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Author Topic: EP303: Leech Run  (Read 18766 times)

Pooloniousmonk

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Reply #25 on: August 07, 2011, 06:56:51 PM
The story was fine, but the reading was often incomprehensible. This gentleman reads for himself, without proper consideration of his podcast listening audience. I am sure he is a nice fellow, but he needs to slow down and enunciate. What he hears in his mind's ear is not necessarily the best approach to a reading performance. I am disappointed also at the lack of oversight. A substandard reading should not be distributed.



Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #26 on: August 07, 2011, 07:51:26 PM
The story was fine, but the reading was often incomprehensible. This gentleman reads for himself, without proper consideration of his podcast listening audience. I am sure he is a nice fellow, but he needs to slow down and enunciate. What he hears in his mind's ear is not necessarily the best approach to a reading performance. I am disappointed also at the lack of oversight. A substandard reading should not be distributed.

This reading was far from substandard. It wasn't perfect, but there have been far worse readings than this.
Alasdair usually does a much better job than this, but even masters have off days.

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Lionman

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Reply #27 on: August 09, 2011, 04:51:31 PM
I like how this story came to in the end, the twist of finding out that the captain was an escaped prisoner, and how he escaped.  I also was pleased to see that the captain was more interested in helping a fellow level 4 learn her lesson, and hopefully become 'better' for it.

While the captain is running an illegal business, he's running the business nonetheless.  I suppose it depends on how big a difference you see between extortion and theft.  He's offering a service, one that isn't easy to come by, so his prices are high.  But, that's what the market will bring, isn't it?

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Devoted135

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Reply #28 on: August 09, 2011, 06:07:28 PM
I really liked this story, and didn't find anything strange about how he was so slow to realize that leeches were going unaccounted for because they were class 4's. After all, he said that we had never met another one in his life so there was no reason to suspect that today would be the day he met not one but two more! I will say that a bit more exposition up front about the classification system, etc would have helped me out - I'm still a bit fuzzy on if the other "leeches" were normals or a lower class level - but my confusion didn't detract too much from being able to enjoy the story.



Scattercat

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Reply #29 on: August 10, 2011, 08:20:33 AM
The story was fine, but the reading was often incomprehensible. This gentleman reads for himself, without proper consideration of his podcast listening audience. I am sure he is a nice fellow, but he needs to slow down and enunciate. What he hears in his mind's ear is not necessarily the best approach to a reading performance. I am disappointed also at the lack of oversight. A substandard reading should not be distributed.

This reading was far from substandard. It wasn't perfect, but there have been far worse readings than this.
Alasdair usually does a much better job than this, but even masters have off days.

We can disregard the obvious troll account, I think.  For whatever reason, there is this small but dedicated band of people who create new accounts and rag on Alasdair's readings whenever he steps out of Pseudopod's waters.  I blame Enron.

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eytanz

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Reply #30 on: August 10, 2011, 09:01:54 AM
We can disregard the obvious troll account, I think.  For whatever reason, there is this small but dedicated band of people who create new accounts and rag on Alasdair's readings whenever he steps out of Pseudopod's waters.  I blame Enron.

Though I certainly agree about the facts of the particular posting, i.e., that the poster in question has only one post and used it to post a rather ungracious and unconstructive criticism of Alasdair's narration, I would like to remind everyone that when that happens, it's best if people respond to the content of his comments (as Max e^{i pi} did) and not make personal allegations about the posters.

Specifically, creating sock puppet accounts is frowned upon here and could lead to the banning of the offending party. If it is suspected that some person or persons are creating new accounts for any reason, please alert a moderator (such as myself). If a new poster has made a rude or otherwise potentially problematic post and no action has been taken, it is safe to assume that the situation was investigated and no evidence pointing to deliberate trolling has been found.



