Author Topic: Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning  (Read 6095 times)

Bdoomed

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Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning
« on: January 26, 2013, 08:25:05 AM »
Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning

by A.C. Wise.

“Venice Burning” originally appeared in FUTURE LOVECRAFT, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles, and published by Innsmouth Press. The book has since been reissued as a trade paperback by Prime Books, and is available in many major bookstores. It was actually written in Venice, and the character of Josie is inspired by a real jazz singer the author saw performing at a restaurant there.


The website of A.C. WISE can be found by clicking the link under her name in the by line above. She also co-edits the Journal of Unlikely Entomology.

Your reader this week is Ben Phillips - and enjoy his reading of this story because that’s gonna be all you hear for a while from him…



“A floating city, a sinking city, a drowned city; there isn’t much difference, really.

When R’lyeh rose, it rose everywhere, everywhen. Threads spiral out, stitching past to present to future. There are ways to walk between, if you’re willing to lose a part of yourself. Most people aren’t; it’s my specialty.

I stand on a pier, eyes shaded against the water’s glare. It’s 2015, by the smell - diesel and cooked meat, early enough that such things still exist. It might as well be 2017, or 3051. But this year is where my client is, so I wait, sweating inside a black, leather jacket, watching slick weeds stir below lapping waves.”



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Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
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Just Jeff

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Re: Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 04:04:45 PM »
I only caught about half of what was said during reverb. I was about to delete it when the first time travel segment ended. In retrospect, I wish I had. BP was a great choice for reading this one, and it seems like a good ending, but the story never made me feel anything.

lowky

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Re: Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 02:59:18 PM »
I was about to go try redownloading the story when the reverb kicked in.  It wasn't until the second time that I was really sure it was meant to be an auditory clue to the shift going on in the story.

Scattercat

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Re: Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 02:12:52 AM »
This story was brilliant.  I particularly liked the deft extracurricular twist the reverb added to the ending; it seems that whoever did the production work had their own perspective on which choice the protagonist made.  ;-)

By the way, as near as I could tell while listening on my tinny little tablet speakers in the car, the protagonist was named "Lara," and I know I heard the protagonist say she got "wet" when she's supposed to be sexually excited by Josie; was there any particular reason we went with a male narrator on this one?  Other than that Ben Phillips rightly wanted to read a kick-ass story and make sure it got done *right*.  It added a layer of confusion for me that I'm not entirely sure I liked. 
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Sgarre1

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Re: Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 04:35:43 AM »
I'll totally admit that I just made the presumption that the narrator was male.  The character's name was Ara and the line you mention was "I'm wet and trembling" which certainly could be read the way you think, but I guess I just read as  "sweaty" or maybe missed entirely.  And Josie does lift Ara's "long black braid" - but then again, given the time and the characters, could be read either way.  Maybe the author will stop by and let us know if we goofed.

Scattercat

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Re: Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 04:55:03 AM »
To me, the voice of the story was very feminine, and I got a strong Sapphic vibe from the whole thing, but perhaps I'm just suffering from Imaginary Lesbians.  (A chronic problem on Escape Artists, as we all know.)
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Scumpup

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Re: Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 02:39:43 PM »
Whether it is about lesbians or not, I completely failed to connect with this story.  Lovecraft, despite his flaws as a writer and a person, is one of my favorite authors.  When I saw that this story was going to be drawing on the Cthulhu mythos, I was excited!  Alas, though I listened undistracted through the whole story, I'd be hard pressed to tell you about really anything that took place in it.  Time/Space travel at some unclean cost?  R'lyeh is a state of mind?  The story just kind of washed over me without leaving a lasting impression.

Unblinking

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Re: Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 05:47:33 PM »
I had trouble following this one.  Starting with the reverb, and having bits of it throughout didn't help because  my ears were trying to parse through three echoes at a time to get the basic text.  I'm not really sure what happened, other than that they lived in an underwater Venice, and there was time travel.

schizoTypal

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Re: Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 02:32:11 AM »
I only caught about half of what was said during reverb. I was about to delete it when the first time travel segment ended. In retrospect, I wish I had. BP was a great choice for reading this one, and it seems like a good ending, but the story never made me feel anything.

I have to agree entirely, and with sadness. I still actually have no idea what the story was about, and I never felt anything but irritation while listening. That painful echo didn't help, and it's was very difficult to understand what exactly was being said until a while after it was done ... being said.

Razorhuggs

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Re: Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 12:22:48 PM »
When the episode started my greatest concern was that OTHERS wouldn't like the effects for the first 7~seconds. My affection for HPL themed stories stories makes me a little clucky I'm afraid. Everything needs to be perfect whether the story has merit or not. In this case the unusual effects worried me less and less as the quality of the story shone through. The author found that elusive angle where a truly alien world is brought down so that we human listeners can appreciate it while remaining truly disturbed.     

Fenrix

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Re: Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 03:28:19 PM »
By the end, I really loved the production on this one. It took a story that could be real challenging to present effectively due to the time and space jumps and clearly defined the transitions. Also, what was being provided to us during those transitions was largely mood and atmosphere (which the production reinforced), so the exact content was less relevant.

As to the gender of the protagonist, I think it's deliberately vague to allow the reader to connect. There's some gay one way or another, whether it's the step brother or the girl friend. I'm cool with Ben reading all stories tangential to Lovecraft.

I thought the story was well crafted and the mood it created was wrenching. Now, checking back and seeing this is the same author as Final Girl Theory, I know I have to seek out more of this author's work. A. C. Wise pushes all the right buttons for me.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 03:56:14 PM by Fenrix »
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