Author Topic: EP682/EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest (Flashback Friday)  (Read 30503 times)

wakela

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 779
    • Mr. Wake
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #60 on: September 16, 2009, 01:43:47 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.   

But I can't turn my life off and walk away either.  I can change my job and my wife and what country I live in if I want to, but I can't become an astronaut or courtesan.  And for some people this is a nightmare, and if they act accoding to thier true selves, they get to suffer the consequences of the gendarmes. The mask people had freedoms that I don't.  I have freedoms they they don't. 

izzardfan

  • Guest
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #61 on: September 16, 2009, 01:46:22 AM »
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  <snip>

After reading your explanation, I think you're right.  I didn't catch all of it, apparently.  I know I was in the car when I finished it, so I missed something (or two), it seems.  Too bad, too, as I thought of him as more sane and less psycho.  Oh, well.

wakela

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 779
    • Mr. Wake
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #62 on: September 16, 2009, 01:49:09 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

You're right that they don't have a sense of identity without their masks, but we don't have the freedom to act out or fantasies.  I wonder if someone in their world is writing an SF story about a distopian nightmare where people go to the same jobs and come home to the same family day after day.  

eytanz

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6109
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #63 on: September 16, 2009, 02:16:45 AM »
You're right that they don't have a sense of identity without their masks, but we don't have the freedom to act out or fantasies.  I wonder if someone in their world is writing an SF story about a distopian nightmare where people go to the same jobs and come home to the same family day after day.  

But they're not acting out their fantasies. They have *over*souls - the masks overwrite their personalities. The people are reduced to little but vessels for other people's lives.

wakela

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 779
    • Mr. Wake
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #64 on: September 16, 2009, 02:27:48 AM »
You're right that they don't have a sense of identity without their masks, but we don't have the freedom to act out or fantasies.  I wonder if someone in their world is writing an SF story about a distopian nightmare where people go to the same jobs and come home to the same family day after day.  

But they're not acting out their fantasies. They have *over*souls - the masks overwrite their personalities. The people are reduced to little but vessels for other people's lives.

Point taken, but they still acquire a richer set of experiences than I do.  I'm not saying Maskworld is a paradise, and I'm not saying I would submit to its rules if I had a choice, it just doesn't seem dramatically worse than our world enough that escape is a no-brainer.  The main character didn't seem to do any soul-searching, and the woman --though she did give him a choice -- seemed to think it was inevitable that he would choose individuality if he could just experience it. 

eytanz

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6109
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #65 on: September 16, 2009, 02:36:02 AM »
You're right that they don't have a sense of identity without their masks, but we don't have the freedom to act out or fantasies.  I wonder if someone in their world is writing an SF story about a distopian nightmare where people go to the same jobs and come home to the same family day after day.  

But they're not acting out their fantasies. They have *over*souls - the masks overwrite their personalities. The people are reduced to little but vessels for other people's lives.

Point taken, but they still acquire a richer set of experiences than I do.  I'm not saying Maskworld is a paradise, and I'm not saying I would submit to its rules if I had a choice, it just doesn't seem dramatically worse than our world enough that escape is a no-brainer.  The main character didn't seem to do any soul-searching, and the woman --though she did give him a choice -- seemed to think it was inevitable that he would choose individuality if he could just experience it. 

Ah - I agree with that, actually.

DKT

  • Friendly Neighborhood
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • PodCastle is my Co-Pilot
    • Psalms & Hymns & Spiritual Noir
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #66 on: September 16, 2009, 05:36:32 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. 

Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me blew my mind. As did this one. It just kicked my ass all over the place. Amazing amazing amazing. I'm so envious that Eugie Foster can tell engrossing pscyological SF thrillers like this and Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me, *and* tell grade A fairy tales like Daughter of Botu.

I'd also nominate Larry for best reading of the year award, if we had such an award. I can understand why some people thought it was over the top, but I really felt like Larry was actually telling this story, or at least interpreting it, not just reading it. And it completely worked for me.

Much appreciation to everyone involved in this one!

ireneybean

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #67 on: September 22, 2009, 12:56:44 PM »
I have been listening to Escape Pod for a long time and have listened to every single episode.  I've listened to PodCastle since it started.  This is hands down my favorite EscapeArtist story yet.  And the best reading I've heard as well.  Blew me away!  I created this account JUST to say how much I loved it :)

monkeystuff

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 44
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #68 on: September 22, 2009, 02:59:06 PM »
this is one of the best short stories i've ever herd.   very well  done... i've got a lot to say and no time to say it.   for now 2 thumbs up  ;D
justice may only be obtained where there is a lack of injustice

Goddess Jane

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #69 on: September 23, 2009, 07:54:35 AM »
Rather overwrought and predictable.

yicheng

  • Matross
  • ****
  • Posts: 221
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #70 on: September 23, 2009, 11:03:11 AM »
I loved the story for it's uniqueness and creativity.  Very well paced.  Great ending.

One minor nagging quibble on believability:  Despite what our video game culture would have you believe, you can't smash in someone's face with your fist, even assuming you were wearing a gauntlet of some sort.  The human skull is pretty solid, and you'll generally break or bruise your hand or wrist before doing much damage to the actual bone structure (knocking someone out is a different matter).  The little bones in your hands and wrists just aren't designed to generate an absorb that much blunt force.  The Jin d'arms (sp?) would have had better luck with a truncheon or just by smashing Pina's head against the floor repeatedly.

