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Author Topic: PC120: Some Zombie Contingency Plans  (Read 23428 times)
Heradel
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« on: August 31, 2010, 09:14:44 AM »

PodCastle 120: Some Zombie Contingency Plans

by Kelly Link

Read by Norm Sherman (of The Drabblecast)

Originally published in Magic for Beginners. Read the text here. (Reprinted from The Living Dead)

This is a story about being lost in the woods.

This guy Soap is at a party out in the suburbs. The thing you need to know about Soap is that he keeps a small framed oil painting in the trunk of his car. The painting is about the size of a paperback novel. Wherever Soap goes, this oil painting goes with him. But he leaves the painting in the trunk of his car, because you don’t walk around a party carrying a painting. People will think you’re weird.

Rated R: Contains Language, Thematic Elements

Special Closing Music: "Just Misunderstood" by Norm Sherman

Note: Not these Zombie Contingency Plans.

ETA - EDITORS' NOTE: For some reason yet to be determined, you may need to download the story directly from our site. We're experiencing some kind of issue with iTunes and other programs, resulting in an incomplete download (only Norm's song). The entire download should be 62 minutes in length. We apologize and are trying to remedy it. Thanks for your patience!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 08:08:36 PM by Heradel » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2010, 10:30:06 AM »

Added this to Heradel's post, but just to say thanks to Norm Sherman for allowing us to run his song "Just Misunderstood!" Hope you all enjoy it!
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2010, 03:35:36 PM »

Let me be the first to say that this was a really cool story.  The descriptions of the party and partiers seemed authentic.  I've been to parties like that, minus the ex-cons (I think).  You could tell Soap was an unreliable narrator, but even more so than usual.  The author did a great job of letting us get into his thoughts (zombies, his sister, prison, icebergs), but then also giving the feeling that there was more going on with Soap that met the eye.  Details about the kitchen; why did he look under the bed; so he noticed a picture of the girl with her parents; etc.

Perfect choice in Norm for reading this story!  Great job!
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2010, 04:40:12 PM »

Oh yeah, and it's a good thing Marvel Comics doesn't own the rights to the word Zombie anymore, or you would owe them a lot of money.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 04:44:44 PM by Swamp » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2010, 04:43:05 PM »

All I can download is Norm's song...Although Just Mizunderstood totally rules, I was hoping to hear the story as well....Wonder what's up?  Problem with my ITunes?  Or maybe a problem with the feed?
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2010, 04:46:41 PM »

All I can download is Norm's song...Although Just Mizunderstood totally rules, I was hoping to hear the story as well....Wonder what's up?  Problem with my ITunes?  Or maybe a problem with the feed?

Hmm... I received the whole episode in my feed (not iTunes).
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2010, 04:53:50 PM »

All I can download is Norm's song...Although Just Mizunderstood totally rules, I was hoping to hear the story as well....Wonder what's up?  Problem with my ITunes?  Or maybe a problem with the feed?

That's odd...thanks for saying something! Anyone else having issues with this?

I downloaded it from iTunes late last night, but I'll see if we can't get someone else to take a look at it.
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2010, 04:57:00 PM »

I just tried to download directly from the site, and only got 7 seconds...Maybe something wrong with ITunes.exe on my PC...I'll keep trying.


UPDATE::  I got it...I had to download directly from the Podcastle page...Not sure what my problem was, but it could just be me...
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 05:00:25 PM by Clutron » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 06:38:43 PM »

Okay - thanks for the update, and glad you got it.

We're still looking into to see if there's something on our end.
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2010, 08:33:58 PM »

I don't know if I actually believe that supposed "unknown fact", especially after the blogger's later assertion that: "The Comics Code Authority forbade the use of werewolves in comics", which would have made WEREWOLF BY NIGHT a pretty tough character to publish in the 70s (nevermind Man-Wolf or DC's Warren Griffith of THE CREATURE COMMANDOS).  In fact, it sounds like the blogger may be getting his facts confused - IIRC, the CCA had no problem with Werewolves, per se, but the word "zombie" was strictly verboten (a leftover from all those rotting revenants in EC comics being brought before Congress), which led to the substitution of the tongue twisting "zuvembie" for "zombie".  The character pictured, Simon Garth, The Zombie, was part of Marvel's Horror MAGAZINE line, which was excepted from the CCA.  Maybe they tried to (or even did) copywright "The Zombie" as a name for that time period (in fact, I'd be surprised if they didn't, considering how they have to perennially bring back characters like "Razorback" or "Goody Two-Shoes" or endanger losing the copywright), but i'd be very surprised if they owned the rights to the word "zombie".

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« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 08:37:46 PM by Sgarre1 » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2010, 10:21:36 PM »

I don't know if I actually believe that supposed "unknown fact", especially after the blogger's later assertion that: "The Comics Code Authority forbade the use of werewolves in comics", which would have made WEREWOLF BY NIGHT a pretty tough character to publish in the 70s (nevermind Man-Wolf or DC's Warren Griffith of THE CREATURE COMMANDOS).  In fact, it sounds like the blogger may be getting his facts confused - IIRC, the CCA had no problem with Werewolves, per se, but the word "zombie" was strictly verboten (a leftover from all those rotting revenants in EC comics being brought before Congress), which led to the substitution of the tongue twisting "zuvembie" for "zombie".  The character pictured, Simon Garth, The Zombie, was part of Marvel's Horror MAGAZINE line, which was excepted from the CCA.  Maybe they tried to (or even did) copywright "The Zombie" as a name for that time period (in fact, I'd be surprised if they didn't, considering how they have to perennially bring back characters like "Razorback" or "Goody Two-Shoes" or endanger losing the copywright), but i'd be very surprised if they owned the rights to the word "zombie".

But it was on a blog; it HAS to be true.  Wink

Re: this story.  I've been trying to figure out what the zombies represented for Soap, and the only thing I could come up with is justification for his actions.  I'm also very worried about poor Leo.  What will become of him now?
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 01:45:56 AM »

All I can download is Norm's song...Although Just Mizunderstood totally rules, I was hoping to hear the story as well....Wonder what's up?  Problem with my ITunes?  Or maybe a problem with the feed?

