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Author Topic: Pseudopod 386: The Dogs Of Ubud  (Read 4144 times)
Bdoomed
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« on: May 18, 2014, 11:36:44 PM »

Pseudopod 386: The Dogs Of Ubud

by Conda V. Douglas.

“The Dogs Of Ubud” Originally published in the anthology DREAMSPELL NIGHTMARES in 2010. This story comes from Conda’s travels in Bali, where she recognized how wonderfully and spiritually the Balinese treat their families, children and world..

CONDA V. DOUGLAS grew up in the ski resort of Sun Valley, Idaho, in her folk’s funky art gallery. She’s traveled the world and her own tiny office, writing all the while. Her first and always great love is writing horror short stories. The second in Conda’s Mall Fairies trilogy, THE MALL FAIRIES: WAR will be released spring/summer 2014. For more about Conda, visit Conda’s Creative Center, for hints, tips and secrets for creative people.

Your reader – David Cummings – is the host and producer of The NoSleep Podcast, an award-winning anthology series of original horror stories. He hails from Toronto, Canada. With a background as a professional musician, he has expanded into the realm of voice actor and narrator. He has been heard on various commercial projects and speculative fiction podcasts. One of his goals is to continue supporting the many great audio fiction podcasts that dot the online landscape.



“Ubud, artists’ capital of Bali, teemed with tourists. Down the dirt path to the dance arena a tourist herd thundered, headed for tonight’s performance. Alongside the road, Balinese merchants sat, their wares arrayed on blankets.

Peter dodged through the crowd, through a cacophony of languages. If the Balinese could tolerate, even thrive, on this invasion, so could he. Now he hid, one among many. What he did, how he lived, was always hidden.

Not so the Balinese. Lulled by their jungle paradise, they never lost their innocence. Even the main living room in their family compounds possessed no walls, open-sided. Vulnerable.

When Peter saw the knife, the star-shaped wound etched upon his belly burned, the blood beneath his skin pulsing. The knife, a wavy-bladed kris, lay on a piece of tattered batik cloth, a store of a rag. Among the clutter of tattered straw fans and plastic “ivory,” the kris glittered, a diamond in a pot metal setting.”





Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2014, 09:01:15 AM »

I kind of figured this would be a "heartless bastard gets his comeuppance" kind of story.  Didn't see the particulars of the ending coming though.  With the title it was obvious the dogs would play a role in that comeuppance, but I didn't foresee that the dogs were also the girls.

Not bad, though the guy was such a heartless bastard I was just waiting for the ending.
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Thundercrack!
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2014, 03:38:17 AM »

I didn't like this one at all. The subject matter was creepy, but not in a good way.

I also found the constant explanation of Balinese terms very off-putting. Just use the Balinese word, and credit the listener with enough intelligence to figure out its meaning from the context. Or just use the English word, rather than shoe-horn in the handful of words you picked up on your holiday. My annoyance at this was accentuated with the repeated mispronunciation of "sate" (sah-tay, not sait). I understand that's not the author's fault, but it wouldn't have been nearly so jarring had it not been accompanied by totally unnecessary exposition of what sate is, for us morons.

(I live in rural Scotland, and chicken satay has been sold here in the supermarkets -- the supermarkets! -- for decades. I assume Fife isn't the avant-garde of Indonesian food, and that I'm not the only one harbouring this arcane culinary knowledge. So I hardly think it needs explaining.)

Finally, the ending was a bit too much AND THEN A SKELETON POPPED OUT for my liking.




 
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Fenrix
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2014, 06:51:59 AM »

I didn't like this one at all. The subject matter was creepy, but not in a good way.

I also found the constant explanation of Balinese terms very off-putting. Just use the Balinese word, and credit the listener with enough intelligence to figure out its meaning from the context. Or just use the English word, rather than shoe-horn in the handful of words you picked up on your holiday. My annoyance at this was accentuated with the repeated mispronunciation of "sate" (sah-tay, not sait). I understand that's not the author's fault, but it wouldn't have been nearly so jarring had it not been accompanied by totally unnecessary exposition of what sate is, for us morons.

(I live in rural Scotland, and chicken satay has been sold here in the supermarkets -- the supermarkets! -- for decades. I assume Fife isn't the avant-garde of Indonesian food, and that I'm not the only one harbouring this arcane culinary knowledge. So I hardly think it needs explaining.)

