Escape Artists
November 12, 2018, 01:12:38 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2  All
  Print  
Author Topic: PC038: In the House of the Seven Librarians  (Read 9010 times)
Heradel
Bill Peters, EP Assistant
Hipparch
******
Posts: 2938


Part-Time Psychopomp.


« on: January 08, 2009, 05:42:10 PM »

PC038: In the House of the Seven Librarians

By Ellen Klages.
Read by Rachel Swirsky.

Once upon a time the Carnegie library sat on a wooded bluff on the east side of town.

Rated G. Contains a childhood made strange by books.

Logged

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.
Zathras
Guest
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 07:12:57 PM »

Good story, but not my style.  If this had been a book, I might have returned it without finishing it.
Logged
WriterDan
Extern
*
Posts: 1


« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 04:55:52 PM »

Nice story about a little girl growing up in a library, but could someone clue me in on what exactly made this a fantasy story?  I'm just failing to see it for some reason, and fantasy elements are why I like fantasy stories in the first place.  Had a hard time with the most recent Mike Resnick story for the same reason.  Am I looking for too much?
Logged
Talia
Moderator
*****
Posts: 2680


Muahahahaha


« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 06:18:09 PM »

Nice story about a little girl growing up in a library, but could someone clue me in on what exactly made this a fantasy story?  I'm just failing to see it for some reason, and fantasy elements are why I like fantasy stories in the first place.  Had a hard time with the most recent Mike Resnick story for the same reason.  Am I looking for too much?

Because people dont live in libraries? because no one raises a kid entirely inside a library, never leaving? No one just forgets an entire library and all the remnants of the books that were left there? Smiley Its pretty indisputably fantasy to my eyes...(ears?)

anyway, I was dismayed to realize I'd already read this story somewhere, so I only listened enough to refresh my memory.

Good story. I must admit I'd like to live in a library. hehe.
Logged
MacArthurBug
Giddy
Hipparch
******
Posts: 648


I can resist anything except temptation


WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 10:00:48 AM »

For me, this was an amazing and perfect fairy tale. This is the library I dreamed of growing up, one that would have whatever book I wished and a quiet spot to read it. There are pieces of enchanted library in any library- magic nooks, hidden depths. The stacks brings to mind a time I accidentally wandered into the depths of the collage library. I was half lost and half in awe for hours. The smell of old book is something that still makes the small hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention. A magical library, inhabited by magical librarians is JUST my cup of tea! I finished this story giddy and grinning like a fool. I knew it existed, somewhere- even if it was just in the mind of another writer- it existed after all.
Logged

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.
Sarcastro
Extern
*
Posts: 3


« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 05:45:23 PM »

Okay, because I cannot resist untranslated Latin or Latin sounding stuff, here's a tentative rundown on the librarians' names:


Olive - Children's Librarian: Juvinalia - Childhood

Dorothy - puns: Lexica - Book

Edith - the stacks: Incunabula - to brood or hatch.

Harriet - Half the fun: Sapientia - Judgment or Wisdom

Ruth - Half the battle: Marginalia - Margins

Marian - Stern: Ephemera - transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved.

Blyth - Fetching books: Melvilia - from Melville Dewey (According to http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/1/Melville, the name Melville is of Old French origin, and its meaning is "bad settlement". Surname adopted by those fleeing to Scotland from a poorly placed settlement in northern France).

Logged
Wilson Fowlie
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1468


WWW
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 11:11:16 PM »

Nice story about a little girl growing up in a library, but could someone clue me in on what exactly made this a fantasy story?  I'm just failing to see it for some reason, and fantasy elements are why I like fantasy stories in the first place.  Had a hard time with the most recent Mike Resnick story for the same reason.  Am I looking for too much?

Well, the boons granted by the Library seemed pretty fantasy-ish to me, not to mention the books that it caused to appear in the collection.

And I must have the wrong Resnick story in mind, as the whole King Arthur oeuvre is fantasy, with the backwards-living life of Merlin being one of the most fantastical elements.

