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Author Topic: PC106: Little Gods  (Read 10998 times)

timpratt

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Reply #25 on: June 09, 2010, 08:09:23 PM
I'm not offended; I know not every story will work for everyone. (And as this story was written in 2001, when I was a newer writer, the prose reads clunky in places to me, too, and I would have made different choices if I tried to write it today. I'm still very fond of it, though.)

As for grief -- well, yes. Every experience of grief is personal. I've had people tell me this story reads completely false for them and is emotionally manipulative, and I've had other people assume I must have lost a spouse -- as they did -- because it seemed so true to their own experience. (For the record, I haven't lost a spouse, or witnessed a violent death, though I've had experience of losing loved ones, and even some experience with the consequences of violent death.) I was also, obviously, playing a bit with literalizing the classic five stages of grief.

I wrote the story after losing someone very close to me -- not in death, but in a relationship break up; in fiction you often amp things up to eleven for effect -- and as a way of working through my own feelings of loss and failure and misery, and of reminding myself that This Too Shall Pass.



ElectricPaladin

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Reply #26 on: June 10, 2010, 02:17:50 PM
First of all, I loved it.

As a testament to how much I loved it, it sent me into a screaming fit (right there, in my car - I'm lucky I was parking or my fiance might presently be gazing longingly out over the water at the small god of unexpectedly finding the book you want and didn't even know you were looking for) and left me feeling hollow.

Allow me to explain: the only problem I had with Little Gods is that Pratt did such a good job building his world and his characters that I found myself desperately wanting more, so much so that the longing got in the way of enjoying the story I actually got to listen to. This doesn't happen often. The story of the narrator overcoming his loss and moving on was beautiful, sad, and perfectly paced, but I think I would have liked the story of the narrator attempting to negotiate a relationship with his newly deified wife while fending off well-intentioned offers to set him up with a girl everyone else could see and grappling with the consequences of this forbidden love even better. Though, on reflection, that story might be a tad big for the short story genre.

I don't know what this is... probably not a left-handed compliment, since I basically enjoyed the story. Maybe a right-handed insult?

Anyway, that's my reaction. I'm curious if anybody shared my feelings or if I'm basically a weirdo.

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Sandikal

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Reply #27 on: June 10, 2010, 11:41:26 PM
I had tears in my eyes at the end of this story.  That's enough for me to give it a thumbs up.



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Reply #28 on: June 17, 2010, 02:15:39 PM
First of all, thanks for mentioning my Best of Podcastle list in the intro.  'Tis a thrill to hear it listed on there, as part of the Everybody Loves Tim collaborative effort.   I'm honored to have done my part, even though I had no idea this effort was upcoming.  ;D  And in honor of the theme, I think it may be appropriate to also post a link to the interview I wrote of Mr. Pratt posted to Fantasy Magazine last month (I may have linked elsewhere, but it seems appropriate with the theme):
http://www.fantasy-magazine.com/2010/05/deviations-above-the-mean-tim-pratt/

Like others, this reminded me of Small Gods, if only because of the title and the concept of gods of smaller things.  That's not a bad association, since Small Gods is easily my favorite Pratchett book.

I liked this story (no surprise there) but it's not my favorite Pratt story.  To put that in perspective, that's sort of like saying that peanut butter cookies are not my favorite cookie.  Yes, given the choice of only one kind of cookie, I'd pick chocolate chip over PB any day, but that doesn't mean that the PB cookies aren't also delicious.  And tastier than most other foods any day.

The emotions in this seemed very authentic, though I thankfully have not lost a spouse nor seen a violent death to compare it to.  I liked the idea of the small gods of cinnamon and hot showers and all of that variety.  The trickery of the God of Guilt was really good, had me fooled too, but I was relieved when the Goddess of Grief showed up--even though her underling was a creep I was glad that she herself was overall a force for healing.

I predict that, in the future, when he has guests over for dinner, they will exclaim time and time again:  "Dude, do you have to put cinnamon in EVERYTHING?"  'Tis handy to be able to summon her any time he wishes by carrying a bag of cinnamon sticks wherever he goes.  :)



merryoldsoul

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Reply #29 on: June 29, 2010, 06:24:43 PM
this was a beautiful story and well read DKT. i have not suffered the loss of a loved one; it'll come, but for now i feel i've just been given a true understanding of the emotional impact. a friend of mine lost his wife a few months ago: i've sent him the story in the hope it will make his suffering just that little easier to bear.



