Escape Artists
November 19, 2018, 06:42:13 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2  All
  Print  
Author Topic: PC103: Attar Of Roses  (Read 6013 times)
Heradel
Bill Peters, EP Assistant
Hipparch
******
Posts: 2938


Part-Time Psychopomp.


« on: May 11, 2010, 08:22:43 AM »

PodCastle 103: Attar Of Roses

by Sharon Mock.
Read by Deborah Green.
Originally published in Clarkesworld.


They say that when I was born, blossoms spread on the rose bushes outside my mother’s birthing chamber. They say that where I step, blood-red petals spring from the earth. The first, my father tells me, is a legend. The second has been known to happen on occasion, though only by my design.

I was born deep in the northern mountains, far from the great confederacies, where my father nurtured his magic without interference. His was the power of earth, roots of stone and springs of water. My gifts, on the other hand, were merely decorative—grace and beauty and youth forever born anew in spring. Sorcerers traveled from the tradelands to court me, Rosalaia, Blossom of the North. I would have none of them. My father sent them all away. Far better for me to grant my grace at my father’s side, take my consorts from the young men of the city, make our land a well-defended paradise.

For centuries I believed that this was the life for which I was intended.

Rated PG for roses which may smell sweet but still have their thorns.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2010, 02:58:40 PM by Heradel » Logged

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.
RicV
Extern
*
Posts: 15



WWW
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2010, 10:36:17 AM »

I enjoyed this piece for the world created.  I found it an interesting concept on the sorcerers outlawing magic to protect as very interesting as well as the father figure being a hermitted sorcerer even though he kept a kingdom of sorts.  For this the setting was intriguing and spiked my interest.

The characters were also developed well enough, but I had problems with this story in the voice.  I think the author was trying to bring across the desolation of the soul that was evident in Rosalia, but instead it slowed the story to a hard to get through piece.  The plot elements I found too spread out and the same story could have been presented in much less space.  Or perhaps bring more to the story.  I ended the story feeling cheated that too much of the story and development was unfinished.  There was too little of the relationship of Rosalia to her mortal partner to be meaningful and while I understand the authors intent in keeping to the voice selected, I firmly believe it could have been worked in.

As for Theme, I am not aligning with it yet.  The whole good vs. evil, or count what you have as blessings, didn't come over.  Overall I would give in 6/10, a good start that could use more polish in this forum.  This piece could work spectacularly as a prologue to a larger story, or an intro to a more romantic view of the situation, but as a standalone short I was somewhat meh.
Logged

Ric

-to find what you seek is to uncover more questions.
Swamp
Hipparch
******
Posts: 2227



WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2010, 11:25:58 AM »

I enjoyed the voice in this story and thought it was a good use of the second person narrative.  Rosalia speaking to her bethrothed in the story gave it an interesting pespective and foreshadowed that there was more to the story.  It was confusing a couple of times, I think mostly due to being in audio where we can't see the quote marks, but an effective use nonetheless.

Mostly, I am commenting to say how happy I am to hear Deborah Green back on EA.  She has a very clear voice and engaging style that brings me into the story without distracting from it.  She's one of the best.  I may have missed a reading, but I think it has been a couple years since she has read for the podcasts, Citytalkers being the last, though I may be wrong.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2010, 11:29:09 AM by Swamp » Logged

Facehuggers don't have heads!

Come with me and Journey Into... another fun podcast
DKT
Friendly Neighborhood
Hipparch
******
Posts: 4980


PodCastle is my Co-Pilot


WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2010, 01:13:52 PM »

Here's the text version, for anybody interested  Smiley
Logged

Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3187


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 07:06:44 AM »

Despite good writing and a decent performance, this story didn't really connect with me in any way. It developed too slowly, the whole "princess talking to her dead lover who she never even met in the second person" kept pulling me out of the story, her general worldliness in accepting being a mistress, the whole "gray sorceress saves her from something related to her betrothed" thing... this just wasn't the story for me.
Logged

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8660



WWW
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2010, 08:28:37 AM »

Didn't do much for me.  Good to hear Deborah Green reading again, and the writing itself was of good quality, but it just didn't really keep me interested.  I didn't stop early because I wanted to see where it was going, but I was never really engaged.

This was to my tastes as many poems are.  I can understand why other people would like them, and I can enjoy a good turn of phrase, but in the end it just didn't keep me interested, and in the end it's forgettable.

Mostly it was just way too long for the content, and the protagonist was passive to a fault, simply allowing life to happen to her.  When her husband dies, I can understand grieving, but she went so far as to say that her life was without purpose--that I have trouble relating to, your relationship to another being your only purpose in life.  The 2nd person narration to the husband she never met was a distraction to me, striking me more as a literary device that the author was trying instead of being truly organic to the story.
Logged
Gamercow
Hipparch
******
Posts: 654



« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2010, 09:42:25 PM »

I agree with Unblinking and Listener on this one.  The talking in second person was really jarring for me.  I listened to this one, then listened again, thinking I missed something, then read the text, for which I thank DKT.  They all left me with the feeling that I missed the boat on this one, or was off synch, or just plain too dumb to understand the deeper meanings of the story.  I liked the idea of the grey sorceress, bending iron and stone to her will.  I liked the idea of the citadel that could be controlled by its ruler.  I liked the thought of a powerful sorceress trying to hide her powers away.  There were interesting facets, but the overall crystal was flawed. 
The biggest flaw, in my mind, was the motivation of the MC.  She was yearning to meet the leader of the western lands, but wishes her father to flee to avoid this.  She says she should feel happy about her betrothed's death, but instead slept with his picture under her pillow.  There could be something I missed there, but I don't see the reason she was so attached to this man.  I did very much enjoy the reading, it was superb. 
All in all, this story seemed disjointed and too cryptic for this slow cow to comprehend.
Logged

The cow says "Mooooooooo"
stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3906


Cool story, bro!


