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Author Topic: PC132: Flash Fiction Contest Extravaganza  (Read 3706 times)
Heradel
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« on: November 23, 2010, 08:15:20 PM »

PodCastle 132: Flash Fiction Contest Extravaganza

For this week’s episode, we have something a little bit different for you: PodCastle is proud to present the winners of our Flash Fiction Contest, as voted by members of our forum.

Third Prize:
“The Water Sprite” by Alicia Caporaso
Read by Jack Mangan (of Jack Mangan’s Deadpan)

Second Prize:
“Bibliophages” by Ramona Gardea
Read by Wilson Fowlie (of the Maple Leaf Singers)

First Prize:
“Fetch” by the Bestrewn Feline, Nathaniel Lee
Read by Peter Wood

Rated G: Happy Thanksgiving!
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 03:25:56 PM by Heradel » Logged

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eytanz
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2010, 12:07:05 PM »

Oh, it was good to hear these in audio - I loved all three before and love all of them now.

I didn't much enjoy listening to myself after Fetch - I think I belong only on the receiving side of my earphones. Oh well.

Two comments on my post-story comment:

1 - It occured to me only after I recorded and sent the file to Dave that the "ominous" reading of Fetch was probably not something I came up with entirely by myself - other people brought it up in the original thread.

2 - In the reading that Peter Wood gave the story - which was very good - it was much harder for me to detect any ominous subtext than in the written word. Tone of voice does make a lot of difference.
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Scattercat
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 07:52:42 PM »

I thought it was a perfectly fine comment, eytanz.  It was pretty clear you don't spend a lot of time talking into microphones, but that's hardly an uncommon affliction.  ;-)  We can't all be Wilson Fowlie or Cheyenne Wright right out of the gate.

I think audio improved Bibliophages (the accents were great), but it wasn't as kind to Water Sprite; it feels faster to hear it, somehow, and makes parts of it feel rushed.  I can't really comment on the reading for "Fetch."  I did listen to it, but I have an automatic cringe reaction to hearing any of my own work read.  It stems from my school days, where teachers were always making me read my stuff out loud to the class as an example.  I am therefore unable to really say much beyond "Good work everyone!" because mostly I was trying to keep from flinching and hiding my head in my shirt.

(And you're darned right you're not the first one to think up the "ominous" reading of the story.  Who do ya think put it in there in the first place, ya goob? :-D ;-)  )
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2010, 09:28:09 PM »

I agree that "Water Sprite" didn't transition to audio all that well, which is too bad since I adored it in print form. 

"Bibliophages", by contrast, I liked a lot better in audio.  I'm going to admit that I never warmed to it during the flash contest, but the reading brought out all that was good in it.

The narrator did a damn fine job with "Fetch".  Back in the midst of the flash contest, I read it out loud to my wife, whom it left somewhat cold.  I blame my own inexpertise at reading comedy out loud.  I'm going to play this narration for her to get her reaction.
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Wilson Fowlie
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2010, 02:20:41 PM »

I really enjoyed hearing all of the commentary; that was fun idea.  I have to say, I particularly liked hearing your voice, eytanz, even if you didn't.  Wink  Frankly, I'd like to hear more, not least because it would be an interesting accent to perform (and, were I able to do it well, it might let me make up for at least some of what I did to "The Dybbuk In the Bottle").

(Amanda's is an interesting accent, too, but I have a couple of stories' worth of hers to analyze.)

I agree that Peter's reading was very good; his timing brought out the humour quite well.  However, the audio quality on it seemed a little tinny, which surprised me since, well, he's the audio guy.  I got used to it after a few sentences, so it wasn't bothersome, just initially surprising.

Scattercat, while it's not uncommon for people to have an adverse reaction to hearing/seeing their own work (e.g., from what I understand, many actors don't go to see their own movies), I'm sorry to hear the reason in your case.  Some teachers have a lot to answer for in this world.
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2010, 05:19:10 PM »

Well, it wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't already been the most despised person at school.  Like, if I'd been a normal or popular kid, having to read my stuff out loud wouldn't be a problem.  I can't really blame the teachers, per se.
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blueeyeddevil
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2010, 09:40:43 AM »

Water Sprite: a hard sell for so short a tale with so poetical a premise. Good in print, but would need to be a longer piece (yes I know there were contest limitations, this just means it could and should be expanded out) for it to work out loud, so that the listener can get used to the literary tapestry.

Bibliophage: loved it. But all I could think of was this:

http://www.topatoco.com/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=TO&Product_Code=SNF-INSATIABLE&Category_Code=SNF

(Full disclosure, my GF works for this company; I'm not trying to shill for them, it just seemed apropos)


Fetch: Was it just me, or was there a little bit of a...hmm, how to put it. Not merely that the cat was magical, but alien. The 'trill' it uttered at one point kind of struck me. Reminds me of Bradbury at his most whimsical, bravo.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 09:43:07 AM by blueeyeddevil » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2010, 09:44:59 AM »

I haven't listened to this yet, as I'm just freshly back from a weeklong vacation without iTunes access.

But for now I shall say "Woohoo!".  I'm excited to see the flash contest stories in publication!   Grin
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2010, 10:49:11 AM »

Okay, I've listened to it now.  This episode was coincidentally the first Podcastle episode that was pumped through my car speakers.  Smiley

I think I've already commented on these during the contest, so I'll be brief:

The Water Sprite was good, not in my personal top three of the contest, but well written with an interesting idea.

Bibliophages--I'm very glad this one made it to the final.  Yes it doesn't really have an arc, and is mostly an explanation of the premise, but it's such a COOL premise, and I think this sort of story is perfect for a bite-size flash style.

Fetch--This is still my favorite from the whole contest, and the story transferred well to audio.  It's quite a feat to get me to like a cat story--usually I just groan and say "Oh God, another fantasy cat story?"  But I really liked this cat, and I liked how his gifts escalated from the commonplace to the unusual to the impractical to the impossible, especially the basement full of cash.  The escalation from the commonplace to the absurd made it funny and fun.  Loved it!


Also, it was fun to hear the feedback for each story, and I liked hearing eytanz's voice, for I think the first time.  Smiley

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Portrait in Flesh
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2010, 06:52:34 PM »


AND you get a bookmark with it.   Kiss

Wilson had given me a sneak peak of mine a while back, but it's still a gas to hear it again.

This was fun to participate in, but man oh man it was nerveracking as well.
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LaShawn
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2010, 10:49:11 AM »

Catching up...catching up...finally catching up.

Water Sprite was so-so. Hearing it in audio felt sort of clunky. It didn't change my opinion of the story. (And it has nothing to do with it beating out my story. Nothing at all. Nothing....well okay, maybe a little. But I'm not bitter. Not bitter. NOT. BITTER. AT. ALL.)

(::unclenches teeth:Smiley

Fetch was funny as always. Well deserving of the 1st prize.

But I was extremely astonished at how much I liked hearing Bibliophages. I didn't care for it at all during the contest, feeling that it didn't have much of a plot. But Wilson's narration of it brought it to life, imparting the excitement of discovery that I didn't feel when I read it. Which goes to show that a good narration can really make or break a story.

Congratulations to all the winners. And to the rest of you...::shaking fist:: NEXT YEAR. I SWEAR...NEXT YEAAAAAAARRRRR!!!!
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