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Author Topic: Pseudopod 319: Cell Call  (Read 12275 times)

Sgarre1

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Reply #40 on: February 21, 2013, 11:11:43 PM
If it's of any interest - my personal metric for horror is any fiction whose main focus is attempting to scare or disturb the reader - so I have a pretty big area to work with there (the "or disturb" is the modifier wildcard that allows some flexibility, obviously). I believe that genres have boundaries (not limits, exactly) but these are permeable boundaries and works of creativity do not have to be any *one* thing but a multiple of things as well (although they tend to work better if they have a primary focus of intent).

I honestly felt/feel that a guy being possibly eaten by some big prehistoric-y thing that's just come looming up out of the black, wet dark next to his car that he knows his wife is also standing next to - *somehow* - is pretty horrible...



Scumpup

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Reply #41 on: February 21, 2013, 11:37:21 PM
I completely agree.  That absolutely is, not just scary, but horror story scary.  What I'm running into here, depressingly, is that I'm just not as imaginative as many of you.  I need some cue from the text that there may be something awful lurking in that darkness.  On my own, I just don't spontaneously supply my own bogies.  For a reader like me, it's entirely possible for an author to be too subtle.



Scumpup

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Reply #42 on: February 21, 2013, 11:49:55 PM
Maybe I should clarify what I mean by "horror story scary."  Getting lost in the woods and dying is scary, but it is known.  It can be prepared for, coped with, and even overcome.  Horror story scary is that which is unknown, may not even be knowable, can't be prepared for, and won't be overcome.



Unblinking

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Reply #43 on: February 22, 2013, 07:58:46 PM
I found this story scary where I don't find most horror stories scary precisely because it is just one left turn from plausible.  I enjoy horror very often. Pseudopod is one of my favorite podcasts because of it.  But does it scare me?  Very rarely, because it's not hard to separate it from real life.  This felt very close to real life, I could imagine myself getting lost like that and my wife coming to find me--which would be nervewracking, but where it gets scary is the unexplainable shift that allows it to be pouring rain as she looks at my car while I am also standing by my car with no rain.

It's much more than getting lost in the woods.  If I were lost in the woods, I would try to rationally work my way toward something I could more easily cope with, waiting until morning and using the sun for direction, trying to find the north star if stars are visible, finding a stream to follow, follow road sounds.  Rationality is not working here.  He already IS at the most logical place to be, at his car, and with someone on the way to find him with a good idea of how he got there.  He has nothing more logical thing to try than what he has already done and it's NOT WORKING, and he doesn't know why, and he doesn't know what else to do.  It's just close enough to reality to feel totally real to me, and I can totally imagine being in his shoes, and if I were in his shoes I would be paralyzed with fear.



inglesvi

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Reply #44 on: March 04, 2013, 12:40:44 AM
I'm fairly new to Pseudopod and just listened to this episode while driving home in the middle of the night on back roads. Nothing like setting the perfect mood before digging into a story like this one. It was a real treat.



kibitzer

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Reply #45 on: March 04, 2013, 01:50:24 AM
I'm fairly new to Pseudopod and just listened to this episode while driving home in the middle of the night on back roads. Nothing like setting the perfect mood before digging into a story like this one. It was a real treat.

That's rather serendipitous! And welcome to the forums. Hope to see more of you :)


bpm85

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Reply #46 on: March 05, 2013, 02:14:52 PM
I liked the story. I think the wife will change the way she talks to the people she supposedly loves. She was so rude to him and now she won't be able to apologize.



Fenrix

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Reply #47 on: April 10, 2013, 08:00:20 PM
I want to second this being a great story to listen to while driving.

I'm in the displacement camp. I completely understand the dead camp, but that's not the route my car took me.

Let's consider the situation if he isn't dead.  Unless he was displaced into a cavern, I'd say it has to get light at some point soon.  It's warm enough for water to exist as a liquid and there is sufficient oxygen in the air for him to breathe. The heat to keep the water liquid and to power the photosynthesis that is the source of that oxygen, logically, must come from a sun.  He might well end up lost and starving, but I don't think he'll wander in darkness forever.  People not infrequently get lost and die in real life, which is scary, but not horror story scary.
Stephen King has touched on the idea of temporal and spatial displacement a couple times I can think of.  Temporally in The Langoliers which I have read.  I tried, unsuccessfully, to sit through the movie.  I thought the titular creatures rather silly, but other parts of the story were more successful. How "dead" everything was in the past was a neat idea.  Later, in From a Buick 8, King played with spatial displacement.  That was a much more effective story, IMO.  Our world and the other one were lethally incomprehensible and incompatible to each other.  A being from either side would die in fear, confusion, and agony on the opposite side.  That is horror story scary.

To pile on with analogous King stories, I'd like to present both "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" and "The Jaunt". Shortcut is quite possibly King's best work, and captures a very similar feel of driving to a place where you can slip between spaces. Jaunt touches on the horror of what resides between.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


Fenrix

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Reply #48 on: April 15, 2013, 05:43:49 PM
I forgot to mention before, really good use of sound editing to differentiate the phone call. I'm not sure anyone's brought it up, which indicates that it blended in as something that was just supposed to be there.

Shawn and Graeme usually take a beating on sound production, so I thought it worthwhile to give kudos when everything goes according to plan.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


kibitzer

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Reply #49 on: April 17, 2013, 03:34:01 AM
I forgot to mention before, really good use of sound editing to differentiate the phone call. I'm not sure anyone's brought it up, which indicates that it blended in as something that was just supposed to be there.

Shawn and Graeme usually take a beating on sound production, so I thought it worthwhile to give kudos when everything goes according to plan.

Thanks! :)


DruidPrince

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Reply #50 on: April 24, 2013, 04:18:59 AM
OUTSTANDING! As I read though the very interesting comments on this story, a few have given the similarities to the Twilight Zone and Tales from the Darkside and I strongly concur! Just a good old fashioned "what the heck", "ooooh that could be me", "my imagination is much more dangerous than anything presented in my face" horror story!

For the record I got the instant feeling he was dead. Perhaps his wife finding his "wrecked" car would have been more direct...but that was my initial reaction. For a short while I toyed with the "alternate dimension/time flux/a hungry evil witch in a cabin in the woods pulled him here" idea(s). But my overall reaction was that he was gone...and she was just finding out as she found his car.

Listened while driving at night, on my way back from work. Spooky as hell! Completely identified with the driver. Excellent story, fantastic read (nicely done Mr. Narrator!), LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT!

Please sir my I have some more....like this one?

The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.
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Marlboro

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Reply #51 on: December 22, 2019, 05:32:12 PM
I'm definitely in the "he's dead" camp.


With this guy's luck his wife will probably have a heart attack when she sees his corpse and he'll spend eternity listening to "Well, I never got stuck in Purgatory when I was married to my first husband!"