Escape Artists
November 17, 2018, 08:57:50 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: PC109, Bonus Episode: Watermark  (Read 3702 times)
DKT
Friendly Neighborhood
Hipparch
******
Posts: 4980


PodCastle is my Co-Pilot


WWW
« on: June 20, 2010, 12:13:43 PM »

PodCastle 109, Bonus Episode: Watermark

by Michael Greenhut

read by Amy Elk,
Voice Actress for Hire

Originally published in Fantasy Magazine

Dear Father:

If you are reading this, Dariael murdered me.

Though I am not your favorite daughter, you also know I’m not the type of sixteen-year-old to feign suicide for sympathy. For the moment, I ask only that you believe in my abilities as a threadkeeper. If my sorcery works, you can save me in your universe. If you’re too busy to follow my instructions, you’ll never see me again.

In my timeline, I wrote this letter with your (presumably) grieving hands after you channeled me through a favorite memory. Naturally, Dariael was in the memory too. We had surprised you with that golden fleece jacket for your thirty-fifth birthday. You hugged Dariael, and I hugged you both.

Rated PG for Father’s Day Issues - we hope yours turns out better than this!
Logged

eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 6098



« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2010, 06:33:27 PM »

I liked this piece. While I was expecting some sort of twist in the end, the nature of the twist surprised me - I was expecting it to involve the sister, not just a general "oh boy, just got a prophecy that suggests I may have been safer dead". I'm not entirely sure whether I liked that or not, but I did like how the personality and history of the drowned girl came out from her letters.
Logged
ElectricPaladin
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1005


Holy Robot


WWW
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2010, 06:47:49 PM »

I am incredibly eager to read the novel that is a sequel to this piece. The story itself was interesting enough - an evolving epistolary narrative is something I've never experienced before. Mostly, I'm really interested to hear how the author explores time travelling, dimension hopping magic in a novel, though. I'll be sure to keep an eye on his website.
Logged

Captain of the Burning Zeppelin Experience.

Help my kids get the educational supplies they need at my Donor's Choose page.
stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3906


Cool story, bro!


WWW
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2010, 11:37:08 PM »

What ElectricPaladin said.
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3187


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2010, 07:49:12 AM »

The concept of moving up- and down-stream in realities was last read by me in Hal Duncan's "Vellum", and I really didn't like that book. However, I love the concept itself, and if that's what the book's going to be about, I'll probably give it a chance.

As for the story -- I liked it, and while I'm not 100% sure Dariael was doing the right thing by killing her younger sister (the MC) before the MC could do all this evil she said she was going to do, it certainly is an interpretation that gives the story that much more gravitas. It explores the concept of "doing evil for a greater good", whereas the father, by saving the MC, is "doing good that causes evil later" -- kind of like the person who taught Hitler to swim at age five so that when he fell in a lake at age twelve he could swim out*.

* Just an example. I'm sure it didn't really happen. If you prefer, replace "Hitler" with "Pol Pot", "Mussolini", or whatever American politician you hate most.

Good reading, too.
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: June 23, 2010, 08:44:50 AM »

Bonus Episode!  Cool to have an extra ep this week.  Smiley

I liked this one.  Despite general editorial stigma against epistolary formats, I've always liked the form, ever since reading Dracula.  It lends a permanence, a sense of authenticity to the narrative, a reason for it to be in written form for me to come across.

This one even lent some freshness to the form by changing the nature of the letters to come from parallel world versions of the girl, trying to alter this reality.  The concept of that ability is really intriguing and I'm interested to read more about it.  I didn't see the twist coming at the end, makes me wonder if Dariel had been trying to do good.
Logged
Scattercat
Caution:
Hipparch
******
Posts: 4847


Amateur wordsmith


WWW
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2010, 03:26:04 AM »

I liked it.  I was a little surprised that there wasn't a more specific ending, though.  I assumed from the beginning that saving her would turn out badly, but I'd also assume there would be some sort of clever reason why...
Logged

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 6098



« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2010, 03:46:42 AM »

Btw, according to the Fantasy Magazine website, this story was written as the backstory for a Etinaye, who is a character in an unpublished novel by him. I think the ending is supposed to look ahead to her actions in that novel, rather than to directly follow from the rest of this story.
Logged
Scattercat
Caution:
Hipparch
******
Posts: 4847


Amateur wordsmith


WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2010, 04:16:19 AM »

Btw, according to the Fantasy Magazine website, this story was written as the backstory for a Etinaye, who is a character in an unpublished novel by him. I think the ending is supposed to look ahead to her actions in that novel, rather than to directly follow from the rest of this story.

Which is, to my mind, rather a bit of a ripoff.  This is why I don't do sequels.  I feel like I should be able to tell Etinaye or whoever's backstory from the novel itself and not need a separate story, and likewise, if you're going to put out a story on its own, then it should be complete in itself and not trail off into vagueness.

