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Author Topic: PC 074: The Firemen’s Fairy  (Read 14392 times)
eytanz
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« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2009, 01:54:22 PM »

I'm not trying to insist that I know better, and I apologize if that's the impression you received.  I also was not saying that you were missing an element of the plot - you certainly summarized it thoroughly - but that you were seeing the traditional structure (Bob the Fairy Proves Himself!) and extending that to the actual story, which was about Steven and his relationship with Jimmy.

In which case, I don't think it's particularly appropriate for you to say that I "missed the boat" or that my "reasons to dislike the story were inaccurate". I saw all the pieces. They did not fit into place as well as they did for you. That's a matter of my interpretation of the story, and it is just as valid and accurate as your own. The story didn't work for me. And indeed, it didn't work for many others here. Quite possibly you got more of what the story was trying to do. But in my case, it failed. The fact that there were many others who shared this reaction indicates to me that it is a flaw in the story, not in my reading. But I don't believe it is ever valid to tell a reader that they are inaccurate in disliking a story, unless they truly misunderstood some basic fact about it, any more than it would be valid for me to tell me you are wrong for liking it.

I am glad you enjoyed this story more than I did - I am glad that you saw in it more than I saw in it. I'm always glad when literature speaks to people, regardless of whether I am one of them. And I am not going to argue with most of what you say, since it seems to me it is mostly about subjective reaction rather than the facts of the story. With one exception:

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2. There is a clear moment that changes everything. Change is sudden and cathartic, not gradual and painful.

It's only sudden in terms of story time. 

True. But my point was about the structure of the story, not about the world it depicts. One thing I agree with you on is that the characters are well fleshed out for what the story is. But I still think this is a bad way to structure a story.

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I spoke up because I felt you were dismissing it unfairly, and I hope I've clarified why I don't think it fits your perception of it.

I will agree that my first posting was somewhat brusque, but I do not think it was unfair. You have certainly clarified why your perception of the story is different than mine, and I certainly agree that your perception of it is entirely valid. But I don't agree that my perception of it is any less correct, different though it may be. We are not seeing the story from the same perspective - no two readers ever do. And perspective is part of perception. To say that the story does not fit my perception dismisses my perspective, and you will never find me agreeing to that.
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Listener
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« Reply #41 on: November 05, 2009, 09:16:46 AM »

The reading was good from an acting standpoint and fair from a technical standpoint. I kind of felt toward the end that either the reader was getting tired of reading the story or the editing was a little slippery -- the jump from graveyard to phoenix to two-weeks-later was very fast and I think would've worked better as text.

The story really felt more like contemporary fiction with mythical creatures grafted onto it -- none of them, except Bob, actually do anything onscreen. That said, it was good contemporary fiction. Very realistic fire sequences, good storytelling and good emotional investment in all the characters. In the Star Trek 4 featurettes they said it was hard to make a film without a bad guy, per se -- the bad guy is "the lack of whales", and when they go to the past the only antagonist is their dilithium crystals. At least with fire, we know that out of control fires are bad, and while they're not an antagonist you can root against, it provides a way to tell the story without having to build up a bad guy.

The discussion of homosexuality I think took this a little farther than I wanted to go. I didn't see Bob as a stereotype; given the other fairies he hung out with, it was more like that's how fairies are in this universe. Maybe they adopted their behaviors from the stereotypically-gay part of the gay population... I don't know. But I do think the homosexual angle in the story was hit perhaps a little too hard. I think Jimmy's homosexuality was a little too subtle, Paula was too much of a red herring (am I using that term correctly?), and Steven having pause when meeting Sam Capolongasslastname was a little much, given that until that point Steven had shown no signs one way or the other of being bigoted or fearful in any way.

Finally, I felt that Bob could have been given some sort of "power" to make it valid for him to be there -- the other supernatural beings clearly were useful in some way, but Bob was just a mascot. Maybe he could move people with magic (saving the mom), or maybe he could bring people back who were recently deceased by way of the whole "I do believe in fairies" thing from Peter Pan and Hook, or maybe under extreme stress he became big enough to beat back the flames with his wings. SOMETHING. Being able to know where the sun is is useful, sure, but it's kind of a limited skill. Even if the author had spent a few more words explaining how Bob's internal compass had saved lives in the past, I would've been happier.

I did like the ending, when the Captain cautions them against the corned-beef-and-cabbage. If Scooter stunk up the bathroom before, just you wait, Captain... oh, and a woman I used to work with had the same kind of coffee cup as the Captain. It was vile.

Overall, a pretty good story, though not without its fair share of flaws.
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yicheng
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« Reply #42 on: November 05, 2009, 10:12:31 AM »

I liked this story, even if it was a bit predictable.  I was a little disappointed that the main character's PTSD wasn't explored more.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #43 on: November 05, 2009, 11:11:49 AM »

Being able to know where the sun is is useful, sure, but it's kind of a limited skill. Even if the author had spent a few more words explaining how Bob's internal compass had saved lives in the past, I would've been happier.

And even the mention of being able to find the sun was apparently just part of an hallucination.  He didn't do a very good job of finding the sun, since he got lost and died in the fire.
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LaShawn
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« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2009, 12:06:29 PM »

I first read this story in Realms of Fantasy, and I really wasn't impressed. Then I decided to listen again and WOW! The narration totally made the difference. By the end, I had tears in my eyes. Maybe it's because David portrays Bob as so happy and cheerful, you can't help but smile. I really enjoyed it!
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #45 on: November 18, 2009, 12:46:29 PM »

I first read this story in Realms of Fantasy, and I really wasn't impressed. Then I decided to listen again and WOW! The narration totally made the difference. By the end, I had tears in my eyes. Maybe it's because David portrays Bob as so happy and cheerful, you can't help but smile. I really enjoyed it!

I really like the way an audio telling can change impressions of a story so drastically.  Smiley
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MacArthurBug
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« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2009, 04:05:04 PM »

I enjoyed this story quite a bit. There were a few tiny nitpick points- but most of the homophobic stuff seemed more POV of our main guy then the story tellers point. The quiet underscore of his friends preferences WAS more downplayed then I'd have thought. I had to pause and go back to be sure I'd listned right. The reading had a few tiny editing flubs but noting unforgivable. This reader did Great voice, so I hope he keeps reading and just tightens his editing up a smidge. I loved the ideas of magical creatures in a firehouse- and was also left to wonder where else they were in this universe. The MC didn't seem familiar with working with them- which leads me to believe they didn't "volenteer" for the military. Interesting take on a universe.
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Oh, great and mighty Alasdair, Orator Maleficent, He of the Silvered Tongue, guide this humble fangirl past jumping up and down and squeeing upon hearing the greatness of Thy voice.
Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.
Fenrix
Curmudgeonly Co-Editor of PseudoPod
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« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2010, 11:12:47 PM »

I liked the story, and don't have much to add over what has already been brought up.

My criticisms are all technical in nature. The reader did a good job, but the modulation was a bit much and I had to futz with the sound settings until I was no longer distracted. The primary reading was low and even, while the characters seemed projected, so the volume was a significant and constant jump. It's possible this could be edited so the spikes are flattened. Also, I had to crank my treble very low as there were many sibilant hissing sounds that were significantly louder than the bulk of the reading. Add the two repeated segments in the story mentioned earlier in the thread to round out the technical criticism.

I would recommend this story to a friend, but not as a first listen. The technical issues bothered me enough that I wouldn't want said friend to think that was the usual sound standard to expect.
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All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”
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