Author Topic: EP682/EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest (Flashback Friday)  (Read 29827 times)

lowky

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2009, 08:47:40 AM »
I join the rousing chorus of voices of praise. Love Eugie Foster stories and this is a humdinger. Elegant prose and an intriguing world.

I'm pretty sure they were once human - its a story of technology taken way to far, and what humanity could end up as, with all the meddling science is wont to do. :)

I'm also with the "great narration!" crowd. It was more of a dramatic recital than a simple reading, and I suspect it added something to the story that may not have come across in print.

Kudos all around.

I viewed it less as a story of technology run amok, than the Politically Correct Police had taken over and implanted their views so that we were no longer allowed to be our selves but we must be everybody, so we can never offend anybody.

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2009, 02:50:18 PM »
I, too, felt the reading added a level of enjoyment not possible with just the text.  Larry, you did an amazing job!  I love the way you giggled, especially.   ;D

As for the story, I got so caught up in it, and enjoyed it very much.

If I had any major problem with the story, it was the very end. Was it really necessary for him to smash in the courtesan's face? Is he going on a rampage to kill everyone who wears masks now? Is he acting this way because of the recent masks he wore? Would he have been different if he'd worn different masks leading up to that? I wasn't expecting that, and I don't know that it really created as satisfying an ending as I would've liked after such a strong story.

My feeling was he smashed in the courtesan's face because she knew him and the girl whose mask he was wearing at the end, and she was questioning what happened.  It was to shut her up.  I didn't feel like he would have gone on to kill anyone else, but maybe that's just my wishful thinking.

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2009, 07:49:42 PM »
Well it took three years (since PP's Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me) but Eugie Foster has totally blown me away again.  This story was GREAT.  Completely engrossing and gave me that shivery feeling I long for at the end and yay!  The reading was fabulous.  I can sympathize with those who thought it was over the top because for an EP reading it was a little more acted than usual, but I can only sympathize so far, because this story needed that kind of reading.  The reading was amazing and it all went together so well and the ending kicked ass and took no names and I have been telling people OMG you have to listen to this story, it's sooooo good since I heard it.

I heart Escape Pod.   Again. 
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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2009, 10:35:35 PM »
So, over this summer I did a whole bunch of work for my parents and grandmother.  I painted a porch, I refinished cabinets... What I'm trying to say is, I spent a whole lot of time listening to podcasts.  And since I was all caught up on EA's podcasts, I used my time to listen to StarShipSofa, and during that time I have come to really enjoy Larry Santoro's readings.  He's the bomb.  And when I realized he was reading this story, I was frankly ecstatic.

Yes, he did perhaps insert more drama into his reading than some other readers, but I think that it's sufficiently motivated by the story to add to the presentation rather than distract from it.  I am always willing to listen to a story Larry narrates.  Seriously.

Regarding the story itself: I quite enjoyed it.  I was confused for a little bit by the gender switch between the first two masks, but that, I think, helped in a way to illustrate the sort of non-human physical being of the narrator and his fellow 'courtesans.'  As a theory, though, that occurs to me - if we're working within human physical norms with the added extrapolation of a queen who is the primary female breeder, or even in fact the ONLY female breeder, we could be looking at a culture composed entirely of biologically male citizens whose 'gender' (or whatever the term is for what you identify as) is determined by the masks but for whom 'gender' means (in the sexual realm), if I may be crude, who's pitching.

...This is why I don't usually write on forums when it's late and I'm tired.

But in all seriousness - it was a good story, and caught me off-guard repeatedly.  The ending was a surprise and actually, to me, it makes sense that he may end up this sort of maniac, especially if his de-programming had not been properly or thoroughly completed before the woman was caught by the Gendarmes.
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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2009, 11:40:32 PM »
I totally got into this story!  Luckily, I picked up on the daily identity change thing pretty quick and looked forward to what each day would bring.  I loved getting surprized at the end.  Yes, the violence was strong, but I wasn't bothered by it in this story.

Like Anarkey said (but not in these words):  Eugie Foster does it again.  And I listened to this just before was before I heard Daughter of Botu on Podcastle (yes, I'm behind).  I am just super impressed with Eugie right now.  So much so I wrote aboute her on my blog.
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gfplux

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2009, 02:24:13 AM »
This is the second story on the bounce I did not like.

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #46 on: September 13, 2009, 07:15:13 AM »
From The Sickness Unto Death by Soren Kierkegaard:

Quote
By seeing the multitude of people around it, by being busied with all sorts of worldly affairs, by being wise to the ways of the world, such a person forgets himself, in a divine sense forgets his own name, ares not believe in himself, finds being himself too risky, finds it much easier and safer to be like the others, to become a copy, a number, along with the crowd.

