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Author Topic: PC Miniature 53: Charms  (Read 4180 times)

Heradel

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on: August 14, 2010, 07:00:57 PM
PodCastle Miniature 53: Charms

by Shweta Narayan

Read by Claudia Smith

Originally published in Strange Horizons (Read Along Here)

Old Mrs. Farley waves the Daily Mail in Edith’s face and shouts, Did
you see this, dear? She always shouts. She’s half deaf, bless her.

That I did, Edith shouts back. She doesn’t add, When I put them up
this morning, stiff as I was from the cold, and again every time
another customer asks. Wouldn’t be Christian. Wouldn’t be good
business, either. But how the old biddy thinks the papers got on the
rack without Edith putting them there, the Lord only knows.

Mrs. Farley slaps the paper onto the counter, rotogravure picture up,
next to her packets of willow bark and powdered mummy. Edith tries not
to look at it. Fails. That smirking girl staring back with her
cigarette, that ugly short hair, the shapeless dress with its silly
fringes and its shameless show of calf, frivolous before the great
dark mass of Flamel Hall. Girls these days, says Edith. What they
wear. Her voice stays steady, but her eyes go to the headline.
SPELLCASTING SUFFRAGETTES! And below that some inane babble about the
wizards lost in the war, the London College opening its doors, that
child dancing right in as though she belongs. . . .

Rated PG: Contains Magical Higher Learning, Discrimination, and Charity
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 07:13:13 AM by Heradel »

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Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 01:28:00 PM
Cool mix of historical chauvinism and how it affects and is affected by magic.  A bit message driven for my tastes, but not a bad listen at all.



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Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 02:15:17 PM
Liked this one better when it was called Equal Rites.

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Listener

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Reply #3 on: August 18, 2010, 12:17:00 PM
Liked this one better when it was called Equal Rites.

That's exactly what I was thinking, although I did like this author's writing style quite a bit.

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Paranatural

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Reply #4 on: August 18, 2010, 07:29:12 PM
Liked this one better when it was called Equal Rites.

While my initial thought was that they were similar, I realized while listening to the story that the two are not the same at all.

In Equal Rites she was born to the 'male-magic' style and couldn't be confined to being only a witch, she had to have training in both. To that end, Weatherwax and (Crap, drawing a blank. The other one) escorted her to the college and forced her to be accepted.

On the other hand this was about a woman who tried to get in based on her learning, was rejected, then discovered some years later another woman had been accepted, and was now going to track the girl down (Seemingly to curse her, our of Jealousy and bitterness it seems (See the mention of how she didn't know womanly magic so didn't have protective charms and how the thorns could be used in curses)).

The stories had a similar aspect in that they were women trying to get into a men's only magical college, but other than that they were very different.



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Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 09:20:19 PM
and was now going to track the girl down (Seemingly to curse her, our of Jealousy and bitterness it seems (See the mention of how she didn't know womanly magic so didn't have protective charms and how the thorns could be used in curses)).


Not to curse her, I don't think.  I have to admit, this story made me tear up a little.  The woman is very bitter, and very jealous--and as I understood it, she closed the shop and went to track the girl down to protect her from what the older woman, from personal experience, knew the girl was going to be in for.  Those curses were for the jerks she met when she tried to get in, and their successors.  Or that's how I took it.



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Reply #6 on: August 19, 2010, 12:27:38 AM
and was now going to track the girl down (Seemingly to curse her, our of Jealousy and bitterness it seems (See the mention of how she didn't know womanly magic so didn't have protective charms and how the thorns could be used in curses)).


Not to curse her, I don't think.  I have to admit, this story made me tear up a little.  The woman is very bitter, and very jealous--and as I understood it, she closed the shop and went to track the girl down to protect her from what the older woman, from personal experience, knew the girl was going to be in for.  Those curses were for the jerks she met when she tried to get in, and their successors.  Or that's how I took it.


This is how I understood the story also.  Remembering her own experience, Edith wants to give the new girl a bit of an edge to help her gain what Edith was denied.  Perhaps with the aid of some thorny curses for the detractors...



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Reply #7 on: August 19, 2010, 01:36:23 PM
I thought she was going back to exact revenge on the faculty at the school...



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Reply #8 on: August 19, 2010, 05:05:32 PM
In Equal Rites she was born to the 'male-magic' style and couldn't be confined to being only a witch, she had to have training in both. To that end, Weatherwax and (Crap, drawing a blank. The other one) escorted her to the college and forced her to be accepted.

Nope, it was just Granny. Nanny and Magrat didn't show up until later.

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Reply #9 on: August 19, 2010, 09:07:16 PM
I felt she was undecided if she would aid or curse the girl, and that's what I liked about it.  That you were left to think on it.

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