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Author Topic: EP253: Eugene  (Read 30909 times)

Swamp

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on: August 12, 2010, 01:39:34 PM
EP253: Eugene

By Jacob Sager Weinstein
Read by Tim “ShoEboX” Crist of Worm Quartet, Cirque du So What?, and The Funny Music Project

First appeared in Popcorn Fiction

As he puts the cruiser in gear and takes off, I calm down a little bit, and smell something that worries me. I smell Apurna on him, like always, but she doesn’t smell right. She smells of nervousness bordering on fear, and come to think of it, he does, too. It’s an old smell–I’d say from late yesterday evening, just after work–but it’s unmistakable. And there’s a hospital smell, and the smell of Apurna’s pain.

I shouldn’t say anything. Francisco doesn’t like me to pry.

But he took Apurna to the hospital.

But he doesn’t like me to pry.

But he took Apurna to the hospital.

But he doesn’t like me to pry.

But–

“What’s wrong with Apurna?” I say.


Rated PG for minor police excitement.

Show Notes:

Feedback for Episode 245, The Moment


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Void Munashii

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Reply #1 on: August 12, 2010, 03:05:30 PM
  At the start of this story I thought "Oh, another talking cop dog story. Okay, the last one was good, so lets see what happens", and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I liked the interaction between Eugene and Francisco as well as the crime drama aspects of it, although if Mur had not tipped me off at the beginning that this was about a dog I may have thought Eugene had some form of autism and enhanced senses at first.

  In the closing Mur comments that the details about Eugene and his origins are not that important, and I find myself disagreeing a little bit. While I did like the story, I found myself wondering exactly what a dogman was. Does Eugene look like the wolfman (he mentions having fur a couple of times)? Is he a human body with a dog's brain (and if so, why does the dog's sense of smell and hearing still work)? This did not ruin the story for me, but I kept hoping we would get some sort of physical description so I could solidify my mental image of him. This was hardly a story-killer for me, but it was distracting.

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jenfullmoon

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Reply #2 on: August 12, 2010, 04:10:14 PM
Did I catch that Eugene's last name was Gromit?!

I was pretty much assuming "dog's head/brain, human body" throughout the whole story. It sounds like he's visually not normal human, and using a super sniffer, and yet has hands/wears shoes. I did wonder about what his mother uh, went through...

I totally enjoyed it, to be honest. Eugene is a GOOD COP. Heh. It's not exactly a huge plot, just a slice of life for a good K-9, but fun.



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Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 06:01:07 PM
First: Thanks again for a meaningful rating at the beginning of the story, I continue to appreciate that!

This was a fun fun story and reminds me of the first time I listened to escapepod.  It was of course another dog-cop story, and I loved that one as well.  I agree that some additional physical description would have added to the story, but this was a fun bit. I call it Fifth Element meets Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and has a puppy. I also imagine that it'd be sponsored by "Yuppie and the Alien".

On a more specific note I really enjoyed the way the scent-information was explored.  Its not the first time it's been done well, but this is definitely one of the better.

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Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 07:42:38 PM
Yep, this one brought back memories of http://escapepod.org/2008/08/01/ep169-how-i-mounted-goldie-saved-my-partner-lori-and-sniffed-out-the-peoples-justice/ .  I remembered when it was aired because I was on a motorcycle trip listening to back escape pods as I drove through the giant redwoods of northern california.  Awww.  Memories.



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Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 08:13:58 PM
"Bad Eugene, bad partner."

That one left me rolling...

I loved the way the dog nature, literally, personified itself.

I think a dog man would make a better person than an actual person - truly loving and enthusiastic for life.

Anyone else agree?



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Reply #6 on: August 12, 2010, 09:00:36 PM
"Man's best friend stories"  never get old do they?  :D Modern dogs evolved from the Gray Wolf subspecies located in modern day Syria. Today's dogs act like permanent wolf cubs. Humans over time have bred the wolf into a companion animal for their own varied purposes. No wonder we love dogs and their qualities. We feel like gods looking down on our own creations.



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Reply #7 on: August 13, 2010, 01:56:13 AM
I immediately thought of "How I Mounted Goldie" at first.  It took me a while to figure out just what our main character was. I thought it was a good light story.  I always think of my dogs and what they would be like if they could talk like that.  I guess they would be like a 5 year-old that never shuts up.   

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heyes

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Reply #8 on: August 13, 2010, 02:37:27 AM
I immediately thought of "How I Mounted Goldie" at first.  It took me a while to figure out just what our main character was. I thought it was a good light story.  I always think of my dogs and what they would be like if they could talk like that.  I guess they would be like a 5 year-old that never shuts up.   

