Escape Artists

News:

News

ATTENTION: NEW FORUM THEME Please see here for details: http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=13188.0

Author Topic: PC141: The Bear In The Cable-Knit Sweater  (Read 9981 times)

Boggled Coriander

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
    • Balancing Frogs
Reply #20 on: January 30, 2011, 08:51:21 AM
"The Firemen's Fairy"
"The Hag Queen's Curse"
"The Bear in the Cable-Knit Sweater"

I think I can see a subgroup emerging among PodCastle titles.  (Titles, not the stories themselves.)  And I'm not complaining one bit.

"The meteor formed a crater, vampires crawling out of the crater." -  The Lyttle Lytton contest


Loz

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 370
    • Blah Flowers
Reply #21 on: January 30, 2011, 12:12:21 PM
It's odd about what you sometimes will and will not accept in fantastical stories, Nazi elephants in flying submarines versus Cossack unicorns? Sure, why not, by why is everyone speaking English? For me I found I accepted everything in this story but found myself tripping over why the bears in the arena were wearing tutus and riding unicycles and all the other stuff.

This was entirely saved by Cheyenne Wright's amazing narration as there was nothing in the words that suggested it was intended to be a laugh out loud episode. The complete lack of characterisation of everyone and the ridiculous ease with which the main character causes a revolution in a fairy realm was saved from 'really poor episode' status entirely by the reading.



Talia

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2682
  • Muahahahaha
Reply #22 on: January 30, 2011, 01:20:34 PM
why the bears in the arena were wearing tutus and riding unicycles and all the other stuff.

Those things fit my mental image of what circus bears are supposed to do, though i'm not sure any circus bear has ever done them. I think there may have been a Far Side cartoon or two along those lines.



Clearshades

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Reply #23 on: January 31, 2011, 02:51:05 PM
Hello,
I've been lurking for a while and listening to the podcasts but I'm usually so far behind that by the time I catch up, the feedback has already been aired in the podcast and I don't feel as much like joining my voice to points already hashed out.

I really enjoyed this story but I  have to agree with the people who said you have to just let go and let the story be. The more I think about this one, the more it comes apart and the part I take the most issue with is how the protagonist goes instantly from loss to leader. The moment just does not ring true to me as coming from what we've experienced up to that moment.

As far as the title, I thought the title was just about perfect. With opening in the circus, I was wondering where the sweater would come in. The double play on the meaning of the word "bear" and the fact that with his furriness the sweater is what distinguishes the narrator from the human bears as well as the fairy bears made the title as funny for me as the rest of the story.



Benvolio

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Reply #24 on: January 31, 2011, 03:41:29 PM
This story seemed like a highly entertaining bit of nonsense until I thought about the symbolisim underlying it. Is there really such animosity between the fairy and bear ends of the homosexual community? Crushing fairies to death in a clenched fist was pretty sinister. I hope I am way off on this reading of the story.



Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8657
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #25 on: January 31, 2011, 06:24:37 PM
I like the cable-knit detail myself, if only because the title sounds better than 'The Bear in the Sweater' would.

You're right, "The Bear in the Sweater" would be no better.  Of the three major words in the title (excluding "The" and "in" as they are modifiers for the major words), only one really has a major impact:  "Bear", putting that word in the title makes lots of sense.  "Cable-Knit" and "Sweater" seem to have no real relevance whatsoever.

Just "The Bear" would at least be accurate, but rather unmemorable (and I think there's been a movie by the same name).  "The Bear in the Cable-Knit Sweater" is memorable in the sense that the title itself sticks in the mind, but is not evocative of the story it represents:  I remember the title easily, but 2/3 of the title has nothing to do with the story content.  As opposed to, say, "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" which is both memorable and evocative to me.  The title sticks in my head, and the title makes me think of the story its related to.

(I consider titles to be a pretty important aspect of the story, so I think they're worth considering.  I was already writing an article about titling when this story comes out, which is partly why I've given it so much thought)
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 06:28:46 PM by Unblinking »



corvi42

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Reply #26 on: January 31, 2011, 10:25:13 PM
Not a big fan of this one. It just felt very shallow to me.
 
The symbolism is very obvious, which is not in itself a bad thing. But, there didn't seem to be anything else to the story. It feels like the author just had a very simple image in mind: "bears crush fairies". Everything else in the story just felt like a thin pretense to get to that image. The whole fantasy world, the Russian guy with the portal to fairy just felt like a hastily concocted cover-story.

I think what really kills this story is that there is no attempt at denouement. We get to the arena, and with some never-before hinted at supernatural charisma, the protagonist turns his enemies into allies with a few words. And then what? We don't know. We can imagine that bloody mayhem ensues... that many fairies are torn apart by bears, that the bears win and all is well.  But why are we left to imagine this stereotypical storyline?  Why aren't we told?  How does he come to grips with the death of his lover? What happens to the Russian dude?  What kind of new bear-world order do they establish in fairy?

Clearly the author doesn't even care to contemplate these aspects of his own story. All that seemed to be important to him was the bears vs. fairies metaphor. Once he gets us there, he just drops the whole thing. And in taking us there, he's left the rest of the story "bare". So if he doesn't care about it, why should we?  Ultimately it makes the whole thing feel very shallow and uninteresting. I can't bring myself to care about the lives and concerns of characters that the author doesn't even care about.

