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Author Topic: PC049: Return of the Warrior  (Read 8173 times)
Heradel
Bill Peters, EP Assistant
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« on: April 21, 2009, 11:18:44 AM »

PC049: Return of the Warrior

By Laird Long.
Read by Alasdair Stuart (of Pseudopod).

In the Province of Sull, in the Kingdom of Ronn, all seemed right with the world - the potters potted, the sculptors sculpted, the painters painted, and the scriveners did whatever their name implies. For Sull was home to the kingdom’s artisans, a colorful colony of creative cranks who used well their artistic endowments, for satisfaction of the soul, and sale. And they toiled truly and profitably.

But beneath the placid, pleasant exterior of the province and the people, lay a seething resentment bubbled to near-surface boil by the erratic, practicality-impaired nature of the creative personality, and the indolence of a King who listened not to ill-formed complaints some two hundred leagues removed. A prickly current of unrest sparked and shocked the citizenry, for many held the opinion that the provincial governor, the Wizard Kadil, was in no uncertain terms fudging the books, collecting taxes beyond what the law allowed. And though the people of Sull claimed to be moved primarily by muse, so, too, were they moved by a love of the good, old, gold stuff.

Rated PG. Contains the inevitability that all we Americans had to deal with scant days ago.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 11:20:47 AM by Heradel » Logged

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stePH
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2009, 03:48:44 PM »

PC049: Return of the Warrior

By Laird Long.
Read by Alasdair Stuart (of Pseudopod).

Haven't listened yet -- but I sure hope Alasdair's got his recording gear in order for this one.  The audio quality of his last two were just awful.
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Heradel
Bill Peters, EP Assistant
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2009, 04:14:37 PM »

PC049: Return of the Warrior

By Laird Long.
Read by Alasdair Stuart (of Pseudopod).

Haven't listened yet -- but I sure hope Alasdair's got his recording gear in order for this one.  The audio quality of his last two were just awful.

Click on the MP3. Open the MP3 in audio playback program of choice. Skip to random point in middle. Play MP3. Find that audio sounds pretty good.

Time Elapsed: 13 seconds.
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stePH
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009, 10:34:12 AM »

Play MP3. Find that audio sounds pretty good.

Did you think that "The Sincerest Form", and the intro and outro to "Exhalation" sounded "pretty good"?  I didn't hear much improvement over those.  Still some background noise, and the overall sound is trebly and overly sibilant.  Worse still, some parts of the reading were read much too fast, and I could barely hear the words through the flurry of hiss.

Alasdair, I like you, and your audio has sounded very good in the past.  I don't know why your quality has been subpar of late, but I do hope all is well in your life off-mic.

Now as for the story ...

"No, sir, I didn't like it."  Basically this was a legal drama, and I don't really care for those.  I don't read John Grisham, and I was bored through most of the three movies I've seen based on his work (The Firm, The Client and A Time to Kill).
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Alasdair5000
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2009, 12:22:04 PM »

Sorry the sound quality has been a problem for you.  I'm using exactly the same equipment in the same location as before so it's clearly getting flaky.  I'm switching to a new mix tonight so, inevitable teething troubles notwithstanding, things should pick up.
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Anarquistador
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2009, 05:30:43 PM »

That was an AWESOME story. Like something Terry Pratchett might write. Finally, us bean-counters have a fantasy hero.

I especially loved the fact that apparently only wizards can understand the tax code. It's so true. And the delaying tactics of our corrupt tax collector - literally burying our hero in paperwork - is very true to form.

Hail Ihol! As Per The Title!
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Ocicat
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2009, 06:05:18 PM »

Basically this was a legal drama, and I don't really care for those.

It wasn't a just a legal drama, it was a swashing and buckling legal drama!  With adventure and all the daring do that accountancy has to offer!  The reluctant hero was recruited, obstacles were overcome, blood was shed, and the evil wizard defeated!  Okay, granted the blood was from paper cuts, but still...

I really liked the central conceit of this story, as you can probably tell from my prose above.  I do think it overstayed its welcome somewhat though.  Would have been fantastic as a flash piece.  As is, it was still quite enjoyable.
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Wilson Fowlie
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2009, 11:07:57 PM »

I didn't have quite as much trouble with the audio as StePH seemed to, but I do see what StePH is talking about - it was muddled in places with what sounded like background noise and yes, a bit too fast in a couple of places, at least for my ears. 

Maybe that's just because it's an accent unfamiliar enough to me that I have to concentrate more on certain syllables or phrases.  I never did quite work out what the Tax Warrior's name was.

Audio issues aside, I still really liked the way Alasdair read the story (except for the few too-fast bits) and if Rachel taps me to read any more, I want to add at least a bit of Alasdair's whimsy and casualness to the reading; mine sounds stiff and stuffy (to me, at least) in comparison.