Yeah, How I mounted Goldie came right to my mind, made me smile.

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heyes

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Reply #9 on: August 13, 2010, 02:38:48 AM
"Man's best friend stories"  never get old do they?  :D Modern dogs evolved from the Gray Wolf subspecies located in modern day Syria. Today's dogs act like permanent wolf cubs. Humans over time have bred the wolf into a companion animal for their own varied purposes. No wonder we love dogs and their qualities. We feel like gods looking down on our own creations.


It could also be that they were bred to help us survive.  You know, not as an ego boost.

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Reply #10 on: August 13, 2010, 03:53:11 AM


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Reply #11 on: August 13, 2010, 11:16:16 AM
Insert stock "This is like [insert story here]" comment.  Doesn't make a story better or worse for it, in my opinion, but then that's just it: My opinion.

I WILL say, however, that I have listened to a good number of tragic tales on Escape Pod.  Of lost loves, beings persecuted for being different, and civilizations doomed to failure.

None of them encouraged me to register on this forum to leave a comment.  But then, none of them moved me to tears the way this story did.  Eugene's simple desire to stay with and comfort the girl until everything was all better again really got to me.  I've seen other dogs do the same thing, including the one I had for 16 years.

Good author, Mr. Weinstein!  Good author!



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Reply #12 on: August 13, 2010, 11:55:44 AM
A cracking story. And on the plus side, since the two main characters weren't both fully human, the horrible term 'bromance' isn't strictly applicable. Excellent.

Now let's have a cat-as-cop story: "I got to the crime scene. There was blood everywhere so I decided to take a nap. Someone tried to wake me, but I ignored them."



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Reply #13 on: August 13, 2010, 12:23:28 PM
Yes, this also reminded me of That Other EP Episode About a Talking Police Dog, but so what?  I don't care about whether an idea is original; all that matters is that it is done well.  Eugene is an effing hilarious character, and I'm a cat person.  (Aargh!  Started a flame war!)

Also reminded me of Bruce Sterling's Holy Fire, which features a talking St. Bernard who hosts a TV talk show.  And of course, Dug from Up.

Only quibble I have is that I grew a tad confused about what exactly Eugene looks like.  I initially pictured him as looking more or less fully canine, perhaps with the addition of a bigger cranium and opposable thumbs, but as the story went on I came to think of him as more of a dog-human hybrid.  I would've liked more hints about what he was.  Didn't wreck the story for me, anyway.

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alllie

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Reply #14 on: August 13, 2010, 10:54:58 PM
I enjoyed it though, like almost everyone else, it made me think of How I Mounted Goldie, Saved My Partner Lori, and Sniffed Out The People’s Justice and that wasn't a good comparison because I felt the characters in How I Mounted Goldie were more fully formed. I felt I knew them from Lori on down to Goldie and even the killers. I didn't really have a sense of any of these characters except Eugene and even with him I was mostly left with questions about how he ended up a dog/man.

(/offtopic) It did remind me of a question on the scifi section of reddit about what kind of new series SyFy should do. I suggested a future police dog series and linked to How I Mounted Goldie. This story makes me realize how difficult such a series would be. It would be very difficult to train a dog to play someone like Officer Bull. This story might be a way around it. Have a dog/man cop. But it would be very difficult to write and act. Still, maybe having a trained dog but with someone like Steve voicing Officer Bull, that might work. I also missed Officer Bull's partner Lori but if the officer was a dog/man they would almost certainly partner it with a male officer so there would be no bestiality hints. But I would still miss Lori. I really liked her.

Hell, there was a Lassie series and there's the talking (fake) cat Salem on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. As long as it is explained that the voice is computer generated they wouldn't need to show the dog's mouth moving.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 10:59:19 PM by alllie »



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Reply #15 on: August 14, 2010, 02:36:14 AM
Okay, it has to be said and it might as well be me.

GOOD MUR! GOOD EDITOR!

This one had me giggling aloud in my car on the way home from work, and really, that's what these stories are all about to me. They keep me entertained. This one certainly did that.

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kibitzer

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Reply #16 on: August 14, 2010, 07:14:49 AM
Had me grinning with pleasure in the first five minutes. Simply, a delight. Excellent!


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Reply #17 on: August 14, 2010, 02:40:19 PM
I immediately thought of "How I Mounted Goldie" at first.   

[aol]
Me, too!
[/aol]

I suspected I was not the only one.

I had a bit of trouble picturing Eugene, but eventually settled on a man-sized bipedal canine with humanlike hands and feet (since he can dress himself and wears shoes). Definitely has the head of a dog, probably a German Shepherd.

