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Author Topic: Pseudopod 319: Cell Call  (Read 13818 times)

heyes

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Reply #25 on: February 18, 2013, 04:20:02 PM
it's pretty clear what implication you're supposed to draw, particularly with the repeat emphasis on the line at the end of the story. 

Apparently it's not clear, if the editor who bought it disagrees.

That comment above is exactly the kind of thing Alasdair implies is not a part of the forum culture here during his recent outros. A listener and an editor are both listeners and capable of meaningful interpretation. Please don't shut opinions down this way.

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eytanz

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Reply #26 on: February 18, 2013, 04:27:14 PM
it's pretty clear what implication you're supposed to draw, particularly with the repeat emphasis on the line at the end of the story. 

Apparently it's not clear, if the editor who bought it disagrees.

That comment above is exactly the kind of thing Alasdair implies is not a part of the forum culture here during his recent outros. A listener and an editor are both listeners and capable of meaningful interpretation. Please don't shut opinions down this way.

Let's not overreact, please. Unblinking wasn't shutting down Scattercat, he was saying that the situation is not as clear-cut as Scattercat thought it was. If anything, Scattercat's phrasing shut out the possibility of other opinions, and Unblinking pointed out that other opinions were valid, giving Shawn as an example.

Just as Shawn's opinion, and Scattercat's opinions, are valid, so is Unblinking, and he's entirely within his right as a listener to tell Scattercat that he thinks he is wrong. The distinction between shutting opinion down and disagreeing with opinions is an important one in these forums.



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Reply #27 on: February 18, 2013, 07:59:52 PM
Pish-posh, sir.  I was not shutting out the possibility of other opinions.  Just the possibility of other correct opinions.  :-D

Slightly more seriously, I don't think my remarks are particularly chilling toward further discussion and don't feel I, any more than poor Unblinking, should be held up as an exemplar of What Al Hates About the Forums, pugnacious and obstreperous as I freely admit I am.

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eytanz

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Reply #28 on: February 18, 2013, 08:01:27 PM
Yeah, when I said "if anything", I sort of meant "if you squint really hard and force yourself to see it", not that I really thought you were doing anything that actually attempted to shut up discussion.



Unblinking

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Reply #29 on: February 20, 2013, 02:57:58 PM
Let's not overreact, please. Unblinking wasn't shutting down Scattercat, he was saying that the situation is not as clear-cut as Scattercat thought it was.

My intent was to say that there is more than one interpretation possible here, using Shawn as an example.  The more interpretations the better, and we can all debate which of them makes the most sense--the more the merrier.  If everyone had the same opinion this place would be Boring.  The moderators here do a fantastic job of encouraging an environment where interesting and civil debate can flourish, while curbing discussions that get too heated.  

The forum has just the One Rule
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We enjoy a good debate, but all members are expected to be respectful to each other and to the artists, narrators, hosts and editorial staff of Escape Artists
I don't think that I've broken the rule here.

I had no problem with Scattercat's comment either.  

That comment above is exactly the kind of thing Alasdair implies is not a part of the forum culture here during his recent outros. A listener and an editor are both listeners and capable of meaningful interpretation. Please don't shut opinions down this way.

If my comment offended you, feel free to PM me to explain why.  Or if you want more people to weigh in on what kinds of comments are appropriate, it might be worthwhile to start a new thread for the topic. 

In my opinion, it would be helpful if you would phrase it as why the comment bothered you, rather than saying it's the sort of thing that Alasdair wouldn't like.  I think Alasdair would've been fine with what I said, whether or not he agreed with it.  I admittedly have not asked him his opinion on the subject, so this is purely conjecture.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 03:07:52 PM by Unblinking »



heyes

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Reply #30 on: February 20, 2013, 07:56:16 PM
So I just read through everybody's response to my response.
I'm not offended by that to which I originally responded. At the time I responded I felt, as I described, that it was harsh and surprising given the recent invites by Alasdair. It seems I may have had expectations which are not the same as what I found, let's say something akin to mild culture shock, which leaves me needing to adjust.
I felt like should at least reply to acknowledge that I have read everyone's responses.

