Escape Artists
April 25, 2019, 11:36:44 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2  All
  Print  
Author Topic: Pseudopod 321: I Am The Box, The Box Is Me  (Read 6029 times)
Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4896


Mmm. Tiger.


« on: February 16, 2013, 03:03:48 AM »

Pseudopod 321: I Am The Box, The Box Is Me

By Kyle S. Johnson .

I Am The Box, The Box Is Me” is previously unpublished - the story was conceived on a gloomy Sunday afternoon at the best coffee shop my little town had to offer

Kyle. S. Johnson spent the last two years teaching in Korea. His work has appeared in anthologies such as THE WORLD IS DEAD (Permuted Press), DARK FAITH (Apex Publications), DARK FAITH: INVOCATIONS (Apex Publications), and the upcoming VAMPIRES DON’T SPARKLE (Seventh Star Press).


Pete Milan - is your reader this week. Pete writes, and produces audio drama for Pendant Audio, and can also be heard in audio dramas from Gypsy Audio, the Colonial Radio Theater On The Air, and Cape Cod Radio Mystery Theater. He has also performed free audiobooks for Librivox. You can visit him at twitter.com/PeteMilan..

“The crate, as best I can tell, hangs high above some sprawling dock, some bustling seaport. The smells are pretty unmistakable, but it’s the sounds that do the most telling. Gulls talk, water babbles. A lot of ships come and go. I can hear their massive hulls cutting the waves. I hear their horns, which sound somber and gloomy in the distance, then earsplittingly awake and angry when close. Foggy, lumbering mastodons, I imagine. Things crawling up out of the mist and out of history itself.

When I imagine the sea, the world outside the box, I always picture it dark. I don’t mean that to suggest I’m being fatalistic. I don’t brood because I don’t have time to. I’m far too busy in here, you see. If I started brooding now, I’d tumble down into it, and it would be a forever-slope that I couldn’t climb back up from. I see it as dark because that’s just how it naturally feels through the cracks.”

“I Am The Box, The Box Is Me” uses these creaking and harbors sounds from Freesound.

“treehouse” by mystiscool

“tie the boat” by laurent

“creaking silver birch” by ERH

“dock ramp” by epolk

“tree creak” by department64

“HarborToulon” by DifferentSoundScapes


We have a Flash Fiction Contest starting up!  Check it out!



Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
Logged

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
Creideann
Extern
*
Posts: 3


« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 01:56:37 PM »

I like the opening, but after given the sound effects a few minutes to stop fighting with my hearing, I moved on to another podcast.
Logged
heyes
Peltast
***
Posts: 92



WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 04:16:30 PM »

For me this was a shaggy dog story. The only thing keeping me interested in listening was the production and the great narration. I have to go further and say that really the only thing I enjoyed was Alasdair's commentary at the end, but for me the commentary did little to improve the value of the story.
Logged

"Feed me Seymour!"
     -Audry II
"You were not put on the Earth to get it, Mr. Burton"
     - Lo Pan
Scuba Man
Matross
****
Posts: 215


Drabblecast, Pseudopod, Escapepod, Podcastle


« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2013, 08:29:31 AM »

The swinging, twisting background sound worked for me.  A little loud - sure.  At the end of this story, I was I imagining an abandoned shipping terminal on one of my local Great Lakes.  An abandoned Owens Sound (Georgian Bay).
Logged

"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8657



WWW
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 09:56:42 AM »

I stuck with this one until about halfway through, but at that point I still had no interest in the story so I skipped ahead to the outro.  Why am I supposed to care about this guy narrating what he hears in a shipyard?  The fact that he frequently referred to his obsession without ever taking the extra step to say what his obsession was, constantly irritated me.  That never  seemed like anything but an author trying to be clever.  Maybe the reveal was worth it, but I never made it far enough to know.

I liked the sound effects.  I may have only listened as far as I did because I liked listening to the sound effects.
Logged
Scumpup
Peltast
***
Posts: 102


...


« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 08:57:21 AM »

I gave this one a listen on the way to work this morning and gave up on it about 3/4 of the way through.  It was like listening to the ramblings of an unfunny version of the janitor from Scrubs.  I just couldn't bear any more and switched over to another podcast.  Sad
Logged
Scattercat
Caution:
Hipparch
******
Posts: 4847


Amateur wordsmith


WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 10:21:01 AM »

I enjoyed several parts of this story, and in particular the bit where the narrator got confused between himself as a former person and himself as a former tree.  I liked the rope creaking for mood, but I think the foghorn was a little distracting; it kept popping up in the loop and drowning out a word or two in the quiet bits.  There was one moment when the narrator mentions the foghorns, and the sound appeared right afterward, and that was nice, but I think it could otherwise have been clipped out to profitable effect.

The ending was kind of a letdown to me, but I know I've mentioned my dislike of Lovecraft pastiches before.  At least no one actually *said* Shub-Niggurath or mentioned the Necronomicon explicitly.  I feel like the story went on perhaps a paragraph or two too long after the reveal; I know the narrator is kind of circling in a psychic drain at that point, but I think he conveyed it well enough through the rest of the story and didn't really need to hammer the point home quite as thoroughly as was done.  Still, overall, it was an enjoyable story, and an interesting perspective.  (Who ships shoggoths internationally, anyway?  Fedex?)
Logged

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book
Scattercat
Caution:
Hipparch
******
Posts: 4847


Amateur wordsmith


WWW
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 08:32:23 PM »

Why am I supposed to care about this guy narrating what he hears in a shipyard?  The fact that he frequently referred to his obsession without ever taking the extra step to say what his obsession was, constantly irritated me. 

