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Author Topic: PC200: In the Stacks  (Read 16350 times)
Talia
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« on: March 13, 2012, 07:12:07 AM »

PodCastle 200: In The Stacks

by Scott Lynch

Read by…well, A LOT of cool people! How about a full cast list?

Norm Sherman as the Narrator
Peter Wood as Lazlo
Dave Thompson as Casimir
Wilson Fowlie as Master Molnar
M.K. Hobson as Astriza
Graeme Dunlop as Lev Bronzeclaw
Anna Schwind as Yvette
Ann Leckie, Alasdair Stuart, Talia, Ocicat, and Marshal Latham as the Librarians, Indexers, and Vocubavores
and Rachel Swirsky as the Head Vocabuvore


Originally Published in Swords and Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery

On the clock outside the gate to the Manticore Wing of the library, the little blue flame was just floating past the symbol for high noon when Laszlo and Casimir skidded to a halt before a single tall figure.

“I see you two aspirants have chosen to favor us with a dramatic last-minute arrival,” said the man. “I was not aware this was to be a drama exam.”

“Yes, Master Molnar. Apologies, Master Molnar,” said Laszlo and Casimir in unison.

Hargus Molnar, Master Librarian, had a face that would have been at home in a gallery of military statues, among dead conquerors casting their permanent scowls down across the centuries. Lean and sinewy, with close-cropped gray hair and a dozen visible scars, he wore a use-seasoned suit of black leather and silvery mail. Etched on his cuirass was a stylized scroll, symbol of the Living Library, surmounted by the phrase Auvidestes, Gerani, Molokare. The words were Alaurin, the formal language of scholars, and they formed the motto of the Librarians:

RETRIEVE. RETURN. SURVIVE.

Rated R: Contains violence, some language, and the coolest, most dangerous library ever!

Thank you, listeners, for an amazing two hundred episodes!

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
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Fenrix
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012, 08:30:36 AM »

Congrats on 200! The full cast list sounds fantastic. Looking forward to listening to this one.
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2012, 01:18:14 AM »

I'm going to start by giving the good stuff first then go into the less good stuff.
Congratulations on turning 200 twice.I enjoyed the story it reminded me of my days working in a Sci-fi bookstore.The re-shelving of books has its own trials and tribulations,this is a pretty extreme version,but there are days that were close.Startling the store cat hiding in the shelving cart as your setting the books in it,and having it scare the crap out of you.The teetering piles of books stacked in odd places by customers,waiting for you to trip over them.The overly smelly homeless man wandering the stacks and mumbling about how "they" are coming for him.The tornado reminded me of the children that would come in and rearrange half the store in their loud and special way.I loved the vocabuvores they were a great idea and well thought out as a briefly described species.It was over all a very good quality piece of writing.
  
I was disappointed to find it was a full cast reading,I just personally prefer a single reader for my stories.The wildly varying audio quality from character to character was the major distraction in this for me.I know that Peter did what he could to clean up the really bad variances but there were a few spots that were just rough.Thanks Peter for doing what you could with so many different kinds of audio input.The end was pretty obvious way to early on,but I didn't let it ruin the story and hoped for a different ending.

TLDR version I enjoyed the story but the full cast reading was not my cup of tea.
 
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2012, 10:26:16 AM »

Hunh. See, I thought the exact opposite: I loved the presentation, with the multiple voices and such. But I found the story to be a little lackluster. It was an interesting universe - I loved the concept of a library full of magical books somehow attaining a mad kind of sentience - but otherwise it was just a very typical fantasy adventure. Everyman hero! Spitfire female companion! Charming rogue with his own agenda! Token non-human muscle! Let's go crawl this dungeon! Sure, the dungeon itself was interesting - vocabuvores, what a neat idea! - but in the end they were just crawling it.
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2012, 11:14:13 AM »

Great story, I usually like Scott Lynch and this was no exception. Also I work in a library and it is exactly like that.

I usually would rather read (in text form) than listen to a story but I liked the full cast presentation for this one. Great voices and effects, worked really well with the story.
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2012, 11:59:00 AM »

I really liked the story, but like 4bidden would have preferred a single reader, even when the audio quality is at its best, multiple readers just feels a bit like a gimmick to me. But it is only a minor complaint since tthe story was so good.
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2012, 01:40:52 PM »

I loved the concept of a library full of magical books somehow attaining a mad kind of sentience
I also loved that part of the story.I wish my home library was even half as dungeony and interesting.

but otherwise it was just a very typical fantasy adventure. Everyman hero! Spitfire female companion! Charming rogue with his own agenda! Token non-human muscle! Let's go crawl this dungeon! Sure, the dungeon itself was interesting - vocabuvores, what a neat idea! - but in the end they were just crawling it.
You are totally right that it was an almost cookie cutter dungeon crawl story.As an old D&D player I can't help but love a cool idea for a dungeon and some hero's to take it on.

« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 09:35:59 PM by 4bidden » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2012, 10:31:38 PM »

This story was really fun.  There's nothing wrong with a dungeon crawl now and then, and this one was so much more.  Even though I read some lines for the vocabuvores, I didn't read the whole story when I did so.  I wanted to save it for when the episode aired.  I'm glad I did.  It was a fun romp!

Full cast? Yeah, I'm a fan.  It's not for everything, but...
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2012, 12:07:09 AM »

I did read the story when I was preparing to perform Master Molnar, but it was a long time ago and I forgot a lot of details that I was pleased to hear for the 'first' time this week.

Well done, Peter, Dave and Anna, both for this episode - especially Peter, because I do understand how much work that was! - and for getting to this episode. Here's to the next 800! Smiley

Wilson

(edited to remove a parenthetical comment that should have been in a different thread altogether :sigh:)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 11:22:59 AM by Wilson Fowlie » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2012, 07:11:58 AM »

I would gladly read a dozen novels set in this universe.

That can be done, right?
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 08:27:46 AM »

I wouldn't mind seeing more stories set in this universe either.

So...was Rachel Swirsky's voice altered for this production? Or is that just how she sounds when she's knocking heads together in the editors' room?
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 09:24:19 AM »

LOVED this story! I tend to like full-cast productions and thought that this story lent itself particularly well to it. Plus, it was super fun to hear voice after voice and go "that's Wilson Fowlie!... that's Graeme Dunlop!... etc" Gotta be honest though, I never would have guessed that was Rachel Swirsky. Cheesy Congrats to all of you for making it to 200!


