Author Topic: Pseudopod 150: Break the Vessel  (Read 14936 times)

Sgarre1

  • Editor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1214
  • "Let There Be Fright!"
Reply #25 on: July 27, 2009, 03:26:21 PM
I love how Pseudopod can, week after week, have people eviscerated, tortured, children raped, etc. but include details about fecal matter, completely supported by both the real-world plot and symbolic/thematic framework of the story, and people freak.  What's the name of the kid's book - EVERYBODY POOPS?

I'd take "Break The Vessel" over skin burrowing insects or "my criminal psychiatrist is raping me" stories any day.



Ben Phillips

  • Lich King
  • Matross
  • ****
  • Posts: 299
    • Pseudopod
Reply #26 on: July 29, 2009, 09:29:41 AM
I appreciate everyone's tolerance of my coprophilia.  Where can a freak like me go for support if not to horror fans?  I don't expect everyone to understand.  :_-(



umamei

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 32
Reply #27 on: August 21, 2009, 09:15:25 AM
I'm just catching up on my fiction podcasts after a prolonged and unplanned break from listening/reading, and this was one of the first that popped up in my iPod.  I agree with the previous assessments that this wasn't all that horrific of a story.  I differ only in my assessment that detailed descriptions of poop don't bother me.  Needles are a totally different story, as are flies in my coffee.  But poop... meh, whatever.

All that aside, this was still a really good story.  I don't mind seeing it appear somewhere in the Escape Pod franchise, and as a listener to all of the podcasts, I don't really care which one.  It has elements of fantasy that I like, but wasn't really all that fantastical.  Now if the god had actually done something supernatural, as opposed to just chitchat about his supposed divinity with the help, I could place it firmly in the fantasy genre.  But this was more just a story of doubt and faith, divinity and humanity.  There was a point in my life where these issues would have horrified me, or at least disturbed me in much the same way Seven of Nine's struggle with individuality did on Voyager.  At this point in my life, it just fascinates me, and I suppose fascination and horror aren't really that far apart from one another.  (Like watching a car wreck happen--you just can't look away, are horrified by the damage done, but somehow, it's just *fascinating* as wrong as that is.)



Russell Nash

  • Guest
Reply #28 on: August 26, 2009, 07:46:25 AM
What a bunch of crap!!

I just couldn't believe someone else hadn't said that yet. 

I liked this one.  The crap didn't bother me.  The younger of my two kids has only been out of diapers for a year and a half.  Once you've dealt with that for over four straight years (My son was just getting out of diapers when my daughter was born), Nothing short of poop eating is going to skeeze you out. The description did get boring.  I stopped it, came here, read the first few comments, and decided to keep listening.  Glad I did.



Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8729
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #29 on: August 26, 2009, 04:52:13 PM
I really liked this story, probably one of the best I've heard so far--I'm getting caught up on back issues, so I haven't read them all, but so far the only one that tops it in my mind is "The Greatest Adventure of All."

I can't say I enjoyed the poop descriptions, but they were in character, and served to characterize, so they didn't bother.  The word "shit" didn't bother me either, as I have no doubt he knew the word already, and it was appropriate to escalate the profanity at the climax of the story.

Podcastle would've been a good enough home for this also, though it didn't turn out to be particularly fantastical in nature.  But I think it fit in just fine here.  For me the horror was what organized religion can do to a society (by claiming this man's existence makes the sun go up and down), and to an individual (robbing children's lives from them and then murdering them in a terribly painful way just as they reach their prime).

Good show, and well read as well.  Keep it up!



BrianDeacon

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Reply #30 on: August 28, 2009, 06:57:44 PM
This is right up there with The Great and Secret Show



JoeFitz

  • Matross
  • ****
  • Posts: 258
Reply #31 on: September 16, 2009, 01:20:04 AM
The "poop" was well handled. It reminded me instantly of the scene in the movie, the Last Emperor, where the attendant smells the output of the little prince. The description was well-handled and sufficiently clinical that it did not disturb me at all.

