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Author Topic: EP222: Infestation  (Read 9123 times)
Swamp
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« on: October 29, 2009, 09:26:06 AM »

EP222: Infestation

by Garth Nix
Read by Geoff Michelli

Recently appeared in By Blood We Live.

They were the usual motley collection of freelance vampire hunters. Two men, wearing combinations of jungle camouflage and leather. Two women, one almost indistinguishable from the men though with a little more style in her leather armour accessories, and the other looking like she was about to assault the south covered by balaclava, mirror shades, climbing helmet and hood. face of a serious mountain. Only her mouth was visible, a small oval of flesh not

They had the usual weapons: four or five short wooden stakes in belt loops; snap-holstered handguns of various calibers, all doubtless chambered with Wood-N-Death® low-velocity timber-tipped rounds; big silver-edged bowie or other hunting knife, worn on the hip or strapped to a boot; and crystal vials of holy water hung like small grenades on pocket loops.

Protection, likewise, tick the usual boxes. Leather neck and wrist guards; leather and woven-wire reinforced chaps and shoulder pauldrons over the camo; leather gloves with metal knuckle plates; Army or climbing helmets.


Rated R for violence and very different vampires..


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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2009, 10:04:11 AM »

  Nice story; it definitely left me wanting more stories about this character and this world. I especially liked how I spent the first half of the story wondering "This is sci-fi how?" only to have it answered by the bucketful towards the end.
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2009, 10:53:34 AM »

Garth Nix? Sweet!
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MacArthurBug
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2009, 01:23:55 PM »

great reading, good story. I, too, found myself wanting more of this world. That's always nice for me, when I find a wolrd in a story that occupies my tiny little mind.
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2009, 01:26:16 PM »

Yeah, I too definitely wanted to hear more about this guy. There's a whole 'nother unwritten (? unless it actually is written somewhere. What do I know) story about his former boss's godhood delusion suggested there. To a certain degree I felt like we only got part of the story. But I guess it delivers the gist of the situation, which is enough. And interesting. Vampires-as-alien-weapons is one approach that I haven't heard before (increasingly rare with vampires saturating everything so much these days - thanks, 'Twilight!' :p).
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2009, 08:57:40 AM »

I kept wondering where this one was going. Was the MC a vampire himself? Was he a "hunter" (ala' "Van Helsing"). It is an interesting world the author has created here. I hope he writes further about this world.

On a side note: The thing about vampire  and zombie stories that I can't seem to get past, even though I do enjoy them, the idea that if such creatures existed and given their abilities wouldn't humans be wiped out fairly quickly? I mean the ones they kill become undead too. So either way they win. Anybody else have this view?
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Talia
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2009, 09:36:47 AM »

I kept wondering where this one was going. Was the MC a vampire himself? Was he a "hunter" (ala' "Van Helsing"). It is an interesting world the author has created here. I hope he writes further about this world.

On a side note: The thing about vampire  and zombie stories that I can't seem to get past, even though I do enjoy them, the idea that if such creatures existed and given their abilities wouldn't humans be wiped out fairly quickly? I mean the ones they kill become undead too. So either way they win. Anybody else have this view?

Well,  vampires for one always have distinct weaknesses. A human who learns these and how best to take advantage of them is more likely to survive. And if there's one thing humanity has proven itself adept at its adapting and surviving. Smiley

Zombies its a harder point to argue, cause it must be asked, 'What KIND of zombies?" now, if you're talking about '28 days later' "zombies", those do wipe out a good chunk of humanity before (spoilers) starving to death.  Now, these are only debatably zombies. But the principle of infection, at least, is in common with general zombie lore. I think this type of zombie would have a better chance of being the Doom of Humankind. But still - I think, as depicted in the movie, pockets of humanity could survive.

Some zombies are portrayed as slow and shambling. It seems to me this type would have a much lower chance of wiping out humanity. Even the ill prepared would have more time to acquire weaponry and defeat the hordes.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 10:13:10 AM by Talia » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2009, 07:13:15 AM »

Excellent story! Great audio quality, superb narration, and I agree that it left me wanting more. That's the sign of a good short story--when it lets you enter an interesting new world and gives you a taste of what makes it unique, but doesn't reveal everything. Good stuff.
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2009, 09:10:12 PM »

So many missed opportunities.  I liked the ambiguity of who -or what- "Jay" was, but too much was dumped too quickly.  There's a good, compelling story swimming in here somewhere, but give me a re-write.  Make me care about the alien wars that deposited vampires on planet Earth.  Make me care about whatever the hell this story is about.
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2009, 03:23:29 AM »

Yeah, I too definitely wanted to hear more about this guy. There's a whole 'nother unwritten (? unless it actually is written somewhere. What do I know) story about his former boss's godhood delusion suggested there. ...