Same here, just got the song when I synced last night.

Update:

Just tried downloading from
ITunes on the iPhone , the file size is 4.2 megabytes .
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 04:52:36 AM by Vanamonde » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 10:08:44 AM »

Ma...

Uh...

Ze...

Ur...

Ok, I give up. I didn't understand this story at all. I thought I did, but then I didn't. It's this whole thing. In the end, I didn't really understand anything about Soap's actions or motivations. The story was going very well - Soap is disaffected, lonely, eccentric, the story is about alienation, confusion, and loneliness - and then suddenly takes a hard left when we learn that Soap was in prison for two years, not six months, and likes to kidnap small children and rob houses while talking about zombies. I feel like the fact that the only explanation I can fall back on is "maybe he's just a crazy person?" kind of weakens the story. I find sheer, random craziness, as a motivator, kind of lame.

That said, there were things about this story that I really dug. I like stories about loneliness, isolation, and alienation. I enjoyed the sense of modern, near magical absurdity, especially in the story about the painting. And, although I like to complain about their shortcomings, I really do like stories in the postmodern time-leapy style that this story used so well. In Some Zombie Contingency Plans, I particularly liked how Soap's sense of self was so empty that he seamlessly adopted the identity of anyone who named him, up to and including in the context of the narrator's voice. He's Soap, he's Will, he's Arthur, he's Wolverine. He's whatever you want him to be - just don't ask him to be himself.

Or to not steal your stuff and kidnap your little brother.

Which brings me back to the part of the story I didn't like.

So, I suppose I found this story kind of like an entire cake. I enjoyed each bite, but at the end I was left looking at the place where the story used to be, rubbing my aching belly and wondering "what the hell did I just eat?"

As you can see, I'm still thinking in the choppy, time-jumpy, clever-asides-including style of the story. Try not to imagine my post in Norm Sherman's voice.

* * *

Finally, I do have a zombie contingency plan: first raid the science lab store room and cafeteria for supplies, then take the kids (I teach) and the shovels and picks I have for the gardening elective (for weapons and tools), and head for the Bay Bridge. Treasure Island is likely to be a much more defensible position than anywhere else in the Bay Area, as it's an island with only two, easily-watched approaches (the Bay Bridge). If we can catch a rescue boat from there to Alcatraz, more's the better. We'd have to work fast, though, since my school is across the street from a graveyard.
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 10:30:29 AM »

My downloaded file is only 4:34 in duration. This isn't a Podcastle Miniature, right?

PS: I'm iTunes-free; I use MediaMonkey and download directly from Podcastle's RSS feed.
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 11:08:37 AM »

EDITORS' NOTE: For some reason yet to be determined, you may need to download the story directly from our site. We're experiencing some kind of issue with iTunes and other programs, resulting in an incomplete download (only Norm's song). The entire download should be 62 minutes in length. We apologize and are trying to remedy it. Thanks for your patience!

In short, I don't know what the issue is. The story's there, but it's not downloading properly using other programs/feeds. I'll keep you all updated when I learn more...
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« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2010, 11:31:09 AM »

Worked fine on iTunes for me. 

And add me to those who enjoyed the story, but don't really understand it after the events and revelations of the last five minutes.  I think it really deserves another listen through with the ending in mind, looking for clues and themes.

I always find it interesting seems set in the real world, but is presented in a spec-fic market.  Here, the fantasy elements of zombies are mentioned often, and because of where the story is being published you can't write off that they're actually going to show up.  But then again you can't be sure they are.  It's kind of delicious.  Of course the picture does qualify as a fantasy element in any case.
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Heradel
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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2010, 11:54:24 AM »

Worked fine on iTunes for me.

Worked perfectly for me.
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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2010, 12:49:25 PM »

Soap reminds me of that woman in Britain who was caught on camera putting a cat in the garbage bin.  She couldn't explain why she did it afterward.  She petted the cat for a few seconds, glanced around, then picked it up and put it in the garbage and walked away.  I think Electric Paladin's analysis  of Soap as a quintessential chimera is pretty spot-on; he doesn't have goals, he just has fears, and those inchoate fears drive him forward and on and on and even he is never certain why he does what he does.  He just keeps moving ahead, doing one thing after another, taking action without thinking, life in mu-shin but without the hope of enlightenment.  The zombies are mortality, inevitability, pressures, his own bad decisions; it doesn't really matter as long as he keeps avoiding them.  When you spend your life running away, you can't really complain if you end up in a place you didn't really want to go.

I actually bought "Magic for Beginners" based on a quick flip-through and enjoyed it a fair deal, though I found that an entire book of this style of story is a bit much.  Some of the stories go on a weeeeeensy teensy bit too long.  Still, she's definitely got the knack for imbuing ordinary events and items with unspoken significance.  My favorite out of that book was "The Faery Handbag," but this was my second-favorite.
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2010, 01:42:05 PM »

The zombies are mortality, inevitability, pressures, his own bad decisions; it doesn't really matter as long as he keeps avoiding them.  When you spend your life running away, you can't really complain if you end up in a place you didn't really want to go.

Alternately, Soap is the zombie. Empty, hollow, hopeless - the living dead. It doesn't matter what you do with him, how you talk to him or try to connect to him, because he is the bad things that happens to everyone, even the good, even the innocent.
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« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2010, 02:19:57 PM »

The zombies are mortality, inevitability, pressures, his own bad decisions; it doesn't really matter as long as he keeps avoiding them.  When you spend your life running away, you can't really complain if you end up in a place you didn't really want to go.

Alternately, Soap is the zombie. Empty, hollow, hopeless - the living dead. It doesn't matter what you do with him, how you talk to him or try to connect to him, because he is the bad things that happens to everyone, even the good, even the innocent.

One way or another, the zombies definitely follow after Soap.
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« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2010, 04:46:31 PM »

In the history of PodCastle, I think there's only been ..maybe one story I couldn't finish, though there have been several that I didn't really like all that much.  Sometimes for the way it was narrated, sometimes for the content of the story.

This one ...had great narration.  (Fine job, Norm!)  But, ..despite Norm's work, the story just made me go 'Gah!'