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Reply #18 on: August 14, 2010, 08:12:52 PM
I'm a cat owner, but I love dogs too, for exactly the reasons that came through in this story, their loving, open quality. That's just one of the reasons I enjoyed this tale so much, it really felt like it captured Dog Personality. I just wanted to give Eugene a cuddle and a scritch behind the ears!

A good reading, too.



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Reply #19 on: August 15, 2010, 02:38:54 AM
Now let's have a cat-as-cop story: "I got to the crime scene. There was blood everywhere so I decided to take a nap. Someone tried to wake me, but I ignored them."

This is great. And exactly right.

As for 'Eugene', I was smiling all the way through and laughed out loud more the once. I thought it conveyed perfectly how a human dog might act.

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Reply #20 on: August 15, 2010, 03:26:56 AM
I really enjoyed this one. It had me laughing out loud several times on my run today.

My only complaint is that I would have preferred some more explicit discussion about what Eugene was at the very beginning of the story. As it was, it took me about 5 minutes to clue in (after being really confused, and then getting the hint from the intro). This made me have to go back to the beginning, so I could listen to it with the correct perspective this time. Just saying, I would have preferred not to have to do that.



blueeyeddevil

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Reply #21 on: August 15, 2010, 02:22:30 PM
I immediately thought of "How I Mounted Goldie" at first.   

I had a bit of trouble picturing Eugene, but eventually settled on a man-sized bipedal canine with humanlike hands and feet (since he can dress himself and wears shoes). Definitely has the head of a dog, probably a German Shepherd.

Nah, Golden Retriever, or maybe a Lab (but he wasn't permanently hungry, so probably not the latter).



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Reply #22 on: August 16, 2010, 12:21:57 AM
speculating on the breed of dog is kinda fun.  going off Eugene's job investigating people, his personality, and the list of police dog breeds i'll guess he was coonhound.  i'm actually not sure what kind of temperament coonhounds have but they kinda look like a retriever so i can imagine them acting like one.

and i don't know if anyone else noticed, but there are some subtle similarities between this story and one that Steve read a while back.



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Reply #23 on: August 16, 2010, 12:52:38 PM
Wow I enjoyed this story so much I had to join the forums. The intro from Mur (sorry if my spelling is off) had me grinning like the good listener I was and the story had me thinking of the way my dogs have behaved and how we tend to humanise the way they act.

Thanks for the great story. And I will sit and wait like a good listener yes I am. Yes good listener.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 12:57:59 PM by Sabian »



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Reply #24 on: August 16, 2010, 01:48:45 PM
A cracking story. And on the plus side, since the two main characters weren't both fully human, the horrible term 'bromance' isn't strictly applicable.

Ugh, I hate that word.  If I had a time machine the first thing I would do would be to find whoever coined that and separate their parents before they were born.  The same for the person who coined the words "staycation" and "frenemy".  Just because you CAN make up a new word by forcing an unnatural copulation between two other words doesn't mean you SHOULD.



Unblinking

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Reply #25 on: August 16, 2010, 01:57:04 PM
This one was lots of fun if a bit fluffy.

I'm definitely a dog person (got three pups of my own) so a story with an accurately portrayed dog personality is a huge bonus.  There aren't very many:  this one, How I Mounted Goldie, and just one of the dogs in the movie UP.  I especially liked at the beginning when he was trying not to ask his partner about the hospital again.  And again. And again.  He was able to remember that he wasn't supposed to ask, but dammit his enthusiasm got the better of him.  And how he asks why they didn't go to the station every day.  Reminded me of driving my dogs to the park, and Aria the papillon always starts freaking out when we arrive, whining worriedly and squirming like crazy so much that it takes 5 times as long to get her leashed and out of the car.  We have NEVER driven any of them to the park and then NOT taken them for a walk, but they get soooo worried that THIS time we're going to do it.

But the things that I really would've liked:
1.  Some description of what the dogman looks like.  As it is, despite the doglike personality I only realized he was a dogman within the first few minutes because of Mur's intro.
2.  A cohesive plot.  I think it would've been better to take one case and stick to it throughout the whole thing, instead of having several apparently unrelated cases--it made the whole thing seem a little too directionless for my taste.  If the cases had been related to each other, that would've been better.  Otherwise they could've been separate short stories (and I wouldn't be sad if they both had sold here).



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Reply #26 on: August 16, 2010, 03:16:57 PM
I enjoyed this story for what it was: what if a dog-man was on the police force?

Dog-man stories tend to end up on the side of "dog is in law enforcement" fairly often, don't they? Eugene, the dog from "Goldie", Angua and Gaspode...