Russell Nash

  • Guest
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beas
« Reply #71 on: September 23, 2009, 12:53:32 PM »
Despite what our video game culture would have you believe, you can't smash in someone's face with your fist, even assuming you were wearing a gauntlet of some sort. 

This would have bothered me if I had heard it that way.  I thought he used something to smash the face in.

Doom xombie

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 48
  • Hi
    • Origin of Xombie
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beas
« Reply #72 on: September 23, 2009, 03:15:44 PM »
Despite what our video game culture would have you believe, you can't smash in someone's face with your fist, even assuming you were wearing a gauntlet of some sort. 

This would have bothered me if I had heard it that way.  I thought he used something to smash the face in.

I believe he is referring to the gendarmes. And the main character mentions how he doesn't have the gendarmes strength(while he is murdering the woman with the meat working tool) which leads me to believe that the gendarmes are enhanced.
Look its a signature! And a dragon!




Dave

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 128
    • I Can Bend Minds With My Spoon
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #73 on: September 23, 2009, 05:55:22 PM »
I'm gonna have to go ahead and say this might be the best EP ever, by which I mean "the best I can remember off the top of my head". Great story, brilliantly performed. I want to game in this setting. I want find all the notes for the various masks I've designed over the last 20 years and finally get around to actually making them. I want to host a Masquerade party where everyone MUST bring a mask, one they crafted with their own hands... and have an antechamber where guests deposit the mask they brought, and choose from one of the ones someone else brought, leaving theirs for the next guest to select from.

Sadly, I'm ridiculously lazy, so I probably won't do any of those things.

But I want to.

*edit after reading comments*

The Gendarmes (which I believe is the French word for policemen) are explained as being elite members of the soldier caste, and the story suggests that the castes may be biologically divergent, hence their increased strength.

I second the suggestion that Larry should get some kind of reward for his performance. Only a couple of other EA episodes have been "performed" rather than merely read, and I think this was among, if not the best of that small lot. If I were to read along, I would bet that he added a lot of the dramatic flourishes, the subtle pauses, inflections, hesitations... really brought the protagonist's internal conflict to life.

I will be posting the link on Facebook so all my friends can listen to this one, too.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 06:28:33 PM by Dave »
-Dave (aka Nev the Deranged)

thomasowenm

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
  • Servant of The Orator Maleficent
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #74 on: September 23, 2009, 10:07:58 PM »
I am one of the few who do not like dramatized readings, so I did not much care for the reading.  That being said, I did like the story.  It took me about a while to figure out what was going on, but once I got it.  I enjoyed it. 

The ending came out of left field, however it worked with the character that developed.  I could see where he would have become a psycotic killer, especially after having been killed twice that week.

yicheng

  • Matross
  • ****
  • Posts: 221
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beas
« Reply #75 on: September 24, 2009, 08:11:47 AM »
Despite what our video game culture would have you believe, you can't smash in someone's face with your fist, even assuming you were wearing a gauntlet of some sort. 

This would have bothered me if I had heard it that way.  I thought he used something to smash the face in.

It bothered me enough to go back and relisten.  The Jin D'arm (?) guard smashed Pina's face with his fist, while the main char smashed the socialite's face with a meat tenderizer.

tiupta

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #76 on: September 24, 2009, 08:46:13 AM »
Joined the forums after 18 months of listening to Escape Pod just to comment on this story.. brilliant, seriously brilliant and Lawrence Santoro - best narrator.. hands down.

Congrats to all involved!

JoeFitz

  • Matross
  • ****
  • Posts: 258
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #77 on: September 26, 2009, 03:06:38 PM »
Jaw-droppingly amazing. And the reading was superb for this type of story.

I did have a problem with the idea that a mask could allow the person to experience torture and death (and presumably perform torture and murder) but then  go on the next day just a little "sore." But sufficiently advanced technology to skin and re-skin. I'm more than happy to gloss over this.

I got the impression that the characters were humanoid. The description of sex, the skinning.

Overall just a wonderful episode.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 03:57:59 PM by JoeFitz »

ILikeMostCheeses

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast
« Reply #78 on: September 27, 2009, 01:37:39 PM »
This was another terrific imaginative story. The narrator deserves a podcast Oscar. This was a clinic in how to bring a story to life and Mr Santoro is now in the elite, as true actor in my book.

I see there's pretty incisive discussion going on about the story. That's what makes me a little different, maybe; I enjoy music and literature for my own reasons. Some people say this was a horrible story, I thought it was a fantastic way to spend 55 minutes. I enjoyed it for what it was, and while it wasn't on the same level as, 1984 or The Grapes of Wrath, it was moving.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 01:42:52 PM by ILikeMostCheeses »

doctorclark

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beas
« Reply #79 on: September 29, 2009, 03:17:45 PM »
Beautifully read!  Interesting story too -- all the colours in the mask descriptions made it very visual for me.

This was one of the best pairings of reading and story that has appeared on EP (though Craphound is still my favorite on both counts).  Dramatic readings don't work for every story, and have been rare on EP probably because of this, but "Sinner..." was spectacular with Larry's reading.  Foster's language in this story is so lyrical and sensual it screams to be read aloud, and Santoro's reading really brought it to life.

Also, I think all of the requests for warnings before the story are a testament to the fantastic reading.  My heart was racing along with the protagonist's as the emotion of the reading matched the text (all the more horrifying as the protagonist was flayed alive).  The text alone would have seemed shocking--with such a great reading it was visceral and has stuck with me.

Thank you!