This is a world where *everyone* has literally forgotten his own name, not only in a divine sense, by separating their true self/potential self from the identity they use to face the world.

natashafairweather

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #47 on: September 13, 2009, 10:58:56 AM »
I was so disgusted by the sexual violence in the first scene that I nearly turned the story off. Luckily, I was enjoying the narration so much that I stuck with it and it turned into a really great story.

That first scene though, ugh. You know, I can handle violence, murder, sexual violence, if the description of it is important to the story - if it is necessary for plot or character. That scene though was just gross titillation. The author had not yet earned their violence, and that scene just left me feeling gross. Not gross in a "gross scene, cool storytelling!" more like in a "the author just disrespected me by forcing this disgusting scene on me without justifying it" way.

After that, though, it was a great story. And the narration, of course, was incredible.

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #48 on: September 14, 2009, 04:12:46 AM »

If I had any major problem with the story, it was the very end. Was it really necessary for him to smash in the courtesan's face? Is he going on a rampage to kill everyone who wears masks now? Is he acting this way because of the recent masks he wore? Would he have been different if he'd worn different masks leading up to that? I wasn't expecting that, and I don't know that it really created as satisfying an ending as I would've liked after such a strong story.

My feeling was he smashed in the courtesan's face because she knew him and the girl whose mask he was wearing at the end, and she was questioning what happened.  It was to shut her up.  I didn't feel like he would have gone on to kill anyone else, but maybe that's just my wishful thinking.

I think that's inconsistent with the ending of the story - he says he now knows how to murder so his "victims will not wake", and then goes on the say he is chaos, a flaw in the society. My impression was that he plans to go on killing. Plus, it doesn't really make sense to say that she knew him and the girl - remember, this society has no notion of identity, and has a major taboo against thinking about the people beyond the mask. The narrator was special in that he had some notion of identity even before being freed. The lover was questioning why her servant girl disappeared, not anything more. He could have made any excuse and she would have been angry, but still playing within the rules of the game, and he would have been safe. The murder - and the viciousness of it (remember, he makes an explicit point about he doesn't stop hitting her once she's dead) - is not motivated by pragmatic reasons.

I felt this story was wonderful, and I have more to say about it, and how the ending was not just appropriate but absolutely necessary; and also some questions I have, especially about the role of the queen. But I don't have time to write it up right now; hopefully, I'll find time to do so over the next few days.

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2009, 06:39:12 AM »
I got so wrapped up in the story I actually forgot to come over here and do my usual "yay!"

The imagry- the world building, the READING! fantastic on all fronts. I liked the way it unfolded, like an origami piece or one of those neat little hidden compartment boxes. Each facet turned on it's face by the unexpected ending. Wonderful! I am just giddy with glee over this one!
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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #50 on: September 14, 2009, 10:05:38 AM »
I really enjoyed this story for both story and reading (go Larry!). I appreciated the dramatic pauses, the changes in pitch; the breathiness of some revelations within the story. This was so wonderful because it was more than reading the story to us (which is perfectly acceptable) it was acting the story out as well; and that created a new level of appreciation. I think that the performance complimented the nature of the story perfectly.

As far as the story goes... I had a few thoughts...

One thing I wanted to touch on was the Queen's story. Pinya acts as if putting the Diamond mask on will uncover all of the lies... all the treachery. I expected that the queen was an evil monster, sort of like the bad guy in V for Vendetta - and I was surprised to learn that she was... stupid.

Ok, stupid is probably not a fair assessment, and I recognize that the crime of removing identity is a pretty hefty one; but the Queen herself just wants her "children" to leave her alone: and so creates an incredibly elaborate setting that allows them to interact with each other in a format that she could control and protect them. It's interesting that the Queen built this society to eliminate the concept of death to her citizens, yet we are confronted with several violent and fake deaths throughout the story. So while they do not really die, they are not spared the violence or pain that masks exude.

I also appreciated the baroque styling of the story; someone else on the forum mentioned that, and it is exactly what was in my head too; although I loved the switch over after the diamond mask: suddenly scientists (who I presume are the mask makers) intrude on the scene and disrupt my concept of the life of this story.

Some others discussed that there may be a problem with the ending: i.e., the psycho killer aspect of our unnamed pro(?)tagonist. But there was a moment in the 2nd chapter, after he/she was a maiden where he longed to become one of the violent masks so that he could punch the masked man who referred to a previous mask's activities in the stomach. (Later we learn this is Pinya.) His focus on this over-reaction is being appalled at his longing to switch masks, when the real indication of his "personality" is the desire to cause bodily harm. I think that as readers we are so unsure of the world we are listening to, that we overlook that and assume it is the defenses of an offended person in a world we are unfamiliar with; when in reality it is a clue to his underlying character.

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beas
« Reply #51 on: September 14, 2009, 04:00:35 PM »
Joined the forums just to comment on this story.  Amazingly good.  It built so well I was waiting for the flat ending but zing!  Didn't see that coming and it was just so right.