True, it was a fairly standard dungeon crawl, but it was done so well and often with tongue planted firmly in cheek! I especially loved the vocabuvores, but the bookstorm of the dying grimoir was also a cool idea. Plus, it was pretty hilarious to hear all the random words Lazlo came up with on the fly, both archaic and mundane. For me, this was warm fuzzies all around. Smiley


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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2012, 06:03:03 AM »

loved it.  loved everything about it.  It was fun, it was epic, it was...well, it was fantastic!  Like Devoted135, i had a great time identifying the narrators! 

Thank you PodCastle for 200(+) episodes of wonder!

May we have some more please?
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2012, 09:37:03 AM »

I liked the story. It was good without taking itself too seriously.

I enjoy both single reader and full cast audio. I think this was a good choice of story to do full cast, and the casting and voice effects worked well.

My one issue is in the early part of the recording, we have long paragraphs of narration split by sudden short choppy comments by the characters. I don't know if there is a way to have edited that section to be less abrupt (possibly a slight pause between voices so it doesn't sound like the characters are interrupting the narrator). Once we arrive at the library I didn't have any issues.
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2012, 02:29:17 PM »

I loved this story and the full-cast production of it. It had just the right amount of humor, I thought, along with the usual swords-and-sorcery adventure, a compelling setting, and great magical fauna. Additionally, it hinted at a fantastic world lurking around the corner that I, for one, want to read more about. I want more in this world, and I want it now.

But we can't have it now. Alas. So I suggest to those like me who enjoyed it that you check out Blake Charlton's books Spellwright and Spellbound. They're set in a superficially similar universe. It'll tide you over until Mr. Lynch is able to crank out a few more stories and/or novels set in this one.

[Disclaimer: I am not now nor have I ever been affiliated with Blake Charlton. I was just struck by the similarity and decided to suggest them to the rest of you. Smiley]
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« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2012, 09:05:06 PM »

Am I the only one who listened to this and thought "Unseen University Library" and L-space?  There's nothing wrong with riffing on the theme of sentient books, I guess.  At least there wasn't an orangutan there too.

The whole the whole book-returning quest was supposed to be a final exam for the students.  But the librarians were doing the lion's share of the work.  The students were just along as muscle.  Maybe in that universe that's considered a legitimate use of undergrads.   Wink

Add me to the list of folks that didn't like the full-cast recording.  There was really a lot of non-character narration.  I probably wouldn't have noticed this if there had been a single reader, but Norm Sherman's voice is distinctive, and I noticed it every time he spoke.
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2012, 01:49:17 AM »

One of the best stories I've listened to on Podcastle (and that's saying a lot), and I love that they chose to do it as a fullcast production; that said, there were times when the lines or narration seemed to abruptly interrupt each other, which was a tad jarring.  Also it could have used maybe some background sounds or music.
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2012, 12:47:00 PM »

The whole the whole book-returning quest was supposed to be a final exam for the students.  But the librarians were doing the lion's share of the work.  The students were just along as muscle.  Maybe in that universe that's considered a legitimate use of undergrads.   Wink

Oh like English professors in the real world wouldn't do this if they could...

 Tongue
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2012, 05:51:35 PM »

Fantastic, I loved the universe and it was wonderful to hear so many voices I recognize though sadly wouldn't be able to put names too, I'm really bad with names, I'm lucky I remember my own..

Anyway I'm probably the only one who after listening spent time considering that this trap actually invites people into it by not telling others what happened. The sheer fact that they keep why certain people die in this test a secret ensures that young minds will assume they were the first to think of it, that is at the very least questionably moral..

Not a complaint as much as an amused comment, the world around the library seems quite fascinating as well but feels like a world invented with love and care, but only because we needed somewhere to hide a magic library, nevertheless I want to know so much more about it!

The dungeon crawl feel didn't hurt my enjoyment in the least, having played a few dungeons crawls in D&D in my day I have fond memories of the vaguely connected storyline that set it up and then amusing things that happen when people don't take themselves too seriously. Such as a discussion on whether or not it was right to steal the giant sentient piano as loot..
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2012, 07:16:43 PM »

Oook?

Fun story, and it was great to hear a rich set of characters with a wide range of voices.
I could have done with a bit less infodump at the beginning, and I do think action/combat sequences are one of the few areas where film and TV has the advantage over books (and podcasts), but despite that it belted along to a nice and satisfying conclusion.

And feeding the vocabulovore sounds like a great drinking game.

Hey, who turned out the lights?
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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2012, 08:45:28 AM »

Through a convoluted chain of events, I just stumbled onto Podcastle and this was my first episode. I thought the full cast recording was great and wasn't too distracted by the audio variances during the very engaging story. My main complaint was the distortion on the female co-host's bits at the beginning and end of the story.
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2012, 02:34:51 PM »

Loved this story!  and having it read by an ensemble was a nice change and a great way to celebrate your 200th.  and yes, it was a "typical" dungeon crawl, but since when is that not fun?

and since i just realized that i hadn't done my yearly donation yet, i just did that to add to the celebration.

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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2012, 07:42:27 PM »

You could really tell that everyone involved was having a blast.  I thought it was a great choice for PodCastle's 200th.  Congratulations!  And welcome, WinBear, you've stumbled on a great podcast.
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« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2012, 09:36:02 AM »

I really enjoyed this one!  It seems like so much of recent fantasy, especially that which gets nominated for stuff, takes itself so seriously and avoids humor and fun.  Maybe I've just been grabbing the wrong fiction lately, but that's the way it feels to me.  So I loved to see this fun and humorous action-packed story.  Was it a dungeon-crawl?  Sure, but it was an interesting dungeon, not just a LotR clone.  Good stuff.

I definitely did think the whole idea was very similar to Pratchett's L-Space, but at the same time I don't believe I've ever read a Discworld story where L-Space was the primary setting or where the library itself is a major antagonist.  So I didn't see it as covering too-familiar ground, but rather exploring some aspects of a cool idea that Pratchett hadn't ever focused on (at least not in the books that I've read).

The Library also reminded me in many ways of the Labyrinth in Weis and Hickman's Death Gate Cycle, although this was built as a book repository rather than a prison it behaved rather similarly. 

And I really enjoyed the full-cast recording.  I know those are a hell of a lot of work to put together properly, and especially when you're committed to such a regular production cycle, that can be hard to do.  One of the reasons I really like the Dunesteef podcast is because of their full cast recordings.  So it was great to see this one.  Great story to choose for it too with enough fun characters to spread the love.  Each time a new voice popped up, I got excited all over again--Wilson Fowlie and MK Hobson as the experienced librarians, and of course DKT would be the student who goes to the dark side.