It didn't hurt that I enjoyed the story very much.  It put me very much in mind of Monty Python's Pirate Accountants from the short movie before The Meaning of Life (and a short cameo within that movie):

<singing>
It's fun to charter an accountant,
And sail the wide accountan-cy!
To find, explore the funds offshore
And skirt the shoals of bankruptcy!
</singing>

Derring-do, indeed!

If nothing else, the phrase "dervish of debris" making me laugh out loud was worth the whole story!
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2009, 10:09:24 AM »

Did not like. That's two for two thumbs-downs from the Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy 1/2 (the first being "Sweet Savage Sorcerer"). I guess I could see how some could find this funny, and the satire was MUCH better than SSS, but still... eh. Not really my thing.
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stePH
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2009, 10:13:00 AM »

I never did quite work out what the Tax Warrior's name was.

I think it was Eeyore.  That's what it sounded like to me, anyway.
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2009, 10:15:26 AM »



Audio issues aside, I still really liked the way Alasdair read the story (except for the few too-fast bits) and if Rachel taps me to read any more, I want to add at least a bit of Alasdair's whimsy and casualness to the reading; mine sounds stiff and stuffy (to me, at least) in comparison.


   Thanks, Wilson.  For what it's worth I like your readings a lot:)  Also, I should admit that I was fairly blatantly stealing Jim Dale's schtick from the Pushing Daisies voice overs for this one with a side order of the Stephen Fry version of the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  That jovial delivery of really horrible information always makes me smile:)
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Poppydragon
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2009, 01:15:12 PM »

I liked this, it was splendidly silly. As for the Warriors name - I heard it as  EeeHaw, a la Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life...that good old building and loan  Grin
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2009, 06:06:35 PM »

Just for the record, the warrior's name is "Ihor."

Poor Alasdair, he didn't have many outs with the pronunciation of that name; "eee-hore" or "eye-hore", they're both easy to mishear.

Personally, I think Laird should have just named his hero "Bob," like all good Warrior Accountants. Grin
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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2009, 10:01:12 AM »

  This was clearly a story aimed at a very specific audience, and it is unfortunately one that I am not a part of. I still enjoyed the story, especially the end, but it is not a subgenre that I could see myself searching for more of.

  Piling onto poor Alasdair, I had a hard time listening to this in the car. At times it was too quiet to hear over traffic noise, and then he would say something with a "sss" sound in it, and it was like daggers in my ears (in particular one part early on when he yelled something, I beleive it was the word "yes"). This is unfortunate, as I really like Alasdair's voice and reading style, but the last few things I've heard him read have had this problem with the "sss" sounds for me.

I think it was Eeyore.  That's what it sounded like to me, anyway.

  Now that paints a humourous image for me  Cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2009, 03:47:18 AM »

This was a great story - a really creative take on accounting and magic, but it sounded like the narrator was in a tremendous hurry to finish the reading and just barreled through it. It really sucked a lot of the enjoyment out of the story.

I’ve heard the narrator read other stories and he usually is good, but this time the reading was quite lousy.

I started to wonder if the editors of Podcastle had picked up on this problem, but decided because of time constraints or something, to go ahead with it anyway. If this is the case, I’d much rather wait an extra week for a good story with good narration than a good story ruined by haste and sloppiness.
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Corydon
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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2009, 10:48:38 AM »

That was an AWESOME story. Like something Terry Pratchett might write.

I think this is probably right.  I didn't find it particularly funny, but I don't find Pratchett particularly funny, either.  There were any number of moments where I found myself saying, yep, I see the joke there, but nope, not laughing.  Nothing wrong with it, just not my cup of tea.

Oh, I do have one complaint: misuse of the word "nonplussed."  That makes Baby Vocabulary Jesus cry!
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Wilson Fowlie
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2009, 11:38:08 AM »

Oh, I do have one complaint: misuse of the word "nonplussed."  That makes Baby Vocabulary Jesus cry!

I missed that (or didn't but didn't react strongly and just don't remember).  What was the usage?
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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2009, 02:59:20 PM »

Oh, I do have one complaint: misuse of the word "nonplussed."  That makes Baby Vocabulary Jesus cry!

I missed that (or didn't but didn't react strongly and just don't remember).  What was the usage?

17:35 in.  The wizard asks "Finding everything you need?"  Then

Quote
"So far," Ihor replied, nonplussed, his fingers manipulating the beads of his abacus with blinding speed.

There's no indication that Ihor is perplexed or bewildered there, or anywhere else in the story.  So the word is apparently being misused to mean... something else, I don't know what exactly.
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stePH
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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2009, 03:11:39 PM »

There's no indication that Ihor is perplexed or bewildered there, or anywhere else in the story.  So the word is apparently being misused to mean... something else, I don't know what exactly.

"unfazed" or "unshaken" perhaps?
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« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2009, 03:27:29 PM »

Plussed?
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