Author Topic: PC054: The Dreaming Wind  (Read 5228 times)

Heradel

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on: May 27, 2009, 12:45:49 AM
PodCastle Episode 54: The Dreaming Wind

by Jeffrey Ford.
Read by Rajan Khanna and Paul Tevis (of Have Games, Will Travel).

Its name, The Dreaming Wind, was more indicative than you might at first believe. What is a dream, but a state founded enough upon the every day to be believable to the sleeping mind and yet also a place wherein anything at all might and often does happen. Tomes of wonders, testaments of melancholic horrors, wrought by the gale had been recorded, but I’ll merely recount some of the things I, myself, had been privy to in the years I’d witnessed the phenomenon.

The human body seemed its favorite play thing, and in reaction to its weird catalyst I’d seen flesh turn every color in the rainbow, melt and reform into different shapes so that a head swelled to the size of a pumpkin or legs stretched to lift their owner above the house tops. Tongues split or turned to knives and eyes shot flame, swirled like pin wheels, popped, or became mirrors to reflect the thing that I’d become – once a salamander man with Ibis head, once a bronze statue of the moon . In my wedding year, my wife Lyda’s long hair took on a mind and life of its own, tresses grabbing cups from a cupboard and smashing them upon the floor. Mayor Meersch ran down Gossin Street the year I was ten with his rear end upon his shoulders and muffled shouts issuing from the back of his trousers.

Rated R. Contains some imagery that might disturb the unprepared. Also, some readers may wish to protect their children from prevailing surrealism.

Due to a mix-up at PodCastle, two narrations were acquired from this story from two of our favorite narrators — Paul Tevis and Rajan Khanna. Readers are invited to listen to either, or to listen to both and compare. Enjoy!

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


Listener

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Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 12:38:50 PM
I will withhold comment on the reading since there was a choice.

The story was full of vivid imagery; no one can deny that. And when the kids put on the play at the end, that was great. But the gigantic info/imagedump at the beginning killed the pacing and I kept wondering when something was going to happen.

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Hilary Moon Murphy

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Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 12:58:15 PM
Two readings!  Is anyone else planning on listening to both? 

Hmm


Talia

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Reply #3 on: May 29, 2009, 01:50:44 AM
Fantastic story. I really rather enjoyed the info at the beginning, all the colorful details. It was deliciously surreal.. I enjoy the absurd, and it was spectacularly absurd. Good times. Story felt a bit like a literary acid (good) trip :)



SirJolt

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Reply #4 on: May 29, 2009, 12:31:09 PM
I didn't think this was absurd, it just had a very healthy dose of imagination... great fun.

The plot was nice and simple and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing, imagedump and all.

More like this plox :)



Talia

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Reply #5 on: May 29, 2009, 01:06:32 PM
to clarify my statement, I just thought the descriptions of the wind's effects were absurd. Absurd in the good sense. :) I am probably horribly misusing the word.



Hilary Moon Murphy

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Reply #6 on: May 29, 2009, 11:33:23 PM
Ah, but absurdity can be so refreshing!  I did actually listen to both readings (it was laundry day) in part because this was one of those stories that benefited from a second listen.  The first time through, I didn't catch all the delicious weirdness.  I listened to Rajan Khanna first as I so love his rich voice, but I think that Paul Tevis's crisp, matter of fact style suited this story a little better.  When there is so much strangeness in the story, I felt the narration got grounded by the crispness of Tevis's vocal style.  Of course, this may be that I just "got" the story better the second time around...

 :P

Was this the shortest intro that you've done for a regular-sized story in Podcastle?  It seemed to zip by much faster than expected.

Hmm


MacArthurBug

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Reply #7 on: May 30, 2009, 02:46:16 AM
Absolutly gorgous story weaving! I loved this through and through!

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Loz

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Reply #8 on: June 03, 2009, 05:43:09 PM
I don't think I care enough about the story to listen to the alternate version, that said, I did enjoy the story, I will now wheel out the stock phrase I always seem to use for these types of stories when I like them: 'It's like early Jonathan Carroll'. My attention did start to wander a little in the middle, but the play at the end won me over.



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Reply #9 on: June 04, 2009, 02:51:31 PM
  I enjoyed this story when Starship Sofa ran in awhile back, but hearing another read... I don't know if I enjoyed it more this time due to the different reader, or because I have heard it before and could listen for details I missed the first time, or just because Osaka was in the car, and I knew she had not heard it before.

  I want a Colonel Pudding toy of some sort now, a plush, a figure, I don't care. I just want a parrot with a doll head; like some creation escaped from Sid's bedroom.

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LadyIndigo

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Reply #10 on: June 11, 2009, 01:15:37 AM
This didn't do anything for me.  I feel like it was weirdly preachy, not that I know exactly what it was preaching, but it kept building towards this weird "and they all learn a lesson" place that made me lose interest.  The surrealist images in the beginning were fantastic, and I would have loved more like that, maybe just a worldbuilding piece about the Wind itself.



Anarkey

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Reply #11 on: June 20, 2009, 10:07:12 PM
I always think, in the first three paragraphs of a Jeffrey Ford story that I'm not going to like it.  I'm always impatient and a little eye-rolly about either the premise or the setting or the characters.  And I think it's a measure of his genius that every single story wins me over in the end.  He does something so right that I always overcome my initial misgivings.  So much so that I may have to stop having them.

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Unblinking

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Reply #12 on: December 15, 2009, 09:51:56 PM
This was a really cool premise, and although the beginning was a bit info-dumpy, the details were interesting enough that it kept me going.  And the fact that people were disappointed when the wind didn't show up was an interesting point.

In the end, I would've liked a story that was really grounded in a character.  Sure, there was a narrator who was telling things, but it was never clear who they were other than an average citizen who chooses to put on the can-of-beans mask.  The play at the end was fun, but it wasn't clear to me if Colonel Pudding told them the truth of the situation, or if that was just their own imaginations finally developing now that the Wind was not imagining for them.  The ending left me with the same question.  Was he supposed to be dreaming or is something actually happening here?