It's hard to know if you're looking for too much; what are you looking for?
Logged

"People commonly use the word 'procrastination' to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working." - Paul Graham
Ocicat
Castle Watchcat
Moderator
*****
Posts: 2853


Anything for a Weird Life


« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2009, 11:59:02 PM »

Being a fan of The Jungle Book, and having just read The Graveyard Book, something in me really thinks this should have been titled The Library Book.  Except there's just something wrong with that title, not sure what...  Cheesy 

But in any case, it does have a lot in common with the former two tales.  And it was charming.  Certainly not a setup that you want to apply logic to (even fantasy-logic), but there was some great imagery in there.  And what kid doesn't want to grow up in a library???  I mean, what kid who grows up to listen to podcasts like this, anyway...
Logged
Void Munashii
Matross
****
Posts: 267


twitter.com/VOIDMunashii


WWW
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 01:43:20 PM »

  This is not normally a story I would like; it goes nowhere ultimately, it's slow, it's plodding, it should be a 'meh' at best. The funny thing is that i really enjoyed it. I liked the premise, I liked that the library was as much of a character as the humans, but that the auther never went out of the way to make it so (nor even ever really explained it as far as I could tell), and I liked the premise of it all.

  I can certainly think of worse places to live than in a magical library, although I don't know that I could grow up having never actually set foot outside, but as long as the library kept giving me new books, I suppose I could manage.

  Next time I go to the library I shall have to feed it a cookie, and see if it will give me anything in return.
Logged

"Mallville - A Journal of the Zombie Apocalypse"
http://mallvillestory.blogspot.com
stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3906


Cool story, bro!


WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 07:55:54 PM »

  This is not normally a story I would like; it goes nowhere ultimately, it's slow, it's plodding, it should be a 'meh' at best. The funny thing is that i really enjoyed it. I liked the premise, I liked that the library was as much of a character as the humans, but that the auther never went out of the way to make it so (nor even ever really explained it as far as I could tell), and I liked the premise of it all.

I liked this story as well, despite it being longer than it needed to be.  I had a feeling it was all leading up to Dinsy coming of age and leaving, and the rest was basically padding, but it was fun padding.
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 6097



« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2009, 06:06:32 AM »

Mixed feelings on this one. I think that 22 years or so ago - when I was 10 - I would have absolutely adored this story. Listening to it now, as an adult, it mostly seemed to me like a relatively straightforward premise delivered in a plodding pace. It was obvious - not just in the sense of "I could predict the ending", but in the sense that I could predict basically every stop along the way long before it came. Which didn't hurt the story so much, because it wasn't going for suspense or surprise, but it also didn't offer much to engage me beyond the appealing fantasy of growing up in a library. Which is a very appealing fantasy, but fantasies about alternate childhoods seem to mostly have power on me if I was first exposed to them when I was still a child.

On a side note, there was one moment - towards the end, where Dinsy was being led to the ritual chamber - when I wondered for a moment if the librarians would try to turn her into a human sacrifice or something like that. I mean, I knew they wouldn't, but there was a part of me that wished the story had the gumption to suddenly throw something so awful (from a storytelling point of view) and unexpected at us. Wink
Logged
tazo
Extern
*
Posts: 18


WWW
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2009, 01:01:13 PM »

  This is not normally a story I would like; it goes nowhere ultimately, it's slow, it's plodding, it should be a 'meh' at best. The funny thing is that i really enjoyed it. I liked the premise, I liked that the library was as much of a character as the humans, but that the auther never went out of the way to make it so (nor even ever really explained it as far as I could tell), and I liked the premise of it all.


THAT sums it up very well.  I almost wondered if it better belonged in a Giant episode.   It had all the hallmarks of a good coming of age fairy tale.  It even ended with Dinsy heading off into the literal and metaphorical woods.  It kind of almost makes me want to see what happens to her at college.