The job of any fictional work is to entertain, to evoke emotion.  This work caused the emotion of 'ugh' to well up in me, I fear.  Well, that or confusion, it's hard to really say.

I'm listening, trying to put all the pieces together, shifting thought processes as they're narrated, and we're winding down to the end and ...the story turned left as Soap woke Leo, but I missed that curve and smashed headlong into the wall.  The end felt wholly unrelated to the story, I guess.

Just my $0.02. :-(
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« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2010, 10:46:52 PM »

I was really enjoying this story, Norm's narrations, the random tangents it would go on at times, the characters themselves, despite the complete lack of the walking dead ever really showing up in anything other than a symbolic sense. The story did completely lose me (and my wife) in the last five minutes when he kidnaps the kid. I'm sure it means something, but I'm just not quite with it enough to get it, I guess.

Soap strikes me as a generally bad person. Not evil exactly, not even unpleasant to be around, but bad and wrong all the same. I think ElectricPaladin's idea that Soap himself is the zombie makes the most sense. He's not intentionally malevolent, but, like a flesh-eating animated corpse, he cannot help but be what he is. He cannot help being trouble.

Loved the song at the end, but I swear I've heard it on a different podcast before. My mind keeps suggesting that it was either "The Takeover" or "Escape Pod", but I don't remember.
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« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2010, 10:21:28 AM »

EDITORS' NOTE: For some reason yet to be determined, you may need to download the story directly from our site. We're experiencing some kind of issue with iTunes and other programs, resulting in an incomplete download (only Norm's song). The entire download should be 62 minutes in length. We apologize and are trying to remedy it. Thanks for your patience!

In short, I don't know what the issue is. The story's there, but it's not downloading properly using other programs/feeds. I'll keep you all updated when I learn more...

Annnnnnnnnnnnnd we should be good now. Thanks, Ben!

Once you update your podcasts, it'll download again. It'll download again for everyone, even if you got the whole thing the first time. Sorry for the weirdness. I blame the weird painting I can't get rid of.
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« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2010, 02:55:50 PM »

I'm so glad to see other people have the same reactions to this story as I did and I'm not the only one who didn't really get the ending but still hugely enjoyed the ride. Or at least I haven't got the ending  yet despite two listens to the last five minutes.

I think Soap/Will/Wolverine is a metaphorical zombie perhaps, as someone who is dead inside somehow.

Has he taken Leo because in his mind Karlie (sp?) didn't have a zombie contingency plan that included protecting little brother so he decides to do it?

One of the reasons I enjoyed the story despite not understanding it was because of how well the scenes, the characters and the view inside Soap's thought processes were described. Also as it all seemed so tight and consistent you get to the end thinking well there must be a proper meaning in there, it must be me.  Wink

The narration was superb, one of the best I've heard across Pod Castle and Escape Pod ( I don't do Pseudopod as I scare too easily, in fact this story will prolly keep me awake a bit.).

The song at the end was an unexpected bonus and I really enjoyed it.

There is a version on You Tube here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvUzxhJK9cc that is set to an animé called Death Note.
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« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2010, 05:44:46 PM »

I enjoyed thisstory very much, although I also found it confusing. It occurs to me that soap is a bit of a sociopath - thus no compunctions about kidnapping, etc. It also occurred to me, just now, what the purpose of that kidnapping might be. It's been pointed out that he takes on whatever identity people give him, because his sense of self is so muddled. I think perhaps that's why he sneaks into parties? to acquire some sort of identity?

Perhaps he's tired of that and wants a longer, more sustained identity. How does he do that? well, by grabbing this kid. By bringing him with him, he can continue to be what this kid wants him to be, and not just the ragged, unfocused Soap.
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« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2010, 07:01:58 PM »

wow.  That ending really threw me for a loop.  I was really enjoying this story and was feeling kind of bad for Soap.  I feel naive and somewhat violated now! I can only imagine how Carly feels!

Reading what most everyone else has written makes me feel a bit better too. 

The end result is this is a story I will be thinking about for a LONG time.  Every time I meet an appealing yet not-quite-right stranger, actually.   Shocked
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« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2010, 10:22:40 PM »

An interesting story. But I don't think the mentions of Zombies or Wolverine was enough to make it fantasy.
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« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2010, 12:44:06 AM »

An interesting story. But I don't think the mentions of Zombies or Wolverine was enough to make it fantasy.

The only fantasy element I was reasonably certain of was the Magical Painting That Can't Be Left Behind.  But even that could have been a fabrication of Art's fevered imagination.
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« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2010, 10:11:24 AM »

Bleagh.

I hate zombies. It always seems to me that zombie stories are magnets for pretentious authors, who have an ALL IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO GET ACROSS. Although this one was a little different, in that...I couldn't figure out what the message was supposed to be. Something about not letting art thieves seduce you, maybe?

I share the same criticism as many posters here: I had trouble finding any fantastic element to the story. It just seemed more stream-of-consciousness than magical. Although that's pretty consistent with other alleged zombie stories I've read: zombie stories are never ABOUT zombies. They're about people's reactions TO the zombies. Must be why I find them boring...

Good reading, though.
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« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2010, 10:24:55 AM »

I share the same criticism as many posters here: I had trouble finding any fantastic element to the story.

Remember, it was "borderlands" month. 

To be honest, I was confused by the ending too, especially taking Leo, but I guess for me the ramblings of a deranged mind and trying to figure out what was truth or not won me over.   Also, the nostalga of house parties in houses of people you didn't know where you could actually be having a really deep discussion with somebody and some obnoxious blitzed guy can come in and never leave.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 10:49:45 AM by Swamp » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2010, 12:35:47 PM »

I've become hesistant to join the story discussions because I don't want to take away from them, and I enjoy reading all of your responses (LOVING the conversation about who are the zombies in this).

But regarding the fantastic element: It's not zombies and it's not Wolverine (although it is kind of cool Wolvie appeared in both the initial and final stories of our Borderlands month, but I digress). The speculative/fantastical element is the painting, which is a work of art. And which, just like Art, everyone seems to have a very distinct (and different) perception of what it actually is. That the actual painting couldn't be left behind, no matter how hard Art tried, is what makes the story speculative (IMO).

