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Author Topic: Pseduopod 246: The Eater  (Read 2966 times)
Bdoomed
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« on: September 10, 2011, 04:54:33 PM »

Pseduopod 246: The Eater

By Michael J. DeLuca
Click his name to enter his mossy skull, and also float on over to Weightless Books while you’re at it!

Read by Laurice White, a real Pseudopod hero who went above and beyond!  Check her out at It’s Tha Voice!.

I’ve seen the Eater crawling back to his hut from the darkness, contorting and shuddering. We owe him for that. I’ve heard the madness that boils on the Eater’s tongue when he drinks of the froth from the bone-rattle tree. He is the only one who dares to taste it. I’ve seen him walk across the village as though he’s forgotten in which direction lies the earth and which the sky. He goes into the woods alone. After a time, his body has always returned. But he–the Eater I know or think I know, the laughing Eater with his clever tricks and dances–he stays away for even longer, unable to speak or unwilling, somewhere we can never go or see.

Never, that is, unless one of us follows him.




Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 03:58:14 PM by Bdoomed » Logged

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Fenrix
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 12:36:00 AM »

This was a really creepy read. Looking forward to hearing this one.
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
kibitzer
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 02:00:07 AM »

I am the first to post; I Am The King Under The Mountain.

This was a really creepy read. Looking forward to hearing this one.

Fixed that for you :-)
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Fenrix
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2011, 04:54:17 PM »

Wow. This was a good story, but the reading really elevated it. Even after just hearing two stories read by her, Laurice is quite possibly my second favorite EA reader after Ian Stewart. If y'all haven't checked out Podcastle's Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Beneath the Still Waters go and download it and push it to the top of your "to listen" list.

This is a good story to be King.
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2011, 08:00:46 PM »

Please check out the link for Laurice that I retroactively added to the story page yesterday!
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2011, 08:48:41 AM »

Quite enjoyable, though the pace lagged a bit at times.  I guess I don't have much else to say on this one.  (shocking, I know)
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birdless
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2011, 07:19:09 PM »

Despite excellent reading, I just couldn't get drawn into this one. I'm still not sure what happened. The tense was confusing for me, for some reason. I may have to give it another listen.
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2011, 07:50:00 PM »

I approve.
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kibitzer
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2011, 09:02:54 PM »

Huge props to Laurice for such a great narration! Especially for a long story where it can be difficult to maintain tone and pace. Really good.
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slag
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« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2011, 04:06:19 PM »

Love the reading here, but I couldn't really get into the story.  Kept going back and forth between trying to
figure out what was supposed to be scary and what it was I was supposed to learn.  But I'll give it a
second listen, the accent was fantastic.
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2011, 09:21:17 AM »

I almost feel like I shouldn't comment sometimes because the condition I'm in has a lot of bearing on how I feel about the story. Sometimes I'm super-concentrated, sometimes I'm a bit tired and I think I dozed a bit during this one (perhaps partly due to the dreamy narration).

I guess I found it a bit long. I suffered a bit from not getting any visual description of the shufflers or the eater. But all up, that didn't really bother me. Some stories just leave a hazy feel at the end and I'm okay with that. I did get a Caribbean flavour due to the accent in the narration.
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2011, 11:11:01 AM »

Listened to this one yesterday; good reading but I have absolutely no recollection of the story. I found it hard to pay attention.
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« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2011, 01:23:21 PM »

I hate to be the lone voice of dissent, but I found the narration quite distracting. From the story I would think that it was set in Africa, but most of the time she sounded more Jamaican, which is just something that I find pretty annoying. I would have ignored it and got into the story if it had been a bit more gripping but I also found the story itself hard to get my teeth into.
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Kaa
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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2011, 10:47:45 AM »

Going by my reaction to both this story and The Things over on Escape Pod, I think long, rambling stories of this type that seem to take forever to get to the point are not my bag.

In spite of Laurice's reading, I found my mind wandering off on tangents and then having to rewind because I missed five minutes...and then when I would rewind, my mind wandered off again.