The question is the answer, young padawan.
Logged

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8657



WWW
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2013, 09:48:19 AM »

Why am I supposed to care about this guy narrating what he hears in a shipyard?  The fact that he frequently referred to his obsession without ever taking the extra step to say what his obsession was, constantly irritated me. 

The question is the answer, young padawan.

So, I'm not supposed to care at all?
Logged
Scattercat
Caution:
Hipparch
******
Posts: 4847


Amateur wordsmith


WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2013, 10:19:03 AM »

His obsession WAS the shipyard, the stories he made up to suit the voices he heard.  Those stories, in turn, being by his own admission his invention, illustrate something about his own history and how he came to be in/of the box.
Logged

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8657



WWW
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2013, 10:43:18 AM »

His obsession WAS the shipyard, the stories he made up to suit the voices he heard.  Those stories, in turn, being by his own admission his invention, illustrate something about his own history and how he came to be in/of the box.

My comment where I said "Why am I supposed to care?" would be more accurately rephrased "I didn't care."  So when you answered my question, I just shot off a glib response, aiming for and probably missing an attempt at comedy.  You didn't have to dignify my comment with a response.   Grin
Logged
Scattercat
Caution:
Hipparch
******
Posts: 4847


Amateur wordsmith


WWW
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2013, 11:42:20 AM »

Yes, but then I wouldn't get to be pedantic, and where would the fun be in that?
Logged

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8657



WWW
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 09:52:53 AM »

Yes, but then I wouldn't get to be pedantic, and where would the fun be in that?

Smiley
Logged
benjaminjb
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1389



« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2013, 12:00:34 AM »

I soldiered through the sound effects, which did get on my nerves some; but I feel unrewarded for that effort.
Logged
canajunsam
Palmer
**
Posts: 21



« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2013, 09:36:42 PM »

Slow.  That's the first word I could think of to describe this story.  It took a fair amount of time to get to a point of any type.  And the ending kind of seemed...tacked on?  It was like this started out as something else entirely, then they decided to stick some lovecraft on it, and call it done.  The story wasn't un-entertaining, and I quite enjoyed the small stories of the dockyard, and the man in the box.  I feel unsatisfied, and craving a bit more out of it.

So I guess what I'm saying is I don't know how I'm supposed to feel about this story.  Which might be how I'm supposed to feel about it.
Logged

...And I promise you, it's true.
       -Mur Lafferty, Pseudopod episode 1, The bag man
Thulsa Morgue
Palmer
**
Posts: 37


So many drummers, so little time...


WWW
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2013, 11:23:52 AM »

I've been listening from the shadows for a long time and there have only been a handful of episodes that I couldn't make it through to the end.  The sound effects took me out of this story, I could not concentrate on what I was hearing.  If it were a less subtle story (and I do love subtlety), maybe the sounds wouldn't have been so jarring.  I had to skip past this one and I always feel guilty for doing that, like it's unfair to the writer.  Whether it's a bad recording mic, a thickly accented reader, intrusive sound effects or just my mood at the time...  none of these are the author's fault and the few episodes I didn't fight my way through haunt me to this day.  I have no idea if this story is any good because I couldn't get through it and that makes me feel like I've insulted the story... and maybe the story will come stalking, seeking its revenge...
Logged
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8657



WWW
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2013, 09:47:39 AM »

I've been listening from the shadows for a long time and there have only been a handful of episodes that I couldn't make it through to the end.  The sound effects took me out of this story, I could not concentrate on what I was hearing.  If it were a less subtle story (and I do love subtlety), maybe the sounds wouldn't have been so jarring.  I had to skip past this one and I always feel guilty for doing that, like it's unfair to the writer.  Whether it's a bad recording mic, a thickly accented reader, intrusive sound effects or just my mood at the time...  none of these are the author's fault and the few episodes I didn't fight my way through haunt me to this day.  I have no idea if this story is any good because I couldn't get through it and that makes me feel like I've insulted the story... and maybe the story will come stalking, seeking its revenge...

What stories have you liked?  With long-time lurkers it's interesting to hear both what they liked and didn't like.  Smiley
Logged
i.wright
Extern
*
Posts: 5



« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2013, 01:22:40 PM »

That creaking rope or whatever that sound effect was, was like nails down a chalkboard.  I couldn't listen to it for long.
Logged
Thulsa Morgue
Palmer
**
Posts: 37


So many drummers, so little time...


WWW
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 08:16:13 AM »

What stories have you liked?  With long-time lurkers it's interesting to hear both what they liked and didn't like.  Smiley

I'm far too eclectic to select a favorite, I like a wide variety of styles and that's what's kept me listening for all this time...  But to avoid a weaselly noncommittal answer, recent stories that stood out to me were "The Cell Call", "Persistence of Memory", "The Crawl Space" and "Night Fishing".

Writing is art, art is open to interpretation and as they say, there is no accounting for taste.  So I've kind of avoided the forums thus far because I'm generally not a fan of critiques.  Rejection is part of the game but to have someone reject and then belittle your art after misinterpreting it is hard for me to watch, even if it's not my story being ridiculed.

But from what I've read here at EA, everyone seems to have a tad more civility than many forums I've been to.  I was drawn in because of the upcoming flash contest and figured I'd dip my toe into the pool and see how the water feels...
Logged
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8657



WWW
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2013, 09:44:05 AM »

But from what I've read here at EA, everyone seems to have a tad more civility than many forums I've been to.  I was drawn in because of the upcoming flash contest and figured I'd dip my toe into the pool and see how the water feels...

I'm glad you stopped in.  I have definitely found this forum to be more civil than almost any other forum I've been to.  Great moderators make a big difference, and there's a good crowd here for debating story strengths and weaknesses if you like that kind of thing.  Smiley
Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!