Some stories we run, the speculative element will be more subtle than others, although our theme this month was fantasy stories that pushed the envelope of what people consider fantasy - whether it be thematic elements, character studies, stories that could be classified in several different genres (not only "Bespoke," but especially "A Spot of Bother," which really could have gone on any of the EA podcasts IMO), etc.

For other stories the speculative element will be much more in your face. Next week's story, frex, has demons and warlocks. Which is not to say we won't throw you a curve ball in the future, but this month in particular was a special one.

We've always loved the diversity of each of the EA podcasts, and hope to continue that tradition. Thanks for all the discussions, and for hanging in there with us.
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« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2010, 12:41:57 PM »

The speculative/fantastical element is the painting, which is a work of art. And which, just like Art, everyone seems to have a very distinct (and different) perception of what it actually is. That the actual painting couldn't be left behind, no matter how hard Art tried, is what makes the story speculative (IMO).

I win. Cheesy
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« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2010, 12:44:17 PM »

The speculative/fantastical element is the painting, which is a work of art. And which, just like Art, everyone seems to have a very distinct (and different) perception of what it actually is. That the actual painting couldn't be left behind, no matter how hard Art tried, is what makes the story speculative (IMO).

I win. Cheesy

Yes. I will send you your prize painting in the mail...let me know when it gets there okay?
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« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2010, 01:05:58 PM »

Possibly I am overly partial to stories involve soaps.....but I liked it.

The end did throw me for a loop, but didn't stop me from enjoying the story overall. 

I think the painting is Art/Soap, and that's the real reason he cannot leave it behind.
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« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2010, 03:07:42 PM »

 Cheesy
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« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2010, 03:25:19 PM »

BTW...there are only three things in this world that I have irrational fears of. Butterflies are the first and of course, they were featured in Bespoke.  Zombies would be the second.

I am not going to mention the third for fear they will show up in next weeks story.

I have to admit, I'm a bit nervous...  Wink
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« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2010, 04:58:38 PM »

This story had things I like in the written word but don't enjoy quite as much in audio -- especially tangents off to the middle of nowhere and lists of things that act as exposition but take away from the flow of the story. Also, Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who seems to show up exactly where she's needed and does exactly what she has to do to keep the story going. And zombies -- not a huge fan of those. And a ton of details that, while interesting, weren't really necessary -- for example, did we really need to know that Carly is on the debate team and the reason drunk white kid is in love with her is because she smoked his ass in a debate about marijuana?

I too was confused by the ending. To my mind, Soap thought the zombies had come for everyone and he wanted to save Leo, but not Carly because he didn't approve of her Zombie Contingency Plan. Leo, OTOH, was too young to have one, and I guess in Soap's mind he needed to be protected. I do think the kidnapping was way too easy, and Leo sleeping under the bed -- "he's a heavy sleeper" -- just did NOT work at all for me. Not even slightly. I mean, they could've walked past his room and Soap could've opened the door by accident... ANYTHING...

But the way the story was told overcame my problems with it. Here's this dude who just walks into parties, eats food, and talks to people. He has a magical painting that follows him around, a strange family, and a desire to know how people will react when the zombies come.

Enjoyed the reading as well.
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« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2010, 10:25:56 AM »

I enjoyed this story though I couldn't exactly say why, I think an argument could be made that the regular life that Soap visits at the party is Zombiedom, the three lumps watching sports and films on the sofa, the drunk guy that just keeps following the girl, they are all fairly passive, but I wonder whether this is a bit like Neil Gaiman's 'Murder Mysteries', is there stuff that we are not told because our character forgets it and we can only work it out by the shape of it's absence? Where does Carly disappear to?
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« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2010, 07:52:47 PM »

I moderately enjoyed this one. I could appreciate the humour but I could sense the story was going for something more dramatic and important that I just couldn't pick up on. I tried thinking through the meanings of the paintings, zombies, and soap while listening but eventually I just shut my brain off and cruised through the rest of the story.

I was really lost by the time the ending came around, but I managed to laugh it off as nonsense hiding an important theme that I was supposed to have picked up on earlier on in the story. All in all I'd say this was a 6/10 with some really inspired spots of humour.
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« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2010, 01:43:54 PM »

This one was just too much past the border for me. I'm far from a LOTR-type of fantasy fan, but I need a LITTLE something to cling to in order to feel that I'm experiencing the fantastic. As much as I love zombies, I've never considered them fantasy on their own, and while the painting that couldn't be left behind APPEARED to be fantasy, Will/Soap/Art/Wolverine was just TOO unreliable of a narrator to even take him at that word - after all we had no proof other than his word that it couldn't be left behind. I was really hoping that this story would end up being really fabulous - it had such promise, but the left turn at the end only solidified in my head that W/S/A/M was a nut job and that nothing that he'd said to that point could be counted on. I felt the same way after LOST's finale.

That said, please add my name to the list of folks that thought that Norm Sherman's narration was absolutely SUPERB!
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« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2010, 08:30:04 AM »

The speculative/fantastical element is the painting, which is a work of art. And which, just like Art, everyone seems to have a very distinct (and different) perception of what it actually is. That the actual painting couldn't be left behind, no matter how hard Art tried, is what makes the story speculative (IMO).

I win. Cheesy

It never occurred to me that the painting was actually fantastical, considering Wolverine's lack of rationality throughout the story.
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« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2010, 08:31:04 AM »

Soap reminds me of that woman in Britain who was caught on camera putting a cat in the garbage bin.  She couldn't explain why she did it afterward.  She petted the cat for a few seconds, glanced around, then picked it up and put it in the garbage and walked away. 

And that makes me think of American Psycho, where he tries to feed a cat into an ATM machine.  Why?  Because the ATM machine told him to, of course.
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« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2010, 08:35:25 AM »

Also, Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who seems to show up exactly where she's needed and does exactly what she has to do to keep the story going.

This didn't fit the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope in my mind.  To me, those are always about the irrational life-loving weird female who suddenly invades the life of a boring overly-rational man, wacky hijinx ensue and he falls madly in love, rediscovers a zest for life before they inevitably discover that she's got her own emotional baggage hidden behind the carefree facade.

