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Author Topic: PC265: The Copperroof War  (Read 3781 times)
Talia
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« on: June 20, 2013, 07:55:13 AM »

PodCastle 265: The Copperroof War

by Megan Arkenberg

Read by Eric Luke (author of Interference)

Originally published in Ideomancer (Read it here!)

It began in the south wing, near the long cold Hall of Empires and the chambers of the Duke of Cloud. Helene, the Duchess, woke at midnight to the metal sound of marching in the corridor, and farther away, the hollow ring of drums.

“Paride,” she whispered, shaking her husband’s shoulder. The cold was bitter, even in the Duke’s bedchamber, and her breath froze in a puff of white. The distant marching became louder, and she reached for the dagger on her bedside table.

Before Paride had fully awakened, the Duchess was flinging a silk dressing gown around her and fumbling for a candle. The fire had died — strangely, as the maids of Copperroof were known for their diligence — but the air smelled faintly of smoke.

“Ghosts,” the Duke murmured, pulling on a pair of trousers. “But I’ll be damned if they burn down Copperroof in the King’s absence.”

“Ghosts never enter the south wing,” Helene said. She climbed up on the chair by her writing desk and took two trophies from the wall: an ancient Imixian saber, curved and wickedly sharp, and a bastard sword from the brief reign of Socorro XI. She handed the saber to her husband and led the way — candle and dagger in one hand, sword in the other — into the smoke-choked corridor.


Rated R: Contains violence and an anthropomorphic house.


Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 08:07:40 AM by Talia » Logged
Just Jeff
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2013, 12:15:22 PM »

I stopped this one after about 30 minutes. (That's two in a row for me. Ugh.) This one has a lot of potential, but I think I'd need to read it. I was having too much trouble keeping track of everyone and everything.
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Scott R
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2013, 01:38:03 PM »

I was about half way in when I realized I really liked this piece. The time jumping had me worried a bit; and I found myself wishing the lady with the broadsword had gotten more page time. By halfway in, I was ALL in.
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evrgrn_monster
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 05:41:55 PM »

I'm with Scott R. About halfway through, I also realized that I was super into this story and that Helene was awesome. I would actually like to read an entire book around her and her Duke.

I was particularly impressed with the playing with timelines. It was written in a way that really enhanced the tension and fed the audience information in a smart and precise way. The narrator was especially good in these transitions as well. I had an easy time following where and when I was at in the story, and I feel like this could've easily not been the case.

The only complaint I would raise is that I had a bit of trouble understanding the motivation of the Queen. I didn't get where all that anger came from, since she seemed pretty at peace with the situation with her husband. Also, I did have an issue with figuring out the size of Copperroof. It's a home, but it's divided in two different sides? Is it like the size of a small village or is the division more of a social one? A tad confusing.

Overall, though, very much enjoyed myself with this story. Smiley
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2013, 08:04:20 AM »

Interesting worldbuilding here.  I like the "world-as-a-house" trope that I've seen in a few other stories, though I guess this was more like a "kingdom-as-a-house".  I had some trouble keeping the character relationships straight, and the timejumping was frustrating and didn't seem to add anything.

So I liked the world, but wasn't wowed by this story set in it.
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Moritz
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2013, 04:01:14 PM »

Take this with a grain of salt, because I am in an exotic country right now and listened to this while trying to navigate the labyrinthine alleyways with quite a lot of listening breaks... In fact I listened to it three times to try to understand it. Maybe I need to try again in one sitting when I have no distractions. I had troubles telling the characters apart and a lot of descriptive prose was so general it wasn't clear how to picture it (e.g. when talking about the normal people it really was hard to figure out how they'd live like). I also didn't understand how large Copperroof was.

The confusion about characters, the politics, and the un-fantasyness of the setting made me think of GRR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire though (the books, never watched the series). Speaking of books, I think I'll need to read this again in book form.
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evrgrn_monster
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2013, 11:01:54 PM »

The confusion about characters, the politics, and the un-fantasyness of the setting made me think of GRR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire though (the books, never watched the series). Speaking of books, I think I'll need to read this again in book form.

Totally stick with the books, dude. The only thing you are missing out on in the TV show is Peter Dinklage, and as amazing as he is, I don't think he can save that show, personally.