It also makes me want to renew my library card, because I practically lived there in middle and high school.  And it's probably a cheaper method of feeding my terrible, terrible book habit.
Logged
Poppydragon
Peltast
***
Posts: 127



« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2009, 02:04:13 PM »

Whilst acknowledging its faults (perhaps a tad too long and a tad to obvious) I absolutely loved this. To me this was a lovely old fashioned "fantastic" story, fantasy, not of the faerie type but of the mundane. It had the feel of a traditional fable where the day to day necessities are simply accepted as being there, food, fuel etc and therefore getting them doesn't have to get in the way of the story, and the fantastic, cookie eating fireplaces and magic bookshelves are accepted as the norm. This story gave me a warm glow as if I was curled up on Olive's lap listening to it in sleepy comfort. There were a couple of descriptive moments in it,  wrapping herself completely around the bear is one that sticks out in my mind, that were almost visual and gave a lift to the slightly sedate pace.
Logged

Man - despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication, and his many accomplishments - owes his existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.
bluedarkyugi
Extern
*
Posts: 3


« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2009, 05:38:34 PM »

I have to admit I enjoyed this story, so much that I didn't realise the episode was over an hour long until I went to listen to it with my little brother. Part of it is probably the fact I don't go to the library as often these days, instead I find myself browsing bookstores and buying books instead.  Whilst this sounds brilliant, it's especially difficult to get hold of some books by foreign non-bestselling authors like Jostien Gardner in my local bookstores.

My only real problem was the use of the American versions of the booknames, as an aspiring author myself I'd be extremely annoyed if someone messed with the title of my work just to make it appeal more to an audience.  For the uninitiated the books in question were The Golden Compass (Northern Lights) and Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone).
Logged
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 6097



« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2009, 05:59:36 PM »


My only real problem was the use of the American versions of the booknames, as an aspiring author myself I'd be extremely annoyed if someone messed with the title of my work just to make it appeal more to an audience.  For the uninitiated the books in question were The Golden Compass (Northern Lights) and Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone).

Well, the story was set in America, and it's not its fault that the book names were changed; I would have found using the British names a lot stranger since it would be entirely incongruous.
Logged
izzardfan
Guest
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2009, 08:13:38 PM »

I adored this story!  It's by far my favorite Podcastle.  Living in a library, especially that library, sounds like heaven to me.  The organization, the peace and quiet, the access to all the facts and the fiction I'd ever want...  perfect!

And what made this story especially come alive for me was Rachel's reading.  She put emphasis and feeling--and perfect elocution--in all the right places.  I knew exactly how Dinsy felt because of it.  With many Podcastle stories, I feel like I'd get more out of it by reading the text than hearing it read, but just the opposite here.  Very well done.
Logged
FamilyGuy
Matross
****
Posts: 241



« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2009, 09:05:36 PM »

This story just struck a chord with me.  One of my childhood daydreams was to live in and have the local Carnegie Library all to myself.  The fact that I was entering my book collection into Librarything at the same time I was listening to this story--priceless.

More please.
Logged

When will all the rhetorical questions end?
Clutron
Palmer
**
Posts: 44


« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2009, 01:12:41 PM »

Quote
This is not normally a story I would like; it goes nowhere ultimately, it's slow, it's plodding, it should be a 'meh' at best.

This is exactly why I did NOT like this story...This does not even rank a 'meh' for me.  I kept expecting something to happen, but no, the kid just grows up.  Before this story (and others like it on Podcastle), I thought I was a fan of fantasy...but I guess I just hadn't been exposed to enough of it to know how much I dislike it.
Logged
Tricster
Extern
*
Posts: 4



« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2009, 11:13:12 AM »

I signed up for the first time just to comment on this story. First, I absolutely adored Rachel's reading. She's read previous stories, if I recall correctly, and I have greatly enjoyed each one she has read.

Secondly, this story.. I agree, it's probably a bit on the slow and obvious side, but listening to it.. I dreamt of something like this when I was a child. To be raised in a library? My dream. The story has the feeling of being like a comforting blanket. It's not surprising or dramatic, but sweet, comforting and warm. All in all, a fantastic story in its own right and one that I would absolutely want on my own shelf for days when I just want to curl up and crawl into a familiar and friendly world.
Logged
wossName
Extern
*
Posts: 12



« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2009, 05:52:04 PM »

I'm in the "predictable, but enjoyable" camp. The spice rack taxonomy debate made me laugh. And I felt a little guilty about not having any kind of library card right now.

This story reminded me of another ode to literature, Walter Moers' City of Dreaming Books, which I would absolutely recommend. I haven't read the english translation, but the reviews are quite positive.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!