In this story, he was by far the weirder and more irrational of the two, and she probably only behaved the way she did because she was drunk.  Instead of falling in love he kidnaps her brother and runs away.  I see your point about her showing up where she's needed and filling the necessary role to keep the story going, but I'm just not sure she fits the Manic Pixie Dream Girl role.
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« Reply #43 on: September 08, 2010, 08:42:06 AM »

Despite it's loooong and meandering body, I was actually liking most of it because the meandering was rendered interesting by the neurotic and paranoid, irrational, nameless, protagonist.  It got me thinking about zombie contingency plans, which is a fun side effect of the story.

But the ending was the biggest WTF I've seen here before.  After an hour of meandering he kidnaps a kid for no reason known to us, and then the story ends.  Was that ending actually supposed to follow from that story?  Up until that point, I was thinking of keeping the story on my iPod, but after that, it's definitely going.

And I can't help speculating what happens next.  My guess is the kid'll be found dead in a ditch somewhere, with chunks of flesh missing, with marks that match human teeth.  And more zombie-MO murders will follow.  It's not Wolverine's fault, you see.  He was just testing out their zombie contingency plans, and they just weren't good enough.
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« Reply #44 on: September 08, 2010, 10:30:12 AM »

Like Void Munashii, Unblinking, and others, I enjoyed this story for the most part. I found the main character (whatever his name was) intriguing, but the ending was completely lost on me. And I was wondering just where the magic/fantasy was all through it; the painting that can't be lost seems like a token-fantasy-object more than anything else.
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« Reply #45 on: September 08, 2010, 11:00:22 AM »

I thought the painting worked well as a symbol of Soap's status as an unreliable narrator.  Soap should have enough evidence to realize that his perception of reality is unreliable, but he doesn't.  (Especially his experience stealing the painting, which is why other things that make him doubt his perceptions (e.g. drugs) make him feel "like he's in a museum".)  Despite his denial, there's a feeling of doubt he just can't shake.  (Which he interprets as impending-zombie-attack doom.)
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« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2010, 11:21:51 AM »

This didn't fit the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope in my mind.  To me, those are always about the irrational life-loving weird female who suddenly invades the life of a boring overly-rational man, wacky hijinx ensue and he falls madly in love, rediscovers a zest for life before they inevitably discover that she's got her own emotional baggage hidden behind the carefree facade.

The only example of this that I've seen (that I can think of anyway) is the movie Something Wild, and you've just summarized it flawlessly.
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« Reply #47 on: September 08, 2010, 11:50:18 AM »

This didn't fit the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope in my mind.  To me, those are always about the irrational life-loving weird female who suddenly invades the life of a boring overly-rational man, wacky hijinx ensue and he falls madly in love, rediscovers a zest for life before they inevitably discover that she's got her own emotional baggage hidden behind the carefree facade.

The only example of this that I've seen (that I can think of anyway) is the movie Something Wild, and you've just summarized it flawlessly.

"500 Days of Summer"
"Jersey Girl"
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« Reply #48 on: September 08, 2010, 07:01:16 PM »

To be honest, I was confused by the ending too, especially taking Leo, but I guess for me the ramblings of a deranged mind and trying to figure out what was truth or not won me over.

Whereas I detest that kind of thing.  This was an excellently-written story -- it's Kelly Link; of course it's excellently written -- but if I can interpret every bit of a story's speculative content as symbolism or madness or simply a point of view character who lies through his teeth, then I end up not caring.  I like my fantasy more fantastical than that.
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« Reply #49 on: September 09, 2010, 12:59:18 AM »

Weird. Wasn't going to chime in just to say that, but: weird.
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« Reply #50 on: September 09, 2010, 08:23:14 AM »

This didn't fit the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope in my mind.  To me, those are always about the irrational life-loving weird female who suddenly invades the life of a boring overly-rational man, wacky hijinx ensue and he falls madly in love, rediscovers a zest for life before they inevitably discover that she's got her own emotional baggage hidden behind the carefree facade.

The only example of this that I've seen (that I can think of anyway) is the movie Something Wild, and you've just summarized it flawlessly.

"500 Days of Summer"
"Jersey Girl"

Those are good examples.  Also:
Dharma and Greg
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
Yes Man

When most people point out a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, it's a criticism of a bad plot trait.  For me, that's not necessarily the case, 3 of those above movies are on my top list of favorite movies--I tend to like the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character, even while realizing that it can be overused.  The part that makes each one interesting is how they differ from each other, and since the character is always one who prides herself on being different, there are always some variations.

Also, part of my like for the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is that Zooey Deschanel, my Hollywood girlfriend, has had quite a few of the roles, including 2 of those listed above in the lead female role, as well as playing a similar role in a secondary character in other movies like Failure to Launch.
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« Reply #51 on: September 09, 2010, 10:19:25 AM »

"500 Days of Summer"
"Jersey Girl"

Jersey Girl? I don't see it. Especially not the "she's got her own emotional baggage" part.
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« Reply #52 on: September 09, 2010, 11:30:37 AM »

I've got to agree with stePH on this one. It's been a while since I've seen it, but Jersey Girl doesn't quite match my definition of the trope. (FWIW, I don't see Carly in this story as one either, but to each their own.) What I've read of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Ramona Flowers defines this trope - but I could be wrong. Unfortunately, I haven't finished reading it or seen it   Cry

I do agree with Unblinking re: Manic Pixie Dream Girl is not necessarily a bad thing. But it certainly can be, especially when it's not done well. (That movie with Keannu Reeves and Charlzie Theron? The one that Al Pacino was not in? Ugh...)
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« Reply #53 on: September 09, 2010, 12:20:51 PM »

"500 Days of Summer"
"Jersey Girl"

Jersey Girl? I don't see it. Especially not the "she's got her own emotional baggage" part.

It's been long enough since I saw that one that I just gave the benefit of the doubt.  I don't remember much about it.  Other than that the father-daughter re-enactment of Sweeney Todd was frigging awesome.  Especially since I'd never heard of Sweeney Todd at the time.

But I'd stand by all the others that we've listed as Manic Pixe Dream Girls.