Its unfortunate really, because it has potential. Just a massive lack of follow-through.



kibitzer

  • Purveyor of Unsolicited Opinions
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 2228
  • Kibitzer: A meddler who offers unwanted advice
Reply #27 on: February 01, 2011, 01:52:04 AM
I dunno how folks come up with this stuff... what a mind trip!

Liked this one very much. And since Cheyenne Wright is about my favourite narrator, that made it all the better!

When I listened to the first bit with Angus holding the fairies in his fists, I heard "berries". So it was something like, "Angus held the berries aloft in his fists -- he felt them squirming in his hand." So I expected sentient berries. Which would have made the story no stranger.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 01:54:29 AM by kibitzer »



Talia

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2682
  • Muahahahaha
Reply #28 on: February 01, 2011, 03:28:58 AM
Now I want to read a story about sentient berries. Someone get on that. :p



Scattercat

  • Caution:
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4880
  • Amateur wordsmith
    • Mirrorshards
Reply #29 on: February 02, 2011, 01:20:54 AM
Now I want to read a story about sentient berries. Someone get on that. :p

Your wish etc.  It's short, but it's a story...

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book


Talia

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2682
  • Muahahahaha
Reply #30 on: February 02, 2011, 01:40:31 AM
Now I want to read a story about sentient berries. Someone get on that. :p

Your wish etc.  It's short, but it's a story...


Haha, I love it. Poor berries. :P Thanks for indulging my whim :P



wingodzilla

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 20
Reply #31 on: February 02, 2011, 01:47:05 AM
I enjoyed it. It does not have to be Steinbeck, just entertaining and it was.

Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. ~ Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C)


kibitzer

  • Purveyor of Unsolicited Opinions
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 2228
  • Kibitzer: A meddler who offers unwanted advice
Reply #32 on: February 02, 2011, 01:54:08 AM
Now I want to read a story about sentient berries. Someone get on that. :p

Your wish etc.  It's short, but it's a story...


Y'know, I was this close to saying, "I look forward to seeing this on Mirrorshards..."


Scattercat

  • Caution:
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4880
  • Amateur wordsmith
    • Mirrorshards
Reply #33 on: February 02, 2011, 03:24:54 AM
Now I want to read a story about sentient berries. Someone get on that. :p

Your wish etc.  It's short, but it's a story...


Y'know, I was this close to saying, "I look forward to seeing this on Mirrorshards..."

"Stuff that normally doesn't talk talking" is practically the sub-heading for Mirrorshards, so it was kind of a natural fit...

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book


iamafish

  • Matross
  • ****
  • Posts: 261
    • Thoughts from a Fish Bowl
Reply #34 on: February 03, 2011, 10:17:20 PM
Thanks Podcastle for making my fear of the Ursine Menace that much more real! I will never go near a portal into another dimension ever again.

Other than that I agree with the general theme of the comments; a fairly ordinary (in quality that it) story made fun by some superb narration.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 07:22:30 AM by iamafish »



yicheng

  • Matross
  • ****
  • Posts: 221
Reply #35 on: February 07, 2011, 04:49:16 PM
I had fun with this.  No, it didn't make much sense, but Cheyenne's reading made the story and plus, it's got fricking bears in it.  "RAAWWRRR!!!"




Devoted135

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1252
Reply #36 on: February 07, 2011, 05:35:52 PM
I'm glad I'm not the only one who heard the line in the beginning as Angus having "berries" in his hands. Such confusion at the end! ::)

That said, the nonsense was a pretty enjoyable way to start off the work week. Also, wow! I've never heard any effects added in to any of the EA 'casts before but Radiolab got me used to it long ago and I felt that it really added something to the story. This was definitely one that benefited from a more performance-type reading. :) Now if only I could get the image of hairy palms to go away...



Listener

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 3187
  • I place things in locations which later elude me.
    • Various and Sundry Items of Interest
Reply #37 on: February 09, 2011, 02:18:32 AM
As soon as I figured out the pub was a place that catered to bears in the homosexual sense, I had an "ohhh, that's why it's called that" moment. I was both amused and vaguely disappointed -- I'd thought that when Yuri barged in, he was going to be an actual bear, and no one would say anything about it (like Tim in The Cleveland Show).

I too heard "berries".

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42


kibitzer

  • Purveyor of Unsolicited Opinions
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 2228
  • Kibitzer: A meddler who offers unwanted advice
Reply #38 on: February 10, 2011, 01:48:46 AM
As soon as I figured out the pub was a place that catered to bears in the homosexual sense...

I had no idea of that connotation of "bear." Huh! How about that.


LaShawn

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 550
  • Writer Mommies Rule!
    • The Cafe in the Woods
Reply #39 on: March 10, 2011, 06:12:18 PM
Machismo homosexual bears. Now I heard everything.

So...uh...I don't get it. I understand the fairy part of it, but not the bear part. Unless...I just answered my own question with what I wrote above?

I think I like fairies more. ::pout::

--
Visit LaShawn at The Cafe in the Woods:
http://tbonecafe.wordpress.com
Another writer's antiblog: In Touch With Yours Truly