I too needed to know sooner what Eugene looked like -- it took too long for us to get to the point that he was a dog-man (I gathered "bipedal canine"). And I too wanted a third beat to the story -- murderer, kidnapper, and... happy dog? No, we needed a third crime. And we also needed to see Eugene fail at something bigger than controlling his curiosity. The ending was a bit talky too, as if the author felt compelled to say to the reader "don't worry, the wife really is fine", especially after all that foreshadowing -- I thought Francisco had done something to Apurna, and wouldn't THAT have been a great beat to end on, Eugene fighting his love for his partner with his compulsion to do the right thing.

Still, I liked it. Too bad we couldn't get Steve to read it (he really set the bar with "Goldie"), but this reader did a good job.

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Reply #27 on: August 16, 2010, 03:29:40 PM
So, I really really love dogs. And I really loved this story for the dog in it. It made me very happy and also sad that I don't have a dog at the moment, nor will I in the near future (since keeping a dog in my current tiny apartment would be cruel). Others have already commented on how great the portrayal of the dog personality was in this (and the similarity to another story ;) )

However, Eugene was too perfect. He was partially dog, partially man, and partially superman. Dogs have a keen sense of smell, but to be able to sense a child's fear (and identify it as such) inside a single flat in an apartment building, while in a moving vehicle in the middle of a city? I would find that difficult to believe if the child was the only human around, not one of hundreds or thousands in the immediate vicinity. But Eugene could not only sense her but pinpoint her specific location.

I also found it interesting that Eugene could sense a residual sense of a couple with a young kid and very much in love in a hotel room where a violent crime occured, and a scared child through walls, but that he was not able to recognize the fact that his partner's wife was pregnant (as opposed to randomly sick).

So yeah - great portrayal of the dog man, but I wish his abilities (not his personality) were toned down and made more consistent.



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Reply #28 on: August 16, 2010, 04:52:10 PM
eytanz--good points about the inconsistent abilities.  I had noticed how strange it was for him to smell the kid in the way he did from the car, hadn't thought that he should be able to sniff out the pregnancy.



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Reply #29 on: August 16, 2010, 08:51:42 PM
It made me very happy and also sad that I don't have a dog at the moment, nor will I in the near future (since keeping a dog in my current tiny apartment would be cruel).  ;) )

FYI, I have been told that rescued racing greyhounds do very well in a small apartment, so long as they have somewhere to really run (far and fast) for about an hour a day. I had friends that had three in a small 1 bedroom, and they were very happy (the dogs, I mean.... and the friends too, I guess ;))



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Reply #30 on: August 16, 2010, 10:25:43 PM
If my Austrailian Cattle Dog named Molly had human level consciousness she'd be just like Eugene. My Border Collie/Pitt Bull mix, not so much. I got them from neighbors who lost their homes and had to move.



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Reply #31 on: August 16, 2010, 11:03:32 PM
If my Austrailian Cattle Dog named Molly had human level consciousness she'd be just like Eugene. My Border Collie/Pitt Bull mix, not so much. I got them from neighbors who lost their homes and had to move.

Beautiful dog! Aussie working dogs are awesomely smart canines. Loving and loyal, too.


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Reply #32 on: August 17, 2010, 01:27:44 AM
What a nice story!  And Mur can treat me like a dog anytime!  Some have commented they would have liked more description of the physical Eugene earlier in the story, but I enjoyed the way the author slowly painted the mental image.  It wasn't until the end that I could really visualize Eugene.  I think fangs and fur from the outset would have detracted from his character development, but I guess a little dog slober could have tempered that.  



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Reply #33 on: August 17, 2010, 07:16:45 PM
Dog-man stories tend to end up on the side of "dog is in law enforcement" fairly often, don't they? Eugene, the dog from "Goldie", Angua and Gaspode...

I too needed to know sooner what Eugene looked like -- it took too long for us to get to the point that he was a dog-man (I gathered "bipedal canine"). And I too wanted a third beat to the story -- murderer, kidnapper, and... happy dog? No, we needed a third crime. And we also needed to see Eugene fail at something bigger than controlling his curiosity. The ending was a bit talky too, as if the author felt compelled to say to the reader "don't worry, the wife really is fine", especially after all that foreshadowing -- I thought Francisco had done something to Apurna, and wouldn't THAT have been a great beat to end on, Eugene fighting his love for his partner with his compulsion to do the right thing.

1.  Some description of what the dogman looks like.  As it is, despite the doglike personality I only realized he was a dogman within the first few minutes because of Mur's intro.
2.  A cohesive plot.  I think it would've been better to take one case and stick to it throughout the whole thing, instead of having several apparently unrelated cases--it made the whole thing seem a little too directionless for my taste.  If the cases had been related to each other, that would've been better.  Otherwise they could've been separate short stories (and I wouldn't be sad if they both had sold here).


