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Author Topic: PC047 Giant Episode: Bright Waters  (Read 14306 times)

petronivs

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Reply #20 on: May 01, 2009, 07:43:21 PM
I have a slight historical quibble about this.  I'm pretty darn sure (though I'm not about to listen to the whole thing again to correct my memory on it) that the protagonist at one point referred to a king of the Netherlands, when he was discussing or thinking about the cession of New Netherland to England.  The Netherlands didn't have a king until after 1800, well after that happened.  Before then, it was ruled by either the Stadtholder or some representative form of government.  The entity which finally ceded New Netherland to England was the States-General, a representative form of government.

I know, minor, but it stuck in my head when I listened to the story.  One could argue that it's set in a different history, but this was the only divergence I noticed from our world's history.



Wilson Fowlie

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Reply #21 on: May 01, 2009, 09:40:18 PM
I have a slight historical quibble about this.  I'm pretty darn sure (though I'm not about to listen to the whole thing again to correct my memory on it) that the protagonist at one point referred to a king of the Netherlands, when he was discussing or thinking about the cession of New Netherland to England.  The Netherlands didn't have a king until after 1800, well after that happened.  Before then, it was ruled by either the Stadtholder or some representative form of government.  The entity which finally ceded New Netherland to England was the States-General, a representative form of government.

You piqued my interest, so I looked this up.

From 1689 to 1702, William III was not only Stadtholder of the Netherlands, but also King William III of England, so the author may have been referring to that.

However, the Netherlands relinquished New Amsterdam (in exchange for Suriname) in 1674, at which time it was renamed New York.  At that time, William had only been Stadtholder for about 2 years and wasn't yet king.

However, he would eventually become king.  Someone referring to him once he did - even referring to an event that occurred before taking the crown - might refer to him with that title.  (Though he wasn't the protagonist's king!)

More to the point: since the story explicitly takes place in 1718 - 34 years later! - I'm not sure why Jan (the protagonist) "still could not bring himself to call it York."

He must be quite old (particularly for that period in history).  No wonder Woman With Turtle Eyes ran away!

I mentioned this to a friend of mine and he said, "Yeah, but in our world, Native Americans didn't have magic powers, either, so maybe it's not ours."  That seems more likely.  :)

"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


Father Beast

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Reply #22 on: May 03, 2009, 09:58:08 PM
So, I listened pretty raptly, wondering about the resolution of things.

And then the story ends, and I'm left hanging. Am I just supposed to assume that things worked out, or that the tattoo had no effect, or something else?

that sort of ending is more suited to a miniature than a regular story, and certainly not a giant.

as opposed to Moon Viewing, where it wrapped everything up, didn't leave me wondering, and was quite satisfying.



JohnBrown

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Reply #23 on: May 07, 2009, 02:14:53 AM
These are all good questions.

Jan doesn't call it "York" because there is still a bit of rivalry between the English and Dutch. I wanted to capture the feel of an early America characterized by many different and pronounced ethnicities. I just love that about early America. It was so different from what we have today. Besides, 34 years is not so long. How many years did it take for "Yankeee" to disappear from general usage in the South? I imagined a Dutchman who is not on the forefront of change with a lot of pride. My main purpose was to hint at the continuing frictions between Dutch, English, French, Abenaki, Mohawk, etc.

Jan calls him "King" because it's a higher and more recent title. The usage would be the same if Colin Powell were to become president. Very few would refer to him after that as "General Powell." Of course, there are times when "General Powell" would be appropriate. No, he wasn't ever Jan's king, but he was king over the English. And that was enough. :)

As for the ending. Know that the original manuscript ran for one more page than what you have here. I've posted below. It does make the resolution more clear. However, the editor for the first publication thought it was redundant. I think it's a matter of taste. I go back and forth between the two myself.

----CURRENT ENDING-----

"I believe that our Lord rains his gifts on the heathen as well as the just." She reached for the patch again.

This time he let her move it aside.

----PART THAT WAS CUT-----

"See," she said. "No harm done." Then she touched it. "It's fading."

He looked down at her. Deep inside he could feel this was an opportunity that would not come again. "I've got a fine green dress in my log house," he said. "I think it might suit you."

"I've never had a man offer me a dress. I don't know that anyone but a husband should offer such things."

"You're probably right about that." Jan didn't know how to say what he wanted to, but he knew he must say something. "Would you like the dress? You can try it on for a while and see if it's comfortable."

She looked him in the eyes. "I'm not a house keeper," she said. "I don't own even one serving set."

"I eat out of a wooden bowl," he said.

Then he took her hand in his good one. What did he have to lose? He raised it to his mouth and gently kissed it. "I'm not a polished suitor," he said.

She smiled, and the warmth in her face filled him with light.

