Author Topic: EP682/EP214: Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest (Flashback Friday)  (Read 30815 times)

LaShawn

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To add to the discussion about the masks--it seems that while the mask wearers had the freedom to choose who they wanted to be, there was a limit. You can be this OR you can be that, but you can't be BOTH. And it's not something they really want. For instance, this world seems to frown upon wearing the same mask over and over again. But what if you really like it?

I think what I found the most chilling about the story was that the Queen herself gets caught up in the mask-wearing. I think she genuinely cared for her people and thought she was doing the right thing. Then she also lose herself in the maskerade...as it is. *Spoiler spoiler* Such a beautiful setup on how the protag is lead to believe Pina is the Queen.

And the reading! Larry, you nailed it so wonderfully. Thank you so much! This what makes podcasts fun to listen to! The reading, the description of the masks, absolutely beautiful. And the ending was wonderful too. Change is coming to their world, just not the way they expect.

I want to read this AND listen to it again.
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Jagash

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I appreciate the rich depths of the story, the things left unsaid concerning the species and the astounding choice if narrator.  Larry is excellent in these more visceral and adult stories.  At the same time, I believe that every story Larry narrates should come with a warning up front.   

*shudders thinking about Little Girl Down the Way*

Great job folks.
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robertmarkbram

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I am the flaw in a carefully wrought plan.

This is in my top ten best stories. It blew me away on so many levels. I haven't read anyone else's posts on this yet because I don't want to dispel the illusion that I am the first to have any of these thoughts.. :)

Like EP212: Skinhorse Goes to Mars, this story perfectly created a bizarre reality that was fascinating, compelling and coherent. I was walking home and had to stop. I stood still for five minutes, letting people pass me by just so that I could properly absorb what I was hearing. It is amazing when an author pulls this off properly: I felt completely pulled into their newly created universe and my mind was spinning out new threads, trying to iterate over the similarities and differences.

The world had so many layers - a touch of 1984 and something truly magical in the way the society works with the masks, how completely it transforms them into something else. I kept being reminded of Enders Game (which I listened to last week). I thought these people could almost have been the Buggers.. insects that created a new society for peace.

Thank you Eugie Foster.

Huge props to Lawrence Santoro. Lawrence you really kicked ass with your reading - you filled in the protagonist perfectly with all the emotion his words demanded. I was hooked on this story before I even knew what was going on purely because of Lawrence's reading. From the first mask I already had the character set in my head, thoughtful, disturbed and lost but hopelessly engaged..

I watch the blade rise and fall as she stabs me again and again. Her mask. Her mask is so pretty

bmsims

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I have been listening to Escape Pod and Pseudopod for more that two years and to Podcastle since its inception. However, until now, I have yet to register in the forum and comment on a story. However, I have to comment on this one. I just finished it and was absolutely blown away. I have come to love Eugie Foster and look forward to her stories. Further, I thought the voice acting on the story was perfect and contributed greatly to my enjoyment of the story.

A big thumbs up to everyone involved in this story.

ancawonka

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I finally listened to this story yesterday.  Kudos to Larry for the amazing reading - the emotions in his voice really made this story stand out for me.  Great job!

simplewhimsy

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I wanted to comment that these people sounded like bee-human-otherthing hybrids of some sort. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

LarrySantoro

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Now that it's well in the past, I wanted to thank everyone for your kind words and comments -- everyone -- even those who were less than enthusiastic about my work.  Let me say, Eugie Foster's story provided incredible opportunities for a narrator to have a ball.

I had a ball.

Hope you'll stop by the StarShipSofa and have a listen to my LORD DICKENS'S DECLARATION.

And best wishes for a grand Holiday Season.
Lawrence Santoro -- writer/director
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MasterThief

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And true enough, this story has been nominated for Best Novelette at the 2009 Nebula Awards!  Congrats to Eugie, and thanks for an awesome story!
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Heradel

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And true enough, this story has been nominated for Best Novelette at the 2009 Nebula Awards!  Congrats to Eugie, and thanks for an awesome story!
Congratulations to Foster as well, and I made a thread here to discuss this year's nominees.
I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.

LarrySantoro

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Congratulations, Eugie!  All the best to you for a great story.
Lawrence Santoro -- writer/director
Larry@LarrySantoro.com
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http://blufftoninthedriftless.blogspot.com
"…at once diabolical and redemptive, as all great works of dark tale-tellin

MasterThief

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And the hits keep on coming!  Eugie's story is also among the Hugo Award Finalists for Best Novelette!

(Some Hugo nominators probably heard the story on EP and talked it up on a number of forums...  ;) )
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 02:44:02 PM by MasterThief »
If I was a Master Thief, perhaps I'd rob them...

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Wow, this story really had me going right from the beginning, well-deserving of it's nominations.  Did it win anything?.  And it's one of those stories that has me saying "Damn, why haven't I written any stories about masks?"  But now all the stories I can think of I immediately compare to this and simply can't compare.