Seconded (Thirded?) The first couple of balls of Fluff were a nice setup. The foreshadowing of the Partner's wife having a problem was a nice set up. This whole story was a really good setup for a plot that never showed up. A lot more could have been done with this, and I was rather sad that the second half of this story never existed.



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Reply #34 on: August 17, 2010, 11:00:34 PM
Like just about everyone else, I quite enjoyed this story.  It was an almost uninterrupted delight.

Tim Crist was, in my opinion, an excellent reader.  In 2 listenings, I heard nothing that I wished that he'd done differently - no emphasis in a distracting place, no mispronunciations - which for me is extremely rare.  I hope Mur gets him to read again.

There were a couple of minor things about the story that I felt could have been improved.  Like Unblinking, I kind of wished that the crimes had been related - even if there'd only been two of them - to make a more coherent arc.  The multiple unrelated crimes would have worked better in a longer format (or even, like Unblinking suggested, in different stories).

And I too wondered why, if Eugene's SuperNose could smell weeks-old love and the like, it couldn't detect the pregnancy.  I was a little disappointed, to be honest, when that turned out to be what was up with Apurna.

I wasn't all that exercised about what Eugene looked like, though.  I could tell he was different-looking enough from a normal human that he was recognizable on sight, and that was enough for me. (Also, I thought the references to 'fur' interestingly ambiguous: is it actual fur or was Eugene using a doggy word for body hair?)

My wife, however, wants the novel that takes place in this world.  (I wouldn't mind it, myself.)

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l33tminion

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Reply #35 on: August 18, 2010, 04:58:13 AM
Good story.

At the end, I was a little disappointed that it didn't fit together, the beginning and end didn't seem connected by the middle (that is, it didn't seem to me that Francisco's decision to tell Eugene what's going on has anything to do with the day's events specifically).  But as a day-in-the-life fragment, it works just fine, so the lack of an overall plot arc really isn't a problem.



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Reply #36 on: August 18, 2010, 09:57:43 PM
Now let's have a cat-as-cop story: "I got to the crime scene. There was blood everywhere so I decided to take a nap. Someone tried to wake me, but I ignored them."

No, no.  Dogs are cops, because they're team players; cats are private investigators.  They keep odd hours, do most of their work by alternately skulking in shadows and clawing somebody's face off, and won't get involved unless you make it worth their time.

(And I say that as a confirmed cat person.  I love 'em, but I also understand how they operate.)

Anyway, this was a very pleasant story.  Not deep, and I agree that the components of its plot could have been more strongly tied together, but pleasant; as someone else said, it's nice to sometimes get a cheerful story with a cheerful ending, rather than the doom-and-gloom that so often prevails in short fiction.  Plus one of the protagonists of my next book is partly doglike in nature, so it's useful for my cat-person self to get insights into the canine brain . . . .



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Reply #37 on: August 19, 2010, 12:35:10 AM
No, no.  Dogs are cops, because they're team players; cats are private investigators.  They keep odd hours, do most of their work by alternately skulking in shadows and clawing somebody's face off, and won't get involved unless you make it worth their time.

c.f. The Nine Lives of Catseye Gomez by Simon Hawke (a spinoff from the "Wizard" series of novels, specifically The Wizard of Santa Fe).

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Reply #38 on: August 19, 2010, 02:21:13 AM
This story is too fluffy for my tastes.  There was no complexity to the characters or their relationship, and there was no challenge or struggle in the story.  It was more like a character sketch than a story.  I would have preferred it if some negative aspect of combining a dog and a man had surfaced.   Apurna's trip to the hospital felt like a cheat to me.  It seemed like it was introduced to give some energy to their relationship, but when the reason is revealed it made me wonder why it was kept secret in the first place and why the partner suddenly decided to tell the Eugene. 



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Reply #39 on: August 19, 2010, 05:06:19 PM
It was more like a character sketch than a story. 

I completely agree that this was mostly a character sketch. But the character was so interesting and the sketch so intriguing , that I really enjoyed it.



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Reply #40 on: August 20, 2010, 02:28:53 PM
Add me to the list of people who liked this story when it was read by Steve Eley. 

Those bones had a lot more meat on them.  There was more conflict to chew on, more character to get the scent of, and even a more interesting setting to explore.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go "hug" somebody.



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Reply #41 on: August 20, 2010, 10:47:28 PM

"He knows he can't lie to me, but he'll usually try it when i pry"
= )

++Superb Story
++Superb Narration
+Good Audio Quality

This one bumps up to the number 2 spot of my fav EP episodes of all-time (the first being tideline by Elizabeth Bear, narrated by Steve Eley). Just great stuff that made me feel warm and fuzzy all over. Also, Mur convinced me: i am now officially a dog person.

