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Author Topic: PC100: Remembrance Is Something Like A House  (Read 7651 times)
Heradel
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« on: April 20, 2010, 08:15:26 AM »

PodCastle 100: Remembrance Is Something Like A House

by Will Ludwigsen
Read by Wilson Fowlie
Originally Published in Interfictions 2

Every day for three decades, the abandoned house strains against its
galling anchors, hoping to pull free. It has waited thirty years for
its pipes and pilings to finally decay so it can leave for Florida to
find whatever is left of the Macek family.

Nobody in its Milford neighborhood will likely miss the house or even
notice its absence; it has hidden for decades behind overgrown bushes,
weeds, and legends. When they talk about the house at all, the
neighbors whisper about the child killer who lived there long ago with
his family: a wife and five children who never knew their father kept
his rotting playmate in the crawlspace until the police came.

The house, however, knows the truth and wants to confess it, even if
it has to crawl eight hundred miles.

Rated PG because you can never go home again, but sometimes home can come to you.

Happy 100! Thanks for to all our listeners for being part of the journey!

ETA: Added the story's original publisher!
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 01:04:12 AM by Heradel » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2010, 09:28:05 AM »

A great story for the 100th episode. The tangents of what happened to the house were interesting without being too far off the beaten path of the story. When it almost got hit by the truck, that was a nice touch.

I know the author's Floridian... I might have chosen a location further south (say, Naples or Boca) just to give the house the opportunity to complain about how damn LONG Florida is. (Trust me, if you've driven from Miami to anywhere out of state there's just miles and miles of bloody interstate.) But the house went from basically the Ohio/Kentucky border to the Florida/Georgia border. It's like when I say I've been to Alabama because I take 24 Westbound from Chattanooga to Nashville and it dips into Alabama for a couple of miles. But people who don't know much about Ohio or Florida will be suitably impressed by the distance.

Heh. I say that as if it's easy for a house to walk 800 miles anyway.

The usual good reading from Wilson Fowlie. The lack of multiple main characters allowed him to tell the story instead of act it; I prefer his normal voice to the voices he uses for many of his characters.
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2010, 10:05:53 AM »

  Fantastic 100th episode!
  I enjoyed this story a lot, it made me think a lot of "The Brave Little Toaster" (the original story, not the cartoon). I loved the imagery of a house slowly crawling its way across the country and the way people just seemed to accept that an old house suddenly existed where no house was before; no one ever seemed interested in investigating how it got there or where it went.
  During the scene with the three kids in the house I was wondering how long it would be before one of them realized that the newspapers they were looking at weren't local. I was glad that the author included that even if it didn't actually lead to much of anything.
  I am looking forward to the next 100 episodes.

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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2010, 06:36:27 PM »

100 episodes.  Woohoo!  And the future looks bright.  May PodCastle always fly high to shine with briightness, avoid the arrows cast, and drop regular leaflets fillled with fun and adventure.

Now for story:  I quite enjoyed it.  A house on a quest for redemption, or at least confession.  I too liked the idea of a wandering house, with different people encountering it on its journey.  Not a bad conceit for a TV series where each week the house moves along with a diffferent cast of supporting characters.  OK maybe a mini-series.  Regardless it made for a unique and delightful tale.  As others have said, a fitting story for #100.

I also liked it's method of travel--just dragging itself across the landscape.  When it mentioned traveling to Florida, I first envisioned it flying, a la Up, and I was extremely happy that it did not sprout chicken legs.  Come to think of it there have been a few sentient house stories on PC over time.  Hmm.  I'll have to make a list.  Meanwhile, keep up the good work.
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Talia
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2010, 09:23:58 AM »

What a fun story. Determined little house. Made me think right off of Episode 10, The Desire of Houses (although its an entirely different kind of.. sentient house story.. heh).

Pretty incompetent police work, though. Though, the story does suggest some anti-foreigner sentiment which may have played into circumstances. I vaguely wonder if having the family be African-American would have added or detracted from the story (it would certainly have fit the time period having the police jump to conclusions in that case..). But really, it wasn't a story about the family so much as it was about the valiant house's epic journey, riddled with terrible peril, bums and raccoons. Smiley I guess you wouldn't want to throw in too many other issues to distract from that.