Finally, the ending was a bit too much AND THEN A SKELETON POPPED OUT for my liking.




 

Please keep your critique to the content rather than casting aspersions at the author. Please be mindful of the One Rule.

Personally, I like definitions, particularly for an audio presentation. If I'm reading, I can go look something up (or have my Kindle do it for me, such delightful technology!) But if I'm listening to audio, my hands are almost always otherwise occupied (and I'm probably driving). There's no way I'm looking something up. I may miss something and it's unlikely I'll come back.

I liked the establishment of place, as the details helped me get comfortable with somewhere completely unfamiliar.
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Richard Babley
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2014, 08:08:22 AM »

Hi, I am new here and I am making a post so that EA doesn't delete my account.

I have been listening to many stories as I take many pictures on the microscope.

Some are great, some aren't to my liking.  This one was less to my liking, I found that it was written very well, and the video camera idea was intriguing.  My main problem with the story was the strange vampiric powers as a cure for leukaemia.  I work in the medical field and just couldn't get into it without further explanation (not necessarily technical, it could also have been a fantastic explanation).

A previous commenter mentioned that he/she didn’t like the explanation of chicken sate, which I found helpful.  Being from rural Wisconsin, I had no clue what sate was and probably would have also mispronounced it.  Please keep in mind that there are plenty of foods and wildlife in my region of the world that someone from rural Scotland may not know, simply because a specific cultural influence has not reached him/her.   Such as a brat, no not a bratty kid, but the short word for bratwurst prounced like brat without the wurst.  Eastcoasters always have problems with that one  Wink
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 08:13:38 AM by Richard Babley » Logged
Bdoomed
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2014, 08:41:27 AM »

Providing definitions in stories for dialect is a difficult decision, I'm sure.  It's especially hard to please everyone, but unless it's completely unnecessary, I don't see why it should ruin a story
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2014, 08:45:18 AM »

Fenrix -- I am sorry if my comments seemed ad hominem. They really weren't intended to be! It was the story I didn't like, not the author (I don't know anything about the author beyond what was mentioned in the Intro, and found nothing in there to dislike.)

Richard Babley -- Welcome to the forum! OK, so not everyone knows what satay is. But the exposition could have been worked in more naturally, rather than provided in the form of a direct definition or description. For example: "He picked up the satay, and worked the meat off of the wooden skewer". And it wasn't just the satay. It was the repetitive barrage of word, definition, word, definition that I disliked. The satay was just an example.
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Richard Babley
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2014, 01:41:14 PM »

Thundercrack,

I agree that yours is possibly a more elegant solution, I almost used it myself with my bratwurst example.
He tasted the brat, the sausage was hot and fatty...
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Fenrix
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.


« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2014, 01:54:49 PM »

Thundercrack,

I agree that yours is possibly a more elegant solution, I almost used it myself with my bratwurst example.
He tasted the brat, the sausage was hot and fatty...

This one has problems once you introduce the pronunciation issues identified previously...
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 04:49:47 PM »

I'm David Cummings, the narrator of this story.  I feel terrible that my mispronunciation of a non-English language word has diminished people's enjoyment of this story.

For the record, the word in question is written as "sate" in the story, which is the Indonesian spelling of the word known in English as satay.  When I first read the description of the food dish I assumed the word was to be pronounced "satay".  When I researched the word I found three distinct ways to pronounce it based on the Indonesian food.  1) Sate (rhymes with "wait").  2) SAT-uh (sort of like Santa without the N). 3) suh-TAY (like the version spelled Satay).  Given the unique spelling of the word, I made the regrettable decision to use the first version of the pronunciation in the hope of being more authentic to the story's location.

I offer my apologies to Ms. Douglas and the listeners for my mistake.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2014, 04:55:42 PM »


I'm David Cummings, the narrator of this story.  I feel terrible that my mispronunciation of a non-English language word has diminished people's enjoyment of this story.

