Author Topic: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov  (Read 6412 times)

Bdoomed

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Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« on: December 25, 2009, 07:10:48 AM »
Pseudopod 174: The Primakov


By R.J. Hobbs
Read by Ben Phillips

It was a Tuesday night when the Primakov received an emergency transmission on the ICT radio from The Bakapor, a distressed fishing vessel from Petropavlovsk. The captain translated the Russian slowly, word by word, with a phrasebook. The night was completely calm, and the ocean lapped up against the hull with gentle rhythmic intensity. The Bakapor had lost fuel after a storm, and required additional petrol if the sailors were ever to see their wives and mothers again. The Primakov wouldn’t even have to change direction to give them assistance.


Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 06:02:28 AM by Bdoomed »
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speck

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2009, 10:07:25 AM »
Happy Christmas, Alasdair!

Bdoomed

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2009, 04:08:16 PM »
This story was quite chilling. (yeah I went there.)
I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
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MacArthurBug

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2009, 07:55:17 PM »
Great story! Warning (horrible bad) Puns and fangirl noise to follow:

Icey a cold return on this chilling tale. I was snowed over by the quality of the text- there's snow way it's not going to be another of my favorites! Wouldn't it be ice if I chilled on the puns now?

AND! One my my BEST(est) christmas presents this year was in the outro. I awoke the elder daughter with loud fangirl squeeing. She rolled her eyes at me the rest of the day. I'm just glad I was at home listening and not somewhere public. That would have been awkward...

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.

Unblinking

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2009, 03:29:35 PM »
This one did a good job setting the mood, and giving a documentary feel to the whole thing (in a good way). 

But in the end, I didn't understand what really happened.  Was I supposed to be left confused?  I wasn't sure.

And at the end, when the hydraulics froze, I thought they were done with the hydraulics anyway, which they'd just used to board the other boat.  Now that they were back they didn't need it?  I think I misunderstood that.

cdugger

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2009, 04:47:37 PM »
Too abrupt an ending. The story stopped just as it got going.

It was about the Primakov disappearing, but we never got to that point.

If nothing was ever found, how do we know about the contents of the video? Was the cold a monster? A force of nature? A spirit?

Very incomplete.
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Scattercat

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2009, 06:48:52 AM »
Shiny.  I really liked that the story ended at the appropriate moment; in a horror movie, that was the precise place where it goes from fun and interesting to the boring old chase scenes and death of the comic relief character.

I do think that it lost track of the initial premise, that the Primakov was never found and the only information available was from what was in the reporter's camera when it "automatically synced up" via Magical Ocean-Based Wireless connectivity and deposited what he'd recorded into some server somewhere.  The problem with the dry documentary style is that while it is very chillingly realistic, it doesn't leave a lot of room for actual spookiness, and stories that adopt it tend to try and straddle the divide between "Just the facts, ma'am," and "Lovecraft."  I can forgive it, but the fact that I have to forgive it means that it's a bit of a flaw, and one that niggles at me even as I shrug and enjoy the story regardless.
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kibitzer

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2009, 11:59:36 AM »
This one, I believe, had far more of Al's beloved Authentic Maritime Horror Feel(tm) than the last one... what was it called? Something about a monster in a lake. It had genuine creeps, claustrophobia (which is endemic to maritime horror because you simply have nowhere to run), and an unseen and therefore mind-manufactured monster, almost always more creepy and implacable than one seen or described. Nicely done.

cdugger

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2009, 12:40:07 PM »
...the reporter's camera when it "automatically synced up" via Magical Ocean-Based Wireless connectivity and deposited what he'd recorded into some server somewhere. 

That's right. I remember now.

Sigh. The problems with commenting several hours after listening.
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Kaa

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2009, 05:30:33 PM »
Had a bit of a Lovecraftian feel. Which I like. But I would have been happier with a bit more atmosphere. The story could have been more chilling (no pun intended, really) than it was.
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kibitzer

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2009, 11:47:43 PM »
The story could have been more chilling (no pun intended, really) than it was.

Ha! I see what you did there.

RKG

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2009, 04:51:49 PM »
Story ended at exactly the right point for me as well.  We already know that the ship disappeared without a trace.

Ambiguous malevolent cold!   Being from a place where it gets very cold this is a pretty effective antagonist for me.  "To Build A Fire" completely terrified me as a kid.


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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 06:20:14 PM »
This one, I believe, had far more of Al's beloved Authentic Maritime Horror Feel(tm) than the last one... what was it called? Something about a monster in a lake. It had genuine creeps, claustrophobia (which is endemic to maritime horror because you simply have nowhere to run), and an unseen and therefore mind-manufactured monster, almost always more creepy and implacable than one seen or described. Nicely done.
Yes.  This.
I don't have a problem with the magical camera download.  Granted, I'm not so tech savy, but I get emails from my brother while he's at sea, and I know he surfs the web plenty.  Why not on a commercial vessel?

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2010, 06:49:36 PM »
I don't have a problem with the magical camera download.  Granted, I'm not so tech savy, but I get emails from my brother while he's at sea, and I know he surfs the web plenty.  Why not on a commercial vessel?

I think you misunderstand the issue; it wasn't that the camera download was implausible, it was that at the ending, the story was reporting scenes back on the Primakov that were not being recorded. The reporter was dead and his camera, as far as I can tell, left behind when everyone retreated. So, how does the narrator, who is supposedly just describing the uploaded footage, know about the ending?

Personally, this story didn't do much for me. I forgot about it almost immediately after listening to it, which is why I never bothered posting on this thread.

oddpod

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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2010, 07:17:51 PM »
i was listning to this one while standing on a freezzing train platform , realy added somthing :-)
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Re: Pseudopod 174: The Primakov
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2010, 01:21:50 PM »
I was listening to this while walking across a field in Central London on the first time, after numerous attempts, that snow had fallen and settled rather than starting instantly to melt and turn to ice. But this story did nothing for me and, barely less than an hour later, has almost completely failed to stick in my mind.