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Author Topic: PC088 / 631: Another End Of The Empire  (Read 14007 times)

Heradel

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on: January 26, 2010, 04:04:06 PM
PodCastle 88: Another End Of The Empire

by Tim Pratt.
Read by Cheyenne Wright.
Originally Published in Strange Horizons.

“I am here,” Mogrash said. “Give me the bad news.”

“A child dwells in the village of Misery Chin, in the mountain provinces to the east. If allowed to grow to manhood, he will take
over your empire, overthrow your ways and means, and send you from the halls of your palace forever.”

Mogrash relaxed. This was, at least, not an immediate threat‚ not like the pronouncement of metastasized bone cancer she’d given his grandfather. He sighed. “So I’m expected to send my Fell Rangers to the mountains, raze the village, leave no stone upon a stone, enslave the women, and kill all the younglings to stop this dire prophecy from coming to pass.”

“It’s what your father would have done.”

“Yes, but I’m more modern than he was. Besides, we’ve seen this happen a thousand times‚ the attempt to stop the prophecy will make it come to pass, won’t it?”

Rated PG for superseded oracles, despots past their expiration dates and probability witches.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 08:44:37 PM by Ocicat »

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fearthepenguin

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Reply #1 on: January 26, 2010, 04:19:59 PM
What a great story and narration.  Voices were excellent, fun twist on the "If I were an evil overlord" story and a happy ending. Left me smiling at the end of my commute.

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Void Munashii

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Reply #2 on: January 26, 2010, 06:39:27 PM
  I really enjoyed this story; I liked that Mogrash was so genre savvy, and tried to use that knowledge to get around standard fantasy tropes. Of course he still ended up being right; anything he tried to do to prevent his downfall only caused it to happen, but at least he was thinking outside the box.

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danooli

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Reply #3 on: January 27, 2010, 12:00:35 PM
I truly loved this story!  All of the characters were likable, even Mogrash, who I don't think wanted to be liked.  :)  The reading of it was superb too, but the story itself just had me smiling throughout.

Another fantastic work by Tim Pratt!



eytanz

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Reply #4 on: January 27, 2010, 12:28:22 PM
This story was a lot of fun, a playful reworking of some of the oldest tropes of fantasy and mythology.

However, it did feel a bit too rosy-tinted and idealist for my tastes. What was best from a moral point of view, and from the view of the happiness of the people, always turned out to also be the best economically. I guess that this is a fantasy story, and why not engage in one more bit of fantasy, but it made it hard to take this story as anything but a piece of whimsy. Which is probably how it was intended.



internalogic

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Reply #5 on: January 27, 2010, 02:01:46 PM
Loved this story.  Well done!  Well done!

The word choices and the plot were so hilarious.  What an excellent 'inside job' by Tim Pratt.  Only an insider could write such a story.  It was ironic without being empty. 

The reading was wonderful.  Back slaps and cheers to Cheyenne Wright.  You did it right.  (oh.  that was unintentional.)  Anyway, you did.  Your performance fit the story so well as to feel indistinguishable from it. 



stePH

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Reply #6 on: January 27, 2010, 03:22:46 PM
  I really enjoyed this story; I liked that Mogrash was so genre savvy, and tried to use that knowledge to get around standard fantasy tropes. Of course he still ended up being right; anything he tried to do to prevent his downfall only caused it to happen, but at least he was thinking outside the box.

I saw the end coming from the moment he started improving the village.  But yeah, if he were a comic book or Bond villain, he wouldn't be the type to waste time explaining his plan to the captive hero... he'd just waste him.

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danooli

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Reply #7 on: January 27, 2010, 10:53:13 PM
I saw the end coming from the moment he started improving the village. 

Did the fact that you saw the ending coming take away from your enjoyment of the story?  I had an inkling about the way it would end, but i still loved every word of this story.  However, I've loved every Tim Pratt story I've heard so far on Podcastle so I fully expected to enjoy this one as well...



Void Munashii

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Reply #8 on: January 28, 2010, 01:33:26 AM
I saw the end coming from the moment he started improving the village. 

Did the fact that you saw the ending coming take away from your enjoyment of the story?  I had an inkling about the way it would end, but i still loved every word of this story. 

  I suspected that his undoing would be becoming a good person, but it did not detract from the story at all. Just because you know where you are going doesn't mean the ride is boring.

"Mallville - A Journal of the Zombie Apocalypse"
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Jim F

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Reply #9 on: January 28, 2010, 01:52:15 AM
Hated it.