What I've read of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Ramona Flowers defines this trope - but I could be wrong. Unfortunately, I haven't finished reading it or seen it   Cry

I haven't read it (something which I must remedy), but in the movie she very much fit the bill.
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« Reply #54 on: September 09, 2010, 01:28:43 PM »

...the father-daughter re-enactment of Sweeney Todd [in Jersey Girl] was frigging awesome. 

The only worthy part of the film, IMO.
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« Reply #55 on: September 09, 2010, 03:15:46 PM »

Anyone else find their mind wandering into zombie contingency plans at odd moments since hearing this?

Nope, just me then...

I did link the random, free, mindless taking of a picture and the taking of the child - Bret Easton Ellis came to mind rather than the Cat Bin Lady, but I actually prefer that image now.
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« Reply #56 on: September 09, 2010, 06:41:25 PM »

What I've read of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Ramona Flowers defines this trope - but I could be wrong.

A near perfect personification of the trope, in fact, but since the whole of Scott Pilgrim is in a sort of heightened pseudo-adolescent emotional bright-colors bright-lights world, it works fine in the context.  Everything is either perfect or a disaster, all molehills are mountains and all brief respites Shangri-la, etc.
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« Reply #57 on: September 09, 2010, 10:51:06 PM »

What I've read of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Ramona Flowers defines this trope - but I could be wrong.

A near perfect personification of the trope, in fact, but since the whole of Scott Pilgrim is in a sort of heightened pseudo-adolescent emotional bright-colors bright-lights world, it works fine in the context.  Everything is either perfect or a disaster, all molehills are mountains and all brief respites Shangri-la, etc.

Right. And just to be clear, I didn't mean that in a negative way. I'm all for tropes that are well-executed.
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« Reply #58 on: September 10, 2010, 01:29:43 PM »

"500 Days of Summer"
"Jersey Girl"

Jersey Girl? I don't see it. Especially not the "she's got her own emotional baggage" part.

I meant that Natalie Portman/Zach Braff movie that took place in Jersey. Garden State. that's the one.
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« Reply #59 on: September 10, 2010, 03:41:07 PM »

"500 Days of Summer"
"Jersey Girl"

Jersey Girl? I don't see it. Especially not the "she's got her own emotional baggage" part.

I meant that Natalie Portman/Zach Braff movie that took place in Jersey. Garden State. that's the one.

That makes a lot more sense. Including the never really explained but mind-boggling hole that pushed that movie into the fantasy genre. Also Frodo's needlessly undercover gig.
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« Reply #60 on: September 12, 2010, 10:51:19 AM »

Isn't this the second time this summer that Wolverine has made an appearance on PodCastle?
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« Reply #61 on: September 13, 2010, 06:17:07 AM »

Isn't this the second time this summer that Wolverine has made an appearance on PodCastle?

Third, if you count a double appearance (once in a dress) in the first story for the Borderlands of fantasy.

So...Wolverine is the hidden core of the Fantasy zeitgeist?

I can actually come up with arguments for this...


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« Reply #62 on: September 13, 2010, 10:00:17 AM »

He's the best at what he does. But what he does isn't very grounded in reality...
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« Reply #63 on: September 13, 2010, 10:41:24 AM »

Maybe next year we can have Wolverine Month?
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« Reply #64 on: September 13, 2010, 03:19:48 PM »

I think we all have those crazy zombie contingency plans.  Actually, I have my own plan.  I'm a Romero nut who really loved Night of the Living Dead.  You watch enough zombie movies, you have to have a zombie contingecy plan.  I'd hide the family in the attic and go get adecent RV, like the one in Zombieland, then I'd pick them up and head west.  Rural places would be the best places.  But I don't think I'd kidnap some kid.

I hope this story doesn't make people with contingecy plans all seem like dangerous wackos.  Unless they have iceberg contogency plans.  Those guys are way out there;-)
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« Reply #65 on: September 13, 2010, 04:37:55 PM »

Unless they have iceberg contogency plans.  Those guys are way out there;-)

Just you wait. When they iceburgs come, we'll see who has the last laugh...

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« Reply #66 on: September 14, 2010, 04:03:10 AM »

I loved this story.

I loved the ending.

I loved the "painting".

I don't think that soap went to prison for stealing art.  I don't think there is a painting.  I see the painting as a metaphor for that dark, fuzzy, misaligned part of his soul that he can't grasp, and he certainly can't get others to grasp.  Perhaps his sister keeping the painting for two years is simply an allusion to her keeping some foul secret of his, or knowing more about him than anyone else.

I think that he went to prison for kidnapping and killing children (if he went to prison at all).  Asking about a "zombie contingency plan" is simply a way of testing out what is someones best defense when people like Soap come around.

Soap lied to every single person and every single moment, so I found stealing the child at the end a very plausible part of his character.

On a different note:  I think this was more of a psuedopod story, although, i suppose if I had been expecting horror, the O-Henry ending wouldn't have been so fantastic.

Thanks again!
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« Reply #67 on: September 14, 2010, 04:35:15 AM »

what's an O-Henry ending?
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« Reply #68 on: September 14, 2010, 01:42:31 PM »

I may be mis-representing the spelling, but it was a genre of short stories from the turn of the century that would have a weird twist in the last sentence or two - would really come out of left field to the reader, but wasn't so far gone that it wasn't plausable.

I learned that they were called oh O-Henry stories because the author (and perhaps subsequent copycat authors) would publish them under the name O. Henry, but also because the twist at the end was meant to solicit an "oh, Henry!" response; the turn of the century equivalent to "WTF?"

The Gift of the Magi is one, and I think the Lottery might be another (at least of the genre, if not the original author)
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« Reply #69 on: September 14, 2010, 03:12:32 PM »

This wasn't really an O. Henry ending.  O. Henry specialized in ironic twists, like a woman selling her hair to buy a chain for her husband's watch and her husband selling his watch to buy combs for his wife's lovely hair, or a character claiming they will die when the last leaf falls from the tree in their yard and their painter neighbor painting a leaf onto the side of the house where the invalid can see it from their window and thus keeping them alive, or a man stealing money bit by bit from the bank where he works and hiding it in a hole in the wall only to find that the shopkeeper on the other side of the hole has been finding mysterious free money in her cabinets for years.  This wasn't an ironic twist ending; it was just a sharp veer to the left.
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« Reply #70 on: September 14, 2010, 03:13:06 PM »

"The Lottery" is Shirley Jackson.  I guess if twist endings make a story an "O. Henry" story, it could be considered one, but the tone is very dissimilar from O. Henry's gentle (if somewhat wry) tales (he's kind of like Damon Runyan but less broad) - he wrote about a broad range of classes in America, and served a jail sentence early in his life.

