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Author Topic: PC107, Giant Episode: The Behold of the Eye  (Read 20198 times)

Terri-Lynne

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Reply #25 on: June 15, 2010, 07:34:07 PM
Thanks, Dave!



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Reply #26 on: June 17, 2010, 01:58:22 PM
"Fuzzy," said Fuzzy.  Ah, Fuzzy, I couldn't have said it better.  I don't know how you manage to be so thoughtful, so insightful, and overall so darned concise!  When I have half your talent with words, I'll never have to read another form rejection again.  ;)

Seriously, though, the concept for this story was AMAZING!  One of those that I wish I'd thought of first so that I could write a story about it and get credit for coming up with it.  Like most of the Giants, though, I thought it would've done better with the same concept and half the words--it just went on for a very long time, and my mind kept wandering during long sections of not-much-happening.  Anyway, I'm glad the editors saw fit to buy it, it was well worth the listen, I just wish it would've been pruned back a bit to keep the power of the story from being diluted by the massive word count.

Is it just me, or was the story suggesting what it sounded like it was suggesting? That Toby's homosexuality was because he had a fairy inside him?

I didn't get that impression at all.  I thought the fairies were related to creativity, not to sexuality.  No fairies doesn't mean you're a bad person or anything, just that you'd be one to be more likely to not be interested in creative things.  One fairy brings out your creativity, most artists and authors, and other people who like to be creative in their spare time.  Two fairies is very uncommon but might be the case for those stars who burn hot and die young like Kurt Cobain or the like.

Anyway, the concept for this story was AMAZING.



rotheche

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Reply #27 on: June 19, 2010, 10:54:05 AM
I feel the need to go and build a small and tasteful shrine to both author and narrator.  The whole thing entranced me all the way through.  Difficult to listen to in places, but so worth it.



DKT

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Reply #28 on: June 19, 2010, 09:54:30 PM
Oh, and the music still playing under it for a good five minutes in the beginning.


I just wanted to let everyone know that there's a corrected version of this now online. So if you redownload it, you'll get it without the music once the story starts. Sorry about that!


davedoty

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Reply #29 on: June 20, 2010, 09:53:56 PM
I'm running behind, so I just listened to this one.  The first few minutes had my mind wandering, but once we got into Toby's story, I got into it and really loved it.  I sometimes think the giants take a little slogging, but I listened straight through eagerly.  As someone who as a child had a book of greek sculpture that I admired "a little too much," I felt very keyed into the story from that point forward.

Then, imagine my surprise when I came online to comment about it, and discovered that this was the story that launched the "ratings debate" thread I'd already been following!  Not to revive a dormant argument, but my view of the story was so different than alllie's that I didn't even recognize it from her criticisms as I was listening along.  I'll just say that I feel that the story of someone coming to terms with his sexuality clearly isn't horror.  (I debated where to put this comment, but finally decided that since I was commenting on the story, rather than the rating, the episode thread was the more appropriate place.)



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Reply #30 on: June 23, 2010, 09:07:25 PM
This was a beautiful, incredibly moving story.  To me, it's an excellent example of the way spec-fic elements can be used to address real-world issues: in this case, the process of maturation generally, and the issue of sexuality specifically.  I hurt for Toby during the bad times, when the fire came raining down, because we got such an inside view of what that felt like, and Duncan's choice of how to represent that pain felt so persuasive.

To weigh in briefly on a few things other people have said:

No, I don't think having a fairy caused homosexuality, just that this was a story a homosexual guy with a fairy -- which, yes, was obviously a deliberate play on the stereotype.

Ditto the people who said chapter headers don't work well in audio.  I would have liked a bit more of a pause between sections, too, whenever there was a break between time-periods of action, because sometimes it took me a moment to realize the scene had changed.

Length . . . a bit long, yeah, but not in a way that bothered me at all.  I think that's because this was about Toby maturing from infancy to adulthood, and a quicker story would feel like it short-changed that process.  I enjoyed the prose, and Flashjack's experiences inside the behold, enough that once he got inside, I never felt like the story was moving too slowly.  If there was one part I could have seen reduced without much disappointment, it was the parts preceding Toby's arrival on the scene.



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Reply #31 on: June 29, 2010, 11:43:01 PM
Was the first comment (Allison?) deleted? Because I couldn't find the post that initiated half of this thread. Then again--you know me Dave. It's probably right under my nose!

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, I take it back. I thought I looked when you mentioned it, Terri-Lynne, but it appears the comment was deleted. Not by one of the mods or editors, as far as I know.


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Reply #32 on: June 30, 2010, 02:52:11 AM
Was the first comment (Allison?) deleted? Because I couldn't find the post that initiated half of this thread. Then again--you know me Dave. It's probably right under my nose!

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, I take it back. I thought I looked when you mentioned it, Terri-Lynne, but it appears the comment was deleted. Not by one of the mods or editors, as far as I know.

I certainly didn't.

