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Author Topic: PC154: Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Under the Still Waters  (Read 15411 times)
martinifan
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« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2011, 10:18:03 AM »

While I would rarely ever give a bad rating for anything on Podcastle and usually always love the choices of story and narrator, "Sinners/Saints" was off the charts!  Five++++ stars!!  This was an excellent story in and of itself, but the narration was what gave it the heart to really sing and climb into my psyche like few short works can.  Your new narrator, Laurice White, has a real future in this type of work, and a new fan.  And huge props to N.K. Jemisin, who consistently delivers the goods in extraordinary fashion, in whatever category or format she hurls words!
"
I rarely take the time to write in - my bad - but I had to comment today.  And listen to Dave's tip at the end of the show, too..."Zeitoun" by Dave Eggers is a must read!  For every individual who thinks,"Why the hell didn't people just leave when they knew a hurricane on the way?!",   the story of the Zeitoun family gives one of the many different plausible answers.

Thank you, Podcastle staff for all the great work you do!
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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2011, 11:01:34 AM »

I loved this story. It was wonderful. I give it six Zeppelins out of five.

The City. The City. The life that hums beneath our feet and flows in our veins and drifts in and out of our mouths like smoke when we breath. The City is in us, it is us, all of us, in each of our disparate ways. The City shelters us from storm and fire and earthquake, whenever it can, and in return the City calls on its sons and daughters to defend it, when need be.

I loved the storm dragons, the "haint," the real and flawed and fascinating characters... I loved it all.

Story time here: I'm a middle school teacher in East Oakland. Tookie could have been one of my kids. I can see the hate infecting them, I can feel its hot breath on the back of my neck, and I know they can, too. I watch as it pushes them to destroy and self-destruct. If I could pick up a gun and blow that hate away, with the power of the City in me, I'd do it. I'd do it in a heartbeat.

In real life, it's more complicated, but that's what we have fantasy for.

I also have a deep fondness for stories in which it is pure emotion or virtue - love, friendship, faith, passion - that wins the day. It's Tookie's compassion and self-love that conquers the monster, not his strength, skill, or aim. I dig that kind of thing.
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jjtraw
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« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2011, 11:34:16 AM »

Loved, loved, loved the reading. Excellent story, and Laurice brought it so alive. Thank you!

The evil in all of us, the strength of the city - all good, powerful themes. But I think one of my favorite parts of the story was the relationship between Tookie and his elderly neighbor. It said much about Tookie, that he reached out to her. And their exchanges felt so real.

Towards the beginning of the story, when Tookie is chatting calmly with the talking lizard - it took me awhile to figure out that was supposed to be *during the storm,* and it shook me out of the story a bit when I grasped that fact. I've never been in a cat 4 or cat 5 hurricane, but I've sat tight through my share of 2's and 3's. In my experience, in the middle of the event, there are no calm neighborly conversations outside. Too much wind, it's hard to hear. And you really don't want to be standing outside shelter for too long. I wasn't in New Orleans for Katrina, so maybe the experience there was different. Anyhow, after the initial "huh?" I suspended my disbelief over it just fine.

And the rest of the tale just blew me away. Good, good stuff.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2011, 11:21:14 PM »

Towards the beginning of the story, when Tookie is chatting calmly with the talking lizard - it took me awhile to figure out that was supposed to be *during the storm,* and it shook me out of the story a bit when I grasped that fact. I've never been in a cat 4 or cat 5 hurricane, but I've sat tight through my share of 2's and 3's. In my experience, in the middle of the event, there are no calm neighborly conversations outside. Too much wind, it's hard to hear. And you really don't want to be standing outside shelter for too long. I wasn't in New Orleans for Katrina, so maybe the experience there was different. Anyhow, after the initial "huh?" I suspended my disbelief over it just fine.

Wasn't there a time lag between the storm and the levee breaking?
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jjtraw
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« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2011, 10:09:43 AM »


Quote
Wasn't there a time lag between the storm and the levee breaking?

Details like "watching the rain fall sideways" and "driving wind" make me think that first conversation was actually supposed to be during the storm.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2011, 07:49:39 PM »


Quote
Wasn't there a time lag between the storm and the levee breaking?

Details like "watching the rain fall sideways" and "driving wind" make me think that first conversation was actually supposed to be during the storm.

I'll pay better attention next listen. This didn't make an impact on me.
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Scattercat
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« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2011, 11:47:30 PM »


Quote
Wasn't there a time lag between the storm and the levee breaking?

Details like "watching the rain fall sideways" and "driving wind" make me think that first conversation was actually supposed to be during the storm.

I got the impression that the first conversation was in the early parts of the storm, when it's just starting to get bad, and the latter parts took place after the majority of the storm was past.
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« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2011, 02:24:55 PM »

Thoroughly enjoyed this one.  I'm a middle aged, upper middle class white man in New England, and this story really brought home to me what the poor souls of the ninth ward(as well as many other locations in the South) went through in 2005, and what that city is still going through today.  It will never be the same city, and it angers me that so many people are intent on keeping out the poor from the ninth ward so they can rebuild it as trendy housing and shopping for rich white people.

