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Author Topic: PC254: Sundae  (Read 11859 times)
Ocicat
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« on: April 03, 2013, 12:38:44 PM »

PodCastle 254: Sundae

by Matt Wallace

Read by Dave Robison (of the Round Table Podcast)

Originally published as a Kindle eBook.

Perhaps the greatest warrior the world had ever known was entombed in a brown cardboard box in the attic. The box was scrawled “Kenny’s Room” in bright red Sharpie pen and stuffed into a dust-covered corner one Spring-cleaning with several others. Some contained toys the children had outgrown, others contained electronics that were working but hopelessly out-of-date. All of them were quickly forgotten about.

Inside the cardboard box filled with other unwanted toys, Sundae lay in his miniature steamer trunk. The trunk’s once-fine leather was cracked and peeling all over, its many stamps painted with their images of post card lands dulled and faded by age. Sundae himself had not faired much better through the years (it had been almost a century since he was created in Magda’s workshop).

One of his eyes was missing, and the tear left by its departure had been sewn shut to keep the fluff from leaking out. A large patch of fur covering his right breast and shoulder was dark and brittle. He’d taken a tumble into a roaring fireplace while grappling with a particularly nasty beast back in the 70’s. The cover he’d fashioned from leather scraps for his left ear, to protect the pressed metal button that was the source of all Stenz bears’ power, looked worn and awkwardly stapled on.

There were other punctures and tears and rips. Some had been sewn like his eye, some closed hastily with masking tape that was now brown and furling at the corners.

Rated R: Contains violent Teddy Bears. Been a while since we did that!

Special thanks to Alasdair Stuart – our Guest Editor and Host this week!

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 09:51:23 PM by Talia » Logged
Kaa
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 02:21:39 PM »

Damn you, Matt F'n Wallace. Damn you. I was just FINE up until Silver.
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 09:57:12 AM »

Pardon the overused meme, but I just couldn't shake the idea that Chuck Norris would be proud to hug this teddy bear.

That out of the way, the story was off-the-scale dramatic, but fun with the help of Dave Robison.  I had a hard time taking this one seriously, except for Silver...

Damn you, Matt F'n Wallace. Damn you. I was just FINE up until Silver.

...and the scene where Sundae is frustrated in his inability to protect the girl from her own father, may he rot.

This story also makes me want to revisit another teddy bear tale
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DKT
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 10:12:32 AM »

Oh! That's not even one of the ones I was thinking of! Thanks for pointing it out.

Also worth noting:

Teddy Bears and Tea Parties
The Behold of the Eye (This was voted listener's favorite several years ago, if memory serves...)

Didn't realize Teddypunk (God forgive me) was such a thriving subgenre! A few more and we'd have ourselves collection!
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chemistryguy
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2013, 12:56:31 PM »

Teddypunk

I love this term.

I have yet to check out Teddy Bears and Tea Parties or The Behold of the Eye, but now I think I must.

Also, a very big congrats on the new addition to your family!
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raetsel
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2013, 01:01:16 PM »

One of the best PodCastle stories I've heard in the last year and that is a pretty high bar.

This story was a tremendous epic tale that pushed so many of my emotional buttons, but never in a cheap trick sentimental way it earned the right to go where it wanted to. Here is a hero and story with real heart. Listening to the final few minutes driving home I had tears rolling down my cheeks. Those bittersweet tears of sadness and vicarious, pride if you will. Knowing that Sundae had done his duty and done it with a smile on his face.

The reading was exquisite but then Dave is an extra-ordinary narrator with a voice like silk sliding over a gravel path.

Finally Alasdair's outro. What an inspiration. This is the completion of the triple-threat. Story, narration and hosting.

Needless to say I bought a copy of the story for my partner's kindle immediately.

Bravo, Podcastle! Bravo!
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 07:52:04 AM by raetsel » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2013, 01:14:00 PM »

Teddypunk

I love this term.

I have yet to check out Teddy Bears and Tea Parties or The Behold of the Eye, but now I think I must.


All very different stories, but highly enjoyable. Tea Parties is easily one of my favorites from DC (and I LOVE DC).


Also, a very big congrats on the new addition to your family!

Thank You!!!  Grin
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eytanz
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2013, 02:51:56 PM »


Also, a very big congrats on the new addition to your family!

Congratulations indeed! (I haven't yet heard the episode - I'm about a month behind - so I'm glad I had a look at the thread and noticed this Smiley )
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DKT
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2013, 03:12:09 PM »


Also, a very big congrats on the new addition to your family!

Congratulations indeed! (I haven't yet heard the episode - I'm about a month behind - so I'm glad I had a look at the thread and noticed this Smiley )

Thanks, Eytan  Cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2013, 05:04:12 PM »

Wow, that wrecked me.  I was listening on my way home from work tonight, tears streaming down my face. I loved it, and when I got home, I hugged the stuffed bunny I've slept with since I was 5.  He's a rather small bunny, but I do now wonder if he's had anything to do with keeping me safe at night for all these years.

I felt so much empathy for the characters in this story.  Esther, Silver, Harper and, of course, Sundae...for such a short story, I fell in love with them.  Their pains were mine, their deaths stung.

