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Author Topic: Pseudopod 031: Last Respects  (Read 11899 times)

Bdoomed

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on: March 31, 2007, 02:20:33 AM
Pseudopod 031: Last Respects


By Dave Thompson
Read by Scott Sigler

But they were only stories. No one lived forever, certainly not us.

I’ve read stories about the sorrows immortals suffered because of how much they had seen over their long lives. What rubbish. I would trade my mortality for their immortality in a heartbeat if it meant another day with Catherine.

A scream rang out from downstairs. I smiled when I heard applause, my grandchildren now being praised by their mother as the scream faded to a whimper and the giggles were replaced by slurping sounds.



Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2007, 11:32:17 PM by Bdoomed »

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Swamp

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Reply #1 on: April 02, 2007, 06:02:52 PM
This is definately a different take on vampires--kind of an Addam's Family feel sans the laugh track.  I liked the religious aspect, definately a turnabout of typical vampire tropes.  Very creative.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2007, 08:00:11 PM by kmmrlatham »

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DKT

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Reply #2 on: April 02, 2007, 06:53:27 PM
Sweet, I'm glad that you enjoyed the story.  I was actually curious how you'd feel about the religion aspect would work for you (and a couple other listeners). I  remember the discussion on the EP forum about how religious conservatives liked genre fiction, too.

For the record, if I ever meet Sigler I'm going to give him a big hug.


Swamp

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Reply #3 on: April 02, 2007, 08:37:02 PM
Hey, I didn't recognize you as the author, but I guess I should have.  That's cool!  Lot's of forum personalities showing up on Pseudopod.

Regarding religion, like I said, you were very creative.  I had never thought of how vampires might interpret communion to be a celebration of their blood sucking practices.  I suppose a religious person could be unsettled if they took the story very seriously, but I mean, come on, we are talking vampires here.  And honestly, you showed religion in a positive light in the meaning, direction, and comfort it brought to the characters.  The sunrise funeral was a cool idea, and I liked that ressurrection had meaning for vampires, too.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2007, 09:01:30 PM by kmmrlatham »

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DKT

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Reply #4 on: April 02, 2007, 09:38:17 PM
That's awesome.  I'm glad you enjoyed it -- thanks for the kind words.   ;D
« Last Edit: April 02, 2007, 09:40:01 PM by DKT »



Thaurismunths

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Reply #5 on: April 06, 2007, 09:57:54 AM
Wow. This story was a total dark horse.  : )
I was, to be frank, disappointed in the content for the first 7-10 minutes of the story. It was just so... normal. And I had a really poor picture of what was going on. But as the story progressed I was honestly creeped out by my sympathy for the old vampire and just how casual all carnage was.
Having been raised on a farm, I could totally sympathies with the old vampire about how animals are just animals, but am aware that others feel differently. I was worried that it was going to get too religious when communion was brought up, and too political when the son-in-law's eating habits were brought up, but it did neither. Nor did it relent by admitting that the animals were humans or that they had feelings. The were animals and were treated as such.
Thanks for the story DKT!

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DKT

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Reply #6 on: April 06, 2007, 05:23:54 PM
I'm glad you stuck with it and enjoyed it in the end, Thaurismunths, especially the bits about the animals.  The last thing I wanted to do was get preachy with this story.  I'm happy you enjoyed it and I'm flattered it's thought of as a dark horse :)


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Reply #7 on: April 19, 2007, 05:58:49 PM
I agree with that last comment.  Another author could have taken the "vampire religion" thing or the "raising people for food" thing and turned it into played-out, alienating allegory, but this story kept its eye on the ball and focused on the really normal emotional development of the protagonist.  Good stuff!



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Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 09:16:46 PM
This story was unexpected.  The horror aspect of it was almost tangential to the core of the story; that being coping with the loss of a loved one.  Also the skew on the whole vampire myth was a welcome re imagining, very creative and original.  Was I the only one struck by how perfect this would work as an Outer Limits episode?



Swamp

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Reply #9 on: April 19, 2007, 11:42:12 PM
  Was I the only one struck by how perfect this would work as an Outer Limits episode?

Hey DKT,

Maybe you should talk to the folks at Stranger Things.

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DKT

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Reply #10 on: April 20, 2007, 04:23:59 PM
Thanks for the kind words clichekiller and supersonic.  I'm glad you enjoyed the story.  Really glad. ;D

  Was I the only one struck by how perfect this would work as an Outer Limits episode?

Hey DKT,

Maybe you should talk to the folks at Stranger Things.

Dude, that would blow me away.  I love Stranger Things. 


Planish

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Reply #11 on: July 08, 2007, 02:59:01 PM
Sorry for resurrecting this old thread (so to speak), but I'm still catching up on on the podcasts.

The only things that confused me while I was listening to it were not knowing if the vampires ever were immortal (there were the stories, but Catherine seems to have died of natural causes), and whether or not all humans were food animals for the dominant vampire species.

Now I'm thinking that humans had been the dominant species and the vampires were never immortal and unkillable, but were merely very durable and long-lived and humans had believed the stories of "immortal vampires", which were propagated by the vampires themselves. Then there was a war which the vampires won, so that all humans became livestock and the vampires' memory of the humans having once been an intelligent species more or less faded away, to the extent that younger vampires doubted that humans had feelings. (Much like the intelligence of humans in Planet of the Apes.)