I also would like to re-read this story in book form, though. Opening the link to that and adding it to my many tabbed browser right now! Click!
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2013, 07:15:49 AM »

Totally stick with the books, dude. The only thing you are missing out on in the TV show is Peter Dinklage, and as amazing as he is, I don't think he can save that show, personally.

 I disagree, though I haven't read the books to compare.  The show is very good.  Peter Dinklage is definitely the best part, but there's plenty of other good stuff.
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FireTurtle
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2013, 03:40:25 PM »

I am glad I wasn't the only person who was lost. I like to think my critical thinking skills are ok, and my listening skills on a par with ok. So, when I am thinking "WTF When/Who is This?" every three minutes or less, something is wrong. The "wait what" basically made me want to open the text and back track or look for the little *** that might tell me I time jumped. Again.

Granted, there is a lot of stuff going on in my life right now and I was (understandably-I'll tell ya all later if it comes up in context) distracted. I wasn't THAT distracted. It was a nifty setting and I wanted to like it. I just spent way to much time trying to figure out what was going down to sink my mental claws into the mental feast it was trying to present.
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2013, 11:16:06 AM »

This was awesome, all the way.  Reminds me of the Great House from Tad Williams' Otherland series, which was one of my favorite sequences in those books.

It <I>does have a lot of fiddly detail that is highly relevant to the plotline, though.  I could see being confused if you missed a couple of the more crucial seconds.  (Text of the story still available here at Ideomancer, by the way.)
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2013, 07:42:08 AM »

This was awesome, all the way.  Reminds me of the Great House from Tad Williams' Otherland series, which was one of my favorite sequences in those books.

That did come to mind for me too.  Smiley
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InfiniteMonkey
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« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2013, 10:13:05 PM »

I'm surprised no one's mentioned Gormenghast (c'mon, I'm not that old, am I?). This has the very same sense of internecine* conflict amid decay, only with more characters and supernatural actors.



*hey, look, Firefox now helps me with my horrible spelling!
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Devoted135
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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2013, 10:10:02 AM »

I guess I'm in the middle of the pack with this one. On the one hand, it was totally awesome and I want to see a Tim Burton-style movie of it. By the way, was I the only one who imagined all of the people to be doll-sized? On the other hand, I never got to the point where I knew all the characters by name so I also had a ton of "wait, what?" moments. So, overall this was a win for me, but I totally see why people might find it too obscure for audio.
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Devoted135
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2013, 10:11:42 AM »

Totally stick with the books, dude. The only thing you are missing out on in the TV show is Peter Dinklage, and as amazing as he is, I don't think he can save that show, personally.

 I disagree, though I haven't read the books to compare.  The show is very good.  Peter Dinklage is definitely the best part, but there's plenty of other good stuff.

Dude, you have to read the books! Wait, check that. Wait until the last two are published, and then you have to read the books! Cheesy

I enjoyed the first two seasons of the show (and I'm sure I'll enjoy the third season once I watch it), but it just can't compare to the books. Smiley
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Moritz
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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2013, 03:09:20 AM »

On the one hand, it was totally awesome and I want to see a Tim Burton-style movie of it. By the way, was I the only one who imagined all of the people to be doll-sized?

Yeah, I agree Smiley
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Whiskerwing
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2013, 02:53:50 PM »

The author really knows how to hook a reader on this one. I felt immediately both fascinated and engrossed, a feeling that sadly fizzled out by the end of the story.

I confused the characters far more often than I got them right (which is a weakness of mine as a reader in any case, but others commented so it can't JUST be me). The ending left me cold, and the villain's motivation wasn't satisfying.

The magic of the haunted-but-not-haunted-but-really-rather-haunty house got buried in petty politics.

That truly was a stunning beginning, though, and I actually did like the timeline-bouncing way the author revealed clues.
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ChairmanDances
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« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2014, 10:46:48 PM »

This was awesome, all the way.  Reminds me of the Great House from Tad Williams' Otherland series, which was one of my favorite sequences in those books.

Just listened to this now, but a really cool setting.  It reminded me of the palace as city setting in the Conan story "Red Nails" - same vibe and the sense of a long claustrophobic history all under one roof.
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TheBigBlueFrog
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« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2015, 01:27:05 PM »

Copper roof reminds me of Gormenghast, as someone said "Kingdom as House."
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