14:42 AM
  Like a Hickory Farms Beef Stick, A Mur Lafferty holiday story on Escape Pod has become an integral part of the holidays for me. We listened to this one on the way to my wife's parent's house for presents and dinner. I really enjoyed Mur's re-imagining of Santa. Orphans in jetpacks are so much cooler than reindeer that I think this story should supplant the currently accepted legend.

  I hope this is not our last visit with Steampunk Santa.

Steve -- on a personal note, Escape Pod was the first podcast that intrigued me enough to download and listen to it.  Now I subscribe to 13 different ones (including Podcastle because I enjoy fantasy, but not Pseudopod because I don't like horror)! 

  My story is similar; I had just finally replaced dial-up with broadband, and was playing around with free MMOs, and wanted something to play in the background to listen to. Escape Pod was one of the first to come up. Probably half of the podcasts I listen to (or listened to) are as a direct result of this one. Pseudopod, and Podcastle of course, but also Scott Sigler's novels, Metamor City, Playing for Keeps, The Takeover, 7th Son, Air Out My Shorts, and there are more that I listen to that I found through those shows all of which I might never have found without Escape Pod.
 
  Another effect that Escape Pod has had on my life is that it played a part in inspiring me to start writing again, and put some of my writing out there on the web under CC for all to see. It has helped inspire me to start my own podcast next year.

  When you said that Escape Pod was back, my wife actually replied verbally with "Thank goodness". She missed hearing you in the car every week, and so did I. Welcome back, and thank you for all the hard work you do for all of us, and for inspiring me to get off my ass (so to speak) and get back to writing.

 

"Mallville - A Journal of the Zombie Apocalypse"
http://mallvillestory.blogspot.com


Darwinist

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Reply #6 on: December 26, 2008, 02:51:23 PM
Great to have Escape Pod back.  Woo-hoo!

The story didn't do much for me.  Can't beat zeppelins and jetpacks but the story felt slow and didn't hold my attention.  Meh.  Delete.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.    -  Carl Sagan


600south

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Reply #7 on: December 27, 2008, 11:35:31 AM
I feel guilty for saying it... but although I really enjoy Mur Lafferty's podcasts I'm just not a big fan of her writing. strange, eh?
still, I fully support the Mur Christmas Story Tradition and it was great to hear Steve Ely's voice again. come back soon man!



Bdoomed

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Reply #8 on: December 27, 2008, 06:43:21 PM
^
shun the nonbeliever!

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


JoeFitz

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Reply #9 on: December 28, 2008, 02:46:10 PM
Great to have some EP in the Xmas stocking!

I did not understand why Tesla started shooting at Claus. A "sneak attack" by a rival Royal armourer didn't quite seem enough of reason to shoot first and ask questions later.

Mrs. Claus dying in child birth was an unfortunate revision. Even if her addition to the "traditional" Santa Claus story was itself a revision. Father is such a terrible parent in this story. Four sets of twins and the baby.

I found the presence of alcohol jarring (Father smelling of beer after losing the Royal warrant; Ruddy getting a swig to calm his nerves after his near-death experience).

I wanted to like this story, and it does sort of stick to your ribs, but this particular story did not wind my clock (or charge my batteries).



Graham

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Reply #10 on: December 29, 2008, 11:12:59 AM
As happy as I am that EP is back at xmas, unfortunately I still cannot say that I've heard a Mur Lafferty story that I like. Sure, I used to enjoy I should Be Writing, and I think she has a good voice for Podcasting, but that still doesn't change the fact that, in my opinion, her stories aren't up to scratch.

Still, great to have Escape Pod back!



Swamp

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Reply #11 on: December 29, 2008, 12:49:07 PM
I just wanted to say that I reaaly liked this one.  I think it is Mur's best Escape Pod Christmas story yet.  With the craze of reboots lately (a la Batman, Bond, Star Trek, and Klaatu), why not Santa.  This story was very imaginitive and fun.

Facehuggers don't have heads!

Come with me and Journey Into... another fun podcast


Listener

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Reply #12 on: December 29, 2008, 01:23:51 PM
Let's see here. Mur Lafferty, Steampunk Santa, Jetpacks, Zeppelins, and an (evil) Nikola Tesla.

I'm pretty sure that it's impossible NOT to like this.

Was Tesla truly evil? I mean, just because the Queen changed her patronage, that's not his fault. Sending his crew after the Claus family was warranted, in that it looked like they were stealing stuff from the Queen and it was Tesla's job to make sure that didn't happen.

I'm just sayin'...

Anyway, I really liked the story and I got a little nose-tingly at the end.

If there was anything I would've liked to see differently, it would've been some reference to a red light on Rudolph leading someone somewhere. The guttering flame of his jetpack didn't really do it; maybe a plot coupon earlier about a red warning light on the jetpack vest about there not being enough fuel...