The genre discussion I find interesting, because although subtle, it strikes me that the horrific element is the devout priest whose job it is to help a God poop. Interesting that such a "menial" task is performed by such a highly-educated, highly-ranked priest. And yet, the story itself proves that God does his best thinking when he is pooping. What better occasion than to have a gifted person to attend to the God? Such a person is trapped in a golden cage of their own making - he feels and believes earnestly that he is privileged to have God crap on him. The narrator used the word "intimate" in a very pure way. Rings a bit like Job, to me. To believe that being crapped on by a God is a blessing? That's got to be some type of horror.

That being said, I could agree that this story could have appeared on any one of the Escape Artist feeds.

For what it's worth the "shit-covered shards" also did not work for me. It was too jarring and brought me out of the story.



Fenrix

  • Curmudgeonly Co-Editor of PseudoPod
  • Editor
  • *****
  • Posts: 3996
  • I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
Reply #32 on: May 06, 2010, 10:53:28 PM
Apparently nowhere in the sacred texts did they instruct that it's down the block not across the street.

I'm not sure I would have sought this story out, but I'm not unhappy that I was exposed to it.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


Millenium_King

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 385
    • Ankor Sabat
Reply #33 on: June 07, 2010, 10:41:33 PM
So I'm wondering if someone didn't just read the submission guidelines then say "Nothing overly scatological in nature? I'll show them!"

All kidding aside, this was a very brave story.  It is almost impossible to categorize genre-wise (I am convinced Podcastle would have rejected it - not enough of a fantastic element) and the subject matter?  Well, let's say most editors would not have had the stomach for it.  Har har.

I totally enjoyed the story.  The culture felt believable and the temple felt real.  The interaction between the characters was well handled and the writing was tight.  This story didn't have the AKSHUN I usually like, but it was subtle without being boring.

Praise to Pseudopod for taking a real risk on this one, Praise to Ben for the excellent narration and praise to the author for writing something really brave.

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


Listener

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 3187
  • I place things in locations which later elude me.
    • Various and Sundry Items of Interest
Reply #34 on: June 08, 2010, 01:53:45 PM
So I'm wondering if someone didn't just read the submission guidelines then say "Nothing overly scatological in nature? I'll show them!"

Y'know, now that I think about it, didn't this and that first Flash trifecta that started off with a story about poop-babies come out relatively close to each other?

I wouldn't consider this story overly scatological -- yes, it was about the guy who takes care of the god's poop, but the story isn't about the poop itself. That's just a consequence. It's like when I worked at the Office Depot copy center -- I was exposed to a LOT of different types of paper, so when I read books I unconsciously figured out what kind of paper they were, sort of in the back of my mind. It wasn't about the paper, but the paper was part of my life. Well, the god's poop is part of this guy's life.

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42


Millenium_King

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 385
    • Ankor Sabat
Reply #35 on: June 08, 2010, 06:19:26 PM
I wouldn't consider this story overly scatological -- yes, it was about the guy who takes care of the god's poop, but the story isn't about the poop itself. That's just a consequence. It's like when I worked at the Office Depot copy center -- I was exposed to a LOT of different types of paper, so when I read books I unconsciously figured out what kind of paper they were, sort of in the back of my mind. It wasn't about the paper, but the paper was part of my life. Well, the god's poop is part of this guy's life.

Haha - oh, I know!  I was just making a (lame) joke.  I squirmed a little during the description, but like I said, I definately thought it worked, it was unique and it was brave - both on the part of the author and on the part of the editor for picking the story.  This one might make my top 10.

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


c210344

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Reply #36 on: July 21, 2010, 01:12:35 PM
Great story, horrible, horrible. Never heard/read anything quite like it. The bit about "shit-covered shards" was jarring, I thought. But that could be quite appropriate considering god has just thrown his poo at his priests...