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Author Topic: Pseudopod 019: Through the Many Corridors  (Read 7428 times)
SFEley
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« on: January 11, 2007, 01:46:15 PM »

Pseudopod 019: Through the Many Corridors


By Douglas F. Warrick.
Read by Ben Phillips.

It was weird, wasn’t it?  Weird how little it impressed him.  It was  an alien world, after all, a whole new planet, a landscape that held  only a vague familiarity with the world he’d been born in, the  atmosphere he’d inhaled for twenty-nine years.  Maybe that’s it. It  was just congruent enough to orient yourself, to fool yourself into  thinking you were okay here.  Up was up, down was down, you could  breathe the air.  But you weren’t okay here.  You were drawn into this  landscape by a different artist using a different pallet and a  different technique and you just weren’t okay here.

Art took the cigarette out of his mouth and pointed up  ahead.  “Chalkie.”

It was at the very edge of the road with its long doughy fingers  wrapped over the top of the metal barrier. Its skin was dry, dusty,  cracked and curling like old paint, and dull white like chalk.  Its  tiny black eyes were set deep into its face, which was long and  snoutish and bald.  Even when nothing on this planet seemed to reflect  the glow of that big red moon, the bleeding moon, those eyes picked it  up like deep black wells.



Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
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Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2007, 09:07:22 PM »

i really liked this one, the LAST thing i was expecting were tentacles to come out of the circles and envelope everyone, sending them all to their doom.
loved how impressed the narrator was even as he was dying
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2007, 03:45:42 AM »

Is this a reference to insurgeants/resistance fighters? As an occupying force you can never know who's who? It seems to be a lesson that has not been learned and probably never will be.
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FNH
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2007, 03:30:15 PM »

A most excellent story. 

The reading was not immediately horrific, but when I slowed it down and tried to imagine the scenes in my mind, it actually was an terrifying situation.

Nice story. 

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wakela
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2007, 11:27:15 PM »

Very well written.  Whenever "The Jerk" character shows up in a story his dialogue never rings true for me.  But whether it was the words or the reading, this guy seemed realistic.

The details of the chalkies were disgusting and great. 
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Thaurismunths
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2007, 07:21:22 AM »

What a cool story. I kind'a felt bad for the little guys... right up 'till the tentacles came out.
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Jonathan C. Gillespie
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2007, 12:09:45 PM »

Alright, I really dug this, and I hope the author knows that, but something occured to me: what's with the Buick on wheels?  Shouldn't this thing be a flying car or something like it?  Because I think it was clear as being a standard terrestrial vehicle.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2007, 04:53:15 AM »

Alright, I really dug this, and I hope the author knows that, but something occured to me: what's with the Buick on wheels?  Shouldn't this thing be a flying car or something like it?  Because I think it was clear as being a standard terrestrial vehicle.

Flying takes far more energy than rolling and is also far more problematic. I don't think we'll ever reach a point where everything flies.
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fiveyearwinter
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2007, 10:44:15 AM »

I like sci-fi horror and I wish there were more of it. Although the Chalkies suddenly tearing everyone a new one felt kind of like a non-sequitur. I wish there had been more to build it up.
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Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2009, 11:45:28 AM »

Mmmm...  sci fi horror.  Although I agree with fiveyearwinter that it could've used a little more build-up in that aspect.

I really didn't expect the Chalky circles to be what they were, so kudos for surprising me.  Smiley
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kibitzer
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2009, 01:33:30 AM »

Flying takes far more energy than rolling and is also far more problematic. I don't think we'll ever reach a point where everything flies

Well, we won't need to once we have transporters.
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kibitzer
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2009, 01:34:53 AM »

This ended really suddenly. I was expecting it to go on a bit more. Not quite sure what happened in the end -- everyone died? Why? What'd the Chalkies get out of it? Revenge? Food? Raw material?
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Millenium_King
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2010, 05:44:52 PM »

Honestly, this one just didn't hold my interest.  The beginning felt tacked on, superfluous and more than a little cliche (characters meeting in a bar for whiskey and scotch?  Just a tad overdone).  Of course, we all knew the "chalkies" would rise up and visit terrible revenge upon the humans, so no surprise there.  I was less disappointed by the lack of surprise as I was with the lack of allegory.  This sort of "alien uprising" sci-fi is right up there with Zombie Horror as a great way to shed light on human beings - to make us ask, who are the real monsters?  This is a lame example, but in The Jetson's Movie the aliens start as cruel little pests begging to be wiped out, but then as we delve deeper we learn it is us killing them - and that they are the righteous ones.  I didn't feel any of that here.  Just: (1) Man goes to mars (2) Man is devoured by martians.

Great reading by Ben, though.
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Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.
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