As far Larry's "reading" - it perfectly matched the tone.

Looking forward to the morning commute to listen again :)

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beas
« Reply #52 on: September 14, 2009, 06:06:05 PM »
After the first mask it was pretty much clear where this story was going.  It was an enjoyable story, however, and what really sold it was the reader. Clearly. It seems like this would work better in a visual medium (theater, film, adult cartoon, graphic novel, etc.).  In the end I feel like I either want a lot more than it gives me, or a lot less.  Would be a fine flash or a fine novel.
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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #53 on: September 14, 2009, 10:34:44 PM »
I really didn't like anything about this one.......almost turned it off a couple of times but gutted it out.  Meh.
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lowky

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #54 on: September 14, 2009, 11:01:50 PM »
I really didn't like anything about this one.......almost turned it off a couple of times but gutted it out.  Meh.

Beginning to think it was just me.  Was actually considering relistening given all the praise it's been getting here.  Just didn't hold my attention.  Almost everything drew my attention away from the story.  Ooh look a rock.

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beas
« Reply #55 on: September 15, 2009, 01:01:41 AM »
I really didn't like anything about this one.......almost turned it off a couple of times but gutted it out.  Meh.

Beginning to think it was just me.  Was actually considering relistening given all the praise it's been getting here.  Just didn't hold my attention.  Almost everything drew my attention away from the story.  Ooh look a rock.


That happens, guys.  I still don't see why everyone liked Friction.

wakela

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #56 on: September 15, 2009, 01:40:18 AM »
It's been a while since I listened, so feel free to correct me.  But are the people in the mask society that much worse off?  They get to chose a different persona every day.  Whoever they want.  As for me, I have a persona with my wife, another with my kid, another at work, and a couple with various friends, and they're all pretty much the same guy.  I don't get to decide to be a spy one day and a prostitute the next.  I'm not saying their lives are unequivocally better than mine, just that they are not living in an oppressive nightmare.  It seems akin to living in World of Warcraft, but with hundreds of accounts to choose from.

But maybe I'm forgetting something. 

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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beas
« Reply #57 on: September 15, 2009, 09:15:54 AM »
I found this one to be very enjoyable, but I have a question (which expands into many others). If each mask is a different personality and has different relationships, how do they coordinate them? If, let's say, I have a purple mask that is the wife of some other mask, what do I do if I wear it one day but my husband's oversoul isn't being worn? What if my green and silver mask goes out to have lunch with friends only to find that most of them aren't being worn that day? How do the oversouls establish relationships if each citizen has so many masks that it is unlikely that any two will be worn in combination more than a few times a year? Does each oversoul have a general personality and then just makes up something new every day? ""My mask's oversoul has decided that it hates your mask's oversoul and I'm going to kill you today"? "My mask has decided that I work at this shop today, but only for today"?
I think that I might be thinking about this too hard.

This is one reason the story didn't really work for me.  And I thought I was listening to a Podcastle story for about 3/4 of it.

The reading was fine except for some conversations between the narrator and PiƱa; it was difficult to tell who was speaking which lines.

I still don't see why everyone liked Friction.

Not everyone.
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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #58 on: September 15, 2009, 09:31:15 AM »
It seems akin to living in World of Warcraft, but with hundreds of accounts to choose from.

But maybe I'm forgetting something. 

Yeah.  You're forgetting that, while it could be just like playing a MMORPG with hundreds of accounts to choose from, you can NEVER turn the game off or take a day off or walk away.  You MUST play, every single day, for always and forever, or suffer consequences from the gendarmes.  Your whole life is a game and there's no you there, only the personas.  And some people might be ok with that.  And were, according to the story.  Certainly from the point of view of the queen, this was a utopian society.  For others, the absence of true self is pretty much a nightmare...or can become a nightmare over time, as it did for the main character.   
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Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #59 on: September 15, 2009, 09:56:55 AM »
It's been a while since I listened, so feel free to correct me.  But are the people in the mask society that much worse off?  They get to chose a different persona every day.  Whoever they want.  As for me, I have a persona with my wife, another with my kid, another at work, and a couple with various friends, and they're all pretty much the same guy.  I don't get to decide to be a spy one day and a prostitute the next.  I'm not saying their lives are unequivocally better than mine, just that they are not living in an oppressive nightmare.  It seems akin to living in World of Warcraft, but with hundreds of accounts to choose from.

But maybe I'm forgetting something. 

but generally you get to pick your masks, you could act the way you do with your wife, at work, but from his conversation with the queen they must wear certain masks at certian times. That and they have no sense of identity without their masks + they can't go from green mask to red mask during the day. There, your wife is actually your brother in a different mask, and that don't happen here... generally spakin
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