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Author Topic: PC173 / 607: Who in Mortal Chains  (Read 13119 times)

Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #25 on: September 16, 2011, 07:11:13 AM
I liked this story very much.
I found myself (like most other forum readers) wondering just what exactly Gus was. About halfway through the story I had decided that she was some sort of goddess of violence. Not exactly Athena (war goddess) or Artemis (huntress) but something darker, much closer to a force of nature. Electric Paladin called her a sad hurricane (I'm paraphrasing), and in my opinion that's pretty close to the truth. Probably some European goddess (they tend to have darker gods), the anthropomorphizing of violence. This would explain why she was only able to offer violence to those that offered her violence. Nothing wrong with the keg or the baby, but the idiots in the bar who offered violence, and the abusive partner who fought back got it big time.
And like a force of nature, without a suitable outlet, it rages out of control. In the absence of a lightning rod lightning will strike anywhere, in the absence of human violence Gus will destroy objects.
She kept calling it her nature, part of her, she couldn't not hit him any more than she could stop breathing. Because nothing can stop a force of nature, it can only (sometimes) be channeled. That's where the alcohol comes in. Like a river damn or a canal it serves to siphon the waters, to not exert complete control but a certain level being under control.
So to summarize, she isn't a sad, screwed up person with some kind of curse, but the physical manifestation in human form of a vast power of nature, violence.
But in retrospect, this might be because I'm in the middle of reading American Gods (and trying very hard to make it last as long as possible).  ;)

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Kaa

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Reply #26 on: September 20, 2011, 04:08:56 PM
This story so didn't work for me that although I know I listened to it because I heard the ones on either side, I have no memory of it other than the name of the main character, Gus, and that she beat someone's abusive husband. Maybe I was distracted when listening, but wow. There had to be more to it.

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DKT

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Reply #27 on: September 20, 2011, 04:13:42 PM

State Change - Rauchbier, turning a vapor(smoke) into a liquid(beer)

Hurt Me - Barleywine, a good strong one.

The Dybbuck in the Bottle - Dopplebock, simply because if you drink enough of them, "Dopplebock" becomes "Dybbuck" when you say it.

Household Spirits - Cream Ale or Saison, both "Farmhouse" styles

Something Wicked This Way Plumbs... - Imperial Porter/Stout

I'm thinking PodCastAle

 ;D

(Or, rather...my husband came up with it.  I guess he should get the credit.   :P)

((PodCastAle in an Amber form))

You all are soooooooooooooooo cool :)


brlteach

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Reply #28 on: September 21, 2011, 12:52:12 PM
Yeah. I... uh... didn't like this one much.

It seemed kind of plotless. I'm all for stories that leave lots of questions or focus more on feelings than EVENTS (tm), but I also like my stories to be a little significant. This one just seemed like yet another sad episode in the endless progression of sad episodes that are Gus's life. Gus herself has so little agency as to be almost irrelevant to the story. She makes no choices - her nature rules her completely. She could have been replaced by a sad hurricane.

And on a related note, I guess I have too much awareness of the victim/perpetrator/witness cycle to really view this story as much of a "f^ck-yeah" moment. Not only does Gus make no choices, I doubt she really achieved anything in this situation. Husband man isn't an avatar of evil, he's just a dude with a problem. Beating him up probably just made it worse.

That's where the real irrelevancy lies. Abusers aren't evil, they're just stuck acting out a part in a play that previous experiences with violence have carved into their brains. They need help to break out of it, because they would have stopped already if they could; especially abusers who clearly also love their victims as much as this guy does. Gus isn't good or evil, she's a force of nature who's incapable of making choices when it comes to handing out beatings. In a significant way, this story lacked characters.

I agree, just depressing.



kibitzer

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Reply #29 on: September 21, 2011, 12:54:30 PM
I'm thinking PodCastAle

 ;D

(Or, rather...my husband came up with it.  I guess he should get the credit.   :P)

((PodCastAle in an Amber form))

Oh -- he can get the credit. As long as WE can drink the beer. I mean ale.


Listener

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Reply #30 on: September 21, 2011, 03:15:40 PM
I would've liked to know exactly what Gus was. It was what was missing from the story, and what would've made it better for me.

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stePH

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Reply #31 on: September 26, 2011, 11:28:40 PM
I'm going to go against the grain and say I'm finding it very, very hard to listen to this one. I can't pinpoint why. Maybe it's because I'm going through this rage-against-all-hipsters phase. Wow, all her so-called friends has such *eclectic* skills! They brew their own mead and honey! Look at them being so artsy! One of them even has a forge--Oooo! I know that this is the 60s, so actually they'll qualify for hippies, not hipsters, but still...

I was unclear as to what kind of world this was; first I thought it was just a bunch of villages with no centralized government, maybe after some kind of societal collapse (like in Jeremiah for example). And I somehow thought Gus was some kind of "super soldier" from whatever war or calamity caused said collapse. Later I noticed there were motor vehicles, and radios, so I still wasn't sure.
I was only half-paying attention for the first few minutes, which is typical when I'm listening to podcast stories.