For the record, the word in question is written as "sate" in the story, which is the Indonesian spelling of the word known in English as satay.  When I first read the description of the food dish I assumed the word was to be pronounced "satay".  When I researched the word I found three distinct ways to pronounce it based on the Indonesian food.  1) Sate (rhymes with "wait").  2) SAT-uh (sort of like Santa without the N). 3) suh-TAY (like the version spelled Satay).  Given the unique spelling of the word, I made the regrettable decision to use the first version of the pronunciation in the hope of being more authentic to the story's location.

I offer my apologies to Ms. Douglas and the listeners for my mistake.


Damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Doubly damned for narrating for a horror podcast, and thrice damned for running another. Thanks for putting the time and effort into researching the etymology and pronunciation of unfamiliar words, and thanks for pulling back the curtain a bit with regards to your narrative approach.

Last but not least, thanks for volunteering this narration. Escape Artists couldn't do it without class acts like you.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 04:59:50 PM by Fenrix » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2014, 09:13:46 PM »

Hi all, I'm Conda, the author of The Dogs of Ubud. I wanted to comment on a couple of things. The first being, David Cummings, no need to apologize. I wrote "satay" as "sate" because that's how it's written in Bali, and I always heard it that way in my mind, so that's an understandable error.

And Richard Babley, I wish I'd had your comment when I was writing this story! In my mind, the serial killer was simply experiencing a remission from his leukemia and in his madness and desire believed he was saving his life. It would be much more elegant to have a fantastical way that he truly was saving his life.

Last, thank you all for listening to The Dogs of Ubud.

Conda
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kibitzer
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2014, 03:47:00 AM »

Conda, thanks so much for dropping by. We love it when authors come and comment on the story! This story was very chilling, and I can almost imagine it because it's sorta kinda from my part of the world.
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primerofin
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2014, 07:24:49 PM »

I LOVE it when authors provide additional insight into their story.

It blows me away that readers can have so many interpretrations (or extrapolations) that the author didn't intend (sometimes better, sometimes worse, sometimes just different).

I also thought the killer was treating his disease by killing.  (I am a medical researcher so curing disease is always in the front of my brain.)

Please, more authors stop bye!

Also - just curious do narrators every contact authors to discuss pronounciation and plot details?

I can barely go five minutes without mispronouncing (or misspelling anythign) so I will never criticize a narrator for that.

In fact, since people in real live mispronounce things,  having a narrator do it adds a pinch of realism.
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homo not so sapien
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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2014, 07:33:02 PM »

 Sad I can't believe how many spelling errors were in my previous post, which contained a joke about spelling errors.  That degree of sloppy writting was not intentional.
 Cry Perhaps that's why I haven't found any cures yet.  OK, I'll use spell check from now on. Sad
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« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2014, 06:41:17 AM »

Also - just curious do narrators every contact authors to discuss pronounciation and plot details?

Usually narrators will contact the editor with a list of "I'm not sure about this" words, or the editor will provide a list of pronunciations of uncommon words.
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« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2014, 07:20:43 AM »

When I started listening to this story, I came close to skipping it.  When it became clear that the protaganist was a serial killer of young girls, I was deciding whether or not I wanted to listen to it.  It was very well done, but I wasn't sure I wanted to listen to the content.

But, I didn't skip it - mainly due to the fact that I was driving at the time, and didn't want to pull over to mess with the phone.  And I'm glad I didn't.  I ended up enjoying the story.
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Richard Babley
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« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2014, 04:06:08 PM »


I also thought the killer was treating his disease by killing.  (I am a medical researcher so curing disease is always in the front of my brain.)


Funny, I am a terrible speller too and also a medical researcher...

PS,
I guess that I read my own interpretation into the story.  Thanks for the clarification.  It's quite nice when authors stop by.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2014, 04:34:56 PM »


I guess that I read my own interpretation into the story. 


Everyone brings their own experiences and perceptions to stories. Once a story is turned loose into the wild, its shadowy spots are open for interpretation. These unique viewpoints are part of what makes discussing stories interesting.
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« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2014, 09:12:32 AM »


I guess that I read my own interpretation into the story. 


Everyone brings their own experiences and perceptions to stories. Once a story is turned loose into the wild, its shadowy spots are open for interpretation. These unique viewpoints are part of what makes discussing stories interesting.


Indeed!  Once the text is published, I will take an intrepretation that goes along with the text over author's stated intent if I like it better.  Once it's published, it is what the audience sees.
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