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Scumpup

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Reply #31 on: February 20, 2013, 08:55:23 PM
Well, I still think the guy in the story was dead and just didn't realize it.  Other interpretations just don't seem to fit as neatly to me.  One important factor is that this is supposed, based on the fact that it is here at Pseudopod, to be a horror story. If it was at Escape Pod, or if I was reading a print version of it in The New Yorker, I might find some of the other interpretations more convincing,  As a kid, I read a lot of science fiction and watched sci fi movies and TV shows.  Temporal/spatial displacement strikes me as super neato cool, not spine chillingly horrifying.  If he just slipped into another dimension, it seems he. just arrived at the lake at night and vacation begins in the morning.  No horror there at all.  If he's dead, darkness and the sound of water is eternity.  That is at least a little scary.

So, what I'm asking is, did you want me to be scared or not?



eytanz

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Reply #32 on: February 20, 2013, 08:59:33 PM
Oh, I don't know. Temporal/Spatial displacement may not be a scary concept, but the idea of being stuck in an alternate world, in the dark, with no one around, and no food, just wandering around in the darkness until I starve to death... Still scary enough for me (though I admit, maybe he will wake up in the morning and discover he made it to big rock candy mountain).



Scattercat

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Reply #33 on: February 21, 2013, 12:57:35 AM
@Scumpup

"The Langoliers"

Toodles!

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Unblinking

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Reply #34 on: February 21, 2013, 02:52:20 PM
Oh, I don't know. Temporal/Spatial displacement may not be a scary concept, but the idea of being stuck in an alternate world, in the dark, with no one around, and no food, just wandering around in the darkness until I starve to death... Still scary enough for me (though I admit, maybe he will wake up in the morning and discover he made it to big rock candy mountain).

Yup, this.  This story scared me in ways that most more blatantly horror stories don't, and I didn't think he was dead.



Scumpup

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Reply #35 on: February 21, 2013, 06:12:14 PM
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.



eytanz

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Reply #36 on: February 21, 2013, 06:35:49 PM
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 People not infrequently get lost and die in real life, which is scary, but not horror story scary.

I don't think there's a dividing line that says what type of fear belongs in horror stories. Personally, the idea of getting lost and dying in a painful way is *far* scarier to me than anything that takes place in an afterlife. When I listened the story, I thought he was dead, but I would have probably found the story a lot more effective if had read it the way Shawn did.

What you may need to accept, scumpup, is that not all readers are identical, and what is effective horror for you is not the same as what is effective horror for everyone. Arguing that your interpretation is right because otherwise the story wouldn't be targeted at you is a pretty flimsy argument, unless you can prove that the writer had you specifically in mind when they wrote the story.



Scumpup

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Reply #37 on: February 21, 2013, 06:41:19 PM
I'm not claiming that I'm right or that anybody else is wrong.  I'm just talking about my interpretation of a story and things that do, or do not, scare me.  That was the point of why we are here, I thought.  If I am wrong, I apologize.



eytanz

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Reply #38 on: February 21, 2013, 06:49:28 PM
I'm not claiming that I'm right or that anybody else is wrong.  I'm just talking about my interpretation of a story and things that do, or do not, scare me.  That was the point of why we are here, I thought.  If I am wrong, I apologize.

You're definitely not wrong to discuss your interpretation. But when you say "scary, but not horror story scary", you're not just talking about what scares you, but you are talking about what fits in your definition of a horror story. And since in your last two posts you seem to be arguing that this is a factor in deciding how well the interpretations fit the stories, you are making an argument that is only valid for people who share your definition.

So I'm not saying that you were wrong to post what you did. I was trying to point out that you were making a weaker argument than you think you did because a lot of people here (myself included) do not accept its premises.



Scumpup

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Reply #39 on: February 21, 2013, 07:23:33 PM
What is scary is such a subjective thing that I believed it was implicit that I was speaking only for myself.  Clearly, i should have made that explicit.



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...”


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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.

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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! :)