"The Cop and the Anthem" by O. Henry made quite an impression on me as a kid, as did "The Last Leaf" and "The Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen".  "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Ransom of Red Chief" are probably his most familiar stories (they used to make kids read them in school, and it's a sad day if that isn't done anymore as O. Henry is a perfect way to get kids to love short fiction).

According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O._Henry), his pseudonym was constructed for ease of rememberance for readers, although Guy Davenport posits that its a reduction of "Ohio Penetentiary", where he first started writing.
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« Reply #71 on: September 14, 2010, 05:16:09 PM »

I may be mis-representing the spelling, but it was a genre of short stories from the turn of the century that would have a weird twist in the last sentence or two - would really come out of left field to the reader, but wasn't so far gone that it wasn't plausable.

Gotcha. Thanks for the definition.
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« Reply #72 on: September 14, 2010, 07:14:14 PM »

The jail sentence was a real touchstone for him, really, even if it wasn't exactly hard time for hard crimes, per se.  His writing reflected a lot of "we're all just people" and "everybody makes mistakes" themes.
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« Reply #73 on: September 15, 2010, 09:06:27 AM »

"The Cop and the Anthem" by O. Henry made quite an impression on me as a kid, as did "The Last Leaf" and "The Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen".  "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Ransom of Red Chief" are probably his most familiar stories (they used to make kids read them in school, and it's a sad day if that isn't done anymore as O. Henry is a perfect way to get kids to love short fiction).

I don't think I'm familiar with the others, but The Ransom of Red Chief was filmed as one of those Saturday Morning Specials programs when I was a kid.  I haven't read it, but I thought the show version was pretty funny.
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« Reply #74 on: September 27, 2010, 08:14:11 PM »

Outstanding reading by Norm Sherman. I enjoyed how the story and dialog progressed, and the clever lines like "drop a weasel in it". But like most everyone else here I was lost by the ending. And without an ending I can understand I cannot add this to my favorites, but I really loved the story and narration right up to the ending.
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« Reply #75 on: September 28, 2010, 03:20:09 PM »

My response was: 'wut?'
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« Reply #76 on: October 06, 2010, 09:32:42 AM »

I know it is way late to comment on this story, but I loved it!
I love how the main character's name kept switching casually. "Wolverine said"!  I loved the way the story felt real and unreal at the same time, and the mystery of the painting... Is he crazy or not...  Yeah he is really crazy...  Makes me feel better about myself.  Smiley

Fonzie!
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« Reply #77 on: October 06, 2010, 10:33:06 AM »

It's never too late to comment on a story.  Unblinking is making it his personal mission to comment on every backstory in Escape Pod's catalogue, and he's going in the order of Least Recently Commented-Upon (the little-known LRCU algorithm Smiley ).
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« Reply #78 on: October 11, 2010, 08:49:17 AM »

It's never too late to comment on a story.  Unblinking is making it his personal mission to comment on every backstory in Escape Pod's catalogue, and he's going in the order of Least Recently Commented-Upon (the little-known LRCU algorithm Smiley ).

Yup!  The Way-Back Machine had been falling into disuse, but now it's running smoothly again from my frequent trips.  Smiley
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« Reply #79 on: October 20, 2010, 01:07:27 PM »

Was anyone else reminded of Denis Johnson's "Two Men" short story? It's up at the New Yorker fiction podcast. I think this story similarly has an unfolding and strange narrator that gets more disturbing as it goes, in a delicious way.
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« Reply #80 on: October 20, 2010, 01:07:46 PM »

Was anyone else reminded of Denis Johnson's "Two Men" short story? It's up at the New Yorker fiction podcast. I think this story similarly has an unfolding and strange narrator that gets more disturbing as it goes, in a delicious way.
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yicheng
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« Reply #81 on: November 01, 2010, 10:16:45 AM »

Upon a second listen, this story makes a bit more sense.  First, it's apparent that the main character (Soap/Will/Art/Wolverine) is Sociopathic.  He thinks nothing of lying to other people, and from the narration of the story, feels very disassociated with everyone.  I noticed that through-out the story, there is no talk of motivations of any of the characters.  Things just "happen".  People just do things, apparently without much logic or reason.  Even when it's obvious to the reader, e.g. when Carly all but invites him to bed with her, the main character seems utterly oblivious.  "Soap" is the first name that we know him as, a name that denotes cleanliness, forgetting, innocence.   Nothing sticks to Soap.  Blood and dirt just washes off.  Things happen, and Soap just rinses off, and comes out clean, only he's worn a tiny bit smaller.

So, I think "Zombies" represents everyone to the main character.  Zombies are the original metaphor for our consumer-focused culture.  We stumble around in a society that makes us faceless and meaningless with conformity, mindlessly consuming mass-produced media/food/clothing/cars/furniture/desire that never makes us feel satisfied, all the while stumbling around our daily jobs and roles.  So, basically everyone that the main character meets is a Zombie.  He wants to fit into society, but he knows that he can't really, and sooner or later we're going to overwhelm him with our sheer numbers, drag him down, and eat him (thereby making him one of us): which is why he's always thinking of contingency plans for escape.

And that's where I run in to the frustration of the unreliable narrator, where because we know the person telling the story is a natural liar, the entire story becomes utterly unreliable.  So, basically we don't know anything about what happened.

Overall, I give this story props for subtlety and creativity.  It was so surrealistically weird that you can't help but remember it.
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LaShawn
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« Reply #82 on: December 08, 2010, 11:48:23 AM »

I know it's late in the game to comment on this. I had a bunch of Podcastle episodes my mp3 player decided to skip over on my playlist, so I'm just now getting this one. But still:

KELLY LINK! KELLY LINK! KELLY LINK! KELLY LINK! KELLY LINK! KELLY LINK! KELLY LINK! KELLY LINK! KELLY LINK! KELLY LINK!
Gosh, I love me some Kelly Link! Her stories always mash my brain into jello, but it's cherry jello, so it's all right 'cause it's my favorite!