Spoiler alert! (highlight to read)


My understanding is that the protagonist "J" is short for Judas (see references to pieces of silver), and you can guess who the boss is. It's pretty obvious to me that this is the case, the reference to the 2000 year old sliver (of the cross) was a un-dead give away.

<-- Highlight to here.
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2009, 01:23:16 PM »

Vampires are alien weapons? Okay, as long as they don't sparkle.



Spoiler alert! (highlight to read)


My understanding is that the protagonist "J" is short for Judas (see references to pieces of silver), and you can guess who the boss is. It's pretty obvious to me that this is the case, the reference to the 2000 year old sliver (of the cross) was a un-dead give away.

<-- Highlight to here.

That makes a lot of sense in the context of the story. I now feel silly for missing it.
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2009, 03:48:15 PM »

Yeah, I too definitely wanted to hear more about this guy. There's a whole 'nother unwritten (? unless it actually is written somewhere. What do I know) story about his former boss's godhood delusion suggested there. ...

Spoiler alert! (highlight to read)


My understanding is that the protagonist "J" is short for Judas (see references to pieces of silver), and you can guess who the boss is. It's pretty obvious to me that this is the case, the reference to the 2000 year old sliver (of the cross) was a un-dead give away.

<-- Highlight to here.
Ahhh... I see - I feel silly for missing it now, heh. So... the vamps... alien super weapons - you saying God and the Devil are alien races? Listening to the story again, I heard mention of the Christian symbols causing fear in the vamps. And the mention of a 2000 year old piece of timber/silver

And the whole thing about the "Living God" thing and HQ ordering 'J' to take him out - man, it seems so crazy I didn't notice first time around.

Also, this story made me think of the Vampire Earth series, where in the 'vampires' are biologically engineered puppets of a race of aliens who use a kind of energy harvested from intelligent species to maintain an 'immortal' life span.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 04:04:08 PM by Yargling » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2009, 04:39:52 PM »

I'm surprised I enjoyed the story as much as I did, as normally I find vampires so very boring.  (Buffy is the exception, and this had a Buffy-esque vibe.  So there you go.)  I picked up on who the boss was pretty early on, but didn't notice the protagonist's identity: thanks, Motti! 

On a side note: The thing about vampire  and zombie stories that I can't seem to get past, even though I do enjoy them, the idea that if such creatures existed and given their abilities wouldn't humans be wiped out fairly quickly? I mean the ones they kill become undead too. So either way they win. Anybody else have this view?

In the case of vampires, I think you need to think of them as a parasite on the human species.  And a good parasite (or predator, for that matter) doesn't wipe out its host, right?  Zombies are different; they're more like a plague, which is why there's a genre of zombocalyptic fiction, in which humans are wiped out.
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MacArthurBug
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2009, 07:33:24 PM »

Oooooh! I didn't get the refrence initially. Now I get it and the story makes even more sense. Get to give this a re-listen with an even deeper understanding. Thanks!
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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.
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2009, 07:39:00 PM »

whoa. I completely didn't pick up on that aspect of things at ALL.

Neat.
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2009, 10:22:15 PM »

When Jeremy asked me to narrate this one a few weeks back, I gave it the first read, and instantly wanted more from this fictional reality where aliens use vampires as weapons.  I hopped over to Garth Nix's website and wrote to him using the comments section, but haven't heard back.
If anyone knows of more from the same world, let us all know!
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deflective
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2009, 12:24:35 AM »

good story for halloween.  oddly, i'm in the middle of blindsight right now so my scifi vampire quota has been gloriously filled in a single week.

i agree with the general trend that the story leaves you wanting to know more about the world but that isn't completely a good thing.  the volunteer vampire hunter brigade was kinda hard to accept, i needed more background about a society that thinks that this is a good idea.  it's like letting a bunch of survivalist militia have first crack at a terrorist cell.  what kind of mentality lead to this?
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2009, 04:05:24 AM »

Loved Nix's Abhorsen Trilogy and have been eagerly awaiting something new from him that was aimed at something other than the 12 year old market.  Hopefully there is a full vamp novel coming from him.  Thanks for bringing out this one.

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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2009, 03:18:27 PM »

I really liked this one a lot. I thought it was read well and was just a genuinely good story to begin with.
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2009, 12:46:44 AM »

Liked it, but he telegraphed the "J" thing way too much. I had the twist figured out early on, and without that to go on it's really just a by the numbers vampire hunting story, albeit a reasonably well-told one. And I love Garth Nix.

The story was either too long or too short, and the sheer potential is what makes this a bit unsatisfying. Good story, but I know Nix can do better.

And am I the only one who's shocked that people missed the entire "J" thing? I mean, it was just so obvious. I guess vampires can be distracting, though.

Just ask Bella Swann...
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