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Author Topic: Diabolical Plots' "The Best of Pseudopod"  (Read 9978 times)

Unblinking

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on: November 09, 2009, 12:43:03 PM
Now that I've listened to Pseudopod's entire offerings to date, I made a list of my favorites:
http://www.diabolicalplots.com/?p=848

Do you think I should've put story X on the list?  Well, make your own darned list, then!  Actually, you should think about it.  If people make lists of their favorites and provide links back to Pseudopod, it could help get some new listeners for the podcast.  :)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 02:30:14 PM by Unblinking »



Swamp

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Reply #1 on: November 09, 2009, 05:08:59 PM
It's good to see "Last Respects", and "The Music of Erich Zann" in your Top Ten.  I'd probably also move "What Dead People Are Supposed To Do" and "Bottle Babies" up from Honorable Mention, and add "Something There Is", "The Worm That Gnaws" and "Little Boy Legbone".

I have been an intermitant reader and have not listened to every episode.  Sometimes I start and don't finsish, but these are the ones that have stuck out to me over the years.

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DKT

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Reply #2 on: November 09, 2009, 05:28:59 PM
It's good to see "Last Respects", and "The Music of Erich Zann" in your Top Ten. 

Heh. I agree  ;) Thank you both for making me grin like a fool.

1) Memories of the Knackers Yard, by Ian Creasey
2) Bottle Babies, by Mary A. Turzillo
3) What Dead People are Supposed to Do, by Paul S. Martens
4) Flat Diane, by Daniel Abraham
5) Come to my Arms My Beamish Boy, by Douglas F. Warrick
ADDED: 6) Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Besides Me, by Eugie Foster
7) Camp, by Jeremy C. Shipp
8) Tales of the White Street Society, by Grady Hendrix
9) Bagman, by Scott Sigler
10) The Worm That Gnaws, by Orrin Grey
11) Bait, by Joel Arnold
12) Goon Job, by G.W. Thomas

3 Honorable Mentions:
*I Am Your Need, by Mort Castle gets a BIG honorable mention from me. I just listened to it last week (finally) and might even put it in the top 10 once it sits in my brain for a little while.
*Graveyard of Ships, by (Good story, but really the narration is just to die for)
*The Sloan Men, by David Nickle

And yeah, I left off Lovecraft, because really, who can compete with that?
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 07:40:54 PM by DKT »



Unblinking

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Reply #3 on: November 09, 2009, 05:31:07 PM
I like how The Worm That Gnaws gets a "Cool" smiley instead of a number.   ;D



DKT

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Reply #4 on: November 09, 2009, 07:17:15 PM
Ha!

That was actually a typo, but I like it so much I think I'll leave it  ;D


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Reply #5 on: November 09, 2009, 07:39:13 PM
Holy crap! I left off Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Besidest Me off my list!

Must. Fix!


kibitzer

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Reply #6 on: November 11, 2009, 07:28:52 AM
I really don't get why "Tales of the White Street Society" (either one) rates so highly. Comments?


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Reply #7 on: November 11, 2009, 05:29:28 PM
The White Street Society stories strongly evoke a particular and much-beloved style of peculiarly British writing.  I think P.G. Wodehouse is probably the best exemplar I can come up with; I have consistently thought of the WSS stories as "Bertie Wooster Goes Monster-Hunting." 

I love Wodehouse, personally, and thus enjoyed those stories as rather macabre twists on a familiar storytelling mode.

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DKT

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Reply #8 on: November 11, 2009, 06:15:13 PM
I really don't get why "Tales of the White Street Society" (either one) rates so highly. Comments?

I might be wrong because I haven't read much of it, but I'm wondering if Carnacki the Ghost Finder is also an inspiration?

For me, White Street Society works so well not only because of the style they're playing with (like Scattercat said) but also due to the unreliable narrator. It works slightly better for me in the first one, where the "hero" is bent on saving the Irish not only from a horrible, bacon slathering leprechaun, but from the Irish themselves. And in the end, where he's supposed to have this great moment of catharsis, he burns down the building(s?) where the Irish are living. He's so incredibly prejudiced, so racist, and so convinced he's in the right. As are the members of the White Street Society listening to his story. So much so, that they're convinced the protagonists fight is a holy one. (This is my primary beef with the second one - that the WSS listeners grew a conscious about something that seemed (in my mind) slightly less inherently evil than the racism directed at the Irish in the first one. Although don't get me wrong - I love the second one, too, if for no other reason than Al's singing voice.)

To me, that way of thinking was just as terrifying as anything else. And yet, I found myself laughing at much of it, which makes me a bit uncomfortable with myself. So the horror expands on a lot of different levels.


Sgarre1

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Reply #9 on: November 11, 2009, 10:36:44 PM
George MacDonald Frazer / Victorian lit  by way of Wodehouse, perhaps  Didn't think that was handled so well in the first, quite like it in the second.



kibitzer

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Reply #10 on: November 12, 2009, 07:25:17 AM
Interesting. Thanks for the replies fellas, appreciated. I didn't care much for either of them -- not sure why.