The resolution with the vocabuvores was a good idea, one that I hadn't seen coming.  Once he got started feeding it I was wondering if he would overfeed and cause it to bloat up like an engorged tick and make it pop from all the sudden ingestion.  Good stuff!

Anyway I'm probably the only one who after listening spent time considering that this trap actually invites people into it by not telling others what happened. The sheer fact that they keep why certain people die in this test a secret ensures that young minds will assume they were the first to think of it, that is at the very least questionably moral..

I think that was precisely the idea, and if that trap works, they've done a service for all of society!  If they are teaching students who are very high on ambition and skill and very low on scruples, it is for the safety of the whole society to find these people at some point.  In other worlds, people who have turned to the dark side (like Anakin Skywalker or Tom Riddle) have more opportunity to blend into the society as adults and alter things until they have an opportunity to seize real power.  This society is self-aware enough to realize that these sorts of people will inevitably come through the system, and it has a method to catch them before taking over the world. 
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« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2012, 04:51:55 PM »

Love the story, loved the full cast recording.
The episode was long enough, I won't bore you with more text.
The Library also reminded me in many ways of the Labyrinth in Weis and Hickman's Death Gate Cycle, although this was built as a book repository rather than a prison it behaved rather similarly.  
I hadn't thought of that, but now that you mention it, YES!
I think the term is "low level malevolence".

Also, I would very much like to see the Librarian knuckling around in there.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2012, 08:35:35 AM by Max e^{i pi} » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2012, 10:42:57 PM »

Hail, hail, the gang's all here!!! GREAT full cast reading. And I could *almost* identify everyone on hearing them.

Ironically enough I was listening to this while returning books to a library. Though not one quite so ... interesting.

Always like Scott Lynch (ok, that's pretty much only on the impression of "Lies of Locke Lamora", but that's a great impression) and I'm glad he didn't fall into the trap of Librarian stereotypes. I also liked entering the library was made to sound like entering a modern prison. Which is really what it was in a way.
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« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2012, 11:13:43 AM »

"Tonight we will get drunk! In the human fashion!"

Damn, but I want that on a t-shirt.

This story had everything that makes ElectricPaladins happy: magic that is mysterious and magical and dangerous even though some of the characters have some facility with it, badass librarians, lizardmen, fantasy driven by the characters and their foibles and relationships, stirring confrontations in interesting environments, and compellingly weird and frightening antagonists that don't rely on tired fantasy tropes. Basically, this story was very nearly perfect in every way.

There was one its bitsy teeny weenie purple polka dotted nit-pick (that he wrote on the forums that day): I am getting heartily sick of the "character at a university of magic who can't do magic worth shit." I was only mildly amused by it the first time I saw it, and my amusement drained away precipitously thereafter. Nobody struggles through medical school in order to become, at best, a hilariously incompetent doctor. The very idea of a "hilariously incompetent doctor" is actually kind of horrifying. Why do we assume that magicians are any different? If you aren't any good at something - if you lack the brains, guts, dedication, or talent - why in the name of the Mother of Lizards would you continue to beat your head against it? Why would the teachers, mentors, and administrators of a place of learning allow a person to do that? Or if a character were to actually continue in such a situation, wouldn't that be a choice worthy of emotionally real exploration, rather than a gag?

I suppose that a second, somewhat larger nit (perhaps a one-eyed one-horned giant purple nit?) is that the character of Las doesn't seem to develop much. I would have liked him to actually grow in terms of power, confidence, and style. Instead, Las bore up awesomely against the horrors of the library and continued to self-deprecate and self-doubt his way to the end, at which point his sorry hide was saved by one of the aforementioned badass librarians.

Between Las's "hilarious" magical incompetence and failure to appreciate his own worth, the story had a certain emotional... what's the word I'm looking for? Immaturity? Unreality? Insincerity?

"AAAAAH" *SPLAT!*

Um, anyway. Yeah. So.

Basically a great story. It was full of great stuff. The emotional content was a little flat for me, which is a significant flaw, but it's one that I didn't really note until the story was over, so I suppose it wasn't that bad. Here's to another 200 episodes (and more!) of the weird, the wily, the wondrous, and the... um... listened to on the way to Work. Yeah. That will do.

And while we're at it, here's to me getting a story published on PodCastle.

What? It could happen.
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« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2012, 11:37:45 AM »

There was one its bitsy teeny weenie purple polka dotted nit-pick (that he wrote on the forums that day): I am getting heartily sick of the "character at a university of magic who can't do magic worth shit." I was only mildly amused by it the first time I saw it, and my amusement drained away precipitously thereafter. Nobody struggles through medical school in order to become, at best, a hilariously incompetent doctor. The very idea of a "hilariously incompetent doctor" is actually kind of horrifying. Why do we assume that magicians are any different? If you aren't any good at something - if you lack the brains, guts, dedication, or talent - why in the name of the Mother of Lizards would you continue to beat your head against it? Why would the teachers, mentors, and administrators of a place of learning allow a person to do that? Or if a character were to actually continue in such a situation, wouldn't that be a choice worthy of emotionally real exploration, rather than a gag?

That didn't bother me, for some reason.  Perhaps because it didn't seem to be intended for humor, but rather to increase the level of challenge for the character to make it through the trials and tribulations without the equivalent of a magical gun.

And as far as comparing to a hilariously incompetent doctor, that's not how I thought of it either.  Magic is all-pervasive in this society by the sound of it.  Sure, there are roles like librarian that are dangerous and where a competent person, but one would hope that those roles would have an extensive interview process and apprenticeship to prove your skills before you have to stand alone.  There are probably many roles which are less critical and which can be performed by a person of lesser skill, and at which a person of greater skill would probably not deign to spend their time doing.

Rather than being equivalent to a doctor, I pictured it as being more equivalent to a computer programming major.  I know some people who graduated with the same computer science degree as I did who really had not enough competence to deserve the degree--somehow always managing to partner with someone who is willing to carry them through development projects.  And I know other people who were repeating the same engineering class for the 4th time and if they ever did pass I doubt they'd really grasp it, they would probably just get it enough to squeak by with a barely-passing grade.  I can't say that I'm very happy that these people got their degrees while coasting on the efforts of others.  At the same time, when they got out into the working world their skill level should've become obvious rather quickly.  There are many applications where bad software would be dangerous such as missile guidance or medical implants, but if the engineering of those kinds of life-critical devices are set up properly then someone who doesn't know what they are doing will be filtered out rather quickly or not hired in the first place.  Instead they might still be able to get other less dangerous jobs.  I see the same being the case here.  I don't think Laslo will ever be a librarian.  He might be more gruntwork to maintain household cleaning spells or some such thing.  But that doesn't mean that he can't find work, and again it didn't seem to me that this was supposed to be funny.  I thought it reflected reality in certain fields relatively well.

