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Author Topic: Pseudopod 140: The Man Who Sank  (Read 5550 times)

Bdoomed

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on: May 01, 2009, 02:55:55 PM
Pseudopod 140: The Man Who Sank

By Colin P. Davies
Read by Alasdair Stuart

Niall is the worst of us. He’s meaner, more vicious, more crazy. He hates everyone: Jamaicans, Asians, queers…. Chances are he hates me as well. His Dad had been a violent waste-of-DNA and Niall intends to make us all pay. He doesn’t care about anything…and yet, only last Saturday, when we met up as usual, I found him anxious and attentive to every stranger on the street.

For half an hour, we’d been hanging around the launderette, hoping to spy at least one of the Jones twins, in their short skirts and ankle boots. Rain came down fine and bright in the orange warmth of the street lamps, and I felt colder than natural for an August evening. Jimmy sat on the bus stop bench, drinking. The canopy sheltered him from all but the strongest gusts. Somehow he’d got hold of a bottle of Woodpecker. Niall tried to light a cigarette in the open doorway of the launderette. He mumbled, “Shit, shit…” as he battled with the wind. Then he turned suddenly and gazed up the street.

“What’s your problem?” I said.

He cupped his hand around the lighter. “The wind….”

“No…you seem edgy. Are you expecting someone?”

“Maybe…I don’t know.”




Listen to this week's Pseudopod.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
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MacArthurBug

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Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 05:36:34 AM
strange strange story. Exellent reading. Per usual I'm torn between liking this- and not really knowing what I feel about it.

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.


Bdoomed

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Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 05:37:40 PM
ehh, it was okay. i think im with ya here Macarthurbug...

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


thomasowenm

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Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 07:57:53 PM
This one grabbed me fairly fast then dropped me just as quick.  The story felt like it lacked something, what it was I can't place.  On a positive Alasdair seems to have fixed his audio problem.   



MacArthurBug

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Reply #4 on: May 04, 2009, 06:40:15 PM
Als reading was more supurb then usual- a bit of... something was added towards accent to flesh out the character.

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.


gelee

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Reply #5 on: May 05, 2009, 06:47:48 PM
Very slick.  I liked the Clockwork Orangey-ness of it.  Add a dash of Mieville, a little Lovecraft, and voila: The Man Who Sank.  I mean this, buy the way, in a very good way.  Interpretive, but not derivative.



Listener

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Reply #6 on: May 05, 2009, 08:42:27 PM
I can't comment on the reading because I helped edit it.

I didn't really like the story. Like thomasowenm, it grabbed me but then the supernatural element kind of felt tacked-on... like the author had these two stories and jammed them together.

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Raving_Lunatic

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Reply #7 on: May 05, 2009, 10:16:47 PM
loved it. fab reading.



Sgarre1

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Reply #8 on: May 05, 2009, 10:48:26 PM
I thought this one was ...interesting.  Not much of a fan of "hell is real" stories, or, for that matter "guy claims something unlikely and no one believes him until confirmation occurs from someone else seeing it" story structure, but the writing was solid, the reading was good and it finally won me over with the little line near the end of the stick man drifting down into the abyss.  Nice visual.  Worth hearing.

Thanks for listening

“Scarcely has night arrived to undeceive, unfurling her wings of crepe (wings drained even of the glimmer just now dying in the tree-tops); scarcely has the last glint still dancing on the burnished metal heights of the tall towers ceased to fade, like a still glowing coal in a spent brazier, which whitens gradually beneath the ashes, and soon is indistinguishable from the abandoned hearth, than a fearful murmur rises amongst them, their teeth chatter with despair and rage, they hasten and scatter in their dread, finding witches everywhere, and ghosts.  It is night... and Hell will gape once more.
Charles Nodier, SMARRA
« Last Edit: May 05, 2009, 10:50:07 PM by Sgarre1 »



Zathras

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Reply #9 on: May 06, 2009, 07:54:43 PM
Add me to the group of people on the fence.  It was a good story, just didn't reach it's potential.



csrster

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Reply #10 on: June 03, 2009, 07:46:45 AM
I liked this one. I'm always a sucker for stories that reveal the hideous terrifying truth that lurks underneath the thin veneer of what we laughingly call the Real World. (Alasdair's reading was excellent, even if his accent seemed to wander back and forth over the Pennines on occasion :-) )



Listener

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Reply #11 on: June 05, 2009, 07:49:56 PM
(Alasdair's reading was excellent, even if his accent seemed to wander back and forth over the Pennines on occasion :-) )

I noticed that too while I was editing it.

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stePH

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Reply #12 on: August 11, 2009, 02:15:56 PM
Fistful of meh.

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Unblinking

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Reply #13 on: August 17, 2009, 04:40:41 PM
Well read and reasonably good story, but I don't know that it was unique enough to really stand out among others with similar events.



Millenium_King

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Reply #14 on: June 15, 2010, 11:25:31 PM
Something of a dull story.  The imagery was not intense, unique or vivid enough for me to be drawn in by the supernatural element.  The mundane element was exactly that - mundane.  Long build up.  Lots of characterization, but no plot.

As an aside, it's my belief that a lot of authors would benefit from reading Lovecraft and paying attention to how he maintains an atmosphere of tension by telegraphing a few hints of the ending first.  This story would have benefitted from that.  Otherwise, about 50% of it is just two bums talking in the rain.

Finally, EXCELLENT outro by Alasdair.  This is exactly the sort of thing I was driving at with my criticism for "Wave Goodbye."  This outro made us look at the story, the concept of Hell and all of humanity from a different distance, angle and facet.  The story may have been sending one message, but Al reminds us all that it's not so cut-and-dried.  Reminds us that with a different perspective, things are not as bad as they seem... or possibly, they are worse...

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