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Author Topic: Pseudopod 029: Light Like Knives Dragged Across the Skin  (Read 8857 times)

Bdoomed

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Pseudopod 029: Light Like Knives Dragged Across the Skin


By Paul Jessup
Read by Ben Phillips

Saw grinned. “Well, come on chicken shits, let’s keep the game going. We can’t call it quits now, we are all defined by our cards in play. So smack that shit down and let’s get going.”

Saw got off on the whole thing, that much I could tell. He probably had a thick inch of wood under the table. He was in love with power, with making people do what he wanted. And now he wanted one of us to die. I guess that’s just how it goes.



Listen to this week's Pseudopod.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Leon Kensington

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Reply #1 on: March 18, 2007, 10:33:52 PM
This was my favorite Pseudo yet!  I love the surrealistic stories in horror, I hope we have more soon.



sirana

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Reply #2 on: March 21, 2007, 08:37:37 AM
Meh, didn't much like the story. Nice language and all, but just too metaphysical and surreal for me. Nothing that counts against the story, but just not my cup of tea.
Also, the tagline was missing ;-(



lowky

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Reply #3 on: March 21, 2007, 09:31:29 AM
Mur you weren't alone in wanting to buy that game.  I was trying to figure out at first what CCG they were playing.  Also I noticed that you mentioned the Arkham Horror Board Game on both Psuedopod and Geek Fu this week.  That is an awesome board game.  It's cool, too in that it actually has rules and is playable as a one person game, if you can't find anyone else to game with.  I highly recommend everyone check it out.


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Reply #4 on: March 21, 2007, 09:34:34 PM
Where was the tagline?!??  ???



wakela

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Reply #5 on: March 27, 2007, 02:53:02 AM
I may have been the one on the Skepticality forum who commented about skepticism in horror stories.  I don't think I wrote about the skeptical character being the first to get bumped off, so maybe it was someone else, but it's something I know I posted about. 

It's difficult for me to articulate this frustration.  I know about suspension of disbelief, and that when I watch a horror movie, I am often placed in a world where the supernatural can happen.  But there is often a scene when the protagonist, who is the only one who knows about the monster, has to convince the authorities to help him.  As an audience member who sympathizes with the protagonist, I'm supposed to hope the cop believes him and helps.  But as a skeptic, I know that the cop would be insane to believe him.  Not believe in monsters is what the police should do. 

Imagine a movie where the main guy runs around trying to convince people that the Earth is flat.  The audience would assume that the guy is crazy and that anyone who believes him is an idiot.  Even if the audience saw the proof along with the main guy, we would assume there was something else going on. 

Don't get me wrong, there are movies about ghosts and monsters and stuff that I really like even though I know these things do not exist.   But it would be nice to have a horror story that respected my skepticism.

Neat little story, by the way.  The names of the cards were great. 



Thaurismunths

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Reply #6 on: March 27, 2007, 05:40:29 PM
What a cool game! I'd love to know more about how it's played, or where it's been played before.
Well delivered even though I had a little trouble grasping the significance of the cards and with following the action.

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?


clichekiller

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Reply #7 on: April 17, 2007, 03:10:52 AM
This was a really great, and really disturbing episode.  I want more!!!



Jim

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Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 01:17:02 PM
As an avid gamer, I found this story pretty scary. Just imagining a game that reshapes reality in and around the players gave me the willies. Nice one!

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coyote247

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Reply #9 on: May 19, 2007, 05:18:26 PM
See, to me it seemed that nothing supernatural was visibly happening. That is, I do believe that the trading of personalities was really occuring, and not just in their heads, however it really seemed to be the only truly supernatural thing happening.

The bit about turning into a lion just seemed metaphor to me, the same as the hanged man inside of himself.

When you get down to brass tacks, this is a story about people sitting around playing a card game that trades their personalities among each other, with them switching each other's decks (and thus personalities), lighting one of them on fire after pouring gas on em, and then killing one of their number with a butcher's knive they had laid out.

It seems very plausible. I could visualize these people sitting around with the gas can and knife inbetween them, waiting for the cards to decide who is the victim.


I really liked the story, because I think showing the "real" horror of a single subtle supernatural element, like a card game that swaps personalities, is a lot more potent sometimes than visible monsters.


Then again I was always a sucker for that kind of stuff on the Twilight Zone. Like the episode where the guy gains the ability to trade properties of himself with people if they agree to it. So he trades his youth to a millionaire, then buys a year or two from a bunch of young people until he's young again, and ultimately meets his fate from a man he bought the compassion from.


Anyways, this is my first post and I just wanna say good job on Pseudopod and I look forward to more scary stories.




Planish

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Reply #10 on: July 08, 2007, 12:15:06 PM
See, to me it seemed that nothing supernatural was visibly happening. That is, I do believe that the trading of personalities was really occuring, and not just in their heads, however it really seemed to be the only truly supernatural thing happening.
I didn't even get that much out of it.
*ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ*
I actually fell asleep in the middle (hey, it was late), so I gave it a second listen the next day.
Every action and bit of dialogue seemed contrived. I didn't see any reason for the (presumably) grown-up players to get all worked up about anything in the game itself and I just kept thinking they needed to get out more.

"... and burning our souls with the architecture of myth." Puh-lease. It's just a game. "Myth"? All the card names sounded like they were obtained from random pairings of words from a dictionary list.

"[Janice]... using the game to do whatever she wants." - There. That line by itself told me there was nothing supernatural about the game or the cards.

I give it one star out of five for the concept, maybe, but very little else.

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Unblinking

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Reply #11 on: September 18, 2009, 03:17:10 AM
As a gamer, the premise of the story was very intriguing to me.  It wasn't at all clear if things were actually happening supernaturally, happening in imagination, or actually being acted out physically, but that's fine.  Like Mur, I wondered where I could get my hands on it.  :)



kibitzer

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Reply #12 on: October 01, 2009, 12:08:32 PM
I'm thinking Mur is working on creating this game. An unpublished gem.


Millenium_King

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Reply #13 on: August 12, 2010, 08:11:16 PM
Big thumbs down.  After about 6-9 minutes of listening to a fictitious (and nonsensical) description of a faux-Magic the Gathering game, I pressed the Next button.  Sorry, I like Magic too, but this was waaaaaay too much Nerdcore for me.

EDIT: I wanted to add, regarding skepticism in horror: has anyone ever heard of this guy called H.P. Lovecraft?  In virtually ALL of his stories, the skeptic is the hero.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 08:14:27 PM by Millenium_King »

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


kibitzer

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Reply #14 on: August 14, 2010, 12:19:36 PM
I wanted to add, regarding skepticism in horror: has anyone ever heard of this guy called H.P. Lovecraft?  In virtually ALL of his stories, the skeptic is the hero.

H P Who?


Unblinking

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Reply #15 on: August 16, 2010, 01:26:15 PM
I wanted to add, regarding skepticism in horror: has anyone ever heard of this guy called H.P. Lovecraft?  In virtually ALL of his stories, the skeptic is the hero.

H P Who?

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FrankOreto

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Reply #16 on: August 17, 2010, 03:37:15 PM
Lovecraft.....  romance? Oh wait, that guy who is so good at Harry Potter based erotica. (hence the H. P.).
Seriously, MK when you reach the first episode are you going to post a list of your favorites?



Millenium_King

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Reply #17 on: August 17, 2010, 05:56:05 PM
I'm glad you're interested...!  And actually...  It's the 2nd post down.

I haven't completed listening to the archives, and the list isn't in order.  I'll probably post a final list once I get all the way back to the big 001.

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.