Congrats on episode 100, looking forward to the future!

*high fives all around*
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2010, 01:01:00 PM »

Come to think of it there have been a few sentient house stories on PC over time.  Hmm.  I'll have to make a list.

Made me think right off of Episode 10, The Desire of Houses (although its an entirely different kind of.. sentient house story.. heh).

Yeah, after a brief look at PC epeisodes, I guess "The Desire of Houses" is about the only other sentient house story on PC.  My chicken leg reference actually applies to Escape Pod #52: "Single White Farmhouse".  Somehow I imagined this to be a PC, and imagined other stories as well.  Oh well.  If anyone else knows of any I may have missed, let me know.  But I guess the important thing is that "Remembrance..." is the best.
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2010, 01:52:03 PM »

Come to think of it there have been a few sentient house stories on PC over time.  Hmm.  I'll have to make a list.

Made me think right off of Episode 10, The Desire of Houses (although its an entirely different kind of.. sentient house story.. heh).

Yeah, after a brief look at PC epeisodes, I guess "The Desire of Houses" is about the only other sentient house story on PC.  My chicken leg reference actually applies to Escape Pod #52: "Single White Farmhouse".  Somehow I imagined this to be a PC, and imagined other stories as well.  Oh well.  If anyone else knows of any I may have missed, let me know.  But I guess the important thing is that "Remembrance..." is the best.

Oh, actually, I think Single White Farmhouse is the one I was thinking of too (I liked that one).

So there are plenty of friendly, well-meaning house stories. Now I wanna hear a story about evil, rampaging houses.

Someone needs to write one and submit it to Drabblecast and/or Pseudopod :p
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2010, 01:57:19 PM »



Oh, actually, I think Single White Farmhouse is the one I was thinking of too (I liked that one).

So there are plenty of friendly, well-meaning house stories. Now I wanna hear a story about evil, rampaging houses.

Someone needs to write one and submit it to Drabblecast and/or Pseudopod :p

There are a couple at PP, at least. Furnace Room Lullaby, I think. And...I feel like there's at least one other, though it's not coming to mind...
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2010, 04:45:31 PM »

FWIW, I think I almost offered to buy "Single White Farmhouse" after reading it in a collection--before Steve told me he'd already run it.
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2010, 10:09:51 PM »

Great story.  Was anyone else reminded of the Monty Python animation of the houses scuttling around?

Fantastic narration by Wilson Fowlie, as always.  I was a little disappointed he didn't get the chance to break out his awesome "malevolent voice" (think Lord Iron or the Dybbuk), but his regular narration was more than adequate.
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2010, 11:11:21 PM »

I didn't much care for it.  It certainly invited comparisons to Single White Farmhouse, and I think that story was better.  This story wasn't bad by any account, just not to my taste.  Seemed too straightforward, relying too much on "hey look!  Sentient house!" and of course I've heard that before, here on Escape Artists, even.

I wish you'd gone with the impulse to go for a "name" author for #100.  The first episode was by Peter Beagle, after all.  I understand not wanting to run a traditional swords and/or sorcery bit, since that's NOT really representational of Podcastle, but this as 100 just didn't seem... special.
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2010, 08:31:20 AM »

Not bad.  Of the sentient house stories I've heard, this is the best, telling of a perilous journey across hundreds of miles.  I did find it a bit odd that no one seemed to have much interest in an old run-down house being where an old run-down house had never been before.

Wilson Fowlie did a good job, I'm glad he had mostly narration to do, he's got a cool voice for narration but sometimes his voices are a little over the top.

So it was good for a regular Podcastle episode.  For the frontier of triple digits, I'm not sure it carried enough weight in author name or originality (we've seen stories about walking houses more than once) to merit the memorable number.
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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2010, 05:25:48 PM »

congratulations on 100 episodes!

i found this story to be enjoyable, but rather sad.  i am still feeling so very sorry for the poor, wrongly executed father!   i felt badly for the house too. knowing the truth and not having any way to tell anyone is tortuous.  i guess that the fact this one invoked such a strong emotions in me says something though.
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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2010, 12:06:54 AM »

Happy 100 PC. May there be many more.