That is not what is happening in the ninth ward. Many people who lived there have chosen not to return to the city, they lived in a bad neighborhood in not so great housing to begin with, and the storm took what little they had. They have made their choice to move somewhere else and start over. So a lot of the area is remaining unused and empty. There are houses being built in that area now that are a he'll of a lot better than what was there before, but that doesn't mean it's a shopping mall for rich white people. What pisses me off is the people who come to visit and take 'destruction tours'. What is wrong with people that they feel the need to see the area where the storm was the worst? That is something I will never understand.
The  9th ward will not be anything like what is was before, and honestly that's not a bad thing. People living there now have better houses and the levee will never be faulty again in that area. But trust me it's still not the best neighborhood and 'rich white people' are the minority in this city and none of them are moving initial that neighborhood and would not want to shop there anytime soon. Sucks but it's true.
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Talia
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« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2011, 02:54:57 PM »

Thoroughly enjoyed this one.  I'm a middle aged, upper middle class white man in New England, and this story really brought home to me what the poor souls of the ninth ward(as well as many other locations in the South) went through in 2005, and what that city is still going through today.  It will never be the same city, and it angers me that so many people are intent on keeping out the poor from the ninth ward so they can rebuild it as trendy housing and shopping for rich white people.
What is wrong with people that they feel the need to see the area where the storm was the worst? That is something I will never understand.

I'm assuming they want to have some idea of what these people went though, to get a clearer idea of the devastation than TV or first-hand accounts can provide. I don't think there's anything terribly abnormal about that. I mean I suppose some people are there for the "car crash" factor, but I expect they are the minority rather than the rule.
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Gamercow
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« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2011, 03:56:09 PM »

[lots of great info]

Thanks for clearing this up for me.  I've heard many versions of what is going on, and yours seems the most sensible.  Part of what colored my view was my experience with South Boston .

I also do not understand the destruction tours, I mean, why not take the money you spent on the tour and give it to a Katrina charity?  I guess what Talia says makes sense, that people want to understand first hand what people are going through, but I don't comprehend that mindset, personally.
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Faraway Ray
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« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2011, 10:51:19 PM »

Really fantastic tale that nailed two things I like in a story:major disasters and the casual mixing of the fantastic and the mundane. I wasn't put off by the readiness with which Tookie accepted the talking lizard. Really big storms or disasters of any kind can get pretty surreal. There comes a point where your environment lacks credibility. Your neighbor's SUV can't be buried in snow. The house down the street can't have just been torn in half by a tornado, especially when the two next door are fine. That can't really be Mr. and Mrs. Morgan paddling down the street in a canoe.

In short, this is the right environment to build a fantasy story.

Great reading by Laurice White. Characters' voices were really distinct.
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Devoted135
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« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2011, 10:54:10 AM »

Wow. I loved the reading, I thought the mixing of reality and fantasy was incredibly well done, and the characters were all believable, even as they changed over time. I also thought that the slow reveal of the haint was awesome- the first hint of it came and went so quickly I was wondering if I just misheard something, the next mention was a little more explicit and a little more ominous, etc... I think this one will stick with me for a while Smiley
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Dave
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« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2011, 07:45:29 PM »

Entertaining! The banter between Tookie and the lizard was great, and the casual surreality was surprisingly easy to accept. The ending was pretty well telegraphed, but getting there sure was a fun trip. The moment of suspicion between Tookie and the old woman whom he'd rescued was really telling- the human condition covers a wide spectrum between light and darkness. Like the story says, humans don't need magic to do evil shit. Finally, Laurice's reading really wowed me. I checked out her website, and although I generally find audio erotica trite, if any voice can make it work, it might be hers.
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« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2011, 10:10:55 AM »

This was a great story.  And, once again, Laurice White astounds!  And it's more than just the authentic accent.  Like the linked website says: "There is power and beauty in the single human voice."
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stePH
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« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2011, 05:02:20 PM »

I'm only twenty-one minutes in, but this story had me from the moment the dragon strikes up conversation with Tookie. The reader is excellent (but slow; I guess that's why this one clocks in at an-hour-and-eight.)
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Fenrix
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« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2011, 08:38:16 AM »

The reader is excellent (but slow; I guess that's why this one clocks in at an-hour-and-eight.)

The speed is regionally appropriate though. Why you such a hurry, sugar?
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2011, 08:57:06 AM »

The reader is excellent (but slow; I guess that's why this one clocks in at an-hour-and-eight.)

The speed is regionally appropriate though. Why you such a hurry, sugar?

I've just noticed that Podcastle stories tend toward the long end of the spectrum, even the ones that aren't designated "Giant". Fifty minutes to an hour is not uncommon. Pseudopods tend to be much shorter, about a half hour or less, with Escape Pod stories comfortably between.

At least, that's how it seems to my memory.
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« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2011, 11:07:59 AM »

The reader is excellent (but slow; I guess that's why this one clocks in at an-hour-and-eight.)

The speed is regionally appropriate though. Why you such a hurry, sugar?

I've just noticed that Podcastle stories tend toward the long end of the spectrum, even the ones that aren't designated "Giant". Fifty minutes to an hour is not uncommon. Pseudopods tend to be much shorter, about a half hour or less, with Escape Pod stories comfortably between.

At least, that's how it seems to my memory.

This is actually a good example of how a reader's own pace impacts the story. There's about 7,400 words in this story, so it is kind of long (although yeah, it seems we tend to prefer longer stories to shorter ones). Anyway, it's still a couple thousand plus words shorter than Giants. Those are 10,000+

Some narrators read faster than others, and they both have their uses for different types of stories. That said, I wouldn't trade Laurice's reading for anyone else's   Cheesy
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stePH
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« Reply #38 on: May 14, 2011, 07:38:04 PM »

Some narrators read faster than others, and they both have their uses for different types of stories. That said, I wouldn't trade Laurice's reading for anyone else's   Cheesy

Agreed; I was hooked almost from the first, with the voice characterizations of Tookie and the dragon.

Have I said "Cool story, bro!" yet? <skim upthread>. Nope, guess not... Cool story, bro!
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zoanon
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« Reply #39 on: May 15, 2011, 11:38:26 AM »

I was bored, maybe it was the mood I was in but I couldn't finish this boring story.
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