Narration was excellent, and the writing was good.  The story was banal, uninspired and predictable.



stePH

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Reply #10 on: January 28, 2010, 03:37:53 AM
Did the fact that you saw the ending coming take away from your enjoyment of the story? 

Not a bit of it!  :)  Like Void Munashii said, it was a fun ride.

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
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nevermore_66

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Reply #11 on: January 28, 2010, 12:28:24 PM
  I really enjoyed this story; I liked that Mogrash was so genre savvy, and tried to use that knowledge to get around standard fantasy tropes. Of course he still ended up being right; anything he tried to do to prevent his downfall only caused it to happen, but at least he was thinking outside the box.

I saw the end coming from the moment he started improving the village.  But yeah, if he were a comic book or Bond villain, he wouldn't be the type to waste time explaining his plan to the captive hero... he'd just waste him.


I'd love to see a scene with Mogrash doing just that.  Not a big scene, almost an absent-minded chore amidst his bigger plans.

For a bit of whimsy, I enjoyed this story quite a lot.

"There is no exquisite beauty…without some strangeness in the proportion."
~Edgar Allan Poe, "Ligeia"


Kaa

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Reply #12 on: January 28, 2010, 12:29:28 PM
The only thing better than this story was its narration. I haven't giggled while listening to an Escape Artists story since Squonk the Dragon. This one had me howling.

I invent imaginary people and make them have conversations in my head. I also write.

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Talia

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Reply #13 on: January 28, 2010, 05:04:39 PM
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Absolutely adored.  I listened to this this morning in the car while stuck in two hours of accident-related traffic, and it really helped me cope! Hehe.

A really fun poke at all the old fantasy concepts. Was one of the sons really named "Meth" or was I mishearing that? :P


Hated it.

Narration was excellent, and the writing was good.  The story was banal, uninspired and predictable.

You musta been listening to a different podcast, there was nothing banal or uninspired about this story. :p



Kaa

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Reply #14 on: January 28, 2010, 05:50:18 PM
A really fun poke at all the old fantasy concepts. Was one of the sons really named "Meth" or was I mishearing that? :P

That was one of my favorite things. That all the tropes were not only acknowledged, but completely subverted. :)

I invent imaginary people and make them have conversations in my head. I also write.

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nevermore_66

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Reply #15 on: January 28, 2010, 07:46:42 PM
Yes, forgot to mention the narration. Thought it was excellent as well.

"There is no exquisite beauty…without some strangeness in the proportion."
~Edgar Allan Poe, "Ligeia"


Scattercat

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Reply #16 on: January 28, 2010, 08:08:09 PM
I saw the end coming from the moment he started improving the village.

I suspected it was going to be that kind of story just from the title.  As soon as Magrosh reacted to the prophecy, I flashed on the Evil Overlord list and saw how the story would go.  (As I recall, several of the entries on the Evil Overlord List involve making sure all the peasants are well-fed, well-treated, and happy.) 

And yet it was still enjoyable and fun.  Good writing carries the day far more than mere novelty.

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danooli

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Reply #17 on: January 28, 2010, 10:01:52 PM
Good writing carries the day far more than mere novelty.

So very true, I just had to quote it.



Dave

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Reply #18 on: January 29, 2010, 01:36:03 AM
Can I just say that I love Tim Pratt?

I mean, yeah, the ending was predictable, but the journey... oh, the journey.

-Dave (aka Nev the Deranged)


stePH

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Reply #19 on: January 29, 2010, 03:01:35 AM
Good writing carries the day far more than mere novelty.

So very true, I just had to quote it.

If you want to say "QFMFT!" then just say,
QFMFT!  ;)

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
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Kaa

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Reply #20 on: January 29, 2010, 03:11:46 AM

I invent imaginary people and make them have conversations in my head. I also write.

About writing || About Atheism and Skepticism (mostly) || About Everything Else


stePH

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Reply #21 on: January 29, 2010, 04:20:33 AM

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising


Kaa

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Reply #22 on: January 29, 2010, 04:42:35 AM
It means...
So very true, I just had to quote it.


o.O <backs away slowly> Whatever you say.

I invent imaginary people and make them have conversations in my head. I also write.

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Heradel

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Reply #23 on: January 29, 2010, 05:10:09 AM
It means...
So very true, I just had to quote it.

o.O <backs away slowly> Whatever you say.

A tactic many of us have adopted.

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


danooli

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Reply #24 on: January 29, 2010, 11:24:24 AM
Good writing carries the day far more than mere novelty.

So very true, I just had to quote it.

If you want to say "QFMFT!" then just say,
QFMFT!  ;)

 ;D  I love words too much to use abbreviations, but I can appreciate the sentiment LOL