Alasdair5000

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Reply #31 on: August 10, 2011, 10:21:08 AM
Not going to jump into the actual reading discussion because, well, it's done (YOU LISTENED TO IT! YOU CAN'T UN LISTEN TO IT!), that's actually the most polite, formal criticism I've ever had:)



Unblinking

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Reply #32 on: August 10, 2011, 01:11:32 PM
to chime in on the reading of the story:  It sounded good to me.  I thought the pacing was fine.  I didn't have any trouble following whatsoever.



Devoted135

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Reply #33 on: August 10, 2011, 01:54:06 PM
I forgot to mention that I actually really enjoyed Alasdair's reading, especially all the lovely voices. It's quite possibly my favorite reading of his that I've heard (not being a pseudopod listener, this is a somewhat limited list).



Thomas

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Reply #34 on: August 10, 2011, 03:27:32 PM
Did I mention that Alasdair is my hero??

Enjoy and be nice to each other, because "WE" is all we got.


Wilson Fowlie

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Reply #35 on: August 10, 2011, 08:21:19 PM
On the story:

I enjoyed it. The idea was, if not entirely new to me, at least not something I've encountered super often. When Titan admitted that he was a Level 4, I felt that I should have predicted it (as, it turned out, others did), given his escape from the prison planet and his knowledge of fours' existence. The fact that I didn't is simply testament to the fact that I don't generally engage with stories much when I'm reading/listening, but simply let them pull me along.

While that may be facile, I'm pretty sure I enjoy more stories than people who can't help but analyze them to within an inch of their lives. Like Scattercat, say. ;D

On the reading:

Troll or not, I can see where Pooloniousmonk is coming from (and El Barto, too, who is obviously not a troll). In my case, the narration gave me some difficulty in getting into this story. I have an MP3 player that allows me to change the track tempo by small increments; usually when listening to stories, I pump the speed a notch or two, to get in more story in the time I have for listening.

In this case, I had to listen at regular speed and even considered dropping the speed down a notch. There were even a few places where I had to rewind a bit and re-listen ("Oh, that's what he said."), though mostly at the beginning, so hopefully my ear attuned to his rhythm, tempo and, yes, accent somewhat.

So, I think that Alasdair could have gone just a touch more slowly (not too much, though; I'm generally more frustrated by readers that go too slow than too fast).

All that said, I enjoyed all the other aspects of the reading immensely; the vocal characterization and character differentiation were excellent. I love that different British accents can convey a sense of social class/education/breeding without coming off as being cartoonish. There are North American accents that can convey similar information, but they tend to evoke eye-rolls rather than simple recognition.

Also, I'd like to note that Al has gotten a new recording setup sometime in the past few months and that technically, the sound was less distorted than I've heard in the past as well.

And as Al himself said: the recording is done, and can't be unlistened. The difficulty I encountered was minor enough that it's nowhere near worth re-doing this story and I wouldn't expect it, but the concerns raised here may be something Al could keep in mind for the future. As a narrator myself, I always appreciate when people bring such concerns to my attention (preferably in a respectful way).

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Alasdair5000

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Reply #36 on: August 10, 2011, 09:48:56 PM
Okay THAT is the most polite, courteous criticism I've received today:)

I loved doing the voices for this. LOVED it. It's always interesting for me to find the way a character speaks and, as a big guy, myself, it felt very easy to slip into Titan's very deep, very precise voice. Big, in most people's eyes, means dumb and those people are usually the ones who wake up somewhere hot after a hijacking goes very wrong...I loved Titan's precision, his deliberation, his ruthlessness. He doesn't stop. He doesn't back down. He wins.

Hemingway, I have a bit of a confession to make about. I originally heard him as a very sort of Terry Thomas figure ('I say!' very much a sort of upper class bounder) but the accent, halfway between Germany and the Middle East, I went with I think works better. I rather liked Hemingway.

Reif? Reif's a combination of Baldrick and Vila from Blake's 7 for me. Possibly my favorite character:)

As for the speed? Yeah, next time it'll be slower, promise. And thank you for the people who liked it and to Scott for putting together such a great story:)



Scott W Baker

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Reply #37 on: August 10, 2011, 10:31:08 PM
I enjoyed Alasdair's reading, particularly the character voices.  And like Alasdair, Reif was my favorite.  A lot of fun to write.  All the characters were great.  I hadn't envisioned an accent for Hemingway, but I loved it. 