Grar.
Logged

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8660



WWW
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2010, 08:41:20 AM »

Btw, according to the Fantasy Magazine website, this story was written as the backstory for a Etinaye, who is a character in an unpublished novel by him. I think the ending is supposed to look ahead to her actions in that novel, rather than to directly follow from the rest of this story.

Which is, to my mind, rather a bit of a ripoff.  This is why I don't do sequels.  I feel like I should be able to tell Etinaye or whoever's backstory from the novel itself and not need a separate story, and likewise, if you're going to put out a story on its own, then it should be complete in itself and not trail off into vagueness.

Grar.

I agree.  I liked it better when it was just a vague ending, not one that I need to read the book to resolve.  It reminds me of reading Uncanny X-Men when there were 3 other X-Men comic series, and no plotline would ever begin and resolve in the same line, so that you'd either have to buy out of the other series or be forever clueless.
Logged
DKT
Friendly Neighborhood
Hipparch
******
Posts: 4980


PodCastle is my Co-Pilot


WWW
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2010, 10:35:32 AM »

Btw, according to the Fantasy Magazine website, this story was written as the backstory for a Etinaye, who is a character in an unpublished novel by him. I think the ending is supposed to look ahead to her actions in that novel, rather than to directly follow from the rest of this story.

Which is, to my mind, rather a bit of a ripoff.  This is why I don't do sequels.  I feel like I should be able to tell Etinaye or whoever's backstory from the novel itself and not need a separate story, and likewise, if you're going to put out a story on its own, then it should be complete in itself and not trail off into vagueness.

Grar.

I agree.  I liked it better when it was just a vague ending, not one that I need to read the book to resolve.  It reminds me of reading Uncanny X-Men when there were 3 other X-Men comic series, and no plotline would ever begin and resolve in the same line, so that you'd either have to buy out of the other series or be forever clueless.

But...you didn't need the book to resolve anything in this story. Until you heard there was a book that resolved it. As a story, this one seemed to work really well for both you and Scattercat on its own. As it (hopefully) should. That there's a book coming in some possible future hopefully doesn't negate that. And if Michael Greenhut's done his job, his novel should stand on its own.

Logged

Scattercat
Caution:
Hipparch
******
Posts: 4847


Amateur wordsmith


WWW
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2010, 03:30:01 PM »

Well, I felt like the ending wasn't specific enough to quite satisfy me, and then it was pointed out that this was a prequel story and thus the specificity likely comes in the novel.  (And since it's apparently a Big and Terrible Destiny, I have a feeling it will feature heavily in the novel, as well.)  That irks me.  It would be like reading a story about a kid on a desert planet who ends up getting taken away to have warrior-monk training and then at the end they give this vague ominous hint about his destiny and it only really works if you happen to already know that Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, y'know?  That annoys me, probably unreasonably so.
Logged

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8660



WWW
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2010, 08:39:28 AM »

Btw, according to the Fantasy Magazine website, this story was written as the backstory for a Etinaye, who is a character in an unpublished novel by him. I think the ending is supposed to look ahead to her actions in that novel, rather than to directly follow from the rest of this story.

Which is, to my mind, rather a bit of a ripoff.  This is why I don't do sequels.  I feel like I should be able to tell Etinaye or whoever's backstory from the novel itself and not need a separate story, and likewise, if you're going to put out a story on its own, then it should be complete in itself and not trail off into vagueness.

Grar.

I agree.  I liked it better when it was just a vague ending, not one that I need to read the book to resolve.  It reminds me of reading Uncanny X-Men when there were 3 other X-Men comic series, and no plotline would ever begin and resolve in the same line, so that you'd either have to buy out of the other series or be forever clueless.

But...you didn't need the book to resolve anything in this story. Until you heard there was a book that resolved it. As a story, this one seemed to work really well for both you and Scattercat on its own. As it (hopefully) should. That there's a book coming in some possible future hopefully doesn't negate that. And if Michael Greenhut's done his job, his novel should stand on its own.



Well, yeah, it works on its own partially because I think the ambiguity is done well.  I like a story that allows me to decide for myself what happens, and creating ambiguity well is a tough task.  It turns out that it's not actually ambiguous at all, there is a definitive answer to what happens next, so the part that I liked best about the story really isn't.  And yes, the presence of a book in a related universe can certainly affect my opinion of the story--if I love the first book in a series, my opinion of that book will still be affected for better or worse by the later books in the series.  Notice that I said I like it less, but it's not that I dislike it by any means.
Logged
LadyDyani
Extern
*
Posts: 7


Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2010, 07:07:10 PM »

What ElectricPaladin said.

Ditto.
Logged

It's better to be at the bottom of a ladder that you want to climb than half way up one you don't want to be on anymore.
Pages: [1]
  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!