Just couldn't get into it. I found myself trying to figure out what accent Laurice was using instead of listening to the words.
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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2011, 08:36:39 AM »

Yeah... too long... and not that interesting. Swing and a miss for me.
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brlteach
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« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2011, 02:56:45 PM »

Ditto to what Birdless stated.  Excellent reading, but still clueless.  I got the intent (question what makes us human), but it was confusing.  Still know not the roles/purposes of the eater or the speaker.  Still don't really know what happened.  I felt a bit cheated -I did my part of listening to the rambling but wasn't rewarded with a story.  But the reading was great.

But, hey... I love the variety and the excellent opportunity to listen to new and distinct works.

BTW, not sure I'd categorize this as horror.

Despite excellent reading, I just couldn't get drawn into this one. I'm still not sure what happened. The tense was confusing for me, for some reason. I may have to give it another listen.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2011, 03:28:35 PM »

BTW, not sure I'd categorize this as horror.

Nice to see another new face around here. Sit a spell and don't worry about necromancing old threads. Necromancy's cool around here. The more you hang around these forums, the more you'll see the discussion recur regarding strict genre definitions. There's definately some cross appeal between the three EA podcasts. There's also a willingness to stretch past the boundaries of genre and accept good speculative fiction stories.

I think this is defensibly horror, not just because of the reaver attack and cannibalism, but also because of the protagonist's loss of innocence and lack of a happy ending resulting from that growth.
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« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2011, 04:56:49 AM »

I dug this story, but the ending was... well, I was disappointed that it seemed like the narrator had failed to learn whatever lesson the Eater was trying to teach her. She begged to be taught, and then failed her final exam. Who knows what the future of the People of the Word will be, with a radical upstart Speaker to guide them and no Eater to teach them? A very interesting commentary on how language and culture interact.

Reminds me of a game called Primitive, by Kevin Allen Jr, in which the players are all members of a pre-language tribe of ancient humans. They must overcome obstacles and survive prehistoric dangers by cooperating through gestures and drawings. It's definitely a spin on standard role-playing-game fare, and fun.
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« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2011, 02:17:25 PM »

I hate to be the lone voice of dissent, but I found the narration quite distracting.

Partly because I agree, and partly because nobody should be lonely here, I'll second that.  Of course, I'm the crank that prefers to hear a story simply read instead of dramatized (can't hold back the years, I guess), so I'm overly accent and inflection sensitive, and am thereby obligated to hand out this nice grain of salt with every comment.  (You'll have to just imagine the salt.)

The other problem I had, and seem to be having more and more lately, is that there are times when the narrator (especially when they've really committed to the story) sort of trails off into a whisper, and I lose the words into the ambient noise.  This is my own fault, I guess, for listening during my commute instead of at home in the quiet dark, but it gets pretty frustrating, because the stories are so strong that I don't want to miss anything.

All in all, though, those are more nits to be picked than any real critique -- her voice is wonderful.
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Rhio2k
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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2011, 12:40:19 PM »

I did get a Caribbean flavour due to the accent in the narration.

I'm almost certain the story took place in Africa.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2011, 07:53:48 AM »

I did get a Caribbean flavour due to the accent in the narration.

I'm almost certain the story took place in Africa.

I don't think it happened anywhere specific. They didn't have a word for the place outside where they lived yet.
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
deflective
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« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2011, 07:48:35 PM »

i greatly enjoyed how ambitious this story was.  telling a story set at the birth of language, probing the limits of language itself.

sometimes it was hard to follow but the subject itself is hard to follow at the best of times.  i applaud the effort.
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justenjoying
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« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2012, 11:09:47 PM »

I love a story about the inadequecy of words. Couple that with a modern soceity evelution story and I'm hooked.
I loved the description, the bigger themes and the horror of "that could have been us, at one time". Besides I can't say the
title without the accent by the narrator, thats how much this story haunts me.
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