Lady Tanglust

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Reply #30 on: July 10, 2010, 04:07:55 AM
THIS STORY CAUGHT MY ATTENTION AND HELD IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH.   I REALLY LIKED THE WAY THE COURSE OF GRIEF AND WORKING THROUGH IT COURSES.   BUT ON ANOTHER LEVEL I FIND MYSELF PRAISING OR COMPLAINING ABOUT MY LITTLE GODS.  SO THIS STORY HAS REALLY AFFECTED ME ON SEVERAL LEVELS AND THAT IS WHAT I REALLY LOOK FOR IN A FANTASY STORY.  JOB WELL DONE.



LaShawn

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Reply #31 on: July 22, 2010, 03:42:55 PM
I'm listening to the story now, and I'm having a very hard time listening to it. I start...listen for a few minutes. Then I can't go on and I have to stop.

This is not because it's a horrible story or a badly written one. This is because I can feel the grief throughout it.

It's weird because I have not lost anyone close to me for a while. Things are going fine for me. It's just that I can feel the raw emotion so strongly in this story that it's too much for me to handle. I have to take it in little bits in pieces. And the language and the imagery is so...so...

::bursts into tears:: DAMMIT TIM! WHY YOU HAVE TO BE SO GOOOOOOOD!!! ::runs off sobbing::

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Listener

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Reply #32 on: July 22, 2010, 04:21:42 PM
I'm listening to the story now, and I'm having a very hard time listening to it. I start...listen for a few minutes. Then I can't go on and I have to stop.

This is not because it's a horrible story or a badly written one. This is because I can feel the grief throughout it.

It happens at the oddest times. I was walking in the train station Tuesday and my ipod played George Hrab's song "Small Comfort", about his friends having to put their dog to sleep. I got all teary-eyed, but I didn't the last time I heard the song, or the first time.

I guess you never know.

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IsItArt

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Reply #33 on: September 23, 2010, 10:43:54 PM
thank you to Tim Pratt who nudged me in2 painting a new series of moths ... just finished my first retablo of a moth that drinks the tears of birds .... the "Hemiceratoides hieroglyphica" a sophisticated moth of Madagascar.



LaShawn

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Reply #34 on: September 23, 2010, 11:43:04 PM
thank you to Tim Pratt who nudged me in2 painting a new series of moths ... just finished my first retablo of a moth that drinks the tears of birds .... the "Hemiceratoides hieroglyphica" a sophisticated moth of Madagascar.

I'd love to see this.

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stePH

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Reply #35 on: September 24, 2010, 12:22:37 AM
It happens at the oddest times. I was walking in the train station Tuesday and my ipod played George Hrab's song "Small Comfort", about his friends having to put their dog to sleep.

Actually, that song is about Geo putting his own dog ("Oscar") to sleep.

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Reply #36 on: September 24, 2010, 01:27:21 PM
thank you to Tim Pratt who nudged me in2 painting a new series of moths ... just finished my first retablo of a moth that drinks the tears of birds .... the "Hemiceratoides hieroglyphica" a sophisticated moth of Madagascar.

I'd love to see this.

Me too!



HR_Duff_n_Stuff

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Reply #37 on: October 01, 2010, 10:20:39 PM
A small first step on the forum for podcasts I've listened to for years. I'm starting here as the story has stuck with me a long time. It made me think about people I've known for a long time and the sorts of little gods that they might think themselves to become some day, what I'd imagine them becoming, and how close, or very far away, the two are at times.  In particular with my kids, their very imagination of what it would be to be the small god of something looks out through entirely different facets than from (most) grownups.



kibitzer

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Reply #38 on: October 02, 2010, 12:56:01 AM
A small first step on the forum for podcasts I've listened to for years. I'm starting here as the story has stuck with me a long time.

Welcome! Comment away!


geekinco

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Reply #39 on: October 08, 2010, 03:44:37 AM
I too got tears in my eyes by the end of this story. Bravo, Tim.

As for me after hearing this story, I want to remember my aunt as the little god of "good coffee in the morning" warming and awakening.

 



psyneo

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Reply #40 on: December 08, 2010, 11:36:36 PM
I'm currently playing catch-up, and I had to come spoil the beginning of this story for myself.
Following the wonderful, smile-inducing descriptions of the woman and the narrator's relationship with her, the sudden shift to "a commotion" made my chest tighten. Fortunately, nobody was around to hear me say, "oh no. Don't."

Now that I'm braced for it, I'm gonna go finish the story.