Was it a little fast?  Maybe.  If that's the worst complaint, I call that a win.  This was the first time one of my stories has gotten an audio performance and I couldn't be happier with it.  Alasdair, you added a whole new dimension to the story.  Thanks a million.

This was a fun one to write.  I'm glad to hear people enjoyed it.

-SWB

Scott W. Baker
EP #303: Leech Run
EP #359: Chasers


Scattercat

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Reply #38 on: August 11, 2011, 01:49:40 AM
While that may be facile, I'm pretty sure I enjoy more stories than people who can't help but analyze them to within an inch of their lives. Like Scattercat, say. ;D
We take our enjoyment where we find it.  I like nitpicking and analysis.  :-P

Quote
So, I think that Alasdair could have gone just a touch more slowly (not too much, though; I'm generally more frustrated by readers that go too slow than too fast).
I've run into similar issues listening to other UK/Australian English presenters.  The rapid-fire patter of dialogue, in particular.  Perhaps it's just an accent/regionalism thing?  It might just be that I run into dozens of accents every day (I work as a night-shift phone monkey for a compliance hotline, so I get Australia, China, Indonesia, etc.), but I'm willing to give a lot of leeway to differing speech patterns.  I'd only speak up if it was clearly a technical fault, myself.  That said, bearing in mind the difficulties of communicating across accents within one language and paying more attention to relative speed and elocution can only improve a performance, so far be it from me to say one shouldn't try to do better.  I just didn't see any need for criticism in this case; I listened to it from across the room while doing dishes and had no particular trouble.

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sykoticwit

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Reply #39 on: August 11, 2011, 04:32:11 AM
This was a great story, simple, to the point and most importantly, fun. I love space opera-type stories and space pirates, and the addition of the special abilities was a great twist. More like this please!

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Wilson Fowlie

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Reply #40 on: August 11, 2011, 11:23:23 PM
While that may be facile, I'm pretty sure I enjoy more stories than people who can't help but analyze them to within an inch of their lives. Like Scattercat, say. ;D
We take our enjoyment where we find it.  I like nitpicking and analysis.  :-P

And I promise: I am genuinely glad for you, for that. (I don't know how to say that without sounding sarcastic, but I don't mean to be.) If the bit about analyzing came across as anything more than a gentle tease, I apologize.

I just didn't see any need for criticism in this case; I listened to it from across the room while doing dishes and had no particular trouble.

Excellent. And as a result, you didn't criticize or complain about it. That's how it should work.

However, since your experience can't be universal to the rest of us, those of us who had more trouble should be able to express that. Pooloniousmonk was probably harsher than he needed to be*, though Al clearly didn't think so, but I don't think the content of his (Pooloniousmonk's) comments should be dismissed just because not everyone else had the same experience. It was a valid - if not especially respectfully expressed - opinion.



*Especially the last bit about oversight, which I didn't think was necessary - the EP folks have repeatedly shown themselves to be willing to replace bad recordings.

"People commonly use the word 'procrastination' to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working." - Paul Graham


Thomas

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Reply #41 on: August 12, 2011, 03:13:29 AM
I'm a south Texas boy and wifey says you could drive a semi through my pauses. I generally talk slow with too many pauses (and too long), except when I talk MATH, but my ears do not suffer from that affliction. Al's pacing was fine. From what I can tell and from past experience, Al's accent may have been more the issue than the speed of the read. If i had read the story, then speed would have been an issue (did he just die? oh there he is....).

I love Al's work on Pseudopod and always enjoy hearing him crossing over to the other two Escape Artists shows.

Enjoy and be nice to each other, because "WE" is all we got.


sanishdonut

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Reply #42 on: August 13, 2011, 02:22:49 PM
I love the voices, especially Hemingway's, and the one thing that makes this story is that it doesn't turn into a love story. I loved the fact that the captain doesn't fall for the pirate babe.