And while we're at it, here's to me getting a story published on PodCastle.

What? It could happen.

Hear, hear!  After 28 rejections, none of which made it past Ann Leckie, I can't say I feel much hope for myself.  More luck to you!
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« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2012, 12:03:41 PM »

Actually, that whole final sequence of the stupidly ambitious student biting off more than he can chew and getting the life sucked out of him was rather redundant. I mean, really, what was the point of that? Listening to it at the time I was all "What is going on now? Why isn't the story over?"
Just cut out Cas's whole mysterious object thingy and stick with his gung-ho enthusiasm of the library. Why couldn't we have ended with everybody covered in vocabuvore goo heading out to get drunk in the human fashion happily confident that they have completed this trial successfully, and celebrate their continued existence on the mortal plane and their newfound camaraderie?
That final scene didn't allow for further character development, was disassociated from the main plot and added nothing at all to the story as a whole.
Not to mention the holes people have been poking in it in this thread.

If the story had ended about 5 minutes early it would have been absolutely perfect. As it is it was still very, very good.
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« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2012, 12:10:01 PM »

... I forgot to mention:  at the mention of vocabuvores I thought there'd be mention of the subspecies verbivores in there somewhere... 
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« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2012, 12:13:13 PM »

... I forgot to mention:  at the mention of vocabuvores I thought there'd be mention of the subspecies verbivores in there somewhere... 

And I forgot to mention that the only disappointing thing about the vocabuvores is that the person that said the word still had it once the vocabuvores were done. Imagine how horrifying it would be if they didn't.
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« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2012, 12:30:08 PM »

Imagine how horrifying it would be if they didn't.

Ooooh. I like that idea. Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2012, 06:59:36 PM »

Congratulations on the 200th episode (if  a little belatedly)!
I enjoyed the full cast reading. It was a little bumpy at the beginning, but I got into it fine, once they entered the library.
The story was enjoyable as well - I especially liked the two librarians, they were way cool. (The fact that I loved Master Molnar's voice might have added to that impression.) Lazlo and Casimir were fine, though Lev and especially Yvette stayed a bit flat. I approve of the twist at the end - there was so much foreshadowing about Casimir's character that something had to happen and this 'trap' was a really clever thing to do, quite believable.
As for the labyrinth of books, I kept thinking of "The City of Dreaming Books" by German author Walter Moers, which is a very whimsical fantasy adventure tale playing with all kinds of book, library and literature motives. And yeah, looks like there's an English translation available.
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« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2012, 03:38:10 AM »

... I forgot to mention:  at the mention of vocabuvores I thought there'd be mention of the subspecies verbivores in there somewhere... 

And I forgot to mention that the only disappointing thing about the vocabuvores is that the person that said the word still had it once the vocabuvores were done. Imagine how horrifying it would be if they didn't.
I'd actually marveled at the elegance of having a food source that can simultaneously be consumed by everyone.
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« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2012, 12:44:03 PM »

Not much I can add to the praise being heaped on this.  I loved the story, loved the full cast reading, loved just about everything.  Interestingly enough, the most clipped bits were Peter's own lines, and there could have been more spacing with many parts of dialog, but like others have said, it smoothed out once they entered the library. 

Now I really want to start playing Ars Magica again. 
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« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2012, 12:59:23 PM »

That didn't bother me, for some reason.  Perhaps because it didn't seem to be intended for humor, but rather to increase the level of challenge for the character to make it through the trials and tribulations without the equivalent of a magical gun.

And as far as comparing to a hilariously incompetent doctor, that's not how I thought of it either.  Magic is all-pervasive in this society by the sound of it.  Sure, there are roles like librarian that are dangerous and where a competent person, but one would hope that those roles would have an extensive interview process and apprenticeship to prove your skills before you have to stand alone.  There are probably many roles which are less critical and which can be performed by a person of lesser skill, and at which a person of greater skill would probably not deign to spend their time doing.

Rather than being equivalent to a doctor, I pictured it as being more equivalent to a computer programming major.  I know some people who graduated with the same computer science degree as I did who really had not enough competence to deserve the degree--somehow always managing to partner with someone who is willing to carry them through development projects.  And I know other people who were repeating the same engineering class for the 4th time and if they ever did pass I doubt they'd really grasp it, they would probably just get it enough to squeak by with a barely-passing grade.  I can't say that I'm very happy that these people got their degrees while coasting on the efforts of others.  At the same time, when they got out into the working world their skill level should've become obvious rather quickly.  There are many applications where bad software would be dangerous such as missile guidance or medical implants, but if the engineering of those kinds of life-critical devices are set up properly then someone who doesn't know what they are doing will be filtered out rather quickly or not hired in the first place.  Instead they might still be able to get other less dangerous jobs.  I see the same being the case here.  I don't think Laslo will ever be a librarian.  He might be more gruntwork to maintain household cleaning spells or some such thing.  But that doesn't mean that he can't find work, and again it didn't seem to me that this was supposed to be funny.  I thought it reflected reality in certain fields relatively well.

Here's the thing, though: you wouldn't include a hilariously incompetent computer programmer in a high-tech IT action thriller or New Media posthuman near future sci-fi. I mean, you might include an incompetent programmer - maybe the main character has some asshole foisted on him by politics or whatever - but the guy's incompetence would be taken seriously rather than played for laughs. It would get someone killed, or nearly so, or spell the character's own demise. For some reason, though, stories about magic don't take themselves - or perhaps it's the very premise of magic itself - seriously enough.

I also don't really like the comparison of magic to computer science, at least not for this story. Part of the appeal for me was that the author went to so much effort to make at least part of the magic - the library itself - well, magical.

In my opinion magic suffers from a serious over-abundance of a concept I'll steal from ghost stories: explanation of the machinery (you can find the original concept here: http://novelnovice.com/2011/07/05/the-revenant-elements-of-the-ghost-story-gothic-novel/). In ghost stories, you don't (usually) get extensive explanations of the mechanics of the underworld, the exact powers and abilities of ghosts, and so on. You get people grappling with something they don't - can't - understand, which will never be properly explained to them. Some fantasy stories take the same tactic - I mean, does anyone ever really explain where Gandalf's powers come from?

With modern fantasy has come the custom of the, to kidnap from roleplaying "Player Character" magician. A perspective character who can wield magic. And suddenly the machinery is getting explained left and right. This isn't bad, exactly. I mean, I probably like Brandon Sanderson a lot more than the next guy. But, I do think magic loses something when it's comprehensible.