= )




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Reply #42 on: August 21, 2010, 11:41:19 AM
Wow.  A lot of people registered and posted only one comment -- here.  Tells you something about the story.

This is how I see Eugene:


http://www.apoGrypha.blogspot.com

What would have been written. 

Spoiler (click to show/hide)


JoeFitz

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Reply #43 on: August 21, 2010, 11:59:39 AM
I have some mixed feelings about this story. They hinge on my enjoyment of the cute & fluffy story and missing much of the hard science that would add some depth to the story.

As several others noted, the lack of a physical description caught my attention. I pictured the appearance was sort of like the Patricia Piccinini sculpture http://tinyurl.com/bymv7.

I wondered if his father was an actual dog (story says he didn't talk and was old) and his mother a human (who spoke to him.) That seemed kind of an odd way to make hybrids. Of course, that might have been a fanciful explanation that was told to him. Yet that seems it would be at odds with his super-smell.

I was curious about the many of what I consider "dog traits" that were missing. No Chewing? No scratching? No tongue cleaning? No humping? Speaking of which, no discussion of whether Eugene was male or female, fixed or sterile? I wonder if Eugene was actually a canine hybrid or something else entirely.

I was also looking for some more explanation of the possession/person dynamic. Dogs are owned, and police dogs have a complex ownership with the Department and the Dog Master having sometimes competing interests. Here there was no Master/Dog relationship but Partner/Partner, even though it was clear that Francisco was dominant. "Pack politics" as the story mentions were complex, but why couldn't Eugene figure them out? Any 3 month old pup can do that.

I guess I did like the story and found it thought provoking - mostly mostly the thoughts were outside of the story.

Also have to note that Mur has great inflection and I enjoyed the intro/extro.



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Reply #44 on: August 21, 2010, 07:01:18 PM
Typically I don't get to the forums as I spend my listening time in my car.  I signed in today because I had to add my voice to the chorus of people who approved of the story "Bridecicle".

But while i am here I have to comment on Eugene and for the same reason.  I felt something from both stories, though wildly different stories indeed.

This may not have been the deepest or most clever story on EP.  It was however, for me, a completely engaging one.  Sometimes I like the emotional payoff.

I don't know literary analysis.   Some themes are so serious.  Some payoffs so sad ... and in the name of what?  Realism?

To paraphrase Billy Preston - "Let the good guy win every once in a while."

I just liked it.  I liked it.



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Reply #45 on: August 23, 2010, 01:37:40 PM
I was curious about the many of what I consider "dog traits" that were missing. No Chewing? No scratching? No tongue cleaning? No humping? Speaking of which, no discussion of whether Eugene was male or female, fixed or sterile? I wonder if Eugene was actually a canine hybrid or something else entirely.

Interesting point, but I think it makes sense for a police dog to not have those traits.  I doubt that a K9 unit that went around humping criminals' legs and peeing on their doorframes as they walk into the house would have much future as a cop.  Even a regular working dog has them trained out of him, and he's more capable of understanding human social norms as evidenced by his restraint from licking people's faces.



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Reply #46 on: August 23, 2010, 01:38:47 PM
I was curious about the many of what I consider "dog traits" that were missing. No Chewing? No scratching? No tongue cleaning? No humping? Speaking of which, no discussion of whether Eugene was male or female, fixed or sterile? I wonder if Eugene was actually a canine hybrid or something else entirely.

Interesting point, but I think it makes sense for a police dog to not have those traits.  I doubt that a K9 unit that went around humping criminals' legs and peeing on their doorframes as they walk into the house would have much future as a cop.  Even a regular working dog has those behaviors trained out of him, and Eugene's more capable of understanding human social norms as evidenced by his restraint from licking people's faces.



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Reply #47 on: August 23, 2010, 02:28:15 PM
Wow.  A lot of people registered and posted only one comment -- here.  Tells you something about the story.

This is how I see Eugene:



AAAAAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA I'M PEEING



gateaux

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Reply #48 on: August 23, 2010, 02:31:03 PM
Dog stories make me really happy. I just imagined Eugene has a regular human man, who acted really strangely. Not as some creepy furry.
I really liked it, great reading!



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Reply #49 on: August 23, 2010, 04:52:33 PM
Like many of you, this story reminded me immediately of 'Mounting Goldie'.  While I loved that story as well, I thought 'Eugene' had much more heart. I have two boston terrier's and like many pet owners I often imagine what they are thinking or saying as I spend time with them.  It was very easy for me to imagine Eugene as one of my own dogs in the way he talked, thought and the struggles he has dealing with his own instincts vs the approval of his master/partner/friend.