Eugie is an amazingly talented individual when she steps away from retelling Asian fairy tales.  Those are well-written, but just seem more like she's not adding anything of herself to this.  But both this and Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me were just amazing.  I hope to see more of this sort of original work from her in the future.

I love the story.  It had me confused for a while, but intrigued at the same time so that's okay.  The ending, I'm not sure I loved, but it does make sense.  He's been robbed of personality and doesn't see these other people as really being people so there are no real consequences to his actions, in his formative hours he sees his only ally brutally murdered, and feels compelled to exact revenge even in such a randomly targeted way.

Larry's reading was outstanding, probably the best reading I've heard on any of the 'casts.  He invested a lot of emotion into each section, which helped me relate to the personas and to help me differentiate between them.  His girlish giggle was done WAY too well.  No grown man should be able to do that.  A feat only topped by Eley's female orgasm voice!

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There were a couple things that I never understood though:

1.  What happens when they "die"?  How can one be stabbed many times or skinned alive and come out just fine the next day?  That was an obstacle to me understanding it, as I assumed the husband character in section 1 died until it was all tied together 2/3 of the way into the story.
2.  I understand that they change gender identities with their masks, but how do they change sexes?  They seem to have genitals, given the details of the opening scene in particular, and copulating seems to be referring to heterosexual intercourse, but do the masks actually swap the genitals?  Or are they all hermaphrodites? 

Talia

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when she steps away from retelling Asian fairy tales. 

I think StePH might disagree with you on that front. :p

(so do I actually, I really enjoy her Asian fairy tale stories. Though IMHO this story is easily the best story of hers run on any of the 'casts).

The Hugo Awards havent been given out yet, but I am totally rooting for this story there. She's got stiff competition though. :)

Quote
1.  What happens when they "die"?  How can one be stabbed many times or skinned alive and come out just fine the next day?  That was an obstacle to me understanding it, as I assumed the husband character in section 1 died until it was all tied together 2/3 of the way into the story.
2.  I understand that they change gender identities with their masks, but how do they change sexes?  They seem to have genitals, given the details of the opening scene in particular, and copulating seems to be referring to heterosexual intercourse, but do the masks actually swap the genitals?  Or are they all hermaphrodites?

I may be wrong as its been a while since I listened to this one, but i was kinda under the impression all the experiences were virtual - fully immersive virtual, but virtual nonetheles, like some sort of computer program loaded into the masks.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2010, 12:25:15 PM by Talia »

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The Hugo Awards havent been given out yet, but I am totally rooting for this story there. She's got stiff competition though. :)

In the past few years the one that ends up winning has been a clear standout in my eyes, so I'm guessing that this one will do it.  :)

So when Escape Pod comes back from hiatus and does the Hugo nominee run, will this story be  on here again?  ;)

DKT

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The Hugo Awards havent been given out yet, but I am totally rooting for this story there. She's got stiff competition though. :)

In the past few years the one that ends up winning has been a clear standout in my eyes, so I'm guessing that this one will do it.  :)

So when Escape Pod comes back from hiatus and does the Hugo nominee run, will this story be  on here again?  ;)

Probably not. This story was nominated for in the novelette category (along with Rachel Swirksy's "Eros, Philia, Agape"). EP usually runs just the short story nominees.

stePH

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when she steps away from retelling Asian fairy tales. 

I think StePH might disagree with you on that front. :p

(so do I actually, I really enjoy her Asian fairy tale stories. Though IMHO this story is easily the best story of hers run on any of the 'casts).

Well, this might be my least-favorite Foster story to date, but I've enjoyed her other "non-Asian" stories, like "My Friend is a Lesbian Zombie" and "The Life and Times of Penguin" for example.
(I need to listen again to "Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me" because for some reason it just didn't stick; I don't remember a thing about it.  Maybe I listened at bedtime and dozed through it.)
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I would LOVE to see this story as an anime show.

CryptoMe

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Quote
1.  What happens when they "die"?  How can one be stabbed many times or skinned alive and come out just fine the next day?  That was an obstacle to me understanding it, as I assumed the husband character in section 1 died until it was all tied together 2/3 of the way into the story.
2.  I understand that they change gender identities with their masks, but how do they change sexes?  They seem to have genitals, given the details of the opening scene in particular, and copulating seems to be referring to heterosexual intercourse, but do the masks actually swap the genitals?  Or are they all hermaphrodites?

I may be wrong as its been a while since I listened to this one, but i was kinda under the impression all the experiences were virtual - fully immersive virtual, but virtual nonetheles, like some sort of computer program loaded into the masks.

Wow! That was a subtlety that totally escaped me. Interesting thought. I will have to think about it some more....  Thanks Talia.

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I may be wrong as its been a while since I listened to this one, but i was kinda under the impression all the experiences were virtual - fully immersive virtual, but virtual nonetheles, like some sort of computer program loaded into the masks.

I didn't get that impression.  For instance, if it's all simulated, ruining one's face shouldn't kill you any more than ruining one's body.  And I thought that the skinning of the prisoners was harvesting mask materials, which would be unnecessary if it were all virtual.