Christiana Ellis did a good enough job reading but I think we needed someone a little less alto to really pull this off.

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ScottC

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Reply #13 on: December 30, 2008, 01:09:49 PM
There's needs to be a sequel.  I can see it now...

Christmas Wars: The British Empire Strikes Back.

It be perfect: You got twins, a fast if temperamental ship, plenty of aerospace combat, even an evil Emperor... I mean Empress and her henchman who is in command of a mysterious energy or Force.  You can even start the story with a massive battle on the snowy plains of Hoth... I mean the North Pole.

It writes itself.



MacArthurBug

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Reply #14 on: December 30, 2008, 03:07:26 PM
YAY! Jet packs!
Mur, EP, and steam punk. This was third favorite Christmas present. I'm so glad that EP is back, that Steve is back (we heart you Steve!) and that the tradition of Mur stories continues. I really really LIKE Mighty Madam Mur's writing style. My hubby doesn't get it, but he listens with me anyway. My elder daughter once again bemoaned not getting either a Zeppelin OR a jet pack for Christmas, and promptly stormed off to her room to wear her goggles, striped tights and surly expression for a wile after listening to this. Ah, the drama of the young!


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.


Listener

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Reply #15 on: December 30, 2008, 03:53:05 PM
By the way, I totally didn't understand the title.

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

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Zathras

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Reply #16 on: December 30, 2008, 05:39:48 PM
By the way, I totally didn't understand the title.

It's a line from A Visit From Saint Nicholas by Clement C. Moore.



SeanDFrancis

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Reply #17 on: December 30, 2008, 05:45:43 PM
I've heard many stories on Escape Pod and its sister podcasts that made me want to leave a comment, but I was never pushed over the obstacle of action until listening to this one.  I normally ignore anything having to do with the 'Holidays' since I'm a bitter miserly human being and all this talk of joy, peace, love, and light makes me indignant.  Yet, I was captivated by this wonderful reimagination of the Santa Claus myth.  I'm a sucker for anachronistic stories so 'As Dry Leaves...' at least had that hook with which to reel me in.  

Can I have a Rankin and Bass version of this in time for next Christmas?



stePH

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Reply #18 on: December 31, 2008, 02:16:44 AM
I liked this story much more than last year's "Citytalkers" (doubleplus meh) but not nearly as much as 2006's "Merry Christmas from the Heartbreakers".

And I very much disliked Tesla being set up as the antagonist.

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deflective

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Reply #19 on: December 31, 2008, 08:34:11 AM
It's a line from A Visit From Saint Nicholas by Clement C. Moore.
as read by Peter Frampton

it's fantastic having escapepod back and i enjoyed listening but there was a small error and i can't stop myself from pointing it out. i do it because i care, i wouldn't bother for most podcasts. =)

the link between ring around the rosie and the black death (mentioned in the outro) is disproved.



cubiksrube

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Reply #20 on: January 02, 2009, 03:07:34 PM
I'm always a little pessimistic going into a story when the inclusion of jet-packs and zeppelins has been proudly announced up-front, I guess because it often seems like we're supposed to be impressed and entertained simply by the fact that they're there. I really liked this story though; telling a familiar legend through an entirely new paradigm can be great if you can pull it off. I've been overdosing on Mur lately (having recently found back episodes of her podcasts) but I'm not nearly sick of her yet.

I did also wonder about Tesla getting a fairly harsh deal, but for all I know he really did hate Christmas. I've never read any contemporary accounts claiming that the guy didn't ever try to shoot down Santa Claus's zeppelin.

Great to have you back, Steve, hope things are well with you and the rest of your family.


Talia

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Reply #21 on: January 02, 2009, 08:40:30 PM
Jet packs and zeppelins make ANYTHING awesome. ANYTHING! :p

Another great Mur story. I didn't exactly get why Tesla was out to kill them, either, but I liked the rest of it enough I didn't care. And,  jetpacks! and zeppelins! hehe. 



Void Munashii

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Reply #22 on: January 02, 2009, 09:24:23 PM
Jet packs and zeppelins make ANYTHING awesome. ANYTHING! :p

  Too true. If you doubt this think about your least favourite EP, the one you barely made it all the way through, the one you did not turn off just on principles. Now give the characters jetpacks and a zeppelin, and tell me truly that the story is not at least a bit more awesome.

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TristanPEJ

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Reply #23 on: January 03, 2009, 12:02:31 AM
Mur Lafferty strikes another home run.  This is a fun Christmas story I'd read to the little kids in my life.

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zZzacha

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Reply #24 on: January 03, 2009, 01:28:01 PM
Wow, what can I say that has not been said before me?

Orphans!!!

Without the kidding, this was again a wonderful X-mas story by Mur! Love it! And I loved the combination of Mur's story with Christiana's voice and Steve's comeback and steampunk and orphans!

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