Definately one of my favorite stories of late and one I've already recommended to non-regular Escape Pod listeners.



wakela

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Reply #50 on: August 24, 2010, 12:34:04 AM
I was curious about the many of what I consider "dog traits" that were missing. No Chewing? No scratching? No tongue cleaning? No humping? Speaking of which, no discussion of whether Eugene was male or female, fixed or sterile? I wonder if Eugene was actually a canine hybrid or something else entirely.

Interesting point, but I think it makes sense for a police dog to not have those traits.  I doubt that a K9 unit that went around humping criminals' legs and peeing on their doorframes as they walk into the house would have much future as a cop.  Even a regular working dog has those behaviors trained out of him, and Eugene's more capable of understanding human social norms as evidenced by his restraint from licking people's faces.

I figured that any undesirable traits had been engineered or trained out of him.  But I think that makes the story too easy, the character is too perfect.  I would have enjoyed some dog-based character flaws.  Maybe he tears the throat of of the child molester, or said child molester is able to use his protective instinct towards the child against him ("who will die?  The girl or your partner?"), or humans could take advantage of his tendency to think hierarchically and have him to unpleasant or dangerous work. 



wakela

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Reply #51 on: August 24, 2010, 12:42:51 AM
Off topic, but this story reminded me of a little experiment performed a few years ago by a wacky Japanese TV show.  They got a bear suit.  They even left it in the bear cage at the zoo so it would smell like a bear.  They arranged with dog owners to have the guy in the bear suit attack them while they walked their dogs in the park to see what their dogs would do.  A few of the dogs attacked the bear (the suit was padded), but almost all of the dogs ran away.  Nearly every owner said their dog would protect them, and most of them took off.  Wish I had video for you guys.

And yes, by Western standards this is a cruel trick to play on a dog.  Owning dogs in Japan has only gotten popular in the last decade or so, so in general there isn't the same level of empathy. 



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Reply #52 on: August 24, 2010, 02:36:09 PM
I figured that any undesirable traits had been engineered or trained out of him.  But I think that makes the story too easy, the character is too perfect.  I would have enjoyed some dog-based character flaws.  Maybe he tears the throat of of the child molester, or said child molester is able to use his protective instinct towards the child against him ("who will die?  The girl or your partner?"), or humans could take advantage of his tendency to think hierarchically and have him to unpleasant or dangerous work. 

I agree with that.  It would've added conflict if Eugene's first reaction to everything wasn't also clearly the best one.  That contributes to the comments that this is more slice-of-life than plot arc.



Talia

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Reply #53 on: August 24, 2010, 02:43:53 PM
Well, for me, I feel that adding such things would give the tone a darker piece, which for me would not have been as enjoyable for me. I liked the fact that this was somewhat fluffy.



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Reply #54 on: August 25, 2010, 06:59:55 PM
Well, for me, I feel that adding such things would give the tone a darker piece, which for me would not have been as enjoyable for me. I liked the fact that this was somewhat fluffy.

Oh, I think the story could have retained its lightness while making Eugene a bit less perfect. It doesn't need angst - it just needed to add a bit of sense that he needs to work a bit towards finding the answers to everything. I mean, the story did actually have that, but only with regards to his partner's wife/girlfriend's pregnancy, which (as I said above) was where it made the least sense. Why introduce some conflict in a B-plot when all the A-plots get resolved more or less by Eugene stepping on the scene?



Unblinking

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Reply #55 on: August 26, 2010, 05:50:59 PM
What eytanz said.  Adding some kind of fault to Eugene doesn't mean it would have to be darker.  Let's say that when he finds the criminal who's been abusing the girl, he has an urge to kill.  He resists with great effort and thus maintains his status as Good Partner.  But the "great effort" means that his first reaction is not always the best reaction, so he has to work a little harder to get his goals.

Keep in mind, I do like it the way it is, but I think some tension could make it even better.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 05:53:46 PM by Unblinking »



Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #56 on: September 16, 2010, 09:10:36 PM
I signed up just to say how much I love this story.
It's excellent.
I've been listening to Escapepod and Podcastle for some time now, but I have never enjoyed a story so much as this.
The story content is new and unique. A standard cop tale, told from the point of view of the K9 operative.
Awesome.
The writing was also very good. Jacob really knows how to get inside a dog's brain. I have owned a few dogs (and still own a ridiculously behaved schnauzer) and you really can tell how a dog thinks. I especially like how we are never told that the author is an anthropomorphized dog, we just sort of know he is.
The reading was also very well done. The proper nuances of dog-thought and dog-emotion were carried across.
In fact, I liked this story so much I recommended it to someone (who like me) likes dogs but (not like me) doesn't like listening to audio stories/books.
He loved it.
And that made me like it even more. Sharing really does cost nothing, and only adds value to what you shared.