Have I the right of it?

If not, no matter. Even with those historical details being a bit fuzzy to me, I still enjoyed the story very much, and mostly for the same reasons as others have stated. The reversal of the cliches about crosses and communion clicked into place very nicely.

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DKT

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Reply #12 on: July 09, 2007, 04:09:27 PM
Plainish, I think you pretty well got the history of it sorted out.  There's really not too much for me to add.   ;) 

I'm glad you enjoyed it!


Thaurismunths

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Reply #13 on: July 16, 2007, 01:01:41 PM
There's really not too much for me to add.   ;) 
Yeah there is... another one! :)

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Reply #14 on: July 16, 2007, 08:47:57 PM
There's really not too much for me to add.   ;) 
Yeah there is... another one! :)

Wow, Thaurismunths.  Thanks! 

I have to be honest: I never really seriously considered writing another one of these stories set in this particular world, but it makes my day to know you'd like one. 


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Reply #15 on: November 12, 2007, 11:22:08 AM
I am also catching up on these, I started listening to Pseudopod a week ago (and Escape Pod sometime last month). I must say, Scott Sigler is the only person I can think of who could've pulled off a vampire-grandfather voice. A most excellent reading of a most excellent story.



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Reply #16 on: January 05, 2009, 04:26:56 AM
OK, +1 on all the other positive comments.

Now, to avoid the wrath of the Mods, I'll go on a bit.   ;D

I think the normalcy of the situation really brings the horror to it.  Yes, vampires are the dominant species now.  Yes, humans are cattle.  But the scenes between father and daughter and the casual way she was cooking really brought it home.

I almost teared up with some of this.  The scene with the grandfather at the casket was truly powerful.

Now I really am going to have to check out more of your stuff, DKT!



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Reply #17 on: February 14, 2009, 01:39:22 AM
I'm slowly working through old PP eps in order, and just got to this one today at lunchtime.

Sorry DK, but I had no great opinion of it (though I loved "God-Shaped Box", and "St. Darwin's Spirituals" on VF was enjoyable except for Dani Cutler's horribly bad English accent.)

No, what really compels me to post here is:  Scott Sigler does an awesome Jimmy Stewart voice.  :)

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Reply #18 on: February 16, 2009, 04:46:33 PM
Thanks to Z!

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Nah, it's cool, man. :) Sorry you didn't like it but thanks for listening.


Swamp

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Reply #19 on: February 16, 2009, 06:20:28 PM
Quote from: Steph
Sorry DK, but I had no great opinion of it (though I loved "God-Shaped Box", and "St. Darwin's Spirituals" on VF was enjoyable except for Dani Cutler's horribly bad English accent.)

No, what really compels me to post here is:  Scott Sigler does an awesome Jimmy Stewart voice.

Since you brought up Sigler, I will use this opportunity to say more boldly that IMO Scott Sigler really does this story a disservice with his reading.  There I said it.  There are subtle horror elements written into the story (the screaming as the babies eat, then giggle) that are overshadowed by the normalcy of this vampire family.  Their conversation is normal and trivial, but they still do what vampires do.  The reading of it needs to match that subtlety.  Sigler's theatrical voices don't do that; they put the focus on Sigler.  Now a Ben Philips reading of this tale would make it shine.

Don't get me wrong, I like Sigler with his own stuff because, let's face it, Sigler's writing isn't subtle.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 06:35:23 PM by Swamp »

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stePH

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Reply #20 on: February 17, 2009, 03:58:24 AM
Since you brought up Sigler, I will use this opportunity to say more boldly that IMO Scott Sigler really does this story a disservice with his reading.  There I said it.  There are subtle horror elements written into the story (the screaming as the babies eat, then giggle) that are overshadowed by the normalcy of this vampire family.  Their conversation is normal and trivial, but they still do what vampires do.  The reading of it needs to match that subtlety.  Sigler's theatrical voices don't do that; they put the focus on Sigler.  Now a Ben Philips reading of this tale would make it shine.

Don't get me wrong, I like Sigler with his own stuff because, let's face it, Sigler's writing isn't subtle.

Well, I didn't think much of Sigler's reading either ... but when he did "vampire Grandpa" it was like I was watching Harvey again.

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Reply #21 on: September 16, 2009, 05:06:38 PM
This was probably in my top 5 Pseudopod tales so far.

It's hard to take vampires and make them new and interesting anymore, especially since Twilight's booming success, but this did it.  As others have said, I like the casual and normal attitude toward the livestock and the cooking, which is what really drove it all home.

I was a little uncertain if vampires were a completely separate race or if they converted humans from time to time allowing them to transcend to vampire form, but that wondering didn't really bother me. 

I do have to agree with Swamp that Sigler's theatrical voices were a bit much for the subtlety of the story.  On the other hand, I certainly didn't have any trouble telling the characters apart, so it's sort of a mixed blessing.



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Reply #22 on: September 16, 2009, 09:55:52 PM
Aw, man. This really makes my day. Thanks, Unblinking!


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Reply #23 on: September 17, 2009, 05:25:33 AM
Aw, man. This really makes my day. Thanks, Unblinking!

How much did you pay him, Dave?



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Reply #24 on: September 17, 2009, 03:30:40 PM
Not as much as I should have :)