In this story, the magic - at least, the magic of the library - is never explained. It's magical. It's weird. It just plain is.

It's magic without explanation of the machinery, and I loved it.

Now, say what you want about how complicated and magical computers are - and how special it makes you :-P - but that machinery is still pretty explained to me. There are stories where the comparison would have been apt, but I don't feel like it worked for In the Stacks, and that's part of what I liked about it.
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« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2012, 01:38:46 PM »

Re: Hilariously incompetent wizard/doctor/programmer...

This is a fascinating aspect that never occurred to me until you guys underscored it by shining a light on it using this story. I recently was explaining to a friend of mine why I loved the show Eureka, and the only negative aspect of the show that I couldn't get past--the part that kept yanking me bodily out of the universe of the show--was the incompetence of the Fargo character.

It is exactly what you guys were talking about. Here's a guy who is undeniably a genius. Someone so smart, he can nearly destroy the universe several times in each season. And yet he's dangerously incompetent at the same time.

But everyone puts up with it. Everyone in the world of that show just...ignores his total incompetence. In the "real world," he would have been fired the first time he killed someone or caused a rift in space-time or accidentally created a sub-universe that threatened to take over our own.

I have to wonder how often it shows up and we just...sort of gloss over it.

I wonder if that's on tvtropes, yet... *cautiously approaches tvtropes.com like a proto-human touching the monolith...*
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« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2012, 06:51:27 PM »

As for 'mediocre magic users': The vibe I get (in this story) is that magic is still special enough that even being mediocre at it  is something you can build a career on. Probably most people in the school aren't better than Lazlo and Lev. Still they have a talent that gives them a definite advantage over people who can't do magic at all and that shouldn't go to waste, so they'll be trained. (And obviously their education contains some other stuff as well - at least fighting.)
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« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2012, 02:39:37 AM »

The problem there (leaving magic incomprehensible) is that as soon as you have people learning to be magic users, whether by apprenticeship or in a university, you need to make it comprehensible. If it isn't comprehensible then the entire premise of your story falls apart.
That is why I particularly like the programmer analogy.
Programming has rules and concepts and you can break everything down into smaller bits and understand each bit separately and then put it all together in a new way and create something new.
Most programmers don't grok the full comprehensibility of what they are doing, but it works anyway. Some mediocre programmers occasionally churn out magnificent code that works, which they don't fully understand why (has happened to me a few times Tongue).
To the non-programmer it's all so much gobbledygook, but to the initiated it makes perfect and elegant sense.
Just like magic.

Oh sure, you can have some kinds of magic that are inherently incomprehensible, just like I will never understand the coding behind Skynet. But that doesn't detract from the main point: if people are going to learn to use magic, you must somehow impress the idea that it is understandable. And the best way to do that is to (somewhat) explain the machinations.
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« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2012, 07:13:19 AM »

Lots of praise already for this one.  I just want to add my props to Peter Wood's audio work.  That must have been an absolute beast to put together.  Well done, sir.
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« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2012, 08:01:15 AM »

Oh sure, you can have some kinds of magic that are inherently incomprehensible, just like I will never understand the coding behind Skynet. But that doesn't detract from the main point: if people are going to learn to use magic, you must somehow impress the idea that it is understandable. And the best way to do that is to (somewhat) explain the machinations.

I maintain that it's possible to find a happy medium. Have you read My Name is Asher Lev? It's a book about art, and it leaves you with no greater understanding of art than you started it with. Perhaps a greater appreciation, perhaps more empathy, but no greater understanding. The artistic urge is still as beautiful, terrible, and incomprehensible as it was before you started. I'd like to see some books about magic that do the same thing.

Not that anything is wrong with instrumentalized magic, mind you. I just want to see a little variety.
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« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2012, 08:50:27 AM »

I maintain that it's possible to find a happy medium. Have you read My Name is Asher Lev? It's a book about art, and it leaves you with no greater understanding of art than you started it with. Perhaps a greater appreciation, perhaps more empathy, but no greater understanding. The artistic urge is still as beautiful, terrible, and incomprehensible as it was before you started. I'd like to see some books about magic that do the same thing.

Not that anything is wrong with instrumentalized magic, mind you. I just want to see a little variety.

That is one of my all time favorite books. Smiley The sequel (The Gift of Asher Lev) is also good, but in my opinion doesn't approach the original in quality.
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« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2012, 09:26:58 AM »

Here's the thing, though: you wouldn't include a hilariously incompetent computer programmer in a high-tech IT action thriller or New Media posthuman near future sci-fi. I mean, you might include an incompetent programmer - maybe the main character has some asshole foisted on him by politics or whatever - but the guy's incompetence would be taken seriously rather than played for laughs. It would get someone killed, or nearly so, or spell the character's own demise. For some reason, though, stories about magic don't take themselves - or perhaps it's the very premise of magic itself - seriously enough.

Again, I didn't see the usage of his incompetence here as being intended for humor.  Since I don't agree with your distinction, your argument doesn't do much to sway me.  I didn't see it as being played for humor at all, but for tension.  I like tension, so I applaud this.  Any of the librarians, or any of the other students, when faced with an out-of-control vocabuvore would try sorcerous tricks on it.  He couldn't, so he had to find another way.  He's not good at magic, but he's clever, and he used that to save everyone's lives.  If he had been good at magic, and just blasted the thing with some spell or other, it would not have been as appealing to me.  He brought a squirt gun to a Wild West duel, so he had to find another way to win, and he did.  Yay tension!

I also don't really like the comparison of magic to computer science, at least not for this story. Part of the appeal for me was that the author went to so much effort to make at least part of the magic - the library itself - well, magical.

To me it seemed that the author went to effort to make it seem like computer science, but perhaps that's my skewed perspective.  Particularly the gadget that Kas attached to the indexer to try to understand how it worked so that he could adapt it.  That was straight-up reverse-engineering, and the way that Kas and the other experts discussed magic made it sound very computer science-y to me.  It wasn't entirely comprehensible to the reader, but that's because we're seeing it through the eyes of Lazlo who is not much of a magic-user. 

Which isn't to say that the magic here was entirely like code.  There was an element of unpredictability that would not arise in code.  But that just made it seem like a more dangerous more tense kind of coding (yay tension!). 

Now, say what you want about how complicated and magical computers are - and how special it makes you :-P - but that machinery is still pretty explained to me. There are stories where the comparison would have been apt, but I don't feel like it worked for In the Stacks, and that's part of what I liked about it.

