Author Topic: Pseudopod 409: Sideshow  (Read 3170 times)

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Pseudopod 409: Sideshow
« on: October 27, 2014, 08:22:27 PM »
Pseudopod 409: Sideshow

by Catherine MacLeod

This story first appeared in John Joseph’s Adams’ WOMEN DESTROY HORROR, published this month by NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE.

CATHERINE MACLEOD lives and writes in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, where she also spends too much time watching “One Step Beyond” on YouTube. Her publications include short work on Tor.com, and in On Spec, Black Static, and several anthologies, including Fearful Symmetries, Horror Library 4, The Living Dead 2, and Tesseracts 17. She’s waiting patiently for Joss Whedon’s “Drive” to be released on DVD and going into a corn maze is on her not-to-do list. Her new anthology CASSEROLE DIPLOMACY AND OTHER STORIES is an On Spec 25th anniversary retrospective, and contains her story “Foster Child.”

Your reader is Tatiana Gomberg a New York City based actress and audiobook narrator. She has performed Off and Off- Off Broadway as well as regionally and internationally. Her work in The Night of Nosferatu garnered her an NYIT award nomination for Best Featured Actress and her portrayal of a drone pilot in Hummingbirds earned her a Best Actress Nomination through the Planet Connections Awards. She also played leads in two seasons of classics at Theatre 1010 and toured the United States with TheatreworksUSA. You can hear her narration work on audible.com, tv, radio, and numerous podcasts and you can find out what she’s up to at her website.



“I said, ‘Is it true time has no meaning in the Labyrinth?’

‘Yes. Why?’

‘Because the tape is only four minutes long, but I’m sure my rape took longer.’

He nodded. ‘It did.’ He stared at nothing for a moment. ‘Where are your companions from that night?’

‘I don’t know.’ And it’s in their best interests not to be found. You can hear them laughing on the security tape, under the Minotaur’s grunts and the sound of tearing meat. Only one wall away, and they didn’t try to save me. Justin, Marcus, and Caroline just patched their handscreens into the camera and watched the whole thing.

Minos said, ‘Tell me what happened.’

I didn’t want to need him. I said, ‘You know.’

‘I saw. It’s not the same thing.’ ”





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Rhio2k

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Re: Pseudopod 409: Sideshow
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2014, 08:41:41 PM »
Good story...one nitpick: pronunciation. Minos should be "Mee Nohs", not "Mai Nus".

Fenrix

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Re: Pseudopod 409: Sideshow
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2014, 09:42:33 PM »
Brutal story. This one's stuck with me.

I'm no Greek scholar, but wikipedia includes both pronunciations for Minos as valid.
All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”

Dwango

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Re: Pseudopod 409: Sideshow
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2014, 10:01:32 AM »
This one was so harsh.  I just can't believe that she would want to go back to that hell, but I can see her anger at the world.  Rachael Jones insight on this story wrapped it up nicely, with the mythology information about the creation of the Minotaur.   While I don't buy into the complete inhumanity of people, the harsh light of horror does show that dark side in sharp relief and makes us question how we react in less harsh, similar situations.

albionmoonlight

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Re: Pseudopod 409: Sideshow
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2014, 11:53:48 AM »
This is one of my favorite Pesudopods of the year.  It managed to re-tell an ancient myth.  It managed to discuss sexual assault in a way that did not minimize it and that made it central to the plot.  It managed to address the real-world horror of not fitting in and the abuse of the outcasts by the powerful.  It managed to have one of the more compelling narrators I've heard in a while.  And it managed to have a twist (the pregnancy) that surprised me.

And it managed to do all of that at the same time.


Rhio2k

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Re: Pseudopod 409: Sideshow
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2014, 05:16:03 PM »
Brutal story. This one's stuck with me.

I'm no Greek scholar, but wikipedia includes both pronunciations for Minos as valid.

Well, I'll be dipped...you're right. So does Miriam's. Lousy greek lit class! No wonder they call it the MIS-education system...

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Re: Pseudopod 409: Sideshow
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2014, 07:04:02 AM »
Good story, well-told.  Especially in that it managed to talk about rape in a way that didn't minimalize it into something it's not.

The main hangup I had was trying to figure out details of the setting.  The way she pronounced Minos may very well have been correct, but all I could hear was "King Minus" and it took me about half the story to realize it was Minos--I suppose I should've figured it out sooner with the Minotaur and everything.  It also seemed to take forever to realize exactly what she looked like, with enough hints at it that I just wanted the story to tell me already and stop being coy.

Quite good.

VinozoFernando

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Re: Pseudopod 409: Sideshow
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2014, 11:13:50 PM »
Yap, good story. :)

Fenrix

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Re: Pseudopod 409: Sideshow
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2014, 09:45:13 AM »
I think we should mention how fantastic the narration was. The pathos!


It also seemed to take forever to realize exactly what she looked like, with enough hints at it that I just wanted the story to tell me already and stop being coy.


Did we get a full description? I think we're better off not having explicit descriptions of visual things that make us uncomfortable. Sure, point us in the right direction and provide a few hooks, but explicit description is not always best. The ugliness in my mind is more effective than any author's, because my brain made it just for me sorting through my foibles and experiences. Handcrafted hate just for me. Scumbag brain. 
All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”

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Re: Pseudopod 409: Sideshow
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2014, 12:09:53 PM »
I think we should mention how fantastic the narration was. The pathos!


It also seemed to take forever to realize exactly what she looked like, with enough hints at it that I just wanted the story to tell me already and stop being coy.


Did we get a full description? I think we're better off not having explicit descriptions of visual things that make us uncomfortable. Sure, point us in the right direction and provide a few hooks, but explicit description is not always best. The ugliness in my mind is more effective than any author's, because my brain made it just for me sorting through my foibles and experiences. Handcrafted hate just for me. Scumbag brain. 

But in this case the detail that she looked kind of like a cow was actually pretty important.  It's the reason for why she thinks the minotaur didn't kill her.  Because he recognized her as being like him.  If she'd looked like an Orc or something, that reasoning wouldn't make sense.

But it kind of skirted around that for a while in the story even though it was extremely relevant.