I think this is the first time I've listened to a Link story. The weirdness was superb, as always. I had a feeling that Soap/Art/Will...whatever was just not to be trusted, so his actions at the end didn't surprise me as much, though I still found it chilling. All said, I don't think he will hurt Leo. Overall, I don't think it's his nature. I think it's more that he just take things/stuff/people whenever it catches his fancy.

It was also interesting in that this is the first Link story I heard that had a black female character. In fact, the way Soap consistently pointed out the race of the kids in the story made me wonder if he was black himself. Very interesting.

All the details did get a little overwhelming at times, but I agree with everyone that Norm totally rocked the narration. If you guys ever buy Link's story "Lull", I nominate Norm to do that story too. It's my favorite!
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Fenrix
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« Reply #83 on: March 22, 2011, 03:20:07 PM »

I don't think we have any "outside" confirmation of his painting's existence. He shows it to Carly, but she has one contact out and can't see well. Maybe it exists and maybe it doesn't. Maybe he *did* hang it on the wall, but it followed him when he left and he'll discover it in his trunk next time he goes in there. Maybe it's a clever metaphor. Maybe it's just chicanery.

Early in this thread there seems to be some thought that Soap was seducing Carly. I think yicheng two up has a more solid interpretation, as Carly was doing all the work. I think she was throwing the party to rebel from being the good girl. What better way to cap that than find the most dangerous person at her party (she became much more interested after he said he had gone to prison) and then sleep with them in her parent's bed?

I constructed a reason in my head for the kidnapping while half listening to the outro. I think Soap might have done it to help Carly become President by giving her some real adversity to overcome. Give her a good story. Or maybe Leo is as real as the painting.

Random filler comments: Great reading by Norm. Great storytelling by making the truly mundane seem interesting. And fantastic characterization through him renaming himself every time he was called something different. Also, it's been too long since I drug out the "FUCK ART LET'S KILL" shirt.

Also, if you dug this, make sure to pop over to PseudoPod and check out Everything is Better with Zombies. You'll be glad you did.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 03:23:55 PM by Fenrix » Logged

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« Reply #84 on: June 23, 2011, 04:11:24 PM »

"I don't think that soap went to prison for stealing art.  I don't think there is a painting...

I think that he went to prison for kidnapping and killing children (if he went to prison at all).  Asking about a "zombie contingency plan" is simply a way of testing out what is someones best defense when people like Soap come around.

Soap lied to every single person and every single moment, so I found stealing the child at the end a very plausible part of his character... I think this was more of a psuedopod story, although, i suppose if I had been expecting horror, the O-Henry ending wouldn't have been so fantastic."


This one! I agree with this one!

This is the first time I've participated on this forum, but the Kelly Link story left me so breathless and queasy I wanted to see what everyone else thought of it. So far, I've had this sick-gut from only two stories: Shirley Jackson's THE WITCH and Joyce Carol Oates's WHERE ARE YOU GOING, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

The melancholy and sense of unease throughout I'd attributed (until the end) to a lonely, isolated, sad narrator. When the end curved and the kidnapping happened, I didn't feel so much betrayed by the sense of WTF (or Oh, Henry!, if you prefer), but as if the tilted, tinted world of the narrator had become suddenly and hideously clear.

"No WONDER!" was the thought that immediately followed, "Oh, no. Oh, NO!"

The painting was fantastical element enough  that I could see this as a borderland-fantasy story, but since I've only experienced this sense of dread in what I think of as "horror stories" I'm can more easily get behind the story as a pseudopod episode. Not that fantasy and horror are or should be two completely separate and sacrosanct entities.

Phew. Anyway, this really rattled me. You know, like art is supposed to. Bad, bad pun intended.

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eytanz
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« Reply #85 on: June 23, 2011, 04:22:18 PM »

"I don't think that soap went to prison for stealing art.  I don't think there is a painting...

I think that he went to prison for kidnapping and killing children (if he went to prison at all).  Asking about a "zombie contingency plan" is simply a way of testing out what is someones best defense when people like Soap come around.

This one! I agree with this one!


The problem with this theory is that people who go to prison for kidnapping and killing children don't tend to get out of prison when they're still young. It's sort of the type of thing you end up spending some time in prison for.

Which doesn't dismiss the emotional reaction or the basic point that Soap is entirely unreliable when it comes to his past. Just that from what we know based on other characters' reactions to him, he's too young to have been in prison for anything involving child murder.
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chelsilber
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« Reply #86 on: December 13, 2011, 05:19:59 AM »

I'll be honest, I think most of these stories can only keep my attention going if Norm Sherman is reading.  Maybe it's my attention span or maybe it's the clear attention Norm pays to the craft of story telling.  I can't really put my finger on why, I started listening to Escapepod because they are always plugging it over at Drabblecast.  There have been a few exceptions but most of the stories on Escapepod/Podcastle just don't seem well read unless that guy reading.  I think he's an OK host-- he cracks me up sometimes, but he should clearly be a full-time reader.  Just my 2 cents, for whatever that's worth.  He makes a story come to life. 

I loved this story!  Did not see the end coming at all.  I love that I'm still not even sure how I feel about the ending.  The story somehow sold me on kidnapping, and I can't really say thank you on that!
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danooli
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« Reply #87 on: December 17, 2011, 02:10:10 PM »

Norm's awesome, NO doubt.  But there are a LOT of really amazing story tellers here at the old 'Castle.  You should give more a shot.
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justenjoying
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« Reply #88 on: January 16, 2012, 01:37:29 PM »

This hit an odd cord within me. Having been both the party crasher and the young stupid party thrower. I loved
the soul painting and made me look at what mine might look like. The ending was perfect for the story, but whenever I think
of what he took, I want to hunt him down and kill him myself. You could have gotten lots else and you took one of the most
precious things any older sister has!
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 06:55:09 AM by justenjoying » Logged
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