WWW
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2010, 09:24:25 AM »

This one was completely lost on me.  I thought maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention (was operating the Risograph at work) but other comments here lead me to believe it really was murky.  I won't bother with a repeat listen.
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
blueeyeddevil
Peltast
***
Posts: 104


« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2010, 10:05:00 AM »

As I just finished commenting on over at PP, this story almost could have been switched in the cradle with "Bed of Scorpions."
In fact, this story may have been better on that feed because the tone is so dark. This story is essentially 'how I became the dark queen, and loved it' while the other is essentially redemptive (forgive the cross-referencing, but I think it's appropriate).
In general I find post-innocence deconstructions to be kind of self-indulgent. This character never really conveys the proper sense of what she lost to become what she is now, and instead seems more tied up in her own worldly tone. When she embraces her own deceptive nature at the end, it doesn't come as a shock or even as news, really.
I don't know, it seems like this story wanted to be a kind of sexualized/sensualized coming-of-age/corruption fairy tale, but missed the mark by being neither subtle nor overt. Had it gone more in either direction, i.e. been more explicit in description or more allegorical in its evolution. I think it would have realized this goal well.
I am left somehow feeling like this is the introduction to a different character's story; like it's a prologue to another person's quest to free/slay this character.
Logged
kibitzer
Purveyor of Unsolicited Opinions
Hipparch
******
Posts: 2224


Kibitzer: A meddler who offers unwanted advice


« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2010, 04:32:27 AM »

I really, really wish that StEpH would get rid of that mondo distracting image in his sig.
Logged

stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3906


Cool story, bro!


WWW
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2010, 09:21:48 AM »

I really, really wish that StEpH would get rid of that mondo distracting image in his sig.

Spell my name correctly and I might  Tongue
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
megamanky
Extern
*
Posts: 1


« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2010, 11:07:50 PM »

Hi there. I am new to the forums but not new to listening to podcastle. I draw a lot of inspiration from the creative writers here so thanks for this podcast. I really enjoyed the character of Rosalaia so I gave her concept a shot. So here's my interpretation of what Rosalaia could look like. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_sWUUMO4c5VI/S-4bJs6UxlI/AAAAAAAAAnY/JM08-UqkbGc/s1600/Rosalaia_concept.jpg
I listened in a few times to make sure I didn't get some detail wrong but if I did, I'm sorry!
Logged
danooli
Moderator
*****
Posts: 1511



WWW
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2010, 07:35:49 AM »

wow, megamanky, that's pretty cool!  Grin

i had a hard time with this story...i guess I'm stuck on not understanding Rosalia's emotions regarding the un-named and un-met fiance. The entire story is based on her feelings for this man, but I just didn't get it.

i do usually like the twist of innocence being attracted to "evil" though.  I just didn't really believe in it here.
Logged
Allie
Extern
*
Posts: 11


Mapmaker / Weather Chaser


WWW
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2010, 12:37:06 PM »

It was a bit murky, but as Unblinking pointed out, the style with which it was written and read made me feel like I was listening to poetry. When I thought of it that way I relaxed and enjoyed it much more. I think Ms. Mock created a world with so much potential. Fantasy citadels vs. Steampunk sorcery (if I may dare to label it Steampunk..) I hope she expands on it!

Really, no mention of Holly Black yet? I find that my friends love to listen to podcastle episodes I've picked out for them on their morning commutes. However, my best friend is the extremely stubborn sort. She is  in the "better read not said" camp, though she never minds storytelling around a campfire. (I'm sure many of you have run into one of these) There is hope though... she absolutely adores Holly Black and it might be just enough to persuade her!
Logged
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8660



WWW
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2010, 08:48:38 AM »

I really, really wish that StEpH would get rid of that mondo distracting image in his sig.

Spell my name correctly and I might  Tongue

kibitzer did spell it right, all the right letters in the right order.   Grin
Logged
stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3906


Cool story, bro!


WWW
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2010, 09:17:38 AM »

I really, really wish that StEpH would get rid of that mondo distracting image in his sig.

Spell my name correctly and I might  Tongue

kibitzer did spell it right, all the right letters in the right order.   Grin

"Not good enough, damn it, not good enough!"
-- Jean-Luc Picard, Stardate 43625.2
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
kibitzer
Purveyor of Unsolicited Opinions
Hipparch
******
Posts: 2224


Kibitzer: A meddler who offers unwanted advice


« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2010, 05:59:01 PM »

Aha. My apologies.

I really, really wish that stePH would get rid of that mondo distracting image in his sig.
Logged

stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3906


Cool story, bro!


WWW
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2010, 10:33:37 PM »

Very well; it's been there long enough anyway.
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
kibitzer
Purveyor of Unsolicited Opinions
Hipparch
******
Posts: 2224


Kibitzer: A meddler who offers unwanted advice


« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2010, 03:43:43 AM »

My thanks, stePH.  Smiley
Logged

jjtraw
Palmer
**
Posts: 24


« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2010, 12:05:37 PM »

This one left me cold, I have to admit.

The magic system was interesting, and the reading was clear and melodious, suiting the gothic feel very well.

But if a story doesn't have at least one likable character, cool concepts just aren't enough to hold me. Meh.

Megamanky's image, on the other hand, is awsome. Thank you for sharing!

-JJT
Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!