The narration of this hero tale was spectacular and may be a large reason why I was so touched by this story. I am grateful Sunny Bunny is still around, I may have a nightmare of that dragon voice tonight.
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BlueLu
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 10:06:55 AM »


I really wanted to love this story as much as Alasdair, but I found it a bit rambly.  I also found I was constantly comparing it to The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk (mentioned above)—another story about a kick-ass Teddy Bear who protects children—and this story was always coming up second, perhaps because Achtromagk deals with a bear's(?) relationship to one child, while this story tries to cover Sundae's protection of numerous children.

There were some images I loved—the bear’s creation by the old German woman, his relationship to the dog, the importance of tucking children in properly—but I didn’t find myself as emotionally engaged as I wanted to be.

I also wish the depiction of the evils of television had been a bit more...subtle?

There are times when I don't like a story will argue to the death that it's because the story itself is flawed.  This time, though, I completely realize that it's a matter of taste and that this story is perfect for many people--just not me. 

Great reading, though, and I agree with everybody about Alasdair's epic outro. Although...I don't think Matthew Broderick was in The Graduate.
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Lena
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 07:38:32 PM »

What more is there to say except this?:
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InfiniteMonkey
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 07:48:12 PM »

Actually, there's a lot more to say:

Damn you, Matt F'n Wallace. Damn you. I was just FINE up until Silver.

Right there with you.

And actually, after the brutal story on Escape Pod this week.. really, didn't need any more child rape. Not that it wasn't handled well in the story, but.... still.

Also... am I the only one who sees the dark irony in a story about a teddy bear being marginalized in a world full of screen... debuting as a Kindle book?


I don't think Matthew Broderick was in The Graduate.


He wasn't (I'm not even sure how old he was when it was made) - but he was in "The Freshman", and I'm pretty sure that's what he meant.

Good luck with the job Alasdair. I hope you have better luck than me....
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Just Jeff
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2013, 07:56:25 PM »

Great story well voiced. My only complaint is the temporal shifts sometimes tripped me up. (Scene breaks often fade when a story goes from print to audio.)

While Silver's death was sad, that was trumped by my delight at Sundae having a comrade in arms for several years.
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InfiniteMonkey
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2013, 08:13:54 PM »

Oh! That's not even one of the ones I was thinking of! Thanks for pointing it out.

And here I thought you meant:

Edward Bear and The Very Long Walk
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Mav.Weirdo
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2013, 07:43:55 AM »

What more is there to say except this?:

I'll mention that drawing is "sweet halloween dreams" by *begemott on deviantart
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Frungi
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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2013, 07:18:25 PM »

I’m really tired of stories that continually jump between flashback and present day, especially when it’s not immediately obvious that the narrative has made that jump. I’m starting to hate that structure.

But even so, I loved this story (even though I also love my glowing screens), and the narration was amazingly epic; there seemed to be many sentences that I’m sure would just seem ridiculous in print, but here in audio, even they were rendered with all the gravity that this fluffy warrior deserved. (See, there’s an example of the type of sentence I’m talking about.)

And it goes without saying that Alasdair’s endcap was great; in fact, all I need to say about that is Alasdair did the endcap. Listen to it. And buy his book.
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« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2013, 03:52:43 PM »

Great story well voiced. My only complaint is the temporal shifts sometimes tripped me up. (Scene breaks often fade when a story goes from print to audio.)

I had trouble with that as well. But this has been a common complaint in all the Escape Artists forums, and really, except for the stories they themselves narrate, they have little control over it, so I've leaned to just accept them as-is.

The story was awesome. Silver was by far my favorite part, picturing a warrior teddy bear astride a dachshund, (I conjured the dog from toy story for some reason) was beautiful and awesome and hilarious at the same time. Though I didn't shed any tears when Silver died because it was a logical progression in the tale, Silver earned his rest, and he and Sundae had their moment together. Just awesome.

In the current Pseudopod flash fiction contest we've had many monster-under-the-bed stories, some good, some lacking, but none that could stand up to this. Yes, those are flash, with much less room to work, but this is how to do it right.  Wink
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2013, 09:17:37 AM »

I quite enjoyed this story, though I got a little teeth-grindy when we got to the child rape.  That's probably an artifact of my work with unfiltered slushpiles; whenever anyone needs to add DEPTH to their story, they go right for the rape button and it's just tiring.  I still don't think this story quite justified its use, either - mere hitting would have been quite enough - but my eye-rolling is probably more extreme than most.

I was struck while listening that, other than being a teddy bear, this was a straight-up sword and sorcery tale straight out of the early days.  The hero is crowned champion of light, battles a variety of monsters, and sacrifices himself against his final foe; the reminiscences, the other characters, everything would remain almost unchanged if you replaced Sundae with a grizzled swordsman, the parents with kings and queens, and the houses with a variety of goofy continents with apostrophes in their names.  I'm still not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, honestly.  On the one hand, I do enjoy a straight-up adventure story now and then; on the other hand, I felt like the correspondence was a little too close, that the story could have worked with its own viewpoint a little more thoroughly.
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« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2013, 11:23:08 AM »

I'm still only partway through this story, but then I saw this today and had to share.
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