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FireTurtle

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Reply #32 on: September 28, 2011, 05:24:25 PM
I would've liked to know exactly what Gus was. It was what was missing from the story, and what would've made it better for me.

THIS. Sometimes, you just need to know. Or, there is something fundamental missing in the story that creates this feeling of a knowledge vacuum. Like LaShawn, I couldn't really "get" the other characters. Sympathy lacking here for the other folks of the story.

To fill the vacuum, I decided she is a "fallen" angel. Like Michael (not that he is fallen but if he was and, you know, a girl). Ok, fallen maybe not the right word, maybe commanded to walk the earth? *walks off muttering*

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ElectricPaladin

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Reply #33 on: September 28, 2011, 05:32:49 PM
I would've liked to know exactly what Gus was. It was what was missing from the story, and what would've made it better for me.

THIS. Sometimes, you just need to know. Or, there is something fundamental missing in the story that creates this feeling of a knowledge vacuum. Like LaShawn, I couldn't really "get" the other characters. Sympathy lacking here for the other folks of the story.

To fill the vacuum, I decided she is a "fallen" angel. Like Michael (not that he is fallen but if he was and, you know, a girl). Ok, fallen maybe not the right word, maybe commanded to walk the earth? *walks off muttering*

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mbrennan

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Reply #34 on: September 28, 2011, 10:41:31 PM
"An angel who did not so much fall as saunter vaguely downwards" -- Good Omens



Father Beast

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Reply #35 on: October 12, 2011, 11:22:32 PM
All through the story, I kept thinking, "What if Wolverine was a woman?"

everything else fall into place.

And now, going back, I can't think of Gus any other way.



Unblinking

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Reply #36 on: November 18, 2011, 10:11:45 PM
This one didn't do much for me.  It seemed a pretty typical abusive spouse story, but had the berserker added in that didn't really enhance the story.  I had trouble rooting for anyone in the story, and the protagonist kept saying that she had no choice but to follow her nature, which just sounded like an excuse no matter how many times she said it. 

What bothered me most about the story is the protagonist withholding so much about herself.  It may not be important to the events of this story for me to understand what she is, but its the act of withholding that bothers me.  The stories I like the best are those where I can immerse deeply in the point of view, where I can see the world through the character's eyes.  But how can I possibly do that when I have no understanding of what she is.  It's emphasized over and over that she is different, but that alone just distances me.  If she knows what she is, and is keeping it from me, then I am NOT immersing in her POV, the choices of the writer are pushing me away, which distances me from the POV and also makes the writer visible.  The best writers are those who succeed at being invisible in their stories, but with this withholding I could feel the author's presence and that was distancing and distracting. 

I was unclear as to what kind of world this was; first I thought it was just a bunch of villages with no centralized government, maybe after some kind of societal collapse (like in Jeremiah for example). And I somehow thought Gus was some kind of "super soldier" from whatever war or calamity caused said collapse. Later I noticed there were motor vehicles, and radios, so I still wasn't sure.
I was only half-paying attention for the first few minutes, which is typical when I'm listening to podcast stories.

I'll second that sentiment.  I had to keep readjusting my view of the time period, world, tech level.  This was quite distracting for me.

All through the story, I kept thinking, "What if Wolverine was a woman?"

everything else fall into place.

And now, going back, I can't think of Gus any other way.

OOoohhhh, I thought I would be the first one to mention Wolverine and then I got to the very last post of the thread.  The X-Men comic actually had a female Wolverine-like character called Lady Deathstrike--she appeared in X2 as well, the Asian woman who's always cracking her neck and she has a big fight scene with Wolverine.




justenjoying

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Reply #37 on: January 09, 2012, 06:10:46 AM
This was a beutiful study on human relationships, and is ultimately very sad. I love that it is a women that can't keep her temper for once, I find that there are many but they are poorly represented in fiction. That is besides the point of course. It was well forshadowed. I also love yet another take on being immortal isn't always the best thing ever. Sometimes it just means leaving alot more behind than the average person.



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Reply #38 on: September 28, 2014, 05:19:21 AM
It is interesting that we don't know how she is immortal. She could be a vampire, a fae, or a Highlander type immortal.

This is exactly what I was thinking.. Shortly after the line "Everyone my age is an asshole" the Highlander thought occurred to me; and I was seriously imagining her as someone who didn't want to play that game but was still filled so much anger and frustration that she perhaps might never find peace. This really made the story for me


Ocicat

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Reply #39 on: January 09, 2020, 05:28:21 AM
This has been rebroadcast as PodCastle 607: TALES FROM THE VAULTS — Who in Mortal Chains



Languorous Lass

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Reply #40 on: January 29, 2020, 05:17:02 AM
One of my favorite stories from PodCastle.