Unblinking

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Reply #11 on: November 13, 2009, 09:09:20 PM
I enjoyed White Street Society because the unreliable narrator was done so well.  He proclaimed his views as absolute truths, but his views are so off the wall ridiculous.  If you believe that he really believes what he says it's both scary (because he's a friggin psychopath) and sometimes funny, in a scary way (that anyone so self-assured could have such a cracked view of the world).

The Corpse Army of Kartoum I couldn't finish, so I'm not sure what people liked about that.  It may have been because I listened to the 2 out of order, I don't know.



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Reply #12 on: November 13, 2009, 10:29:38 PM
Interesting. Thanks for the replies fellas, appreciated. I didn't care much for either of them -- not sure why.

I think for me, the reasons they work are three fold:

-Grady has nailed the slightly pompous, overly verbose 'It was in the weeks following the case of the Giant Rat of Sumatra' style these stories need to work.  I've read Conan Doyle, I've read a little Hope Hodgson and I love them both to tiny, tiny pieces but the style is ripe for parody.

-The horror comes from the humour, from the fact the narrator has such an absurd, awful world view and has no ability to understand that he's completely and utterly in the wrong.  I know it didn't work for a lot of people but for me, the last five minutes of Corpse Army of Khartoum are heartbreaking.  We're watching a character not only grow up but realise his friends never will and, in the end, they'll win not because they're right, but because they're hideous people.

-They're funny in the same way Blackadder's funny, the same way Cartman's funny.  These are stories about an awful, AWFUL man who's concerned with but one thing; living to be awful again.  He's a classic anti-hero and the various Blackadders, Arnold Judas Rimmer and Eric Cartman all prove how successful that can be.



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Reply #13 on: November 15, 2009, 03:36:52 PM
-The horror comes from the humour, from the fact the narrator has such an absurd, awful world view and has no ability to understand that he's completely and utterly in the wrong.

That right there is why the story works so well for me.  That character's horrid world view is done so consistently that the writer is never just making the character act horribly for the purpose of being an asshole, he's always following the rules and logic of his putrid world view.

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orrin

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Reply #14 on: November 17, 2009, 11:04:25 PM
Wow, big thanks to those of you (DKT and Swamp) who nominated my story for "best of" status!  That's awesome!

I've not listened to nearly as many Pseudopod episodes as I would like, but I know that "The Corpse Army of Khartoum" and "Hometown Horrible" would both definitely make my list, if I were to make one.

Orrin Grey
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kibitzer

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Reply #15 on: November 19, 2009, 06:21:18 AM
- I've read Conan Doyle...but the style is ripe for parody.

BLASPHEMY! No, no, not Holmes!! Well.. actually, fair point. You have to wonder whether that was just the literary style of the time or whether Doyle knowingly inserted the absurd as a playful poke at the readers (or a nod and a wink to the wise). It might be the latter; allegedly he was no fan of Holmes.

-They're funny in the same way Blackadder's funny, the same way Cartman's funny.  These are stories about an awful, AWFUL man who's concerned with but one thing; living to be awful again.  He's a classic anti-hero and the various Blackadders, Arnold Judas Rimmer and Eric Cartman all prove how successful that can be.

Ah well, this might explain it. See, I think Cartman's funny, flat out, no question. Blackadder -- I have an odd relationship with. I know the stuff is funny and revered and widely quoted... but when watching it by myself it doesn't often get me laughing. I enjoy it better watching with other people -- especially with a few cold ones -- or discussing it after. It's like I have to share the funny with others for it to be funny for me.


Unblinking

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Reply #16 on: December 04, 2009, 04:51:08 PM
The Best of Pseudopod article has now become the most-visited page in the history of Diabolical Plots.  :)



Unblinking

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Reply #17 on: January 10, 2011, 02:29:51 PM
"The Best of Pseudopod 2010+"
http://www.diabolicalplots.com/?p=1915

This includes everything from the date of my last list (November 9, 2009) to end of 2010.



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Reply #18 on: January 11, 2011, 02:52:20 PM
Congrats on another story being picked up. I'm looking forward to hearing it.

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Unblinking

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Reply #19 on: January 11, 2011, 04:01:11 PM
Congrats on another story being picked up. I'm looking forward to hearing it.

Thanks!



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Reply #20 on: February 06, 2011, 12:47:08 AM
[u=http://ankorsabat.blogspot.com/2010/06/pseudopod-top-10.html]I gots a list too![/u]

1. The Worm that Gnaws by Orrin Grey.
2. Love like Thunder by Jim Bihyeh
3. Linda's Appointment by Mike Norris
4. Napier's Bones by Stephen Gaskell
5. The Mother and the Worm by Tim W. Burke
6. The Disconnected by David Steffen
7. Acceptable Losses by Simon Wood
8. Blood, Gridlock and PEZ by Kevin Anderson
9. Reservation Monsters by Jim Bihyeh
10. Break the Vessel by Vylar Kaftan

The advantage to my list is that I was able to place "The Disconnected" on it while Unblinking, in true gentlemanly fashion, did not rank his own story.

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


Unblinking

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Reply #21 on: January 11, 2012, 03:01:15 PM
The Best of Pseudopod 2011:
http://www.diabolicalplots.com/?p=2448