Pooloniousmonk

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Reply #43 on: August 14, 2011, 09:57:42 PM
I have read all the posts and have learned a few things.  Apparently, the reader is a popular fellow.  That’s great, but he still reads too fast and he mumbles.  Second, there seems to be a phenomenon known as a “troll account.”  As a practical matter it should be defined as a “first posting that contains criticism of a popular individual.”   Third, I see that there have been many complaints about these readings, to no avail.   That suggests a lack of oversight. 

My posting clearly stated that the criticism was not ad hominem. I would probably enjoy the gentleman’s company.  And, it was not disrespectful, rather, it was an opinion that is unpopular.  Given the incestuousness of this bunch, which I did not realize when I posted, I am not surprised it was not well taken by many.  Nevertheless, the characterization of my words by the narrator of this forum, who should know better, as “ungracious and unconstructive” was disappointing.  Though quite simple and rather obvious, my advice to slow down and enunciate was on point. 

Accordingly, this post will be my last and my experiment in participating in this forum has ended.  I will read no more.   Thank you.



eytanz

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Reply #44 on: August 15, 2011, 04:38:19 AM
Moderator note:

I'm genuinely sorry that Pooloniousmonk ended up feeling unwelcome, but there's nothing I can do about that now since he states he will no longer read these forums. I think that if he chose to stay and engage with us, rather than let us know what he thinks of us and move on, he would have discovered that maybe first impressions are not set in stone, in both directions. If he has a change of heart about leaving the forums, I invite him to PM me and let me know.

But, as far as this thread goes, I think we have covered the topic of his criticism of Alasdair and Scattercat (and my) criticism of his criticism to a sufficient degree. So please, no responses here on the topic. If anyone wants to discuss this, PM me. Otherwise, let's focus on the story itself (including the narration - but only discussing the narration itself, not past responses to the narration, please).



Aridawn

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Reply #45 on: August 16, 2011, 03:10:18 AM
I LOVED this story. This just barely beat out "Amaryllis" as my all-time favorite Escape Pod episode (not just because Al's voice is just so damn amazing). "Leech Run" just had such a fine combination of character, story, and sci-fi. My fiance and I were discussing another story which we thought just bogged us down with the description of the world and the rest of the story and characters just got swept away.

But "Leech Run" gives such a vivid picture of who these people are, what sort of "world" they live, and what challenges they face without taking away from any leg of the tripod.

I thought Al sounded a lot like Johnny Depp's Sweeney Todd when he spoke for Titan.



InfiniteMonkey

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Reply #46 on: August 16, 2011, 04:13:01 PM

Reif? Reif's a combination of Baldrick and Vila from Blake's 7 for me. Possibly my favorite character:)



I thought I heard Baldrick!



Gamercow

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Reply #47 on: August 16, 2011, 08:06:11 PM
Reif? Reif's a combination of Baldrick and Vila from Blake's 7 for me. Possibly my favorite character:)

I don't know Vila from Blake's 7, but I was wondering when Reif was going to come up with a cunning plan, so you nailed that voice. 

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rotheche

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Reply #48 on: August 16, 2011, 09:39:18 PM
Great fun story - though the impracticality of using your hair to disguise a facial feature did bug me a bit.  It just doesn't work, not without half a can of Konkrete-Lok (TM) hairspray.

And Vila was always my favourite character: I had him a bit in mind listening to Reif's lines :)

On the reading: yep, a little fast in places.  Great characterisation, but I did lose some lines in there, or get confused on who was speaking.  It's not the accents; there were just places where it flew past too fast for me to catch.



Unblinking

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Reply #49 on: August 18, 2011, 02:14:58 PM
Great fun story - though the impracticality of using your hair to disguise a facial feature did bug me a bit.  It just doesn't work, not without half a can of Konkrete-Lok (TM) hairspray.

Why wouldn't that work?  And who says he doesn't use hairspray?  Depending on how exactly the tattoo was set on his face, something like this might do the trick:


« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 02:23:45 PM by Unblinking »