"As long as I can keep my corn stick around," she said, "I think you'll do."
« Last Edit: May 07, 2009, 02:35:07 AM by JohnBrown »



Zathras

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Reply #24 on: May 07, 2009, 02:41:55 AM
Thanks for popping in!

I can see going either way with the ending.

I was one of the gushers, so I'll stop here.



JohnBrown

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Reply #25 on: May 07, 2009, 02:46:58 AM
But we loves gushings, Precious.



Wilson Fowlie

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Reply #26 on: May 07, 2009, 04:56:45 AM
Jan calls him "King" because it's a higher and more recent title. The usage would be the same if Colin Powell were to become president. Very few would refer to him after that as "General Powell." Of course, there are times when "General Powell" would be appropriate. No, he wasn't ever Jan's king, but he was king over the English. And that was enough. :)

Ha! I nailed it.  :)

(One might quibble that it feels like trying to have it both ways: friction with the English to the point that Jan can't call New York by that name, yet refers to their common sovereign by his English title of King rather than the title he held in Jan's native land.  On the other hand, it would just be a quibble. Plus, since when are people all that logical?)

As for the ending. Know that the original manuscript ran for one more page than what you have here. I've posted below. It does make the resolution more clear. However, the editor for the first publication thought it was redundant. I think it's a matter of taste. I go back and forth between the two myself.

I completely disagree with that editor.  There's a big difference between 'redundant' and 'explicit'.  If nothing else, it brings back the green dress, the non-reappearance ??? of which always bothered me.   I felt it had to have some purpose and here I find it does (or did).

I also really like that last reference to the corn stick, which again brings the reader's mind back to the beginning (and hints at the almost-confrontation with O'Day).

Of course, it may well have been those things that he felt were redundant.

As you say, a matter of taste.  I can see the editor's point, to a degree, but if I'd been in that editor's place (assuming I felt that way about the ending, which I don't), I wouldn't have had you just cut the ending; I'd have encouraged you to rework it a bit, possibly tweaking other parts of the story, as the excised part really does hearken back to the opening (and possibly, if one were to look deeper,  to other points in the tale).  Its absence leaves those connections hanging, like strands of a ripped spider web, though I only dimly sensed that before now.


"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


JohnBrown

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Reply #27 on: May 07, 2009, 02:12:55 PM
I agree, the return to the green dress and corn stick makes it feel whole to me as well. Perhaps some time in the future there will be a collection of JB shorts. Who knows, maybe then that lost little page will finally get its day in the sun.



Chuk

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Reply #28 on: May 07, 2009, 04:22:17 PM
Yes, original ending is definitely better.

--
chuk


Zathras

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Reply #29 on: May 07, 2009, 04:36:31 PM
But we loves gushings, Precious.

And a sense of frivolity!

I would read more stories in this setting.  Please let us know if you write more in this world!



JohnBrown

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Reply #30 on: May 07, 2009, 10:22:01 PM
Zorag, will do. :)

In the meantime, I do have another fantasy with a different but strong historical setting. It was on the Locus recommended reading list for 2008 and will be included in this summer's Year's Best Fantasy 9.

You can read it here

Perhaps it will hit the spot as well.



Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #31 on: May 08, 2009, 02:00:54 AM
The story of John's is a good one. I didn't end up taking it for PodCastle, but interested readers should definitely take a look.



Zathras

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Reply #32 on: May 08, 2009, 03:45:46 AM
Zorag, will do. :)

In the meantime, I do have another fantasy with a different but strong historical setting. It was on the Locus recommended reading list for 2008 and will be included in this summer's Year's Best Fantasy 9.

You can read it here

Perhaps it will hit the spot as well.

I'm going to wait and pick up a copy of Year's Best Fantasy 9.   ;D



GreatAuntMaude

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Reply #33 on: December 14, 2009, 09:51:14 PM
I liked this story very, very much.  I was puzzled at how a nice piece of historical fiction wandered into a fantasy podcast, but after awhile, I quit wondering and just enjoyed it.  I may keep this one.   :)

GAM



Unblinking

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Reply #34 on: December 14, 2009, 10:40:44 PM
I didn't really get into this one.  I don't think it was any fault in the story itself, but I am just not that interested in historical fiction, and after 15 minutes there was no indication that it was anything but that.  I'm also rarely a fan of very long stories, another matter of personal tastes.



yicheng

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Reply #35 on: January 03, 2011, 06:56:43 PM
Just wanted to say that this was one of my Podcastle favorites.  I've been on a native american history run lately, watching PBS shows and the History Channel.  There's so much that gets missed by all those history textbooks.  For many of us in the U.S., "American History" starts at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and most of what happens before and around that time is presented in the form of a national creation myth (e.g. Mayflower Pilgrims, Paul Revere's Midnight Ride, etc).  It's very cool that this story brings to life the "behind the scenes" characters and stories.