The most interesting things about computers is that, at the root of them, they are not complicated at all.  They do exactly what they are told to do, following the exact instructions that they are given.  When a computer has a glitch, except in rare cases of a short circuit or something, the computer is still following its instructions exactly, it's just that it's instructions were bad. 

This isn't the first time that I've thought of magic-using as similar to programming because much of it is predictable in this way.  The analogy falls apart the more the magic is random, but as far as the magic actually harnessed by the magic-users here, I'd say it's pretty accurate.  And if you write a bad spell, then it might be like writing a bad program, the magic does what you tell it to, it's just that you didn't tell it to do what you thought you told it to do.  Only the consequence, instead of a computer crash, might be a fatal accident or a portal to another dimension.  The main difference that sets this apart is that the library is like a jungle of wild code that was never written by a user, and there's no real-life parallel to that.  But that just makes it cooler. 

Again, the comparison still worked for me for this story, mostly because of the way that Kas approached the problem of understanding the indexers.  And hey, if you like the story because it didn't make you think of code, then who am I to try to dissuade you?  But I liked the story partly because it did make me think of code.  Divering opinions of story mechanics lead to united opinions of story quality.   Grin
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« Reply #43 on: March 22, 2012, 10:52:24 AM »

I went to library school— no weapons training, no track to become a warrior librarian. None of my library colleagues have fast cross shoulder sword draws and we are not allowed to have daggers and axes by our desks. Students shelve books without fear. An occasional vocabovour would certainly liven a trip to the stacks. I feel let down by my profession.

I enjoyed this story, a fun bit of fantasy especially if you are a librarian. A great 200th episode.
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« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2012, 11:53:57 AM »

This isn't the first time that I've thought of magic-using as similar to programming because much of it is predictable in this way. 

Yes; Zauberschrift, for instance.

The main difference that sets this apart is that the library is like a jungle of wild code that was never written by a user, and there's no real-life parallel to that. 

I'm not sure I agree with that. Maybe it's not an exact parallel (but then magic <=> code isn't an perfect parallel either, as you noted yourself), but I would say large open-source projects (e.g. Linux) are (or could be) a lot like The Library: a jungle of wild code written, not by a single user, but by many (in the case of some projects, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of contributors), with the result that while some people have a sense of the over-arching architecture of the thing, no one knows what's lurking in every little corner, or can track every change (where did that Tree of Knives end up?).

The utter (and unutterable) complexity even gives rise to unintended consequences (bugs) arising from the interactions of systems (or sub-systems, or sub-sub-systems), not unlike the weird lifeforms in The Library.

Or for a closer parallel to the wildness, look at the internet itself, though a lot of the wildness there comes from its users, not its programmers. But, in a way, is that really so different, fundamentally...?
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« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2012, 09:54:19 AM »

I'm not sure I agree with that. Maybe it's not an exact parallel (but then magic <=> code isn't an perfect parallel either, as you noted yourself), but I would say large open-source projects (e.g. Linux) are (or could be) a lot like The Library: a jungle of wild code written, not by a single user, but by many (in the case of some projects, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of contributors), with the result that while some people have a sense of the over-arching architecture of the thing, no one knows what's lurking in every little corner, or can track every change (where did that Tree of Knives end up?).

The utter (and unutterable) complexity even gives rise to unintended consequences (bugs) arising from the interactions of systems (or sub-systems, or sub-sub-systems), not unlike the weird lifeforms in The Library.

Or for a closer parallel to the wildness, look at the internet itself, though a lot of the wildness there comes from its users, not its programmers. But, in a way, is that really so different, fundamentally...?

The Internet makes a reasonable parallel, I like that.  Both the library and the Internet are very useful as repositories of information, and because of their great usefulness also generate monsters like trolls and vocabuvores.  The only question to make the analogy complete:  Can one find porn in the library if one is so inclined? 
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« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2012, 10:10:33 AM »

One could make the argument that the porn is one of those things that grew wild on the Internet. A wise man I once knew said this: "The only thing the Internet has done is proven that no one is alone in their perversions."

Wise man indeed.
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« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2012, 11:16:39 AM »

I now want a t-shirt that says MOAR WORDS! MOAR WORDS! FEED THE VOCABUVORE!!!

Fun story, though I do agree the side plot with Casimir was a bit much. But I love the idea of a living library and warrior librarians. Heck, *I* want to be a warrior librarian. Sounds much more fun than being a warrior HR assistant and have to babysit a bunch of snarling files. "No...don't you dare eat that W-4! Aw crap, a new flock of I-9s just flew in and are pooping all over the desks....sighhhh...."

On a side note, I had a chance to meet Scott Lynch at Viable Paradise XV last year. Fun guy. His version of Oberon in the style of Gollum had me dying.
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« Reply #48 on: March 23, 2012, 11:21:10 AM »

Aw, I-9s are easy to tame. They've just got a big ego since they're suddenly oh-so-important after being an afterthought for so many years.

Now, the health insurance forms, THEY'RE the really nasty ones. Like ninjas or those....whatever they are from D&D, those pumas with the tentacles that phase in and out of existence. Slipperly and you can't look at them directly or they explode.
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« Reply #49 on: March 23, 2012, 11:43:35 AM »

Aw, I-9s are easy to tame. They've just got a big ego since they're suddenly oh-so-important after being an afterthought for so many years.

Now, the health insurance forms, THEY'RE the really nasty ones. Like ninjas or those....whatever they are from D&D, those pumas with the tentacles that phase in and out of existence. Slipperly and you can't look at them directly or they explode.

A couerl?  At least that's what I think of when I hear tentacled pumas, though I know them through Final Fantasy games.
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« Reply #50 on: March 23, 2012, 11:45:03 AM »

Aw, I-9s are easy to tame. They've just got a big ego since they're suddenly oh-so-important after being an afterthought for so many years.

Now, the health insurance forms, THEY'RE the really nasty ones. Like ninjas or those....whatever they are from D&D, those pumas with the tentacles that phase in and out of existence. Slipperly and you can't look at them directly or they explode.

A couerl?  At least that's what I think of when I hear tentacled pumas, though I know them through Final Fantasy games.

Displacer beasts.
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« Reply #51 on: March 23, 2012, 11:47:48 AM »

Aw, I-9s are easy to tame. They've just got a big ego since they're suddenly oh-so-important after being an afterthought for so many years.

Now, the health insurance forms, THEY'RE the really nasty ones. Like ninjas or those....whatever they are from D&D, those pumas with the tentacles that phase in and out of existence. Slipperly and you can't look at them directly or they explode.

A couerl?  At least that's what I think of when I hear tentacled pumas, though I know them through Final Fantasy games.

Displacer beasts.