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


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Reply #33 on: June 30, 2010, 07:36:31 AM
I took some time to listen to this story, partially because I wanted the ratings/is-it-horror debate early on to subside in my memory before I start it. Now that I have, I really love this story. Let me just quote mbrennan as she captures what I have to say exactly:

This was a beautiful, incredibly moving story.  To me, it's an excellent example of the way spec-fic elements can be used to address real-world issues: in this case, the process of maturation generally, and the issue of sexuality specifically.  I hurt for Toby during the bad times, when the fire came raining down, because we got such an inside view of what that felt like, and Duncan's choice of how to represent that pain felt so persuasive.



Dairmid

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Reply #34 on: July 18, 2010, 04:38:50 AM

Is it just me, or was the story suggesting what it sounded like it was suggesting? That Toby's homosexuality was because he had a fairy inside him?

Because really? REALLY? I don't know. Because the story seems an awful long way to go for a pun that lame.

It seems this point has been pretty much hammered flat, but it's a good place to jump in. I loved this story (and the narration since foul-mouthed fairies need that accent--it just wouldn't do having him sound as if he's from Ohio) because I could relate to it; having a fairy in my behold would go along way toward explain the chaos that reigns in my mind. Might be a psychological explanation as well, but I would prefer Pebbleskip.

This story turns all sorts of notions on their pointy little heads, particularly the one that fairies are real and yet creatures of 'pure whimsy' who live within our imaginations. I think Toby's homosexuality fits here; the author has made a good joke of the idiot notion that gays are fairies.

All in all, it's a brilliant piece of storytelling, one of the most inventive I've heard in awhile. I'm actually insanely envious.

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LaShawn

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Reply #35 on: July 22, 2010, 05:20:52 PM
This is the first podcastle Giant where I actually found myself working past my usual quitting time at work just so I can continue listening to this story. It was hard to understand the beginning at first--I had to rewind it several times--but once I got what was going on...wow. I looooove the idea of fairies living in the Beholds of our Eyes. And it was so interesting to see Toby's life through the whimsical eye of the fairy...which I agree with everyone else, had nothing to do with his sexuality and more to do with the zest for life, the appreciation of life. Makes me wonder at my own Behold of my eye...

(::peers in and goes "Huh. Cheese. Didn't expect that..."::)

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Reply #36 on: July 27, 2010, 05:29:33 AM
Another 'meh' one for me. It kind of grated on me that the protagonist was FastJack, the same (very unusual) name of a very famous Decker in the Shadowrun universe. I know, I know, if you dont know it then you are probably like 'whatever', but for those who do, well, it's like having a character called 'Bilbo Baggins' who is a hard-nosed private investigator in Brooklyn. I mean, obviously different characters, but the names are very unusual and exactly the same, and it's a bizarre mashup.

Anyway, I'm not gay so I don't presume to know the struggles going on there. However, this story did basically just kinda fall flat for me. By the end, I didn't really give a damn about any of the characters, and for living his entire life through the eyes and the mind of his human (whatever his name was) the fairy didn't seem to give much of a crap about him or what was going on in his life, only the occasional glimpse whenever it was handy for changing the scene in his 'behold'.



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Reply #37 on: July 27, 2010, 02:16:02 PM
I was a big Shadowrun fan in college; the crossover occurred to me, but it didn't bother me.  (Possibly because I always found Fastjack to be cringe-inducingly irritating as a vehicle for "humor" and just generally Mary-Sue-ish.)

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Reply #38 on: July 27, 2010, 03:47:37 PM
Another 'meh' one for me. It kind of grated on me that the protagonist was FastJack, the same (very unusual) name of a very famous Decker in the Shadowrun universe.

Actually, the character's name in this story was FlashJack, not Fastjack. Only a slight difference, I know, but definitely not the same name.


Paranatural

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Reply #39 on: July 28, 2010, 03:22:49 AM
Another 'meh' one for me. It kind of grated on me that the protagonist was FastJack, the same (very unusual) name of a very famous Decker in the Shadowrun universe.

Actually, the character's name in this story was FlashJack, not Fastjack. Only a slight difference, I know, but definitely not the same name.

Oops, good call. It's been a few years (10...) since I have played so that was my bad. Anyway,still...



Zuishness

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Reply #40 on: November 03, 2010, 10:45:44 PM
I loved this story.

I'm raising a 9 year old son, who is somewhere on (or over) the Autistic Spectrum, and the whole thing struck one heck of a chord with me.

Every day is a battle for his heart and soul; fighting against the forces that might take his spirit and drop kick it firmly over to the dark side. This episode reinforced my determination not to allow his trusting and loving nature to be overcome by bitterness, disappointment and self-loathing.

Thank you so much for sharing this.



yicheng

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Reply #41 on: November 08, 2010, 03:46:08 PM
I'm afraid I will have to be one of the dissenters here, and say that I didn't really like the story.  The imagery was vivid, lurid, and cinematic, but I didn't really feel like I got to understand the thought process or motivation of any of the characters.  The fairies just seemed "there" to experience things, and Toby (other than being a tormented gay artsy person) didn't really seem to be that fleshed out either.  While I found the changes in the internal landscape to be interesting, after about half-way through they had the feel of being over-the-top melodramatic.