Now give me the bone... gimme.... GOOD DOG!

Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

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Reply #57 on: September 17, 2010, 02:40:20 PM
Welcome, Max!

By the way, there's a special forum promotion going on to get free exclusive stories:
1.  Register for the forums (liked you've already done)
2.  Comment on a story thread (like you've already done)
3.  Comment on the "I <3 Escape Artists Thread".  Say anything you like, and then you'll officially be on the list for some free exclusive stories by some great authors. 

:) 



Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #58 on: September 18, 2010, 07:42:52 PM
Welcome, Max!

By the way, there's a special forum promotion going on to get free exclusive stories:
1.  Register for the forums (liked you've already done)
2.  Comment on a story thread (like you've already done)
3.  Comment on the "I <3 Escape Artists Thread".  Say anything you like, and then you'll officially be on the list for some free exclusive stories by some great authors. 

:) 

Actually, I PM'd DKT.
I heard him on Podcastle say that if you sign up, and post on a thread and send him a PM you'd get the special story.
And like I told him, I've always been meaning to sign up to the forum "some day" and after I heard Eugene and thoroughly enjoyed I knew I should "probably join the forum and say something about it" but I'm lazy.
So, thanks Dave for that final small push I needed.  ;D

Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

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Unblinking

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Reply #59 on: September 20, 2010, 06:48:40 PM
Actually, I PM'd DKT.
I heard him on Podcastle say that if you sign up, and post on a thread and send him a PM you'd get the special story.
And like I told him, I've always been meaning to sign up to the forum "some day" and after I heard Eugene and thoroughly enjoyed I knew I should "probably join the forum and say something about it" but I'm lazy.
So, thanks Dave for that final small push I needed.  ;D

Oh yeah, i forgot he had the PM instructions on the episode.  Good deal.  :D



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Reply #60 on: September 22, 2010, 07:29:26 AM
Eugene is a GOOD COP, yes he is!
Really enjoyed the excelent reading on this one by Tim ShoEboX, although I think that much of it was also due to the author as well, doing an excelent job of catching the voice of Eugene.

Great stuff!
/Gurgel



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Reply #61 on: September 22, 2010, 10:59:03 PM
I loved this story, I've listened to it about three times now and my love for it just grows.  I made a copy and gave it to my sister as well, a first for me.



El Barto

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Reply #62 on: September 26, 2010, 11:56:04 PM
Writing a story about a dog is hard enough.   Writing it about a dog who is sentient and can communicate and is a cop takes real skill.   Well done all around.



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Reply #63 on: September 28, 2010, 02:50:00 PM
Great story. Truly enjoyed it.

It did make me wonder, though--are there any good cat-POV stories? I know there is a lot in the fantasy realm (Tad Williams book comes to mind, though the title escapes me). But what about in science fiction?

I know there was a story on EscapePod earlier that did have an enhanced cat, but the story was still told from the dog's POV.

EDIT Of course, as soon as I posted this, I suddenly remembered a story "Cats in Victory" which just came out in Lightspeed.
http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cats-in-victory/
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 02:56:36 PM by LaShawn »

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Reply #64 on: October 09, 2010, 12:05:51 AM
I like to tell myself that I enjoy science fiction stories for the thought provoking big ideas.  Then escape pod runs a story like Eugene.  Not really a big ideas story - just a whole lot of fun.  I enjoyed this one more than any story in quite a while.  Thanks!

Tom



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Reply #65 on: December 24, 2010, 11:22:02 PM
Just wanted to come and say how much I loved this story!

It was really good to hear a more light-hearted, amusing, story with a lovable main character. Definitely my favourite Escape pod so far! Didnt bother me not having a physical description as thinking about him having a dog's head or fangs or something would have rather spoilt it for me.

Hope there are more from this author in the future.

xx



Wildfire

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Reply #66 on: December 24, 2010, 11:22:38 PM
Just wanted to come and say how much I loved this story!

It was really good to hear a more light-hearted, amusing, story with a lovable main character. Definitely my favourite Escape pod so far! Didnt bother me not having a physical description as thinking about him having a dog's head or fangs or something would have rather spoilt it for me.

Hope there are more from this author in the future.

xx



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Reply #67 on: December 16, 2012, 12:30:11 PM
i liked it a lot



SonofSpermcube

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Reply #68 on: March 29, 2013, 07:38:50 AM
A dog totally can sit on your shoulder.