That is a weird name for an animal. 
Though it makes enough sense, according to Wikipedia "it is described as a vaguely puma-like beast that always appears to be two feet away from its actual position"

And also according to Wikipedia, it was inspired by the couerl which was first created by A.E. Von Vogt in a 1939 story.
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« Reply #52 on: March 23, 2012, 11:58:12 AM »

Aw, I-9s are easy to tame. They've just got a big ego since they're suddenly oh-so-important after being an afterthought for so many years.

Now, the health insurance forms, THEY'RE the really nasty ones. Like ninjas or those....whatever they are from D&D, those pumas with the tentacles that phase in and out of existence. Slipperly and you can't look at them directly or they explode.

A couerl?  At least that's what I think of when I hear tentacled pumas, though I know them through Final Fantasy games.

Displacer beasts.

That is a weird name for an animal.  
Though it makes enough sense, according to Wikipedia "it is described as a vaguely puma-like beast that always appears to be two feet away from its actual position"

And also according to Wikipedia, it was inspired by the couerl which was first created by A.E. Von Vogt in a 1939 story.

Displacer beasts are part of a hilarious era of D&D monsters, things that looked EXACTLY like what they said they were and usually had nothing to do with mythology of any kind. Beholders are... giant eyeballs. Displacer beasts are... beasts, that are visually displaced. Lizardmen are men, who are also, you know, lizards. I love it.

I'm even more fascinated by the fact that some of these monsters have entered our collective imagination with basically the same strength as creatures that have basis in mythology! Did you know, for example, that the lich - the iconic undead wizard - has no mythological basis? None, whatsoever. And yet, I challenge you to find a single reader of fantasy who doesn't know what a lich is.

I mean, you could probably find one. But not five. Unless they're all friends, and then it doesn't count.

There are a hundred other examples. Beholder-like monsters, born in the U.S. out of Gary Gygax's imagination, found in Japanese video games alongside other monsters from East, West, North, and South, all of them with serious mythological pedigrees. More serious, literary, mythological roleplaying games like Vampire: the Masquerade using the word "liches" to describe a cabal of vampiric magicians - and again, in one of their new lines, to describe semi-living magicians who must eat souls. This, in a game founded on mythologically sound principles of Gnosticism! It's amazing.

Syncretism is the coolest thing in the world. I want to be a syncretism when I grow up.
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« Reply #53 on: March 23, 2012, 01:42:16 PM »

Heh heh. My D&D Nerd Detector is still working. You've all fallen into my clever trap! Bwa ha ha!
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« Reply #54 on: March 24, 2012, 02:32:15 PM »

I loved the reading, and I loved the story even more.  This is the first episode that's held my full attention for a while.  I can't help wondering where the stacks in the story connect to the library in the Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork.  They just have to!
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« Reply #55 on: March 25, 2012, 06:44:35 AM »

I enjoyed it overall (tone and setting and whatnot), but I found the whole Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal to be a little weird.  I mean, he was basically broadcasting Evil Beams through the whole story.  (I swear, if we'd had ONE MORE comment about how mysteriously he was suddenly composed and happy again...)  But I thought that would come up, y'know, in the dramatic final fight.  The way it played out, it felt like a half-unraveled sweater, where it comes to an end abruptly, but kind of keeps on going in a trickle until we get to a final little lump of yarn down on the floor.  And I agree that the whole setup of "Yeah, we leave those security holes open on purpose in order to preemptively kill anyone who might eventually try to take it over," felt a little bit... needlessly cruel and complicated?  A little Grimtooth-esque?
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« Reply #56 on: March 25, 2012, 08:51:32 AM »

I, too, found the handling of the betrayal bit somewhat odd - mostly, because it was so unconnected to everything that actually happened in the library. And the whole concept of a trap designed to capture exactly those people with ulterior motives who are clever enough to hide their intentions until an opportunity arises, but still too arrogant and/or stupid to assume that everyone around them is incompetent. I mean, what happens when a student comes by who is evil, ultra-competent, subtle *and* paranoid, so that she'll assume that everything might be a trap and account for that in her plans?

I was kind of hoping that there will be a true twist in the story; for instance, discovering that Casimir was not actually planning a betrayal, or that his experiences in the library somehow affected his plans. Oh well.

On an moderately unrelated note - has anyone here read both of Lynch's "Gentleman bastard" sequence that have been published so far? I read "The Lies of Locke Lamora" and found the first half great and went and bought the sequel, and then didn't really enjoy the radical tone shift in the middle (especially since so much of what was set up in the first part became irrelevant) and never really started it. Is the second book closer in tone to the first half of Lies, or to the second half?
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« Reply #57 on: March 25, 2012, 04:04:38 PM »

Wow, what a great way to celebrate episode 200.  I loved the story, and enjoyed hearing everyone's voices even more.
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« Reply #58 on: March 26, 2012, 09:44:42 AM »

One could make the argument that the porn is one of those things that grew wild on the Internet. A wise man I once knew said this: "The only thing the Internet has done is proven that no one is alone in their perversions."

Wise man indeed.

I like that.  At the risk of mixing metaphors like Dr. Moreau mixes animals, porn is the Internet's invasive plant species.
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childoftyranny
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« Reply #59 on: March 26, 2012, 05:52:59 PM »

I like that.  At the risk of mixing metaphors like Dr. Moreau mixes animals, porn is the Internet's invasive plant species.

Considering some of the ways that invasive species spread, porn spreading that way is a bit concerning.
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« Reply #60 on: March 27, 2012, 07:06:44 AM »

I like that.  At the risk of mixing metaphors like Dr. Moreau mixes animals, porn is the Internet's invasive plant species.

Considering some of the ways that invasive species spread, porn spreading that way is a bit concerning.

Compared to infectious Internet diseases like the GIFT, I'd say a porn invasion is pretty tame. But it certainly does have a kudzu-like effect. And of course, being an organic thing, Internet porn has evolved in response to outside forces. There are sites out there that cater to fetishes so specific that they're barely classifiable as pornography in the traditional sense.

...erm...or so I have heard...

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« Reply #61 on: March 27, 2012, 07:15:39 AM »

I thought this was a really great story.  The full-cast narration..I thought it was going to bother me at first, but then as we got into the library, I realized that wasn't the case at all.  It definitely added to the listening pleasure of the story.  Very, very nicely done!
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« Reply #62 on: March 30, 2012, 02:32:43 AM »

I absolutely loved this one! It reminded me of a fantasy version of the Dr Who episode Silence in the Library, which I believe someone has already referenced in this thread. I am also really intrigued by the world itself, not only by what is in the rest of the alive library but also the other 6 worlds we heard nothing about! Oh, and what drinking games wizards play after passing their exams...