Fuzzy was an interesting and original character, but I'm afraid I may have missed some point here as well, as I'm not sure what all the fuss was about.  Okay, so he's a manifestation of the Toby's hatred, self-loathing, and destructiveness.  What else?  I kept on waiting for something more.

On up-side MarBelle's reading was flawless as usual.  I've loved his style ever since he did Cinderella Suicide on EscapePod.  He has a fluidity with his dictation that makes all those quaint Victorian phrases come alive like he just stepped out of the Time Machine.



Talia

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Reply #42 on: November 08, 2010, 04:03:35 PM
Of course they're over the top melodramatic, I'd argue. It's a story about a person facing severe internal struggles - trauma, even. IMHO, extreme melodrama is quite fitting.



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Reply #43 on: November 08, 2010, 06:36:36 PM
Of course they're over the top melodramatic, I'd argue. It's a story about a person facing severe internal struggles - trauma, even. IMHO, extreme melodrama is quite fitting.

I agree.  Though I tend to be pretty reserved on the outside, I don't think the inside of my head is.  Definiitely melodramatic in there, and part social interaction for me is keeping that somewhat on the inside "Don't let the crazy out!"   :)



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Reply #44 on: November 08, 2010, 08:25:35 PM
Of course they're over the top melodramatic, I'd argue. It's a story about a person facing severe internal struggles - trauma, even. IMHO, extreme melodrama is quite fitting.

I agree.  Though I tend to be pretty reserved on the outside, I don't think the inside of my head is.  Definiitely melodramatic in there, and part social interaction for me is keeping that somewhat on the inside "Don't let the crazy out!"   :)

LOL! I always know when the crazy leaks out by the looks of total bewilderment around me. Keeping in the crazy is a very integral part of my life!

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yicheng

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Reply #45 on: November 09, 2010, 03:22:40 PM
To clarify, I never said the over-the-top melodrama wasn't without reason.  It just detracted from the story for me.  I think the main reason, again, is that we're given then extremely intimate and, at the same time, really opaque view of the characters.  We see all these very lurid and vivid dreamscape images inside Toby's head, but we have no idea what they mean, what he's really thinking, how he's acting, or what person psychological struggles set off these heavy-metal video montages.  It's just one montage after another, with very little explanation, that ultimately leaves your senses deafened and you just end up not really caring about the character.  I would also level the same complaint at Flashjack's character, as in the end all we know very little about him, his kind, his hopes, or his motivations.  I suppose the author was hoping that the reader would fill parts of himself into Toby's or Flashjack's role and extrapolate, but it just really didn't work for me.



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Reply #46 on: November 09, 2010, 03:46:13 PM
To clarify, I never said the over-the-top melodrama wasn't without reason.  It just detracted from the story for me.  I think the main reason, again, is that we're given then extremely intimate and, at the same time, really opaque view of the characters.  We see all these very lurid and vivid dreamscape images inside Toby's head, but we have no idea what they mean, what he's really thinking, how he's acting, or what person psychological struggles set off these heavy-metal video montages.  It's just one montage after another, with very little explanation, that ultimately leaves your senses deafened and you just end up not really caring about the character.  I would also level the same complaint at Flashjack's character, as in the end all we know very little about him, his kind, his hopes, or his motivations.  I suppose the author was hoping that the reader would fill parts of himself into Toby's or Flashjack's role and extrapolate, but it just really didn't work for me.

I see your points.  In particular, the characterization of Flashjack was pretty light, and I wish it hadn't been.  I'm sort of left with the impression that fairies in this universe aren't necessarily very individual.  They're an embodiment of a creative spark, but more just a force of nature than real people.  I never really cared what happened to Flashjack, and I think the reason for that is that he seemed pretty generic.  I'm not sure if my disinterest in Flashjack himself was intentional, to allow the story to focus on the boy(which makes sense), or if it was accidental.

I also see your point about us seeing the internal video montages without seeing the external world that created them.  With context, we could've easily made more sense of them.  But to me that was a strength, not a weakness.  As implied by the choice of the title, the core of the idea is the Behold of the Eye, where Flashjack lives.  He's focused mostly on this internal home, and so that's what we see in this story told in his POV.  If we'd seen everything going on outside at the same time as what was going inside, then the story would've been less interesting to me, the internals would've created a great deal of redundancy in the information provided (and been even longer).  By only providing one side, and by only providing the side that is abstract, we can understand his emotional reactions and from them try to understand the context that created those actions--that was the most interesting part of it for me.




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Reply #47 on: November 09, 2010, 10:08:43 PM
Plus, by focusing on the emotional turmoil itself without being specific about the events in 'real life' that created it, that enables the reader to project more of themselves into the story.  One can empathize with the emotional upset qua emotional upset and substitute whatever has made you feel that way in the past with the sorts of reactions you see made concrete and symbolic in the Behold.  For a story intended to be basically an allegorical physical representation of an emotional journey, that strikes me as the correct route to take.

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Reply #48 on: March 04, 2011, 08:55:13 PM
Congrats to Fuzzy (and Hal Duncan) for winning eternal adoration with the Best of PodCastle 2010 poll.

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