Fun story. Most enjoyable.
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2010, 12:48:55 AM »

I enjoyed the journey, but I was underwhelmed by the destination.  I was really hoping Julian was the killer, because that at least would have been close to a twist...

Ah, well.

I was most reminded of "There Will Come Soft Rains," and unfortunately this story just can't really stand up to that one.  I felt a lot closer to the house in "Rains," which barely even got an emotion word, let alone entire narratives about its thoughts and feelings, than I did to this house, whose narrator seemed all too anxious to explain things better left (in my opinion) unexplained.

Perversely, I'm quite pleased by the decision to run a story not immediately distinguishable from other normal PodCastle stories as the 100th episode.  Everyone is always so focused on numbers and keeping count of things; it's nice to have a podcast that just notes it and carries on as normal instead of hauling out one of the Big Names because it's a Special Occasion.  It's *always* a special occasion, and the big names ought to be coming here anyway, amirite? 

Shyeah.
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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2010, 07:51:40 PM »

Perversely, I'm quite pleased by the decision to run a story not immediately distinguishable from other normal PodCastle stories as the 100th episode.  Everyone is always so focused on numbers and keeping count of things; it's nice to have a podcast that just notes it and carries on as normal instead of hauling out one of the Big Names because it's a Special Occasion.  It's *always* a special occasion, and the big names ought to be coming here anyway, amirite? 

I'm right there with you! Big names are good... but its refreshing to hear something from someone new. I have my regular authors I read but I love to be wowed by new ones. Always looking for a new author to follow. Definitely found some by listening to this podcast.

Now, the story: I found it very enjoyable. Going in, I didn't think that it was going to be about a sentient house. I thought it would be about someone's memories. I was pleasantly surprised. I really loved the things that happened to the house as it traveled: crossing the interstate, the three kids, its reaction to being called a "kill house." How much it hated that. You don't realize until the end just exactly why it hated it so much.
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« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2010, 06:52:45 AM »

This reminded me a bit of a Bradbury story in tone (not a specific one, though "There will come soft rains" obviously comes to the fore for 'story about a house' comparisons).  And, like many Bradbury short stories, it was really more of a vignette than anything with a plot (I love Bradbury and I am not saying this pejoratively). This type of story works well when included in a story collection, particularly in print, but lacks something when done in audio on its own.
Part of it is the time scope; years-long stories are difficult to do well, especially years-long short stories. When selecting from forty years of events, the ones the author chooses to depict should be obvious and ironclad in their importance to the storyline. I don't think this story particularly showed that to be the case. Besides which, when writing stories about houses, the contents thereof are the plot. Giving the house a mind and mobility was fun, but great opportunity was lost in neglecting to give more detailed descriptions of the contents.

It was a sweet little piece, but a bit of an anticlimax for the one-hundreth episode.
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2010, 04:09:39 AM »

take pity on us foreigners! i had no idea how far it was from Ohio to Florida, it could've been Timbuktu!
i struggled to work out quite how fast (or slow) he (she? it?) was going so was nonplussed when i found he'd been going 40years! with my nerd head on, if he travelled 800 miles in 40years, he was travelling at 0.002 miles an hour (approximately). was that fast enough to get across half a dual carriageway in 2 minutes? i suggest we do our own scientific enquiries with a "test sentient house" to establish the veracity of the account!
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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2010, 04:50:04 AM »

take pity on us foreigners! i had no idea how far it was from Ohio to Florida, it could've been Timbuktu!

s'ok, mate, you ain't the only foreigner. Welcome!
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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2010, 07:59:52 PM »

I'm having a really hard time swallowing the father's conviction as a child-killer.  Was forensic science in the 30s really so piss-poor that simply having a dead girl under your house could get you convicted and executed?  Where's the murder weapon?  Where's evidence that he had any contact with the girl at all?

Sorry... interesting story, and a nice try... but FAIL.
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