It took me a while to get used to the full cast narration as it was very new, but as soon as I did I loved it. It really gave the characters their own personalities. Also, Dave needs to be a villain again.
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« Reply #63 on: March 30, 2012, 09:42:08 AM »

Dave needs to be a villain again.

What do you mean 'again'? Smiley
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« Reply #64 on: March 30, 2012, 03:59:31 PM »

Utterly loved this one.  Great reading from everyone and a great story.  Couldn't ask for more.

(And Graeme Dunlop voicing the podcast's final phrase was epic!)
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« Reply #65 on: March 30, 2012, 04:41:45 PM »

(And Graeme Dunlop voicing the podcast's final phrase was epic!)

Yes, this.
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« Reply #66 on: April 04, 2012, 08:08:05 PM »

Nicely, done y’all. Cheers all around!

I feel I need to put in my two copper regarding the “inept” magician. He seemed to be an accomplished swordsman, albeit a mediocre sorcerer. I also got the impression that he did a decent job at charm-making. The librarian who was built like a concrete tea pot (lived that line) seemed to be a better swordsman than a sorcerer as well. Just because you’re not too great at potions doesn’t mean you can’t excel in herbology.

I did read the story when I was preparing to perform Master Molnar, but it was a long time ago and I forgot a lot of details that I was pleased to hear for the 'first' time this week.
 

Is it wrong of me that I was hoping that Master Molnar would identify something as going horrrrribly?

defibrillate! pedagogy! diaphanous!

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« Reply #67 on: April 04, 2012, 08:19:39 PM »



Is it wrong of me that I was hoping that Master Molnar would identify something as going horrrrribly?


Ahahahaha. Now that you've put that thought into my head, I can't shake it. Awesome.
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« Reply #68 on: April 04, 2012, 08:29:28 PM »


I did read the story when I was preparing to perform Master Molnar, but it was a long time ago and I forgot a lot of details that I was pleased to hear for the 'first' time this week.
 
Is it wrong of me that I was hoping that Master Molnar would identify something as going horrrrribly?

That's hilarious. Amused my whole family!
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"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
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« Reply #69 on: April 05, 2012, 08:27:57 AM »

I did read the story when I was preparing to perform Master Molnar, but it was a long time ago and I forgot a lot of details that I was pleased to hear for the 'first' time this week.
 

Is it wrong of me that I was hoping that Master Molnar would identify something as going horrrrribly?

Ahahahahahahahaha!   Cheesy
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« Reply #70 on: April 05, 2012, 10:49:59 AM »

I did read the story when I was preparing to perform Master Molnar, but it was a long time ago and I forgot a lot of details that I was pleased to hear for the 'first' time this week.
 

Is it wrong of me that I was hoping that Master Molnar would identify something as going horrrrribly?


I love you all sooooooooooo much right now  Grin

We need a highlight reel. Or a gag reel. OR BOTH!!! (Graeme as Conan shouting TONIGHT WE WILL GET DRUNK IN THE HUMAN FASHION! Wilson as above. Hobson saying...well, pretty much anything.)
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« Reply #71 on: April 05, 2012, 11:03:12 AM »

I did read the story when I was preparing to perform Master Molnar, but it was a long time ago and I forgot a lot of details that I was pleased to hear for the 'first' time this week.
 

Is it wrong of me that I was hoping that Master Molnar would identify something as going horrrrribly?


I love you all sooooooooooo much right now  Grin

We need a highlight reel. Or a gag reel. OR BOTH!!! (Graeme as Conan shouting TONIGHT WE WILL GET DRUNK IN THE HUMAN FASHION! Wilson as above. Hobson saying...well, pretty much anything.)

"Tonight we will get drunk in the Cimmerian fashion! With women driven before us! Producing controversy for future argumentation!"
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« Reply #72 on: April 05, 2012, 11:07:51 AM »

Would someone care to clue those of me who have no idea what you're all going on about...what you're going on about? Smiley
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« Reply #73 on: April 05, 2012, 11:21:23 AM »

Would someone care to clue those of me who have no idea what you're all going on about...what you're going on about? Smiley

This.
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« Reply #74 on: May 04, 2012, 10:14:38 AM »

Just wanted to say that this story blew my mind, and I'm forcing all of my friends to read it.
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« Reply #75 on: May 05, 2012, 02:46:53 AM »

Just wanted to say that this story blew my mind, and I'm forcing all of my friends to read it.

Yikes. I have a Clockwork Orange-type scenario in my head now.
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« Reply #76 on: May 05, 2012, 02:02:29 PM »

My thought on finishing this was "everything I could want in a fantasy story." The full cast was lots of fun and I loved the story. Just excellent.
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« Reply #77 on: May 08, 2012, 02:38:51 PM »

Sean McMullen's "Greatwinter" series has a lot of Bibliofiction. In fact, most of the main characters in the first book are somehow related to (or actually are) Librarians, and the most powerful person in the known world (in the book) is a Librarian.
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« Reply #78 on: May 08, 2012, 08:03:45 PM »

Wonderful episode! Thank you to everyone who put all that time into bringing us humble listeners such a amazing story in a awesome fashion.
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« Reply #79 on: May 11, 2012, 08:12:28 AM »

I guess I have to bring up Blake Charlton's Spellwright and the others in that series. It's a unique magic system, as far as I can tell, and I enjoyed the first one very much.
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« Reply #80 on: May 15, 2012, 09:21:45 AM »

Lots of praise already for this one.  I just want to add my props to Peter Wood's audio work.  That must have been an absolute beast to put together.  Well done, sir.

Thanks! It was a bit beastly, but I was happy to do something special for 200. I'm already thinking thoughts for 300 . . .
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horsemaster
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« Reply #81 on: October 04, 2012, 07:50:33 AM »

I have been listening to podcastle for quite a while, yet this is my first posting. I load podcasts into my iPod and listen when I'm out and about. Anyway, I know it has been a while since anybody posted, but I just HAD to post. This was an AWESOME podcast. You guys rock, and I hope you full cast more! 
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« Reply #82 on: April 03, 2018, 01:38:09 PM »

This episode was voted the fourth best PodCastle story of our first ten years, and was re-aired as PodCastle 516b.

Please note: When singing Podcastle "happy birthday", don't sing too loud. We don't want to wake the manticore.
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Katzentatzen
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« Reply #83 on: April 23, 2018, 09:03:07 PM »

I haven't heard this one, and it was awesome! I wish there was more about this inexplicable library. Also enjoyed hearing the voices of some old friends.
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