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Author Topic: PodCastle Miniature 015: The Voices of Snakes  (Read 7083 times)
Heradel
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« on: October 13, 2008, 02:09:46 PM »

PodCastle Miniature 015: The Voices of Snakes

By Karina Sumner-Smith
Read by Rachel Swirsky

At last the viper stirred, woken by his brethrens’ twisting and whispering. Rising, he said slowly, softly, “Yes, beautiful. Let us see the sun.”

He was the oldest, the largest and the cruelest, and from the very first day the mere sound of his voice had made her feel cold. Once he had tormented her, taunted her with words far crueler than the grass snake could ever utter; her ears and the line of her jaw, the curves of her shrunken breasts, still bore the scarred marks of his teeth and the memory of his venom.

She had endured decades of his abuse — decades thinking that she deserved such treatment — and then fought back in the bloody decades that followed. He was immune from her great weapon, but she’d found he had no escape from her temper, her teeth or her claws. They had a truce now, their enmity tempered by centuries together. Beautiful, he still called her, and she allowed him the entertainment of this tired mockery.


Rated PG. Contains serpents and Greek mythology.


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eytanz
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2008, 01:40:43 AM »

Kinda meh. It's not that this story didn't add anything to the tale of medusa, it just that what it added wasn't particularly interesting. I did like the pacing of the way medusa's identity was revealed.
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wintermute
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2008, 06:46:38 AM »

I need to listen to it again. It didn't do much for me, but I was distracted, so I probably missed something.
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2008, 09:13:41 AM »

I enjoyed it, a nice pace and good timing
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2008, 03:44:10 PM »

A waste of my eartime. 

In this, it's not unlike most Podcastle Miniatures.  I think I remember there was one that I actually liked, and another that I sort of halfway liked, but at the moment i can't name them.


[EDIT]
#8, "Believe" and #9, "What Dragons Prefer", are the only Miniatures I've liked so far.  The one I thought I might have halfway-liked was #7, "Tooth Fairy", which I actually only damned with faint praise.  What is it about these Miniatures that so few work with me?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 03:57:47 PM by stePH » Logged

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Anarkey
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2008, 10:25:26 AM »

A waste of my eartime. 

In this, it's not unlike most Podcastle Miniatures.  I think I remember there was one that I actually liked, and another that I sort of halfway liked, but at the moment i can't name them.

[EDIT]
#8, "Believe" and #9, "What Dragons Prefer", are the only Miniatures I've liked so far.  The one I thought I might have halfway-liked was #7, "Tooth Fairy", which I actually only damned with faint praise.  What is it about these Miniatures that so few work with me?

There's a lot of people on the Pseudopod boards that disliked PP flash (back when I was paying attention).  I loved it and was like "ho, target audience right here, keep it coming".  I loved it more, in fact, than I love PC flash, though some of PC's flash I find quite to my liking.  Nothing on PC has been as good as "Rite of Atonement" on PP (though I think that could have run on PC had it not predated PC) or the one about the box, which was amazing and I can't remember the title of right now. 

I think it may be as simple as you not liking the form.  "Believe" and "What Dragons Prefer" have more story-like elements, like an arc of plot, which this one, and others (such as Directions and The Desires of Houses) do not have.  You may be drawn to flash only when it can be a full, regular story, but short.

Personally (though "Believe" was one of my favorites so far) I usually like flash that's less storylike, more about impressions and snapshots.  You'd think that would make me love this one, but it turns out I didn't.  I'm not sure why.  It wasn't flawed in a way I can discern, and some of the writing was quite pretty, but ehhhh, it didn't push my buttons or get me right there like I know flash can.
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2008, 10:37:05 AM »

I think it may be as simple as you not liking the form.  "Believe" and "What Dragons Prefer" have more story-like elements, like an arc of plot, which this one, and others (such as Directions and The Desires of Houses) do not have.  You may be drawn to flash only when it can be a full, regular story, but short.

I think you may be on to something.  It's like Nobilis said in the "Believe" thread: "I like stories that have a beginning, middle, and end."
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Rachel Swirsky
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2008, 11:41:58 PM »

I would argue that most of these pieces do have beginnings, middles and ends -- "Voices of Snakes" certainly does -- but the flash that I favor tends to be ambiguous, and often internal. I've noticed, Steph, that in both flash and full-length stories, you tend not to prefer stories that have endings that require interpretation.
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2008, 08:17:07 AM »

I would argue that most of these pieces do have beginnings, middles and ends -- "Voices of Snakes" certainly does -- but the flash that I favor tends to be ambiguous, and often internal. I've noticed, Steph, that in both flash and full-length stories, you tend not to prefer stories that have endings that require interpretation.


I think you may be on to something.
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Listener
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2008, 02:15:35 PM »

Four minutes in, I said:

"Ohhh. It's Medusa."

Then I ceased to care.
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CammoBlammo
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2008, 01:24:45 AM »

Four minutes in, I said:

"Ohhh. It's Medusa."

Then I ceased to care.

My physical environment was such that I wasn't able to concentrate on this too well. I didn't get the gorgon thing. I might give it another listen now, and then stop caring!
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Roney
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2008, 04:42:48 PM »

I liked several ideas in this story, but in a rather abstract way: I liked the fact that there were various types of snakes in her hair, and that she had relationships with them.  I wanted to like the idea that the viper collaborated with her on letting the hero get close.  Somehow it never quite came together.
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2009, 02:39:45 PM »

It had an interesting premise, and I've always been intrigued by Medusa and the other Gorgons.  I liked that there were different kinds of snakes, each with their own personality.

In the end however, I don't think I really cared for it.  She decided she was life-weary and committed suicide by someone else's sword (kind of like a criminal committing suicide by cop).  Not that there's anything unrealistic about that, but I don't find it very engaging when the protagonist decides its time to kill herself because it's less trouble than to go on living.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2012, 09:21:11 PM »

I'm going to buck the rend on the thread and say that I really dug this one. The Harryhausen Clash of the Titans was a core movie of my childhood. This story provided a flip side that my adult perspective can enjoy alongside my childhood enjoyment of Perseus killing Medusa.
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